Thursday, May 29, 2008

SPEED Delays Truck Race And Fox TV Director On "Trackside"

The action on this triple-header weekend at Dover is fast and furious on the track. As usual, it will be SPEED handling all the Friday support programming except for the Nationwide Series portion.

ESPN2 is going to step-in and show one hour of Nationwide Series practice. That will allow the network to feature Joey Logano on the track in this series for the first time.

Unfortunately, this day also contains a tough decision by SPEED to tape-delay the Friday Craftsman Truck Series race that takes place at 5PM until 8PM Eastern Time that night. Dover has no lights for racing, so the Trucks must use the daylight.

The day begins early with Craftsman Truck Series qualifying at 10AM. It will be the full-time NCTS announce team of Rick Allen and Phil Parsons calling the action. Michael Waltrip will try to make himself available, but that depends on what is going on with his team's Sprint Cup issues. Down in the garage area will be Ray Dunlap and Adam Alexander.

This TV team is coming-off of perhaps their best race of the season as they called the short-track action last weekend from Mansfield Motorsports Park in Ohio. From the green flag the trucks were battling like it was the last lap and when the smoke cleared, a controversial first time winner emerged. The NCTS race from Dover should be just as intense, it is unfortunate that it is not being offered live.

Sprint Cup Series practice comes along at 11:30AM. Mike Joy, Darrell Waltrip and Larry McReynolds will be in the booth. Reporting from the garage will be Dick Berggren and Matt Yocum. This is the final weekend for the NASCAR on Fox gang.

After lunch, ESPN2 takes over at 2PM for live coverage of the final Nationwide Series practice. Dr. Jerry Punch, Rusty Wallace and Andy Petree will cover this session. Down on pit road will be Dave Burns, Jamie Little and Shannon Spake.

Immediately after that session, the SPEED coverage continues as the Sprint Cup cars qualify at 3PM. It will be the NASCAR on Fox crew returning as listed above. This will be the the final coverage of Cup qualifying with the full Fox crew for the season.

The next program on the SPEED schedule at 7PM will be Trackside, and readers of The Daly Planet will want to make a special note to catch this program.

Steve Byrnes will be hosting along with his usual panel of Darrell Waltrip, Larry McReynolds and Jeff Hammond. After this program, Waltrip gives way to Elliott Sadler for the rest of the season. But, that is not the reason to pay attention.

The guest line-up is stellar, and includes Joey Logano and his Gibbs teammate Tony Stewart. These two should present an interesting team dynamic as Logano continues to be hyped as the next Jeff Gordon, with little mention of Stewart's amazing accomplishments in motorsports. His record may be unmatched by anyone else currently in NASCAR. With Stewart in the news for a variety of reasons, the conversation should be well worth watching.

Trackside's other guest is a welcome surprise. NASCAR on Fox Director Artie Kempner is active in the Autism promotion at Dover because of family reasons which we will let him relate. The thrust of the discussion is certainly going to be about this great cause and how this race sponsorship came about.

Since this is Fox's final race weekend of the season, it should be interesting to see if the panel allows Kempner to reflect on the season-to-date from a TV perspective. Kempner only participates in this portion of the NASCAR TV schedule, and then moves on to other Fox assignments in a variety of stick-and-ball sports.

After Trackside, fans finally get the NCTS pre-race show called The Set-Up at 8PM. This week Krista Voda is back as the host, and she certainly has a lot to talk about in this episode. Ray Dunlap will support her as a reporter and he is the right person to deal with the on-going tension in the NCTS garage. After both Charlotte and Mansfield, will Dover become yet another wreck-fest for this series?

The NCTS race coverage begins at 8:30PM, with Rick Allen and Phil Parsons in the booth. Michael Waltrip will probably be alongside. The veteran duo of Dunlap and Adam Alexander will handle pit road. The only hard part about this coverage is that Voda is eliminated from the program after the pre-race show.

Well, there is it. Quite a big Friday on SPEED and even ESPN2 sneaks-in for a live hour. There certainly should be quite a lot to talk about, and we invite you to post your TV-related comments right here. There is nothing to join and we do not want your email address. We just want your thoughts on this long Friday of NASCAR.

To add your comment, just click on the COMMENTS button below and follow the easy instructions. The rules for posting are located on the right side of the main page and this is a moderated forum. Thanks for taking the time to stop by The Daly Planet.


SonicAD said...

Do you know when Trackside will be taped this weekend? I'm unsure at this point whether it'll be safe to watch it before the Truck race, since the Truck race should be over by the time it airs.

Anonymous said...

In the past, I believe they've recorded "Trackside" during the Truck race ...

But, if you don't want to risk being spoiled ... Then don't watch "Trackside" til after the Truck race ...

7am pdt for qualifying for the Trucks !?!? 7:30am pdt for Nationwide ?!?!?! This is insane!! Dover needs to be illuminated ...

Anonymous said...

JD. I didnt see this in the article. I may have read over it. But why does SPEED delay the truck race at Dover every year? I hope its not for ratings purposes. Just show it live and on tape at a later time as well.

