Wednesday, October 31, 2007

"Chasing Glory" Missed By Most NASCAR Fans


Wednesday afternoons on ESPN2 have become an exercise in technology for true NASCAR fans. The DVR's and the TiVo's are humming at 5:30 Eastern Time for a below-the-radar TV series called Chasing Glory.

This week, perhaps the best show of the season was on-tap with an in-depth professionally done profile of Tony Stewart. Produced by NASCAR Images, this show features their signature deep-voiced announcer and lots of great footage from the NASCAR Images Library that has not been seen by most fans.

This included a rare look at a Roush Racing meeting featuring Mark Martin and Jack Roush talking openly about the superior car that Stewart's team often brought to the track. Pat Tryson and others were just scratching their heads about what and how the Home Depot team had done to get themselves in this position.

Since the transition to this new TV contract, the one thing sorely missing from the scene has been more in-depth and behind-the-scenes programming. NASCAR Images provides Survival of the Fastest to SPEED, and Chasing Glory to ESPN, but that is a dot on the landscape. Neither the Busch or Truck Series have any on-going program series that focus on the hard work of those teams and drivers.

This episode of Chasing Glory had a clear vision of how it should present the complicated Stewart, and it did a tremendous job. From chasing the early fiery days of Stewart's growth in the sport, to talking about his re-location to Indiana and his new found maturity, NASCAR Images put on a great show.

AP reporter Jenna Fryer provided the background information and the media perspective about Stewart. Her information helped to fill-in the holes in the story that could not be done with comments from Greg Zipadelli or Stewart himself. She has proven to be an interesting personality in her own right, with a cynical and yet supportive eye on the sport.

There may have not been a finer thirty minute "glossy" NASCAR TV program series on the air this season, with only ESPN's limited Ultimate NASCAR series comparing in overall quality to Chasing Glory. That is why the same question is being asked by NASCAR fans nationwide.

What the heck is this wonderful NASCAR series doing on the air at 5:30PM on a Wednesday? That is 2:30PM on the West Coast. What part of this timeslot says NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Chase for the Championship? ESPN is the exclusive provider of The Chase races. Can't they spare thirty minutes of primetime once a week for NASCAR?

Hopefully, the wonderful quality of this series as a whole will encourage ESPN to re-air the series on ESPN Classic during the off-season. Maybe, during the post-season meeting between ESPN and NASCAR Images, Chasing Glory might get a promotion to a regular night of the week in primetime so fans who do not have recording technology in their homes can also see this very nice series.

The Daly Planet welcomes comments from readers. Simply click on the COMMENTS section below, or email editor@thedalyplanet.tv if you wish not to be published. Thanks again for taking the time to stop-by and leave your opinion.

36 comments:

Ally said...

I hope you don't mind, but I disagree that the footage on Chasing Glory hasn't been seen by most fans. IMHO the viewers who watch and seek out NASCAR TV in this category -would it be documentary/reality?- seek out and record all of this type of show; other fans like watching racing but don't like these shows and dont watch them.

When these shows have been mentioned on The Daly Planet before, I've seen several posters have mentioned seeing the footage before. It's a very devoted audience and one that has seen NASCAR Images produce many shows before without going to their library and using it so heavily. I didn't even know they produced so many shows until this year because they were all different. It's kinda hard to understand why they are repeating so much now with Chasing Glory and Survival of the Fastest. I am glad you enjoyed it, but the for the devoted fan who watches this type of show, it takes away the enjoyment and I don't think it's their best work by any means. Thank you for your time and for all the blogs I see here today I have a lot of catching up to do!

Daly Planet Editor said...

ally,

I think you might be missing my point just a little bit. The percentage of TV households in the US without a DVR or TiVo is still quite high.

This is the first season of ESPN making a multi-million dollar commitment to the sport. Wednesday at 5:30 PM for the only NASCAR reality show on the entire ESPN network family is a disgrace.

I think the "re-purposed" footage that you are speaking about was Kyle Busch by the pool in his house, which was aired several weeks ago but apparently shot last summer for another series.

As you may be aware from watching these shows, they are mostly topical, with little opportunity to "cheat." If you saw the Tony Stewart show today, I would be interested in your opinion.

Since Survival of the Fastest is a show about the previous race on the 2007 Cup Series, I don't really understand your point about repeating "so much" footage this year.

