Friday, April 4, 2008

In-Progress At Texas: Friday Practice, Qualifying And "Trackside"


SPEED kicks-off a full day of live NASCAR coverage from the Texas Motor Speedway on Friday at 1PM Eastern Time with Sprint Cup practice.

After this ninety minute session, John Roberts hosts a thirty minute version of NASCAR Live at 2:30PM to get caught-up on all the latest NASCAR news.

SPEED's new program produced by the NASCAR Media Group is called NASCAR Confidential, and viewers can catch a re-air at 3PM. The show profiles several very different personalities that were involved in the 2008 Daytona 500 in very different ways. The six episode series is an interesting concept, and well-produced.

At 4PM, the Go or Go Home show runs-down the issues of who has to make the race on time alone or face the long trip back to Carolina. SPEED has been struggling to keep the focus of this thirty minute show on this topic, so we will see how things go this week.

Sprint Cup Qualifying is up next at 4:30PM and it certainly should be interesting to see how this unfolds. No doubt, several teams have been putting their best efforts into taking this high-profile and valued pole position. Mike Joy will lead the Fox crew in the announce booth.

John Roberts will host another flexible edition of NASCAR Live after qualifying that will transition the network up to the featured show of the night, Trackside. This 7PM Eastern Time show is hosted by Steve Byrnes with panelists Darrell Waltrip, Jeff Hammond and Larry McReynolds. Each week, they welcome several NASCAR guests.

This page will serve to host your comments about the big NASCAR Friday on SPEED. To add your comments, simply click on the COMMENTS button below and follow the easy instructions. The rules for posting are on the right side of the main page, and this is a moderated forum. Thanks again for taking time to stop by The Daly Planet.

68 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm disappointed that it's been nearly two weeks since the premiere of NASCAR Confidential (which I had pretty much forgotten about since it hasn't been on again) and there still isn't a new episode scheduled. I checked an online TV schedule for the next two weeks - today's repeat is the only airing.

I guess they're going to air the six episodes a month apart or something (at best)? Disappointing.

stricklinfan82 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
stricklinfan82 said...

I give the Fox guys a ton of credit for bringing up the tire situation within the first 2 minutes of coming on the air.

After the Atlanta tire debacle and Fox's seemingly unwillingness to even acknowledge the tire problems that weekend this is a very welcomed change for this viewer.

DW said we should find out right away whether these tire issues on a high speed 1.5 mile track have been fixed or not, so let's see how things turn out. I know I, for one, am hoping we won't see a replay of Atlanta ever again.

stricklinfan82 said...

Fantastic job with the Cup practice coverage.

They covered all of the relevant Cup stories of the week - the tire fallout from Atlanta relation to a similar layout in Texas, the 4th RCR team, Bobby Labonte's contract status, the top 35 bubble battle, Chad McCumbee replacing Kyle Petty, Elliott Sadler's condition, A.J. Allmendinger returning to the #84 next week, etc.

They also did a good job following the go-or-go-homers in practice and trying to get as many cars on camera as possible, including making a point to give TV time to both unsponsored Yates cars. It's sad to see nothing on those cars but what appeared to be "www.sponsoryates.com".

Good stories from the booth like why the baseball owners of Hall of Fame hired J.J. Yeley and DW's driver contract experience with DiGard and Junior Johnson as a follow-up to current drivers' upcoming "free agency".

Plus they stuck around for a few extra minutes after their schedule off-air time to cover the conclusion of practice.

Excellent start to the televised portion of the race weekend, hopefully this translates into the qualifying coverage and we can see some changes from weeks past.

Newracefan said...

All topics covered now. Practice handled many issues and Nascar Live the rest. Jeff B on Michael McDowell and it sounds like MM handled it well so good for him and Travis selling himself to potential sponsers. Did a great job. Someone please sponser those Yates cars. Hey JD maybe we can start a collection and help out I can see it now DALYPLANET on the quarter panel (hopefully it would be bigger than that one from Kurt Bush's Sportscenter commercial). Oh my Kyle Petty, poor Bob guess you drew the short straw.

red said...

to build on the comments from stricklandfan: i think what has impressed me the most so far was the decision to stay with practice for those extra minutes. given what we've been discussing/debating lately, i was quite pleasantly surprised when the decision to stay w/practice became evident. thanks, guys! it has not slipped by unnoticed by this fan!

and can i just say how great it is to see & see ken squiers once again, hosting nascar confidential!

red said...

uhh, slight correct: my last sentence should have read "see & HEAR . . ." , not "see & see . . ."
that's what happens when one has a 5 month old golden retriever barking in one's ear whilst trying to complete a thought . . .

stricklinfan82 said...

