Friday, March 28, 2008

Friday's "NASCAR Now" Ties Up Loose Ends (Updated)

Ryan Burr hosted Friday's edition of NASCAR Now. Focused on the Martinsville qualifying, Lead Reporter Marty Smith joined Burr from the track with a wrap-up of the action and an interview with Jeff Gordon who is on the pole for the Cup Series.

Smith then added some additional information on other news stories, including Greg Biffle's contract negotiations with Roush-Fenway Racing and Elliott Sadler's bad back. Smith was up-to-date and seems to work well in this scenario with Burr.

With the hard news done, Burr led the show into tying up some loose ends from earlier in the week. NASCAR Now had interviewed new MWR driver Michael McDowell and tried to get his impressions on replacing Dale Jarrett as he retired.

Unfortunately, it was teammate David Reutimann who was taking over the UPS sponsorship and therefore what most fans will know as the Jarrett ride. McDowell was the new kid on the MWR block and he was not ready to face those kinds of issues on national TV.

Friday, Reutimann appeared on the show with the UPS hat firmly on his head and spoke with Burr about his change of teams. His answers worked well to clear-up any confusion from earlier in the week about who would be driving what. Give credit to Burr, who corrected himself and then followed-up with Reutimann.

Jack Roush and his missing part were up next. ESPN's Terry Blount had been put in the tough position of reporting a story involving Roush that had actually taken place several weeks prior and even involved a totally different ESPN reporter. But, it was Blount who opened the door to "part-gate" and left almost as much confusion in his wake as Roush did with the allegation.

Burr presented unedited footage of Roush addressing this issue from the Infield Media Center at Martinsville. Unfortunately, it made Roush look rather petty and foolish while it explained how ESPN had been made a pawn in the ego war between Roush and Toyota's Lee White. Burr explained the entire timeline and finally made sense of Blount's story.

One headline this week has been Mike Wallace's daughter Chrissy attempting to run the Craftsman Truck race in Martinsville. During earlier testing at that track, NASCAR Now had hosted Chrissy on a satellite interview. This was a great opportunity to get her face and personality across to the fans.

Unfortunately, huge sunglasses covered a lot of her face and the content of the interview was affected by this distracting issue. Friday, Miss Wallace appeared with her hair away from her face and with her huge sunglasses in her pocket. The interview included a soundbite from Tony Stewart and great treatment of this young driver by Burr back in the studio.

This show really closed a lot of the loopholes left from a rather hectic week of NASCAR news. MWR got their driver swaps sorted-out, ESPN got the Roush timeline on the table for all to see and Chrissy Wallace got her pre-race interview on national TV.

These good editorial choices by the NASCAR Now team continue to show how this TV series has matured. This effort put these stories "to bed" before the weekend racing and left the table clean for a new batch of interviews and news from Saturday and Sunday.

NASCAR Now returns with a one hour Sunday show at 10AM Eastern Time, and then the "Big Monday" roundtable version of the show airs at 6PM on Monday.

Update #1: The NN folks are saying that indeed Mike Wallace will be in the studio for the Sunday morning one hour edition of NN from Bristol, CT. Good choice.

NASCAR Fans Make Note: The Monday show will be hosted by Allen Bestwick, but the panel will consist of Mike Wallace, Johnny Benson and Mike Massaro. That should make for a very interesting dynamic with three very different personalities on the panel. Thanks to our friends at ESPN for that info.

The Daly Planet welcomes comments from readers. Simply click on the COMMENTS button below and follow the easy instructions. The rules for posting are on the right side of the main page. Thanks again for stopping by and sharing your opinion.


stricklinfan82 said...


Hey, just as a point of clarification Michael McDowell is driving for the same race team (crew chief, pit crew, equipment, etc.) that Dale Jarrett just vacated at Bristol. They moved the UPS sponsorship to Reutimann's #00 team and at the sponsor's request swapped the numbers on the two cars to keep UPS and the #44 number associated. Reutimann's still driving for the same team, with the same pit crew, crew chief, cars, etc. he's been driving for all year, they just swapped the paint jobs on the 00 and 44 cars. (and NASCAR controversially made them swap the points too to move the owner's points Reutimann and his team have earned this year to this point to the team that was previously the #44 team but now carries the '00' number and the sponsor that was on the team that was previously the #00 team but now carries the '44' number.... yeah I know it's confusing, LOL)

So NASCAR Now was indeed correct if they said McDowell is taking over Dale Jarrett's ride.... Maybe Ryan Burr actually has a grasp on all this complicated stuff, or maybe he was "accidentally" correct I dunno, LOL.