Daly Planet Editor said...


I will ask SPEED to confirm, but I think Trackside is live from the SPEED Stage while the Truck race is in progress.

The truck race is delayed because SPEED wants to put it in primetime. Dover has no lights for TV night racing and that is why the Trucks race in the late afternoon on Friday.

If anyone has more info on any of this, please feel free to post it and help us all out. Thanks!


Newracefan said...

Please don't complain about Dover, I don't want Bruton to have any leverage in buying it and taking the only race I can attend to Vegas and Kentucky ;)

I can understand why Speed tape delays the race, I assume it is so more people have the opportunity to watch it, which I guess could be considered ratings related, not everyone has a DVR or would remember to tape it. To be honest friday night races work for me.

stricklinfan82 said...

It's nice of ESPN to participate in the television coverage of something other than the race for a change, but this limited form of participation only hurts the race fans.

Final Nationwide practice is from 1:15 - 3:00. If ESPN left the practice session alone, Speed Channel would have presumably televised the entire session in their 1-3 block in between Cup practice and Cup qualifying.

Instead, ESPN is only airing the final hour of the session from 2-3, leaving the NASCAR TV viewers with dead air-time from 1:00-2:00 while the Nationwide cars are on the track.

When given the choice between Speed Channel covering the entire 2 hour practice and ESPN covering 1 hour and leaving the other hour with no TV coverage I'll always pick Speed Channel and the full 2-hour coverage, how about you guys?

This is the same thing as last fall during the ESPN portion of the Cup schedule. If ESPN stayed home and only televised the Cup and Nationwide race that weekend, the TV viewers got a full slate of EVERY Cup practice session and Cup qualifying on Speed. When ESPN decided to jump in the pool and only televise a couple sessions - qualifying and Happy Hour - the side effect was TV blackouts of the other practice sessions, since Speed apparently wasn't allowed to split practice coverage with ESPN on those weekends.

And I agree with the disappointment over the continued tape-delay of this Dover Truck race. If this is only done for rating purposes how about televising it live and then providing a full-length re-air at 8:00 or 9:00? This happens a lot with baseball games. When they play early on a weekday afternoon, my regional sports networks always air the games live and quite often re-air the game later in the night for those that missed the live broadcast.

It's time to start treating NASCAR like the other major U.S. sports. MLB, NBA, NFL, and NHL games aren't tape-delayed, so NASCAR races shouldn't be either.

SophiaZ123 said...

I like night races and dont' mind taped delayed as LONG AS NOBODY TELLS US THE Rick did the ARCA race that followed the Truck races a few weeks ago. :(

I shall be out listening to Cajun/Dixieland music and will get home just in time for the tape delayed Truck race, too.

I will not tape trackside as I can't take the noisy drunks and sign waving. Rather just read about it here.

Thanks JD and all the great posters who keep us all filled in.

Newracefan said...

JD, Director as in the guy who wasn't showing us the cars crossing the line at the checkers and giving us too many incar camera shots or is that someone else? I am still not totally clear.

Anonymous said...

I'll bet it is Artie Kempner, to plug his charity!!!

Daly Planet Editor said...


As I mentioned in the column, it is Artie Kempner, the Director of the NASCAR on Fox broadcasts.

I think Mr. Kempner might have another opinion on how things are being done at the finish, but yes to your questions.

He is deeply involved in the Autism charity, and will be on hand to run down the details of that project.


red said...

sophiaz 123 said: I will not tape trackside as I can't take the noisy drunks and sign waving. Rather just read about it here.

hey sophiaz123? i'll be at the track on friday most of the day. i can promise you i won't be at the trackside stage, drunk or otherwise, as i'll be watching the trucks race! we decided that, instead of the cup race on sunday being our spring dover trip, we'll go on friday, watch some qualifying, some practice and then enjoy the truck race!

i'll catch up with all the comments when we get back to the philly area tomorrow night! hope we all get to see a great race on friday! i know one thing for certain: i WILL see ALL the trucks cross the finish line! catch ya' on the flip side gang!

Anonymous said...

Yes, we need to get Miles some lights! I recently bought a Miles Plush and Miles Trophy maybe it'll help him get some lights. I think Miles would look wicked with lights.

It'll be interesting to see how they do Mr. Kempner, he's always on the Dover show for the Autism Awareness. I remember a few years ago they got to visit the AFB :). He was in one of those tanks with Bobby :)

Anonymous said...

I'm sure Dover's numbers are down..public company..mostly casinos..just get hurt with gas prices...big lump to light the track...I think if Dover gets lights it will becausr Smith buys it and Dover would have just one race, but it would be under the lights.

SallyB said...

I'm sure Mr. Kempner will proudly point to all the 'innovations' Fox has brought to racing...the Road Kill camera, shots of family, the flag man and pit crews while the race finishes unseen, and all those pre produced pieces shown during green flag racing. Ain't Fox great?

Anonymous said...

SallyB said...
I'm sure Mr. Kempner will proudly point to all the 'innovations' Fox has brought to racing...the Road Kill camera, shots of family, the flag man and pit crews while the race finishes unseen, and all those pre produced pieces shown during green flag racing. Ain't Fox great?

