Monday, February 25, 2008

NASCAR's Long Day's Journey Into Night (3rd Update)


The nightmare that has been the California Speedway continued into early Monday morning as repeated attempts to dry the track failed. Ultimately, NASCAR was forced to re-schedule both the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series races.

Monday, February 25th, the Sprint Cup race from Fontana will begin on the Fox Television Network in HD at 1PM Eastern Time. Radio coverage continues on both MRN and Sirius Satellite Radio.

Following the Cup race, ESPN2 will present live coverage of the Nationwide Race. This should take place at approximately 4PM Eastern Time. With some extended caution periods in the Cup race, this start time may well be pushed back toward 5PM.

The NASCAR on Fox team began their on-air day at 3:30PM Eastern Time on Sunday, and Chris Myers and Jeff Hammond were still giving updates for the Fox viewers at 1AM Monday morning.

Coupled with ESPN2's three hour rain fill during the original Nationwide timeslot on Saturday, there has been incredible effort shown by both of these TV networks.

2nd Update: Special edition of Victory Lane on SPEED at 8PM Eastern Time Monday night. Due to the scheduling issues, This Week In NASCAR (TWIN) will not be seen on SPEED, it will be replaced on Monday and Tuesday by this edition of Victory Lane. That is a good solution by SPEED, the show will return after the Las Vegas weekend in its regularly scheduled Monday timeslot.

There will be a new post up for your comments before the Sprint Cup race at 1PM Eastern, and another for the Nationwide Series event that will follow.

The weather for LA is partly cloudy with the current temps (5AM Pacific) in the 40's. There is no chance of rain, and temps will climb into the upper 60's by race time. The front that caused the rain is gone and both races should run as scheduled.

3rd Update: ESPN has just advised that they will air a one hour version of NASCAR Now from the track with a roundtable discussion at 9PM Eastern Time. What a great decision by ESPN as a part of their new commitment to NASCAR.

Thanks to all of you who took the time to stop by during this memorable rain-filled weekend and leave your opinion. We got the best information from the folks at the track, including many media members and broadcasters. Thanks again for taking the time to contribute to this on-going Internet conversation about NASCAR TV.

41 comments:

Anonymous said...

Still very interesting set of circumstances today, even with no rain and hopefully no lingering track issues.

From what I understand from NASCAR.com, NASCAR has decided to start the Nationwide race immediately after the Cup race - instead of one hour later as written in previous articles. I assume that's to try to fit in the ESPN TV window (before 7 PM Eastern).

Overly optimistic if you ask me. First of all, what does immediately mean? Are the Busch cars going to be lined up on pit road as soon as the Cup race ends?
(I guess the NW whackers' previously planned hour of rest before the NW race is out the window too.)

What happens if the Cup winner is also competing in the NW race right after? (12 NW whackers, I think.) Will they have a shortened Victory Lane with the photos, etc?

(All of this would also affect SPEED's Victory Lane and the rest of the media, because if top finishers in Cup happen to also be running NW, they'll have no time to talk after the race.)

Lots of variables; it'll be interesting to see it unfold. If they fit it all in before 7, my hat's off to them.

Anonymous said...

The unofficially named (by me) "Inside Sprint Cup" on ESPN2 at 5:30 ET will obviously not happen -

What about TWIN and Victory Lane?

You know racing in Rockingham as second race was only cold and maybe snowy but no weepers there. Its still available.

Anonymous said...

See it now - 7PM ET ESPN2 Big East BB - a must show for them. actually on 1 & 2 - Its close to March Madness though acing at California speedway is February madness.

Nascar Now at 5:30 PM is a goner - maybe the late night show will be shown?

What a messed up weekend at Ca Speedway.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Starting the Nationwide race after the Cup race will take time. The same pit road positions are used by the Nationwide teams. The Cup teams will need to tear down and move. The new teams will set-up and then move their own equipment into the designated pit.

Many of the Cup pit crews will also be doing double duty for the Nationwide race with different teams. They will also be a part of the tear-down and then build that will go on down on pit road.

Finally, the broadcasters will need to transistion into their positions and check their equipment prior to air.

All in all, it should be interesting to watch.

JD

Anonymous said...

busch wackers should now be called insurance claimers - just my .02

Funny how NNS was going to have a short field - as told by KW on raceday last week-but I digress- anyway cup drivers became field fillers in NNS and now if one of them wins the cup race they will have no time to celebrate.

vroom said...

The vrooming will make for a fun Monday! FOX and ESPN did a nice job on Sunday. Darn those weepers...

jfs-va said...

The main page of NASCAR.com shows the Nationwide race scheduled for 5pm EST (right hand side). JD, you mentioned 4pm in your posting. Which is correct?

