Saturday, May 3, 2008
In-Progress On Saturday: Pre-Race Programming
It will be a one hour Saturday morning version of NASCAR Now that kicks-off the day for NASCAR fans at 10AM Eastern Time. The show will be anchored from the ESPN studios and will feature live reports from Richmond. It will be ESPNEWS on-the-air after the race with coverage of the Infield Media Center interviews and highlights.
SPEED begins the NASCAR day at 3:30PM Eastern with Tradin' Paint. This week it will be Washington Post reporter and veteran NASCAR writer Liz Clarke joining Kyle Petty and host John Roberts. It should be interesting to see what they have to say about the big Friday night TV network simulcast of the Nationwide Series race. Clarke's recent NASCAR book, One Helluva Ride, is a great read for fans.
NASCAR Performance follows at 4PM and this show has been building a big audience. Larry McReynolds hosts the show and has Chad Knaus and Bootie Barker along on his crew chief panel. This fast-paced thirty minute show is worth watching or recording, both for its outstanding information and also its very good sense of humor.
NASCAR in a Hurry is up next at 4:30PM, and either Randy Pemberton or Adam Alexander will be recapping the best video from the past twenty-four hours. This show is a cross between Entertainment Tonight and SportsCenter. Lots of video with a host that simply introduces the next feature. It is an easy way for fans to get caught-up on what has gone on in practice, qualifying and the Nationwide Series race.
At 5PM, it is time for "the franchise" to hit the air. RaceDay will be two hours of chaos as usual and that is exactly what fans of the show enjoy. John Roberts will be hosting alongside Jimmy Spencer and Kenny Wallace.
This week's show will have Robby Gordon as a live guest. Gordon has some interesting stories to tell about his recent rally adventures as well as a NASCAR team update. Wendy Venturini's Real Deal segment this week will feature Casey Mears.
There will also be a recap of the staged photo opportunity recently at Darlington involving Carl Edwards and NASCAR legend David Pearson. It was this column in the The Daly Planet that informed readers of the hilarious and outspoken interview Pearson gave to Nicole Manske at NASCAR Now that day. It should be interesting to see how SPEED chooses to present the same information.
A very positive feature on RaceDay will be a report on the NASCAR ties to the upcoming ARCA race at Rockingham. This track has been restored to working order and has been the scene of many test sessions, but Sunday the ARCA guys will be putting fifty cars (last season's Cup cars) on the track for what should be a great show. Kudos to Andy Hillenburg and the entire dedicated Rockingham staff.
Two notes for viewers. ESPN pit reporter Jamie Little and Mike Skinner are featured in the post-produced Toyota Celebrity race from Long Beach, CA on SPEED at 3PM. Also, SPEED will continue to keep Victory Lane on Sunday after the SPEED Report. Viewers looking for post-race content will have to turn to ESPNEWS.
This post will serve to host your comments about this "block" of pre-race programming on Saturday. There will be a new post up for the Sprint Cup race at 6PM, one hour prior to airtime.
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