Saturday, August 2, 2008
In-Progress At Montreal: Nationwide Series Race (Now Raining But Trying To Race)
The NASCAR Countdown show begins the always interesting ESPN2 coverage of the road course race from Montreal at 2:30PM ET.
This week, it will be ESPN veteran Mike Massaro that gets the opportunity to host the one hour pre-race show. Regular host Allen Bestwick is in Pocono with his sidekick Brad Daugherty for the Sprint Cup Series coverage.
Massaro will host the show without the Infield Pit Studio, so his location should be interesting. In the past, we have seen Dave Burns handle this role from the middle of the crowd and from the starting grid. Massaro has been working very hard this season for ESPN and this is a well-deserved opportunity.
It will be Marty Reid handling the play-by-play duties with Randy LaJoie and Rusty Wallace alongside at 3:30PM. This should be an interesting mix, because LaJoie likes to push Rusty's buttons and that is not very hard to do. Wallace is an owner in this series with his son Steven driving the car. Stay-tuned to watch that relationship develop as the race progresses.
Down on pit road will be veterans Jack Arute and Vince Welch. Once Massaro finishes the pre-race show, he will join Arute and Welch to round-out the reporting corp.
The key elements in this broadcast will be Marty Reid keeping track of the driver names and positions in this very unique race. Sprint Cup drivers, Nationwide Series regulars and road-course ringers from the sports car world make this field very diverse.
The other element is the tone that Wallace and LaJoie set early in the telecast. LaJoie is a former Busch Series champion and his driver's perspective overlaps with Wallace when there are replays to describe and situations to discuss. It should be interesting to see if Wallace puts on his owner hat and speaks in this broadcast from that viewpoint.
Rain is a possibility, and these cars are ready to race in the rain. Windshield wipers, rain tires and even big red brake lights are ready to be put on the field so the race can take place. The only way the race will be delayed is if standing water on the track make race conditions dangerous.
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