Sunday, March 2, 2008

In-Progress At Las Vegas: "NASCAR RaceDay" On SPEED

SPEED continues one of the network's most popular shows when NASCAR RaceDay hits the air at 1:30PM Eastern Time from Las Vegas, NV.

John Roberts rules over a very diverse group of on-air "talent" who provide all kinds of interesting content to this TV series.

Kenny Wallace continues to be his normally excitable self, and he certainly now has an interesting perspective on the sport with his struggles to maintain a presence in the Cup Series. Say what you will, his energy is infectious.

Jimmy Spencer is asking some good questions this season, but continues to get himself off-track when he speaks before he thinks. After the issue last season with Kelly Earnhardt Elledge, it might be a positive thing for Spencer to continue his commentary as a former driver but use caution when the topic is an off-track issue.

Hermie Sadler has been working hard to get more time on-camera, and was rewarded with a spot in the booth for SPEED's practice and qualifying coverage. Sadler started with just a short segment and track description for RaceDay, but has come on strong and now is a valuable contributor both on the SPEED Stage and as a reporter in the garage area.

Wendy Venturini continues to be the heart-and-soul of this series. Quietly, and with a good sense of humor, Venturini navigates seamlessly through a quagmire of PR and Marketing Reps, NASCAR Officials and fans. Her ability to go directly to a driver or NASCAR personality and get the facts of the issue from the horse's mouth is amazing.

SPEED continues to use the confusing Rutledge Wood in a variety of roles, including on RaceDay. Originally, he provided the comic relief and appeared on the features that took drivers and others away from racing. Now, he has begun to be used as a reporter addressing serious topics and providing information that viewers are supposed to trust. There is one big problem, he has not earned that right. It will be interesting to see what his role becomes as the season progresses.

This is the time of the year that SPEED needs to focus on making RaceDay consistently interesting for the fans. Once the TNT portion of the Sprint Cup coverage begins, SPEED will be moving RaceDay into a head-to-head battle with the TNT pre-race shows.

That battle will escalate when the new and improved NASCAR Countdown with Allen Bestwick comes along in late July. With all of the positive changes that ESPN has made, the last seventeen Cup racing weekends will be fascinating. NASCAR fans will be forced to choose once again, and this time it will not be Suzy Kolber heading-up the ESPN effort.

This post will serve to host your comments on the RaceDay program from Las Vegas. To add your TV-related comment, just click on the COMMENTS button below and follow the easy instructions. The rules for posting are on the right side of the main page.

Thank you for taking the time to stop by and leave your opinion at The Daly Planet.


Anonymous said...

Are you entirely sure that Speed and ESPN won't make some kind of non-compete deal where Speed gets to televise anything ESPN's family can't handle in exchange for not going head to head on Sunday pre-race?

If it hasn't been discussed, well I propose it. Speed gets content, ESPN and ABC expands the exclusivity window.

ri88girl said...

Just curious JD, does anyone know Ruttlage Wood's background? Did he go to journo school or broadcast? Clearly SPEED trys to pick driver talent to bring along as on air talent; why not do it with pit reporters? Where did the others cut their teeth? Rick Racklman was a joke as intended, but it seems that Wood has a sincere interest in NASCAR and racing. He seems to be really trying to develop a rapour with the drivers and I think he has real potential to gain credability. Its the old addage, how do you get the experiance if they won't give you a job. This makes no attempt to explain how Wood was lucky enough to fall into this job in the first place, but good for him if he can turn it in to something even better

darbar said...

Wendy is a prime example of how great a woman race reporter can be. Unlike some of her counterparts, she obviously has the trust of the drivers. Right now, I'm sitting in a suite at LV Speedway and during yesterday's race when Jamie interviewed Kyle Busch, everyone here started commenting on how bad and totally unprofessional she was. The comments only got worse when she interviewed Tony Stewart after his wreck. It's obvious when you read the body language of the drivers and you hear their answers that they have more respect for Wendy and they have very little patience for Jamie.

Anonymous said...

Wendy has been there for a while. That's why she has the respect right now. I think with time and practice Jammie will get better and earn respect. Just like yesterday, every interview she did after the kyle interview seemed to get better.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Um....did Kenny Wallace just say that on network TV?

Anonymous said...

what did he say? I missed it.

Daly Planet Editor said...

During the new opening for the show he said "it's not the angle, its the dangle." Are you kidding me?

Anonymous said...

Is it "Network TV" if you must pay to watch it?

Anonymous said...

JD, I saw the opening and I don't recall hearing that. Either way nothing should come of this since the is cable and not broadcast TV. Is that correct?

Daly Planet Editor said...

Yep, a TV network is broadcast or cable and distributed nationally.

That was an interesting change of pace and a rather unique opening.

Still not so sure what the Rutledge deal is. To each his own.

Chuck said...

I have to respectfully disagree with your last post in regards to the broadcast. The FCC definitely holds the over the airwaves broadcast to a different standard than that of a only cable/satellite offering. Although if you there have been talks about tightening those expectations, nothing concrete has been addressed. It's consistent with the difference in standards required by your local FM/AM stations compared to Howard Stern on Sirius.


Anonymous said...

That is what's so nice about cable TV, they do not have the restrictions of Network TV. If you thought Herman's comment was bad, then you must not watch prime-time network comedys.

SophiaZ123 said...

I did not hear Kenny W's opening comment but can attest, most modern "sitcoms" are terribly racy and NOT family friendly..even tho some may be advertised as being so. I am glad I missed the comment...sigh.

I dunno...I try not to pay strict attention since this is a 2 hr show..needs to be only ONE HOUR and I try to do other things as the show is on.

Watching the racing is long enough.

