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With Allen Bestwick back in the booth ESPN is back on track


Allen Bestwick came back to the booth for a cup race for the first time in 2004.  The Brickyard 400 was a bit lackluster in the early stages, but the way Bestwick was commentating you could never tell. 

ESPN has struggled to tell the story during the race.  Jerry Punch was the lead play by play booth announcer from 2007 to 2009 but he just really never clicked and had a voice more for pit road then the booth.

Marty Reid while an exceptional commentator in the IRL just didn't have enough of a background in NASCAR despite having previous NASCAR commentating experience and has been moved to the nationwide series.

From 2001 to 2004 Allen Bestwick severed as the lead play by play booth announcer for NBC/TNT.  He was able to keep races excited and has a knack that no other commentator has: the ability to tell how a race is unfolding. 

All things looked well until he broke his leg playing hockey and missed two races.  Bill Webber was tabbed to fill in for him.  Despite Bestwick going back into the booth the finish out the season, Webber was made his replacement a move that upsetted many fans.

Bestwick became a pit road reporter for NBC/TNT.  Then in 2007 moved to ESPN/ABC and became a pit road reporter there too.  It looked like he was stuck.  But ESPN decided to make him their Chris Myers putting him in the pit studio doing the pre race and quipping in during the race every once in a while.

ESPN realized they needed something to kick their broadcasts.  They realized that if they were to attract fans they needed someone who could make what ESPN broadcasts usually are: something special.

Thus Allen Bestwick was given the call to be in the booth.  And on Sunday he proved them right.  This season he in my mind has passed Mike Joy as the best commentator in NASCAR.  Networks don't like more then five seconds of silence and with Bestwick that is never a problem.

For ESPN it took them five years to realize Bestwick was their guy , but better late then never right?

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