Monday, August 3, 2009
Pocono On Monday: Take Two
Rain has delayed the Sprint Cup Series race from Pocono, PA until Monday at noon ET. SPEED will provide the pre-race show with a one hour version of RaceDay at 11AM.
John Roberts will host for SPEED with Jimmy Spencer and Kenny Wallace alongside. Wendy Venturini and Hermie Sadler are the reporters.
ESPN finds itself in a very interesting position. The Tech Garage is closed and Tim Brewer is in Bristol, CT for the Monday NASCAR Now program. Also, the Infield Pit Studio is vacant. Allen Bestwick, Rusty Wallace and Brad Daugherty are also back in Connecticut for the studio show.
This leaves Jerry Punch alone with his analysts Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree. Down on pit road will be Jamie Little, Shannon Spake, Dave Burns and Vince Welch. This is a very different dynamic than ESPN usually has in place, so the coverage will also be different.
Usually on Monday things are a little bit more relaxed as everyone is really concentrating on getting the race done and moving on. Punch actually had some fun on the Sunday coverage and lead the group in telling some great stories. Hopefully, that relaxed attitude will carry over to coverage of the live race.
This is a long grind at a track that does not lend itself to TV. Without an aggressive approach to the directing, Pocono can become something that drives the viewer to the remote control. It will be up to the ESPN director to keep the pictures interesting and the producer to make sure the stories are told.
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