Sunday, April 6, 2008

In Progress On Sunday: "NASCAR Now" and "RaceDay"

The battle of the Sunday morning NASCAR shows continues with two very different networks taking two very different approaches to the very same topic.

ESPN2 has a one hour version of NASCAR Now on Sunday's at 10AM that is anchored from the network's Bristol, CT studio. Ryan Burr and Nicole Manske rotate the hosting duties and use the studio as the base of operations. ESPN sees the racetrack as a location for reports and features. In line with the ESPN dress code, the on-air talent wear suits and ties while the ladies wear business attire.

Over at SPEED, they continue to do things just a little bit differently. RaceDay is a two hour pre-race show that encompasses almost every TV element surrounding NASCAR that viewers can imagine. From hardcore technical information to the up-to-the-minute news from the garage, the network certainly has NASCAR covered. This Sunday, the show is on-the-air at 11:30AM Eastern Time.

SPEED changed to a philosophy of moving the studio to the track for the weekend several years ago, and it has paid-off. Since that network has the Charlotte All-Star race as their only Cup or Nationwide Series related event, this is a smart way to be associated with the Cup Series on a regular basis.

This week, Denny Hamlin, Casey Mears and Jamie McMurray will be guests on the program. Veteran Wendy Venturini will present a Real Deal report on the struggle for sponsorship. It will focus on how teams integrate multiple sponsors to achieve success. The program will have a Texas flashback and also track the current Top 35 situation.

RaceDay is offered in a casual and relaxed environment. Venturini is kept apart from the panel of Jimmy Spencer and Kenny Wallace. She is the news person who has to deal with the tough topics in the sport on a regular basis. The polar opposite of Venturini is Rutledge Wood. Designated as the class clown, Wood's last report featured the fact several drivers had flex-locked a bicycle to a fence. Sunday, Rutledge is going to file a report on his trip to a Texas rodeo.

The sophisticated ESPN attempt at a one hour Sunday morning show fell apart in 2007. The wrong studio hosts, the wrong reporters at the track and generally the wrong approach to the sport caused a big mess. Now, ESPN has changed course and is catching up quickly in the world of NASCAR TV.

Marty Smith has stepped-in as the Lead Reporter, replacing the "pool reporters" that formerly filed the news reports. Nicole Manske and Allen Bestwick have joined Burr as co-hosts, and the entire ESPN broadcast team at the track has been integrated into this program.

As the series reaches the Cup race at Texas, it should be interesting to compare RaceDay and NASCAR Now. Two very different approaches to the same subject matter that are now competing for the same set of NASCAR fans.

This page will serve to host your comments about NASCAR Now and RaceDay on Sunday. To add your comments, simply click on the COMMENTS button below and follow the directions. The rules for posting are on the right side of the main page. Thanks for taking the time to stop by The Daly Planet.


Ken-Michigan said...

NASCAR NOW was in the Tech Center with Brewer & Petree talking about the Sway Bar and the "innovations" that Petree himself came up with to take weight OUT of that sway bar.

I figured the piece was going to be about HOW Petree took the weight out and his "innovative idea.

THEY NEVER said anything at all about HOW HE DID IT !!!

I had to replay the piece to make sure I didnt miss something.

If you're going to talk to the veteran fans, don't insult us in this manner.

What a complete waste of Tech Center time.

Newracefan said...

NN on Sunday had very few new pieces. They even played the same piece about the NW race twice. If it wasn't for DJ Cobb and Marty Smith it would have been a total waste. I agree about the tech center, I guess Andy doesn't want to give away his secrets even if he doesn't need them anymore.

Daly Planet Editor said...


It certainly was not one of their better efforts, but at least Marty has the bases covered at the track.

I almost wish they would give Marty the Infield Pit Studio and let him bring guests inside.


Anonymous said...

Nascar at High Speed on SPEED.
Don't know if you've seen it, JD, but, YUK!

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 12:10PM,

NASCAR in a Hurry is not reviewed on this blog because it contains no original content.

Truck Series pit reporter Adam Alexander has recently been expanding his role at SPEED by hosting The SPEED Report and also by taping the wrap-a-round segments for NASCAR in a Hurry.

The show merely picks content from the previous 48 hours on SPEED and re-airs it. I am not sure what it provides in the timeslot directly before RaceDay, but SPEED believes it fills a void and...the price is right.


Newracefan said...

Nascar in a Hurry works if you haven't seen much of the earlier shows, that was me last week. If you watched everything it's kind of a waste although Adam does a good job. I do find it interesting that they used the Kyle Petty piece from friday when he jumped on Bob as opposed to Tradin Paint when he was more informative and less annoyed

Anonymous said...

