Sunday, September 4, 2011
Live Blogging Sprint Cup Series From Atlanta (ESPN - 6:30PM ET)
This post is going up early so we can all keep track of the weather and the heavy rain from Tropical Storm Lee that is closing in on the Greater Atlanta area.
NASCAR has already moved the actual start time of the race up to 7:30PM, which is all they can do to help the situation. The track has lights and there are plenty of jet dryers on hand to help with the drying effort if the rain comes.
Nicole Briscoe kicks off the telecast at 6:30PM on ESPN. Two hours of the RaceDay show on SPEED will precede that, so fans will know long before ESPN take to the air how the weather situation is playing out.
Briscoe has Rusty Wallace and Brad Daugherty alongside. Tough season for this duo, who have been struggling to stay relevant with their comments. A key issue has been Carl Edwards' emergence as a future ESPN analyst.
Wallace can speak from past experience and Daugherty's perspective is either as an owner or a fan. Unfortunately, Edwards speaks as a current driver who either just experienced a mechanical failure or is dropping by before he actually races. Talk about having a TV trump card.
Allen Bestwick is upstairs with Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree to call the race. Having Bestwick in the booth has been a big help with the information and excitement levels of the ESPN Cup telecasts. Jarrett and Petree have also begun to find their voices in terms of racing issues. It's about time.
The cast on pit road is diverse. Jamie Little is aggressive and sometimes over the top, but she chases down the stories she is assigned. Dr. Jerry Punch brings his repuation and experience to his senior role. Dave Burns and Vince Welch continue to fly under the radar, we get information but not much else.
Meanwhile, poor old Tim Brewer is still in the Tech Garage being told by the producer to explain the same old fundamental points over and over again. You have to wonder what Brewer could be if he was turned loose to offer his own point of view on topics he selected.
The challenge for ESPN may well be rain. After the driver interviews are done, it should be time to see some of the features put together for NASCAR Countdown and NASCAR Now over the past few weeks or so. ESPN does not consider having any kind of roundtable discussion, but rather sticks to basics that involve only ESPN media personalities. It's all about the brand.
Racing under the lights in Atlanta is all about speed and tires. The truck and Nationwide Series races featured long green flag runs and drivers working hard to pass. The Cup field should put on a great show.
TV has the challenge of looking around for the best racing, rather than focusing on the leaders when no passing is going on. This has been an issue for a very long time with ESPN and was again in the Nationwide Series coverage. Staying aggressive is the key for the production team.
Update: The live college football game on ESPN looks to be running long, so expect NASCAR to start late. No hurry today as it looks pretty wet in the ATL.
This post will serve to host your comments on the ESPN coverage of the Sprint Cup Series race from Atlanta. To add your TV-related comments, just click on the comments button below. Thanks for taking the time to stop by.