Saturday, August 2, 2008

NASCAR Pins Hopes On Pocono


Nothing will do more to quiet the roar from the fans and the media about the tire problems at Indy than a great Pocono race on Sunday.

ESPN has all the heavy-hitters ready to go and will open the day with a one hour edition of NASCAR Now at 10AM ET on ESPN2. Either Nicole Manske or Ryan Burr will anchor, with Allen Bestwick present on the Infield Studio Set in Pocono.

Last week, this program was very effective in setting the table for racing and outstanding in content. As ESPN VP of Motorsports Rich Feinberg related earlier this season, the network will be using all of the on-air announcers assigned to these events to support programs like NASCAR Now this year. The change has been very good.

NASCAR RaceDay is up next on SPEED at 11AM. John Roberts hosts the two hour show, with Jimmy Spencer and Kenny Wallace alongside. This week the show will have a whole lot of guests for a whole lot of reasons.

NASCAR President Mike Helton will be along, as will Bob Owen from Sunoco and Tom Foley from the American Red Cross. This race is focused on a charity blood drive and Foley will speak to that issue. In terms of NASCAR folks, Kasey Kahne, AJ Allmendinger and Jimmy Elledge will be on the show.

Wendy Venturini will be having fun this weekend as she will have her regular Real Deal segment and will also be talking with the one and only Kiefer Sutherland. He will be on-hand as the Grand Marshal of the race and also to plug his latest movie. It should be interesting to see how much he knows about NASCAR.

Next-up is NASCAR Countdown on ESPN at 1PM. Allen Bestwick will lead this show alongside Brad Daugherty and Rusty Wallace. This is their first opportunity to address the Indy issues of last week and also to update the happenings in Montreal. Wallace was present for that race and worked in the booth with Randy LaJoie.

Race coverage of the Sprint Cup Series from Pocono will start at 2PM on ESPN. Dr. Jerry Punch, Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree will handle the action from the broadcast booth. Down on pit road will be Dave Burns, Shannon Spake, Mike Massaro and Jamie Little. Massaro is just back from Montreal, where he hosted the pre-race show and also reported from the very wet pits. As usual, Tim Brewer will be in the Tech Center.

ESPN is making sure that Bestwick and company will remain a part of these telecasts, so viewers should look for him to host the race recaps and take control of the live program coming out of commercial breaks to facilitate some discussions. The on-air dynamic between Punch and Bestwick is always interesting to watch, especially when Punch returns to calling the race. After the event, ESPNEWS will be live with the post-race interviews from the Media Center as they have all season long.

Victory Lane on SPEED airs at 8PM. Last week, Spencer and Kenny Wallace were quite emphatic in their views about the Indy events. It led to this column and the corresponding comments from NASCAR fans. It should be very interesting to see how the show plays-out this week.

The second edition of the new one hour Sunday night version of NASCAR Now is on at 10PM. This program is a very good wrap-up show for all the activity of the weekend and ESPN uses the resources at the track to add to the content of this studio-based program. Nicole Manske or Ryan Burr will host.

Speaking of of NASCAR Now, viewers should keep an eye out for the Monday roundtable show at 5PM. This week, another theme show will put all four of the ESPN pit reporters on the set along with Bestwick as the host. It should finally be a good snapshot of the real personalities of these four and a test of how they interact away from pit road.

Monday on This Week in NASCAR at 8PM on SPEED the "odd couple" is back. Chad Knaus joins Michael Waltrip and host Steve Byrnes to recap Pocono. Knaus has really found his stride on this show with the encouragement of Byrnes and when Knaus and Waltrip get going on a topic the results can be unintentionally hilarious.

This post will host your comments about the early NASCAR TV programs and there will be a new post up for the Sprint Cup race at Noon ET. To add your opinion, just click on the COMMENTS button. The rules for posting are located on the right side of the main page. Thanks for taking the time to stop by The Daly Planet.

45 comments:

red said...

morning, all! we were given free tickets to pocono (probably the only way i'd go see a race at long pond!) so we're headed that way shortly. sorry to have to miss all the "fun" with you today but i'll catch up when we get home late tonight. have a great race, all! --red

bevo said...

red-

Have a great time, at least the scenery there is nice!

BTW don't look now but Toyota is in third place in the F1 race right now. Think the FIA will run some tests on their engine :)

Anonymous said...

Well, I guess since ESPN appears to have stopped wasting television time interviewing celebrities SPEED is taking up the slack.

