Friday, March 14, 2008

In Progress At Bristol, TN: Practice And Qualifying On SPEED

Once again, SPEED will carry the majority of the Friday NASCAR action. This week, the network will host practice and qualifying from the Bristol Motor Speedway.

SPEED kicks things off at Noon Eastern Time with Sprint Cup practice. This session is scheduled for approximately ninety minutes.

At 1:30PM, the Nationwide Series takes to the track for their practice session. This live program will last until 3PM, at which time SPEED will present the Go or Go Home show reviewing the teams outside the Top 35 who have to make the race on time.

At 3:30PM, Mike Joy and the NASCAR on Fox crew begin coverage of live Sprint Cup qualifying. This show will continue until all cars have run, and then the Nationwide Series will once again take to the track for their final practice session.

SPEED has a flexible NASCAR Live show that is designed to bring the network to 7PM and the featured program of the night, Trackside. Steve Byrnes, Larry McReynolds, Jeff Hammond and Darrell Waltrip should have a big crowd on-hand for this live show.

This page will serve to host your comments about the big day of NASCAR coverage on SPEED. Please keep your comments related to the TV coverage, and observe the rules for posting that are located on the right side of the main page.

To add your comment, simply click on the COMMENTS button below and follow the easy directions. Thanks again for taking the time to stop by and give us your opinion.


Anonymous said...

Weather may again be an issue this afternoon and tomorrow on TV.

50-60% chance of rain in afternoon beginning around 4 PM EST (slighter chance earlier) and continuing through the evening. If rain falls, could interfere with either Cup qualifying or NNS practice.

Only 46 entries this week, so three cars will miss the race if qualifying canceled, says Jayski: 84,34,10.

Unfortunately Sat. is worse: 70% chance of thunderstorms after 1 PM EST and continuing through the evening. 60% chance of scattered thunderstorms between 10AM - 1 PM, which may interfere with Cup practice/NNS qualifying (46 cars)on SPEED and the race on ESPN.

Sunday looks pretty good.

Anonymous said...

Rain at Bristol is not the problem it is at most tracks. The very steep banking and size of the tracks makes drying about a 30 minute process after the rain stops. However, it does a number on the hundreds of campers who will be in the mud. The forecast is for an inch and a quarter to an inch and a half of rain today and tomorrow. I remember when many campers couldn't get out of their camspites and they had to hire wreckers to get them out. I hope the campers remember and are careful where they park their RVs.

Anonymous said...

The very steep banking and size of the tracks makes drying about a 30 minute process after the rain stops.

That's the problem. From checking some weather sites it doesn't sound like the rain is going to stop long enough to get the track dry and get racing in, though that applies more to tomorrow than today. Also calling for chance of small hail today, chance of larger hail and wind tomorrow afternoon during race time.

Ken-Michigan said...

Once again this weekend, the weather (rain) will be a main issue.

Will SPEED / FOX / ESPN finally at the very least SHOW US the radar to get a handle on when the rain might start or stop ??

The NASCAR "oval office" hauler ALWAYS has the radar available to view in the garage area.... so shouldnt this be important to the fans as well.... we'll see this weekend.

stricklinfan82 said...

Get ready fellow race fans, the 70% chance of rain on Saturday really has the potential to screw us. The Nationwide race is on ABC this week. We already saw what happened when there was a little bit of rain in a Cup race at Kansas last year... ABC dumped the race the second it ran into "prime time" and moved it to ESPN2. We also saw what happened when this Bristol Busch race ran close to 6:00 last year - ABC dumped the race without doing any post-race interviews and did it so quickly that we didn't even see Carl Edwards's signature backflip.

With college basketball conference tournaments on ESPN and ESPN2 all day and night there's zero chance that the Nationwide race could get moved there. ESPN Classic could be an option but only if the timing of the race falls perfectly for us, since Classic also has a college basketball game at 8:00.

We face a VERY real possibility of no live TV coverage of this race tomorrow. The lucky few of you that have access to could very well be the only people that can see this race live.

We definitely need a clause in this TV contract that would allow Speed Channel to pick up live coverage of the Nationwide race in an instance like this where ESPN has no room to televise it live.

Hold your breath guys because this could end up VERY bad for us tomorrow.

stricklinfan82 said...

