Saturday, May 10, 2008
In-Progress From Darlington: Sprint Cup Series Race On Fox
Major League Baseball is rapidly becoming a sport that goes hand-in-hand with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Once again this Saturday night, Fox will have baseball games in-progress that will lead directly into the Darlington coverage.
The Hollywood Hotel is scheduled to take to the air at 7PM Eastern Time. Last time this baseball situation happened, only some portions of the country saw the complete pre-race show with Jeff Hammond, Darrell Waltrip and host Chris Myers.
Darlington is a touchy subject for veteran NASCAR fans, who want two races returned to this venerable track each season. It should be interesting to see how the Hollywood Hotel handles that issue, or if it is even mentioned.
Mike Joy handled the Cup qualifying and a practice sessions earlier in the week, but Saturday night will be the first time this veteran play-by-play announcer will be seeing Cup cars racing at speed on this new pavement. The dynamic of the competition is almost completely unknown. What was billed as a wreck-fest on Friday night was relatively smooth until fuel pick-up problems caused one big accident.
Joy, Waltrip and Larry McReynolds will have to be prepared for either a memorable race on a fantastic new surface or a Bristol-like single-file parade with passing basically limited to pit road. That will put the pressure on the pit reporters to document the action that may decide the race.
Veterans Dick Berggren, Matt Yocum, Steve Byrnes and Krista Voda will be in the very loud trenches and there should be some new challenges. On Friday, it was ESPN's Jamie Little who talked to drivers outside the Infield Care Center and in the garage if they had dropped-out with mechanical problems.
As the Cup evening wears-on, there is a distinct possibility that lots of cars may fall by the wayside. The follow-up in the garage area and documenting the frustration with the new track and the speeds should be an interesting challenge to present. Reality always has a way of being flavored with politics in this sport.
After the race, ESPNEWS will again have live coverage of the press conferences from the Infield Media Center. We remind you of this because once again SPEED will hold the original airing of Victory Lane until Sunday night.
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