A great NASCAR Live program as well. They went right to Jeff Burton to explain what happened in the aftermath of the Michael McDowell incident at Martinsville. Great and funny interview with Travis Kvapil, and great to see a major push by Speed Channel to help Yates Racing find a sponsor. JD, do you have an extra $10 million or so sitting around to put 'The Daly Planet' on the 28 or 38 car? :)

Also a very interesting interview with Kyle Petty. I was stunned to see Kyle's tone in that interview, and it seemed like Bob Dillner was kind of got off guard as well. Kyle's comments that "it's our business" and "I don't know why everyone in the media is making such a major story out of this" were very striking to me. To me the tone of his comments suggests that he's quite upset about the situation and doesn't want to have to talk about it with anyone. I thought Bob Dillner did a good job with the interview considering the circumstances. John Roberts and whoever this week's guest on Tradin' Paint is better be careful when they inevitably bring the topic of Kyle's situation up based on what I heard today.

Speed's 2/2 this week, I sure hope some changes have been made to their qualifying coverage. Here are the key issues I've had with previous weeks' coverage that I'd like to see addressed:

1.) Show BOTH LAPS of EVERY car's qualifying run. There's nothing but NASCAR Live, Trackside, and re-airs of practice, qualifying, and Trackside immediately after qualifying. So to me it shouldn't be asking too much to use the TiVo style format to see BOTH LAPS of EVERY run. In weeks with other live racing immediately following qualifying where the TiVo style format is impossible to use, I'd like to Speed front-load the commercials so we can at least see the go-or-go homers qualify without interruption.

2.) Find some way to allow the viewers to follow where a go-or-go homer is on pace to end up "in class" on the lap tracker. Either use a "go or go home" tracker instead of the traditional 1-43 tracker or maybe better yet, how about keeping the 1-43 lap tracker but coloring the dots that denote the positions of the go-or-go homers? Make the positons on the lap tracker match the scoring crawl on the top of the screen - white dot for the top 35, and then green, yellow, or red dots for the go-or-go-homers.

One green dot denoting where the current qualifier needs to reach to definitely lock in at that moment is not nearly enough information for anyone but the very last qualifier, as was evidenced by Dario Franchitti's run at Martinsville. All we knew was he didn't make it after his lap. We had no idea he put himself on the bubble until the next qualifier finished his run and locked Dario in.

Anonymous said...

JD-

Regarding your comment on the focus of the GOGH show, I can see why it's hard to keep the focus on the GOGH'ers. These drivers and crew chiefs are under A LOT of pressure and may not want to be giving interviews less than a half hour before qualifying begins. Or they may be doing things to prepare themselves or the car for their qualifying run.

While we have come to expect drivers to be available for interviews at all times, maybe during the prepartation for what could possibly be the most stressful minute of their week is not the best time for interviews.

SPEED does what they can. I would suggest instead of finding the "stars" to interview, maybe they should look at those in positions 30-35. Right now some of them are one mediocre race away from being outside the top 35.

Newracefan said...

Anon 353 You have a point as much I would love to hear from Reut, leave him alone he stresses about this enough without having to share it with the world. Talking to him after practice was appropriate since he was the fastest car. Maybe if crew chief of those teams isn't tied up or owner or I guess even a driver who doesn't stress it as much but I'm not sure who that would be.

Anonymous said...

"Also a very interesting interview with Kyle Petty. I was stunned to see Kyle's tone in that interview, and it seemed like Bob Dillner was kind of got off guard as well. Kyle's comments that "it's our business" and "I don't know why everyone in the media is making such a major story out of this" were very striking to me. To me the tone of his comments suggests that he's quite upset about the situation and doesn't want to have to talk about it with anyone."
***********
Kyle's behavior in that interview was uncalled for. However, from what I just read, what happened is Robbie Loomis presented the media today with a PR friendly "Kyle made the decision to step out of the car" interview. When the media were talking to Kyle, he was surprised by that and said it wasn't true and that he was pretty much asked to step out of the car but he didn't say by who (Loomis, the King, or both.)

