Friday, June 6, 2008

In-Progress At Pocono: Sprint Cup And Nationwide Action


There is a big weekend of racing on tap. Three series are racing on three different racetracks in three different cities.

SPEED kicks-off the coverage with Steve Byrnes hosting Sprint Cup practice at Noon Eastern Time. Byrnes will be joined by Jeff Hammond and Larry McReynolds in the announce booth. Veteran Matt Yocum will work with TNT's Ralph Shaheen reporting from the garage area.

After the practice is over, John Roberts will be along with NASCAR Live at 1:30PM. Bob Dillner and Hermie Sadler will be his reporters for this show.

Then, for the first time ever, the Sprint Cup Series qualifying will come along without the NASCAR on Fox gang. This time at 3:30PM, it will be Steve Byrnes calling the action with Hammond and McReynolds alongside. Down in the garage area will be the TNT team of Marty Snider and Lindsay Czarniak.

The ESPN2 guys will sneak-in one hour of Nationwide practice at 6PM. Dr. Jerry Punch, Rusty Wallace and Andy Petree will be in the booth. Jamie Little, Shannon Spake and Dave Burns will be in the garage area.

This post will serve to host your TV-related comments about the early action of Friday. To add your comments, just click on the COMMENTS button below and follow the directions. The rules for posting are located on the right side of the main page. Thanks again for taking the time to stop by.

29 comments:

batchief said...

John, Trucks?

stricklinfan82 said...

JD,

Do you have any idea who's handling the production truck duties for the Cup practice and qualifying sessions during these TNT weekends? Is this just a TNT production with Speed logos or do they have some other individuals handling the Friday and Saturday duties?

Assuming this isn't the Fox production truck, it will be very interesting to see how this production truck handles practice and qualifying. I sure hope it's much better than ESPN's pathetic efforts that completely ignore the on-track action, and that we will still see all of the cars' entire qualifying runs with the TiVo style format.

I really wish ESPN would embrace the TNT method to covering NASCAR weekends. I love the fact that TNT just shows up on race days for their big ratings numbers and leaves practice and qualifying to the dependable auto racing network - Speed Channel.

The fans have been the biggest losers in ESPN's half-hearted efforts to cover practice and qualifying sessions. Not just because of the terrible production ESPN does for these sessions, but because once Indy goes around will be inexplicably faced with morning practice blackouts and weekly tape-delays of Happy Hour once college football season starts (remember the weekend last year when Happy Hour got pushed to like 1 AM and STILL got bumped back later in the morning by a pre-emption for Baseball Tonight?).

Let Speed Channel handle every practice and qualifying session like they are this weekend. PLEASE.

red said...

certainly hope everyone up at long pond is ready for the incredibly hot and humid weekend: temps in the mid-90s and humidity almost the same. welcome to eastern pennsylvania in the summer.
that being said: it can have an impact on the drivers and teams if they haven't hydrated enough prior to hitting the track. and the track itself will be a major contributor to the qualifying process.
batchief: i have become a BIG truck fan of late and that was my question also. jd? any advice?

haus20 said...

Did speed change their scoring banner a little? It looks as if the car number graphics are different. Maybe it is just me.

Mike said...

The ticker is certainly different, graphically. Looks like the font is a bit larger.

Mike said...

It's sort of strange to see there being an overlap in coverage later today.....with Cup qualifying on Speed eating 30 minutes into ESPN2's coverage of Nationwide practice. I wonder if Cup qualifying will actually take that long with just 45 cars entered.

Ken-Michigan said...

Sure would enjoy hearing more driver's interviewed during this practice session.

From a "competition" standpoint, seems like the teams and NASCAR would start using these practice sessions with more emphasis on "race" type situations.

The COT has proven to be less than stellar under race conditions. The COT needs more "practice" with cars around it.... for now the only time other cars are around the COT is on race day and it gives us fans a boring race with little passing for position.

I'm surprised to see SO MANY single car runs in this Pocono practice session.

Ken-Michigan said...

I dont know if the production truck folks are reading today.....

But, i've been getting a video "hiccup" alot today. Audio isnt effected, but the video will stutter for a quick second from time to time.

I watch on DirecTV if that helps. But I have also noticed this at nearly every track this year.

Is it some kind of radio / communication interference at the track ??

Just wanted to let ya know.

Anonymous said...

the TNT crew is handling the practice and qualifying sessions but they are using the SPEED look. This is just like Fox did during their half of the year.

Ken-Michigan said...

That speed shot on top of the wall in Turn 3 has had a constant problem with the video this whole session.

Almost looks like a loose cable or kink in the cable. Every time is Pans....the video goes all funky.

red said...

i was also having that video "hiccup" that ken mentioned. i'm on comcast outside philly.

and, now that we've mentioned for the umpteeth time since practice started that busch is running all 3 series this weekend, can we backpedal a bit on it for the rest of the weekend? we get it, we get it. and there are other stories to be told.

in all seriousness, it's beyond understandable now. i get it: he's leading the cup, he's running everyone else off the tracks right now but c'mon! it needn't be "all busch all the time", does it? at what point does the media coverage of the story become the story itself? are we there yet?

