Friday, July 2, 2010

Live Blogging Nationwide Series From Daytona (7:30PM ET ESPN)

It's rainy in Daytona, but the Nationwide Series is scheduled to run shortly after 8PM.

Nicole Briscoe is in the Infield Pit Studio with Dale Jarrett and Brad Daugherty. These three might see some serious on-air time if the weather situation continues.

Supporting the efforts on pit road are Dr. Jerry Punch, Dave Burns, Shannon Spake and Mike Massaro. It will be Allen Bestwick, Jarrett and Andy Petree in the TV booth once things get rolling.

ESPN is looking for a barn burner tonight. Dale Earnhardt Jr. is in the #3 vintage Wrangler car and there are a ton of Sprint Cup Series drivers crossing-over to race.

The network is ready to begin Sprint Cup Series coverage in just a couple of weeks with this entire TV team. This race will be a great dress rehearsal for The Brickyard.

This post will host your comments on the ESPN coverage of the Nationwide Series from Daytona. To add your comment, 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 out of your holiday weekend to stop by The Daly Planet.

NASCAR's Qualifying TV Doubleheader

Daytona has some interesting schedule twists and Friday fans get to watch back-to-back qualifying sessions on two very different TV networks.

ESPN2 kicks-off Friday's NASCAR TV with Nationwide Series qualifying at 1PM ET. This might be a very good weekend for ESPN. Allen Bestwick is working with Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree in the TV booth. Bestwick has been on top of his game this season and his knowledge and enthusiasm about Daytona is infectious.

The resurgent Dr. Jerry Punch leads the pit road reporting corps. Shannon Spake recently showed her versatility by hosting a week of NASCAR Now in the ESPN studios. She returns to pit road along with NASCAR Now's fulltime host Mike Massaro. The final team member is Dave Burns, who always seem to fly a bit under the radar.

There are lots of stories in the NNS this weekend, including Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the vintage #3 Wrangler car. The "NNS new car" debut has gotten tremendous positive reaction as it appears NASCAR has hit on a winner with its design. Plenty of drivers would like to notch the first pole in the new model.

ESPN has a very distinctive style for qualifying. It includes original graphics and an extensive timing and scoring layout. Fans have seen the network hit or miss with the qualifying shows. This is going to be one it needs to get right.

Up next at 4PM with the Sprint Cup Series qualifying is SPEED. Steve Byrnes, Darrell Waltrip and Larry McReynolds have already logged a long day on Thursday in the TV booth covering practice sessions. Friday they will call qualifying while Jeff Hammond and Phil Parsons will be handling the interviews.

SPEED's style is very different from ESPN. They both work well and relay information, but SPEED has almost perfected qualifying through trial and error over the years. Byrnes sets the right tone of fun and informality on the air.

Just as with the NNS telecast, there are plenty of stories unfolding on the Sprint Cup Series side. One of the biggest was the major wreck late in practice that took out several cars including Denny Hamlin, Reed Sorenson and Tony Stewart. The culprit was a bump to Hamlin from his own teammate, Kyle Busch.

Earlier in the day, Busch relayed that the Daytona track was rougher than ever with several bumps that upset the cars and left the teams searching for solutions. Busch pointed to the area of "the patch" left over from the February race. All of this should make qualifying a bit more interesting.

Once ESPN2 and SPEED are done, the coverage shifts to ESPN for the NASCAR Countdown show at 7:30PM. We will live blog this show and the race in a new post. Please use this page for your comments on the qualifying coverage from the two networks.

To add your comment, 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.