So boom, that's a news story because there are two conflicting statements out there. And since I think most people probably believe Kyle, it's awkward that Robbie's PR story is out there too and Kyle's probably not happy about it. (It's also why I don't believe Loomis when he says that Labonte is staying at Petty because he's loyal, and I don't like the implied pressure Loomis is making on Bobby in those statements.)

Bad timing for Bob Dilner for sure.

That said, the statements Kyle is making in those interviews on websites are pretty outrageous. He might go driver for another team because he's not ready to retire? He still wants to drive because it's fun to be out there even if he's two laps down? C'mon. Not the way to help support your family company or your sponsors who don't pay you to have "fun". I hope some of that shows up later on NASCAR Live or NASCAR Now if it was videoed.

Yes, Tradin Paint might be interesting they may want to tape tomorrow morning instead LOL.

stricklinfan82 said...

OH MY GOODNESS. In the many years I've been watching this sport I don't think I've EVER seen a crash that bad.

Thank God and thank NASCAR for the safety built into these race cars so Michael McDowell could walk away from that crash okay.

Daly Planet Editor said...

This is a defining moment for both Fox and SPEED in many ways.

stricklinfan82 said...

In addition to thanking God and NASCAR for the safety of those cars I also have to thank the creators of the SAFER barrier and the people at Texas Motor Speedway that made sure it was installed there.

It looks like we might be in for a lengthy delay or perhaps a qualifying cancellation/postponement if they fully repair the steel part of that barrier but that's a small small small microscopic price to pay for saving McDowell in that instance.

Seiko said...

Wow, and we all though the Jeff Gordon hit at vegas was hard.


JD, Is there any type of delay in the programing? Like a 10 second deal in case someone swears?

If there is a delay I'd feel better about them showing that knowing that they had seen someone moving in the car before letting it on the air.

Newracefan said...

Little behind here due to phone call but oh my that was very scary. Seiko yes I agree I hope they confirmed movement or radio communication before showing that car. I think the reason they went to showing the wall as he was getting out was to make sure he was truly ok before we got to see it on TV.

Mike said...

Wonder what the over/under is for the number of times SportsCenter shows this tonight.

Daly Planet Editor said...

How smart does NASCAR Now's "Big Monday" show look now by having Mr. Randy LaJoie, the Founder and President of The Joie of Seating, as a panelist?

This might be the one very memorable, especially if Randy brings some NASCAR Cup seats into the studio.

JD

Anonymous said...

GREAT GREAT commentary from the booth during this red flag. Very informative about the safety barrier and the stay dri(sp?), and still compassionate comments, especially DW, without getting too emotional.

Good interview with Tony S. by matt Yocum - talking about the wreck, then talking about lighter items like the Prelude and joking with DW about the water truck at Tony's dirt track.

Really good broadcast. But I have to say that most recent replay -I had seen the slow motion version when I got home but not the full speed version - brought a couple of tears to my eyes - literally.

Guess I can't say anything bad about the COT anymore! BUT....I hope they repair they barrier fully and completely. if not, set qualifying by points and don't worry so much about getting qualifying in that the barrier is not 100 percent right.

GREAT job, SPEED.

Anonymous said...

A defining moment for SPEED. Great interview w/the driver. Glad he is ok. Says alot for the wall and the new car.

Lou
Kingston, NY

Daly Planet Editor said...

No delay on SPEED, this is cable TV.

mike said...

Hate to see this stuff happen, but the Fox crew does the best at covering the whole angle of this. They keep it real (emotion, etc), and don't overdo it.

Daly Planet Editor said...

It should be interesting to see when Trackside finally airs if McDowell is a guest.

Anonymous said...

Before the accident, just want to also comment that it did seem like we did not miss any laps of qualifying.

Lou
Kingston, NY

Anonymous said...

