Saturday, November 6, 2010
This should be interesting! There have been a ton of announcements about the drivers and teams in the Nationwide Series for next year made this weekend in Texas. Instead of a lower level series struggling to survive, suddenly with a new car and names like Elliott Sadler, Justin Allgaier and Brian Scott racing fulltime things are looking up.
These stories should dominate the pre-race show on ESPN2 at noon ET. Allen Bestwick will host with Rusty Wallace and Brad Daugherty alongside in the Infield Pit Studio. These three have had a rocky season, with Rusty's emotional outbursts and Brad's endless cheerleading balanced only by Bestwick's patient approach to the sport.
With the season winding down and the NNS being pushed to the back burner again by ESPN, it should be interesting to watch just how much of this program revolves around the current Sprint Cup Series drivers racing on Saturday.
Marty Reid, Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree have been having a nice and relaxed weekend so far. ESPN has not done much of the TMS coverage, leaving the heavy lifting to SPEED once again. This trio is struggling on the Cup side but still has a good attitude about the Nationwide Series races.
Jarrett and Petree are both former team owners and they seem to be genuinely interested in the young drivers making their way in the sport through this series. These two have a ton of potential, but Reid does not have a lot of NASCAR knowledge and his descriptions of the Nationwide teams and drivers are often a bit off-target.
The positives that ESPN has to work with is the spectacular weather at Texas that has resulted in a amazingly fast track. The racing should be great with a mix of Cup drivers, Nationwide regulars and some one-timers to spice up the show.
ESPN is the exclusive TV network of the Nationwide Series and promised back in 2007 to make it a showpiece. As this season ends amid ongoing college football problems and boring races dominated by a handful of Cup drivers, at least there is hope on the horizon for 2011.
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