Saturday, April 23, 2011
There is a brand new presence in the ESPN TV booth in Nashville. Towering over Ricky Craven and Marty Reid is the pride of the Infield Pit Studio, Brad Daugherty.
This is a weekend where the Nationwide Series races with the Camping World Trucks and the Sprint Cup Series is off. ESPN has put Craven and Daugherty out in the field to call the activity from the speedway and the results so far have been solid.
The team called practice on Friday and qualifying early Saturday afternoon. In both programs, the trio just clicked. Craven let Daugherty be the excited presence while he provided the detailed racing info. Reid let them talk and simply directed traffic, which is his role.
You never know in TV when things are going to work out and it has been fun to listen to this combination. Reid has struggled with Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree in the booth, despite the fact that both are well qualified.
ESPN has been showing signs of change in the production this season and Nashville might allow them to do even more. It should be interesting to watch the mix of wideshots, in-car cams and close-ups. The knock on the network has been that they are caught-up in Sprint Cup Series worship and push the Nationwide Series regulars to the side.
The first positive sign of the day was when the network stayed on the air after 1PM since qualifying ran long due to issues with teams going through the tech line. Pit reporter Dave Burns will host the pre-race show, then work with Jamie Little and Shannon Spake during the race.
This has the potential to be a fun telecast, despite the potential for the Sprint Cup Series guys to dominate. This post will serve to host your comments on the Nationwide coverage today from Nashville. To add your TV-related opinion, just click the comments button below. This is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind when posting. Thanks for taking the time to stop by.