Once again, Wendy does a great job on the Real Deal. And this one on sponsorship was another of her great Real Deal segments as it relates to NASCAR. And having Robby Gordon in the segment gives a grass roots look as the single car team vs the multi car teams.
Kingston, NY

SophiaZ123 said...

ok was out of the room for awhile and when I came back, Chris Myers said something about Digger the Gopher cam. Then a stuffed animal in front of JR.

Well, I better dig out the boom box and just LISTEN to the race.

It hasn't even begun yet and the DIGGER PUSH FOR HYPE AND SALES begins.

HORRIBLE to cross promote a stupid cam and T shirt all over the SPEED and Fox shows.

Just show us the race with wide angles or some of us will CHOOSE LISTENING on radio.

Thanks for ruining the races with your "toys" SPEED/Fox.

When I heard SB mentioned DIGGER on TWIN, I knew the hype was just beginning.


Daly Planet Editor said...

There is a new post up for the Sprint Cup race and pre-show race on Fox.


Ken-Michigan said...

Marty Smith on ESPN really needs to lose the suit and tie if he is going to be in the NASCAR garage.

If he's going to be in the Pit Studio, fine, but in the garage ?? come on.....

Anonymous said...

These FOX clowns are clueles-and arrogant!
Fans DO NOT want anymore Gopher cam, or tee shirts, or patently false claims by FOX that they invented it.
ENOUGH! Bill Murray can't (and won't) justify it and neither can Rupert Murdoch.
Cover something about the sport, will you please??
Lest you misunderstand, ENOUGH GOPHER CAM CRAP!

Daly Planet Editor said...


There is an on-going discussion about giving the reporters the ability to change from suit and tie to casual polo shirt.

Hopefully, ESPN will allow the on-site reporters to dress down a bit. Right now, one rule applies for all and that is tough for the guys in the field.


Anonymous said...

No one is making you watch these shows...why do you spend time whining about what they show, even if it's much does it cost you to watch? Geez. Quit whining...but I guess that's the primary reason people are on blogs.

Anonymous said...

annon 1338hrs,
you are correct. No one makes us watch, and it costs me nothing. But as a 30 yr vet who defends your right to express you opinion I respect that. Having said that, those of us who comment on this blog just like to see a very good product a better product. And we are doing ok, You are reading it, LOL

Anonymous said...

Why aren't Nicole Manske and Ryan switching roles at the track? For the longest it was said (both here and other places) that one would be in the studio each weekend and the other would be reporting from the track.

What I'm seeing is if one is in the studio (mostly Ryan, though Nicole did a very good job hosting the first two Sunday shows, one on location, I believe) the other is nowhere to be found.

Nicole said in an ESPN chat before the season that she was looking forward to traveling for NN because she didn't get to do that in her old (SPEED) job. So what's up?

Also Marty and Angelique Chengelis are supposed to alternate weekends reporting from the track. Is that still in effect?

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 1:38PM,

How do you think change happens?

Good people who care about a product express a concern and then things change.

Maybe if you took the time to express your views on both what you like and do not like you could be one of the people who influence change.


Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 2:57PM,

It was not a rotation of weekends. The schedule of who travels and who works in the studio is dicated by the schedule of the Sprint Cup race weekends.

Manske and Burr have a flexible travel schedule simply because there are some weekends that do not require them to be at the track.

Marty Smith has been great in stepping up and taking over the news reporting from the tracks, and as you saw on Sunday he is being helped by staff members like Dave Burns.

NASCAR Now talent should see a lot more travel when ESPN takes over the Cup series TV and everyone hits the road for the big ABC weekends.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for the information.

If one isn't going to travel to the track on weekends, could another go to North Carolina during the week for a couple of days and file some feature stories at the very least? Geez. If one isn't hosting (and neither hosts on Mondays, with no show Saturday), they could do some more investigative or feature work.

Still don't understand why Angelique hasn't been on lately. I *know* for sure I've read that she and Marty alternate weekends at the track, perhaps from Marty himself in his column.

Or why Boris Said hasn't been around lately. I understand why Tim Cowlishaw has been gone; he really didn't have a role and I'm sure he's only in Texas today because it's his old stomping grounds.

It's almost like they're trying out different people every week: Benson, Wallace and now Lajoie.

Anonymous said...

I like NA$CAR in a Hurry, even though I've seen the shows :). Adam is a good guy so I'm glad to see that he's getting more opportunities.