Sunday, July 26, 2009
Pre-Race TV Shows Are Very Different
This is the time of the season when the battle of the pre-race shows really begins. ESPN and SPEED will both be offering hours of pre-race TV programming for the remaining seventeen Sprint Cup Series weekends.
Allen Bestwick is first with NASCAR Now at 10AM. Originating from the ESPN Infield Pit Studio, Bestwick has all the ESPN resources at his disposal. Joining Bestwick in the infield will be Brad Daugherty and Rusty Wallace. Mike Massaro, Nicole Manske and Marty Smith are the reporters.
RaceDay is up next and presents the exact opposite way of covering the sport on TV. Instead of three formally dressed men in a silent air conditioned studio, SPEED offers Kenny Wallace dancing on his desk in front of thousands of fans on an outdoor stage. Jimmy Spencer and John Roberts round-out the trio.
Instead of the tie and jacket on Smith and Massaro, RaceDay offers casually attired Hermie Sadler and Rutledge Wood. Sadler provides the interviews while Rutledge continues to be cast as the class clown. While Nicole Manske cruises the garage with her open-wheel background, SPEED's Wendy Venturini is on-hand with her well-known smile and lifelong experience in the stock car world.
RaceDay has two hours at Indy and plans to interview as many drivers, owners and news makers as possible. Just like ESPN, SPEED is going to feature Jeff Gordon as the Real Deal this week. This show should be the first good indication of the crowd at Indy and their mood after the Goodyear tire disaster of 2008.
ESPN has a double-whammy planned as the network has hand-crafted a ninety minute pre-race show that will overlap RaceDay by thirty minutes and start at 12:30PM. Plenty of pre-produced features have been done for this special show and they include an E:60-style announcer roundtable previewing the race. Some celebrities will be along as well and some of the surprises should be fun to watch.
This post will serve to host your comments about the pre-race programming from Indy. To add your TV-related opinion, just click on the comments button below. This is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind when posting. TDP will be live blogging the Brickyard 400 beginning at 2PM. Green flag is 2:19PM.