Sunday, September 7, 2008
Here We Go: Sprint Cup Series In Richmond On ESPN
What a weekend! After all the shuffling, the sport has emerged with a doubleheader on one day and lots of TV shows making big changes.
UPDATE: ESPN2 is on-the-air now with an unannounced version of NASCAR Countdown before the Cup race on ESPN. This last-minute addition might be a result of ESPN realizing that SPEED and RaceDay are enjoying a two-hour live program that is serving to preview the ESPN race.
Race coverage will start on ESPN at 1PM. The green flag will be shortly after that because of the doubleheader schedule. It will be Dr. Jerry Punch, Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree in the announce booth for ESPN.
Handling the duties from the Infield Pit Studio will be host Allen Bestwick and analysts Rusty Wallace and Brad Daugherty. ESPN will have four pit road reporters in Jamie Little, Shannon Spake, Dave Burns and Mike Massaro. Tim Brewer will be on-site in the Tech Center.
After all the changes from ABC to ESPN and the weather issues, it should be interesting to see how the TV crew reacts. The entire TV crew has been on-scene for days. Setting-up with bad weather, coming back to the track in the storm to keep things in one piece and now putting in an incredibly long day today should be a challenge that will either bond the team or make for short tempers quickly.
Once things get back on track, we will all be watching ESPN try to walk the fine line of The Chase vs. the race. This choice will be constant in both the race commentary and the pit road interviews. By the time the race is over, the pit road reporters might play a big role in determining what kind of information gets to the fans.
Short laps and green flag racing makes it tough to sneak-in Tim Brewer and his updates unless two video boxes are used on the screen. It also makes it tough to put the infield crew on-camera unless the field is under caution. These should be two elements to keep an eye on as the race progresses.
The final lap should also be interesting. One group of cars will be trying to win the race and another group will be trying to make The Chase. How this final lap is covered will be interesting. This season ESPN has been doing an outstanding job of showing the field race to the line and this track has a great camera angle that can provide fans a good view of the action.
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