Saturday, August 30, 2008
UPDATED: Nationwide Series Race
On a day dominated by college football, ESPN2 will give some time to NASCAR on Saturday night. It will be 9:45PM when the NASCAR Countdown pre-race show begins. The only questions is, on what ESPN TV network?
The first hurdle for NASCAR may be finding a place to start the race. With a college football game beginning at 6:45PM ET on ESPN2, Allen Bestwick's pre-race show is scheduled for only three hours after the kick-off. As viewers know all too well from last season, college football has a way of affecting the Nationwide Series coverage.
ESPN Classic Network appears to be the company's only option, as all the other networks continue to have live college football in-progress. If things all go as scheduled, it will be ESPN2 where Rusty Wallace and Brad Daugherty will appear with Bestwick from the Infield Pit Studio.
This is an abbreviated pre-race show of only fifteen minutes. At 10PM, coverage of the actual race begins with ESPN's regular NASCAR team. It will be Dr. Jerry Punch, Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree calling the action. Down on pit road will be Shannon Spake, Jamie Little, Mike Massaro and Dave Burns.
Fontana is a wide track with multiple grooves that should make for great TV pictures. Look for the possibility of Draft Tracker coming out and for the great triple splits on caution flag pit stops. Fontana has some of the biggest pit boxes on the circuit.
The long pace laps should leave plenty of time to Tim Brewer and his Tech Center. Brewer was essentially put on hold last week with the sixteen second laps at Bristol. Both Brewer and the Infield Pit Center gang should see a lot of air time on the race tonight.
The challenge once again for the ESPN gang will be to deal with the race and not The Chase all the time. Keeping both these issues updated will be the toughest assignment for the TV crew. Agendas are bound to overlap and the pit reporters will once again be put on-the-spot for issues that may be uncomfortable for drivers and crew chiefs to deal with on-the-air.
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