Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sunday Afternoon On SPEED From Fonatana

Getting ready for the Sprint Cup Race on ESPN at 7PM, SPEED serves-up a couple of hours of pre-race programming.

Larry McReynolds is a consistent presence on SPEED and he starts things off with NASCAR Performance at 4:00PM. McReynolds is joined by Chad Knaus and Bootie Barker. Originally, this show was fascinating for what the smart minds of the crew chiefs could do to the cars in the Sprint Cup Series.

Now, it is a constant exercise in frustration for both Knaus and Barker. NASCAR has put the crew chiefs in a box and there is nothing left to talk about except parts and pieces. At many racetracks, there is little for the crew chief to do except adjust tire pressure and add or subtract wedge during the race.

The mounting frustration of Knaus has been especially noticeable in light of his team's frustrations despite being firmly in The Chase. Knaus is used to a very different level of performance. It should be interesting to hear his views on the box NASCAR has assembled for the teams in Fontana.

Randy Pemberton and Adam Alexander have been taking turns hosting NASCAR in a Hurry which comes along next at 4:30PM. This show uses all the SPEED and NASCAR Media Group footage since the teams arrived in Fontana to review everything that has happened from the Nationwide race to the news from the garage.

The franchise strolls in next, as John Roberts leads the NASCAR RaceDay crew of Jimmy Spencer and Kenny Wallace on-the-air at 5PM for two hours of pre-race programming. Hermie Sadler and Wendy Venturini are the field reporters. Venturini has David Ragan as her guest on The Real Deal this week. Live guests on the show will include Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth and Joey Logano.

RaceDay has undergone a huge transformation since being moved back one hour to protect the ESPN pre-race show called NASCAR Countdown. Last season, the RaceDay crew was fired-up to go head-to-head with the NASCAR on ESPN gang. Now, drivers can come to the RaceDay stage because they are still in their street clothes.

Instead of Venturini and ESPN's pit reporters competing for interviews on the starting grid, Venturini is often alone in the bus lot with drivers who look like they just woke up from a nap. The precious hour before race time now belongs to ESPN alone.

The RaceDay crew continues to develop a new show format even as they are surrounded by NASCAR Now on ESPN2 before the show and NASCAR Countdown immediately after. What topics are selected to pursue, the quality of the interviews and the exclusive features are the elements keeping RaceDay popular.

This post will serve to host your comments about the Sunday afternoon shows on SPEED from Fontana. To add your TV-related comment, 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 again for taking time out of your day to stop by.


red said...

just have to say that i'll be spending all my pre-race time with cnn on in the background. my thoughts and prayers go out to everyone in the path of gustav.

somehow, just when racing seems so very important, we are brought back to a reality that overwhelms. such is life.

Daly Planet Editor said...


Where were you during my fourteen inches of rain during Fay?

Now, I have skeeters the size of golf balls!

Awful nice that the good folks down on the Gulf are getting out of the way this time. You can rebuild every thing but a life, ya know?


majorshouse said...

I think I will pass on the pre-race stuff for now. I would rather watch Race Day rather than the crap we are being dished out from ESPN, but think I will spend my time productively doing something else.

red said...

ah, jd, you KNOW i was thinkin' 'bout you down there in floor-e-daaa. . . but cnn wasn't!

if it helps, i have found swatting at those buggers with either a badminton racquet or, if they're particularly large, a tennis racquet, works wonders -- especially if 'adult beverages' are available. if you REALLY wanna have fun, slip a plastic bag over said racquet and swat away! the advantage here is that you actually get to murder those bloodsuckers and you can see your results.

i'm just sayin' . . . something to do whilst waiting for the race tonight.

majorshouse: i, too, am doing something productive: phillies are up 5-2, 1 out, bottom of the 8th against chicago. it's all good.

Newracefan said...

The guys are in rare form tonight. Slam Chip Gannassi, slam the new shootout format, wonder what's next?

bevo said...

We're expecting a bunch of the evacuees here in Fort Worth - Dallas again. Got the comfort stations set up out on I-35. The local ABC station is broadcasting the New Orleans channel on one of the digital channels (8.2).

Daly Planet Editor said...

RaceDay is having a tough time. ESPN has them surrounded. Ryan Burr and NASCAR Now before them. He does the whole preview thing and has a liveshot from the track.

Then, once RaceDay is over the ESPN guys interview basically all the same drivers. This time, they are in their firesuits and on the starting grid.

