Saturday, September 10, 2011

9/11 Theme Prominent In Richmond Race

Nothing is tougher than trying to hold a professional sporting event during a time when the attention of the nation is pointed in another direction. Saturday night in Richmond, NASCAR will try to mix a key race with the remembrance of a national tragedy.

ABC will be the place for the Sprint Cup Series telecast from the Richmond International Raceway (RIR). NASCAR, RIR and ABC have combined to bring viewers a variety of tributes throughout the telecast.

"NASCAR takes great pride in the patriotism that the sport showcases every race weekend and the 10th anniversary of 9/11 is a special opportunity for NASCAR to unite and recognize those we lost and honor those who responded with courage," said NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France.

It will be Nicole Briscoe hosting the NASCAR Countdown pre-race show. RIR and the TV team will be working to integrate specific elements into the telecast throughout the race.

Members of the Wounded Warriors organization will be leading the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance before watching the race as NASCAR special guests. Retired New York City police officer Daniel Rodriguez, a popular performer at key NASCAR races, will be singing "God Bless America." Finally, the U.S. Army Infantry Division Band will be performing the National Anthem.

ABC will air a special feature during the telecast titled "I Remember" that includes stars of the sport reflecting on 9/11 and their memories 10 years later. Once the race is underway, the TV announcers will go silent for laps 9 through 11 as the fans at the track wave American flags.

Many of the teams racing on Saturday night have special 9/11 anniversary tribute cars, while others have tribute accents in the sponsor paint schemes. Jimmie Johnson and other drivers and NASCAR personalities will appear throughout the race in public service announcements promoting volunteerism and charitable causes.

Sprint is also in the mix. At the "Sprint Experience" in the RIR midway, a video will begin running at 9:11AM that will feature images of the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and the memorial in Shanksville, PA. Throughout the video all of the approximate 3,000 names of those who passed away that day will be displayed. The video will last approximately 30 minutes.

This is all an effort to make sure that fans at home and at the track feel there is the proper level of respect for this weekend. It's a tribute that will be handed off to the NFL networks on Sunday. They will be offering the same type of patriotic themes.

The NFL will offer three separate tributes prior to the 1:00, 4:00, and 8:00 games, respectively. Each tribute will open with a speech by Academy Award-winning actor Robert De Niro, followed by a minute-long moment of silence with a bugler playing “Taps” at one of three sites. From there, the show will dissolve to shots from all the stadiums where play is about to begin. An American flag will cover all the fields and will be held in place by the players as the National Anthem is sung.

It looks like NASCAR's Saturday efforts fit right in. ESPN is good at this type of coordination. Look for the elements described above in the RIR race telecast.

We invite your opinion on this topic. To add your comment, just click on the comment button below. Thanks for taking the time to stop by The Daly Planet.


Paul03 said...

The booth silence from lap 9 through 11 is a nice gesture. Do you think they could then repeat that from lap 13-100? LOL

red said...

i'm glad our sport (& others) is recognizing the significance of this anniversary. from paint schemes to video presentations to moments of silence, it's all wonderful. time may heal, we should work to forgive but we should never, ever forget.

just wish an individual from a nonsense cable show wasn't having any part at all in tonight's events.

side thought:
heard this on fresh air yesterday & it made me choke up in the car:
the air force's bay state winds clarinet quartet plays an arrangement of all the service songs at each concert they do. as a service song comes up in the arrangement, men & women who served/serve in that branch stand at attention and salute until their service song is completed. terri gross said it moved her, thinking about the man who had been sitting in front of her, what he'd been through, and how it was invisible to her until that moment.

as they played the arrangement on-air, i thought about my Dad, my brother, and my nephew. and had a hard time keeping the tears away. it's available on npr's fresh air site if you want to listen.

would be great is that could happen at the track, in the stadiums this weekend.

RWar24 said...

Can they make it to lap 9 before the first commercial break?

GinaV24 said...

I am glad that the sporting events will be acknowledging the 9/11 anniversary. I live in NJ and remember when someone I worked with told me that her brother who was in one of the towers had called and said a plane had hit the building. We all thought it was an accident, but watched in horror as the day progressed. 10 years later and I still have trouble watching the video of that day.

My brother and I were at Dover the week that NASCAR went back to racing. It was the first time in a long time that I remember the crowd singing our National Anthem - people at NASCAR races are usually respectful - but to have the crowd singing is something I will never forget.

I plan to watch the race, but I don't think I will watch the prerace shows.

saltsburgtrojanfan said...

September 11, 2001

A day that will live in infamy.

I was in my 7th grade reading class and one of the music teachers said turn on the news and saw planes into the World Trade Center. That was where i was on 9-11.

Still to this day many americans feel the effects.

The Saltsburg Trojans marching band played both amazing grace and the national anthem before the game.

God Bless the USA

Anonymous said...

Your buddy DW is back,boy is he terrible. It's all about him, he had to get back in front of the camera now that Gordon won so he could brag about his 84 wins.Poor FOX/ SPEED doesn't get it. we hate this guy, he is such a jerk. Watch and listen closely and you'll see too!!

Ir42nate2bhere said...

I just noticed that my dvr programmed NN for 2:30 Monday afternoon. I'm guessing because it is the 1 hour show they are starting early.Just a heads up for anyone manually programming their dvr and are thinking the new time is 3 PM. I have no doubt all the sports will have moving tributes this weekend.

Anonymous said...

Normally the things they do during races on specific laps are pretty stupid, but anything that gets Allen Bestwick to shut up for three laps sounds good to me.

Anonymous said...

Dude, AB rules and always if we can get Crusty and Brad to shut up then that would be great

Anonymous said...

Sounds like it will be a good pre-race show. Unfortunately, WISN 12, the ABC affiliate in Milwaukee, WI, will be showing a recorded local sports discussion show instead.

Sophia said...

I thought I read that Snookie creature was going to wave the Gflag...then I read somebody ELSE was going to wave the Green I'm reading it's her again on Twitter according to Max Papis.

Can't somebody clue me in please?

GinaV24 said...

Anon - my guide in the Phila area is showing a local sports show on during the countdown time too.

Anonymous said...

Snooky sighting at the track

Daly Planet Editor said...

The live race blog is up folks!

oldnewenglander said...

The strangest sporting event of any kind that I have ever attended was the Nascar season finale the day after Thanksgiving at Loudon in 2001.

The race had been postponed because of 9/11.

Sophia said...

I read on many sites that NASCAR announced Thurs Snookie would be giving the Green flag to somebody else to wave for the start.

Why again, is this fake reality low IQ show person part of this ceremony anyway?

Steve L. said...

Knowing her, she'll put the flag stick in her cleavage and 'shake' the green flag to start the race! lol

Sorry, couldn't resist....

GinaV24 said...

that's the way the anthem should be done. Always love a military band.

GinaV24 said...

SteveL, sounds about right for snooki -- LOL, not a fan, she gives Jersey girls a bad name!

GinaV24 said...

tim brewer, same old, same old