Saturday, May 28, 2011
All the ingredients are in place today for some fun racing and a solid telecast from the ESPN team. ABC will be the destination for the live coverage. The pre-race show will start at 2PM and the race will green flag at 2:48PM.
Allen Bestwick is again in the TV booth because Marty Reid is handling the Indy 500 racing coverage. Bestwick will be joined by Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree. In the Infield Pit Studio will be Nicole Briscoe, Ricky Craven and Rusty Wallace. Brad Daugherty is off this weekend.
ESPN has a split team of pit reporters. On the NASCAR race it will be Shannon Spake, Mike Massaro and Dave Burns. Jamie Little, Dr. Jerry Punch and Vince Welch are working the Indy 500. Yes, Tim Brewer is on-hand with the Tech Garage.
The weather is blazing hot and that should make for a slippery track and some interesting racing. As usual, the storyline is the Cup cross-over guys vs. the Nationwide Series regulars. These days, those regulars usually consist of Reed Sorenson, Justin Allgaier and Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Instead of Danica, it will again be Kimi Raikkonen who adds the spice to the telecast. In his first NASCAR race in the truck series, he avoided trouble and finished 15th. This week, his rent-a-ride is ready to go and with one race at CMS under his belt, he should be fun to watch.
The ESPN telecasts usually start strong and then fade down the stretch. Telling the stories of the race clash with the agenda ESPN sets in the pre-race show. The result is confusion. Following the leaders just does not work for NASCAR fans in these interactive days. Running through the field on a regular basis is the key.
Pictures from CMS are outstanding, with several angles that are known all too well. Watching cars come at you down the backstretch, seeing the tri-oval from the low angle speed shot and the lovely aerial views of the massive facility make for great TV.
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