Monday, November 12, 2007
Monday: ESPN2 vs. SPEED
As Championship Week gets underway, we find the two primary NASCAR TV partners matching-up each day with news and preview programs.
Monday, ESPN2 hits the air first with a one hour edition of NASCAR Now at 6PM Eastern Time. This program is hosted by Erik Kuselias, and features Stacy Compton and Boris Said as the on-set analysts. ESPN and ABC pit reporter Mike Massaro has been stopping-by with a daily update on The Chase, and the program also features the NASCAR Now "Insiders" with the latest news and updates. Often, Shannon Spake reports from Mooresville on this show.
Over on SPEED, the ten year-old one hour program Inside NEXTEL Cup hits the air at 8PM Eastern Time. Dave Despain is the host, and this program features three NASCAR drivers on the panel who review the Cup, Busch, and Truck Series highlights. Last week, Michael Waltrip said he would not be present for this program. Brian Vickers is often his replacement. Greg Biffle and Kenny Schrader are the other regular driver panelists.
The current version of INC is a shadow of its former self, with live guest interviews, features from the track, and informal conversation all dropped from the program. Now, it is a hit-or-miss TV series with programs that range from "kind of fun" to "what was that?" Last weeks program was so bad Kenny Schrader apologized in his closing, and asked fans to give them another chance. Well, here it is.
This is the first day of this head-to-head competition, as this is the debut season of NASCAR Now. ESPN's program is based in Bristol, CT at the ESPN headquarters, and features a lot of conversation and commentary about on-going situations in NASCAR mixed with some hard news. This Monday wrap-up show has been a source of fan frustration this season by repeatedly failing to show Busch or Truck Series highlights or results. The Busch Series races were actually on...ESPN2.
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