I know all this swapping of numbers, sponsors, points, etc. can be a little overwhelming at times so it's not a big deal at all, but I just figured I'd clear that up since I'm one of the few NASCAR "nerds" that can actually keep up with all this nonsense, LOL.

Daly Planet Editor said...


They did a good job Friday of diving into the deep end and clearing this issue up for the fans.

The best part was that they let Reutimann come on the show with the UPS logo on and Burr asked him the right questions.

McDowell seems like a nice kid and it will be interesting to see how he does this season.


stricklinfan82 said...
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stricklinfan82 said...


I didn't watch the show but I'm glad to hear they explained the entire situation.

After you said:

Unfortunately, McDowell was stepping into the David Reutimann car and it was Reutimann who was taking over both the UPS sponsor and the Jarrett ride.

I just figured I'd clarify that McDowell actually was stepping into DJ's car, even though the numbers, sponsors, and points have been swapped on those cars and make it appear like he's jumping into the car Reutimann's been in all year.

Reutimann sure wasn't happy that NASCAR made him give his owner's points to the team Dale Jarrett just left as a requirement for taking the '44' number and I'm sure we haven't heard the end of this story, especially if Michael Waltrip gets a chance to talk about it on Monday's TWIN show... that is if he gets a chance to talk about something other than the Texas race. NASCAR allowed a Nationwide point swap just LAST WEEK without forcing the teams to swap numbers (the 28 and 36 teams), and then out of nowhere they told Michael this week the points have to stay with the car number no matter what... so there's certainly a double-standard here and I'm sure we'll hear a lot about this again very soon, especially if Reutimann has a bad day on Sunday and falls outside the top 35.

I'm a big fan of ARCA as well so I've seen McDowell race a lot and I certainly wish him the best of luck. I just hope he isn't making this jump way too soon and he doesn't become another Brent Sherman - a guy who finished 2nd to Frank Kimmel in ARCA, jumped right to Cup, and failed miserably - or another Ryan Hemphill - a guy who won a ton of ARCA races his rookie year and then failed miserably after moving directly to the Busch Series, never to be seen again.

SophiaZ123 said...

Ok I must say I was very DISAPPOINTED in a question Ryan asked on Thursday. Michael M was excited to be in the CUP series but it was a major cringe moment and buzz kill when on camera Ryan "REMINDED" Michael his mother died two years ago, How did he "think" his mother would react to his making the big time.

Sorry I HATE these kind of questions that HAVE NO REAL ANSWER. ALso tho on remote, Ithought you could see on Michaels face the discomfort after answering that question yet "Ryan kept blathering on upbeat as usual" as though he had just said Michael's mom had gone on a shopping trip as opposed to DIED.

I really wanted to comment about that yesterday but there was no blog for it. I guess I am the only one bothered by such questions but my room mate found it tasteless as well.

To extrapolate how a dead LOVED ONE "MIGHT FEEL" from the grave is just poor taste.

I am sorry Michael had to be asked that question from a perky Burr who seemed clueless over the whole situation.

But, I guess I am the only one that question bothered.

Jury still out on Ryan for me.

After the week with Nicole, he was a let down.

I used to trash her attire at SPEED but after reading and hearing about the rules at ESPN wonder NOW if SPEED folks did not INDEED encourage her cleavage baring wardwobe.

Anyway, glad to see Nicole making some progress but that 'dead mother question' really had me scratching my head with Ryan and I wanted to give poor Michael a hug.


missouriracefan said...
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missouriracefan said...
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missouriracefan said...

The question to Michael McDowell about his mother did nothing to enhance the interview and showed extremely poor taste. My dear mother passed away two months ago. I am at least twice this young man's age but he handled himself much better than I would have if I had been so discourteously blindsided on nationwide television. My heart went out to young Michael whilst my contempt toward Ryan Burr nearly caused the television to spontaneously combust.
Sorry about the two removed postings. I cannot tolerate my spelling errors and I did not notice until after I pushed the send button. I am very old-fashioned I know.

Daly Planet Editor said...

You guys raise a very good point. Let me try to address it.

On TV, there is a way to get to a tough question. One way in an interview setting is asking a "set-up" question.

