Editor’s note: Counting down to the season finale Sunday in Miami, Front Row takes you on a tour behind the scenes of ESPN’s NASCAR production on many platforms. Today, an overview of what’s involved in ESPN’s coverage; Saturday, a look at memorable moments on the circuit this season; Sunday, predictions on which driver, Tony Stewart or Carl Edwards, wins the season’s title.
MIAMI — This week, the 2011 NASCAR season comes to a close with the running of the Ford 400 at Florida’s Homestead-Miami Speedway. ESPN will air the final race of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at 3 p.m. ET on Sunday, Nov. 20.
And with the final checkered flag, ESPN’s NASCAR event production and operations teams will stand down after a 10-month season that began in early February at the Daytona 500.
Between the last 17 races of the NASCAR Sprint Cup season, and the entire NASCAR Nationwide Series season, ESPN will have televised 50 NASCAR races with some 10,500 laps of competition, as well as dozens of practice and qualifying shows.
In addition, personnel from news and information will have done hundreds of reports for SportsCenter, NASCAR Now and other ESPN programs, and ESPN.com writers and editors will have filed hundreds of stories, columns and blogs from the tracks.
And ESPN’s operations team will have set up and torn down one of the largest mobile television operations in sports 36 times at 24 different racetracks.
Carl Edwards takes you on a tour of one of ESPN’s mobile production facilities for NASCAR in the video below:
Seven core tractor-trailer rigs move the equipment a combined 360,000 miles during the season, and in most cases everything is set up in under two days and packed in a matter of hours.
ESPN utilizes 65-75 cameras at each Sprint Cup race, and at some tracks, the operations team must install some 20 miles of video, audio and power cable needed to make everything work.
For NASCAR Sprint Cup race weekends, ESPN will have more than 200 people at the track and utilize 150 hotel rooms.
While there are weekends off built into all schedules, most of the same people work the majority of the season.
After the Homestead race, ESPN’s NASCAR team will have most of the months of December and January off, but will be back in action when the 2012 NASCAR season starts at Daytona in February.
As the season concludes, ESPN Front Row takes a behind-the-scenes look at ESPN’s NASCAR coverage through the images above. Check in with us Saturday and Sunday for additional posts, pictures and videos.
Below, enjoy this “Soundtracks” video from the Nov. 13 stop in Phoenix.