Saturday, October 17, 2009
Live Blogging The Sprint Cup Series From Charlotte (7PM - ABC)
This is one of the biggest races of the Chase. Lowe's Motor Speedway is the home track for almost every Sprint Cup Series team. It's a night race under the lights and in primetime on ABC.
Allen Bestwick starts the night with the NASCAR Countdown pre-race show at 7PM. He will be joined by Rusty Wallace and Brad Daugherty. Tim Brewer will be in the Tech Center. Handling the interviews are Jamie Little, Shannon Spake, Vince Welch and Dave Burns.
The pre-race show is thirty minutes and then the NASCAR on ESPN team takes the air. Jerry Punch, Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree will handle the live action.
Last night, ESPN started the night off with a great pre-race show for the Nationwide Series race. Bestwick handed the race off to announcer Marty Reid and the action began on a great note. The first thirty minutes consisted of wideshots of racing, aerial views of the speedway and interviews with drivers out of the race.
Then, ESPN turned the page and started down the road fans know all too well. Extremely tight shots of one or two cars. Recorded soundbites played back during the live race under the green flag. Bizarre oldies music blaring while the announcers threw to commercial. It was the same bad dream again for NASCAR fans.
Marty Reid and Dale Jarrett repeatedly told the producer and director that there was "three wide action further back in the pack." It did not matter. Stories like Mike Bliss and Dave Blaney carving their way through the field were poorly covered.
It was all Sprint Cup drivers all the time. It has been that way since Daytona with the exception of the short-track race this summer from Indy.
On this Saturday night it should be interesting to see if ESPN learns from the Friday night struggles or just repeats the same TV production pattern. One thing is for sure, we will all learn the answer to that together.
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