JD, having Randy with his seats in the NN studio would be good and excellent timing - IF the panel and Randy stay neutral and mention that the Hendrick carbon seat is becoming the standard for Cup drivers for safety reasons.

Not that some drivers don't use LaJoie seats, but most are transitioning to Hendrick seats. Kasey Kahne was asked about that this week, weirdly enough:

Do you use a Hendrick-made seat?

KASEY KAHNE: I use LaJoie seats. I've used LaJoie seats since I got into the Busch Series and the Cup Series. They work really well for me. I've started testing some Hendrick seats and I'm trying to figure out how to make 'em work for me.

There's a lot that goes into getting your seat exactly right. It's taken me a little bit of time. But I think eventually we'll probably run a Hendrick seat. But I'm still running LaJoies.

Q. What are you liking about the Hendrick seat that you might switch?

KASEY KAHNE: The safety. You know, I think it's a really safe seat. I think the LaJoie seat is also a really safe seat. But the best thing to me about the Hendrick seat is they're all exactly the same. You can put an insert in a seat, take that out, put that seat in another car, put an insert in that seat again. All your belts are always the same. Everything can always be the same. With the other seats, it just takes a lot more time to be comfortable. A lot of times you're still not comfortable.

I think when you get a Hendrick seat right, it's the way to go.


As long as it's approached from the Hendrick seats are mentioned along with Lajoies then I'll be fine with it. If not, I'll be saying something when that show comes on. ;)

Daly Planet Editor said...

I think the concern is safety, not the brand. The reason that Neil Bonnett is on the front page of this site is an accident similar to this.

I don't care who makes it and the fact that McDowell had a LaJoie seat in his car kind of blunts this argument about branding.

JD

Newracefan said...

McDowell had a great interview and Doc asked all the right questions. The fact that he said he was mad about wrecking and the comment about making eveyone mad last week and now I'm holding up qualifying, you'll go far kid

Anonymous said...

Like I said, if they talk about seats and as long as it's not approached as Lajoie is mentioned and other manufacturers are not, all will be fine.

It doesn't matter if you care who makes it or not or about the branding, what matters is on a news show if they present the news the way it is. If they are talking about seats, the plain and simple fact is that most Cup drivers are transitioning to Hendrick seats. That's all I'm saying and you were the one to mention the NN -Lajoie connection.

NASCAR Now has a tendency to favor certain news and views when certain panelists are on because of conflicts of interest, and they need to stop that because viewers like me see it - and don't like it.

Anonymous said...

I wonder why the NASCAR officials put their hands up in front of the camera there when they showing McDowell's car?

Anonymous said...

It would be nice to hear the wreck with just the nat sound.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Any idea how tall McDowell is?

Newracefan said...

JD I think he is over 6 feet. 6 4 comes to mind but I don't know why

Anonymous said...

I noticed he was tall also. He is 6ft 2in

Lou
Kingston, NY

Daly Planet Editor said...

nrf,

He was towering over the safety workers on the replay. That is why I asked. I remember MW when he had headroom struggles with the old car.

I have to give DW the nod, he did not over-react and kept the right level of emotion balanced with good commentary. This was good coverage.

Nice of the SPEED crew to go in full scramble mode and give the guys in the booth a break.

JD

Newracefan said...

Lou how did you find that out or did you know his height

Mike said...

Now that qualifying has resumed, the story has to be how fast the track has become. There could be a bunch of go or go home drivers starting way up front by the time they get around to qualifying.

Newracefan said...

I thought DW did a great job of keeping his emotions controlled. He has been pretty quite since the wreck I am pretty sure he was deeply affected. There were several times that the booth lapsed into silence but I think that is ok I was pretty silent here too

Anonymous said...

Mike said...
Wonder what the over/under is for the number of times SportsCenter shows this tonight.

April 4, 2008 5:44 PM

Too bad it took a wreck like that for NASCAR to be the top story on the early Sportscenter tonight.

Anonymous said...

NRF, I had checked it a week or so ago on a FOX bio page on NASCAR Drivers
Lou
Kingston,NY

mike said...

At times I could hear DW's voice crack....but the balance was perfect. It wasn't overhyped and overone like some networks would've handled it.

Newracefan said...