Richard in N.C. said...

red- I thought Long Pond was up higher and did not have such high temps & humidity? I do recall 1 year at least 15 years ago when 1 of the Pocono races (2nd 1 I believe) had to be red flagged for fog.

red said...

hey richard in nc: yep, long pond is in the mountains so the temps are a bit lower. and fog has been a factor for more than one race at that track. there is usually a good breeze that comes across and that helps. but its still scheduled to be hot and humid as the weekend progresses.
(and now i'm wacthing f-1! excellent.)

Anonymous said...

It is 92 degrees here at the Nashville track. Very hot and windy.
Steve L.

SophiaZ123 said...

I am also weary of all Kyle...all the time...in all three series. No escaping. Since he is in all three series I think he has bypassed all the Jr talk and all the Danica mania talk from the last year :(

I remember when I used to enjoy the Trucks race more ...sigh...not that I hold a grudge he wrecked JB towards the end of that one truck race or anything....

;-)

Hotter than hades here and dewpoint is 70...sounds COOL in Pocono...glad for drivers/crew sake

Mike said...

Interesting how they're doing practice on ESPN2.....Punch and Rusty are calling it from the infield booth Bestwick is normally in. And it looks like Petree and Jamie Little are handling the duties of pit reporters. Must have a limited staff on hand.

Spring Rubber said...

Why is ESPN hosting practice coverage from the Pit Studio instead of the booth?

Mike said...

ESPN2 may regret televising this practice session. With there being a final session later this evening, it doesn't appear too many cars are going to get out on the track during this first session with as hot as it is.

Tracy said...
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Tracy said...
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Tracy said...

Okay, this time I will TRY to type coherently. It's been a long hot day here, getting to 100 tomorrow.

Anyway, I thought the Speed gang did a nice job showing the Sprint cars qualifying, as well as with the pit road interviews.

If there are horrendous typos in this post, please don't tell me.

haus20 said...

Ken - I get that same hiccup and have been all year. It always seems to happen when they change shots. It also seems to be when the camera shot goes from a shot of the corner to the straight away. The image freezes for a split second then changes to the next shot.

Do you have HD?

I have DirecTV HD.

haus20 said...

It is interesting to see that Nascar Now is up against tracksidethis evening. I don't remember that happening before.

Mike said...

They're definitely using this practice session to promote the Belmont Stakes (which will be broadcast on sister ABC on Saturday). Especially when talking about Kyle Busch going for his own Triple Crown.

Ken-Michigan said...

haus20 -

Yep same thing here.

I've been on DirecTV HD all year and I've experienced that same video problem quite a bit.

I noticed the same thing when they switch shots, but for some reason, today at Pocono, that Turn 3 speedshot had video problems while it panned from left to right.

Would be cool if we get some kind of confirmation from FOX / SPEED TV what the problem is or was.

Daly Planet Editor said...

There is a new post up for the Truck Series race tonight on SPEED.

Thanks,

JD

stricklinfan82 said...

Tremendous qualifying coverage. It was great to see every second of every car's entire qualifying run thanks to the TiVo style format. It was great to see the focus of the broadcast remain on the session they are there to televise (unlike the ESPN method of skipping on-track action to show full-screen video packages and having the booth have long-winded conversations about anything but the on-track action). It was also great to see the entire screen filled with the on-track action (unlike the ESPN method of putting it in a tiny box surrounded by ridiculous line graphs and driver stats).

If TNT's production of qualifying today is a sign of things to come Sunday I will be thrilled. Great start.

To address earlier concerns, yes DirecTV's Speed Channel HD always seems to have video freeze-ups throughout anything they cover - Raceday, practice, qualifying, etc. Hopefully someone fixes that problem soon.

Anonymous said...

I was not thrilled with Steve Byrnes on this broadcast. I've noticed that on a lot his shows he seems to really get off on making the other panelists laugh, and he is the first to let out a huge belly laugh at the slightest comical comment (where others might only chuckle softly), as well as his own jokes. Maybe it's just me, but I started obsessing on the big guy's laugh and his constant attempt at joke-making during the last TWIN, when it seemed like him and Waltrip were running off some inside jokes over and over again that no one else could get. Well, the big laugh showed up again today during qualifying. It would make a good drinking game, but instead I had to turn on the mute and just watch the throttle/placement graphics.

Gymmie said...

@haus20--I don't recall this type of conflict either, but I miss most since my DVR is dual so it can record 2 channels at the same time.

I actually had a rare triple conflict tonight--Trackside, NN and For Race Fans Only. Since there's a Trackside replay, I told it not to record that so it recorded FRFO (which *normally* doesn't start until 8 eastern) and NN since there wasn't a replay for it. Dan H. is on vay cay so Dan W. filled in tonight :).