I'd like to watch both, but I'll be recording and then watching with my son. I'm worried about the Nationwide getting moved to ESPN Classic.

red said...

long post so please bear with me (but it was, after all, a long night!)
ok, so i stayed up until the race was officially called, not b/c i thought there'd be racing -- i knew that wasn't gonna happen -- but b/c i wanted to hear what nascar would say when they called it. as expected, they used "corporate speak" when they called it and they were lagging behind fans in recognizing the mess that was fontana last night. not good PR, mr helton.

i know this blog is for the media end of the sport but if i may allowed a digression? nascar put drivers at risk by (1) not making certain the track was safe (hell, i could easily see the weepers on the track on TV and kept asking why they were even trying to race on a track that had such a problem!); (2) by being reactive instead of proactive (seemed self-evident that 43 cars thumping over those spots at speed might cause a serious water problem); and by delaying their decision so long into the evening (even on the west coast) that the drivers will not be racing rested today. those of us who have worked nights know that one does not just come home, hit the bed, turn out the lights and get a good night's sleep. it took me 2 hours or more to "decompress" before sleep was even an option. sleepy drivers make sleepy decisions at 195+ mph and yes, i know it's there job but the human body just doesn't care about that! sleep deprived is a sleep deprived.

in re: calling the race and disappointing fans on site: i've had to return to dover's spring race on monday more than once. maybe the tracks should have a reserve to refund part of the ticket to rain-out fans? might make the decision process a bit less protracted. fans stay after a certain point b/c we have paid SOOO much for that ticket and cannot recoup even part of that expense.

and as for the media end of this? nice work by all involved in a bad situation. my sole complaint is that the broadcast team was not more aggressive in their coverage of the track situation after that horrific mears wreck. at that point, the guys should have been asking the tough questions on the air. also, once gordon and johnson went out and looked it over during one of the red flags, i didn't see an interview with either of them -- altho' i concede i may have missed it. i would have liked to have heard from these two drivers how the track seemed to them.

bad situation was made much worse by the failure of nascar to suck it up and make the right call earlier. i'll read thru their take on it today but i don't think they'll be able to convince me of their logic in this case. when the safety of the drivers is at issue -- and i believe that was truly an issue! -- the officials should have "walked the walk" after all their talk. and what, exactly, will nascar require the track to do to correct the situation at fontana for the future?

(and how funny was that image of gordon being locked out of the pace car?!? and why, exactly, do they lock the passenger side door on the pace car if only the driver is inside? that was new to me.)

Anonymous said...

NASCAR.COM shows nationwide race IMMEDIATELY following cup race. No mention of 5PM start. 5PM would be impossible to finish by 7PM Eastern and get to UCONN BB.

Been there - done this where two networks are involved and recording is a guess as to when first race will end.

jfs-va said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

quote:
what, exactly, will nascar require the track to do to correct the situation at fontana for the future?
=================================
Wouldn't that be NASCA asking itself that question - or maybe Brian Fance asking his sister - ISC owns Fontana which makes it more disgraceful.

jfs-va said...

anon at 9:50 thanks. I went back to NASCAR.com and now it says 4pm ET...but I swear it said 5pm earlier. Really...truly. :>)

Anonymous said...

crawl during replay of wt

special edition of Victory Lane on speed monday night at 8PM ET

Daly Planet Editor said...

jfs-va,

Hey, they read the blog! :)

JD

Ritchie said...

I agree that there needs to be something done with these tracks to allow them to dry quicker. I know that this is a television coverage website, but this is a television coverage problem because in the twenty-first century, sports entertainment is driven by television coverage.

I know they have thought about tarps around the track (yes, two miles of tarps) and improving drainage like they had to do in Texas, but the ISC worried about capital expenditures and the reaction of share holders to this. However, we cannot expect fans and viewers to invest that many hours waiting for a race to start.

We have spent a lot of time talking about how the T.V. networks can help NASCAR and fans, but the reality is that this is something that NASCAR should do for TV and the fans.

Anonymous said...

I think you all are misinterpreting the text on NASCAR.com (which hasn't changed since I looked at it early this AM)

"The Stater Bros. 300 Nationwide Series race will be run immediately following the postponed Auto Club 500 Sprint Cup race, set for a 1 p.m. start."

This is where the misinterpretation comes in, I believe:

"After rain washed out the Nationwide race on Saturday night, NASCAR officials rescheduled the race for Sunday immediately following the Sprint Cup race, scheduled to start at 4 p.m. ET."

It's Sunday's Cup 4PM start that it was said the nationwide race would follow, not today. There's no time listed for today except "immediately following".

Anonymous said...

Addition to previous post; NASCAR.com itself may not know what it's doing! Its start time in the Nationwide postponement article and on the right hand side of home page are different.

Newracefan said...

