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Volume 26 No. 208
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Weekend Plans With Fox Sports' Adam Alexander

The NASCAR season officially kicks off in Daytona this weekend, and Fox Sports' ADAM ALEXANDER has been in Florida all week preparing to call the Xfinity Series Racing Experience 300 on Saturday and host the pre-race show for the Daytona 500 on Sunday. Daytona race weekend always is one of the most anticipated events on the schedule and the grandeur surrounding it never ceases to amaze for Alexander, even as a repeat visitor. Alexander caught up with THE DAILY prior to heading down to Daytona to talk about everything that goes into "The Great American Race."

REVVING UP: There won’t be a production meeting on Friday's practice day, so I'll get to the track as early as I need to and make sure that I'm in the garage as soon as it opens. The goal there will be to meet with as many competitors as I can, both drivers and crew chiefs, and just finish up my prep work. I will have done an extensive amount of prep work during the week, so I’ll have a nice baseline on notes and competitors. But it’s an opportunity to fill in any holes, meet any people that I haven't met at this point, whether it be a driver or a crew chief, and maybe gather a story from their travels or something that I don't have in my notes that we could share on the air. Then we'll go on the air and execute the two practices. When we're done with practice, I might do a follow up run to the garage to track down any stories that may have come up or developed during practice.

Alexander (l) is normally utilized down on the road on Sundays for pre-race segments
Photo: fox sports
Alexander (l) is normally utilized down on the road on Sundays for pre-race segments
Photo: fox sports
Alexander (l) is normally utilized down on the road on Sundays for pre-race segments
Photo: fox sports

START YOUR ENGINES: We will have a production meeting Saturday morning ahead of the race. The first thing we'll do is come to the track, sit down as a group and talk about what storylines could develop. We’ll go over how we're going to cover those -- points we're going to hit, what video elements we need to have ready, what interaction I’ll have off the top of the show with our analyst. We want to be sure when we come on the air, we're buttoned up and know exactly where we're going. In between the race and the production meeting is qualifying, so that’ll be an hour in the booth. I’ll head back to the garage before the race to do any follow-up I need, like what strategy we might see play out in the race. Just those last minute things from the teams to make sure that we're prepared for whatever situation might arise. Once the race actually begins, it’s just one big ad lib. There's really no way to pre-produce the broadcast. 

SOAKING IT IN: One of the ways that I’m utilized on Sunday is down on the road for the pre-race, and the great thing about that is, especially for a race like the Daytona 500, you never know who you're going to see and what opportunity might present itself to make for a nice little pre-race piece. Throughout race week, JAKE JOLIVETTE, who's the producer that I work with on the pre-race side, and I will exchange notes via text or phone call. We'll see each other periodically throughout the weekend and we'll have these short, impromptu production meetings. I might have an idea I want to run by him, or I might ask him to produce a little stat package for me that we can utilize for a piece on a particular driver. That way, we've got a little bit of a baseline with where we want to go. A lot of what we do is produced, planned and rehearsed, but a good portion of it is unrehearsed and ad-libbed. When the pre-race ceremonies get underway, I will have done my job and I’ll watch the race and keep track of any notes. At the same time, I’ll be preparing for a conference call post-race.

Know of someone who should be featured in Weekend Plans? Shoot a note over to lsmith@sportsbusinessdaily.com.