Sunday, June 29, 2008
Breaking News: RaceDay Satellite Failure - 40 Min. Off-Air
UPDATE #1: RaceDay on SPEED has experienced a satellite transmission failure and is off-the-air as of 11AM. Host John Roberts used a telephone line to tell fans that SPEED would be playing standby programming until the problem was fixed. Keep it here for updates as the situation plays-out.
Update #2: RaceDay still off-air as of 11:30AM Eastern Time.
Update #3: RaceDay back on-the-air at 11:42AM and will air the remainder of the two hour program fully.
Before the first engines are fired, three of NASCAR's TV partners will originate a total of four and a half hours of pre-race programming. Here is the rundown.
It will be NASCAR Now on ESPN2 starting the day at 10AM Eastern Time with a one hour preview show. This program will be hosted by either Ryan Burr or Nicole Manske and features live reports from reporters at the track. This season, NASCAR Now has proven to be an effective and balanced program that does a good job of previewing the upcoming Cup race.
Long before NASCAR Now was a gleam in ESPN's eye, there was RaceDay on SPEED. Normally referred to as "the franchise," RaceDay is currently scheduled a bit earlier to avoid a conflict with the TNT pre-race programming. This Sunday, the two hour show begins at 10:30AM.
This week, Kenny Wallace returns to the program after a week away while racing in the Nationwide Series. Wallace re-joins Jimmy Spencer and John Roberts to form a very popular trio with NASCAR fans. SPEED's increase in ratings for RaceDay this season tells the tale.
On Sunday morning, the program will welcome David Gilliland, Bobby Labonte, Jeff Burton and Matt Kenseth as guests. Normally, the drivers wear a headset to communicate with the panelists and are interviewed from the infield. Spencer and Wallace have developed a good on-air relationship with the folks in the garage, and these interviews are often surprisingly candid and refreshing.
In terms of features, RaceDay will look at the battle for 12th spot in the Sprint Cup point standings. Also included will be Jeff Burton's history at Loudon, Jeff Gordon's tough 2008 season and Rutledge Wood will host a look back at the NASCAR Modified career of Jimmy Spencer. That should be interesting.
Each week reporter Wendy Venturini handles the news reports from the garage area and also offers a pre-produced feature called The Real Deal. This week, Venturini sat down with Richard Petty and the new CEO of Petty Enterprises David Zucker.
There is no doubt that surrendering control of his family-owned business to a group of investment bankers from Boston was tough for Petty. Sitting alongside a former TV and video game executive who is now running your former company may be even tougher. The contrast between the North Carolina style of Petty and the hard-driving business style of the New Yorker Zucker is huge. This should be a Real Deal to watch.
TNT's first pre-race show called NASCAR on TNT Live! is up next at 12:30PM and is hosted by TNT's own in-house announcer Marc Fein. Along with Kyle Petty and Larry McReynolds, Fein hosts this one hour program from the big TNT rotating infield stage thingy.
This week the show will feature an interview with Jeff Burton and questions from NASCAR.com users. The NASCAR Future Stars segment will focus on Justin Allgaier who drives the #16 Chevy in the ARCA/ReMax Series. Lindsay Czarniak will tag along with Brian Vickers pit crew as they make their way over to nearby Dartmouth College to play ice hockey.
The big feature will have Wally Dallenbach sitting down for a conversation with the pride of Taylorsville, NC. That would be the one-and-only Harry Gant, recently named one of NASCAR's Top 50 Drivers. It should be interesting to hear Gant's opinions on issues like the COT and the youth movement in the sport.
The final pre-race show is the Allstate Countdown to Green hosted by Bill Weber from the TNT cocktail table in the announce booth. Dallenbach and Weber talk for thirty minutes as they zero-in on the race itself. Weber combines some hard news with one feature to which he usually contributes. This 1:30PM program leads directly into TNT's race coverage.
This post will serve to host your comments about all the NASCAR TV partner's pre-race shows. To add your TV-related 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 for stopping by.