It truly was a long night between this week of rain filler and last week of 100 hours of Daytona I have gotten nothing done at home but the essentials. Sunday was a disaster with more rain filler. I know people were saying that FOX was not as good as ESPN and I agree to a point. AB is the man and carried that rain delay. Webber is not AB but he was ok and I really feel that by Sunday fans were so tired of filler there was nothing left but name the gopher. We were all screaming last year when Michigan happened and they couldn't finish the race properly due to no lights and this year we have lights so the final decision doesn't happen until 2 am ET. Guess we need to find a happy medium, if there is one. I was at the postponed Dover race a poster mentioned (my first race) and we wanted them to decide earlier and let us know the plan so we can make plans of our own. I was able to go back Monday he was not. I have the DVR set up for the planned FOX and ESPN2 (hopefully I have the time right) race broadcasts and am hoping for the best. OBTH your blog was the only way I could easily find out what channel to DVR so big thanks JD. PS Hooray we get a Victory Lane wonder what will happen with TWIN

ri88girl said...

I have been up all day and night with the rest of y'all and I am DEAD tierd. I can not imagine that doing the races back to back is in any way fair or safe and I think NASCAR needs to pay attention to what they are asking of EVERYONE including the fan. How will it be if some one gets really hurt just to satisfy the show? Casey was a warning.

Diane said...

When I logged onto the site this morning and saw your Eugene O'Neill tribute it gave me a big laugh. Bravo !! No wonder the Daly Planet is fast becoming my favorite Nascar related site.

Ken said...

Wonder how many people will buy a ticket for the race next year or plan on watching. They have problems selling tickets in the best of times and then this year's fiasco will make the local fans even more reluctant to waste 2 or 3 days in the desert in the winter. This will probably also spill over in the summer race.

Even the part of the race that we saw looked more like a practice session than a race.

Steve L. said...

I'm sure everyone from media to the crews are tired this morning and it will be a long day for them.
I lasted till 1:30am and hit record for everything until 6am just in case it did get started. This was the first place I came to to get information when I got up.
Going to be a LONG day...but, we get to see two races!! That'll get us going!!

Anonymous said...

I bet those 12 running both races have some regret about running both races

Daly Planet Editor said...

Don't forget, Dale Jarrett is running the Sprint Cup race and then calling the Nationwide Series race for ESPN2 immediately after.

I am tired just watching, I can only imagine how those guys are holding out. As I mentioned in my original post, both Krista Voda and Matt Yocum have been under the weather.

I have emails out to Steve Byrnes about TWIN and also to ESPN about a possible Tuesday one hour NASCAR Now with a roundtable. Will keep you posted as the info comes in.

JD

leighJGR said...

Has anyone found a listing for the Cup race on any channel other than FOX HD? I have access to many channels thanks to Verizon FiOS, but I do not have HD.

Daly Planet Editor said...

The race will be carried by the Fox stations nationwide at 1PM Eastern Time. If your local Fox affiliate does not carry the race, notify us right away.

SPEED has just told me that "This Week In NASCAR" has been cancelled due to the logistical problems with everyone still in California. The special edition of "Victory Lane" will take the place of TWIN on Monday night at 8PM and also for the Tuesday re-air.

More info as it comes in.

JD

Vince said...

Who's the rocket scientist at Nascar that scheduled a race during Cali's rainy season anyway?

Jr. wasn't too happy in the interview yesterday after he was taken out. He basically blamed Nascar for starting the race before the track was ready.

I think the Cali track (what ever it's called now) is cursed for stealing the Labor Day Southern 500 date from Darlington. The racing gods are pissed! ;-)

Newracefan said...

Not surprised about TWIN although 1 hour of Ken Schrader would prob have been fun to watch, I'm guess he's the only one who might actually be in NC

Brett Baldeck said...

John. I just gotta say thanks, and to everyone posting information. It is weekends that this that this website comes in really handy.

Brett Baldeck said...

What time should I set my DVR to be safe for the Nationwide race?

Daly Planet Editor said...

ESPN is still working on the NASCAR Now schedule. They will decide on what Tuesday's show will be later this afternoon.

Those would be some tired roundtable members.

JD

Anonymous said...

JD.. Do you have an estimate how much this fiasco cost Fox & Espn? They should bill Nascar.

Lisa Hogan said...

JD-I have thanked you before and will do so again. You have created a wonderful community for fans. Sure, there are some cranky-pants that show up sometimes; but, all in all a nice "safe" place to discuss our sport.
Thanks.

Jo said...

JD my hats off to everyone at both networks both in front of & behind the cameras & lights. They went above and beyond with all the rain fill, & updates late into the night/morning until NASCAR got it right finally.
What a shame - all those "officials" don't know what we all know green on the weather map means RAIN DUH! and weather usually goes west to east.

