Wednesday, March 19, 2008

What Can Stop The "NASCAR Now" Train?


Monday evening, Greg Biffle was a panelist on This Week in NASCAR on SPEED. He did a good job with Michael Waltrip and host Steve Byrnes responding to the questions he was asked, and talking about the races at Bristol and Martinsville.

Wednesday, Biffle was a guest on NASCAR Now on ESPN2. In just a couple of minutes with host Nicole Manske, Biffle offered more information, insight and personal news than during the entire hour of TWIN on SPEED.

Manske started the show with Biffle, and covered topics from his contract renewal to the resurgence of Roush Fenway this season. Biffle was casually attired and in his own race shop, which helped him to engage in a great conversation with Manske. She has learned to ask the tough questions, and Biffle was up to the task.

It was a nice touch to follow Biffle with ESPN Analyst Andy Petree. He had a great personal perspective on Biffle, and then moved onto other news topics in a fast-paced conversation with Manske. Petree answered the question of troubles with the Joe Gibbs Racing steering boxes by having one on-hand. His simple and straightforward answers work well with Manske, and Petree knows his NASCAR.

As mentioned earlier this week, the second driver interview on the show was Aric Almirola. This young man has proven to be a good interview, and Manske worked him on the issue of driving part-time once again this season. Almirola was coming off a good finish at Bristol, and the questions about his part-time status made sense. It was a nice touch that Manske asked about Gibbs conversation with Almirola after the Bristol finish.

Shannon Spake was up next to address the Nationwide Series. She has worked hard as a field reporter, but struggles in a studio setting and did once again Wednesday. Manske asked good questions, but Spake had her script already in-mind and it was a bit tough for her to stay on-track with her information.

Tim Brewer is still working to establish a place on NASCAR Now during the week. His feature Wednesday was from the JR Motorsports shop, and he did a good job of explaining how the impound rule affects choices in qualifying for the Nationwide Series.

Manske closed-out the show with news and notes, and once again impressed in her transition from The SPEED Report to NASCAR Now. Petree addressed the Jayski rumor that he would be driving a Craftsman Truck in Martinsville, and made it clear he would only be an observer. That was a nice news tidbit to end another positive and professional edition of NASCAR Now. This show is on a roll with no end in sight.

The Daly Planet welcomes comments from readers. Simply click on the COMMENTS button below and follow the easy instructions. Thanks again for stopping by.

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

Your recap of the show is right on. Thanks

Lou
Kingston, NY

Newracefan said...

Nicole dd a nice job, she asked Greg about his contract issues without getting confrontational and actually provided an out if he did not want to discuss them. Andy's steering box was great and I liked that better than the Home Depot set, rather have it simple. Shannon needs the most work and I hope she get's it together. I have not figured out how NN decides who does what and where. Shannon, Jamie, David Newton, Angelique, Marty, etc. I get so confused, JD is there a trend or method to the madness that I don't see? I would rather have just a few reporters instead of this spread the wealth kind of format.

Tripp said...

Another one in the win column for NN.

ESPN brings us NN at warp factor one compared to Speed's TWIN which doesn't seem to attain freeway speeds sometimes.

It's a cultural difference between the two networks favors ESPN... at least for me.

Ken-Michigan said...

I agree JD , the wednesday night show was pretty solid. Nicole really seems to step in and perform strong.

I have a preference for the "studio" over the corny Home Depot garage for NASCAR NOW. The garage reminds me of some cable access TV show trying to prove they are a real auto racing show.
The quarts of oil, the workbench and the WD-40 has got to go "set wise".

It was noticable that the ESPN NASCAR NOW audio crew has got their handle on the audio issues when they run the B-Roll during the interview. Many have commented on how LOUD that B-roll audio has been, and tonight it did not interfere with the interviews.

Special kudo's to Andy Petree for explaining the steering box issue that Kyle Busch had. THAT'S what is needed, give us a hands on explanation.. but Evernham should have covered that on Mondays show in their fancy Home Depot garage. hahaa

Very impressed with Nicole's questioning about Biffle's contract with Roush. We NEED MORE of these hard hitting / informational questions. Way too many on the "NASCAR BEAT" refuse to bring up anything close to controversial or hard hitting. Biffle seemed just a bit surprised by the question concerning his contract, and although I was taken by surprise as well, it was VERY REFRESHING !!

Almirola's interview was also good. I would think if he continues to shine on and off the track, DEI just might field a car for HIM even when Martin is back in the 8 car in later races.

By the way.... I noticed during the Bristol race that Almirola DID NOT have yellow rookie stripes on the 8 car's bumper. It was only his 7th career cup start and i thought anyone with 7 or less carried yellow stripes ... hmmm ??