Thanks Lou,I always wondered how tall some of the drivers were. Who knew Mark Martin is actually taller than me, now I know I'm short. I also think it's interesting that all Machaels drivers are at least 6 ft tall.

Glad to see qualifying could get restarted, it's amazing how TMS was able to fix that wall. DW seems to be getting back on his game too.

Newracefan said...

Oops That was Michael as in Waltrip

Newracefan said...

That Kyle Bush interview was interesting, I wonder if they ment to throw it to Doc without the camera, Kyle obviously wasn't happy as soon as the camers got back he turned around

Mike said...

Yeah, Kyle didn't sound too thrilled about that. I think they meant to send it to Dick, but they didn't mean to slight Kyle like he implied. Nor did they expect they'd get that sort of reaction from Kyle. The cameraman was probably only doing as he was directed.

Mike said...

Let me add, a lot of these drivers like to take the fake swig of their sports drink in front of the camera as they're being asked the question (some get paid for each time they're shown doing that), so it probably upset Kyle that he couldn't do that on camera.

darbar said...

They talked about some kind of system within the car that gives out information about the functioning of the car and I was wondering if either Speed or ESPN would have access to the information. Even Tony Stewart made a comment about wanting to see the information about the car during the wreck. I gather it's sort of like the black box in an airplane. It would be interesting to see what may have caused the problem.

Speed did a great job with the coverage showing all angles. And now on NN, Dr Jerry Punch has provided some good supporting information.

I'm just happy the driver walked away. I bet you won't see drivers complaining anymore about the COT seeing how it, and the safer barrier kept this driver alive.

Kyle Petty sure was snarky. Why does the media think this is a big deal? BECAUSE IT IS. This could signal the end of Petty Racing. He definitely couldn't be less gracious. While I understand he's frustrated, most drivers get frustrated at one time or another, but you still have to answer the questions.

Mike said...

Great job of continually telling us who the 3 drivers going home at the moment would be.

Lisa Hogan said...

Great job by the FOX and SPEED crews today. As much as we fuss about the person calling the camera shots, I want to commend the decision to cut away from the car until McDowell was out. Very much appreciated by this fan!

As far as drivers taking a drink on camera, those are called “chug points” and goes to the driver’s charity.

Newracefan said...

Does anyone else think it was a poor choice of camera angle that entire time DW was talking about Max Helton's ministry the back round is a trailer selling grey bikini tops. Guess they can control only so much

PammH said...

Terrific tribute to Max Helton by the Trackside crew tonite.

Anonymous said...

Some drivers' heights in their different bios are exaggerated, which is funny when you see them in person. Not the taller drivers, but the shorter drivers routinely have 1-3 inches added on in their bios. Mark Martin is barely 5'5'' and he laughs at some of his bios when they say he's 5'7'' or 5' 8''. He knows how tall he is.

But some drivers take it seriously, Rule of thumb: if a driver is listed as 5'7'-5'9" subtract 1-3 inches from that height. Jamie McMurray who is often listed as 5'8 and is 2 1/2 inches shorter than that. He got a little testy one time when Marty Smith looked a little doubtful when Jamie said he's 5'9" on a TV interview (as Marty dwarfed Jamie).

Tony Stewart, Kasey Kahne are both about 5'6'' and are usually listed as 5'8'' or more often 5'9''.

Drivers around 5'10 and up include Jimmie Johnson, Newman, Edwards, both the Busch Brothers, DJ, and of course Waltrip and Sadler.

Jeff Burton wearing his sunglasses on Trackside was a little annoying. Unless he has a medical condition that requires him to wear sunglasses in the sun, which would make it understandable. He wore them on NASCAR NOW not long ago.

Newracefan said...

Thanks anon 814 I guess I am not as short as I thought I was. Jeff Burton always wears sunglasses. I think he has a personal services contract with the company. He also tends to blink somewhat awkwardly I am not sure if that is a tick, light sensitivity or just the way he blinks.

Anonymous said...

Since I wasn't able to watch, was BAM Racing mentioned at all?

Newracefan said...

At the start of first practice (I think( they mentioned BAM withdrawing to get themselves together since the manufacturer change and that it was a shame because the were doing well the past few races.

Anonymous said...

