Monday, March 10, 2008

Truck Series Ratings Up At Atlanta

SPEED was happy with a 31% increase in viewership for the Craftsman Truck Series race from Atlanta.

The SPEED TV package for this series did not change much this year. It is a solid and comfortable presentation, sometimes a bit on the dry side. Rick Allen has a certain style of play-by-play, and Phil Parsons and Michael Waltrip share roles of providing commentary and analysis.

Ray Dunlap and Adam Alexander cover both the garage and pits, and are very familiar with all aspects of the series. Krista Voda has been giving this TV presentation a "family feel" since she joined the program, and why she departs from the air after the pre-race show is still anyone's guess.

The series struggles with the lower exposure on SPEED. This is simply due to the cable systems distribution of the network. It is often on the added digital tier or requires a special purchase of a group of sports-related channels. Hopefully, SPEED-HD will eventually bring this network the level of visibility that it needs to grow in the public eye.

The total number of homes watching the race grew from 565 thousand to 753 thousand.

If you are a fan of the Truck Series, or have comments about the coverage on SPEED, please feel free to add them. Just click on the COMMENTS button below. Thanks.


bevo said...

Give me the "dry presentation" any day of the week. They do a great job covering the race. I don't need any extra entertainment. The race itself is entertaining enough for me. The problem with so much sports coverage these days is this desire to add so called entertainment to the package.

And yes I do sound like an old coot!

Daly Planet Editor said...


Most consistent TV package in the history of NASCAR TV.


SophiaZ123 said...

I wish ALL PRE RACE shows were 30 minutes. I enjoy the truck races a lot.

I have had to cut back on Race Day because by the time the race starts and I watch VL (speed report when I can) and WT, I am TV'd out.

I hope the Truck series stays basic.

I do wish SPEED would go on regular basic for ALL to see.

Geez, they removed the game show channel here last year to bump it UP a tier above SPEED???

Regular folks with families and basic cable could BOOST the Truck series recognition something fierce. Seeing older drivers, telling it like it is would be refreshing to get new fans in.


Anonymous said...

Here's hoping the higher ratings are evidence to a new sponsor that the series is worth investing in.

Even though's SPEED's TV crew is excellent, their hands are tied with the very short fields and the low purses likely not drawing top talent beyond the older drivers. Only 6 of the 32 drivers last Friday got more than 15,000 dollars in prize money. The basics of the series need to be reworked for it to get more attention.

Ken-Michigan said...

Pretty good coverage of the trucks on friday night.

There was a late race pit stop that was missed when they called for a commercial break, but i'd bet that wont happen again, but still its a pretty large mistake by SPEED.

As we covered on here during the truck race, there really is a need to keep the weather issues as part of the telecast.
Rain showers were all around the speedway all day and I dont see a problem with coming back from a break and getting a peek at the radar to see which way was the rain is moving & late in the race RAIN became an issue. They can be very unobtrusive about it by simply putting the radar in a box lower right or lower left for a few seconds....make reference to it and get rid of it.

JD - I think we were both watching the radar and we saw the rain coming.

Truck Series Fan! said...

I enjoyed the truck race and think that Rick Allen & Phil Parsons do a super job. I sometimes think that Micchael Waltrip goes a little overboard but they all have lots of experience now with the trucks. And Ray & Adam I like a lot both are so knowledgable especially Ray with the craftsman tools. Anyway, I find the truck races great to watch because a lot of the drivers are "still hungry" and Friday nights are great racing.

Newracefan said...

I started watching the trucks because of Mikey and stayed because of the presentation and the racing itself. Now if they can just get the prize money better so teams can make a decent living we will have a consistant full field. Maybe the new sponser will help.
JD I know you would like Krista for the entire race but in what capacity, we all whine about the trips to the Hollywood Hotel, etc. during a race and these races a prety short where would she fit in. Don't get me wrong I love Krista a would like to see more of her.

Modman75 said...

I love the truck series and the job that Speed does is excellent. I make an effort not to miss these races. The races on Sunday are so uninteresting now that I rarely watch.

I agree, integrate Krista somehwere into the race broadcast, even as another pit reporter.

Now if they would just start showing the Whelen Modified races there would be no reason at all to watch cup racing anymore lol

Steve L. said...

I've been watching the trucks faithfully for the last few years. Those guys race hard and are very exciting to watch.
Rick and Phil have meshed well together but MW seems to go over the top with his false excitement at times.
They always seem to have a good balance of pit reporting and are good with talking to drivers who are released from the infield care center.
I'm glad they got rid of the creepy music they used last year.
It's good race coverage without a bag full of hype. Good for them with their high ratings!! Keep up the good work guys!

Anonymous said...

Love the truck race production SPEED offers.

The racing is the focus, not this years' music video or gimmick camera (which had been done before) or electronic gizmo.

That's how racing should be covered. And the trucks are fun to watch because they don't try to dress the races up.

SophiaZ123 said...

31 per cent is a huge increase and for such a limited cable channel. Think SPEEd would ever give race rights to other Fox channels?