SophiaZ123 said...

thanks for the write up, I missed a great show. Didn't expect to be gone or would've set the vcr and of COURSE no midnight showing due to games..sigh.


Glad they got the audio noise fixed, too. Sorry I missed Biffle since he spoke more hear than on ALL the epis of TWIN apparently.

Ken-Michigan said...

Sophia -

I thought of ya when the audio didnt rattle the dishes in the kitchen !!

Daly Planet Editor said...

Sophia,

Stop resisting...its DVR time!

JD

SallyB said...

The rebirth of this show had been the most pleasant surprise of the season.

kenn said...

tglI agree with J.D. Sophia, once you get your DVR, you'll wonder how you got along without one.

If you already have digital cable, see if your cable company will give you one for free. You'll have to pay a fee of about $5 a month to get the programming information, but that's about the same normal amount for TiVo and satellite DVR programming information.

Just curious. Sophia, if you're paying more than $55 for your cable. please consider DirecTV. I get all the channels I want, including Speed and the entire family of ESPN. And that includes another box (not a DVR) for my office.

And, Sophia, DirecTV did not raise the price since August 2006. If you email JD, he can give you the telephone number and his account number and each of you get $50 off your bills.

SophiaZ123 said...

LOL, I think y'all work for satellites and DVR folks!!

Nope, not in the budget to add $13.95 a MONTH for DVR and other issues that surround that. Just checked ESPN2 (after a medically induced three hour nap) and see NN is listed at 1.30 AM !! Still got a chance for the VCR!! :-)

And when you leave the house and ESPN changes the race three times, ain't nobody going to catch things. BUT if I am gone and room mate is home, I can usually call and have him check and even TAPE two different stations to try and cover the bases but I haven't done that yet (but he has for IRL last year!!) Last week I left but figured Bristol was over and it was.

You all really cracked me up with the comment JD could get me a major discount, LMAO. You all are too funny.

I must say in what I have seen, Nicole has redeemed herself. Nice to see folks talk about her work as opposed to her, er, um....'wardrobe'. Makes me wonder if folks on the other station TOLD her what to wear, you know?

Much more professional looking and acting at ESPN. So I am enjoying the positive remarks on Ms. Manske.

Anonymous said...

Don't get your hopes up, Nicole will be back in a outfit that make ESPN blush. She did the same thing at Speed, dress nice then wear something that'd work on Fox and Friends.

"your friends from the Nicole Manske thread on Speedtv"

Anonymous said...

hey "firends at speedtv thread", your management's job is to dress its talent!
Just another example of the total ineptitude at the top level at SPEED

Daly Planet Editor said...

You may find it interesting to know that ESPN provides production manuals for every sport, the graphics packages, and even the types of video replay effects that can be used in the programs.

This also extends to the dress of the on-air talent in any event or program, regardless of if it is produced by ESPN or an outside packager. This allows the talent "look" to flow across the different ESPN Networks.

The attire can vary by sport, or event, or even day of the week. We see that on ESPN's NASCAR coverage where one style of attire is used for practice and qualifying and a completely different style is used for the race and also NASCAR Now.

I assure you that Ms. Manske is inside the "ESPN blender" and is being told exactly what to wear on the air. ESPN has an entire department that just deals with this one issue.

JD

Anonymous said...

Right you are, JD.

Wardrobe is an essential part of any network image, and although big and bureaucratic, ESPn has this figured out. If Nicole "embarrassed? Speed through her style of dress, it is their own fault. Is anyone at FOX paying attention???

Anonymous said...

Thank You JD,
I was not aware of the production manuals. It is nice info on the inner workings of production at the networks. But kind of figured it out with the outfits she wears. But I thought she carried herself well this episode. This will increase her confidence and comfort level for better interviews in the future.

Lou
Kingston, NY

Anonymous said...

to put a period on the vcr deal. Sophiaz, be proud. I still use a VCR also. But a DVR is in my future

Lou
Kingston, NY

Anonymous said...
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SophiaZ123 said...

well I am not one to defend Jamie Little but Anon that was SHANNON SPAKE that stuttered and stammered all over the place. :-)

I thought they should've reshot that bit but she is not the brightest anyway. I don't know if somebody was talking in her ear but agree her stint was horrible. If the girl DOES have a stuttering or stammering issue, she should seek a vocal coach.

But for the record, that was NOT Jamie Little.

Newracefan said...

Soph add me to the ones who have drunk the Kool Aid. Got the DVR for this season and it's the best thing I ever did. Can now watch when I want and with serial recording don't have to worry about the late day at work making we miss something I wanted to see. Best of all it's hooked up to the biggest TV I have (not hugh or plasma but it is at least HD) and not the little TV in the bedroom where the VCR is still proudly attached in case I need to record 3 things at the same time That said I understand about the expense it took me three years to be able to budget for it. Reality sucks sometimes

SophiaZ123 said...

newracefan

Thanks. I feel like DVR are like Scientologists! LOL.