Okay, last week on the pre-race show Fox completely whiffed on the biggest story of the day - the tire situation. This week I'm going to once again lay out what I feel is the biggest story heading into Sunday's race, this time two days in advance in an attempt to help the Fox guys that missed the boat last week. This week's biggest story, in my opinion, is the top 35 in owner's points.

After Sunday's race we will start using the current top 35 in owner's points to lock drivers into these races. This definitely deserves to be talked about in the pre-race and I really really really hope the Fox guys can keep us informed on the top 35 battle throughout the race on Sunday. A "points as of now" graphic would be very helpful throughout the day as it relates to the top 35 bubble battle. And to me it is ABSOLUTELY MANDATORY that Fox gives us a graphic during the post-race coverage showing us who got bumped out of the top 35 in owner's points. This is a major major story and we SHOULD NOT have to wait until we sign onto Jayski's on Monday morning to finally see who got those coveted top 35 spots and who now has to qualify on time at Martinsville.

Only the top 15 in owner's points coming into this race are guaranteed a top 35 spot after Sunday's race. So anyone from 16th on back could get bumped in or out depending on the outcome of Sunday's race. There are tons of storylines here. We've got teams that were locked in last year that are currently out of the top 35 - 77, 22, 40, 01, 45. We've got teams that are desperately fighting for their lives trying to hang on to top 35 so they can gain the qualifying exemptions they lacked all of last year and this year to this point - 00, 44, 55. And we've got some very high profile teams that could shockingly be outside the top 35 after Bristol and be forced to qualify on time at Martinsville - from the 5 and 26 teams that are right on the bubble to even the 07, 99, and 8 teams that are fairly safe right now but could still see things break in a way that will leave them 36th or lower after Sunday's race.

Please Fox, don't ignore this MAJOR story - either before the race, during the race, or after the race on Sunday!

As for today, the TiVo style format is absolutely mandatory for today's qualifying coverage. At Bristol true-live coverage would miss 3 or so consecutive qualifying runs during every 2-3 minute commercial break, so that's obviously not acceptable. We better see the ENTIRE qualifying run of all 46 cars. Nothing else will be anywhere close to acceptable.

Anonymous said...

I suggest stop talking about the weather. LAst week they called for 100% chance of rain on Friday and we all thought the events would be washed out at Atlanta.

But they were wrong and most events got in.

Anonymous said...

You must have forgotten that there was a two hour delay for rain last Friday at Atlanta and also completely forgetting that all of Saturday morning's activities before noon, including NNS qualifying, were washed at at Atlanta with snow.

Ignoring the weather is like sticking your head in the sand. SPEED and ESPN should let us see the radar on the broadcast of there is a rain delay.

By the way, there's a big "wall" of rain on radar headed to the track now, though nothing behind it for a while. Don't think it can be ignored.

--"We face a VERY real possibility of no live TV coverage of this race tomorrow."--

Quite frankly, unless the forecast (which has just been updated and remains the same) is revised tomorrow morning, there isn't going to BE an NNS race to cover until Monday. This isn't a little bit of rain they're calling for at the moment.

Anonymous said...

I see cars on the track.

No problem.

Ken-Michigan said...

Did anyone catch the Formula One coverage last night?

Varsha / Hobbs / Steve ??.... Kudos to the job they do.

Varsha is to notch. and the analysts dont "ball hog" the microphone like the NASCAR analysts.

Just let Mike Joy work his magic. He's fantastic. Larry Mac really needs to chill out and realize he's in the "backseat".

Really turning me off having to listen to Larry try to dominate these telecasts.

Anonymous said...

The "no problem" is still on its way. Do some fans live in a state of denial or what? Didn't you hear Yocum say Carl Edwards said the weather is his biggest concern regarding time management during practice? Somehow I think Carl had access to a radar.

Not that the booth mentioned it, only Yocum.

Newracefan said...

Strick think about it what difference does the top 35 have at any point during the race expect the checkers. That said if someone else clinches due to crash outs or is on the bubble during the waning laps of the race (think duels) I want to know but otherwise don't make me crazy (Like what we dealt with last year for the chase) I'm making myself crazy about it already, several of my drives are big time on the bubble.