These are some of the best races and not hyped up to the latest 'young gun du jour.' As somebody said the drivers are hungry.

I hope they get better sponsorship so we can see a full field each week. This series DESERVES it.

Yes, Cup is tough to sit thru with it's excess length, cautions and BS.


batchief said...

The trucks broadcast seems to have hit on a blend of the right ingredients. An increase of 31% is phenomenal and I hope it continues throughout the season. My wife and I also would like to see more of Krista during the entire broadcast but do understand that at some of the races there just isn't enough personnel and equipment to support 3 pit reporters.

Daly Planet Editor said...

I think now that Krista is a veteran of the Fox NASCAR broadcasts, maybe SPEED could put their heads together and figure out how to use her during the Truck Series races a bit better.

Bestwick has proven that an infield studio during the race can work, especially during long cautions. This series also suffers from the lack of a third pit reporter. If SPEED wants to continue to build momentum, stop losing one of your on-site announcers after the first thirty minutes. Give her a role.


Charlie said...

I enjoy the camera work during the Truck races. Good camera coverage.

Anonymous said...

IMO, the trucks not only have the best racing in Nascar but the best TV coverage. Mikey can be a bit over the top sometimes, but Phil and Rick keep the reins tight enough to bring him back under control.

I love the simple, straightforward coverage that focuses on the RACE and the racing issues.

I agree about Krista. I don't understand why she doesn't move to a slot on pit road after the pre-race is over.

BTW -- for DirecTV Speed is in the Choice Extra package -- the same tier as The History Channel, Discovery, Disney, The Weather Channel, HGTV, and similar staples of cable programing.

Daly Planet Editor said...

The SPEED guys stopped by to agree that they got rooked on the last pit stop when they went to break.

They just guessed wrong, and that does not happen too much.

I guess Krista is busy with Fox right now, so perhaps we will see more of her when the TNT and ESPN parts of the Cup package begin.

The Fox guys do the next couple of races, and the SPEED crew returns at Kansas.

Like to thank the NCTS TV crew for taking the time to read your comments, and taking the time to respond.


Anonymous said...

I am still very frustrated about Dish Network not carrying Speed HD yet. I have sent numerous e-mails (to the point where they don't even reply anymore) and have made phone calls. They have NO CLUE when they are going to expand their HD package. If you have the same issue, please write and call them! It is just very disappointing to watch Sprint and Nationwide races in HD, then have to watch the truck series in SD.

If you are trying to decide between Directv and Dish Network, I highly recommend Directv. Again, I am a Dish customer and I am very unhappy that they will not even provide a timeframe for HD upgrades. We deserve to watch the NCTS races in HD!

Anonymous said...

The Truck race should be an example for the other series TV crews. Yes, Mikey can be over the top, but his enthusiasm is great because IMO, it is sincere. Same as DW. That's why I am a little more forgiving of them. Unlike others we've seen who try to manufacture excitement.

Regarding some of the comments in all of the blogs at this site. I think it is amazing that people at the different networks are actually reading what we have to say and in many cases acting on it. Why do some of the posters here have to do the "angry man/woman" thing and rant on threatening to stop watching (although last year with ESPN it was warrante LOL!). State your issue and offer a solution.

Anonymous said...

I tape the trucks every week. I do wish DISH would go to HD. OT. Why does FOX do 4 car split screens on pit stops? People watching on a 21" can't see anything.

batchief said...

anon 11:53, I think "a reason" could be that they have 4 pit reporters and they feature a car that each is covering and can report on.

Lisa Hogan said...

I am a big fan of the Truck Series. I think that SPEED is #1 at covering The Race!

I have always liked how the booth tries to mention every driver, owner, sponsor and manufacturer involved in that race. I believe that goes a long way in attracting sponsors to the series. Every team has fans and SPEED allows them to see their favorite.

SPEED coverage is not perfect; but, it's the closest thing we have these days. :)

Anonymous said...

I love the trucks. It's about the racing and not all of the gossip and other crap that permeates the Nationwide and Cup races.

Being at the Truck races is even better. It's not as crowded and the atmosphere is a lot more relaxed and fun.

Getting to know NASCAR Bob and Hoss said...

Much like all the above folks, I agree that the Truck Series has a great show, straight forward coverage ('cept for Mikey) and now in HD is even better. (Folks, get Direct TV for Speed in HD). However, I am not sure if it's me or not, but the trucks seem to have changed a bit with the addition of the tapered plate that now sits below the carburator and the gear changes in the rear. From what I have seen so far, the trucks seem to be more spread out and not running close like they did last year. Maybe it's the tracks they have run on so far. I guess I will sit back and see what happens on the half mile and one mile tracks. I sure would not want to see them running like the current cup cars.

Anonymous said...

The Truck Series is the best racing right now that NASCAR has. The pre-race show is the right length and the pit reporters are on the ball with their knowledge. The only improvement I would make is go back to the original announcing team. As they've proven on the Cup side, two's company, three's a mess.