Friday, August 15, 2008
SPEED Sets The ESPN Table On Saturday
After a very long Friday of NASCAR programming, it will be SPEED returning on Saturday to host all the on-track action right-up until the Nationwide Series race on ESPN2. NASCAR fans are already well-rehearsed at watching practice and qualifying on SPEED and then flipping the channel to catch the racing action on another TV network.
It will be the team of Steve Byrnes, Jeff Hammond and Larry McReynolds handling the Nationwide Series qualifying at 10:30AM ET. When this trio steps into this series they convey excitement and begin to build-up the stories of the individual teams as 49 cars get ready to try to fill 43 slots.
Host John Roberts is up next at Noon with a thirty minute edition of NASCAR Live. Roberts will be joined by Randy Pemberton and Hermie Sadler as reporters from the garage.
Finally, Byrnes and company return with Wendy Venturini and Ray Dunlap along as the reporters for both sessions of Sprint Cup Practice at 12:30PM. This should be a good telecast for forecasting the Cup race on Sunday over on ESPN.
These Saturday telecasts wrap-up the two day effort of SPEED as the network returns to three weeks of handling the practice and qualifying sessions for both the Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series. It was certainly easy for fans to see the different attitude and style that SPEED brings to this coverage.
Expanding her RaceDay role, Venturini has been very effective in covering the garage area and dealing with the stories of practice and qualifying as they unfold. Her easy-going manner and familiarity with the personalities involved in the sport have really paid-off for SPEED.
After some shaky personal and professional moments, Dunlap has been solid while filling-in for Bob Dillner who is off this weekend. Normally involved in the Craftsman Truck Series coverage, Dunlap has been welcomed into this role by the drivers and his popularity in the garage is obvious.
This Saturday coverage really sets the table for ESPN2's live telecast of the Nationwide Series race at 3PM. What better way to get the fans pumped-up for the race while at the same time not tiring-out the ESPN team that has been working on the road since February on this series.
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