Thursday, June 12, 2008

Big "NASCAR TV Friday" For Fans

With all of NASCAR's national touring series underway this weekend there is hardly room on the TV schedule for the Friday action. SPEED and ESPN2 will be the NASCAR TV partners on-the-air with a long day of all types of programming.

It will be SPEED's John Roberts who will kick-off the day from Michigan with NASCAR Live at 11AM Eastern Time. This thirty-minute edition will set-up the schedule and review the news stories with Hermie Sadler reporting for Roberts from the garage area.

Next up will be the Sprint Cup Series cars on the track at Michigan for practice at 11:30AM. It will be Steve Byrnes calling the action with Jeff Hammond and Larry McReynolds alongside in the booth. Down in the garage will be TNT's Ralph Shaheen and Marty Snider. Practice should run about ninety minutes.

Roberts returns to run-down the teams outside of the Top 35 who must qualify on time in the Go or Go Home show at 1PM. This fast-paced program has veterans Randy Pemberton and Bob Dillner talking to the teams in question from the garage.

It will be the Craftsman Truck teams who take to the track for practice at 1:30PM. That will bring Rick Allen and Phil Parsons on-the-air along with Ray Dunlap and Adam Alexander as reporters. Michael Waltrip may be able to make this session, depending on his Sprint Cup duties.

The big boys come back for Sprint Cup qualifying at 3PM. Byrnes, Hammond and McReynolds return and this time it will be Matt Yocum and TNT's Lindsay Czarniak handling the interviews on the grid.

On a non-NASCAR note, it will be the ARCA Re/Max Series running in Michigan after qualifying is over at around 5PM. This is a big track, and this season lots of ARCA competitors have the old NEXTEL Cup cars underneath them. It should be interesting.

ESPN2 will be next, and this one should be a challenge. First, it will be NASCAR Now at 6PM for thirty minutes. This TV series has been walking a very careful line since a civil lawsuit was filed by a former NASCAR employee claiming both sexual and racial harassment against the sanctioning body.

Friday will finally bring more definitive reporting and information. Only thirty minutes after NASCAR Now is over, ESPN2 will televise Nationwide Series practice.

ESPN has all the Nationwide Series races, the final seventeen Sprint Cup Series races and the only daily NASCAR show on TV. The company is by far NASCAR's biggest TV partner. ESPN also prides itself on its sports news reputation.

How ESPN2 deals with the lawsuit issue in the studio and at the track is going to be a interesting to watch. As so often happens when things are tough, it will be TV veteran Marty Reid handling the hosting duties from Kentucky Speedway with Rusty Wallace and Andy Petree alongside. Reid is not one to mince words, and is the announcer who called-out Boris Said earlier on NASCAR Now.

While there is no doubt that this team will cover the Nationwide stories like Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski, they cannot avoid the wave that is slowly building and heading directly for the Nationwide beach. What Wallace and Petree say or do not say about the Grant lawsuit will be watched very carefully by a lot of fans.

This topic will spill-over onto SPEED as Trackside is up next at 8PM from the SPEED Stage in Michigan. Byrnes, Hammond, McReynolds and Elliott Sadler are going to have to deal with some uncomfortable issues on this episode. Scheduled guests include Kasey Kahne and AJ Allmendinger.

The NASCAR TV night closes with Tradin' Paint at 11PM. Perhaps, media guest Joe Menzer from had no idea what an exciting program awaited him when he agreed to appear.

Panelist Kyle Petty only Wednesday announced a merger of Petty Racing with an investment banking firm and now a multi-million dollar racial and sexual harassment suit has been filed by a former Nationwide Series official. John Roberts will do his best as host to organize this thirty minute program.

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SonicAD said...

And it'll probably all be for naught, as the weather for tomorrow looks terrible. I think most of the Michigan action tomorrow will be rained out, as will the Nationwide practices in Kentucky. Severe weather supposed to hit both tracks at some point during the day, maybe a possibility of tornadoes. I know there's Tornado Watches and Warnings tonight just a little to the north of me here in West Michigan. Tomorrow doesn't look any better down southeast.

Anonymous said...

I live in Northern Illinois and we've had these storms just about every single day! I can handle the storms, but not with all these bad tornado warnings!!! It's getting pretty tiring, that's for sure!! But it'll be all SPEED tv for me all weekend. Just hope nothing at the track gets rained out! I'll keep my fingers crossed. That makes for a long long weekend for the drivers & crew.

glenng said...

Well we can bet one thing for sure. The race won't start till late in the day when we have rain chances. GOD forbid we race early when the sun is shining.

Anonymous said...

The TV folks can and will ignore the lawsuit. They act as if they must keep NASCAR happy, which is funny, since the networks are the [b]customers[/b] who paid for the right to carry the race they broadcast.

But there will be nary a mention of the lawsuit this weekend.

Lou,Kingston,NY said...

OK, 1123am. Coverage ok, like Bob D interview w/the dvr of the 43.

jfs-va said...

