Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Dave Burns Gets The Call For Gateway
There are few NASCAR TV talent that fly below the radar, but ESPN's Dave Burns has perfected that role. A regular on pit road for four seasons, Burns has hosted several pre-race shows but this weekend gets to tackle a brand new assignment.
As the dominoes continue to fall after the movement of Dr. Jerry Punch from the play-by-play role to pit lane, ESPN is clearly looking for a number two man in the TV booth. Fellow pit reporter Vince Welch already called a Nationwide Series race this season and now Burns get a chance.
It's a one-day Saturday show for ESPN2 at Gateway in St. Louis, MO. Qualifying is at 4:30PM Eastern Time, the pre-race show is at 7PM and the race starts shortly after 8PM.
Burns will handle all three and share the TV booth with Rusty Wallace and Ricky Craven. Mike Massaro, Shannon Spake and Punch will report from pit road. The good news is that all three of the pit reporters are outstanding hosts and can give Burns a break during the pre-race show.
Many TV viewers remember Burns from his rather colorful stints on shows like swamp buggy racing and monster trucks for The Nashville Network. Burns actually got his start calling ASA races in the Midwest. That was a great short track series that gave us Johnny Benson, Mark Martin and other top NASCAR drivers.
Burns' roots in NASCAR TV are strong as he served as a pit reporter for NBC when that network handled a package of Sprint Cup Series races. He also teamed with Punch to work on ESPN during the early years of the Camping World Truck Series.
It should be a good opportunity for this personable announcer to spread his wings a bit and take a shot at calling the play-by-play for once. Gateway has a lot of action and the Nationwide Series should put on a good show.
There are 49 cars on the entry list, so qualifying should be interesting. Kevin Harvick, Carl Edwards and Brad Keselowski are all racing so there may well be two shows on the track for this event. It would be nice to see a full field of cars actually racing the entire event for once this season.
This is a good opportunity for Burns to get himself on the short list of on-air personalities who can fill-in for Marty Reid when he is off working the IndyCar circuit. It seems that Allen Bestwick and Welch are the others on the network's list.
Best of luck to Burns, we would be happy to take your comments on this topic. To add your opinion, just click on the comments button below. This is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind when posting. Thanks for stopping by.