Wednesday, October 10, 2007

ESPN's "Chasing Glory" Flies Under The Radar

5:30PM on a Wednesday afternoon is the last place you would expect to find one of the finest NASCAR programs on television. ESPN2 has rolled-out the Chasing Glory series without any fanfare and with limited promotion. The only question is...why?

Another fine program series from the people at NASCAR Images has grabbed viewers and gotten them asking where this type of series has been on ESPN?

The series consists of eleven programs each thirty minutes in length that profile the drivers involved in the 2007 NEXTEL Chase for the Championship. On this Wednesday, the story of Kyle Busch was told in unblinking reality.

The program format is familiar to fans of NASCAR Images. As many of the Images personnel made the move over to NASCAR from NFL Films, the influence of that company is made very clear. The booming off-camera announcer hosts the program, and lets the subject matter unfold through a series of sound bites with the featured personality. These are surrounded by flowing music, and dramatic transitions to raw natural sounds.

The series was only announced on October 4th in an ESPN Media release. Julie Sobieski, an ESPN Programming Executive, said "this program gives NASCAR fans new insight and information from their favorite drivers as they deal with the rigors and stress of competing for the championship."

In this episode, there was plenty of new insight into a fresh face in the sport with a very high-profile. Busch was shown back home in Las Vegas beginning with his go-kart roots and his rise up through the Legends Series. The family photos and the honest comments are something NASCAR Images has perfected in producing this type of reality series for various networks.

Most importantly, Busch was allowed to be himself, in every way. Playing in his pool at home, he looked a lot younger than his driver's license would indicate. Shown in casual settings, Busch appeared to be a calm young man. Then, the transition to race car driver began with a review of his accident with Dale Junior.

The intense young man is finally revealed and the Kyle Busch that the media loves to hate comes to life. As with many of these athletes, Busch has the two distinct sides of his personality that he must come to learn to balance. This profile was fascinating.

The music builds and the drama increases as the Kansas race comes to an end. NASCAR Images did a great job in laying-out all the stories that went with the fates of The Chase contenders during and after this event. Then, just like that, the thirty minutes are done and Chasing Glory is gone.

In the same vein as the fantastic Survival of the Fastest series on SPEED, this ESPN2 series is top-of-the-line from start to finish. The series continues on Wednesdays at 5:30 or 6PM through December 11th on ESPN2.

Perhaps, next season will bring some additional long-form feature style programming from NASCAR Images that will migrate over to other TV networks or InternetTV. Fans are continually frustrated by missing these two fine series because of their awkward air times and the fact they are not available for replay on the Internet without cost.

NASCAR would be much better served if this type of outstanding product was made more readily available to the fans than the Wednesday at 5:30PM timeslot provides.

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


Anonymous said...

John, I read on another one of your blogs that this was the 3rd show. Any plans to reair the first 2 since I missed them? You would have thought they would have hyped them like speed does for their Nascar shows.

Anonymous said...

Do time slots really make that much difference in today's world? With Tivo and all the other ways to tape programs, I just don't think it is such a big deal. I think I can tape right off my computer if I ever set the TV tuner up on it!!!

Anonymous said...

Not everyone has TiVo.

Not everyone will be "bothered" to set up a recording.

Timeslots do still matter.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 8PM - I missed them publicity at all.

Anon 8:41PM - The vast majority of the American viewers do not even have a VCR. Hopefully, this will change with the availability of DVR technology, but lots of folks are not "into" TV like we are.

So, for right now, timeslots matter.

SophiaZ123 said...

time slots matter.

We still have 4 vcr's in this house. so many have had DVR nightmare stories, we ain't going there yet. Like if a show runs long or game, you can set the VCR for 6 hrs and allow extra time. Or the DVR does not record if a previous show runs 2 minutes late (like in PRIMETIME) or it deletes the show before folks get to watch them?? Or the DVR "service" goes down and folks clog the phones to their providers. Yikes. Unless ESPN CHANGES THE **** station on you. Even then, with DVR or whatever, you miss critical part of the race.

I could've sworn I stumbled onto this show a few weeks ago and wondered why I NEVER HEARD a peep about it. I don't even think JAYSKI mentioned it.

Also, did Jayski mention J Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Denny Hamblin and other drivers were on Regis last monday?? I never saw that listed either.

You would think ESPN would want to promote this show but they TRULY think NOTHING of NASCAR. I see ESPU2 has HOUSE of BILLIARS listed on the tv tonight. Sheesh. That NASCAR in primetime would be a good idea.

p.s. I know for an IRL race a few months ago that got switche three times, we had TWO VCR's going so my room mate would not miss the 'switchover' part.

Have I mentioned ESPN stinks?


Oh, as I type this the BILIARD TOURNAMENT is PROMOTING the NEXTEL "Chase".


Changing the channel.

Anonymous said...

NASCAR Now did promote this show once. I believe the host said Chasing Glory would follow NASCAR Now since it would air after NASCAR Now. I have not heard anything since. Possibly because the show is airing before NASCAR Now giving no chance for the NASCAR show to promote it.

Anonymous said...

