Saturday, August 22, 2009
Live Blogging The Sprint Cup Series From Bristol, TN (ESPN - 6:30PM ET)
The track is very happy that the Saturday night race is a sellout. One hundred and sixty thousand NASCAR fans are going to be making some noise as the Sprint Cup Series action unfolds.
ESPN has a one-hour pre-race version of NASCAR Countdown scheduled at 6:30PM. Allen Bestwick will be in the Infield Pit Studio with Rusty Wallace and Brad Daugherty. These programs have proven to be hit-or-miss this season. Bestwick has the goods to define priorities and host good conversations, but often the production team has other ideas.
This week, the drivers were asked by the speedway to pick a song that will be used during driver intros. Click here to see the full list courtesy of our friend and veteran reporter Dustin Long. Unfortunately, ESPN will not be able to show this because the network has to pay rights fees every time popular music is used on national TV.
Once the action gets underway it will be Jerry Punch calling the play-by-play. Friday night was rough for Punch who struggled with everything from accidents to updating teams outside the top five. This event is extremely fast-paced and the challenge for the on-air TV team never ends. Even under caution, there is a lot of information that fans are looking forward to having updated.
Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree will once again be alongside of Punch. These two have been polite and enjoyable, but tonight face a new challenge. Once Punch fades, it will be Jarrett who slides over into calling the race while Petree will provide the strategy updates.
It is impossible to insert Tim Brewer from the Tech Garage full-screen under green flag racing because the laps are so quick. Look for ESPN to present Brewer in a two video box effect. Hopefully, he will be put in the smaller size box so fans can continue to enjoy the action while Brewer talks tech.
The aerial views and high camera shots of this track at night are spectacular. On Friday night, ESPN chose to bypass the opportunity to use this video as bumpers into and out of commercial break. Perhaps, seeing as this event is a sellout, TV viewers will get to see one of the most unique sports venues in the nation tonight for more than just a couple of seconds.
The excessive use of in-car cameras live during the race ruined the Friday night Nationwide Series telecast. Bristol is so steeply banked and the laps are so fast that live in-cars just jar the TV viewer and completely lose any perspective that had been established. Where the in-cars have a value is on replays, especially with the use of the audio recorded during incidents. See if there is a shift tonight.
"Headlights, not tailpipes" was the motto used by the TV networks that have telecast racing from BMS over the years. The ultimate challenge is to continue to cut cameras and stay ahead of the action. TV viewers should be seeing the front of the cars coming at them, not the rear ends of the cars racing away.
There is no doubt that tempers may be tight tonight, especially with drivers who are forced out of the race due to incidents on the track. The ESPN pit reporting team of Jamie Little, Shannon Spake, Vince Welch and Dave Burns will be right in the middle of the action.
There is tremendous potential tonight for an outstanding TV broadcast. The fans, the track and the teams are all in place. It would be a great time for ESPN to deliver a telecast that could set the network up for the Chase for the Championship to come.
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Thanks for taking time out of your Saturday night to join us at The Daly Planet.