We still have 4 vcrs so no switching. Also the DVR around here have "ISSUES" with TW and their upgrades...read online about the one in Iowa I think that wiped out TONS of tv shows.

We rarely if ever go out to dinner and NEVER buy cd's or books or dvds or magazines...get all from the library. I have not gone on vacation in 18 years due to medical limits so DVR is low on MUST HAVES!! But it is a riot how you all love them and could be sales person for them.

Sure there isn't a kickback for the DVR's on this site, LOL.

Oh, one of our VCR needs a sitter to make sure it comes on, but otherwise, we make do. I need to do what my brother used to do...tape ALL races even if watching live and that can help to rewind during a commercial. I don't do that due to pure laziness and I can't work my roomies 2 VCR's like I can mine.

But obviously, once one goes DVR it must be tough going back. :)


REMEMBER NASCAR NOW 6.30 on THURSDAY!

Richard in N.C. said...

I have been realy, really impressed with how good a job Nicole M has done on ESPN - especially since I quit watching The Speed Report because I was given no reason to believe she or Ken had any real knowledge of what they were reading.

Not being a fashion expert, I thought her wardrobe Wednesday was too blah, and could have used a little color.

kenn said...

Alright, Sophia, that was my last shot at plugging DirecTV. If you're paying that low a bill, that explains why you aren't getting the full family of ESPN. I certainly do understand priorities... My DirecTV and subscription to Hot Pass and NASCAR Scene and Illustrated (and Sports Illustrated) are the only luxuries I allow myself. But if you ever find yourself in need of one, I'll give you the code so you can get the $50. Or I might even give you my old VCR when I get a DVD-R which has a VCR included.

Tracy said...

Thurday's NN hit some of my "I want to see this" buttons. An interview with L.W. Miller from the Whelen East (I think?) series and a tech explanation of how bodies are fabricated so both wheels can be lifted at the same time and the same amount during a pit stop. Yes!! Kenny Wallace's discussion of the dearth of sponsorship money was good too. I'm impressed more and more with NN.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
SophiaZ123 said...

Kenn

too funny about Direct Tv. Actually, we have digital TV on two tv's because I have issues with gravity (fainting, etc) and watch Tv in bed A LOT (31 inch tv so cool for racing) We have TWO digital boxes (so my room mate can watch his early AM Form 1 and other digital stuff) We pay 86.00 a month and TW STILL wants another 13.99 for a DVR??? last I checked. We think that is bogus. and my room mate uses the VCR all the time when he is gone. Also, I don't know if it is national or regional but TW has had issues where the DVR service "goes down"? You can't get thru to customer service for another problem when that happens!! so I have no clue what that is about but it has happened more than once.

Apparently folks that have HBO and all that stuff can get DVR cheaper. Don't know if that is a TW deal or all cable. Apparently many folks pay 100.00 a month for movie packages which we have NO interest in. We pay too much how it is.

But Kenn, we do get ESPN1, 2, Classic, ESPN News and ESPNU. We still do not get the NFL station or the BIG TEN which causes a huge stink in Ohio but I don't do football and my room mate only watches Steelers and WVa.

But this mystery 50.00 DVR fee cracks me up.

My room mate DID ask me, Will the VCR's work in 2009 and I said they should since they go thru cable.

Also NNOW is 7.30 friday night but my brother in Seattle has NOT been able to catch NN on his DVR because it keeps getting shuffled. I told him to TRY and catch Monday's show. But NN is true "time slot roulette" this time of year. Thank God for this blog so I can try to remember when to catch it or at least read about it.

It was great hearing Kenny wallace talk tonight. I wish that boy had better luck with an established team. Whenever he had to race in a pinch for somebody else, in Cup, the boy does decent in a GOOD CAR. but all these start up teams have done NOTHING for his career. But I like his sense of trying again.

I am worried about Rusty in the booth this weekend if that will kill the fun mood. Guess we will find out. But I guess we can tell if DRAFT TRACKER makes an appearance, and I tell you what, those guys will drive their brains out !!! ;-)

Richard in N.C. said...

I really will be surprised if Rusty is not "up" on his game this weekend to quiet some of his critics - he's still a competitor.

GO Mountaineers!

Anonymous said...

Oh no Steven Steven Steven thats all we'll hear. Get rid of Rusty,do it now!

SophiaZ123 said...

Well, having Rusty in the booth may either show us he has improved around all edges, or

,

,

,


,
be a flashback to last years broadcasts !!!??

=:-O