I tuned in at 6pm eastern. Lots of talk about something that happened to someone somewhere on the track at sometime. I wait......and wait.......and wait.....and wait......for an explanation and replay....and wait.....commercial......wait.....turn to my local news instead.
Hello SPEDD!!!? Basic live tv 101!!! Update evry hour on the hour for tune-in audience???? Pretty basic stuff, boys and girls.
My gosh, what amateurs

Lisa Hogan said...

Thanks to the SPEED crew for an enjoyable Trackside tonight. I was able to hear what the panel was saying and wasn’t distracted by the waving fans.

Brad did a good job on the program. That puppy was an awwww moment. Cute sponsor plug.

Thanks again, SPEED crew. Great show.

Daly Planet Editor said...

I could not agree more on the issue of Jeff Burton and his sunglasses. What a shame that so much of his facial expressions and his eyes could not be seen on a stage where no one else needed to wear sunglasses.

I hope SPEED thinks twice about this policy.

JD

stricklinfan82 said...

I'm sorry for the delayed comments but I just now got the chance to fire up the DVR and watch the rest of qualifying.

I'm assuming the long delay forced Speed to abort the TiVo style format they used up until McDowell's accident. I can live with that happening but I still wish they would do a better job of scheduling commercial break times when true-live qualifying is mandatory.

Today we missed THREE go-or-go-home drivers. There were 10 drivers fighting for 7 available spots in the field, and Speed skipped 3 of the 10!

They started by missing Chad McCumbee and Burney Lamar, then got back in time to show Bill Elliott (the only go-or-go homer with no danger of missing the race because of his champion's provisional) then took another commercial for John Andretti. Upon Speed's shock of seeing Andretti make the field, they quickly re-wound the tape and showed Andretti come off turn 4 to the checkered after the break before awkwardly transitioning right to Patrick Carpentier already on the track starting his run... that's simply not good enough for this viewer.

I really wish Speed would make a better effort to show ALL the go-or-go homers. In a case like today where true-live coverage after the 00's crash was obviously mandatory, skipping 3 was ridiculously excessive. The commercials should have been front-loaded to when the top 35 were on the track. And then to show Bill Elliott's irrelevant, stress-free run and skip the two go-or-go homers around him (08 right before him and 34 right after him) was also a very poor decision from my point of view.

And as usual the graphics still leave a lot to be desired. The 1-43 lap tracker gives no perspective on the go-or-go-home situation and I really wish one of my suggestions for improvements in that area (that I posted earlier today) would be taken up by the Fox guys.

Practice coverage: great

NASCAR Live after practice: great

race coverage: usually great for everything but the last lap

"knock-out" qualifying coverage: Fox still hasn't figured it out

Fox has most of this "NASCAR thing" figured out. Come on guys, now it's time to figure out the last lap coverage of these races and the qualifying coverage, particularly the go-or-go-home portion.

PammH said...

I have noticed w/JB that he seems to have a similar blinking problem AKA Steve Wallace when he is interviewed. Have NO idea if he has the same affliction, because it's never been addressed publicly. Just a random thought..

stricklinfan82 said...

Anonymous said...
Since I wasn't able to watch, was BAM Racing mentioned at all?

April 4, 2008 8:23 PM


They had a discussion about the BAM situation during practice, with DW most notably questioning the decision to re-group for 2 weeks coming off the momentum of a 7th place qualiyfing run at Martinsville. I don't believe they were mentioned during qualifying.

SophiaZ123 said...

I agree the sunglasses thing is way overkill and should be mandatory TO REMOVE before face time on camera.


After ALL, even with a sponsor, you can push the glasses on top of your head as soon as you come on camera.

BUT I have noticed over the years the jerking eye blink of J Burton and wonder if he has some neuro disorder or light sensitivity to camera. If that is so than I forgive him but for crying out loud, he could address it.

There is no shame in saying your eyes are photosensitive.

Otherwise you come off RUDE!! But in the grand scheme of things it may be small since Jeff is all over the tv these days.

SophiaZ123 said...

OMG! I caught the replay earlier but just saw the qualifying replay and the "live" reaction by the guys in the booth...how horrible for them to witness...and the crowd's response.