Hopefully, with some more prodding, we can get some on-going reality style shows up and running again on the Busch and Truck Series. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I think ESPN should show Chasing Glory again. They show constant reruns of World Series of Poker. Maybe the can take a break and gain NASCAR fans if new viewers can become acquainted to the drivers.

It's so much easier to be a football or basketball fan. Everyday in the daily paper, there are articles regading the players. With programs like Chasing Glory, the general sports fan will find a connection to drivers.

I'm glad you give kudos when the are deserved.

elena

Ally said...

Thanks for your reply! I'm sorry but I still think these shows are below standard. I understood and agree with your main point that a show like this shouldn't be on in the daytime. But you also said at the top of the blog entry - and that is where I disagree - 'Produced by NASCAR Images, this show features their signature deep-voiced announcer and lots of great footage from the NASCAR Images Library that has not been seen by most fans.'

But we have seen it before, that is the problem and it has been brought up by other posters each time you've done a blog entry on these shows (Oct. 10, Oct.14, and also Oct.23 in 'Big Weekend for NASCAR Fans' entry.) People need to be aware that NASCAR Images is doing that kind of stuff and some fans don't like it. They should be open to criticism just like the other TV partners IMHO and hopefully they will respond to feedback like TV partners have done with comments in your other entries.

The Kyle Busch repeat footage was just one example of repeated footage; and they actually combined Kyle footage from two different old NASCAR Images programs. The Jimmie Johnson Chasing Glory episode was full of old footage and kept switching back between last year and this year. Same with Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart, although Jeff's did the best job of presenting the footage historically, like a highlights package and less presenting him hanging out casually, which is where the reused footage is being used so much.

On Survival of the Fastest which is supposed to take us through the previous week, they always have segments on personal lives of the team featured. Each week a part of the show features the drivers or crews hanging out away from the shops/track. A lot of that footage- some almost every week- was taken from the program called 7 Days and placed in Survival of The Fastest. On the DEI show, Martin Truex's/Bono's fishing trip was from his 7 Days show. So it didn't happen the week they make it look like it was in, it happened last year.

Last week's Survival of the Fastest showed Carl Edwards trying to get his record company off the ground. That footage was a feature on NASCAR Nation from two years ago (and repeated on RaceDay/NASCAR This Morning back then, I think). I guess they ran out of 7 Days footage!

It happens all the time, not just once, and that's what I want NASCAR Images to know is that we notice it. They never used to reuse footage like that. I think it's a valid point to bring to their attention when mentioning the pros and cons of Chasing Glory and Survival/Fastest. We like these shows and want them to be the the best product they can put out there, and they should want that too. Thanks.

Sandie said...

@JD--yes you are correct. I'm not sure how basic of a service you can have, but I know with cable you have to have Digital for the DVR. There are a ton of folks who can't afford basic cable which in most areas is $20ish.

As I mentioned a few weeks back, I found this show accidentally. I was trying to locate another program that supposedly was coming on mid day that I never found. But I've been enjoying it. I haven't watched today's installment yet but look forward to it :)!

I agree, Survival is the previous week's race and short of needing to tell a back story (i.e. the other week when they showed Roush and highlighted Greg Erwin and showed video of his time with Robby) everything is pretty much fresh on that show.

Yes they used that footage of Kylie on 7 Days.

Anonymous said...

If "Chasing Glory" really is mostly a re-edited mélange of old footage, then that would help to explain ESPN's lack of promotion and enthusiasm for the show.

Then again, maybe it's just another result of ESPN's "misunderestimation" and disrespect for NASCAR content in general.

It's hard to know for sure!

Anonymous said...

Well, count me in as a viewer who frequently sees the "repurposed" video during Chasing Glory (and Survival of the Fastest). If you don't know it's repurposed, it's easy to be fooled in the way they edit it. Yet and still, Chasing Glory shouldn't be on TV at 4:30 Central when it doesn't repeat during the week - that's insulting.

I'll live with the "library" video, though I'm not impressed. But I'll just say it right now: If SPEED or ESPN brings back a new season of NASCAR Drivers 360 (my favorite) and I see old footage from another show? Somebody's gonna be in for a hurtin'. ;)

Anonymous said...

I'm relying on two-week-old memory here, which may be faulty. But In regards to the Jeff Gordon episode of Chasing Glory, I can recall seeing scenes in it at Jeff's apartment from NASCAR NonStop-the Casey Mears episode. Also a scene from Jeff's DVD I recorded when it was on TNT this summer.

