NASCAR Hot Pass Activates Tunnel Vision of Final Four Drivers During Championship Race on NBCSN
The second-screen offering will also look into the broadcast booth
Out of a total of 16 drivers, eyes will be fixated on a quarter of the pack Sunday, Nov. 17 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. As the normal broadcast focusing on the entire race rolls on the primary NBC channel, an alternative viewing option of the network’s NASCAR Hot Pass will run on NBCSN, offering an inside track on movements of the final four drivers as well as looks into the broadcast booth.
“The concept of the Hot Pass is a different look and a good way to give unique access to the four drivers that are fighting for the championship,” says Sam Flood, executive producer, NBC Sports Group. “We found that it has been a good secondary experience.”
In Its Own Lane: NBC Sports Deploys Iso Cams, Radio Comms, Graphics of Top Four
Under the (hopefully) sunny weather in Miami, the final four drivers vying for the sport’s biggest prize — Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr., and Kevin Harvick — will have a spotlight on them for all 267 laps of the Ford EcoBoost 400.
A fleet of dedicated iso cameras will track their every move on the course and down pit row. For extra context of the drivers’ motives, decisions, and potential mishaps, viewers will be granted all-access to a stream of each team’s radio communications throughout the race. For one last added touch, the graphics package will keep the audience constantly informed with up-to-date stats, including the racers’ point differential, position changes, and other interesting facts and figures.
“Obviously, the primary experience watching the race is preferable, but, every once in a while, a change of pace is a nice way to go,” says Flood. “I think, for people that want to dive a little deeper on different drivers, there’s some advantage to it.”
Life in Booth and Pace Car: Dale Jr. Spy Cam, Pace Car POV Detail Two Perspectives
Although blazing hot action will unfold on the asphalt, the network is showcasing two other notable vantage points on its Hot Pass presentation. The curtain will be removed up high in the secondary main broadcast booth with a product that debuted this year at NASCAR’s race at Martinsville Raceway in Ridgeway, VA. The Dale Jr. Spy Cam, a device that will be perched in the space occupied by 21-time Cup Series winner Jeff Burton and two-time Daytona 500 Champion Dale Earnhardt Jr, will highlight their insights during the primary on-air telecast.
In the head booth on NBC, NBC Sports race announcer Rick Allen will call the race alongside Daytona 500-winning crew chief Steve Letarte. As for the Hot Pass addition, NBC Sports veteran motorsports announcer Leigh Diffey will join Hall of Famer Dale Jarrett, who is celebrating the 20th anniversary of his NASCAR Cup Series victory in Miami in 1999.
Down on the track, fans tuning in to NBCSN will have a unique angle on the race from the front of the field.
“We also have a toy, which is a camera that director Charlie Dammeyer will have, that will be in the front of the field as it comes to the green flag and during all the pace laps,” says Flood. “It should provide a dramatic, up-close look to take the green flag.”
More Access Next Season: Hot Pass Opens the Door for TrackPass
A concept that has was implemented for the final race last season at Homestead-Miami, Hot Pass has given even the most diehard of fans to experiment with watching a race in a non-traditional fashion. Advocates of alternative viewing options will enjoy more of these opportunities next year through the OTT space.
Just announced, the NASCAR TrackPass is providing the same material on NBC Sports Gold, the network’s direct-to-consumer platform. On this platform, racing fans can enjoy a wide array of motorsports content, including the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, NASCAR Cup Series, and NASCAR Xfinity Series practice and qualifying sessions.
Despite looking forward to next year, NBC Sports still has business to take care of in 2019, and Flood is pleased to produce on an exciting conclusion to the NASCAR season.
“We’re excited to get to Miami for the championship race since we’ve seen some incredible drama at that track over the last few years,” he says. “It’s a great way to end the season.”
Coverage of the Ford EcoBoost 400 begins at 1:30 p.m. ET on NBC. NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app will also present NBC’s live telecast and NBCSN’s secondary Hot Pass.