Sunday, September 7, 2008
This Monday is the day for the two remaining NASCAR TV partners to use their weekly shows to preview The Chase. ESPN and SPEED will do just that.
First-up will be ESPN2 and the outstanding "roundtable" version of NASCAR Now. This show will be a special 90-minute expanded version to allow host Allen Bestwick to cover all the angles for the "NASCAR playoff" to come.
Bestwick will be joined by the former NASCAR drivers and crew chiefs now on the ESPN payroll. After a long Sunday, Dale Jarrett, Andy Petree, Tim Brewer and Rusty Wallace will be heading up to Connecticut for this program. This group will be joined on the set by Ray Evernham, who is the NASCAR on ESPN rookie of the group.
This Monday program has featured a tremendously diverse line-up of personalities. Ranging from current drivers to veteran reporters, Bestwick has been presented with the challenge of molding a weekly program from a different cast of characters every week. There is little doubt that this show has risen to the occasion.
Over on SPEED, things are always interesting where This Week In NASCAR is concerned. Host Steve Byrnes has hung-in and crafted a very relaxed and informative show after a rough start to the season. This week regular panelists Greg Biffle and Chad Knaus are both unavailable for the show. So, Michael Waltrip will bring his young driver Michael McDowell along for this hour.
On one hand, it might have been nice to see a veteran like Kenny Schrader or a SPEED regular like Doug Richert on the show, but McDowell has proven to be well-spoken and interesting. Coming off a solid top twenty finish at Richmond, he should have some good stories to tell.
This episode is the first time that this re-vamped TV series will be previewing The Chase. Perhaps, SPEED and The NASCAR Media Group that produces the show will consider adding some additional personalities to the program for situations like this in the future.
After a long weekend in Richmond, Monday's NASCAR TV should be fun to watch. TDP will have columns up for your comments on these programs shortly after they conclude. Please feel free to add your comments about this post below.
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The second half of the doubleheader is about to begin. Allen Bestwick leads things off with NASCAR Countdown at 6:30PM. Beswick will be joined by Rusty Wallace and Brad Daugherty from the Infield Pit Center for this thirty minute show.
Race coverage begins at 7PM with Dr. Jerry Punch, Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree. On pit road will be Jamie Little, Shannon Spake, Mike Massaro and Dave Burns. Tim Brewer will be in the Tech Center.
The Nationwide Series race has several storylines going-on that will carry-over to the Sunday night coverage. Series regular Brad Keselowski is giving the Sprint Cup cross-over bunch a hard time and this is Keselowski's kind of track.
At the rear of the field are a bunch of cars not expected to remain in the race for long. It should be interesting to see how many park and how many return to the track after the first scheduled pit stop.
The ESPN team has already called one race today and has to put the focus on this different series and to try and convey the excitement of a night race in Richmond to the fans.
This post will serve to host your comments about the Nationwide Series race on ESPN2. To add your TV-related comment, just click on the COMMENTS button below and follow the easy instructions. Thanks for taking the time to drop by.
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.
This post will serve to host your comments about the ESPN coverage of the Sprint Cup Series from Richmond. To add your TV-related comment, just click on the COMMENTS button below and follow the easy instructions. The rules for posting are located on the right side of the main page. Thanks for taking the time to stop by The Daly Planet.
The edition of RaceDay from Richmond is showing all kinds of extras and is going to get a post for today. Two stages inside and outside the track, two sets of announcers and two pit road reporters who are being worked like never before.
John Roberts and his team of Jimmy Spencer and Kenny Wallace have a new addition in the infield. Steve Byrnes is hosting Jeff Hammond and Larry McReynolds from a second set that seems to be located adjacent to Victory Lane.
In addition, both Wendy Venturini and Hermie Sadler are being used to set-up the individual driver and teams stories as they review The Chase and the race.
If you are watching RaceDay, please take a moment to post a comment. Just click on the COMMENTS button below and follow the easy instructions. The rules for posting are located on the right side of the main page. Thanks.