Mike Pereira has inspired another spinoff.
Fox Sports will be bringing the rules analyst position, revolutionized by former NFL officiating czar Pereira, to NASCAR. The network has hired former ESPN lead analyst and NASCAR crew chief Andy Petree to the “newly created on-air position” for the new NASCAR season.
Details from the Fox Sports announcement:
FOX Sports on Tuesday announced the addition of former racer, team owner and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship crew chief Andy Petree to the newly created on-air position of rules analyst for the 2015 FOX NASCAR race season. With the imminent debut of NASCAR’s new video officiating system on pit road, Petree is tasked with explaining any technical violations to the viewing audience, beginning this week at Daytona.
“Not unlike what Mike Pereira does for us during or NFL on FOX broadcasts, we felt the new technical environment in NASCAR lends itself to creating a similar voice on the FOX NASCAR broadcast team,” said John Entz, FOX Sports EVP of Production/Executive Producer. “Andy will work into the role of ‘rules guru,’ giving our audience a strong and consistent point of reference from the broadcast booth.”
NASCAR’s new officiating system utilizes 45 cameras arranged in six-camera clusters on the grandstand side of a racetrack, with violations reported in real-time to the event broadcaster.
Petree, who comes to FOX Sports from ESPN, has a long history in the sport, including as a team owner of the No. 33 Skoal Bandit and as crew chief for the late Dale Earnhardt during his sixth and seventh championship seasons (1993 and 1994).
Adding rules analysts to sports telecasts have been all the rage in recent years, but none has matched the impact or the broadcasting skill of Pereira. (See Carey, Mike.)
I always thought Petree and Jarrett were a very good analyst duo for ESPN and even a bit underrated when you look at announcers across sports. NASCAR announcers often aren’t given the national respect they’re due given the sport that they call and the fact that the fanbase isn’t exactly centered on the coasts. But with ESPN out of the sport, it’s good to see both Petree and Jarrett pick up new roles – Petree as Fox’s rules analyst and Jarrett as an NBC studio analyst.
It will be interesting to see just how Fox incorporates a rules analyst into their telecasts. NASCAR is much like golf in the fact that it has so many rules that not even most hardcore fans are likely aware of, so there’s a lot of room to explore. However, NASCAR on Fox has so many personalities that demand airtime as it is it’s tough to envision a lot of airtime for Petree. Additionally, it’s not like there’s a timeout where you can analyze a replay of whether or not the ball hit the ground. That makes it all the more compelling to see how Fox carries out the next evolution of the rules analyst.