Sunday, May 4, 2008
SPEED Is Suddenly On The Sunday Night Hot Seat
The antics of several drivers during the Richmond Sprint Cup race were amazing in hindsight. Michael Waltrip and Denny Hamlin certainly have some explaining to do.
While Kyle Busch was pretty clear in his opinion of his tangle with Dale Earnhardt Jr., it should be interesting to get some additional information about the situation.
Normally, The Daly Planet is previewing the big Monday night face-off between This Week In NASCAR on SPEED and the one hour NASCAR Now on ESPN2. This week, however, is different.
With the races on Friday and Saturday night, there is no Sunday edition of NASCAR Now. The day belongs to SPEED, and the spotlight is going to be on that network to make some sense of the late race chaos that the NASCAR on Fox crew could not.
Michael Waltrip has deep ties to the SPEED Channel, and this Sunday he is a big topic of conversation. Waltrip will be on the TWIN panel with Chad Knaus on Monday, but the three hours of NASCAR related programming on Sunday night will tell the tale. SPEED can choose to bury this incident or report it completely and totally.
Denny Hamlin's dirty dealing was on TV for all to see. Despite the fact that the NASCAR on Fox gang chose not to deal with the topic, that is not going to be the case for SPEED. Hamlin's move to purposefully bring out a caution flag determined the events in the race after that point.
SPEED starts with the newly-renovated SPEED Report at 7PM Eastern Time. This show is one hour of general motorsports reporting that has been re-vamped since the "Drew and Nicole" days. A rotating panel of SPEED announcers fills the dual host role, and this approach has been quite effective.
It is nice to see some of the SPEED play-by-play announcers hosting this program, and other on-air talent like Adam Alexander have been doing a great job as well. Whoever is standing at the desk tonight has their work cut-out for them where NASCAR is concerned.
Normally, it is Bob Dillner who provides the post-race interviews for this show. It should be interesting to see what personalities talked to him, and what Dillner asked. Dillner also plays a key role in the next show in the SPEED line-up.
Victory Lane at 8PM is truly the "little show that could." A radical idea of putting three announcers quite literally in the Victory Lane area has proven to be a great success. On this show, we see Kenny Wallace and Jimmy Spencer without the hype and noise associated with RaceDay. These two are on-the-spot with probing questions for the winning driver, his crew chief and owner.
This program will be the key show of the night for NASCAR fans in terms of having one hour of solid NASCAR to get the highlights replayed and the lingering questions answered. As many Daly Planet readers have pointed out, the practice of SPEED holding this show until Sunday night is not working out too well this year.
ESPNEWS has made a strong move to present a live post-race show immediately after the Sprint Cup race is over. The network includes the top three drivers comments from the Infield Media Center and mixes-in commentary from NASCAR experts who are often on the ESPNEWS set. ESPNEWS now takes the wind out of the Victory Lane sails when the show is held until Sunday night.
As usual, it is Dave Despain and Wind Tunnel that gets the last word at 9PM. Since he left his Monday night NASCAR duties, Despain has been back to his old self on-the-air and that is exactly what viewers enjoy. The self-appointed "old windbag" plays host to a variety of personalities from different forms of motorsports, and certainly NASCAR will play a key role in this show.
While The SPEED Report sticks to news and Victory Lane offers Spencer and Wallace, it is Despain that often has guests who offer editorial opinions and close-out the night in style for motorsports fans. Hopefully, he will be able to throw some light on just what really transpired in the closing laps in Richmond and what might happen in Darlington.
This should be an interesting evening of NASCAR TV. This post will serve to host your comments about The SPEED Report, Victory Lane and Wind Tunnel. To add a comment, simply click on the COMMENTS button below. The rules for posting are on the right side of the main page. Thanks for taking the time to come by and share your opinion with us.