Weekend Plans With ISC's Chris Schwartz: Dale Jr.'s Farewell At Talladega, Family Time
ISC Managing Dir Of Broadcast & Integrated Media CHRIS SCHWARTZ is headed south this weekend for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Alabama 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. State Gov. KAY IVEY declared Sunday "Dale Earnhardt Jr. Day," and that has Schwartz ready for a jam-packed venue. Talladega, in Schwartz' words, is simply the "biggest and baddest track we’ve got."
FUN GETS GOING: I'll get to Talladega mid-Friday -- once I get there I really align with the track Chair, GRANT LYNCH. Friday night we have a party called the Big One On The Boulevard. It's one of the staple NASCAR parties on the schedule and Talladega always does it well. I will typically breeze through and have a look at the activation and try to see it both from the fan and operator perspectives. See what’s working, what’s not. We’ll have dignitaries with us as well, and it’s always fun to see them have a good time.
ENGINE STARTER: This weekend is unique for us in that we’ve got the (Camping World) trucks on big Fox on Saturday and the Cup cars on NBC Sunday. The TV compound is a busy place, but both partners are tremendous to work with. We’ll figure out if there’s some things they need me to do. A lot of times Saturday and Sunday that’s working with a dignitary, really just making sure they get around to where they need to be. Our staffs really aren’t that big at our tracks, they’re typically pretty lean. So when folks from ISC come into town we really are just there to support the team because the lights are on for them. That’s their time to sell, engage with media, things like that.
ALL THE BELLS & WHISTLES: Pre-race I’ll breeze through the TV compound, check in with Fox, NBC and the NASCAR folks to make sure there’s nothing going on out of the ordinary. Make sure connectivity is all good and they’ve got what they need for the broadcast weekend. Assuming everything is good there, I’ll head on in to the infield and more than likely I’ll stop in to the media center and say hello to some folks. Then I’ll hit the Motor Racing Network truck to get a pulse for the competition as the races are going on. I’ll leave Alabama around 9:00pm Sunday to head back home to Charlotte. I love the pageantry of pre-race and the events themselves, but the checkered flag is going to fall whether I’m there or not. But I typically do like to stay through the whole race before heading home.
AWAY FROM THE TRACK: I’ve got a 7-year-old son who loves whatever sport he’s playing at the moment. I’ll typically coach his basketball team in the winter as well. Then I’ve got a 13-year-old daughter who’s gotten into tennis, so that takes up a lot of weekends as well. As a family we love to head to the mountains for a few days, or take it the opposite direction and hit the beach. Two of the wonderful things you can do in North Carolina. Restaurant-wise here in Charlotte and Matthews we really like Leroy Fox, Good Food on Montford and Pizza Peel if we’re looking for a little family time.