Saturday, November 19, 2011
Live Blogging Nationwide Series From Homestead (ESPN2 - 4PM ET)
The weather is holding up and the track is fast. Early camera views show the track is amazingly empty of fans. Hopefully, they are out enjoying some food and the scenery around the track and will head for the grandstands shortly.
Nicole Briscoe has been wrestling with Rusty Wallace and Brad Daugherty all season long. Wallace is sometimes brilliant and sometimes embarrassingly off the mark. Daugherty is a NASCAR cheerleader who stays on message and adds very little in terms of opinions about the week to week happenings in the sport. Briscoe has done a very good job keeping both of them in check and focused.
The Nationwide Series race has a diverse group of teams and drivers. There is also a diverse group of goals. Some are simply in for the win, others for the season points and still others for the experience and exposure. It's going to be interesting.
Danica Patrick has faded from view, but she has lots of open wheel experience on this track. It should be interesting to follow just how much TV time ESPN gives her in the pre-race show. The network is banking on Patrick to save the series in 2012 when she runs full time.
Marty Reid is finishing out a bittersweet season for him. Removed from the Sprint Cup Series coverage on ESPN only days before it started, Reid is doing his final NASCAR telecast for the year and perhaps for a lot longer than that. Bestwick has been solid in his role and since ESPN only does Nationwide series telecasts up to July, Reid's future plans may be changing shortly.
Reid will call the race with Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree. ESPN once again this season did not bring in two other analysts for the Nationwide Series races once the Cup coverage began. This leaves Jarrett and Petree to do the vast majority of the prep work for the Cup events, but then still have to handle the live Nationwide Series telecasts.
Imagine if ESPN has brought in Ricky Craven and Randy LaJoie for these races. Something to make the series different from just being a AAA Baseball version of the Cup telecasts. With only three seasons remaining for ESPN, it's doubtful things will change.
Jamie Little had some interesting moments last race with driver interviews. She is back on pit road today along with Dr. Jerry Punch, Vince Welch and Dave Burns. There are sometimes hot tempers in the final race, especially after incidents on the track. Keep an eye on how ESPN uses the pit reporters today.
Homestead was wonderful on TV Friday night as SPEED produced the Camping World Truck Series race. TV viewers saw clumps of trucks, wideshots of the track and kept a perspective of just who was where. That is the challenge today for the ESPN team.
This post will serve to host your comments on the TV coverage of the Nationwide Series race from Homestead-Miami Speedway. To add your opinion, just click the comments button below. Thanks as always for adding your voices to our conversation this season about the NASCAR TV partners.