May 30, 2008 6:36 AM

Kempner has won many emmys, but the dunderheads on here think they know more than the director of the winner of the "live sports event" It sure would be a thank-less job trying to keep the "NASCAR Fan" happy...

Anonymous said...

In today's world why would they not show the race live and re-run it at the 8:30 time slot??? All because of a live Trackside???? As others have said many sports are done like this Golf, and their own qualifing is many times shown live then replayed in the evening.

Speedcouch said...

Delaying the truck race is just stupid! I'm fortunate enough to get off work at 3:30 and if there's racing on the track, I want to see it live! Even if I wasn't home, by 5, I'd rather have the option to record it and watch it at my leisure, and not have to wait until 8:30.

Last year, we were fortunate that Charles Krall of provided live trackside updates on that site, but he's unable to do it this year. It was awesome as he gave the fans a great lap-by-lap rundown of the truck action.

Thankfully, we paid the money for Trackpass this year and they show MRN broadcasting it live on there, so anyone with Sirius radio or Trackpass can hear the race live this evening.

Besides not wanting to wait for a taped broadcast on SPEED, I can't bear to suffer through having to listen to Michael Waltrip's manic announcing. It was SO much better last week at Mansfield with just Rick and Phil. Whoever at SPEED who thinks Michael adds anything to the broadcast is delusional IMHO.

We'll just plug the laptop into the stereo and go out on the deck at 5:00 and enjoy the professional guys on MRN tonight. Next best thing to being over at Dover today.

glenc1 said...

I don't mind tape delay as long as I don't know the winner. I'm used to this because I'm an Olympic fan (many sports) and I have even covered the ticker on my TV with tape as so not to see results. They do it for the same reason--to get prime time ratings. I don't mind something that will enable more people to see the trucks, and to get more attention to the series during prime time viewing. And let's not forget the left-coasters, who don't even get home until later. I do, however, have to admit I'm surprised they haven't lit the place yet (or for that matter, why there's not a tunnel...) I was at the race last fall when they had to have a caution to get someone out in an ambulance...

And I'm with red--I have watched Speed tapings without being drunk or holding a crazy sign...but it's weird to have to watch them backwards (I liked it better before they turned them around.) Some of the signs are pretty darn clever though.

I doubt the Trackside crew is going to press Artie too hard, but it'll still be interesting. Being a 26 fan I always pay attention to these awareness occasions.

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

anon 8:32AM

The race coverage isn't being delayed for Trackside, it's delayed so that it's in primetime. I think it's silly (they should just play the race live, then replay it at night), but I think it's the only Friday afternoon race on the schedule, and so the only time they have to do it. I can deal with it.

Lisa Hogan said...

I will be recording the race and Trackside tonight and watching them tomorrow morning.

Since I often have to record races for later viewing, I am practiced in avoiding "everything" until after I have watched the race. Most of the time, I succeed. :)

glenc1 said...

one more thing to think about....this is a sponsor driven sport, and it is also good for sponsors (both of the cars and of the race) to be advertising in prime time. As others have said, it's rare for Speed to do this, so it's not a big deal to me.

Anonymous said...

Tape delay, in this day and age of technology is ludicrous. Show it live....and tape delay RE-broadcast if you want everyone else to see it. Sponsors beware advertising on a tape delayed broadcast, lots of us will NOT be watching, because of the instant internet availability of information. Contact the sponsors, including Craftsman, you bet.

Kevin in SoCal said...

If Dover gets lights then one race will have to be during the day, like at Atlanta's spring date. I dont know why they dont have a Truck/Nationwide double-header on Saturday. Probably so they can charge for the Cup qualifying and Truck race in one package on Friday. I dont mind the tape-delay at all, but I have TiVo and just record when its on.
Remember the Friday night Richmond deal ESPN did to us during the Nationwide race? They had basketball on ESPN2 so they put the race on ESPN Classic, but after the basketball game they switched ESPN2 to the end of the race, showing the winner, and then started the replay from the beginning! You found out who won and then got to watch the start of the race. Bass-Ackwards! I think SPEED is trying to avoid this by delaying the race entirely.

Anonymous said...

Trackside will be live tonight from Dover at 7 pm.

Anonymous said...

"The guest line-up is stellar, and includes Joey Logano and his Gibbs teammate Tony Stewart. These two should present an interesting team dynamic as Logano continues to be hyped as the next Jeff Gordon, with little mention of Stewart's amazing accomplishments in motorsports. His record may be unmatched by anyone else currently in NASCAR. With Stewart in the news for a variety of reasons, the conversation should be well worth watching."

I'm not so sure that the team dynamic is going to be probed too much. Smoke is on to promote The Prelude.

Anonymous said...

I don't mind the signs, but the drunks who are yelling and whistling over the guests drive me away. Isn't there a way for the sound techs to filter out the crowd noise so we can hear the conversation between the hosts and guests?


Mike said...