I guess I'm like Ally and I watch most of these shows, so it does pop out a little at you when it's presented as new in the context of the program.

ruddrpm said...

My only thoughts on the "re-purposed" footage would be that these chase drivers/teams just don't want to be followed around during what is for them the most crucial time of their entire year. So to make shows about chase drivers & teams without their complete participation you need to fill the holes with something. Nascar personalities can be quite finnecky(sp?), especially at crunch time.

Anonymous said...

Chasing Glory is good but confusing. At the very beginning it was mostly a race show about the week's Chase race. Then the past few weeks it's more a biography of a driver with some current race footage towards the end. Seems like the former would be easier to produce than the latter, but perhaps the race concentration made it too similar to Beyond the Wheel. Maybe they wanted to add something that would make it different by adding the older footage.

Anonymous said...

Previous shows (7 Days, Beyond the Wheel) used all-new material--why, suddenly, are we seeing old video in new shows? Cost-cutting?

It's too bad, because, until they started doing this, the NASCAR Images shows were VERY good.

GinaV24 said...

John, you keep saying they should show these again on ESPN Classic, well, just like the folks that may not have DVR or Tivo capability, many cable companies don't provide ESPN Classic. Things shown on channels that most of us don't get do not do us any good. I do agree with one thing -- why show it at 5:30 p.m. east coast time? The times I'm home from work at that time of day each month can be counted on 1 hand. I would love to see these shows, but ESPN's random scheduling of shows doesn't make me want to tune in.

haus20 said...

Replying to ally...

I have TIVO and I don't have EVERY Nascar show set to record. In fact, I only have two that record weekly. Most people do not have time to watch everone of those shows.

Anonymous said...

Not on Topic but:
Explain This...Speed is not doing truck qualifying today, but is doing Busch practice & qualifying on Friday. You would think they would do their own series qualifying, but it does not show on their website. Maybe JD can get some sort of reason

Anonymous said...

---"I have TIVO and I don't have EVERY Nascar show set to record. In fact, I only have two that record weekly. Most people do not have time to watch everone of those shows."

There's only two NASCAR reality-style shows on right now, and one just started a few weeks ago. That's an hour a week- there's plenty of time to watch that every week. Last year there was 7 Days, Beyond the Wheel, and NBS 24/7 for part of the year. So, that was 90 minutes a week. I think that's what Ally's talking about (correct me if I'm wrong) because that's what I try to watch every week too. Or DVR because they're both hard to find.

And just like you, I don't watch *every* NASCAR show - I don't watch shows like NASCAR Performance and Tradin' Paint and INC every week (I do sometimes) - not everybody favors those types of shows, just like not everybody likes reality-style shows. You've got your two shows, I've got my two shows. That's why it's good to have a variety available and that's why people may not like seeing the filler footage if they are regular viewers.

Anonymous said...

I agree with those that have issues with the repurposing of footage. I have missed an episode or two but all of them I have seen have included footage from different seasons that were used in various other programs. The most annoying part of the repurposing is that they aren't putting the footage in context, but acting like these are things that are going on with those drivers currently when they are over a season old.

Also agree with the poster about being confused about the focus of this show. When it first started it seemed to focus more on that week's Chase race (sorta like Beyond the Wheel), while now the episodes are more geared to a single Chase driver.

Anonymous said...

ruddrpm hit the nail on the head. the teams and drivers are not being cooperative and therefore older footage is used to fill in the gaps.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
ruddrpm hit the nail on the head. the teams and drivers are not being cooperative and therefore older footage is used to fill in the gaps.

November 1, 2007 5:22 PM

If that is the case, why is there no indication to the viewers that old footage is being used? Was there an assumption that viewers wouldn't notice the old footage if it was "melded" with the new footage filmed during the week? Because the implication Chasing Glory and Survival of the Fastest give is that we are seeing events that unfolded recently.

Sandie said...

@anonymous 10:44--despite promises from several years back we *don't* get Pick 'em Ups qualifying every race, why I don't know. So it's not just this week it's almost every week.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Hey Gang,

I have dropped an email to my senior management contact at NASCAR Images and brought-up the points you made. He is going to be reading your comments and getting back to me...I will update on this thread and also on a new column when I hear back...great comments!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
ruddrpm hit the nail on the head. the teams and drivers are not being cooperative and therefore older footage is used to fill in the gaps.