The idea is that the answer to the "set-up" question will lead to logically asking the next tough question.

When this does not happen, the on-air talent is forced to transition right to the tough question from something that is totally unrelated. That is what happened here.

This young kid was doing just fine in his first big TV interview and making a good first impression.

If Burr had asked "if you win, who will you dedicate the victory to?" or something along those lines, it would have allowed McDowell to open the door himself to this sensitive subject.

Instead, the subject was just slammed on the table out of a regular old NASCAR question, and it was awkward at best.

Burr has been working hard to ease-up on his ESPNEWS training and begin to understand that to millions of Americans, he is one of the TV faces of NASCAR.

Hopefully, he will drop his "good stuff" line after news interviews and think twice before dumping a hot topic like the passing of a mom on the table.

I think it is just now dawning on him that he will be with the same small group of people in the sport until late November, and that he needs to respect them all just a little more than a one-time ESPNEWS interviewee.


Anonymous said...

Much better interview from Chrissy Wallace. She has a really great smile which we didn't see in the last interview - or if we did we missed it because of the huge sunglasses.

Great of NN to included the comments from Tony Stewart saying he's going to be in Chrissy's pit today and showing him on video with a headset on at the track trying to help her. I think Chrissy said whatever he said to her knocked a tenth off her lap time.

I had no idea Tony was taking such an interest in helping Chrissy but I thought it was nice to see that side of Tony on ESPN. I believe he's also really helped Matt Kenseth's teenage son in his Midwest racing career as well.

Anonymous said...

"NASCAR Fans Make Note: The Monday show will be hosted by Allen Bestwick, but the panel will consist of Mike Wallace, Johnny Benson and Mike Massaro."

Ryan also said last night Mike Wallace would be with him on the Sunday morning NASCAR Now (I assumed he meant Mike would be at the track, but maybe not if he's going to be on NN Monday). Wonder how Mike has gotten in with NASCAR on ESPN all of a sudden. I don't recall seeing him on TV before except on NBS 24/7 for a few episodes in early 2006 and the Wallace brothers rain-delay interviews. He did mention on NBS 24/7 that he was happy to finally be on TV since his brothers were on NASCAR Drivers 360. To me he was too much of a ham/too aware of the cameras on NBS 24/7, hope he tones it down for NN.

Anonymous said...
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Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 9:16AM,

Just heard from the NN guys and Mike Wallace will indeed travel to Bristol, CT and be in the studio with Ryan Burr for the Sunday morning edition of NN.


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Daly Planet Editor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Daly Planet Editor said...

The 9:27AM post was removed because it contained derogatory comments about a TV personality.

While we love to talk about on-air performance and even personal style, we do not put those comments in a derogatory manner.

If any additional information is needed about this deletion, just drop me an email at anytime.



Anonymous said...

WOW! NASCAR Now all you can talk about?

The show SUCKS, always has and always will until they get a REAL NASCAR person to host it! Real fans don't want to see a suit read a script!!!

Newracefan said...

I too had a what was that? with the Michael McDowell interview and actually posted on the NN blog from Monday because it bugged me. Both for the confusion over which car he was going into but more so the deceased Mom question. They went a long way to clean up the mess on friday and I appreciate the effort.

Richard in N.C. said...

Ditto the fine comments above about the insensitive question to Michael McDowell. I found it in very poor taste and it made me uncomfortable - and I was really surprised that Burr asked the question, and the tone of his question.

The rest of the show was sort of unimportant in comparison - but I was glad to finally see Chrissy Wallace without those unsightly sunglasses. A big improvement.

SophiaZ123 said...

IMO Ryan was so CLUELESS and THOUGHTLESS in his tone of the decease mother question, I wanted to scream.


Thanks for the explanation for how it MIGHT have been handled JD but that was a shark jump moment for NN and Ryan for this fan.

Absolutely took what should have been a FUN HAPPY moment for Michael and RUINED it.

Glad it was not just me being sensitive.

Tasteless is tasteless.

Nuff said.

Anonymous said...

So is this format going to be ESPN's MO from now on? Have incomplete stories with incomplete information all week in an effort to bait the viewers so they'll watch each show? Then, at the end of the week make any corrections needed and tell the rest of the story, the REAL story? Sad. So sad.

ESPN's lame NASCAR show is a trainwreck and it's one that I will no longer watch.