Friday, May 23, 2008

"Trackside" Moves To SPEED Street

Friday night on SPEED is going to bring a unique mix of motorsports that NASCAR fans should enjoy. There will be a special version of Trackside first at 7PM Eastern Time and then three hours of coverage of the World of Outlaws Sprint Cars at the Lowe's Dirt Track.

Once of the big events surrounding the Coke 600 weekend is called Speed Street. Downtown Charlotte is set-up for a street festival complete with lots of bands and fun.

On the main stage Friday night the featured attraction will be Trackside. Well, for fans of Kellie Pickler who appears on the same stage that night a bit later, Trackside might be the second-favorite featured attraction.

With all of the NASCAR news swirling around it should be interesting to see how host Steve Byrnes deals with playing to this rather massive crowd, many of whom may only be casual fans. Byrnes will be joined by Darrell Waltrip, Larry McReynolds and Jeff Hammond on the stage.

All four of these announcers have already been on-the-air for SPEED and relayed their views about Humpy Wheeler's "retirement." Friday night they will get a chance to speak about Bruton Smith's purchase of Kentucky Speedway and what role that may have had in the Wheeler situation.

It should be a fascinating night because added to the mix as a live guest on the show will be Michael Waltrip. Never shy in front of a crowd, Waltrip will no doubt be weighing-in on the topics of the day. What makes this even better is who Waltrip will be sharing the stage with.

ESPN's Rusty Wallace will also guest on the program. The dynamic of having two NASCAR team owners who are also high-profile announcers on different TV networks stop by Trackside should be interesting to watch. Rusty's son Steven will also be on the show.

The final confirmed guest at the time of this column is going to be David Stremme. He should have an interesting to story to tell about his last couple of months and what the future may hold for him as the silly season gets in full-swing a little early this year.

My personal note is for NASCAR fans who might not have seen the World of Outlaws Sprint Cars cars run on dirt. This is an amazing show that you should watch if you have the chance. The 800 horsepower of the winged sprint cars and the entirely different style of racing from pavement ovals is eye-opening.

The Dirt Track at Lowe's is a fast and exciting oval with normally great action. There will be lots of NASCAR drivers and owners also present as there is now a big cross-over between the two series. No doubt that in the three hours of coverage SPEED will work to include the NASCAR folks and allow them to talk about sprint car racing on dirt. It should be well worth the time to tune-in.

If you have comments about Trackside or the World of Outlaws special on SPEED, please feel free to post them here. To add your opinion, 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. Thanks again for stopping by.


Richard in N.C. said...

JD- Thanks. Could you comment on the implications of Rusty, an ESPN personality, being on SPEED? I presume ESPN had to give its OK. Thanks.

Daly Planet Editor said...


Appearing as an analyst would not work, but appearing as a car owner with your son to talk about the RWR Nationwide efforts is no problem.

The fun is going to come when the non-Nationwide conversations start.


Anonymous said...

The reputation Rusty Wallace had with us old,old Nascar fans was that of a whining,self-centered cry baby. At the end,he wouldn't cooperate or help in any way his team mate Ryan Newman.Imagine the disappointment when he reappeared as an announcer hyping his kid who has to be the Poster Boy for a spoiled rich kid wrecking at least one car a weekend! Like Hillary Clinton, Rusty and Kenny just won't go away!

Anonymous said...

Kenny "won't go away" becaue he remains popular with the fans.

Like with Michael Waltrip, those who dislike him fail to realize how many people DO like him.

red said...

woo hoo! WoO on SPEED! now my weekend can really begin! anyone who hasn't watched these winged warriors slide around a dirt track should tune in. and for those who have been concerned about the lack of racing recently? boy, is WoO a cure for that!.

make time to watch this and i guarantee you will not be disappointed. if you want to understand why some current cup drivers are so freakin' amazing with a loose car, it's likely that they ran on dirt at some point. so pick a car to watch -- any car -- and enjoy the show. as the saying goes "asphalt is only good for getting you to a dirt track!"

Vince in West Mich. said...

I'm looking forward to the WoO dirt action. That should be a great show. But I won't be watcing Trackside. I agree with Anon@8:32am. I've had enough of the Waltrips and the Wallaces. I'd dare say most people who have been fans of the sport for 10, 20 years or more are sick of them too. It's called over exposure. I enjoy Larry Mac, but the rest of this group on Trackside tonight I can do without.

Anonymous said...

I hope someone stage dives again like Sadler did a couple years ago. That was great TV.

Anonymous said...

I hope someone stage dives again like Sadler did a couple years ago. That was great TV.

Yes. It is always fun to see someone get hurt?

Anonymous said...

@anon 9:32--I LOVE Herman and Mikey!

@red--I LOVE the WoO races! Definitely looking forward to it! I first saw The Dude on Trackside a few years ago with Schrsder. I didn't know who he was, but I figured if Schrader liked him he must be a good guy :)

Brian said...

Mr Daly,

I was wonderinf if you have anyway to confirm if Darrell Waltrip is still a paid consultant for Kentucky Speedway. I believe he is and it is incredibly unethical of him and SPEED not to disclose that upfront. During the NASCAR practice show on Thursday he bold faced lied about the lawsuit between Kentucky Speedway and ISC/NASCAR. He said the lawsuit was about defining criteria for assiging cup dates and not about getting a cup race for Kentucky. That is a lie, one of the things Kentucky asked for upfront was a cup race and $200 million in damages. I would appreciate your feedback Mr. Daly. Thanks.

Daly Planet Editor said...


One of the biggest issues of the season-to-date has been the conflicts of interest of the TV personalities on the NASCAR TV trail.

That theme has been stated over-and-over again in my columns.

