Sunday, November 20, 2011
Here we go! The big finale is on the TV from Homestead. ESPN has 72 cameras, 16 in-cars and tons of announcers. The script is written, but the big question is will reality let it happen?
Nicole Briscoe has Rusty Wallace and Brad Daugherty in the Infield Pit Studio. Upstairs it's Allen Bestwick with Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree. On pit road is Dr. Jerry Punch, Jamie Little, Dave Burns and Vince Welch.
This is ESPN's biggest NASCAR telecast in years. The nation is watching two veteran drivers, teams and manufacturers end the season in a head-to-head battle.
We have discussed all year long the issues with "hyper-tight" coverage. The challenge today for ESPN is to maintain the integrity of the race telecast while keeping viewers updated on the Chase.
There is little more to say. This is the ultimate pressure cooker for a sports TV telecast.
This post will serve to host your comments on the final NASCAR race of 2011. To add your TV-related opinions, just click on the comments button below. Thanks you so much for taking the time once again to join us.
Sunday's NASCAR TV action starts with NASCAR Now on ESPN2. This leads a blitz of 4.5 hours of pre-race programming. That total does not include ESPN's own one-hour NASCAR Countdown show.
Mike Massaro kicks things off with Ricky Craven from the ESPN studios in Bristol, CT at 9AM. Craven has been wonderful this season in a variety of roles, it should be interesting to see what ESPN does with him next year. Marty Smith and Shannon Spake are in Homestead. Smith has been shadowing Tony Stewart while Spake drew Carl Edwards as an assignment.
Adam Alexander and Ray Evernham are next with Speed Center on SPEED at 10:30AM. There will be tons of SPEED personalities joining them via liveshot from Homestead. It seems every on-air talent who could find a reason headed for Florida.
The Big Kahuna is next as SPEED unleashes three hours of mind-numbing RaceDay programming. John Roberts is the ringmaster for a show that has two different sets and nine on-air talent mixing with the many scheduled guests. We don't call it the Super Wal-Mart of NASCAR TV for nothing!
Roberts, Kyle Petty and Kenny Wallace will be on one stage while Mike Joy, Darrell Waltrip and Larry McReynolds will be on another set located in the infield. Wendy Venturini, Hermie Sadler and Rutledge Wood will be the reporters.
The sad news in all of this is that Hermie Sadler is leaving RaceDay after this program. The network will announce on-air changes next week, but Sadler has been a solid addition to the program for the last several years. SPEED has been making some rather strange staffing changes recently, it should be interesting to see who steps into that role.
First Lady Michelle Obama and Ms. Biden will be at the track, so that means increased security and certainly a more hectic time for teams already dealing with the many visitors and headaches that a big season-ending race brings.
It's a bittersweet time for many of the NASCAR teams as well. Two top Sprint Cup Series teams are losing a car for next year and at this moment it appears the two-car Red Bull team is also closing it's doors. It is pretty certain there will be a significant number of folks working on Sunday who may be unemployed on Monday.
This post will serve to host your comments as the pre-race shows zoom by. To add your TV-related opinion, just click on the comments button below. Thanks for taking the time to stop by The Daly Planet.