As far as the NW race goes I was thinking Sunday after the cup race on who knows what. (Anything but classic or 360 since most don't have either) Perhaps they will stream it on the ESPN web site or or something (in addition to TV channel somewhere) if the weather really messes it up

stricklinfan82 said...

Is the scoring crawl correct that Jeff Green is in the #21 car? I never heard anything about this driver change and would love to see the TV guys explain this if they get a chance.

Ken-Michigan said...

AHHHHH, i feel better already !!

9 minutes into the show , WE SAW RADAR. !!!

way to go !!

stricklinfan82 said...

Well if the graphics are correct and Jeff Green has replaced Bill Elliott in the #21 car there is another story created by that. In the event of a qualifying rainout, the 21 team would now miss the race and the 84 team of Mike Skinner would get the last spot in the field (since the 21 car couldn't fall back on Bill Elliott's 1988 title to make the field).

Anonymous said...

Caution's been out for rain for almost 15 minutes.

SPEED showed the radar again - good job guys. May take a while for the system to move through but no heavy rain so far.

stricklinfan82 said...

Well now that there's a legitimate threat of a qualifying rainout again, here's the breakdown of how the starting lineup would be set:

1.) top 35 in 2007 owner's points
2.) '07/'08 race winning car owners (none)
3.) '07/'08 race winning drivers (Kurt Busch)
4.) ALL past Cup champions not yet in (Dale Jarrett)
5.) top 35 in 2008 owner's points (83-Vickers, 00-Reutimann, 55-Waltrip)
6.) 2008 car owner qualifying attempts, with owner's points as the tiebreaker (49-Schrader: 4 attempts / 41st in owner's points, 78-Nemechek: 4 atempts, 42nd in owner's points, 84-Skinner: 4 attempts, 43rd in owner's points)

Missing the race would be 21-Green: 4 attempts, 44th in owner's points, 34-Andretti: 4 attempts, 45th in owner's points, 10-Carpentier: 4 attempts, 46th in owner's points.

Yes I know Jayski says the 21 car would make the race and the 84 would miss the race but that's wrong. That original figuring was made assuming past champion Bill Elliott would be driving the #21 car, which isn't the case now. I'm just hoping that Fox doesn't make the same mistake if they show a "who would miss the field graphic".

Mike said...

I wish they'd give us an indication how wet the track is, to get an idea how things are shaking out until Cup qualifying starts at 3:30.

Ken-Michigan said...

Thanks Stricklin for providing that info.

During the rain delay I looked up this "did you know" fact...

Sunday will become the 200th Cup race that Jimmie Johnson has been R.A.F.(running at finish)
pretty strong considering its ONLY his 224th Cup race in his career.

Mike said...

I don't believe it'll be long before they send it to some alternate programming. Once they get through interviewing most of the drivers.

Mike said...

This thing with Jeff Green must've popped up all at once, because no one has anything about it, not even the Wood Brothers website.

Anonymous said...

Trackside tonight sounds good: Montoya, Kahne, Truex Jr.

Coverage has switched from the FOX team to the SPEED team of JR, Byrnes, Dilner during the rain delay; interviewed Jeff Green and Allmendinger.

Mike said...

Yes....nice to see they didn't go to alternate programming like "Back In The Day". They may be switching to that at 2p.m. if the track isn't dry.

Ken-Michigan said...

3 visits to the weather radar so far.

Really helps us alot watching from home.


Anonymous said...

SPEED is now re-running Cup practice that began at noon. They got about 40 minutes in before rain.

Anonymous said...

Radar still shows rain, maybe 20 minutes or so it'll be gone because it's been moving pretty slowly.

I'm seeing different numbers in how long it takes the track to dry on the internet. The track president says it usually takes about 40 minutes, there's another article that says 90 minutes or less.

Richard in dry N.C. said...

I really do enjoy the SPEED F1 team and I think it would be a real hoot to have them - esp. Hobbs and Matchett - at a Cup practice or qualifying session.

It does appear that NASCAR might be the long sought cure for drought.

Anonymous said...

When the "wall" of rain first formed, there was no more rain anywhere behind it.

Now that it's leaving Bristol, there are at least three more cells of rain on the way, spread out but headed towards Bristol. Interesting to see where they eventually end up or if they skirt by the track.