Weather seems pretty nice at the speedway right now. Ahh, the joys of working from home and with a tv right next to my computer. :>)


Anonymous said...

JD, you can't honestly believe that Trackside will bring up the lawsuit, can you? Their mission is purely promos and puff pieces. They are there to pump up the fans and interview a couple of drivers about "how is your season going?", nothing more.

Lisa Hogan said...

I won't be able to watch any coverage until tonight.

For me personally, I have read/heard all that I want to read/hear about the lawsuit for now. It has been filed. Nothing else to discuss until something new happens with the lawsuit itself. Don't need to be informed of the PR for either side.

Same amount of coverage as the male, who recently lost his lawsuit against NASCAR, would be appropriate.

Lou,Kingston,NY said...

I can not help it JD, The #7 third in practice.YES!!! Thanks. Gotta agree w/Lisa. I think we should let it play out. And from comments that I have read, let it just play out in the system. And any information we get on the blog or from other blogs it is just another reason that I am glad I served my country for 30 yrs so we can express our opinions. It will shake out in the end. If we agree w/it or not. Anyway, enjoy the coverage today, (yea,LOL work nights, still up.) love your blog. still on.

Daly Planet Editor said...


That is what makes TV fun to watch. We never really know how things will shake-out until they happen.

We have seen folks like Jimmy Spencer and Kyle Petty and Rusty Wallace address issues that were controversial in the past.

While we might think things will go one way or another, we can only wait and watch NASCAR Now, Trackside and RaceDay.

I wonder how AB will deal with this on NASCAR Countdown from Kentucky at a stand-alone Nationwide Series race.

Bottom line is, just as I mentioned, there is a wave building and headed for the NASCAR beach.


Lisa Hogan said...

A $225M wave, JD?? :)

Gary said...
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Lou,Kingston,NY said...

JD, why do I not believe the USAtoday articule that Gary 238pm mentions? Is it just a thing or what? I hope not. But like you said, out of context. "wave is building and headed for the NASCAR beach". Jim Hunter can fool some of us, but not all of us. Oh yea, I was born in daylight and not in the dark,LOL.....Our court system, gotta love it. This may get interesting in the future. Being from NY I relate this to the issue in NYC this year. And stuff like this only puts a black mark on the sport, be it basketball or NASCAR. baseball. or any other sport.

Lou,Kingston,NY said...

OK, enough, lets enjoy qualifying. So much TV coverage, and enjoying it.

Anonymous said...

I read a story in the Orlando paper where a reporter tried to contact ESPN to get Brad Daugherty to make a comment. An ESPN spokesman said Brad doesn't have anything to say.

This story is the big elephant in the room. Its going to be hard to ignore.

red said...

for news junkies, a sad fyi: tim russert has died this afternoon of a heart attack while at work in the nbc studio. he was 58 years old.
very sad: political journalism has just suffered a big hit.

and now, back to nascar.

stricklinfan82 said...

Let's just hope we still get some kind of TV coverage of the ARCA race tomorrow if it's rained out. Looks like quite a full Saturday of live racing on Speed already, so it would be a terrible happening if there's no room for the race on Speed.

JD, any whispers on what Speed's contignecy plan might be for the ARCA broadcast?

Anonymous said...

Jim Hunter was just on Speed - if they can't run ARCA tonight it will be @ 8:30 am.
Cup quals canceled.
JD - anyone know if SPEED will show ARCA?

Anonymous said...

@lou--I've never heard it said that way, but more like "I was born at night, but it wasn't last night"

@anon 4:30--Rick and Phil just said they're airing it tomorrow at 5:30 eastern after the Pick 'em ups. With the 24 hours of Le Mans that's the only window they have so luckily it was a "break" in the coverage already.

Renata said...

I just read that the closed-door meeting referred to was to discuss the new car, not the lawsuit as probably implied.

According to the quotes from drivers on SceneDaiily, NASCAR basically wanted the drivers realize that good things about the sport were being "overshadowed" by their constant public criticism of the car.

Also I know this is a completely different story, but RIP to Tim Russert.

stricklinfan82 said...

Well Speed just answered the ARCA TV question - it will be tape-delayed until right after the live Truck broadcast (at about 5:30).

Just one request if Rick Allen, Phil Parsons, Michael Waltrip, Krista Voda, Ray Dunlap, or Adam Alexander are reading this - please don't spoil the outcome of the ARCA race during the Truck broadcast like you did a few weeks ago as Kansas. If for some reason it is absolutely imperative to spoil the ARCA winner during the Truck broadcast it would be greatly appreciated if you could at least warn us before you say it so we can change the channel if we don't want to know.

I know I for one would like to be surprised about at the winner when I watch the tape-delayed ARCA race and I'm sure I'm not alone, so your help would be greatly appreciated :)

Anonymous said...

