Sunday, August 3, 2008

Hermie Sadler Featured Sunday On SPEED

The long-time regular commentator Jimmy Spencer was absent from the Pocono weekend due to a death in the family. SPEED turned to Hermie Sadler to fill-in on both RaceDay and Victory Lane.

Sadler has been patiently working his way into the SPEED line-up over the last several years. He has been a breath of fresh air with his descriptions of the tracks and the issues involved in each race on RaceDay. Eventually, he made his way to the SPEED Stage to take his place alongside of Spencer and Kenny Wallace during his reports.

Viewers next noticed that Sadler was appearing in more features on RaceDay and also handling some interviews. He had become the second reporter, replacing Rikki Rachtman and moving Rutledge Wood to a minor role in the show. Sadler has a very deliberate style and a well thought-out manner to his conversations.

As a former competitor, Sadler has the same level of access to drivers and personalities as Venturini and proved to be a good compliment to her interviews. He has also shown to have a good sense of humor and a mature perspective on many of the NASCAR issues being discussed.

This week, RaceDay allowed Sadler to speak to a wide variety of issues while responding to questions from host John Roberts. It allowed TV viewers to see Sadler in a very different role and he was impressive. Wallace and Sadler had a good relationship on the program, with Wallace keeping-up his enthusiasm and volume while Sadler kept things on an even keel.

Two hours of RaceDay is a task for an analyst and Sadler rose to the occasion. Quite obvious was his comfortable relationship with Roberts. Sadler was usually the first person to comment on the NASCAR topics and held his own on the RaceDay panel.

After the race, Sadler took his place alongside of the same duo to handle the Victory Lane assignment. This was the best part of the day for Sadler, as he was the primary interviewer of the winning driver and the crew chief. As opposed to the semi-scripted nature of RaceDay, this Victory Lane appearance allowed Sadler to speak freely and use his veteran perspective to ask solid questions.

Roberts and Wallace kept their roles in this program to a minimum and that was very professional of both men. Sadler was excited and had the informed questions ready for the guests. He also had prepped for the highlight portion and understood what teams had done in terms of strategy on the final pit stops. Wallace and Roberts just let Sadler lead the way and he did just that.

SPEED has experimented with all kinds of TV personalities at the SPEED Stage from ultra-serious to ultra-ridiculous. By making the most of this one opportunity to step-up as an analyst on two key NASCAR TV programs, Sadler sent the message that he may be ready to assume a bigger role for the network in 2009.

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Dot said...

Hi JD,

I'm watching VL right now. Hermie has really come into his own.

Jimmy Spencer better watch his job. I like JS because of the Kurt Busch punch, but he's a little too unpolished for TV. It really shows now that he's not there. (Condolences to him). I don't mean to bag on Jimmy, especially now. I'm just being timely.

Is it just me, or is Hermie alot easier to understand? Or, am I just used to his voice? Do you know if he took a speaking class?

Kenn Fong said...

J. D.,

In addition to his duties on Speed, during the race, Hermie was one of the analysts (with Phil Parsons) on DirecTV's Dale Earnhardt, Jr. channel.

Kenny - Alameda, California

Anonymous said...

I agree. Hermie always does a good job. I remember when everyone tried to explain how the cars were 'crabbing' down the straightaways. Even with all the expensive cutaway cars across the TV networks,they all did a terrible job. Not Hermie. On two pieces of cardboard,he had simple sketches that made it very clear what was being done. My condolences to Jimmy Spencer,but I didn't miss him and listening to that bufoon,Kenny Wallace, made me want to throw up.Especially after his performance at Indy. No credibility in my book. I'd really get sick if I found out how much he and Jimmy get paid for such nonsense!

Hugh said...

I agree Hermie is better than 85% of the analysts on Speed, ESPN, FOX, Etc. Lets have More Hermie and less J. D., Kenny, Etc.
He would be an excellent replacemant for Dale Jarrett. Dale tries to comment at racing speed and his brain is not always in synch with his mouth. His dad was one of the greatest because he spoke slowly and distinctly as Hermei does.

Lou, from NY said...

Hey, like I said on the other blog. Hermie has come a long way.

I have waited for a couple of years for this. Just like N. Manske , the volume/inflection and quality of questions and how you phrase them with respect to the person you are talking to, with your knowledge of the sport,is to put all at ease for the interview. There is no doubt to this fan, that this is an important skill when you interview someone.

Anonymous said...

I liked Jimmy's replacement much better. He adds to the show, where as JS does not. I think SPEED should re-evaluate Spencer's role.

Lisa Hogan said...

Hermie did a great job. I've always liked Hermie. In fact, I'm rather fond of the Sadler family. :)

Richard in N.C. said...

I think Hermie does a very good job, but I thought Race Day seemed to move very slow witnout Spencer. Race Day gives me the feel of being in the infield before the race, and it lost some of its punch without Spencer. I don't view Hermie and Jimmie as alternatives, but as complimenting each other - and I believe Jimmy's CUP history makes many drivers relate more to him as a peer.

Lisa Hogan said...

Richard, I agree.
Spencer is on that list of drivers who have won in all three series.

Daly Planet Editor said...


The wind really went out of the sails of this show when it was moved back.

Interviews in the bus lot and having drivers in plain clothes on the set are very different from building up to the start of the race and handing off to the TV network that is actually doing the race coverage.

Now, RaceDay is trapped between the Sunday morning hour version of NASCAR Now and the actual pre-race show NASCAR Countdown.

In my mind, this is like being between a TV rock and a hard place. What you are talking about has already been previewed or is going to be talked about again with the driver on the starting grid.

What a shame for SPEED.


Lisa Hogan said...

Can't resist this one-
Dave Burns was the "Rutledge" of NBC/TNT. Is he trying to be the "Wendy" of ESPN??

Richard in N.C. said...

JD- Yes, but I really was referring to in comparison to Jimmy Spencer's being there.

I'm still not clear exactly why Race Day was pushed back, but I have to assume it was due to pressure from ESPN.

Newracefan said...

I thought Hermie did a fantastic job and yes I understood him better too and also do not know if it's him or me. I understand Elliot better also, so maybe it's me.

I agree about RD now that they can't walk the grid anymore they should shrink the show by 30 minutes at least if not an entire hour.

Anonymous said...

I'm late but just wanted to add my 2 cents...

Hermie did a great job! I've always enjoyed him and was very happy when he joined the SPEED crew!