Don't they understand we don't care one bit about what some movie star has to say? If you don't have enough racing programming to fill two hours then cut it down to an hour and a half or something.

Bill H said...

Why did NN start their show with a preview of Pocono when ESPN carried the "historic" (or maybe hysteric) race in the rain yesterday and they are not even mentioning it. Shades of TWIN here.

BillWebz

Bill H said...

JD

With your inside information do you know how Hotpass chooses which drivers they cover? Is it sponser driver? Also, I am sure there aren't any ratings for Hotpass, but do you know any numbers on it? How many people subscribe, watch etc?

Personally I think Hotpass is great, brings out a new dimension in race coverage if you are interested in certain drivers versus the whole race picture.

BillWebz

Lou, from NY said...

Just finished watching the interview by N. Manske with R.Newman, on NN. Again, she knew just how far to go and or push to get the answer needed to make it a good interview. Manske and Bestwick really have changed NASCAR Now to a show that is a pleasure to watch.

bevo said...

bill h-

I actually think HotPass increases the whole race coverage. If one of the HotPass guys is within a couple of spots of the driver you want to follow you'll get more info than the regular broadcast. Most of the time that's how I use it.

bevo said...

Have to agree about Nicole. I thought she would do a good job at ESPN and I'm glad she has. Although I do miss her "appearance" on Speed Report ;)

Newracefan said...

I also agree about Nichole, and good for her getting the RN interview.

It will be interesting to see how the dynamic on RD changes without Jimmy for this week.

Daly Planet Editor said...

What a wild day of NASCAR TV so far.

Think ESPN has decided that Montreal now does not exist?

HotPass drivers are chosen by Chris Long and his DirecTV staff from what I understand.

I just missed the RN interview with Nicole, what did she do with him?

JD

Jo said...

Missed NN this morning had stuff to do. It was nice the way Raceday explained Jimmy Spencers Moms passing. Nice touch guys.

Anonymous said...

Don't they understand we don't care one bit about what some movie star has to say? If you don't have enough racing programming to fill two hours then cut it down to an hour and a half or something.

August 3, 2008 9:54 AM

Amen & Amen! I really hate the "celebrity spots" there are to many drivers who get no time in the sun (so to say) too many stories to be told. Leave the celebs to TMZ.

Nice to see the AJ & Elledge spot, please more stuff like that. There are probably "casual" fans who think theres only maybe 10 crew cheifs in NA$CAR.

Newracefan said...

She basically said there have been a lot of rumors so lets go ahead and clear the air.

Daly Planet Editor said...

When is the last time we saw a driver on the set of RaceDay?

I am trying to find out what is going on with AJ and this PR placement.

Wonder what RaceDay will say about Montreal?

JD

bobb said...

did you notice in the promo that SPEED has Glen practice next Sat at Noon Eastern

Daly Planet Editor said...

Is this the same cotent from NASCAR Confidential?

bobb said...

looks like it

Daly Planet Editor said...

bobb,

Check back through the archives, SPEED has added the early Cup practices for the rest of the season. The schedule is on SPEEDtv.com.

JD

SophiaZ123 said...

First, I am sorry about Jimmy's mom. My condolences to him, and his family.

Second, enjoyed the interview with AJ but what is the deal with him being the hot interview and being asked about getting out while Mike S drove ...I have heard this two or three times this week. Yes, good PR person...I like seeing one of the non top 12 guys interviewed.

Third, PROOF That NASCAR Race Day needs to go BACK to one hour..the repeat of NASCAR Confidential?

Fourth, I have zero, zip, zilch, nada interest in Kiefer Sutherland!!

One hour, less minutia imo.

Jo said...

Wendys real deal notes
Chad thinks "true" race fans get it? (re: Indy tire fiasco) Yup NA$CAR & Goodyear blew it Chad. Do not speak down to fans Chad it does not suit you well.

They have had 8 years of developement and Blew It Big Time.

She had a pretty good recap of the mess & its fall out.
More cars from each manufacturer at the tests.
Nice spot about the mess last week.

Lou, from NY said...

Not that I expected much. But they did not say much about the race at Montreal. But then again, I did not expect them to be critical of the TV coverage either.

Adam T. Martin said...

Well, NASCAR Now along with Ryan and Nicole did a solid job this morning. Props to Brad and company.

ESPN is getting better.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Manske has really fit in well when you think about it. I guess all she needed was an opportunity.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Know what....Hermie is growing on me.

Lou, from NY said...

