Sunday, March 29, 2009
Live Blogging The Martinsville Sprint Cup Race on Fox
After a rainy and messy weekend, the sky has cleared and the Sprint Cup race from Martinsville will be run as scheduled.
Chris Myers and Jeff Hammond will start the day in the Hollywood Hotel at 1:30PM. Darrell Waltrip will join them for the pre-race show and then scoot up to the announce booth to join Mike Joy and Larry McReynolds for the 2:15PM race.
This day is being featured as the 25th anniversary of Hendrick Motorsports. Rick Hendrick has already appeared on the other NASCAR TV programs, so look for him on the Fox pre-race show. It should be interesting to see who asks the questions.
Down on pit road it will be Steve Byrnes, Matt Yocum, Krista Voda and Dick Berggren reporting. These four will be on the spot today because of the potential issues on the narrow and dangerous Martinsville pit road.
The track is green and no rubber down may contribute to single file racing and lots of arguments over space early on. It is easy to get a lap down and the fight in the back of the pack with the leader approaching is going to be a story for most of the event.
Martinsville has a great track level camera angle, where we will no doubt be seeing Digger appear. Using this effect under caution is great, but inserting the Digger animation during green flag racing can cause viewers to miss almost an entire lap. A lot can happen very quickly at Martinsville.
Fox switched to a triple-split on the caution flag pit stops. This use of three video boxes instead of four allows the TV viewer to see the pit road live while also watching the stops of the top three contenders. What a great move.
In the middle of this event, the grind becomes apparent and the TV crew has to search for stories to keep the viewers interested. The challenge for Fox this season has been to tell the stories of the cars outside of the top twenty. Just because a team finds themselves racing from the back of the pack should not mean they become invisible.
Everyone races the last lap like a heat race and the brand new Fox approach of showing a camera wideshot with live graphics as the field races to the finish line has been a welcome improvement this season. Hopefully, that will continue.
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