SPEED is scrolling they are in rain delay and that's why they are repeating the coverage from earlier, which is now the rain delay portion of coverage with earlier driver interviews.

Mike said...

The track must not be close to dry if they're going with the full tilt replay of what practice they got in. I'm assuming at this time we're down to Cup qualifying and Final Nationwide practice, as far as the rest of today is concerned. They might even scrap Nationwide qualifying tomorrow morning and turn that into a final practice session for their series.

kenn said...

Folks - at this time -- 12:05 PM PDT/3:05 EDT -- is Speed live? Thanks - k

Mike said...

Yes, what's on now--"Go or Go Home" is live. That'll take things to 3:30 when Cup qualifying is supposed to start.

kenn said...

Much appreciated, Mike. - k

Anonymous said...

Still light rain; that new rain cell has hit. Wonder what the real time of qualifying will be.

Travis Kvapil interviewed; has "11 million" painted on his car to show potential sponsors that there's an average of 11 million viewers who would see sponsorship on his hood every week.

Sure hope he lands a sponsor soon. He's come a long way as a spokesman from when he was with Penske when he was more awkward/shy on camera. Very well spoken now, would do well for sponsors.

Shoop said...


The show entitled "Go or Go Home" should be dedicated to those drivers who are actually IN that situation, should it not?

Why then, does SPEED interview drivers who are locked in the show? Every week, 4 out of 6 interviews are with the Carl Edwards, Clint Bowyer's, and Kyle Busch's of the world.

I think this show has GREAT potential to give "the little guy" some exposure. It could be a small, 30 minute window into the trials and tribulations of "the other side" of the nascar garage. It SHOULD be the perfect lead in to qualifying. It SHOULD be the perfect setup to the new "knock out qualifying", as Mike Joy likes to call it.

Instead, it's a glorified NASCAR Live.

A wasted opportunity, for sure...

Ken-Michigan said...

With all the "rain delay" coverage, seems like Tony Stewart is getting a free pass from the pit reporters.

Some of the most heated comments in many years and SPEED has skirted the issue.

Once again, its the "lets just forget about it happened" scenario.

Does Tony feel different or still carry the same feelings ?

We may never know.

Mike said...

Are they that paranoid about reporting on the weather? Harvick is being interviewed and says it's pouring again and Yocum cuts him off and says "it started sprinkling again"

Anonymous said...

They don't want you to know that it's raining hard again because then you might change the channel. The radar isn't looking very good.

Anonymous said...

SPEED took ken michigan's tire discussion suggestion, lol.

Yes they are that paranoid. Steve Byrnes came on at 3 and said the rain "is all but gone", though thankfully JR in the garage pointed out that it was still raining where he was. At least John is telling it like it is.

Steve also said about five times that NASCAR was working hard to get the schedule going. We don't doubt that, but we also see what we see.

Then Mike Joy said at 3:30 that it hasn't been raining in quite some time, completely disregarding that during GOGH that they said it was still raining lightly (as did the radar I saw).

And now it's raining again. I hope they don't slack on showing the radar if the weather becomes an issue again during qualifying. They haven't shown it since they came back on live.

Anonymous said...

We must be quite some time away from qualifying, as the Fox crew has sent it to the Speed crew to fill time.

Ken-Michigan said...

Looks like this rain is going to continue for a while...then another little break....and then more rain.

but the again, i'm not a weatherman anymore.

see ya saturday !!

AMS fan said...

Great point Shoop. A show should have something to do with the name.

Anonymous said...

This burst of rain will probably put the end to any attempt at qualifying.

stricklinfan82 said...

I agree with Elliott Sadler that NASCAR should do everything in their power to get qualifying in tonight. Bristol qualifying doesnt usually take much more than one hour, this track dries awfully fast, and there are lights here.

It does complicate things though that the Nationwide cars haven't seen the track yet for practice and are supposed to qualify tomorrow. You can't really use the California method of scrapping Nationwide Saturday morning qualifying and replacing it with Nationwide practice because there is more than a full field in that garage this week and it would hurt to have send 3 cars home (I believe 12-Hornish, 70-Mark Green, and 56-Danny O'Quinn would be the three that would go home).

If you can't get both Cup qualifying and Nationwide practice in tonight I would at least understand if Cup qualifying is the casuality at the expense of Nationwide practice but let's just hope it clears up and everything gets in.