I like the atmosphere doing it in front of a crowd has, but I would agree....the drunks can become tedious. It's obvious those people aren't even paying attention to the conversation. It's no different than the goofy people in the background on their cell phones with the "everyone look at me" look on their faces.

As far as the Truck race, i'm going to listen to it live on MRN. But i'm going to be far away from the comment no one has to worry about me spoiling it. LOL

stricklinfan82 said...

Another great job of covering qualifying by the Speed guys.

The focus stayed on the track the whole time. The broadcast was simple, and simple is better in my mind. No overload of fancy video packages, no gopher animation, etc. We also got to see every car qualify thanks to the TiVo style format and Mike Joy did another tremendous job updating the go-or-go-home situation as each go-or-go-homer finished their run.

Mr. Joy has set a high standard that I hope Bill Weber, Dr. Punch, Steve Byrnes, and whoever else might be doing qualifying play-by-play on Speed or ESPN the rest of the year can match. Please keep us informed of the go-or-go-home situation after every car like Joy does.

The production truck has also set a standard that I hope the ESPN production truck and TNT production truck (or whoever does the Speed qualifying broadcasts of the TNT races) need to strive for. The scoring crawl, the lap tracker, and showing every car qualify in its entirety with the TiVo style format are a must for the "new guys" that take over these sessions. I would enjoy an innovation like a "go-or-go-home cars only" lap tracker, but a carbon copy of the current Speed format would be just fine. I hope ESPN has gotten rid of the clutter of track maps, the line graphs, all the driver stats on the right side of the screen, the on-track action being in a tiny box, and most of all I hope they ditch the studio guests and full screen on-cameras for the pit studio and video packages that caused us to miss numerous qualifying runs last year.

The bar has been set very high, and it's time for TNT and ESPN to respond.

Ken-Michigan said...

Dover Qualifying :
Okay, I get home from work and catch the last few qualifiers.
Since I have the #2 in my fantasy picks this week, I look at the FOX TICKER and it says that Kurt Busch is 35TH in qualifying..... 35 TH !!!

They go to a break and come back with Yocum in the garage with Kurt and it says he is 2ND in qualifying. SECOND !!!

What kind of credibility does this do for the FOX broadcast ?

Should we believe ANYTHING FOX ??

Your (FOX) ticker has been a joke all of 2008.

You have made an effort to fix it, but still..... half way thru the seasonn, it's still a joke.

IF I WATCH Trackside tonight.... it will ONLY BE so I can see the Director and the man responsible for this dis-combobulation that HE thinks is quality television.

It's really too bad that we don't get a "choice" of WHO covers each weeks events. We ( the fans ) are not given any choice and therefore the FOX network continues to provide coverage that THEY think is the best.... but many of us think is nothing more than a JOKE !

But then again, I cant stand Weber and TNT either.

Damn, I wish I could embrace another sport as much as I do auto racing.

Ken-Michigan said...

I know I mentioned FOX in my last statement, while qualifying was on SPEED.

Please know that I pretty much put them in the same family.

Ken-Michigan said...

If you can't tell, I'm fed up with FOX.

Quit shining the spotlight on yourself.

You're there to cover an event.

Cover it with integrity and professionalism.

FOR 2009....
Hire people with a vast NASCAR background as PRODUCER'S & DIRECTOR'S for NASCAR event.

It takes a very talented person to produce and direct NASCAR AND stick and ball events.

It's obvious that the FOX Television Network DOES NOT have those talents to "do it all".

After 2008.... I would hope to see HELP WANTED signs outside the TV compound.

Anonymous said...

@speedcouch--yes they always have the MRN broadcast which helps folks who don't want to wait. I'm listening to the MRN broadcast now :). I didn't realize the site wasn't able to do the updates this year :(. That's the best kept secret on the net...every time I read someone has "discovered" it I always forget that many don't know about it.

mckinley0623 said...

I'm amazed... Speed is owned by Fox. I'm looking at a massive amount of tired old repeats at 5pm ET today on FX & talk shows, etc on Fox Sports. Is there some reason THEY couldn't handle the NCTS race LIVE? As for Trackside, [Don't know why they still call it Trackside Live] just deliver the usual. Slap it around [scheduling wise] like a red headed step-child.
For those that may not have FX or FSN? Chances are, if you have Speed, you have those channels too.
To "newracefan" Glad you joined the best sport in the world. I like Dover too. I'm hoping to make it up there next year. Know though that Speed always repeats the Truck race a couple of hours after it ends anyway. So "Live" or "Repeat", you won't miss it. [Just remember, don't watch the news, the sport reporter will ruin it for ya!}
I just HATE having to tiptoe around programming to make sure I don't find out who won.
Oh, and it is 2008, there's NO EXCUSE for ANY track not having the following 2 things. 1. Safer Barriers inside & out. [Some tracks need em in the parking lots] & 2. LIGHTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Have a great & safe weekend everyone, & Thanks John for another great article.

Daly Planet Editor said...


What is your feeling about TNT? Think we will see a change from last season?


PS - "Dunderheads?"

haus20 said...

