ESPN begins its coverage of the final 17 races of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with a live telecast of the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday at noon ET.
Allen Bestwick, who has been a part of ESPN’s NASCAR team since 2007 and was recently named as the lap-by-lap announcer for ESPN’s NASCAR Sprint Cup telecasts, talks about his new assignment.
FR: What is your interpretation of the role of the anchor?
AB: A NASCAR race being as complicated as it is, and as many tools and as great a team as we have — there’s information coming in from the pit reporters, there’s graphics, there’s replays, there’s timing and scoring, there’s statisticians and various things — the job of the anchorman is the make sure it all ties together into one story that makes sense. With the way people watch television, you don’t assume that people saw that the guy who just took the lead at Lap 90 bounced off the wall at Lap 3 and had to pit and got a lap down and got a free pass and made it up — you can’t assume that, so your job is just make sure that in as tidy and quick a fashion as possible, you tie all those details together so the story makes sense.
FR You’ve been a pit reporter, host and fill-in anchor for ESPN over the last five years. How do you feel about being the fulltime anchor?
AB The goal of all of this is to do the best possible telecast, the best possible show, for the fans and for the viewers. It takes a huge team to get that job done. We have an average of 150 people involved in doing this just at the racetrack. My attitude always has been the end result has got to be doing the best possible show. So if the coach wants me to change positions and do another job in order to help us do the best possible show for the fans, then I’m all in.
FR For you personally, what makes this all work?
AB This is a tough business and yet somehow I’ve been able to make a living broadcasting NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races for 27 seasons. I don’t take that for granted. You come to work every day with your lunch pail. You have to work hard. There’s never a letup. For me, it’s still a pleasure and a privilege to be able to do this for a living, and whatever the role is, it’s still fun on Sundays when they wave the green flag and I get to broadcast it.