Makes you wonder what is going to happen to this show next year when ESPN returns with all this firepower again?


bevo said...


Did you know that they're going to stream Countdown and the race on ESPN360 tonight?

bevo said...

Justin Wilson just got his first win and probably the last one for Paul Newman

PammH said...

That bit w/Drew Carey was HORRIBLE!! If I had kids watching w/me, I'd be steamed-it was pretty dirty, imo. And I don't think I'm a prude-worked in an auto factory 10 yrs.

Anonymous said...

Once they go to Drew, he can say anything. It was quite funny in my opinion!

Richard in N.C. said...

JD- Could it be that SPEED moved RaceDay up an hour in exchange for being able to replay the preceding Cup race (carried by ESPN) on SPEED on Thursday afternoon?

Sophia said...


WOW. Sorry about all the rain you guys, got..last I read I thought you were doing ok ...least that's what I read here.

hope you had no water damage. FOURTEEN inches...yikes.

I am glad the gulf folks are taking heed AND the the NoLa mayor I heard a soundbite twice emphasized to MAKE ARRANGEMENTS for you animals.

I helped a friend nurse to Katrina made it for about 1 year...:( Hope all are safe.

Sophia said...

Just catching bits of RACEDAY.

They had DREW CAREY ON???

How Ironic. I just meantioned him in the Tony Stewart column regarding a certain word about cats. If y'all knew how he used THAT word in an old interview, you'd be more offended than Tony's !!

But back to Race Day> WHAT did they say about Ganassi? I was in the kitchen and had IRL race on. I juse caught them putting down the new Shoot out formate. Jimmy, Kenny and JR all hate it. ME TOO.

It stinks. And nothing against Logano (but I am sick alreayd of the hype on this kid though no fault to him!) but it's ludicrous he coasts into the Daytona Shoot out.

This was a bad, bad call. Oh, and if NASCAR is SO INTO manufacturers, why are no car makers SCREAMING for the lack of CAMERA TIME during an actual race broadcasts...that would go hand in hand imo.

Anonymous said...

Listening to Jimmy, Kenny, and even JR make their dislike of the new Shootout format known was pretty awesome. I think the new format is ridiculous and not fair to those guys who were so excited to get the pole and get their shot in the Shootout. Or that there will be drivers barely in the Top 35 eligible because there are fewer Toyotas while drivers in the Top 15 who drive Chevys will have to miss out because there are more good Chevy teams. The guys pretty much stated every reason why I don't agree with it. Nice to hear their unvarnished opinion.

Sophia said...

Pammh...what did Drew do or say?

what was so dirty for Race Day...i am shocked to read of this... miss Race Day, you miss a lot, sometimes it seems.

haus20 said...

Did you guys hear the excitement in AB's voice as he was calling the "bump & run" in the Gordon / Wallace coverage?

That is what we are missing in the ESPN broadcast!

Dr. Punch are you taking notes?

Daly Planet Editor said...

There is a new post up for the Sprint Cup Series race on ESPN.


Sophia said...

OOps...Kenny W just said he drove for Roush when Kurt B 'got that DUI'.

Remember how we were ALL TOLD he was NOT DRUNK?? Least that's what I remember being told....or am I mistaken.

Newracefan said...

NO Soph he was not drunk, he did give the cop a hard time, I forget what he was eventually charged with. That was actually a pretty big faux pas by Kenny, if someone doesn't know the story they will think Kurt was busted for DUI and since he drives the Miller Lite car that could be a problem

PammH said...

sophia-he talked about splooshing (sp) on fries, said Rut had been eating a smurf because he had a blue tongue & they were talking about the 10 sec rule (when you drop food on the floor) and Drew said you can't eat me after 10 secs. I just thought it was inappropriate.

glenc1 said...

Kenny's gonna get busted for that--Kurt was was something like .03 or so...I believe he pleaded guilty to reckless driving. Not a fan of either Busch, but Kenny got it wrong, ouch. Surprised his producer didn't have him backtrack yet.

glenc1 said...

BTW--I just want to say here how much I've enjoyed watching Hermie Sadler the last few weeks. I think he just gets better and better. I've totally ignored NASCAR Now. I just figured I'd take Jimmy's silly rantings over...well, whatever they're doing over there....