I would have liked to see the race live, but on the other hand, one of Speed's tradmark shows would have been relegated to about 11PM eastern time after the repeat of the truck race.

Regarding the mic / audio situation there is a way to control the crwod noise...simply turn down the ambient / crowd microphones. The other way they can lower the crowd noise is by the element that is being used in the headset mics of the panelists. Different mic elements have different pick up patterns. Changing the elements could reduce the background noise that is being picked up in the individual mics.

alex said...

DW: "Trackside is one of the highest rated shows on SPEED."
Joey Logano: "Even with you on it?"

I like this kid already.

(I also like DW, and Logano seems to have a good sense of humor and TV presence.)

Daly Planet Editor said...


I was howling with laughter! Talk about being a bit more mature than your years.


Daly Planet Editor said...

Log onto after Trackside for more exclusive content huh? That is certainly a new one, but part of the overall philosophy of integrating the broadband computer into the coverage of NASCAR in general.


Daly Planet Editor said...

DW sure is having a tough night.

alex said...

I wish Trackside had some more time, they were pretty rushed at the end.

AMS fan said...

JD, if this crosses the line please delete, I prefer not to talk person to person I just can't help this. I say this with a smile.
Ken in Michigan- It's OK, we've all had them days. As Mike Bagley with MRN says "They make a pill for that". I just don't think they make enough pills for each one of our frustrations.
I'll still take some sillyness over "I'm to professional to make a mistake or have fun" (appearance)
Happy Race (delayed) Night to all!

alex said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Daly Planet Editor said...


I was so surprised that Trackside was a mess like that tonight. Some of the questions (esp Hammond) were outstanding, but the format and Darrell Waltrip were horrible.

When Joey Logano is giving you grief for your goofy questions, that just might be a hint you need a Timeout for a while.

Certainly is too bad they did not leave any more room or focus the show on Kempner once he was on. That guy is very interesting and experienced in TV and he could have talked to several key things Fox did this season. I think they really missed a very good opportunity to heal some wounds with some of the fans.


Daly Planet Editor said...

ams fan,

No problem, I can certainly relate. Let's just hope Ken comes back after running around the block a couple of times!


alex said...

I figured they would have brought Artie Kempner on around 7:45 or so, but it was 7:57.

Anonymous said...

I can honestly say after reading the comments in all of your posts over the past months (year), that I don't think the networks are interested in healing wounds.
I think there is a fine line between covering a race "for the fans" and covering a race "because of the fans".
You and your posting public want the latter.
One of your posters doesn't like FOX for various reasons, he also doesn't like TNT for various reasons, and btw, he doesn't like ESPN either. Who would he like to see cover racing? Nascar Media Group? Talk about inmates running the asylum...
Racing is a great sport. We are fortunate that every race is on TV (not to mention practices and qualifying). Remember when you hoped the paper would put the Busch results in the scoreboard inside the back page?

We are fortunate that the networks put out 30-50 cameras at each track. But then we have the gaul to complain that they missed a wreck in 36th place during a lead change.

We are fortunate that the women and men who work the TV broadcasts (many for all 3 networks) care about what they do or what you complain about could be much worse.

Albeit, some of the posted complaints have been addressed. We have witnessed several TV professionals with the networks say as much here in this forum.

I will remind you all that millions of people watch a race broadcast, watch every week, not just the 50 or so of us that post here. I am sure that when the ratings show that just 50 or so people are watching, then each of us will get our every wish.

I love living in a country where you can say what you want.
Thanks for your time.

Sidenote: JD, I think you should pick one race a month that your contributors are only allowed to leave positive comments.

Newracefan said...

I thought Joey did a fantastic job, he seemed open and comfortable but not cocky. The guys spent a long time with him and as for DW I think he over did it on the Mountain Dew or coffee. I usually don't have a issue but I had trouble following the conversation a few times because they were talking over each other. Perhaps he was just excited because it is his last Trackside until next year. Tony was fun as usual and Artie tried to get everything in but he was there as a spokesmen for Autism Speaks not as the director of Fox Nascar and that's what he wanted to talk about. I can't say I disagree with the decision although I would love to have heard a lot more about the director part.

AMS fan said...

8:51 anon- Very well said.

Anonymous said...

I agree about the last segment w/Mr. Kempner. I don't remember him in years past working pit road, but that definitely would have been a nice chat about that 'sperience and what it's like for the TV folks behind the scenes.

When you literally have 43 stories out how hard it is to cover them all and how to switch focus. They're always thrown under the bus for covering the "golden boys" and the only reason we know our GOGHer guy is in trouble is 1) we're on Trackpass/Raceview or 2) we notice it on the ticker. OR TV finally mentions it as an "oh by the way" but the hauler is half way home by then :(.

It definitely could have been a very interesting discussion. I know with their columns they get many questions so it would have been nice if they did the segment properly for them to bring up many of the fan questions that the boyz receive.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 8:51PM,

I guess I am just not getting where you are going with all that.

This year ESPN has gone out of their way to heal wounds and they have done it over several of their networks. It has been amazing.

