Friday, April 11, 2008

In-Progress At Phoenix: "Trackside," Practice and Qualifying Coverage

Friday before the Nationwide Series race on ESPN2, there are several hours of NASCAR action on SPEED.

Things kick-off with Steve Byrnes hosting Trackside at 4PM Eastern Time. Kurt Busch and Elliott Sadler will be the featured guests joining Larry McReynolds, Jeff Hammond and Darrell Waltrip for the hour.

At 5PM, SPEED covers the Nationwide Series qualifying session that is scheduled to last ninety minutes and go directly into the first Friday Sprint Cup practice at 6:30PM.

There are two sessions, and SPEED will carry them both with a flexible version of NASCAR Live with John Roberts in between. That should be around 7:30PM. The final session cranks-up at 8PM and continues for one hour. SPEED then turns-over the NASCAR action to ESPN for the Nationwide Series race.

This post will serve to host your comments about the Friday NASCAR programming on SPEED from Phoenix. To add your TV-related comments, please 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 The Daly Planet.


Anonymous said...

Mam oh Man!
The 45 missed again!!!

What is up at Petty??

I feel so bad for them

red said...

anon 9:13: as you likely know, the #45 didn't miss: the time was good enough to take the 43rd position. unfortunately, elliott took the past champion's provisional and so the #45 goes home.

just seems wrong in so many ways, doesn't it? i would certainly like to see nascar do away with that provisional all together. either race the series and get in on time or retire. the manipulation of this provisional and all the driver shuffling it creates is patently unfair.

a past champ is just that: past. his former championship status should not be effecting current teams and drivers.

Ken said...

With the sponsorship problems of Yates and Petty, the top 35 fiasco may not be a problem much longer. NA$CAR will be looking for field fillers to complete the field like they now do in the Nationwide Series. After a car misses a couple of races, they get so far behind in the points, there is no chance of getting in the top 35. A smart sponsor will go elsewhere.

Maybe when that happens, some of the mid-pack running cars will try harder to win races rather than driving conservatively to keep themselves in the top 35 and an assured starting spot.

red said...

so, can i just toss out a random thought here even tho' it isn't related to media coverage (b/c 9:30 pm is a lonnnng way off from where i am outside philly!):
how about we let everyone who shows up at qualifying, race?

before you all clamor at me, just think about it. with the current state of sponsorships/lack thereof, how likely is it that we'd be in worse shape than we are now? we already have "field fillers", we already have drivers who want to protect that Top-35 at all costs, we already have "The Chase" deciding the champion for us, we already have inane moments like past champion provisional -- let's do away with all that! let's make it easy.

let's say there's a minimum speed at each track. you go out to qualify and if you meet/exceed that speed, you're in. pretty simple. minimum speed could be the average or mean speed run at that track last time or somesuch math moment.

historically, nascar has run with much larger fields before the 43 car rule came into effect. i don't need to debate better or worse racing but the point was, the field could handle more cars, cars that were certainly far more different than what ends up racing on saturday or sunday. so . . . maybe it's time to look at letting everyone who meets the minimum speed into the show.

i dunno. i just hate it when the #43 doesn't make it to the show or when boris gets rained out of an amazing qualifying effort and all those other ramifications of the current system. yes, a contender could most certainly be wrecked out by a less-than-stellar driver. and that's different than now in what way? and sure! a car could troll along at the back, getting lapped and accomplishing little. again, that's different how?

i prefer simplicity over complicated any day. when i have to resort to studying jayski just to figure out what's going on week to week, something is wrong.

i'm just sayin' . . .

batchief said...

Red, your suggestion is noble, but my understanding of why the magic number is 43 has to do with the number of pit boxes available. I would like to see the number of automatics reduced to 20 or 25 with no exemptions to start the year based on the previous years points. I can't think of any other major sport where the season before dictates anything in the new season. Sorry to get off the subject John.

red said...

"pit boxes", right! knew there had to be a glitch in such a simple plan. forgot about how lousy the pit box situation is currently. sigh

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

Aagh yes, another anon poster heard from. Suggesting change has nothing to do with feelings for the sport. Some could say we suggest change to make the sport we care about better with the hope that more people will jump on the Nascar badwagon. For me Nascar is like a family thing.

red said...

anon 12:24: the statement you have chosen to post is rife with incorrect assumption, hidden under the "anonymous" tag. as such, it is irrelevant.

Anonymous said...