I'm glad they slammed the Shootout, I agree. As for Chip--I think Kenny had a point but I wouldn't have put it quite that harshly--I think if he knew what was broken he'd fix it. And it was Felix (as usual) that was nasty about it this week, not Chip (see comments from Felix on Reed S, link at Jayski.) I love Felix' big heart but sometimes he talks out of another part of his body...

bevo, I had that same thought on J. Wilson...I'm sure that team has been trying extra hard.

Daly Planet Editor said...


Hermie is a TDP reader and will appreciate your comment.

He is trying hard to catch-up in the TV learning curve and has been working very hard on his TV skills.


Anonymous said...

Hermie was polite after Jimmy, Kenny ripped the new shoot out format - I agree its awful. JR doesn't like it either. If NA$CAR wants to help manufacturers so much make the CoT look like cars. Duh

Oh well, I muted Drew Carey - Ijust don't care for him at all.

The realdeal piece on David Ragan ( spelling?) was really nice - its good to see someone other than the usual suspects.

Newracefan said...

Decent show, Real Deal good as always. Still miss Wendy walking the grid, perhaps we'll get it back next season when Fox is back

Anonymous said...

Did you blog about ESPN's morning show today?

I thought it was a bit odd that Ryan Burr talked about the sun and how the driver's have it in their eyes as they come out of turn 3 and go down the backstretch to turn 4. I always though the part of the track from turn 2 to turn 3 was called the backstretch. Or have I been hearing it wrong all these years?

So far, the RaceDay show has proved interesting. The guys are definitely feeling their oats, so to speak. I kinda agree on the qualification for the Shootout. Even though my driver will be in now, and he is an older driver who hasn't won a pole in a couple of years, it's bizarre that guys like Ryan Newman won't be and yet some rookies will.

As for tonight's Cup race, I'll be attending a dinner party so I will miss most of the pre-race show and the first part of the race.

Honestly, considering how ESPN's coverage has been, I'm not really worried that I'll miss anything new or exciting. Their race coverage is getting to be like basketball-nothing exciting happens until the last 5 minutes of the game so what's the point in watching the whole thing? Or even half of it?

Anonymous said...

I've always enjoyed Hermie! I look forward to watching him continue to grow :)

Yes it was nice to hear that the guys didn't like the new format as well. I heard that Ms. Martha was on a Sirius show very upset and crying :(. Some of the guys in via manufacturers would have been in anyway but it hurts the teams like FRR that pulled it off and looked forward to the exposure and chance they had :(

Sophia said...

Victory Lane update

Did you watch to see Kenny W apologized for mis speaking earlier.

said Kurt B did NOT get a DUI.

The crowd was so close to this crew tonight it was bloody annoying.

I am getting to loathe this "Fan up close format" so folks can either stare at camera over shoulders, chat on cells, wave signs, etc.

They should have a screen DIRECTLY behind the talking heads.

Thanks for letting me sound off.

Anonymous said...

Yes that was good of Herman :)

I didn't like the fans being that close either...I hope they nix that!

I still wish they'd flip the stage back around so the guys are FACING the crowd and then do the crowd shots as we're going to and coming back commercial.

Sophia said...


I echo your sentiments.

I do not know ANYBODY that enjoys idiots in background to see themselves on camera.

I hate ALL SHOWS that do this.

Oh, and if I was at the track, I would also want to see the SPEED boys FACES from the crowd...not the backside. Stupid, ludicrous concept.

Sophia said...

p.s. Who is this Ms. Martha???

Rockin Rich said...

Re — Sophia @4:22 Pm today:

I expect the reference is to Joe Nemechek's mother Martha. She used to be shown frequently at the track with Joe when he was sponsored by The Army. I haven't noticed nearly as much since then. Apparently she isn't as "interesting" a story to the TV folks anymore. Or, maybe she isn't at the track nearly as much?

BTW, speaking of not seeing something anymore, what happened to Sophiaz123?

Anonymous said...

I am former Sophia.

For some reason, Blogger shortened my name which is fine with me...they keep tweaking blogger..and one day I came here and my name had been changed.

I did not change personalities.:)

Thanks for the explanation on Martha, too, this stupid computer will not let me log in as me...sigh.




Sophia said...


Suddenly another computer does not let me log on here?..sigh...had to go to nosey gmail account first, THEN blogger knows me.

But RR, I am sophia

Personally I am glad the named was shortened.

Soph would be even better.

less to type :)