David Poole already has commentary -a story and a blog - on the "closed door" meeting for the drivers to stop criticizing the COT on That's

Carl Edwards said he thought Helton merely wanted to remind Cup drivers that "we got it pretty good."

"You've got to be careful when you start complaining and whining and acting like things aren't that great," Edwards said. "It's detrimental to all of us and to the sport. He was making us aware of the weight of our comments, and you've got to take a moment and think about what we have here. I think that's a good little wake-up call there."

What's funny is David says he heard NASCAR's TV partners also got a talkin' to.

Drivers weren’t the only people who got a talking to Friday. I was told that similar messages were delivered to the sport’s television and radio “partners.”

So it appears we will hear hours and hours of "everything's great in NASCAR" coverage the entire summer. I'm really starting to dislike NASCAR - not the drivers, just NASCAR - and it's starting to affect how I feel about the TV broadcasts, because they clamp down on anyone who has a contrasting thought from theirs.

NASCAR...bringing the Kremlin and the Politburo back, American-style! Or as David Poole calls it, a "come-to-Jesus" meeting. That fits too.
The phrase refers to the fervor with which a preacher might make his altar call at the close of a service. It’s not meant to be sacrilegious. When you go to such a meeting, you don’t get advice. You get admonition.

Joan said...

WOW is it not bad enough the NA$CAR brass claim the drivers are "independent not employees of NA$CAR" and then tell them what they may or may not say, now they tell the media partners " no critical speak" welcome to 1984NA$CAR!
It amazes me - do they think we fans don't SEE whats on the track on raceday? Are they that arrogant? (yup)

Anonymous said...
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Richard in N.C. said...

It is definitely wrong to tell someone what they can and cannot say - unless you tell someone something in confidence.

At the same time, drivers are notorious whiners - just ask Jeff Gordon - and don't like change. Now what they say is trumpeted, and twisted, around the world in a matter of hours. I want the drivers to speak frankly and honestly, but I see nothing wrong with they're being reminded that there is also a lot of good in the sport, and what they say has an impact.

Some drivers who complain constantly do look a little silly when Carl Edwards complains about almost nothing.

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Anonymous said...

Wow, I just watched the video of Marty Smith on the Hotlist (ESPN News) talking about the driver's meeting and the woman official's lawsuit. I usually like Marty, but he didn't come off well IMO. He came off as an apologist for NASCAR, which I usually don't think he does. Maybe since he was on a non-NASCAR show, it was more noticeable.

And Marty? When you're talking about a lawsuit with a racial aspect, maybe you shouldn't refer to it as "definitely bit of a black mark" for NASCAR. Just a poor choice of words for the particular issue.

The Hotlist phone interview with someone from USA Today was much better than Marty. Sorry Marty.

Daly Planet Editor said...

It is going to be fascinating to see ESPN put in the position of being between a rock and a hard place.

Avoiding this issue is just not going to work, and having the NASCAR reporters address it may not be the best way to deal with it either...

Time for a little Bob Ley and Outside the Lines.


Joan said...

Great idea to have Outside the Lines cover it, yet, ESPN will always be in a bit of a spot. Trying to make NA$CAR (brass) happy and do legit reporting. OTL isn't gonna mince words and may dig up a bit of the past history NA$CAR may not want light to shine on again.
Marty on the Hotlist looked very uncomfy, and the "black mark " comment as Anon @7:48 said was a really bad choice of words.

Anonymous said...

Is it known when Tradin' Paint and NASCAR Performance were taped? I'm curious what impact the NASCAR missive to be more positive will have on those shows since we hear that the media as well as drivers/owners recieved the dressing down.

Anonymous said...

The guys on Trackside are not clicking tonight. Say what you will about DW, you knew he was excited to be there. Maybe everyone is tired. they seem to have a hard time talking tonight with any energy. And Steve Byrnes is using every opportunity in a question or answer to plug other SPEED shows and it is awkward the way he does it.

On the plus side, Kasey Kahne is more animated than usual and seems willing to talk, but unfortunately the guys aren't doing anything with that. They're just off tonight.

One last thing: what was with the filmed highlight reel from the Dover race "presented by Sprint" being on Trackside about 15 minutes into the program? Seems like this highlights package should be on This week in NASCAR because it was several minutes long. Trackside is supposed to be about live interviews, not a taped wrapup of last week's race. I hope they're not headed away from live stuff.

Again, this show is off tonight. Hopefully it's a one time thing.

Daly Planet Editor said...


I have a new post for your comments as we are going to watch the TV and NASCAR Internet media cover this breaking story over the weekend.

This will keep it away from the racing issues and let it be talked about directly. Remember, we are watching the media, not debating the lawsuit.


SophiaZ123 said...

Interesting to hear Trackside guys were off...wonder what was up with that. I was out listening to music and missed the whole evening except for TP which was disappointing.

Yes, DW was always happe to be on tv...and the fact "taped video" packages are taking up more time in LIVE CONVERSATION shows is disappointing to hear.

Seems to be the norm with SPEED these days. :(