Friday, April 23, 2010

Weather Story Looms As Friday TV Coverage Begins

It's a scenario that fans, teams and officials dread. While Friday signals the beginning of the TV coverage from Talladega, Saturday is on the minds of many.

Strong storms that have already produced severe weather across the Midwest are moving into the Southeast. Talladega is right in the path of this system.

When NASCAR gets together for a big weekend, there is a lot of equipment and manpower that is positioned at the track. Between the staff operating the facility, the crews working on the race cars and the large contingent of TV folks, there are a lot of people to take care of if severe weather threatens.

The Friday coverage begins at 11:30AM with Nationwide Series qualifying. This is another weekend where ESPN just covers the race, so SPEED will handle this session. Steve Byrnes, Jeff Hammond and Hermie Sadler have done a solid job again this season of covering a series where all the actual races are telecast by ESPN.

The Sprint Cup Series practice sessions are at 2 and 3:30PM ET. The NASCAR on FOX team will handle that coverage on SPEED with NASCAR Live programs before, between and after the two practices. There is usually a lot to talk about when practice is going on at Talladega.

5PM brings the ARCA race on SPEED with Rick Allen and Phil Parsons on the call. Wendy Venturini and Jim Tretow will handle pit road duties. This is always a time when lots of deep breaths are taken as many of the ARCA drivers are not very experienced with a speedway the size of Talladega.

The TV day ends with Trackside at 7:30 and another new Hall of Fame biography program at 8:30PM. This time, it is Bill France Jr. who is the subject of the show. This series from the NASCAR Media Group has been outstanding.

The weather today at the track is sunny skies with temps in the high 80's. As we mentioned earlier, all that will be changing quickly as the storm front approaches on Friday night. While the ARCA teams will be gone, that will still leave about eighty Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series teams at the track.

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