Sunday, March 7, 2010
The Sprint Cup Series continues the 2010 season at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. The weather is clear and the track is fast.
Chris Myers opens the FOX coverage with the pre-race show from the Hollywood Hotel. He will be joined by Darrell Waltrip and Jeff Hammond. Last week saw more disorganization and less of a focus on the stories of the race. Comedy and inside jokes are pushing this show in a very different direction.
Perhaps, FOX is again seeking to entertain the exclusive casual fan, but after three hours of hardcore NASCAR pre-race news on ESPN2 and SPEED, it's just not working. Myers jokes are not funny and there is very little focus. Hopefully, the show gets back on track after a rough start.
Mike Joy, Darrell Waltrip and Larry McReynolds have been working this weekend on SPEED. They have already hosted the practice sessions and qualifying for the Sprint Cup Series. As they transition from SPEED to FOX, perhaps they can keep the momentum of the week going strong.
On pit road are Krista Voda, Steve Byrnes, Matt Yocum and Dick Berggren. Atlanta has a lot of action, so the reporters will be chasing strategy calls as the race progresses. The leaders can lap quickly here, so keeping viewers updated on the field will be continually important.
FOX has Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman coming from the back of the pack after engine changes. The network has Dale Earnhardt Jr. starting from the pole. They have Jimmie Johnson seeming to be bulletproof. This season, Kevin Harvick and RCR have found themselves and are running strong. There is no shortage of storylines from the drop of the green flag.
Darrell Waltrip holds the key to this race telecast. When he keeps himself in check and acts as a good teammate, things flow well. When he gets emotional and goes overboard with his comments, things fall apart. TV viewers have seen him do both this season.
Atlanta is so fast that it does not lend itself to using the in-car cameras live until the field gets strung out. The low level speed shots are tremendously effective on restarts and through the corners. Restarts on fresh tires are going to be the most exciting parts of the race. We saw that in the Saturday truck series race.
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Thank you for taking the time to join us today as we live blog the race.