Monday, August 6, 2012
Race Wrap: Sprint Cup Series From Pocono (Updated: Fan Death)
Junior fans were upset that ESPN was in commercial twice when he took the lead, but once again we have all seen the same commercial rotation from the three Sprint Cup TV partners for six years now. ESPN will begin the ESPN Non-Stop split-screen format for the second half of each Chase race.
Early storylines were out the window and prior to the final rain delay it was a battle of pit and fuel strategies. Pocono has again proved to be a track that has racing for a few laps after restarts and then settles into strategy. Mother Nature is the only thing that can change it, apparently.
Funny moments included the pit studio leaking from the rain and Marty Smith just getting soaked on pit road while standing in the downpour. During the post-race, the Pocono site went off the air due to lightning, but returned after a commercial break. Bestwick and Briscoe cannot be rattled and both dealt with a wide variety of situations in this telecast.
Post-race update: Here is the story from Brian De Los Santos of CBSSports.com on the lightning stike.
A lightning strike in the parking lot at Pocono Raceway after a NASCAR race Sunday killed one person and injured nine others, racetrack officials said. It wasn't immediately clear if all 10 people were actually struck by lightning in the parking lot behind the grandstand, nor was it known whether one or multiple strikes occurred.
Two people were taken to the hospital in critical condition after the strike, racetrack officials said. President Brandon Igdalsky said one of them later died at Pocono Medical Center, but he provided no further details.
"Unfortunately, a member of our raceway family here, a fan, has passed away," he said. One person remained hospitalized in critical condition at Lehigh Valley Hospital Center, said Bob Pleban, a track spokesman. The other five people were taken to various hospitals with minor to moderate injuries, he said.
The race was called because of rain, with 98 of the 160 scheduled laps completed. The track posted warnings on its Twitter page near the end of the race encouraging fans to "seek shelter as severe lightning and heavy winds are in our area."
Thanks to ESPN the Magazine's Ryan McGeee for the above photo via Twitter. We invite your opinion on the telecast. Comments may be moderated prior to posting.