Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Pre-Season Thunder Continues On SPEED

Please feel free to add comments about SPEED's Tuesday testing show from Daytona.

This show again featured Larry McReynolds with insightful commentary, a tech tip, and an interview of Dario Franchitti. Adam Alexander talked with a very humble and polite Dale Earnhardt Jr. about his plans, and John Roberts again hosted the program.

The show also contained a lot of good "soundbites" from drivers and crew chiefs about the new COT issues at Daytona, and also news and notes about the teams themselves.

SPEED continues with its almost daily coverage, with program start times changed to 6:30PM for the next couple of shows to deal with the Barrett-Jackson Auction.

Thanks again for stopping by and leaving us your opinion about SPEED at Daytona.


Anonymous said...

These shows are well-produced.

After seeing some driver press conferences online, I think they could easily have filled an hour day with useful content.

I wish they had--I feel like there's a lot going on and only so much fits into 30 minutes.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 7:34AM,

One of the changes is the inclusion of the historic Daytona highlight feature. Along with the promos for Barrett-Jackson, the Rolex 24 and other SPEED programs it makes the time tight.

This was never more clear than during the interview with Dario, where John Roberts actually stepped into the middle of a great conversation and ended it. He was forced to do just that so the show could run the historic Daytona clip.

One hour of talk show TV like this is only about forty minutes of content. It will be interesting to see if SPEED makes notes that even during the split schedule testing, they could easily have filled a one hour format.

My final point is that the one thing viewers are seeing very little of in these the cars on the track. There is just something ironic about that.


TexasRaceLady said...

While I would have liked to see more cars, single car runs at Daytona are (let's be real) BORING!
Drafting practice is somewhat better, but not much. LOL

I have enjoyed the shows, and especially the interviews. I, too, was a little peeved when Dario's was cut short, but that's life. *sigh*

I have really enjoyed the refresher course in the COT differences, and what can and cannot be changed.

I think SPEED had hit a homerun with their coverage. It may not be racing, but it's close enough for this starved fan.

Richard in N.C. said...

JD- I have really enjoyed all the SPEED Pre-Season Thunder shows I've had a chance to watch. I have a couple taped that I have not had a chance to watch yet. I find this to be a BIG improvement over what SPEED showed last Jan.

It appears to me that the media in general (TV & print) has moved up its NASCAR coverage from what it has been in the past. In my view it does highlight that Dave Despain and WIND TUNNEL are still hibernating.

Many thanks for ALL your efforts!

stricklinfan82 said...

Thanks again to Speed for bringing us these programs. I would prefer to see these shows expand to 1 hour each. The current format already has a one hour block reserved for NASCAR programming (it currently starts with a half hour re-air of the previous day's program at 6:00 followed by a new program at 6:30). I wish the entire hour would be new content. It would be nice to hear from more drivers and get some insights to stories like the Ken Schrader - BAM Racing alliance, Jeff Fuller's deal with a 2nd Furniture Row team, and where Norm Benning's new race team came from.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Wouldn't it be great to have Dave Despain on-site at Daytona with no one around but the drivers and crew chiefs who are there for the test?

I think he would be great at hosting a WindTunnel live from the Driver's coach area or even the TV studio in the infield with the drivers taking viewer calls and talking about their off-season and what they think the coming 38 races will bring.

Maybe SPEED has really stepped into something this time with the January testing. Reports from Daytona say the infield parking areas actually have spectators and the teams are a bit freaked out.

Since the Fan Zone is open, access to the drivers is certainly a lot more available and direct than during the crowds of Speedweek.

Marty Smith has been there for ESPN during testing, as has much of the Internet and mainstream media. It certainly should be interesting to see how things shake out.


Lisa Hogan said...

I have to disagree with one portion of your comment, JD.

I am hoping for a season without Mr. Despain inserted into my NASCAR shows.

Anonymous said...

You do have to give Dave credit for one thing - he can stand outside & keep his hair in place without the mass of gel Marty uses, and I DO enjoy both of them.

Daly Planet Editor said...


It would be interesting to see how he was with the NASCAR bunch when he did not have a script to follow and a Producer talking in his ear.

As I mentioned in an earlier column, it seems like he is almost a different person on Wind Tunnel than he is on INC.


Lisa Hogan said...

Wasn't it last season that Mr. Despain hosted a special from Daytona?

I do not enjoy Mr. Despain. I don't watch Wind Tunnel. Just my own personal taste. :)

Newracefan said...

JD I have been enjoying the Speed shows very much and I agree an hour would have been even better. Repeating the prior days show seems a little strange to me, why not do an entirely new 1 hour show instead. Speed has improved the coverage since last year so who knows where it will be next year. Did see more cars today (wed) but then drafting practice is actually fun to watch. I love Larry Mac his tech talks are great.

Anonymous said...

stricklinfan82 said...
It would be nice to hear from more drivers and get some insights to stories like the Ken Schrader - BAM Racing alliance, Jeff Fuller's deal with a 2nd Furniture Row team, and where Norm Benning's new race team came from.

Aren't you the one who would yell & scream whenever ESPN would not show cars on track vs interviews???

stricklinfan82 said...

Aren't you the one who would yell & scream whenever ESPN would not show cars on track vs interviews???

No, not all. I did complain about certain elements of ESPN and other networks' coverage but those complaints about live racing coverage have absolutely nothing to do with this testing show.

First of all, this show is a post-produced review of testing. We aren't missing any live on-track action for interviews during these shows. My point was simply that I would like these testing shows expanded to 1 hour so we can hear from more drivers, including those with very uncertain futures like Ken Schrader.... I don't know what's so terrible about wanting that.

Pre-race interviews, post-race interviews, in-race interviews split screened with live racing action - I'm all for that. In fact I criticized ESPN and every other network for constantly ignoring and not interviewing drivers that fell out of races last year, if you remember. I'm not "anti-interview", I'm simply "anti-missing live racing action".

Incidents like ESPN missing the final go-or-go homer Joe Nemechek bumping David Reutimann out of the field dring the final moments of qualifying at Atlanta because they were showing us a full-screen head shot of Bobby Labonte and highlights of his 2003 Atlanta win - that's where I drew the line and "yelled and screamed" as you put it.

I'd have to call your comparison between my reaction to missing the most important moment of the Atlanta qualifying session and my desire to hear from Ken Schrader during a taped testing review show an apples to watermelons comparison, but you're certainly entitiled to your opinion Mr./Mrs./Ms. Anonymous.