Saturday, March 8, 2008
Big Sunday Of NASCAR Includes New SPEED Show
Sunday's NASCAR TV activities should be very interesting. With the on-going public dispute between Roush Fenway Racing and some of the other NASCAR teams now front-and-center, it should be interesting to see how the NASCAR TV partners handle the topic.
Friday was a struggle for both SPEED and ESPN where the 99 team penalties were concerned. As the programs flew-by on SPEED, there were all kinds of opinions being offered, and all kinds of reactions coming back at the on-air announcers from the fans. As the panel found out on Trackside, fans were not buying the excuses.
By the time NASCAR Now hit the air on ESPN2, the network had decided to jump into the fray with a lopsided report that detailed only one side of the issue. It was an interesting program, to say the least.
Saturday's weather pushed the Carl Edwards team story to the back burner for a while, but when live TV coverage resumed there was a new emphasis on reality as opposed to opinion. Finally, Jeff Hammond did a factual demonstration showing exactly the piece in question and answered a lot of questions in the manner SPEED should have done originally.
For the rest of the live day on SPEED, there was a lot of back-peddling from a lot of on-air personalities now willing to admit there might have been a real problem with Mr. Edwards car. The fact that a rash of exactly the same type of violations had been found recently by NASCAR might have helped.
What also might have helped was several high-profile NASCAR personalities, including drivers, openly mocking the very words reported as factual by several NASCAR TV outlets. Print and Internet media spreading the "opposing viewpoint" to Roush may have caused some TV types to change their tune very quickly.
Give Allen Bestwick and the ESPN Nationwide Series TV crew credit, they focused on the race at-hand and gave this series the priority. Bestwick promised TV viewers that the 99 penalty story would be fully detailed on both the Sunday morning and the Monday evening editions of NASCAR Now.
With ESPN on the air first at 10AM Sunday morning, it should be even more important for SPEED to get their facts right and their stories straight for RaceDay. This week, before RaceDay hits the air, there will be a new show on SPEED.
NASCAR in a Hurry will basically review through video the events and stories of the previous 48 hours. Since this is the first episode, it will probably just serve to review and not expand on the topics in question. This new show begins at 11AM.
Then, the big SPEED franchise show RaceDay begins at 11:30AM. This TV series has never been one to avoid issues, so it should be interesting to see what Jimmy Spencer and Kenny Wallace have to say about the oil cooler lids.
Following RaceDay, the Sprint Cup race coverage begins with the NASCAR on Fox gang at 1:30PM. This crew must be tired of dealing with the oil cooler lid issue, but for casual viewers who only watch the races they must explain it one last time.
By now, the information has been flushed-out in detail and this experienced crew should be able to put it to rest and get the attention back to the action on the track. Hopefully, good weather will result in good racing and the sport can get fans focused once again on the on-track activity.
Do not forget that you were supposed to lose one hour of sleep last night, so things are going to be a little off-kilter early in the day. There will be posts up for comments immediately after both NASCAR Now and RaceDay.
There will also be a post up for in-progress comments on the Sprint Cup race on Fox. If you have an opinion on the coverage you have seen so far, please feel free to leave it on this post. Thanks again for taking the time to stop by The Daly Planet.