Anonymous said...

Qualifying is cancelled.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't surprise me that it's been cancelled.

Radar does not look good and hasn't for a long time. In the middle of one cell and another on its way.

I've been back and forth watching, but before they left the air at 4:30, I don't believe SPEED showed the radar on air this afternoon as they did a few times earlier during the first delay. If true, *very* poor call on their part. They've seemingly been hesitant to mention the obvious rain since coming back on the air at 3PM. They need to be more honest with viewers; we don't blame them for the weather, but we're not stupid and shouldn't be treated as such.

The good news is the forecast for tomorrow is slightly better now. 50-60% chance of scattered thunderstorms starting at 1 PM EST instead of 10 AM EST, with 60% chance of thunderstorms beginning at 4PM and increasing each hour after that. Also have changed the description from strong storms with wind and hail to standard thunderstorms.

So...perhaps they can get in at least half of the NNS race tomorrow if the scattered t-storms miss the track before 4PM. Not sure what they are going to do tonight. I'm turning the recorder on for the rest of the evening.

Must give a shout-out for all the great interviews conducted by the SPEED/FOX crew, and Mike, Larry and DW were great to listen to.

stricklinfan82 said...

Wow that's certainly a shame that they gave up on qualifying this early. You've gotta feel for Patrick Carpentier, John Andretti, and Jeff Green and the Wood Brothers team.

I don't know what the deal was with the Bill Elliott schedule switch at the last minute but as Eddie Wood said during Speed's rain-fill they made a major mistake putting Jeff Green in that car this week. With the forecast of rain and the knoweldge of their current point standings situation you would have thought the Woods would have been smarter than to swap Bill Elliott's appearance in that car from Bristol to Martinsville. If Elliott was in that car they would have made the show but now they're going home and it's all because of that last second decision. I don't know the complete details behind it but Eddie Wood sure made it sound like it was a blunder on their part and not a case of Bill Elliott being physically unable to be there.

At the same time though you've gotta feel good for the guys like Vickers, Reutimann, and Michael Waltrip that have earned top 35 spots to this point in the season and won't have a chance to lose them because of failing to qualify for this race. I definitely think they need to slide back the number of races we use last year's top 35 from 5 to 4. Previous year's points used to be used for provisionals and rainouts in the first 4 races for the longest time but that number changed to 5 for some reason when the top 35 rule was created in 2005. In my opinion four races is enough to establish that Kyle Busch should be on the pole today and not Jimmie Johnson and that the 83, 55, and 00 should not have to worry about qualifying based on their current owner's points standings.

That being said I'm glad Vickers, Reutimann, and Waltrip (especically after his practice crash) didn't get burned by using the 2007 points this deep into the season and that the 3 cars that missed the show were determined by '08 points and had nothing to do with '07 points. The top 43 in the current owner's points were conveniently the 43 that happened to make the show with the rainout, and that's the way it should be.

Anonymous said...

Forget the go or go homers. The tragic story today is that Kurt Busch should be starting 7th -at Bristol, where starting place matters - and is starting 36th because of the owners point switch with Hornish.

And they'res a rumor going around that Penske is going to switch the points again for another five races (which will mean Labonte can't switch with Petty to get the champion provisional.) Poor Kurt wasn't happy when the media asked him about that today. All this points switching needs to stop and maybe the commentators on the networks need to say something to help pusch that along.

Anonymous said...

Not sure where to put this, but since the tire issue was such a big topic here I wanted to share. Did anyone see where Goodyear released info today that Tony Stewart was one of the drivers that tested the Vegas tires for Goodyear back in December. They said that they invited him because of his criticism about the previous tire choice and wanted some input from him. They say that st the test he made it be known that he wasn't happy having to be there and that he wasn't very cooperative about giving feedback. I find it all very interesting.

stricklinfan82 said...

Anonymous said...
Forget the go or go homers. The tragic story today is that Kurt Busch should be starting 7th -at Bristol, where starting place matters - and is starting 36th because of the owners point switch with Hornish.

And they'res a rumor going around that Penske is going to switch the points again for another five races (which will mean Labonte can't switch with Petty to get the champion provisional.) Poor Kurt wasn't happy when the media asked him about that today. All this points switching needs to stop and maybe the commentators on the networks need to say something to help pusch that along.

