Sunday, June 24, 2012

Sprint Cup Series From Sonoma On TNT

Marcos Ambrose will start on the pole when the Sprint Cup Series returns to the wine country of Northern California. Sonoma is a road course race that has turned into a boxing match over the last few years.

The day starts with NASCAR RaceDay on SPEED at noon ET. Darrell Waltrip will again dispense his wisdom on the panel, filling in for Kyle Petty during the TNT portion of the series. Jeff Hammond joins him, filling in for Larry McReynolds.

TNT takes the air at 2PM Eastern with Adam Alexander hosting the pre-race show. Petty and McReynolds will join him, along with special guest Kyle Busch. The show will also feature an interview with Dale Earnhardt Jr. and another NASCAR generations piece with Ned Jarrett, Bill Elliott and Jimmie Johnson.

Alexander and Petty move upstairs to call the race with Wally Dallenbach Jr. This track has been the scene of some of the worst NASCAR TV production every seen on TNT, but those incidents featured the former TNT announcer Bill Weber. Keep an eye on how the coordination goes between the announcers in the booth, the pit reporters and the infield. If history repeats itself, McReynolds will be alone in the infield with cars literally whizzing by in the background.

The toughest thing about a road course for TV is the inability to use one camera for more than one thing. You can't "Isolate" a camera on a car and follow it around the course. Every camera is simply assigned a turn or straight and repeats over and over again the task of moving back and picking up the next group of cars that come through. It is totally different in every way from working an oval race.

That makes the director's task very tough in terms of trying to follow more than the storyline of the leaders. In the replay area, operators will be pushing buttons and cutting cameras to try to follow a good battle not being shown on the TV screen. Even the pit reporters will be dealing with circumstances of cars pitting as the green comes out, quickly pitting before a full course caution comes out and working pit strategy backwards aiming for a fuel mileage win.

Ultimately, Sonoma can produce beautiful pictures and exciting racing or a disjointed telecast and the kind of mayhem we saw last season. One part is up to the drivers and the other to the NASCAR on TNT telecast team.

We will be on Twitter using the #TDP1 hashtag for live tweets about the TV coverage of the race and any other media topics that may arise. We invite you to join us as we have NASCAR teams, officials and many media personalities involved during the race. This blog will also have a post ready for your comments once the race is over. Hope to see you on Twitter at noon for an afternoon of NASCAR. 


AncientRacer said...

IMHO TNT will have to do a bang up job to top the IndyCar race last nite. I guess I shall not hold my breath.

John in Chico said...

Today in Northern California the weather is perfect, no clouds, no chance of rain, temps in the 70's. Best day of the weekend for the weather and a race.

Bob J. said...

This race is going to have to be good in order to beat the excitement of yesterday's race at Road America. If Cup wants to add a road-race to the Chase, that's where they should do it.

GinaV24 said...

let's hope that TNT follows the action and provides info regarding the race, instead of disjointed commentary.

I won't be watching the prerace stuff. Just not worth wasting the beautiful weather here in NJ to do that.

Sophia said...

nbc sports should do ALL the Indycar races, AR! :)

I am watching F1 for a bit, then Reds game, then NASCAR maybe. too many things in one day!

Hope TNT is good. DVRing it.will look for comments before wasting time but hope TNT improved since last week!

Great day to be in AC today!

John in Chico said...

Todays race start time is an hour sooner that in previous events, noon this year. That change in start time is causing some traffic problems. The local roads into the track are two lane and traffic is stopped and drivers, at least one, did not make it to the drivers meeting, Gillaland will have to go to the rear for the start.

Dennis said...

Yeah, that IndyCar race at Iowa was a good one. Even Rusty was making sense when he spoke. Must be a magical place. ;)

The Nationwide broadcast wasn't bad yesterday. Good race. Danica made a new friend. Fun fun fun.

F1 right now is very exciting. Great course that Valencia.

Quite looking forward to a better TNT broadcast today than last week's. Fingers, toes and eyes crossed.

Buschseries61 said...

The Nationwide broadcast had the best coverage I've seen this season on lap 1 of the race. The announcers were mostly silent, the shots were high angle wide shots, and there were minimal graphics on the screen. I could see 10+ cars rolling through the turns in one shot. Once lap 2 began, the coverage fell off, but Allen Bestwick still did a good job keeping the pace and energy at Road America.

I have no complaints with the Indycar broadcast. The race was so good, Bob Jenkins just called the race and the drivers created the excitement themselves.

Hope TNT can make some magic today

old9fan said...

I don't understand any negative comments about TNT. I love it. They cover the field and all of the action. They have the best booth in all of NASCAR coverage. Gee, no yelling, no favoritism and nobody talking over anybody. How refreshing!

Anonymous said...

I have a problem with the audio on the broadcast. To me it seems the track audio is to loud, or Wally , Kyle, and Adam's audio is not loud enough. Or is it my bad ears?