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.
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