Sunday, May 31, 2009
Live Blogging The Sprint Cup Series From Dover On Fox
This final Sprint Cup Series race on Fox has suddenly emerged as one with multiple storylines underway. There has to be a mix of apprehension and excitement at the TV crew prepares for four hours at Dover.
NASCAR's Ramsey Poston announced that the decision had already been made to stop the race at lap 30 and check the tires. Saturday, the CWTS event turned into a disaster for Goodyear and NASCAR with right side tires blowing before a full fuel run was complete. Added to that problem were the current rules of choosing either fuel or tires on each pit stop in the truck series.
There was another major rainstorm on Saturday night at the track was scrubbed clean of the small amount of rubber put down by the Nationwide and CWTS events. Dover is a concrete track and the fear is that the COT will scrub the rubber off the right side tire very quickly on this abrasive surface.
Added to this mix is the continuing Dale Earnhart Jr. story. Lance McGrew was supposed to be starting in his role next week, but since Brad Keselowski did not make the Cup race, McGrew will be on Junior's pit box this Sunday along with multiple Hendrick Racing veterans.
Kyle Busch dominated both the Nationwide and CWTS races on Saturday and didn't win either one. Fox continues to focus on Busch and it should be interesting to see how DW handles this issue on the final race for the network of the season.
Dover makes good pictures, especially from the low level speed shots. Those are the cameras that do not move and let the cars fly by with great audio. Remember, Dover has two bridges over the track at each end of the backstretch. One mandatory TV element is to eliminate these two structures from the telecast.
The only times that the two bridges will be seen are from the aerial shot and also when a driver's in-car camera is being used. Look carefully on the shots from the roof, out the front window and out of the rear of the car to see the bridges fly by.
Digger's last day should be interesting. Recently, the animated character has been pulled back a bit after fans made it clear they had reached the breaking point. That is perhaps the biggest issue, how to judge just how much of something like this is enough. Look for the final cartoon, the animation over restarts and the still shot of Digger on the low-level cameras.
This TV team is the most experienced of all the NASCAR TV partners. Chris Myers will lead Darrell Waltrip and Jeff Hammond onto the air from the Hollywood Hotel at 1:30PM for the pre-race show. This should set the tone for how Fox is going to approach the race today.
Larry McReynolds posted on Twitter that the theme of the race today for the NASCAR on Fox team was going to be having fun. That may be tough with tire problems, Junior stories and Kyle Busch on a rampage. Add to that a couple of hard crashes and Dover may become exactly what is almost always is, a big grind for all concerned.
Mike Joy, McReynolds and Waltrip should be on the air around 2PM and the green flag flies fifteen minutes later. Krista Voda, Steve Byrnes, Matt Yocum and Dick Berggren will handle pit road. This is the cream of the crop where TV pit reporters are concerned and this race will certainly keep them busy.
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