Friday, April 9, 2010

Live Blogging Nationwide Series in Phoenix (9PM - ESPN2)

ESPN gets back into the Nationwide Series groove on Friday night after a tremendous effort last week in Nashville, TN.

Allen Bestwick starts the show from the Infield Pit Studio. He will be joined by Rusty Wallace since Brad Daugherty has the weekend off. Wallace will then move up to the broadcast booth.

Marty Reid will call the race with Andy Petree and Wallace. Dale Jarrett is also off this weekend. On pit road will be Shannon Spake, Jamie Little and Dave Burns. Jerry Punch and Vince Welch are also taking a long weekend. Tim Brewer will be in the Tech Garage.

The Nashville telecast featured Jarrett and Ricky Craven in the booth as the two analysts. Petree and Wallace are going to have their work cut out for them to equal the information and excitement of the Nashville effort.

Marty Reid was brought in this season to replace Jerry Punch in the play by play role and ESPN has enjoyed big benefits from this change. The twosome of Reid in the booth and Bestwick in the infield clicked from the start.

This week Reid will have to deal with the original duo of Wallace and Petree that ESPN chose to break up after only one season on the air together. Wallace was moved to the infield, while Petree got a new partner in Jarrett. It should be interesting to watch the on-air dynamic of the TV booth for this race.

Wallace is a Nationwide Series team owner and his team has been in the news. Son Steven Wallace is driving with several breaks in his foot courtesy of a wreck triggered in part by teammate Brendan Gaughan. The senior Wallace was not happy after the accident and should have some interesting reactions as his team cars head back on the track again.

This night race should feature some wonderful pictures as the PIR lighting is outstanding. Last week, the ESPN Director chose all the right shots with the exception of the closing few laps when he tried to show far too much and wound up missing a lot. PIR is a tough track to cut on TV with a weird shape and plenty of obstructions.

One story working for tonight is ESPN's Jamie Little reporting that Jon Wes Townley was fired from his RCR ride after a practice crash. The team is sponsored by Townley's father and his business. Other media reports dispute Little's claim.

This post will serve to host your comments on the ESPN2 telecast from PIR. To add your TV-related comments, just click on the comments button below. This is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind when posting. Thanks for stopping by.

Friday NASCAR TV Searches For Traction

ESPN2 and SPEED are both on the air from Phoenix International Raceway on Friday. SPEED starts the day with Nationwide Series practice at 11AM and ESPN2 ends it with the Nationwide Series race at 9:30PM ET.

While the Camping World and Nationwide Series raced last weekend, neither had practice or qualifying televised. NASCAR's TV partners were busy with other programming, so only the two races were shown. There was also very little of the weekend TV normally associated with the sport because the Sprint Cup Series was off. Put those pieces together and it seems like a long time ago that the full-day style of NASCAR TV coverage has been on the air.

Despite the fact that there is a long string of consecutive Sprint Cup Series weekends coming up, it kind of feels like the NASCAR on FOX coverage has lost momentum. The quirky scheduling and the poorly timed off-weeks really took the wind out of NASCAR's TV sails.

Luckily, it is all hands on deck for the 13 hours of live TV on Friday. The Nationwide Series practices, qualifies and races within that span of time. On the Cup side, practice and qualifying is on the menu. Along the way, ESPN even sneaks in a NASCAR Now show.

The two big features of the day are Sprint Cup qualifying and the Nationwide Series race. Mike Joy, Larry McReynolds and Darrell Waltrip are handling the Cup qualifying session on SPEED. Dale Jarrett is off this weekend, so Rusty Wallace steps into the TV booth for the Nationwide Series race on ESPN2 with Marty Reid and Andy Petree.

NASCAR needs a good strong day of TV topped off with an exciting race. This weekend really starts the long grind portion of the schedule. As a reminder of what is to come, the Phoenix weather calls for a high of 88 degrees and bright sun. There is no chance of rain.

We will use this post to comment on the PIR television coverage right up until the Nationwide Series race. SPEED and ESPN have very different ways of covering the sport, so channel hopping on Friday should be an interesting experience. The complete weekend NASCAR TV schedule is on the right side of the TDP main page.

To add your comment about the Friday NASCAR TV, just click on the comments button below. This is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind when posting. Thanks for taking the time to stop by The Daly Planet.