I got choked up watching it KNOWING Michael was ok...the whole emotion and the second angle replay....like DW said, you almost couldn't stand to watch it.

For those that don't have SPEED, Michael McDowell's crash made it to you tube hours ago.


That young man is going to be sore tomorrow but thank GOD he walked away and could smile and laugh afterward.

In many ways I am grateful to be watching NASCAR these last 4 years with all the safety aspects in the sports.

I don't know how you veterans took it when you saw drivers lose their lives on the track.

Gymmie said...

@JD--I was thinking the same! It's going to be interesting to see how they tie everything together :)

stricklinfan82 said...

SophiaZ123 said...

I don't know how you veterans took it when you saw drivers lose their lives on the track.

April 4, 2008 10:44 PM


Soph,

Speaking for myself, as a veteran race fan it has never been easy watching a crash. I still hold my breath waiting for a sign that every driver is okay just like I did 15+ years ago so that part hasn't changed despite the major safety advances in recent years. I continue to be amazed that these drivers can walk away from the types of crashes they have but I still never take it for granted that's for sure.

If you have ESPN Classic or ever get access to tapes or DVD's of old races from 70's, 80's, or even the 90's I think you would be stunned by how primitive the safety technology really was back then, both in the cars and around the race tracks. If you took one look at some of that old footage and compared it to today, you'd certainly wonder how in the world any of those drivers ever survived any crashes and what the hell they were thinking driving as fast as 210 or 220 mph into the turns at Daytona and Talladega (pre-restrictor plate) in those conditions, LOL.

I think it would be a great idea for Fox to take a trip "Back in the Day" (no pun intended) and do a safety feature on the pre-race show and use some old in-car "driver cam" footage or wall technology footage and compare the evolution of those technologies over the years from the 60's to the 70's to the 80's/90's to 2000 to today. It would be a stunner for sure for some of you newer fans that probably don't truly have an appreciation for how much safer things really are in today's NASCAR.

And JD you're exactly right, ESPN hit the jackpot again by booking a NASCAR Now panelist that coincidentally turned out to become a major news story during that particular race weekend. I can't wait to see what Randy LaJoie has to say about his seat that was in that 00 car and for him to perhaps give us a behind-the-scenes look at some of the features of that seat that may have very well saved Michael McDowell today.

SophiaZ123 said...

Stricklanfan

I used to watch a lot of the old races on CLASSIC and was stunned by the primitive ways, indeed. From the little protection drivers wore, the seats, and the guys on pit road lack of protection.

NOT to mention some shabby fencing that fans used to sit near in harms way!!!

Everytime I see a wreck, I get a knot in my gut and sometimes a tear in my eye because I DO KNOW the history of this sport and the losses many have felt and witnessed.

I still get mad though when I think of the in car cam on Reutimann and he was stunned with head slightly slumped forward. The in car cam had NO PLACE being used in that incident.

I am grateful for the progress for safety but know, it's still a risk out there. And makes me scream for SAFER barriers EVERYPLACE on the track.

earl06 said...

I think it's pretty obvious SPEED knows people tune in for the GOGH'ers. No more interviews from pit lane and every third driver is pre-empted by commercials. Before that there was several hours of coverage with commercial interruptions maybe every 10 minutes. What a load of bull.

I keep getting the feeling that SPEED will never be a real network again. It's fading into the miasma of once proud, but now unwatchable channels like Spike, G4, Versus, TNT, A&E, USA, etc.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Big thanks to the "Trackside" gang from SPEED for dropping us a note. Jeff Burton does indeed have trouble with the TV lights and had to wear his sunglasses. He takes it situation by situation as to whether he needs to wear them.

Good info from a nice group.

JD

SophiaZ123 said...

JD

Thanks for the update about Jeff Burton's eyes. As one with sensitive eyes herself, I will no longer comment on HIS wearing of sunglasses.

I had a photo taken with a digital camera a few weeks ago with and overly BRIGHT flash and my eyes hurt for several minutes and I had spots. So I totally get the sunglasses as TV shows use lights, even outside.

Thanks to Trackside guys for informing JD so we can all be more understanding bunch.

We are an understanding bunch as long as we are not kept in the dark.

No pun intended! :)