Saturday, September 25, 2010
Live Blogging Nationwide Series From Dover (ESPN2 - 3PM ET)
This week the Nationwide Series is at the Monster Mile in Dover, DE. Danica Patrick is back and there are many Sprint Cup Series drivers crossing-over to race.
Once again there is a college football game starting at noon ET. These events normally run about three and a half hours. The NASCAR Countdown pre-race show is scheduled for 3PM ET, the race coverage at 3:30PM.
There is no way to adequately express the frustration with ESPN and NASCAR on this topic. This is ESPN purposefully scheduling NASCAR in a timeslot in which no other programming is scheduled. Only NASCAR is played for the fool. The sport that won't object to being placed in a timeslot that, in reality, does not exist.
Allen Bestwick is the NASCAR Countdown host with Brad Daugherty and Rusty Wallace alongside. Tim Brewer will be in the tech garage. Dr. Jerry Punch, Vince Welch, Jamie Little and Dave Burns will be the pit road reporters.
At this time of the season, ESPN falls into the trap of celebrity worship with the focus of the pre-race show on the Sprint Cup Series drivers. While some Nationwide Series regulars were shown in the qualifying show, these drivers tend to fade into the background when the race coverage comes around.
We have been critical of ESPN for using only one set of announcers on the Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series races from the same track. This scenario unfolds again as Marty Reid, Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree are calling both races, practice sessions and qualifying.
These announcers and this production team clearly have as their priority the Sprint Cup Series. The result is a casual walk through the Nationwide Series races with a constant running theme of showing Sprint Cup Series drivers and a skewed sense of priorities. Nationwide teams and sponsors need TV time right now to survive.
The ironic twist in this coverage is that from February through September, ESPN's focus is on the Nationwide Series. Suddenly, it is relegated to a second-tier level when the network's Sprint Cup Series coverage begins. The scheduling during college football season is a confirmation of that fact.
Dover is a fast and challenging track for the TV crew. Two bridges over the track must be eliminated through the camera operators and the director cutting around them on each and every lap. The pit area is tight and the track has a tendency to push all accidents to the bottom very quickly.
There will be lots of traffic for the race leaders and that may well prove to play a role in the race outcome. Red flags are not uncommon and late arriving cars have plowed into accidents due to the limited sight line and fast speeds.
This post will serve to host your comments on the ESPN2 coverage of the NNS from Dover. To add your TV-related comments, just click on the comments button below. This is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind when posting. Thanks for taking the time to stop by The Daly Planet.