Sunday, August 10, 2008
In-Progress At The Glen: Sprint Cup Series (ESPN 1PM)
A refreshed ESPN crew is returning to the Watkins Glen road course after a very long Saturday of live TV. That is the Infield Pit Center pictured above. It may play a big role in the Sunday coverage. Click on the picture to see it full-size.
Already this morning, the ESPN family of networks has presented a thirty minute Outside The Lines program focused on NASCAR and the morning preview edition of NASCAR Now. Up next on ESPN's NASCAR agenda is the one hour NASCAR Countdown pre-race show.
Host Allen Bestwick should have lots of topics to choose from where this program is concerned. Joined by Rusty Wallace and Brad Daugherty, Bestwick can pick from a list that includes Daugherty's future team winning the Nationwide race, Wallace's son continuing his learning curve in racing or the Sunday weather forecast.
Bestwick has been doing a solid job of leading Wallace and Daugherty through this pre-race show since the season began. Now, with the Sprint Cup Series coverage underway, Bestwick has a host of on-air talent that can contribute to this show.
Once the pre-race is over, Bestwick and company will continue to interact with the "upstairs" announce team of Dr. Jerry Punch, Dale Jarret and Andy Petree. These three will face a very different style of racing that has all kinds of twists and turns associated with it. From pit stop strategy to fuel mileage, the Sprint Cup race should be loaded with good stories.
Tim Brewer will also be along in the Tech Center, where he faces the challenge of showing the viewers the many changes in the COT that a road course brings. From carburetors to shocks, Brewer will be on-the-spot when the coverage begins.
The challenge today for the TV crew is to try and tell the multiple stories of the cars throughout the field, not just the leaders of the race. A backmarker playing the fuel strategy game may well become the winner. The normal network focus on two or three cars that seem to be the fastest on the day will not work.
Rain is in the area and Watkins Glen is not a circuit with lights. The race would be run on Monday if things did not reach the halfway point when it was halted. The telecast is scheduled until 5:30PM with a live 90 minute version of SportsCenter following the race. ESPNEWS will have live coverage of the post-race news conference from the Infield Media Center as it happens.
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