The feedback did not come from their own website, it came from this one and others across the net.

This season, Fox changed their ticker after folks pointed out the problems. They eased off on the Digger stuff and have been involved in several on-going debates about coverage issues with posters right here on this site.

About your quote "We are fortunate that the networks put out 30-50 cameras at each track. But then we have the gaul to complain that they missed a wreck in 36th place during a lead change."

I don't know what you have been watching, but when I watch a race and follow my driver for four hours and they don't show him crossing the finish line in a side-by-side battle because I have to see the pit crew members and the winning driver's girlfriend....there is one big daggone problem.

About your coments..."I will remind you all that millions of people watch a race broadcast, watch every week, not just the 50 or so of us that post here. I am sure that when the ratings show that just 50 or so people are watching, then each of us will get our every wish."

Are you kidding me? This blog has published every single day since Feb of 2007, including the off-season. We have covered topics that have long since been addressed by the networks and had a long list of interactions with the NASCAR TV partners that resulted in change.

How do you think things get changed? Without feedback, there can be no discussion. Without discussion, there can be no change.

All we do is offer one viewpoint and then let the NASCAR fans talk about it. It is simply a point to start a discussion about an issue.

As for positive feedback, I would invite you to look through our archive of this season and see the wonderful changes this year has brought.

If the new TNT roll-out is as positive as the ESPN effort, things will be continuing on a very good TV note this year.

We certainly have some people who post that see the glass half-empty on a regular basis, but that is their right.

Hopefully, the content of the posts on this site make up for any suggestion of a negative agenda where NASCAR TV is concerned.

Currently, there are over 900 posts with comments since we began this project. Before the end of the season, we will break 1000.

I appreciate you taking the time to remind us to be positive, but suggest you consider that NASCAR races have been on TV live for over twenty years.

In that time, the changes in technology and coverage have been amazing. Now, with broadband computers about to change our sport entirely, the rest of this season might make 2008 a NASCAR TV year to remember.


Ken-Michigan said...

JD -
I'll save my TNT comments for another time, and yes I certainly hope for improvement.

Some posters have suggested that many of us only "complain", when I have surely dished out my fair share of compliments to FOX & SPEED in 2008.

I think our early thoughts on using the weather radar during a telecast caught the eye of "someone" and the networks did start utilizing that technology..... round of applause !

It's ironic that Artie mentioned tonight on Trackside that there are 43 teams at each race.... i'm glad he FINALLY realizes that. Each weekend FOX rarely checks on the action "back in the pack". I know this is an age old argument about covering those who are up front, but if FOX wants to appeal to all the fans, they need to give every team a little love for a few seconds. I dont remember even seeing Ken Schrader in the 33 car last week at Lowes. If i missed it, i apologize.

I've never seen TV play such favorites to the sponsors. I've watched a boat load of coverage this year and I have yet to hear FOX mention anything about the "Coors Light Pole Award"... and I mean they have NEVER mentioned it.
Sure I see Bud commercials and bumpers / rejoins.... but if I was Mr. Coors..... I wouldn't be too happy.

DW always mentions how things were "Back in the Day"..... I sometimes wish that the NASCAR coverage was AS GOOD as it was, "Back in the Day".

For now I honestly think that the people producing the SPEED Truck races are "Best In Breed" from a production standpoint.

See, I just paid a compliment.

Enjoy the weekend everyone.

AMS fan said...

Ken I'm glad you brought up the Coors Light Pole Award. I thought about that the other day. I also don't remember anyone promoting it on tv. I wonder why? I listen to way to much Nascar radio and watch way to much Nascar programming and all I can remember is that tv will announce this is Coors light pole qualifing at the beginning of a broadcast but not much afterwards. I know my Sirius Radio scrolls "Coors Light Pole Qualifing", but I don't hear them work the sponsor in like usual. I also maybe wrong, and if so I apoligise.

AMS fan said...

I enjoyed the truck race. I admit I have a few Mikey shirts and a few diecasts but he kinda got to me tonight. It seemed he was out of touch. Usually he is up on stats and even silly knowledge about the teams. It was like he had to work to be part of the "team".
Rick and Phil- super as always
Ray- good work
I think the finish was real good. Good camera shot of the finish line

Daly Planet Editor said...

ams fan,

Just because NASCAR has a sponsor paying them money does not mean that the ABC/ESPN/TNT/FOX Sales Departments are getting paid.

In the future, which is what Ken was talking about, keep track of what elements of the race at the track do not make it to TV.

Sometimes, it is actually the title sponsor of the race. At the track, it could be one sponsor and on TV another one completely different.

Sometimes, it will be the title sponsors shown on the walls of the track or other places.

Sometimes, as Ken mentioned, it will be very important sponsors to the sport that the TV crew somehow "chooses" to ignore because that sponsor did not buy TV advertising time on the network broadcast.

What many people believe is that some networks extend that "branding" of products and companies that bought TV ads to coverage of the cars on the track.

That argument will rage-on forever, because the network will never admit it and the fans can never prove it.

If you pay attention to just how many NASCAR race and contingency sponsors do not make it from the track to the small screen it will amaze you.


