Friday, May 7, 2010

Live Blogging Nationwide Series in Darlington (ESPN2 - 7PM)

This should be a good one! Darlington under the lights should make for some great racing and some super TV pictures.

Allen Bestwick starts ESPN2 off from the Infield Pit Studio with Rusty Wallace and Brad Daugherty. Wallace then moves upstairs to call the race with Marty Reid and Andy Petree. Dale Jarrett is off this weekend.

On pit road are Dr. Jerry Punch, Dave Burns and Jamie Little. This should be a very challenging race for the pit road reporters with the potential for a high number of accidents and cars out of the race. Watch and see who ESPN decides to speak with when this happens. Cup drivers only?

Darlington makes great video from up high or down low. The low-angle stationary speed shots are just as dramatic as the high cameras that follow the action. Once again, this is a track where it is tough to use the in-car cameras live.

This post will serve to host your comments about the Nationwide Series coverage from Darlington on ESPN2. To add your opinion, just click on the comments button below. This is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind when posting. Thanks for joining us tonight in the live chat.

Friday Day Shift: Open TV Blog

The Friday coverage from Darlington starts at 11:30AM and runs through midnight Eastern Time. SPEED and ESPN2 combine efforts with ESPN2 starting Nationwide Series pre-race coverage at 7PM. Marty Smith, Rusty Wallace and Andy Petree will call the race.

The entire weekend NASCAR TV schedule, including announcers and guests, is posted on the main page of this website on the right side.

Before we get to the live race blog on Friday night, let's use this post to get at some NASCAR TV and media issues that you all seem to feel strongly about. There has been lots of email and comments in recent weeks from fans.

Here are some popular topics:

Jimmy Spencer's show on SPEED called Whats the Deal has been cancelled. There is currently no news on Spencer's future plans with SPEED or any other network.

SPEED confirmed that Darrell Waltrip will be working on select Camping World Truck Series races this season. Rumor is that he will replace his younger brother Michael on those weekends and work with Rick Allen and Phil Parsons. There are currently no plans for Mike Joy to be involved in those telecasts.

Speaking of Darrell Waltrip, a while back he confirmed that he will be partnering with Kenny Wallace and John Roberts on TV. DW will sit in for Kyle Petty on SPEED's RaceDay show while Kyle is off being an analyst for the six TNT races. No official word yet on DW and the Victory Lane program.

Director Roger Goodman (Emmy Awards, Super Bowl halftime) has been brought in by David Hill at FOX to coordinate the NASCAR Hall of Fame induction ceremony telecast on SPEED. This could be the highest profile event SPEED has ever produced.

Fast Track to Fame ends the first run of shows on June 7th. Waiting on word from SPEED as to whether this amateur talent show will return for another run during the summer months.

A while back, we asked if the Monday Race Hub show on SPEED could be an hour long, instead of thirty minutes. Rumor now is that all of the Monday through Thursday Race Hub shows will be expanded to an hour. Confirmation should come next week. This is a big decision for SPEED. Lots of work and cost.

Dale Jarrett has the weekend off, so Rusty Wallace will be in the Nationwide Series TV booth for ESPN2 with Marty Reid and Andy Petree. This has not been the best place for Rusty. He thrives in the infield expressing his views, not analyzing replays.

Dr. Jerry Punch has made a very smooth transition back to pit road for ESPN. Punch has quietly been rebuilding his on-air reputation and the drivers seem to really enjoy speaking with him before, during and after the races. Good results from a good move.

FOX again said they made the decision to switch to SPEED for an expanded post-race show on the fly. With another night race on tap Saturday, FOX is in a tough position. AMA Supercross from Las Vegas will be on SPEED during the time the Sprint Cup Series race should end. Expect the SPEED phones to light up with two-wheel fans if NASCAR is inserted on Saturday night.

Comment on any of these TV topics, or introduce one of your own. We expect adult behavior and language at all times. Let's clear the air of issues before the big Darlington weekend begins.

To add your comment, just click on the comments button below. Thanks for taking the time to stop by The Daly Planet.