November 1, 2007 5:22 PM

It's understandable that these drivers are too busy to provide off track footage and want to remain focused on the championship at this point. That's fine - focus on the stuff at the track. Don't use older footage and pretend it is current.

Anonymous said...

"This episode of Chasing Glory had a clear vision of how it should present the complicated Stewart, and it did a tremendous job. From chasing the early fiery days of Stewart's growth in the sport, to talking about his re-location to Indiana and his new found maturity, NASCAR Images put on a great show."

I'm sure Paul Menard is ROFL at the "Stewart's new found maturity" comment. That may have been true earlier last season, but this year he truly digressed.

Ally said...

'Daly Planet Editor said...
Hey Gang,

I have dropped an email to my senior management contact at NASCAR Images and brought-up the points you made. He is going to be reading your comments and getting back to me...I will update on this thread and also on a new column when I hear back...great comments!'

Thank you so much! I'm so glad you have a contact there, but I shouldn't be surprised.

A new episode of Survival of the Fastest for Joe Gibbs Racing was on SPEED tonight. I paid more attention to the detail of the captioning which I didn't before - before I just knew in general they were acting like the footage was new when it wasn't.

This show was from the Atlanta race. They had a caption that said 'Huntersville - 4 Days before the race'. The footage shown there of Denny Hamlin and JD Gibbs was taken from each of their episodes of 7 Days.

They had a caption that said 'Holden Beach - 4 days before the race'. That was footage of JJ Yeley at the beach from one of his episodes of NASCAR Drivers Non-Stop last year. That switched to old footage of JJ Yeley's hauler driver Peter Jellen getting ready; he had a 7 Days episode too, to demonstrate the life of a hauler driver.

Later in the episode they showed Jellen again because he won an award, but that was definitely new footage because I read about it on Jayski last week or this week.

Just a weird and disappointing thing and I hope you can shed some light on it. Your new blog on NASCAR Now that mentions Ethics classes kinda hits home on this. Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

The NASCAR Images folks may have already been reading these comments this morning. The new SOTF had, to me, briefer amounts of the old footage and it was all bunched together at the beginning (which still doesn't make it acceptable for them to say it was from a few days before the race). Usually there's also a stretch in the middle of the show with the old footage. (Like normally the Yeley footage at the beach would have been much longer instead of a few seconds, like the length of the part with Carl Edwards visitng the music executives last week.) Last minute editing?

A caveat: perhaps the footage in the middle tonight with the JGR athletic trainer was actually old footage and I simply don't remember it from a NASCAR Images show episode. But I've pretty much seen them all...they've had some great shows.

Ann_Ominous said...

I did see the Tony Steward Chasing Glory episode. It was the first Chasing Glory episode that I had seen. I missed maybe the first 3 minutes. The whole episode had a "been there, done that" feel for me. I was bored.

I would guess maybe 5 minutes tops was new footage that I had not seen before. The only old footage that I did not remember seeing before was the stuff at Roush. Maybe I hadn't seen the stuff of Tony at the dirt track, or maybe I had. I know I've seen footage of him doing stuff like that at dirt tracks. It was rather generic "Tony at the Dirt Track" footage, nothing special about it.

The narration was the same old Tony story. No new insights. Maybe new interviews with some people, but I nothing they said jumped out as something that they hadn't said before.

It just seemed so rehashed "same old same old" Like I said, I was bored.

Anonymous said...

I haven't see Chasing Glory because of the scheduling, but I often watch Survival of the Fastest. After Ally and others have pointed all this detail out, I'm really rather disgusted with what I've seen now. I saw that fishing trip with Truex and remember thinking it was nice that he was relaxing a little bit during the pressure of the Chase. And now I find out its from last year? And the record company deal with Carl Edwards, my boyfriend and I were surprised that he had time to devote to a meeting about a non-racing business during the Chase and also running the Busch series. Turns out he didn't!

I just find the entire idea of slipping in this footage inherently offensive. When I watch a reality series on VH-1 or E!, I know it's fake upfront. They'll come out and tell you in interviews that these shows are "docusoaps" or "scripted reality."

I don't expect and won't accept my behind the scenes racing shows to be "scripted reality"-especially when they do their best to hide it.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Please keep adding the footage issues that you see on this series to this post. NASCAR Images will be reviewing your comments and getting back to me shortly.

The senior managers from Images will be answering our questions about use of older footage. If it was re-tagged as fresh, that changes the dynamic of this discussion.