AMS fan said...

Thanks JD
I have noticed some smaller advertisers not being talked about, I didn't think to much of it. It seems like the Pole award would be different. But,maybe not.
*That was some wild TV on Trackside as some previously said. Excellent TV "Are you a computer geek?". It don't get no better than that. At least the young man respectfully went right back "I got Game Source on my shirt".
At least DW is good for the heart. No blood pressure problems there. When you can go on a national tv show, laugh that much, even at yourself, life has got to be pretty good. Good or bad tv- left or right handed- in the eyes of the viewer.
I'm getting used to the men in suits and ties, but I'm still more comfortable watching people without the ties. Who wears a tie driving a race car?
IMHO- pretty good show

Anonymous said...

ams fan - I believe Joey Logano's sponsor for the race is "Game Stop" ... Since DW is not a gamer, it's very possible that he didn't know who/what Game Stop is ... And, there are some 18yos as well as NASCAR drivers that don't play the video racing games ... Tony & Kasey don't play the NASCAR racing video games ... But, it was a good way to show the difference between "old school" and "new school" racing & drivers ...

Chris Long is the one who decided to turn the Trackside stage around to have the hosts/guests' back to the crowd ... As Erik Arneson used to tell people on the boards, it was to give the home viewer the feeling of being at the track ...

The crowd noise is high because there is a boom mic on a crane that moves over the crowd ... just like the camera ... The change in the headset/mic combo for the guests & hosts has improved the sound quality, but the crowd noise is still bothersome ...

Dover is the only Truck race that's tape delayed ...

The racetrack at Dover is NOT owned by the same company that owns the casino ...

And, according to Bloomberg, the largest holder of common stock in Dover Motorsports thinks that the company should be sold to take advantage of the premiums being paid for tracks that host events in NASCAR's top series ... This is because of the recent sales of Kentucky & NHIS ...

Anonymous said...

anon wrote
"Kempner has won many emmys, but the dunderheads on here think they know more than the director of the winner of the "live sports event" It sure would be a thank-less job trying to keep the "NASCAR Fan" happy..."

So in your mind, the fact that Kempner has a couple of Emmys endows him with some super power that makes any "NASCAR FAN's" opinion worthless? And wrong????

With THAT attitude, you could have a future at FOX.....or maybe you already work there......dolt

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
anon wrote
"Kempner has won many emmys, but the dunderheads on here think they know more than the director of the winner of the "live sports event" It sure would be a thank-less job trying to keep the "NASCAR Fan" happy..."

So in your mind, the fact that Kempner has a couple of Emmys endows him with some super power that makes any "NASCAR FAN's" opinion worthless? And wrong????

With THAT attitude, you could have a future at FOX.....or maybe you already work there......dolt

May 31, 2008 6:52 AM

Joe NASCAR needs to understand that the main objective of the networks is to get more of the "casual fans" This is where their increase in numbers has to come from. To try and get and keep the casual fan for a while, the networks need to have digger..wives..girlfriends and other non-harcore racing shots. Casual fan would rather see the wife or mom shot than cars 6-10 crossing the line. Not saying the true fan will like it, but NASCAR is and needs to move past it's "harcore base" to keep it's TV numbers.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 7:31AM,

That was the motto for the 2007 season which Brian France admitted failed miserably. There were no "casual fans" attracted to the sport and that is why a bunch of us are fired up that Mr. Kempner did not get that message.

For the Indy 500, no doubt there were tons of folks who had no clue as they saw Ms. Dixon that other cars were screaming across the finish line. Those are casual fans.

Mr. France said 2008 was a return to the harcore fan and old-school racing. That includes Kempner understanding that regardless of who wins, it does not change the loyalty of the NASCAR fans.

Those with #20 shirts or #88 hats do not care if Kyle Busch wins. They want to know where Tony or Junior finished and they want to see him do it.

This fundamental disconnect on the final lap of some of the biggest NASCAR races of the season by Fox is truly the Achilles Heel of the coverage.

There are NO casual fans who want to see Greg Biffle's girlfriend of Carl Edwards mom when those guys win. NASCAR fans want to know where their driver finished after three or four hours of giving Fox their time. It is just not fair.

Fox began this practice, it did not happen with ESPN or TNN or TBS in the old days. It does not happen with SPEED in the Truck Series. It rarely happens with ESPN2 this season on the Nationwide side.

It will be very interesting to see how TNT approaches this final lap issue, as the Fox producer is also the TNT producer but the director is different. It is the "old school" director from the ESPN NASCAR days.

Well, next week will tell the tale, as for today...who knows?


Anonymous said...

Digger...No finish-line = ratings increase this year!!?? correct

Daly Planet Editor said...

The saga of Junior and the emergence of Kyle Busch have driven the ratings.

Unlike entertainment TV which lives and dies on the script, acting and production, TV sports is different.

A compelling real life storyline is going to keep the fans despite the goofy hype. If you have a different view on the lap issue, perhaps you would like to share it like many other posters?


