Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Whelen Modified Series Gets Time On "NASCAR Now"
It was LW Miller who was interviewed a couple of weeks ago on NASCAR Now. The Whelen Southern Modified champ was excited about the season opener at Caraway Speedway in North Carolina.
He made the point that because the Whelen North Tour did not start until April, some of the Northern drivers would be towing down and Caraway would be just like an all-star race. True to his word, Miller won the race being chased to the checkers by Northern regular Teddy Christopher.
Viewers tuning into NASCAR Now on the day after the Caraway race were disappointed to see only the winner mentioned in the news and notes segment. There were no video highlights, no winner interview and no follow-up.
Wednesday, host Nicole Manske welcomed Whelen Modified North competitor Todd Szegedy to NASCAR Now and got a lesson in regional racing reality. Szegedy joined Manske in the studio, and put a face on the series that has been a great tradition in New England for many years.
In response to Manske's questions about his strict workout routine, Szegedy said he rides his (stationary) bike in the basement and works his "regular job." Manske was not ready for that reality check.
Instead of asking Szegedy about his family, his life and how hard the commitment to racing weekends in the Whelen Modified Series really is, Manske asked some bad questions and then ran a silly and dated video clip.
This is the season for NASCAR Now to open-up and understand that veteran fans do not see NASCAR as only the three national touring series. Szegedy talked about the Modifieds running three wide up at Loudon going 140mph on the backstretch. He talked about ten or fifteen top drivers being in contention for the win every single race.
It was clear he was proud of his sponsor and proud of his series. Unfortunately, NASCAR Now did not even promo the race at Thompson International Speedway or indicate that it would be televised. The learning curve where regional racing is concerned is still underway.
When many NASCAR fans hear names like Mike Stefanik, Eddie Flemke Jr., Jamie Tomaino and Reggie Ruggerio it brings strong memories to mind of great racing at classic tracks from Loudon to Martinsville.
As the rest of the Wednesday NASCAR Now program demonstrated, ESPN has cleared-up the vast majority of issues with this series and is now ready to capitalize on the momentum of the last two months. Perhaps, that will include a bit more coverage of the enthusiastic and exciting regional racers that spread the NASCAR brand from coast-to-coast.
The Daly Planet welcomes comments from readers. Simply click on the COMMENTS button below and follow the easy instructions. The rules for posting are listed on the right side of the main page. Thanks for taking the time to stop by.