FOX Sports Exclusive
NASCAR on FOX unveils new 'Hollywood Hotel' prerace set this weekend at California Speedway
NASCAR on FOX's traveling prerace studio is the most technologically advanced mobile unit ever employed to cover sporting events. It captures the charged atmosphere and flexibility associated with on-location remote broadcasts, yet also includes the state-of-the-art equipment of a premier network center. "The dynamic look and feel of our new mobile prerace studio is well suited for the energy and excitement of Sunday Cup racing," said NASCAR on FOX coordinating producer Richie Zyontz. "We expect the new Hollywood Hotel to enhance our broadcasts and offer drivers and crew members a comfortable destination to visit." The new studio's enlarged desk has room for up to five people and is now situated in front of two massive 71-inch plasma screens that offer a visual presentation unlike anything before. The plasma displays have the ability to combine and offer a single visual image that stretches an incredible 142 inches, and also the flexibility to offer multiple visual feeds across the field to illustrate the subject matter currently under examination. To the left and right of these screens are additional flat-panel displays that feature supplementary visual content, including highlights, graphics and statistics. Above all this runs a scrolling LED ticker that is capable of exhibiting the upcoming race's starting grid, as well as the current championship points standings, running order, or other pertinent information.
The new and improved Hollywood Hotel was designed to provide maximum opportunity to accommodate guests. With plasma displays replacing the windows that adorned the back wall of the original Hollywood Hotel, the new mobile studio is no longer forced to occupy an area within the speedway's infield that offers an attractive view. This allows the new studio to set up shop each week in areas closer to the pits, garages, or drivers paddock in order to provide greater accessibility to the key individuals shaping the day's action. In February 2001, FOX Sports became the first NASCAR broadcaster to introduce a mobile prerace studio unit to serve as the nucleus of live, on-site pre- and postrace coverage. The traveling studio, perched within the infield among the electric hustle-bustle of prerace preparations, was an instant hit among the fans, drivers, officials and crewmen who came to visit. Darrell Waltrip quickly dubbed the mobile unit the "Hollywood Hotel" as an homage to FOX Sports' LA-based headquarters, and the unit's modern look and air-conditioned comfort.