Anonymous said...

seems natural the directer would take credit for the increase due to the changes he made or type of coverage. The blogger critical of the changes and TV direction would say the increase in ratings is due to something else.

Daly Planet Editor said...

You are missing the point. No one is being critical. The NASCAR on Fox team does a tremendous job as this blog has said since we started.

Digger is embarrassing and the technology existed in the 1980's. Was that Digger's cousin at the Indy 500?

You are avoiding the point that the other two NASCAR series on TV show the lead lap cars or trucks race to the line.

If you are going to be snide, at least speak to the topic.

Anonymous said...

Why are you all knowing and just discount that maybe digger and the directing has lead to an increase as much as your story line reason?
There can be more than one theory or explaination for the ratings increase. Funny that most "Fans" hate COT and the flawed notion of "lack of passing" yet TV viewership is up. I must say that it would seem the "storyline" or WWF aspect of Jr, Busch and others would have more effect on the casual fan.

Anonymous said...

Daly Planet Editor said...
You are missing the point. No one is being critical.

You must be joking!!!! Go back and read the comments from you and the readers after the checkered flag flies...
If those are not critical comments than I need to load "babblefish" and see what language this is written in!

Daly Planet Editor said...

Never said anyone here or myself was "all knowing." That's what we do here, talk about the TV coverage of racing.

You really believe that Digger led to an increase in ratings?

What new things did the Director do this season on Fox that you have seen?

You can Google France's remarks about the failure of the TV last season and the casual fan as well.


alex said...

I told all my friends to watch the race because of this cool gopher that pops in and out of the track.

Just kidding, it didn't help ratings.

Anonymous said...

The ratings are up because we are in a bad economy and more fans are staying home instead of going to the tracks.

It doesn't matter what Digger does or what Junior does. It's the economy that's driving the increase in ratings.

Did you see that empty track for the Charlotte Nationwide race? Empty, empty, empty. I've never seen a Charlotte Busch race that empty. Yet the TV ratings for that race were up a substantial amount from last year.

It's not rocket science. Fans who can't afford the races are watching on TV and increasing the ratings. It really doesn't matter how good or bad certain elements of the coverage are. If they can't get to the race, they're going to watch it on TV.

Anonymous said...

Thirty years of tv racing and an insipid Gopher is saving the day. Yea, that's it.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 9:04AM,

If you think our well-written and thought out comments without profanity or anger are critical, I would invite you to visit some other message boards and blog sites that talk about NASCAR.

Time to thicken that skin up just a little bit my friend.


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

First post was refused by an error so I apologize for last post.

I am appalled that Speed tape-delayed last nights Truck Race. I watched thinking it was live but eventually noticed that it was still sunlight at the track.

Totally unacceptable.

Anonymous said...

Daly Planet Editor said...
Anon 9:04AM,

If you think our well-written and thought out comments without profanity or anger are critical, I would invite you to visit some other message boards and blog sites that talk about NASCAR.

Time to thicken that skin up just a little bit my friend.


May 31, 2008 12:29 PM

Yes, the comments are what make this point was you saying you and the readers are not critical is just wrong,,,yes you are being critical and there is no problem with that....

Anonymous said...

@anon 12:54--they tape delay the race EVERY year. Dover does not have lights. So they record/run the race at 5 and barring major cautions/delays, it's over by about 7:30ish. MRN always airs the race and then SPEED airs it in prime time. Why they don't run it live and then repeat later on, I'm not sure. As I stated on another forum, if it's due to them feeling there wouldn't be enough of a west coast audience, it doesn't make sense due to the other Friday activity. Plus we had Pick 'em Ups quals and there was a practice show a few weeks back that was at 7 AM Pacific.

Daly Planet Editor said...


I don't agree with you on that point at all, but I guess we are going to leave it at that.


Anonymous said...

FOX ratings, if they are up...and thats a BIG IF, are not because of a "casual fan" base. Theres no such thing, Sparky!!!
Hard core fans beget new fans, not diggers or glowing pucks or sound effects and boogity.
Fans turn other folks into fans, and that fact is lost on FOX. And the fact that they continue to pay a disservice to true fans is the reason for ratings that are essentially flat.

Anonymous said...

Could Carl Edwards be any more whitebread on Tradin' Paint? Come on, Carl. Pick a side and tell people what you think. Carl could be a presidential candidate with how he waffled on every question. "Gee, I can see both sides". Don't ever have Carl on a show that's supposed to be debate. But even this guy from USA Today wasn't great. Why not guys like David Poole?

Richard in N.C. said...

Unless someone does a well-crafted, focused study, no one can be certain what attracts and keeps new fans. Apparently FOX thinks there is a significant group of viewers that are attracted by shots of family members as the race ends - but apparently ESPN has a different view. If either FOX or ESPN were certain of the effect on viewership of how they handle the end of a race, they would both handle the end in the same way.

In almost all cases, I would prefer seeing at least all the cars on the lead lap finish the race in real time - and the girl frinds on replay. However, one very compelling TV shot was the shot of DJ's mother in her car listening to him win the Daytona 500 the 1st time.