Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

ABC Approaches Brickyard 400 with `Sense of History'

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

ABC Approaches Brickyard 400 with `Sense of History'

Article excerpt

Gentleman, start your cameras.

The good ol' boys from NASCAR roar down the hallowed grounds of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the first time on Saturday, and ABC-TV will document every crash, blowout, bumper-to-bumper maneuver and the run to the finish line of the Brickyard 400.

"I've heard so many comparisons to the first (Indianapolis) 500," said Paul Page, ABC's host of the telecast. "I have a very strong sense of history. . . . I'm kind of overwhelmed with it."

But ABC (KTVI, Channel 2 locally) won't overwhelm viewers with minutia. The network picks up coverage at noon, and the race is scheduled to begin 15 minutes later.

"We've cut way back on the number of features in all our racing coverage," producer Bob Goodrich said. "When we get a yellow flag, we've got commercials to do and so many developing stories to cover" that there is little time for features.

The network has planned a retrospective on the last Daytona 500 that was run on sand. "It takes you back to what NASCAR racing was like in 1958," Goodrich said.

Those wanting more background on how the Brickyard 400 came about should tune in to ESPN at 11 a.m. That cable network has a one-hour Brickyard 400 special, produced by ABC.

Once the race begins, ABC will use 22 cameras positioned throughout the track to capture the event (28 are used for the Indy 500). Cameras also will be mounted in the cars of Bill Elliott, Michael Waltrip, Kyle Petty and another racer to be announced. Goodrich said Rusty Wallace and Dale Earnhardt turned down requests to have a camera placed in their cars. There were six in-car cameras for the Indy 500.

Bowled Over: CBS-TV seemingly has been losing rights to sports events at about the same rate the Cardinals have been dropping games. The network has lost the National Football League and major-league baseball in the last year.

But CBS finally came out a winner. It gets two of the three major bowl games under the new agreement that college football reached Thursday with the networks. …

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