Sunday, October 19, 2008
Sprint Cup Series on ABC From Martinsville
There is a new post up for comments on the Martinsville race, click on the TDP logo at the top of the page.
Any way you cut it, this is going to be a long day. Allen Bestwick is going to start the ABC coverage with a thirty minute version of NASCAR Countdown. Bestwick will have Rusty Wallace and Brad Daugherty alongside in the Infield Pit Center.
The shortened preview show should focus on the random nature of luck at Martinsville, where cautions can switch the entire back of the field to the front when pit stops are done. Several of The Chasers have good records at this track and it should be interesting to see if one superteam has figured things out this weekend.
Dr. Jerry Punch, Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree will be upstairs in the announce booth after spending practice and qualifying in the Infield Pit Center. They will be joined by Mike Massaro, Dave Burns, Jamie Little and Shannon Spake on pit road. Tim Brewer will be in the Tech Center.
This track is called the paperclip for a good reason. It consists of two short drag races and two hard left turns with yellow curbs on the inside. Patience and payback are usually the two themes of the event.
Controversial Scott Speed is in the field, as is Kenny Schrader in the Hall of Fame Toyota. Chad McCumbee is in the #45 and veteran Mike Bliss is in the #00. Ultimately, the lap-down cars begin to play a critical role as the race progresses.
Look for Bestwick to be on-the-air coming out of commercial breaks. He will be supplying updates on the race and also lead the field rundowns. With the short track, Tim Brewer should be appearing in a split-screen under green flag conditions so fans can continue to see the race. Martinsville is loud and small, so we should be hearing rather than seeing the pit reporters on a regular basis.
This track makes it tough to insert replays under green. One good aspect is that the track level cameras provide great speed shots, even at these lower speeds. It is tough to get the in-car cameras in use when the racing is tight, but fun to see them when things are spread out.
The way to tell when the production team gets tired is when they allow one high camera to follow the field around-and-around for several laps. Fans want cameras to be cut each lap high and low to get the sound and feel of this unique racetrack.
The challenge today for Punch is to continually update the field and leave the commentary to Jarrett and Petree. It is easy to get viewers lost as to what happened on the track, even with the scoring ticker crawling on the top of the screen. As we have said many times, the ticker on says where a car is, not how it got there.
Tempers get tight at this track. Last week the ESPN on ABC pit reporters were aggressive and got up on the pit stands to talk with the crew chiefs. It is going to be important for the pit reporters to keep up that intensity and get the real stories of who is where and why.
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