October 31st, 2014
If the first couple of moves for NBC when they pick up NASCAR coverage in 2015 is any indication, NASCAR is in good hands. NBC announced this week that Rick Allen has been plucked from FOX Sports 1 to be the lead announcer with current driver Jeff Burton serving as his analyst.
Allen has been the lead announcer for the Camping World Truck Series and ARCA races aired on FOX Sports 1 (formally SPEED Network) since 2003. It’s a great move to get someone with experience, instead of going outside the box. Plus Allen has worked very hard to finally get the call up to the big show in 2015.
Burton will drive a part-time schedule this year for Michael Waltrip Racing, but will begin to put his two cents in on NBC Sports Network beginning in 2014. The “Mayor” has been a star in the makings throughout his career for his knowledge of the sport, realistic views, and ability to articulate his thoughts. He will serve as a breath of fresh air for the NASCAR airways as it has been a little stagnate with the current TV crews.
There was no talk of a third person in the booth, although the recent trend is to have a former crew chief in the booth. My personal opinion is that less is more, or even another former driver wouldn’t be all that bad up there. Also on the recent trend list is having a pit studio host, but it is to be determined if NBC will go that route.
They will also need pit reporters and with ESPN once again getting out of the business, there will be plenty of quality reporters out there. And you never know who might leave FOX due to unhappiness with their destruction of SPEED and FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports 2 endeavors.
NBC Sports will begin airing NASCAR Sprint Cup and NASCAR Nationwide Series races in 2015.