Many of the current announcers work only a small part of the season on TV, and therefore the amount of limitations that can by put on them are less than someone from SPEED who works fulltime in the sport for over forty weeks.

My feeling is that ESPN will lead the way by establishing some sort of criteria. This issue came to a head for fans in-the-know when substitute host Marty Reid stated that Boris Said's NASCAR team had a working relationship with Jack Roush on-the-air.

Reid knew that Said was about to go on national TV during NASCAR Now as an analyst and address Roush-related issues. This is the first time anyone has pushed the honesty button on NASCAR Now, and it was a shock to some on the staff.

I think the networks are going to sit down and make their on-air announcers disclose all of the on-going business dealings within the sport during the off-season.

We will keep this item on the front burner and keep updating any news. By the way, Waltrip is done after Dover both in the booth and on Trackside.

Thanks for the comment,


Anonymous said...

Kind of ironic how the Indy 500 has three female starters for the 2nd year in a row....and all Hee-Haw can push is Kelly Pickler!

Anonymous said...

None of the 3 women in the Indy 500 could ever have success in Nascar. Period.

darbar said...

Pretty good Trackside as usual. BUT, Hammond in chaps? Too much for me. Michael Waltrip was his usual self, but with a few more interesting comments on his racing. Rusty and Steve Wallace were also great to listen to. But, I have to ask, what the heck does Kellie Pickler have to do with Nascar? I didn't know that Speed was now into promoting singers with very questionable talent.

Anonymous said...

I like how DW addressed his conflicts of interest during the televised qualifying session. About his Kyle Busch cheerleading he said "Hey, I'm gonna admit it right here - I'm a big fan of this kid, and I'd be a big fan of his if he drove a Nash." I think the conflict of interest is a bunch of hoo-haa. Every single guy around the track is wearing somebody's corporate logo, and every single guy is having his bread buttered by someone. So then you can't believe anyone. At some point these dudes have enough money that they can just tell the truth. You think the check Kentucky cuts DW even ranks as a drop in his multi-gazillion-dollar portfolio?

Anonymous said...

I should have known with Kellie Pickler drawing a crowd, Speed and The Waltrips would use 75 percent of the show self promoting themselves. If I was a new fan just coming in, Heck, I would have thought that Michael Waltrip was the greatest driver that ever put on a racing suit after listening to that pack of lies. They must need some sponsors real bad.

Daly Planet Editor said...


Pickler was the performer on that very stage where Trackside was done at 7PM. She was the featured entertainer at 10:30PM, which is why she did not even have her hair done and had to put-on a SPEED baseball hat.

Anon 12:16AM,

I hope that one reason DW addressed it is because he reads this blog and lots of fans from all walks of life were not having it from him.

Since the beginning of the discussion on this topic, all fans wanted him and guys like Rusty and Boris and others to do is disclose their interests before they spoke to something on-the-air in which they were directly involved.

Your point about how well he tackled it head-on tonight is well-taken. I certainly don't think it is a money issue.

Anon 12:29PM,

I am going to leave your post up even though it is a little harsh because Michael Waltrip got away with a lot on this edition of Trackside. Granted, it was live out there on Speed Street in Charlotte, but it certainly was a little much at times.


Newracefan said...

I enjoyed this show and granted I am a Waltrip fan (both of them all though the DW store thing annoys me). I was interested to hear Michael "ask me in a year and a half IF I am still here I made the right decision". I get the impression that some thought of it as "I'm looking for sponsers" I took it as "this is alot harder than I thought it was going to be". I liked Rusty too he was a totally different guy and Steven and Stremme played off each other well. I bet they have fun together. I understand why Kelly was there I just wish they gave that time to the drivers instead.

Anonymous said...

Gotta say, last nights show was just too much "inside joke" yu-yuk for me.
Anyone else think Michael Waltrip looked really 'tired'?? a-hem....

The formula doesn't work for ma as a viewer. I'm tuning in for information, not comedy central

Dannyboy said...


Well, there you go: you (and a few others) think MW was "a little much" at times, and me, after wtching it last night and this morning I found that Rusty Wallace sometimes irritates the cr@p out of me.

Anyone ever notice that he always speaks of "my car" when talking about someone crashing with Steven. And Michael always talks about the driver.

I am a 10+ year fan of Michael Waltrip based on the old IWC/INC show, which brought me BACK to watching NASCAR after losing interest. I have been aware of Michael since his rookie season because I was a DW fan first. But I'm also a Rusty fan, despite what I said above. And a Robbie G fan despite all the times he's wrecked somebody else.

I'm aware of what irritates some about Mikey. I just don't see what was so "a little much" on this particular show.

SophiaZ123 said...

I just wanted to add I missed the MW being a bit much on this show but admit he looked TIRED...

Also, Rusty's comment about a car wreck LANDING on his car as opposed to his driver was tacky. Yes, it costs money to fix cars but I would like to think he has MORE concern for the safety of the driver. I turned off when the girl singer came on.

I thought the opening was a bit much and Hammond fell off when the bull was going kinda slow.

Still, as a fan of MW and sometimes though now much lately, DW,I shall NOT MISS the over promotion of somebody's online store and now, stuffed animals.

Anonymous said...

Did they have a concert on the SPEED Stage last year or in years past?? As I don't remember them having singers on the show (other than Elliott's friend Blake Shelton, but at least he's talented & a big time fan of NASCAR) ...

Why didn't they have the winners of the All-Star Showdown & Open on Trackside?? How about featuring some of the drivers that hardly ever get any airtime ?? Seems like with two shows in Charlotte that they could've come up with other guests (drivers / owners / crew chiefs) ...