Friday, September 4, 2009
Biggest NASCAR TV Saturday In Memory
Several different elements have come together to create a "Super Saturday" of NASCAR TV for fans. Between ESPN2 and SPEED there are thirteen straight hours of live NASCAR action on TV. Get some extra snacks and settle in, this should be good.
SPEED's outstanding team of Steve Byrnes, Larry McReynolds and Jeff Hammond are always entertaining. They have been with NASCAR fans handling various practice and qualifying sessions since February in Daytona. On Saturday, they will be front-and-center for a big chunk of the live TV coverage. The trio begins at 11AM ET by covering both sessions of Sprint Cup practice.
Joining the team from the garage area will be Wendy Venturini and Bob Dillner. These two have been showing fans just how familiar they are with the personalities in the garage as they move effortlessly between drivers, crew chiefs and owners for interviews.
John Roberts will host a version of NASCAR Live at 12:30PM between practice sessions. Roberts has been working very well with this low-key program. Using a variety of reporters, Roberts lets fans get caught up with the day's events through this simple and effective show.
After the 1PM Cup practice is over, all hands continue on deck for SPEED as the track goes directly into Nationwide Series qualifying at 2:30PM. On this day, it should be fun to watch the drivers running up and down pit road as the Sprint Cup qualifying follows directly at 4:30PM.
It is time to change the channel at 6:30PM and pray that somehow the 3:30PM college football game on ESPN2 has ended in three hours. Judging on past experience, that is not likely to happen. Waiting to start the NASCAR Countdown show are host Allen Bestwick with his expert analysts Rusty Wallace and Ray Evernham.
This trio is going to have their dancing shoes on as they will have to be flexible with Countdown and wait for the college football game to end. Both Wallace and Evernham will then move to the broadcast booth as part of ESPN's ongoing television concept called "Backseat Drivers."
Wallace and Evernham will be joined in the broadcast booth by Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree. Fans who watched the Nationwide Series race from Michigan may remember that the four analysts basically sit in the TV booth and discuss the race. Stories and reactions to the racing are going to be offered to viewers instead of the standard play-by-play announcer calling the action and letting the two analysts chime-in as they see fit.
As the Nationwide action winds down, the Camping World Truck Series action gets underway. SPEED offers Krista Voda with the pre-race show for the CWTS called The Setup at 9:30PM. This is another simple and effective show that allows a lot of information to be presented to the viewer in SPEED's now familiar informal style. Voda is a proud Iowa native, so with the trucks ready to roll in front a big crowd at Iowa Speedway, this show might be a bit special.
One thing we do know is that Voda will not be delayed by football. So, it will be Rick Allen capping off the night by calling the CWTS action on time at 10PM. As usual, Allen will be joined by Phil Parsons but on this night viewers also get an added bonus. CWTS champ Johnny Benson will be joining the team replacing Michael Waltrip who is attending to Cup duties in Atlanta.
Benson is currently on the injured reserve list nursing the effects of a SuperModified accident in his hand-built car a while back. Luckily, the safety features Benson put into the car literally saved his life.
The CWTS race should wind up around midnight, putting an end to a very long day of NASCAR TV action on what many know is a very big day of college football action. Currently, the weather forecast looks good for both Atlanta and the Iowa Speedway area.
In addition to NASCAR and college football, there are a ton of sports on TV this weekend from tennis to baseball. NASCAR will hopefully make its way through the maze and into the homes of NASCAR fans without any big issues. TDP will keep you updated on any changes or situations as they happen all day long.
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