Sunday, October 19, 2008

Sprint Cup Series on ABC From Martinsville

There is a new post up for comments on the Martinsville race, click on the TDP logo at the top of the page.

Any way you cut it, this is going to be a long day. Allen Bestwick is going to start the ABC coverage with a thirty minute version of NASCAR Countdown. Bestwick will have Rusty Wallace and Brad Daugherty alongside in the Infield Pit Center.

The shortened preview show should focus on the random nature of luck at Martinsville, where cautions can switch the entire back of the field to the front when pit stops are done. Several of The Chasers have good records at this track and it should be interesting to see if one superteam has figured things out this weekend.

Dr. Jerry Punch, Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree will be upstairs in the announce booth after spending practice and qualifying in the Infield Pit Center. They will be joined by Mike Massaro, Dave Burns, Jamie Little and Shannon Spake on pit road. Tim Brewer will be in the Tech Center.

This track is called the paperclip for a good reason. It consists of two short drag races and two hard left turns with yellow curbs on the inside. Patience and payback are usually the two themes of the event.

Controversial Scott Speed is in the field, as is Kenny Schrader in the Hall of Fame Toyota. Chad McCumbee is in the #45 and veteran Mike Bliss is in the #00. Ultimately, the lap-down cars begin to play a critical role as the race progresses.

Look for Bestwick to be on-the-air coming out of commercial breaks. He will be supplying updates on the race and also lead the field rundowns. With the short track, Tim Brewer should be appearing in a split-screen under green flag conditions so fans can continue to see the race. Martinsville is loud and small, so we should be hearing rather than seeing the pit reporters on a regular basis.

This track makes it tough to insert replays under green. One good aspect is that the track level cameras provide great speed shots, even at these lower speeds. It is tough to get the in-car cameras in use when the racing is tight, but fun to see them when things are spread out.

The way to tell when the production team gets tired is when they allow one high camera to follow the field around-and-around for several laps. Fans want cameras to be cut each lap high and low to get the sound and feel of this unique racetrack.

The challenge today for Punch is to continually update the field and leave the commentary to Jarrett and Petree. It is easy to get viewers lost as to what happened on the track, even with the scoring ticker crawling on the top of the screen. As we have said many times, the ticker on says where a car is, not how it got there.

Tempers get tight at this track. Last week the ESPN on ABC pit reporters were aggressive and got up on the pit stands to talk with the crew chiefs. It is going to be important for the pit reporters to keep up that intensity and get the real stories of who is where and why.

This post will serve to host your TV-related comments about the NASCAR Countdown show and the Sprint Cup Series race on ABC. To add your opinion, just click on the COMMENTS button below and follow the easy instructions. The rules for posting are located on the right side of the main page. Thank you for taking the time to stop by The Daly Planet.
For those of you who have been emailing me, click here for the link to the story on why the Rays vs. Red Sox game was off the air in the first inning on TBS.

Sunday Pre-Race TV Programming

Nicole Manske starts the NASCAR TV day when she hosts the 10AM ET one hour version of NASCAR Now on ESPN2. Ryan Burr and Marty Smith are on-site in Martinsville to report for the program.

Next up is NASCAR RaceDay on SPEED. John Roberts hosts this two hour live show with Jimmy Spencer and Kenny Wallace as his panelists. Wendy Venturini and Hermie Sadler are the reporters. Venturini's Real Deal this week is a conversation with Rick Hendrick.

Live guests on the program include Jeff Burton, Denny Hamlin, Kasey Kahne and Jamie McMurray. Features will include a look back at Burton's 1997 win at Martinsville and a profile of the pit crew coach at RCR who has made a big difference in the performance of all three RCR teams.

These two programs often cover the same content in very different ways. ESPN continues the very formal approach to TV while SPEED has casual attire and fun mixed together on a regular basis. Since it was the Trucks at Martinsville on Saturday, expect these shows to be all about The Chase all day long.

This post will serve to host your comments about NASCAR Now and Raceday. There will be a new post up at Noon for NASCAR Countdown and the Sprint Cup Series race.

Remember,'s RaceView is free today and you can access it at 1PM by following (click here) this link. This is the online live race video and you can choose from several audio sources including the team radios.

To add your comments on these topics, just click on the COMMENTS button below and follow the easy instructions. The rules for posting are located on the right side of the main page. Thanks for taking the time to stop by The Daly Planet.