H. Sadler seems to be filling in ok in the absence of J. Spencer. He has come a long way it seems.

Gotta go. Enough prerace stuff. Will get ready for green flag around 215pm. Enjoy All.

Newracefan said...

Hermie seems like a good guy, the drivers/crews are happy to talk to him on camera. He is a nice fit for Speed and doing a good job filling in for Jimmy.

Jo said...

Is it me or has anyone else noticed the lack of yelling today on RD? Seems calmer. Or is it just me.

Newracefan said...

It's a little quieter but I would expect that with the death Jimmy's mom. JR and Kenny both knew her and she was a big part of Jimmy's life, not to mention his family lives near by and they were all possibly planning a visit (remember the junk yard races). It sort of puts a damper on things.

SophiaZ123 said...

First of all, I MISSED NPerf this week. Wah!!!

Ok, feel better.

Re: Nicole Manske...I never see her much recently, I NEVER watch Sun NN...just can't take "trying" to watch more pre-race. I must say I have truly enjoyed her this year on ESPN and personally, I prefer her daily on NN over Ryan...less hyper, more laid back and converasational (real) in her style.

Sorry to miss her if she is always on the Sun AM stuff.

Red, hope you enjoyed the race!

Kiefer is on to PROMOTE a FOX SHOW 24. and their actor and his agenda. Rolls eyes.

bobb said...

Sophia - even though you do not like Kiefer and I have no problem with that - and you are absolutely correct that he is there to promote - well enuff said.

He is also the Grand Marshall of todays race. Yes I looked it up so you wouldn't have to.

from myfoxnepa.com

Daly Planet Editor said...

jo,

Very different tone today and it makes Kenny seem very loud.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Kiefer's movie "mirrors" is the primary sponsor this week on the 96.

bevo said...

Sutherland is there to promote his movie "Mirrors". They're sponsoring the 96 DLP car today.

bevo said...

Dang it JD, you beat me to it :)

Charlie said...

On Raceday they talked a bit about the problems of the race last week at Indy. They talked about how the Teams, Goodyear, Nascar, Crew Chiefs, Drivers all worked together to work with the problem. One thing I have not seen on any of these shows is interviews with the fans that were there. Would have been interesting to hear what the fans had to say.
Were the fans happy with the race and liked how the race was run? Did the fans think they got their monies worth? Will they be back next year?
I wonder why the fans opinion was not part of a telecast.

Anonymous said...

Hey guys - you ever wonder if the track makes the networks have the grand marshal on their race coverage? The track controls the network access so maybe they ask the network to get the grand marshal on and the network gets something in return.

bobb said...

Makes no sense as Kiefer Sutherland does his show for Fox - perhaps the movie was made by Disney - don't know. ESPN is owned (obviously) by Disney.

bobb said...

Mirrors was made by Regency Rnterprises and their movies are distributed by 20th century Fox.

Fox Television is 50% owner of company.

Anonymous said...

I think the AJ Allmendinger "placement" is coming about imply because the networks covering NASCAR are realizing he is a very, very personable and funny guy on TV. He's always been that way. And unlike many of his young peers, he says exactly what is on his mind.

He has written a couple of blogs for yahoo.com, including one this week. He comes across as a regular guy, like when he describes his "man-crush" on Brett Favre and how he's worried about keeping his job with Red Bull next year.

Perhaps the producers of the pre-race shows are reading those recent blogs and responding to that,since AJ has a good chance of getting back into the top 35 soon and had a top 10 at the Brickyard.

I'm just glad to see some different Cup drivers interviewed on my TV screen for once. No complaints here.

Daly Planet Editor said...

There is a new post up for the NASCAR Countdown show and the Sprint Cup race from Pocono.

JD

Anonymous said...

sorry, meant to say "I think the AJ Allmendinger "placement" is coming about SIMPLY because the networks covering NASCAR are realizing he is a very, very personable and funny guy on TV."

It appears many people don't remember it, but Kiefer Sutherland did a fantastic job narrating the NASCAR 3D IMAX film four or five years ago.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Kenny was like a fish out of water on this show. What a dynamic.

Anonymous said...

Keifer just said that he did the voice over for the IMAX movie which I forgot so he does know NASCAR!!

Newracefan said...

Keiffer interview wasn't bad at least he knew the drivers name and numbers which is better than a lot of the celebrity interviews.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Wonder if we will see Keifer on NASCAR Countdown?

I am jumping over to the other in-progress thread!

SophiaZ123 said...

Thanks guys for the "enlightenment" of Mr. Sutherland. I knew there was a reason he was on.

:)