Ticking off the multitude of storylines associated with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, Allen Bestwick might have lobbied for a larger broadcast window on ABC.
Bestwick enters his second year as the chief announcer, with former Indy car drivers Scott Goodyear and Eddie Cheever Jr. returning as analysts. Jon Beekhuis, Dr. Jerry Punch and Rick DeBruhl will be the pit reporters.
ABC will telecast the season opener March 29 (3 p.m. ET) along with four other races and both days of Indianapolis 500 qualifications.
An introduction and explanation of the new aerodynamic bodywork kits supplied by Chevrolet and Honda – how they work, to what benefit on the street circuit and how teams adapt — will be among the elements that the network team will convey to the TV audience.
"How does it impact the overall race? Who's going to win and why? Does one have a half-inch over the other on a particular course or particular configuration?" said Bestwick, who along with Goodyear took in the Promoter Test on March 16-17 at Barber Motorsports Park.
"The bottom line is still to tell the story of the race, and that's why we have all the excellent cameramen, all the excellent audio people and the reporters. Those are more tools to deliver that home."
Bestwick said he felt at home last year in the booth.
"My first year was exactly what I thought it would be, which is good racing with good people," he said. "Obviously, I wasn't a stranger to a lot of the people involved nor was I a stranger to watching the competition so it turned out to be what I thought it would be.
"Probably the one that surprised me the most was Indianapolis because I got such a build-up from various people about how different it's going to be and how overwhelming it's going to be. What I found was I had been to the Speedway and broadcast so many races before that I actually felt right at home. The same booth, the same parking space and the TV trucks in the same place. I found it strikingly familiar and comfortable and the race was everything I thought it would be.
"It was a great day and great competition and I'm looking forward to season two."