Sunday, June 29, 2008
In-Progress At New Hampshire: Sprint Cup On TNT
TNT continues to move through the six race package that comprises the summer TV for NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series. This Sunday, the network is in Loudon, NH at the newly-named New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
After the ninety minutes of pre-race programming concludes, it will be Bill Weber leading the crew through the race. Joining Weber in the booth will be Kyle Petty and Wally Dallenbach. This trio has been effective and fun during the first portion of the TV package. Keeping Petty in the booth at Sonoma instead of having him drive in the race as a "reporter" was a great decision that resulted in a much better telecast.
Down on pit road the drivers and crews have responded quite well to TNT's Lindsay Czarniak in her pit reporter role. Surrounded by veterans Matt Yocum, Marty Snider and Ralph Shaheen, Czarniak has been using her TV skills and inquisitive nature to make-up for her continuing learning curve in the sport. These four have really been a key to the much better on-air presentation of the TNT package this season.
One of the biggest changes noticed by viewers is the outstanding TV Director handling the TNT races. We do not talk about the names of the behind-the-scenes folks, but NASCAR fans are overjoyed that they can see the battles on the track and more than just one or two cars in the camera shots being used.
From the pit stops to the final lap, the directing of this package has been exactly what the doctor ordered after the problems with the Fox telecasts. Keep an eye out for the wideshots that allow the viewer to see the difference on the track between cars and then the slow zoom to the car being discussed by the on-air team.
There were two grooves in the Saturday Nationwide Series race, so the Cup event may actually feature passing and competition despite the COT and the flat track. It should be interesting to watch the TNT crew come together for the final race before the big Daytona race and the "wide open" coverage of next week.
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