I couldn't agree with you more. The champion's provisional needs to be done away with. If that would happen then this nonsense of point swapping would stop immediately. The champion's provisional was originally created in 1990 to add an extra starting spot in the field for Richard Petty after he failed to qualify 4 times in 1989. This rule's intent was to help former champions that were struggling to make races late in their career but now all it has become is a rule that dozens of teams have found new and creative ways to abuse to increase the number of cars from their stable that are locked into these races.

I really hope Fox, Speed, and ESPN step up to the plate and call out NASCAR and make pleas to dump the champion's provisional. The 2/77 point swap was a joke and will be an even bigger joke if it happens AGAIN. The 43/45 point swap would be a joke, and potential 17/26, 24/5, or 48/5 point swaps would also be jokes.

If any point swap occurs after this race on Sunday I better see the NASCAR TV networks make this a big story and I don't want to hear one expert be politically correct and say "well it's within the rules so they are doing nothing wrong". Call out NASCAR for having a stupid rule in place and for letting teams abuse it in ways it was never intended to be abused. Fox and Speed basically ignored the tire issue last week and have again this week and we better not see a repeat of this if these point swaps start popping up again.

The challenge has been issued NASCAR TV networks, step up to the plate and deliver!

Richard in N.C. said...

I completely agree about the points swaps - should not be allowed. However, I do think the past champion's provisional should be kept. I'd like to see Carpentier in the race - but I'd still rather see Bill Elliot, Terry Labonte, or Dale Jarrett. As I recall, a past champion only qualifies for the provisional if he was in at least 5 races in the preceding year - which I believe is the same rule for both Cup and N-wide series.

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Newracefan said...

I've missed all the earlier stuff due to work :( but am enjoying the 630 Nascar Now with all the DJ coverage. It's well deserved. PS thanks to all the posters on this blog it's where I peaked from work to find out if qualifying was rained out or just late.

Mike said...

They just announced Nationwide qualifying tomorrow morning has been cancelled as well, and will line up by points. Tomorrow morning's Nationwide Qualifying session will now become a Nationwide practice session.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Thanks for the update Mike.


stricklinfan82 said...

Richard in N.C. said...
I completely agree about the points swaps - should not be allowed. However, I do think the past champion's provisional should be kept. I'd like to see Carpentier in the race - but I'd still rather see Bill Elliot, Terry Labonte, or Dale Jarrett. As I recall, a past champion only qualifies for the provisional if he was in at least 5 races in the preceding year - which I believe is the same rule for both Cup and N-wide series.

March 14, 2008 6:27 PM

Richard, yeah the rule is that you have to have made one start in the previous season to be eligible for a past champion's provisional in all three series. That's why Steve Grissom was eligible for the champion's provisional in the Nationwide race at Daytona - he made 1 start in 2007 (at Daytona, where he was also used for his champion's provisional). I do like the fact though that if you use a champion's provisional in Nationwide or Truck, you can't use another one for your next 5 or 6 starts (don't remember which). A similar rule in Cup might also discourage these point swaps. Kurt Busch, for example, would have been vulnerable to missing the field in races 2-6 if his past champion's provisional at the Daytona 500 made him ineligible for the champion's provisional for the 5 races that followed.

It was very interesting though to hear your differing viewpoint on the champion's provisional. Even though I happen to disagree with it I can respect where you're coming from.

It was quite a shame that another great day of NASCAR TV coverage was for the most part washed out. Now it's time to look ahead to tomorrow when, as I explained more in-depth in an earlier post in this topic, we NASCAR fans could find themselves in deep trouble with the Nationwide race on ABC (who will NEVER pre-empt prime time programming for a Cup race, let alone a Nationwide race) and college basketball on all three ESPN networks during the night when a rain-delayed race could possibly still be underway. Keep your fingers crossed guys, I know I will.

Richard in N.C. said...

Stricklinfan82- Thanks, I thought it was more.

Provisionals & top 35 would be less of an issue if more than 43 cars were allowed at tracks over 1.5 miles , or those over 2 miles- limited to no more than 1/2 of the number of cars entered over 43 so qualifying still has meaning.