Saturday, September 10, 2011
Live Blogging Sprint Cup Series From Richmond (ABC - 7PM ET)
NASCAR is back on broadcast TV as the race from Richmond is carried on ABC. This is going to be a night that will start off with many 9/11 tributes and then hopefully lead into some good racing. NASCAR needs a good primetime showing right now.
Nicole Briscoe starts the telecast with Rusty Wallace and Brad Daugherty from the Infield Pit Studio. The theme of tonight is the Chase and this is going to give us a hint of how ESPN will handle the topic after four seasons of struggle.
Allen Bestwick will call the race, which will start at 7:47PM. Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree will be in the broadcast booth. Petree continues to speak his mind while Jarrett is still working on balancing his perception of being polite on the air with the reality of needing to provide sometimes critical comments on the action.
Dr. Jerry Punch, Jamie Little, Vince Welch and Dave Burns will be the pit road reporters. Tim Brewer will be in the Tech Garage. Richmond is known for hot tempers and hot brakes. Expect both stories to be told tonight.
This is clearly the first "race within a race" challenge for ESPN of the season. There are two very distinct storylines that will begin once the green flag flies. The challenge for TV is to keep track of the race and keep track of who is making the Chase at the same time. It has not been easy.
Tonight will also feature some one-time paint schemes, including the one pictured above on the Kyle Busch car. It should lend some continued feeling of patriotism as the racing action slowly simmers to a boil.
Look for ESPN to keep the cameras wide to give fans perspective on the actual racing action or fall victim once again to the temptation of zooming in to one or two cars at a time. It's been hit or miss this season. If the video framing is super-tight, that will indeed be a shame.
NASCAR is about to take a huge kick in the teeth from the NFL beginning next weekend. It is going to be very important tonight for ESPN to develop and follow-up on the emerging stories from the race tonight. Getting viewers to decide to follow NASCAR next week is the challenge for tonight.
We invite your comments on the ABC coverage of the Sprint Cup Series race from Richmond. To add your TV-related comments, just click on the comments button below.