Thanks for letting me know about this issue.

JD

Anonymous said...

I watched the late showing of Survival of the Fastest on Speed last night and can also confirm the Denny Hamlin and J.D. Gibbs office clips were from 7 Days episodes I'd seen last year - even though the graphic said before the race. The Denny clip is a little funny because the scheduler is telling him he needs to carve out a week for vacation. That statement applies when the program is supposed to be from midseason (which it was in 2006), It doesn't apply if the program is supposed to be from four weeks left in the Chase. In fact, the closeup on the paper calendar pages Denny was looking at said "may 2006" and "June 2006".

Both last week's and this week's episodes of Survival of the Fastest are on Speed again today. 3-4 ET.

Anonymous said...

SPEED was just made available to us this year. Going through these comments, sounds like they need to renew this 7 Days show as it sounds like the most interesting footage in NASCAR programming this season stems from that.

Anyone mind explaining exactly what 7 Days is and why it's not on the air?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Anyone mind explaining exactly what 7 Days is and why it's not on the air?
November 2, 2007 8:32 AM

Best way I can describe 7 Days is the half-hour version of NASCAR 360, if you've seen that show. They follow one person around from Monday-Sunday all the way to the next race, so part of the show takes place at the track. The first part is showing their personal life at home and/or their job duties away from the track.

The main difference from 360 is that it follows one person - not three - and it's not always a driver featured. Several drivers and owners have been featured (and that's the source of most of the repeated clips this year), but there were also episodes featuring:
Crew chiefs -Doug Richert, Bootie Barker

wives - Shana Mayfield, Buffy Waltrip, DeLana Harvick.

Reporters -Marty Smith, Lee Spencer

People working with NASCAR - the president of Texas Motor Speedway, the #18 hauler driver mentioned above, the man in charge of the grounds at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Kyle Busch's spotter, and a married couple in charge of the main #24 souvenier hauler. There were others, too. It was on most weeks of the season, so I'd estimate 30 - 32 episodes.

VERY good show and very high quality filming. I'd say one of my all-time NASCAR favorites. I still have several of them on tape. I have no idea why it's not on the air anymore. I assume the ratings weren't good, but it didn't get very good promotion when it was on.

May be missing one or two, but drivers who had an episode were Jeff Burton, Kyle Petty, Elliott Sadler, Boris Said, Robby Gordon, and the aforementioned Yeley, Edwards, Truex, Hamlin.

Ann_Ominous said...

Since the NASCAR Images folks are suppose to be reading this, I would like to ask why they have never put out boxed DVD sets of shows like NBS 24/7, NASCAR Drivers:360, 7 Days, Beyond the Wheel, etc.? I would of been very likely to purchase them. Did they not do it because then people who had not seen the shows would know when they were using recycled footage this year?

Anonymous said...

anonymous 9:05, thanks for answering about 7 Days. Sounds like we missed a good show.
:-(

ruddrpm said...

ann_ominous:

The reasoning behind no DVD's from NASCAR Images stems from the fact that the airing network (SPEED, ESPN, etc.) own the shows themselves. NASCAR Images is only hired to shoot/produce them. From there its up to the networks to determine what to do with them. Thus, SPEED Channel, ESPN, etc. would be the one to distribute the shows on DVD. Still, I agree that a box set of Beyond the Wheel at the end of the year would probably sell pretty well.

Anonymous said...

Since you want additions, JD, regarding this afternoon's repeat of Survival of the Fastest Martinsville, they labeled the Carl Edwards music company footage that many here say is two years old as "4 days before the race".

I've seen the footage mentioned as old several times upthread, but I don't think anyone has said that the episode, like the Atlanta episode that's on now, specifically labeled it new.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Hey Guys,

I have been exchanging emails with the NASCAR Images folks, and I think that this is going to be a good topic for a column next week.

There are a lot of issues surrounding this "re-use" of footage and I hope to get them all out in to open so we can clear the air.

Anonymous said...

I hope NASCAR Images gives a full explanation of why they led fans to believe they were watching currently filmed footage in their programs. They need to do explain this fully. Otherwise viewers will look at any of their future programs with a skeptical/critical eye instead of simply looking forward to an "insider" show about NASCAR and its personalities. I'm sure they don't want that.

The sooner their explanation comes, the better. Looks like they were hoping to get through the season without any viewers noticing their actions.