Red and Batchief:
Agree with your notes and sentiments entirely. The # of pits is a problem, but what about this as a compromise.(I am sending it to Mike Helton too). NASCAR should take the Daytona qualifying model and extend it. Something like this. The top 35 are in and locked. Every other car that shows up and makes a qualifying run then starts a short (as in 1 mandatory pit stop) Saturday heat race-with the starting order based on qualifying speed. The top finishing 8 cars get to race Sunday, and the Champion's provisional ONLY guarantees a spot in the Heat race....not Sunday's race. Even if teams like Petty and Yates don't make the BIG show, they at least get TV time for their sponsors on Saturday. Thoughts?

Truck Series Fan! said...

I've also thought they could race more cars on larger tracks maybe get as many as 45 or 46 on the superspeedways.

SophiaZ123 said...

I think the larger tracks should allow more cars. How did they deal with this years ago...were their MORE pit boxes back then or did they just share like they do at a couple tracks that are one pit short.

I am SICK of the PCP myself and I have only been watching since 2004.

Then again, I am not great at math and I think you need an Algebra degree to understand the Daytona qualifying rules.

Geez. 43 fastest race. end of story.

Something is going to have to give or more fans are going to get upset.

How long does NASCAR think they can keep ALIENATING their fans with Brians tweaking of the sport? He believes all is perfect in the sport.


batchief said...

Anon 1:48, that is a great suggestion is looks workable. Also, with that all cars would have the chance to race for something. Good idea my friend.

red said...

anon 1:48 -- as a dirt track fan, i relish heat races! the truly hungry guys get up on the wheel and make it happen so they can get a shot at the main feature. works for me.
what i like best about this proposal is that sponsors get a shot at tv time and that has to help keep this sport rolling along. qualifying would take a bit longer but everyone would get some time "in the lights." i would still do away with past champion's provisional: it just seems unfair to me.

as far as pit boxes: nascar could do the staggered yellow flag pitting sort of strategy. it's complicated and has a whole bunch of problems but it is being used currently at tracks that lack enough boxes for every one of the 43 cars.

boyd said...

Just a little history. The field used to be 42 cars back in the 80's, King Richard missed a race (I think at a short track) and then there was a 43rd spot added as the champions provisional. At that time it was said it was in honor of his car number.

It's been around a lot longer than most think.

Also, Brian baby hasn't tinkered with the PCP yet.

Anonymous said...

@red--yup those silly pit boxes/garage area is part of it. There are a few where there aren't enough garage stalls. *Most* have 43 pit stalls, I *think* it's Dover/Loudon that has 42 and it's been that way for years. It didn't become an "issue" until a few years ago when Jimmie had qualifying issues and he had to share a pit box. Which ever track it was they're supposed to be reconfiguring it but I don't know if it's been done. Sears Point had to reconfigure there's because some cars had to pit over at Gilligan's Island.

Anonymous said...
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Lisa Hogan said...

Just my opinion:
Mr. Byrnes does not make a good "play-by-play" announcer in the booth. He spends too much time on put-down humor and inside jokes.

I enjoy humor in the booth; but today was like Trackside II. I'd rather hear more about what's happening on the track.

Anonymous said...

today makes me miss Dave D on Monday night.

Richard in N.C. said...

I've been a Petty fan since before Richard had cowboy hats and still am. So, despite pulling for Kyle, I do have a hard time criticizing the PCP since it helped Richard at the end of his career. Also, from a TV and spectator standpoint, I do like to see the past champions in races since they earned the provisional from their accomplishments - but I like it a lot more when my favorites don't get bumped, like Kyle did.

SophiaZ123 said...

Mike Joy admitted his mistake on a driver (name escapes me now, brain hiccup..sigh)yesterday.

Said he read on the internet he called the car a Chevrolet instead of a Ford.

:-) think he meant this blog?

Hey, Mike Joy!! I LOVE YOU!! you do not take yourself too seriously, are a class act, do your best to get info to us when you can (like announcing immediately MM was ok after his horrible looking crash last week)

Gotta love it when you hear him sneak in a comment.

Not that I am SAYING he read it here but I seem to recall SOMEBODY pointing that out here yesterday, too.

I really enjoy this group in the booth...Mike, Larry and Darrell.

Anonymous said...

Comment deleted
This post has been removed by the blog administrator.

April 11, 2008 5:45 PM

I'm surprised this was removed..I thought SPEED showed very poor taste in what they did with the "skit", which is a legit comment on one of the shows at the top of this section. I used no web-link or profanity> I thought tthe segment just showed how far NASCAR & It's partners are from accepting diversity in the sport..

red said...

richard in nc: i truly understand the feelings folks have for the provisional, especially as it was created so that the king could make a race. as much as i respect everything richard petty has done & continues to do for nascar, that was a mistake in my humble opinion. and frankly? i have always been perplexed that he accepted that provisional.
for me -- just 1 fan among 75 million! -- i would prefer that a champion retire gracefully and not have to receive "a gimme" to keep a career going. seems as if nascar keeps moving a tick further away from "race your way into the show" with each well intentioned move.