I've seen the previous episodes of the show and was a bit confused about this latest installment. The previous episodes have mainly focused on Chase races themselves and how the weekend unfolded. This week was like a Kyle Busch feature and I'm almost positive that the majority of that footage - in his pool, working out, in his motorcoach - was all used last season on 7 Days. Anyone else notice that?

Anonymous said...

it is possible. Both of these shows are produced by NASCAR Images. If they want video w/ kyle, they can get it from last year if they need to.

Anonymous said...

That off track footage of Kyle (the parts that weren't interviews) was definitely on the SPEED show 7 Days last year. I was disappointed by that.

I've also seen some off track footage from 7 Days re-used on Survival of The Fastest.

Anonymous said...

Chasing Glory has been on for a while. I can't find my email from my Yahoo group but I've been DVRing it since August or September. I found it by accident. Someone posted a show that I couldn't find that supposedly was coming on in mid-day and as I was looking this "Chasing Glory" show was there. So I Season Passed it.

sophia--you can set the DVR to record over too. You can also do manual recordings if you're recording something "outside" the box. I always set racing to go over and some shows I set to start or finish late depending. If the box is full, then it'll delete to make room *or* if you have it set to save only 1 episode and the next one comes on before you can watch. That's why I have most of mine set to save all episodes. But I haven't heard of it deleting sporadically, I certainly haven't had that issue. And luckily my DVR/Cable hasn't failed me yet :)

@anonymous 11:00 yes it was the 7 days footage. I was like I've seen this before!

Anonymous said...

In addition to the footage of Kyle from 7 Days, I believe footage with the interviews and photos of the Busch family were taken from the 2006 Biography Channel series "Driven to Win", which profiled numerous NASCAR drivers, including Kyle Busch.

I can't confirm that's the case - since I rented the DVDs of the series but did not purchase them - but that footage looked very familiar. I believe that Driven to Win was also a NASCAR Images program.

Anonymous said...

Ah, "repurposing." Gotta love it.

Unless you've already seen the video.

Then, not so much.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the heads up that it indeed was footage from last season's 7 Days. I was like I've seen all of this before and it wasn't this season. Strange that they used footage from a different season to accent this show about the Chase.

Anonymous said...

I've never heard of this show.

I'm glad to hear though that the Kyle Busch footage was just reworked stuff from Driven to Win and 7 Days because I'm one of Kyle's biggest fans and I'd have been SERIOUSLY annoyed to have missed new material for the really DUMB reason that ESPN/ABC couldn't be bothered to even promote the show via Jayski much less mention its existence during the race coverage.

Allan Wells said...

This is a REALLY good show, a "diamond in the rough" for ESPN/NASCAR. It's obviously a NASCAR Images production, thus the re-used footage.

I missed all but the Carl Edwards "Chasing Glory" episodes. Does anybody have a copy of any or all?

FYI-I've found that you can't TiVo "Season Pass" the show. I've had to set each individually. Anyone else having that problem?

If you have any past episode, please email me and we'll figure out what to do next.

Thanks in advance!!!
allan@(see linked web address)
email address edited to deter spambots

Allan Wells said...

regarding the above post, I guess clicking my name doesn't show my web address. The web address is:

sorry...and again, Thanks!


Allan Wells said...

Would you know who to contact at NASCAR Images to request that they sell "Chasing Glory", "Survival..." and the earlier NASCAR Images programs as DVDs and/or on iTunes?
I think there would be great interest and it would be "found" money for NI as the shows are all on the shelf.


PS-Sorry for clogging up the thread. I promise this is my last post...for now

Daly Planet Editor said...


Keep your eyes on the NASCAR Images website to see if something shakes. I hope they move toward directly selling their shows, but I fear they are waiting to see if there are any more TV networks that want to run the series.

(um...ESPN Classic comes to mind)

Anonymous said...

@allan--I have a DVR (cable) and didn't have trouble setting a season pass. Pretty much the only things I can't SP is the actual racing, those I have to set individually. But pretty much everything else racing related I can SP.

Anonymous said...

"It's obviously a NASCAR Images production, thus the re-used footage."

I don't think there's any excuse for NASCAR Images to use repurposed video in Chasing Glory, especially when this program - as someone else noted above- is presented as a new program focusing on the happenings each week of the 2007 Chase.

Other NASCAR Images programs such as 7 Days, Beyond the Wheel and NASCAR Drivers 360 managed to use completely original footage. (Like Chasing Glory, 7 Days was presented as happening in a week's time.) I would expect the same from Chasing Glory and other upcoming NASCAR Images programs. People aren't going to watch if they keep seeing the same images over and over again.

Anonymous said...

Lazy and cheap coverage of NASCAR.

And it's on ESPN.

What a surprise.

Anonymous said...

The worst thing about NASCAR Images reusing those year-old clips of Kyle and his girlfriend playing with the dogs in the motorhome and cooking dinner is that she's not his girlfriend anymore and he has a new significant other. If he or either of the ladies saw the show, they probably weren't happy about it.

So ESPN trying to sell this show as current to the Chase is bogus.

Anonymous said...

Other NASCAR Images programs such as 7 Days, Beyond the Wheel and NASCAR Drivers 360 managed to use completely original footage.

Well, yeah--they spent the time and money to go shoot it!

The show's being produced as cheaply as possible, and it shows.