Thursday, July 10, 2008

In-Progress From Chicagoland: Thursday on SPEED and ESPN2

NASCAR teams take to the track on Thursday, as this is a night race from Chicagoland Speedway this season. Both SPEED and ESPN will carry live coverage.

John Roberts and company kick SPEED's day off with NASCAR Live at 4:30PM Eastern Time. Bob Dillner and Hermie Sadler will be Robert's reporters roaming the garage area and pit road. There should be a lot of news to discuss and some very interesting interviews.

Up next will be Sprint Cup practice at 5PM with Steve Byrnes calling the action. He will be joined in the announce booth by Jeff Hammond and Larry McReynolds. Down in the garage will be Lindsay Czarniak and Ralph Shaheen.

Go or Go Home is next at 6:30PM as this show continues to try and find a real format. Often, the remaining Sprint Cup stories from the earlier action dominate this show which was designed to focus on the teams that have to qualify on time.

Also at 6:30PM is NASCAR Now on ESPN2 which will originate from the Connecticut studios of the network. This thirty minute show will be hosted by either Ryan Burr or Nicole Manske and cover the news topics of the day.

ESPN2 continues with live Nationwide Series final practice at 7PM. Once again, first practice was not televised. Dr. Jerry Punch will be joined by Rusty Wallace and Andy Petree in the booth. On pit road will be Dave Burns, Shannon Spake and Jamie Little. Allen Bestwick will man the Infield Pit Center with Brad Daugherty.

After a short break, Sprint Cup qualifying returns at 8:30PM. Byrnes and company return in the booth with Marty Snider joining Ralph Shaheen on pit road this time.

This weekend finishes a long run of SPEED covering almost every single Sprint Cup practice and qualifying session in 2008. Telecasts have featured Mike Joy and Steve Byrnes in the host position. Darrell Waltrip, Jeff Hammond and Larry McReynolds have been in the booth. A ton of personalities have been on pit road and in the garage area. SPEED has done a great job this season and deserves to be commended.

This post will serve to host your comments about the Thursday NASCAR TV from both SPEED and ESPN2.


Anonymous said...

I think that Speed will cover some qualifying and practice sessions once ESPN takes over like last year.

Daly Planet Editor said...

There are a couple of weekends where ESPN has program conflicts, but as you may remember from the fan anger last season, ESPN did not cover the Cup practice and often blew off the entire Nationwide Series until the race.

We are two months from college football...and then everything changes.


stricklinfan82 said...

ESPN's limited coverage only allows one of the Nationwide practices to air on TV, and for a second straight week the race fans get left with no practice coverage at all since the one arbitrary session ESPN actually deemed worthy of coverage got rained out. Thanks for nothing ESPN, and thanks in advance if you shaft us in two weeks by allowing Friday practice at the Brickyard to have no TV coverage at all. What a joke that will be if we have to deal with these Cup practice TV blackouts again during the most important part of the whole season.

Because of the larger than usual car count for this Nationwide race, ESPN couldn't have asked for a better opportunity for a dress rehearsal for Cup qualifying at the Brickyard in a couple weeks. There's a huge field of 50 cars, so there will be a whopping 20 go-or-go-homers running for 13 spots, meaning 7 teams will have to pack up and go home early.

Let's hope they have straightened their act and the cameras and booth talk can stay focused ON THE TRACK, which has been an enormous problem for ESPN the last two years. Fans are tuning in to watch the cars make timed qualifying runs. Do not cover up the qualifying race cars with nonsensical video packages and NASCAR history lessons via pictures. Just show the on-track action you are there to cover and talk about the on-track action you are there to cover, it's not rocket science. The Fox and TNT production trucks don't struggle in that area, so there's no excuse for ESPN's colossal failure in that area the last two years.

If ESPN falls flat on their face during qualifying again tomorrow the countdown to the inevitable disaster at the Brickyard that will follow this dress rehearsal can officially begin.

Anonymous said...

Wow. So hard on ESPN all of a sudden.......

Newracefan said...

Hopefully fans had their DVR's running like me or they never saw anything on the track but dryers on the track. NW practice rained out (it was the only one ESPN was going to show so nno NW cars at all) Cup qualifying rained out so Speed reshowing practice with a little shirt drama thrown in. Seeing Larry Mac laughing so hard he was crying over Hammonds attempt to fix Steve's pen stained shirt was priceless and even worth being reshown on TWIN on Monday.

stricklinfan82 said...

Anonymous said...
Wow. So hard on ESPN all of a sudden.......

July 10, 2008 8:59 PM

Actually I (and others) have been hard on ESPN for the TV blackouts of practice sessions and for their unique approach of ignoring the on-track action during their practice and qualifying shows for over a year now. A quick glance through the archives would show that.

I've had a lot of praise for ESPN's race coverage for much of this year, and for their re-vamping of NASCAR Now in the off-season. However, the issues of horrible qualifying and practice coverage and the "ESPN exclusive" of only getting Happy Hour and no other practice sessions during weekends they chip in on the coverage have yet to be addressed. Fans' disgust over these latter issues is hardly new.

Anonymous said...
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Newracefan said...

Hey JD I just watched my DVR of practice, did you catch the TWIN/ Odd Couple comment by Steve Byrnes. Humm I wonder where he got that idea from.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 10:20PM,

You are welcome to tell us your opinion of the Thursday coverage on the NASCAR TV partners.

We try to gather opinions and let readers make their own decisions. To that end, why not tell us what you think?

Just FYI, prior to the ESPN coverage, there was TV exposure for the Busch Series practice sessions. We all know the network dynamics involved and talked about this same situation last season.

ESPN says they do not own those sessions and they are not in their TV contract. NASCAR says ESPN is the provider of exclusive Nationwide Series coverage. SPEED says they were not given the opportunity to show those sessions. One big fun TV circle.

All we can do is voice our opinions and let people read them.


Steve is a friend of this blog and reads it regularly. He is a great guy in person and has a very long history in the TV side of the sport. If you saw the Dale movie, you know as much.

Now if I can only get an odd couple photo with their heads on it.....



Newracefan said...

JD can you say photoshop

Anonymous said...

I haven't watched my practice recording yet, will have to listen for it :).

I was rolling on the shirt. I was half paying attention and I'm like "did Steve *not* get the shirt memo?" Then of course they 'splained :). Too funny!

Lou,Kingston,NY said...

Ya know, for once I gotta think it is a good thing. In a sport that is fun for me to watch and attend, it was a light moment that I enjoyed w/the shirt/ink stain. It was a good/nice way to open the broadcast for a change. I felt it was not rehearsed. And was easy to watch and listen to. Having said that, do not abuse it. It was good. thanks