Daly Planet Editor said...


Thanks to Mike Joy for almost sneaking in a mention....

Anon 5:45PM:

Thanks for taking the time to return. Please help put what you meant into some perspective for folks reading your comment without knowing what specific thing you are referencing.

Anyone is welcome to add a comment, which is why I have tried very hard to keep the Anon label available.

All I ask is that with many hours of NASCAR on Friday, you take a moment to reference your comment.



Anonymous said...

I think the point wasSPEED had Rudledge acting as a gay Massuse in Pink shirt and talking with affects in giving massage to Sadler.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Thanks for the follow-up. We welcome discussions of any point, and if that skit was offensive, please say so.

There has been quite an interesting reaction to Rutledge Wood and his antics. He is often forced to play the clown and make himself look idiotic.

The "Trackside" gang is a veteran bunch, and they are pretty good at not stepping into the wrong topics.

I saw that moment and just thought Rutledge looked like a moron once again. He could be the nicest and smartest guy ever, but he has been so branded by SPEED that whenever he tries to do something with quality involved, it gets lost in translation.

Thanks again for the follow-up.


Newracefan said...

Haven't seen Trackside yet I did see little but of Elliot's massage during practice and even with no sound I was thinking you have got to be kidding. I may FF thru the entire piece when I do watch, I'm not very fond of the let's see how stupid I can act type stuff

Lisa Hogan said...

I agree, JD. I do not enjoy the Rutledge act. It makes me either leave the room or the channel. SPEED has now inserted him in every show.

The odd thing is that they need more on-air folks with the extended coverage. If SPEED would just let Rutledge stop the act, I think he would do a good job.

AMS fan said...

Elliot's massage. I didn't see anything that "almost" any two friends wouldn't do to each other.
I didn't see anyone acting any different than normal. I thought RW was trying to talk like the massuse. It just looked like the guys having fun at the others expense. Right or wrong, it looked like just clean fun amongst friends.
The great thing about this blog, each to their own opinion.

Anonymous said...

@JD--I agree that it helps to be specific. Not everyone is watching or sometimes may have "seen" it different. So if it's too generic, some may not realize what one is talking about. I didn't see the deleted comments so I don't know how anon 5:45 worded it.

I had the TV on but sound muted since I was on the phones. I saw it but the CC didn't put the same spin that I think a live paying attention would have. Because just from watching and not hearing, I was like " sweet Elliott is getting a massage from Rut, hope A isn't jealous"

stricklinfan82 said...

Mike Joy,

If you're reading this now and this blog was the place you saw the reference to your slip of the tongue on Travis Kvapil's manufacturer during qualifying, I hope you didn't take offense to me saying that. I wasn't trying to be critical at all or trying to put you down in any way. As I said Thursday I know it was an honest mistake and you knew better than that. I just thought it was funny and ironic that a mis-speak like that happened to happen on that particular car, especially considering the logos all over the car :)

You're still the best in the business and I hope my comments didn't upset you in any way, that certainly wasn't the intent. I just hope you got a good laugh out of the situation like I did :)

Newracefan said...

I finally watched Trackside and the massage piece wasn't as bad as I thought it was actually somewhat funny. The voice was Rutledge trying (sort of) to sound like a girl and he prob talked so Elliot would notice and they could move on. Elliot is enough of a gentleman not to say hey this massage sucks what are you doing and look at "Amy". I think it was Trackside's way of busting on Elliot. The guy who tried to stage dive and crashed and beaned Hammond with a baseball. It all about the "play hard"

Anonymous said...

currently watching Trackside. Yes I agree, Jeff H and no comment on the "FIKE" and only from DW. Kind of weak. But that is only one side of the issue. Wish we as fans knew the other


Anonymous said...

Kurt B, only one w/sunglasses. Just looks out of place with the rest of the panel not wearing them
Kingston, NY

Anonymous said...

wonder if Kurt was hiding another black eye?

Anonymous said...

Hey guys - the Trackside crew was just messing with Elliott Sadler because Elliott missed the Martinsville show because of his back. That is all it was! Just some friends making fun of another friend. Rutledge made it funny because Elliott had no clue what was going on until he lifted his head.

Anonymous said...

I thought the massage thing was hilarious. But then again, I have a sense of humor. And I agree with the person that said it was just friends messing with each other.

Those guys just have fun. That's what that show is for. If you don't like to see 4 old friends talking about racing and having guests on, you definitely are watching the wrong program. Their chemistry and laid back attitude is what makes it so fun. Go watch something else if you guys can't enjoy it. It takes less time to change the channel than to get on a website and blog about how much you didn't like something. But again, to each thier own.