Saturday, November 8, 2008
In-Progress From Phoenix: Saturday Practice And Qualifying
Things get underway at Noon Eastern Time on Saturday from PIR with SPEED hosting Nationwide Series qualifying. Steve Byrnes, Jeff Hammond and Larry McReynolds will be along to call the action. Down on the grid will be Wendy Venturini and Bob Dillner.
This same TV crew will hang around once qualifying is over to watch the early practice of the Sprint Cup Series cars. This is one of those sessions that was added late in the season after a lot of fans (TDP readers) made a lot of noise about ESPN not covering early practice. This sessions runs from 1:30 to 2:30PM.
John Roberts is up next with SPEED's NASCAR Live. This little show, originally designed to fill time from the tracks, has taken on a life of its own. Roberts was paired this season with two very unlikely TV reporters, Hermie Sadler and Randy Pemberton.
Instead of giving fans more of the same talking heads, both Sadler and Pemberton have embraced this show and made it fun to watch. Sadler has fun teasing the drivers about college football or their bad golf game while he gets the standard information about how things are going for the race.
Pemberton has been stellar on DirecTV's Hot Pass and his name has been bounced around for all kinds of roles in 2009. In the garage, he is a focused reporter who asks the tough questions with such sincerity that no one gets offended. He has pushed his way back into NASCAR with a lot of hard work this season.
The final pre-pre-race show will be ESPN2's coverage of Happy Hour for the Sprint Cup teams. Starting at 3PM, it will be Dr. Jerry Punch hosting the telecast. Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree will be along as the analysts. Shannon Spake, Jamie Little, Dave Burns and Mike Massaro will be handling the driver interviews from the garage.
There will be a new post up for NASCAR Countdown and the Nationwide Series race on ESPN2 later this afternoon. Countdown starts at 4PM and the race coverage begins thirty minutes later. Please feel free to add your TV-related opinions on the daytime Saturday coverage to this post.
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