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The Daly Planet

This Just In

Allen Bestwick is BACK! Marty Reid, not so much.
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By Carol Einarsson | 07/20/2011
Category: This Just In

Emailed press release from ESPN:

July 20, 2011

Bestwick, Briscoe to Expand Roles in ESPNís NASCAR Coverage

Allen Bestwick and Nicole Briscoe, two veterans of ESPNís NASCAR coverage team, will have expanded roles as ESPNís telecasts of the final 17 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races of the season begin next week.

Bestwick, who has filled a variety of positions since ESPN returned to live NASCAR event coverage in 2007, will move into the booth as the lap-by-lap announcer for all ESPN NASCAR Sprint Cup telecasts, including races, practices and qualifying. He will be joined by analysts Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree when ESPN starts its NASCAR Sprint Cup Series coverage with the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday, July 31.  

Briscoe, who has been a host and reporter for ESPN2ís daily NASCAR news and information program NASCAR Now since joining ESPN in 2008, and a fill-in host for the pre-race NASCAR Countdown show since 2010, will become the regular NASCAR Countdown host for all NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series telecasts on ESPN. Briscoe will work with analysts Rusty Wallace and Brad Daugherty in the ESPN Pit Studio at racetracks. Bestwick has been in the NASCAR Countdown host role since midway through the 2007 season.

Marty Reid, who has been primary lap-by-lap announcer for ESPNís coverage of the NASCAR Nationwide Series since 2009, and for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series since 2010, will continue to call NASCAR Nationwide Series race telecasts on ESPN as well as practice and qualifying telecasts. In addition, Reid also will continue as lap-by-lap announcer for ESPNís coverage of five races in the IZOD IndyCar Series, including the Indianapolis 500, with the next event at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Aug. 14.

"We are blessed with a talented and versatile group of NASCAR commentators," said Norby Williamson, ESPN executive vice president, production. "We believe this arrangement best plays to our individual and collective strengths.Ē

Since joining ESPN in 2007, Bestwick has worked as a pit reporter and host and has called some races in the lap-by-lap announcer position. In addition to his new duties in the booth, he will continue as the main host and moderator for the Monday roundtable discussion edition of NASCAR Now. The program features a panel of three racing experts who discuss and debate the latest NASCAR news in a one-hour format.

Bestwick has extensive experience in both radio and television, having started his NASCAR career in 1986 as a turn announcer for MRN Radio. He worked for MRN for nearly 15 years and was the lap-by-lap announcer from 1988-2000, as well as host of the networkís daily news program. He made his television debut in 1995 on the original NASCAR Today program on ESPN and joined SPEED in 1996 as the host of a weekly NASCAR show, a post he held for 10 years. He started pit reporting for TBS and TNT in 1997 and was part of NBC and TNTís NASCAR coverage from 2001-2006, both as a pit reporter and lap-by-lap announcer.

Before joining ESPN, Briscoe worked for two years as co-host of a motorsports news program on SPEED. Previously, she was a sports reporter at a TV station in Indianapolis, where she was first exposed to auto racing through covering the Indianapolis 500. She later worked as a pit reporter for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network on the Indianapolis 500 and Brickyard 400 as well as IZOD IndyCar Series race broadcasts before joining SPEED in 2006. She started her TV career as a general assignment reporter in Rockford, Ill., and also worked in TV in Fort Wayne, Ind., before moving to Indianapolis in 2004. With her new duties, she will continue as a NASCAR Now host on a limited basis.



07/20/2011 12:57 pm (1)
Allen in the booth???

07/20/2011 1:05 pm (2)
Well, this is good news, I think. Reid wasn't bad, but he had a little bit of the Ken Squier syndrome: when the director changed the shot, if he didn't know what was going on he just made something up (so you'd get "and here's Earnhardt passing Hamlin" when anyone paying attention knew Hamlin had run Earnhardt down from 10 cars back, and the pass was happening in the opposite direction). Whats-is-name on the TNT broadcasts tends to have the same problem. Bestwick seems to be good at either knowing what's going on, or just not saying anything when he doesn't.

I'm happy enough to have Reid stay on the Indycar broadcasts, too. I think highly of Bob Jenkins, who does the coverage for Versus, but it seems to me he is slipping a little, perhaps due to age, so increasing his workload probably would backfire...so I won't suggest ESPN should try and hire him for their share of the IRL broadcasts.


Bill B
07/20/2011 1:27 pm (3)
Wow. Hell is going to freeze over. Someone at a network used common sense.
07/20/2011 1:30 pm (4)
Allen Bestwick, in my opinion, has great track awareness and is able to supply the correct context (usually) for what we are seeing on the screen. That should really improve ESPN's Cup telecasts.

Greg in Dallas
07/20/2011 1:44 pm (5)
Great news! (of course, now I'm daydreaming about hearing Allen, Kyle and Wally calling the races...)
07/20/2011 1:59 pm (6)
I've said for years that Bestwick is as good as there is save for Mike Joy. There never was any reason (other than political) to have taken him out of the booth in the first place so it's good that someone finally came to their senses and put him back in.
07/20/2011 2:44 pm (7)
Yes!!! I am so happy to hear that Allen will be in the booth!! IMO Allen is the best of the Nascar broadcast bunch right now... he's professional and has vast knowledge of the sport!
07/20/2011 4:50 pm (8)
Finally!!!! Someone with some common sense put Allen where it improves the show.
07/20/2011 5:35 pm (9)
So, I see (changing the subject entirely) that Ryan Newman has been disqualified at Loudon, and the win has been given to Todd Szegedy (apoligies if I misspelled that).

Raises a whole bunch o' questions, that does.

Mallards Motorsports
07/21/2011 1:33 pm (10)
Sanity reigns at ESPN! Nobody better than Bestwick...

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