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.

13 comments:

Diane said...

Anybody but Rusty Wallace! He says the phrase "no doubt about it" about a million times. His only dialoge is to repeat what someone else just said. Andy Petree is the best. I also like Allen Beswick and DJ. I can't stand Marty Reid! He won't let Andy and DJ talk. I don't think Dave Burns will be any better.

Vicky D said...

I'm hoping Dave does a good job and will be rooting for him. Unlike Diane, I rather like Marty he was such an improvement over the others before him. And Let's not forget all of Rusty's screaming at us, if he starts that in the first 2 minutes I will be disapponted with the broadcast. Also, JD, I heard on Imus show this morning that you are tied for the lead in the British Open. I thought to myself, that can't possibly be OUR John Daly! LOL.

GinaV24 said...

I hope that I'll get a chance to watch on Saturday as I'd like to hear Dave Burns do the PXP for a race. I've always liked him as a pit reporter. I don't care for Vince Welch as an announcer particularly. Allen is still my favorite, but Marty Reid at least makes me feel as if he's enthusiastic about the race and calls it well.

I'm with Diane that the smallest amount of Rusty Wallace since he, along with the Waltrip boys annoy the heck out of me -- Rusty on permanent vacation would be fine for me - is a good thing for me.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't Burns the pit reporter for espn that kept asking the questions that all of the drivers did not like a few years ago?

Marylee said...

I had wondered why Marty was absent some weeks. Glad to know the reason.
I like Dave Burns and hope he'll do a good job. But, I REALLY want Allen Bestwick to be a permanent "in the booth" guy for at least 1 of the networks. He is terrific.

Anonymous said...

I wish Dave Burns all the best. I've commented a number of times on this blog that Dave is a solid reporter who doesn't get a lot of attention because he doesn't do anything controversial to draw the spotlight. He and Rick Allen both have a bright future compared to a bunch of clowns populating the airwaves.

Gymmie said...

@Vicky--I like Marty too :)

Look forward to seeing how Dave does :) and also wish Allen were back :(. I miss him calling people home :(

Richard in N.C. said...

Just happened to hear John Fricke on FOX Sports radio last night lamenting the low TV ratings for the MLB All Star game this week - lowere than some Whirrled Cup match.

MRM4 said...

anon9:15, yes he was. He was, and still does at times, asks some very bad and stupid questions. Hope he does better at PxP.

Jonathan said...

This is welcomed in my book I will be watching all of what saturday has to ofer! I need my nascar fix :) Good luck Dave even though I dont know how he will do hes always came off as sorta strange to me but hey like mentioned before as long as its not Rusty thank goodness

Jonathan said...

See its just not Nascar its all of tv low ratings across the board unless something big is happening. thats how it is now a days!!!

Donna in FL said...

Now they tryout Dave. Not much enthusiasm on my part, due to some inept pit road handling. I like Marty, but Allen is the best.

At this rate it won't be long til one of the women get a shot at booth PxP.

Richard in N.C. said...

JD, do all Daly's wear bright colored paisley pants? OR, only when shooting golfs?