Tired drivers, tired reporters, tired pit crews, this could get ugly. God Bless them & keep them safe today-

Daly Planet Editor said...

There is a new post up for the Sprint Cup race on Fox at 1PM.

Thanks,

JD

SophiaZ123 said...

Since rain delays are always part of the season, maybe TWIN should make a promo/commercial.

Showing the guys asleep in their RV or beds, and Steve Byrnes 'whispering' that TWIN will not be shown due the guys still being on the road or catching up on sleep! LOL.

Though I would watch an hour of KENNY ALONE talking and telling stories to the camera ... or talking to somebody off camera. :-)

I hope all goes well today for drivers, crew, tv connections and the folks in concessions at the track. EVERYBODY must be tired. I was up until 2.30AM to see if I needed to set the VCR on the digital tv

Isaiah said...

Would you guys quit complaining about the "fiasco" (as you guys call it) that was last night. NASCAR did a great job and tried its best. I will give NASCAR the biggest props for trying. For FOX to stay on the air with updates until 2:00AM Central is dedication! DEDICATION! To see Chris Myers and Jeff Hammond going giving updates at that hour in the morning is awesome.

JD, keep up the good work!

red said...

isaiah, i would respectfully disagree with your comment that nascar "tried their best." nascar officials had access to the same weather maps i did and it was evident to me throughout the day and right into the early morning hours that rain was not going to go away long enough for that track to dry completely in under 2.5 - 3 hours. add to that the problem with weepers that had been happening since thursday night and friday morning and it became clear very early on that the cup race just wasn't going to happen on sunday, that the track had serious problems that needed to be corrected. if practice was so unsafe that only 17 laps were run, why was the race now safe to run on the same track after more rain had fallen?

my point of disagreement with nascar is that instead of calling the race early on and cite the safety of the drivers and the unsafe track conditions as the reason, cars were repeatedly sent out on an obviously unsafe track and wrecks followed. i understand that not all the drivers felt the track was unsafe and that the #24 seemed to have no problem but keep in mind that he was so far in front of the field that he had options as to where to run to avoid the water. others further back in the mid-pack obviously did not.

i will concede that nascar was in a "damned if you do and damned if you don't spot": either decision was going to create a firestorm. and i have been at tracks on sunday when the race is called and i was certainly upset. BUT i believe strongly that the safety of the drivers is paramount, far above any fan unhappiness. nascar gets the big bucks to make such a tough decision and i contend they dithered it away last night, to the detriment of the sport.

nascar has, in my opinion, made far better choices with the same or less information at other tracks and i simply do not accept that last night was the best they could do. the organization is better than what they showed in fontana last night and i am not content to accept the explanation that has been offered so far.

i know that i am in the minority when i say that i believe nascar is NOT all about greed and the $$$ but this decision -- or better stated, lack of decision -- makes it hard for me to stand behind that statement this time. the organization must be able to respond more rapidly and with more "common sense" than was demonstrated last night in order to maintain my support. i will take just about anything from nascar as long as the drivers and crews are not placed in unnecessary risk. i firmly believe that last night, nascar did just that and that, for me, is not acceptable.

Tracy said...

Did you all hear Mike Joy this afternoon say several times "It was a long day's journey into night?" Guess the title of this blog caught on quickly.

I will note, I was in Richmond last May when it rained all day, and they called the race after a few laps that night. But it was late, late, late, and the whole day was just miserable. Cold and sopping wet, with horrible facilities maintenance. As a fan, I wish they'd read the weather map and just called the race earlier in the afternoon. The day was torture. I felt so sorry for the fans in California yesterday.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Mike is a great guy, and has been a friend of this site for some time now. If you check the archives, you can see the off-season interview we did with him using questions submitted by readers.

Thanks, JD

SophiaZ123 said...

Mikey Joy is comfort food during a NASCAR race to me.

I TRULY enjoy all the guys in the booth on Fox. DW cracks me up though he can go on about some things (kind of like that Sophia chick HERE!!??)

I love Larry, enunciation or lack there of and all, for his knowledge. Mike Joy is the glue that holds it all together and has a wonderful aura about him. He kind of makes me feel everything is right in the world when he is on my tv.

Also, when DW was so excited like a kid on the flagstand (and who could blame him!! I would've loved to have been up there) and begged to stand there a third round, I laughed out loud when Mike Said ok, Darrell..recess is over...time to get to the booth or something.

YOu can tell this crew really enjoys each other and you "FEEL IT" through the tv.

I appreciate the fact he and others answered Q&A here, JD. I think that speaks volumes for you as well.

Appreciate you and all the NASCAR contributors to the site.

p.s. Except that one sorehead at Fox that 'insists' we only see one car cross the line...but that is NO reflection of the guys in the booth or in the pits. :-)