I do know one thing...though I must say I am not a busch brothers fan but already, i am TIRED of the Kyle talk. He must be the new "Jr" for the a Jr fan, I hope they leave Jr alone for awhile but these NASCAR guys just can NOT talk about anything else. We are just a couple races into the season??

BUT I do agree with the gang on the WOOD brothers situation...not sure what is going on with Jon but I don't think he's CUP material..something going on there and dont' know if it is him, lack of driving talent, family pressure or both...but they need another driver in the 21. And it's not Sauter.

stricklinfan82 said...

It's always interesting when you have a guy like Jimmy Spencer that's not afraid to be controversial and tell the world what he really thinks.

His candid comments about there being a lot of drivers out there more qualified than Johnny Sauter to pick to drive the #21 car were definitely eye-opening.

You certainly can't accuse Jimmy of being politically correct and being a suck up to NASCAR or anyone else.

I personally like that element of honesty he brings to the broadcast, as long as he doesn't go TOO far like he did with Kelly Earnhardt Elledge last year for instance.

Anonymous said...

I'm willing to wager anything that Spencer has no clue on the contracts that other drivers have with owners and Manufactures. This has alot to do with why some other good drivers in Truck and NW, might need to spend the year there.

Anonymous said...

very interesting and informative "Real Deal" segment.

Anonymous said...

Kyle is leading the points in both the Cup and Truck series and has been running well so far this season in all series. I think he deserves to be talked about. It's not like he is being talked about for no reason. Plus today they are in his hometown.

Anonymous said...

JD, I noticed John Roberts does not have a teleprompter for Race Day. Does he plan what he will say for each segment before the show or does he figure it out as they go along.


Patrick said...

Excellent "Real Deal" segment. While most fans know there are logistics nightmares throughout a season. This was the perfect time to detail this week's transition. The behind the scenes look into how last week's delay affected this week's schedule was the right thing to focus on. Great job by Wendy and the whole production staff.

Anonymous said...

If there is not one mounted flat on the desk, than the voices in his ear can work him like a puppet!

SophiaZ123 said...

Ok...going to be another long day with Google/blogger issues.

Trouble here and with my site and another blogger site I read.

Google has always been SO RELIABLE it's annoying to find problems suddenly. Also blogger has been VERY SLOW lately...I just give up lately and GOOGLE should have the power to have folks FIXING this by now...

not JUST here but all sites apparently. Hope they get it worked out.

Yes, that was an interesting real deal and I am sorry to hear everybody has been so weary this early in the season and are fatigued or fighting illness. Also those truck drivers have longer days than anybody.

a big thank you to THEM!

p.s. Duh, I forgot they are in the hometown of the B boys...still, I wonder how the season will progress. I must say Kyle has had some great speech coaching and is really showing a sense of humor this year.

At least we don't have to worry about JL baiting guys today..SHEESH. I DREAD watching IRL with her again this year. MERCY!!

I know we can't all be Wendy and Krista but. . .

Anonymous said...

His candid comments about there being a lot of drivers out there more qualified than Johnny Sauter to pick to drive the #21 car were definitely eye-opening.

Jimmy's comments may be candid - and even accurate- but they IMO also come from a place of a bit of bias.

Remember, in 2005 and 2006, Jimmy and Kenny were two of the "go-to" guys for teams to try to qualify certain Cup cars when their regular drivers either weren't working out - or in Kenny's case, he got to sub for Kurt Busch when he was suspended from Roush. Being around every weekend for RaceDay was a big boost to their garage contacts, IMO.

Jimmy got to attempt some qualifying laps in a couple of Cups car and rarely made the races. So he's no longer being used as a sub - I don't recall if he was used at all in that capacity in 2007.

So I think he's just a bit bitter because he feels like he could still be called on to run some races here and there. He's also forgetting that sponsors may have a say in who gets in those rides, too.

Anonymous said...

"I DREAD watching IRL with her again this year. "

I did not think she did IRL races now that she is doing NASCAR. But, either way, I think she will get better with time.

Anonymous said...

"I don't recall if he was used at all in that capacity in 2007."

I thought he did a few races at Pocono? Or was that in 2006?

SophiaZ123 said...

Anon 3.14

I hope you are correct about Jamie! We, in this house, cringe at her comments and interviews. But yea, if she covers NASCAR FULL TIME that might keep her away from IRL.


Anonymous said...

I found a little of Rutlegde's background in Google cache. It was his bio for the SPEED Road tour challenge (this info used to be on when that show was on).

(I also don't think he should be able to move from comedy guy to reporter in a matter of weeks, that is what appears to be happening.)
I graduated from the University of Georgia in 2002 with a degree in Marketing. First job out of school was working for Country Music Television (CMT) driving a huge truck around the country with their "Most Wanted" tour. Loved the crowds, loved making people smile. Then I spent a year with Clear Channel Communications producing and co-hosting a daily talk show in Mid-West GA. I got up before daylight every day and interviewed interesting people. I sharpened my DJ and mic skills hosting a weekly Karaoke/Comedy show in Newnan,GA at a club called the Alamo. Loved the crowds and making people smile. I started working for SPEED in Feb. of 2005 on the Need for SPEED Road Tour. still love the crowds and making people smile!

Anonymous said...

Jimmy's last races in Cup were in 2006. both Pocono races, started 34th finished 32nd and 43rd and 36th in the #78 for Furniture Row Racing. In the junior series, he last raced at Atlanta in 2005, started 23rd and finished 27th in Mikey's #98 Bryan Foods Chevy. Also in 2005 he drove in all 25 truck races with 1 win (Loudon), 1 pole, 4 top fives and 11 top tens.
Thanx to

Tom in Bristol...who agrees with Jimmy (for a change) that J. Sauter was not an ideal choice for the #21 car.