Thursday, April 10, 2008
The NASCAR Nationwide Series takes to the air on ESPN2 Friday night at 9:30PM Eastern Time.
This week, Jerry Punch is off so Marty Reid will step-in to the play-by-play role with Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree alongside. Vince Welch will also step-over from the IRL coverage to report from pit road along with Jamie Little and Mike Massaro.
Allen Bestwick will anchor the coverage from the Infield Pit Studio. He will be joined by Brad Daugherty and Dale Jarrett for the pre-race show. Something else will be different this week as well.
NBA basketball is on ESPN2 at 7PM with the Cleveland Cavaliers taking on the Chicago Bulls. The live game is scheduled to end at 9:30PM and lead directly into a fifteen minute version of NASCAR Countdown.
The ESPN2 race coverage starts at 9:45PM and with live radio and other broadcast elements in place, the race itself should start as scheduled.
So, should basketball run long, ESPN Classic may again come into play as a network outlet for the Nationwide coverage. For those of you wondering what is on ESPN during that time it is Tiger Woods and friends playing in The Masters.
NASCAR fans should be on their toes and stay informed whenever a live event is scheduled immediately before a race on ESPN2. This season ESPN's NASCAR coverage has been much better, and the changes in both personnel and production have made the difference.
The one area where ESPN is still lacking is the the inability to present NASCAR racing in a protected timeslot on a regular basis. As we saw with the Busch Series last season, other live sports events greatly impacted this series.
Now that ESPN has solved the production and announcer issues, focusing on the on-air operational problems with this series as the season progresses is going to be very important.
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