Sunday, October 5, 2008
Sprint Cup Series At Talladega on ABC Sports
SPEED has handled the pre-race action of practice and qualifying this weekend. Sunday afternoon at 1PM will be the first time viewers will be seeing the ESPN on ABC crew.
Allen Bestwick will start the ball rolling with Brad Daugherty and Rusty Wallace from the Infield Pit Studio. The NASCAR Countdown pre-race show should be interesting with Daugherty having just completed a deal to become a satellite team of Michael Waltrip next season in the Cup Series.
Other than The Chasers, there are some names at the back of the field like Terry Labonte and Kenny Wallace that may be a factor before the race is over. Not necessarily in winning, but in helping someone to achieve that goal.
Last season, ESPN was fascinated by "the big one" and said it over-and-over again during the pre-race show. Lost in the shuffle was the actual story of the race field and what viewers could expect other than accidents.
Dr. Jerry Punch will take over at 2PM and begin the race coverage. He will be joined as usual by Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree. Tim Brewer will be in the Tech Center. Down on pit road will be Shannon Spake, Jamie Little, Dave Burns and Mike Massaro.
It is very hard for the announcers to see the backstretch, so they will be basically watching the same pictures as the viewers at home when they are calling the action on that part of the track. The choice of whether they look out at the track or continue to follow the TV monitors in the booth for the other racing should be easy to determine.
The COT has shown both a tendency to allow two cars to run fast when hooked-up just right and to make for boring racing during the early parts of this race. If teams hang back and gather together it will be up to the ESPN crew to choose to inform the viewers or ignore it.
The TV gang has been making great use of the double video box effect that allows the race to continue for the viewers even as Brewer talks tech or a crew chief is interviewed. Look for increased use of the aerial shot and the speed shots, especially after a restart.
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