Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Tough TV Questions Surround Track Swap

It was Ed Clark from the Atlanta Motor Speedway who was the first guest on Tuesday's edition of NASCAR Now. Ryan Burr returned as host and the topic was changes to the Sprint Cup Schedule for 2009.

Clark is a respected veteran and he spoke clearly about the big issue. Atlanta was giving up their one race in The Chase to take an earlier date on the schedule. Clark said the magic words several times in his answer to the question of why the change was made. Those magic words were "night race."

Atlanta had given up a Chase race for a night race, California's Auto Club Speedway will be welcomed to The Chase in October and Talladega will scoot back a bit into November. That big track will stay firmly in The Chase races. Over on Foxsports.com, Larry McReynolds called it a win-win-win for the tracks and the fans.

Rusty Wallace was all smiles as Burr welcomed him into the show from the Iowa Speedway. Wallace is a partner in the track and was instrumental in the design. Burr let Wallace have his moment in the sun as Iowa Speedway was awarded a Nationwide Series race for next season. Clearly, Wallace has designs on a Sprint Cup Series race in the future.

Burr recapped the Tony Stewart number swap, with Stewart releasing the number 4 and telling Ryan Newman he will be in the 39 for next season. Hard feelings aired by the Morgan McClure team had a little something to do with that decision. Stewart has once again shown himself to be a very savvy businessman.

David Newton was not around, but Burr added a "Newton nugget" that the Montoya team had lost the Texaco-Havoline sponsorship for next season. It would have been nice to let a Ganassi spokesman address that issue. Burr closed the show with a promo for E:60 and the feature piece on Alba Colon, GM's Program Manager for NASCAR. There will be a column up on that program when it is completed.

There certainly was a lot happening in the racing world and this NASCAR Now episode covered almost all the bases. When the Gibbs team penalties come out tomorrow, maybe Burr can ask Andy Petree if he still believes the drivers were involved in placing the magnets on the cars. The email about that statement from both Petree and Tim Brewer has not let up. Wednesday should make for another interesting program.

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majors house said...

I am happy that the California race has been moved and we have a decent track to have a Labor Day race, but I am a purist and really wish that they had left Darlington alone and just moved the Southern 500 to a night race. It has been shown since they moved the spring race to the evening, they have sold that track out every race and see no reason why it could not happen on labor Day weekend.
I really do not see the point of many tracks having two races and many of them being just a few weeks apart. I really think that the racing would be better if we had a schedule much like the truck series and no chase to contend with. I also would get rid of that nasty COT car because even though it may be a safer car, it has led to some horribly boring racing too.

Adam T. Martin said...

I missed the report today until I got on this blog. Pretty interesting news.

"I am a purist and really wish that they had left Darlington alone. "

That alone should have stayed the same. Unfortunatley, money won out.

"I also would get rid of that nasty COT car because even though it may be a safer car, it has led to some horribly boring racing too."

It isn't a stock car nor a Chevy, Ford, Dodge, or Toyota. Again, another "money" issue.

Unnecessary track swapping + COT = boring racing on TV no matter who televises it.

Sophia said...

Interesting to hear of the changes in the schedule which I read about online. I watched NN for news on JGR fines as I was in the kitchen prepping dinner.

I just half watched this show. STILL not a peep about Blaney's accident.

Also the BUBBLE BOY thing still has me wretching. I shall watch the Truck race (HOPE I REMEMBER it's WED. night!!)

But I am afraid I am finished with ESPU.

I am not a huge follower in detail of Dave Blaney but if that had been KyB, Jr, Jimmie or Jeffie in the wreck, they would've not dismissed it so lightly.

Then somebody from this place filled me in with MORE details which disgusted me even MORE the Blaney wreck NEVER got the follow up it deserved.

The silence is DEAFENING but since he ain't one of the golden boys, hardly a peep...but I have grown weary of message board lurking since the cream of the savvy posters seem to be here.

I learn more about the races READING THIS BLOG than any ESPN broadcast.

Thanks to all who comment, and enlighten me.

And thanks to JD for the blog and the recent additions.

It's so appreciated.

I think I will still be as in touch with the racing from reading here, rather than sitting in front of the tv screaming and thinking "here is 4 hours I am not going to get back" just to be annoyed.

But I will watch a handful of races, still. But the CHASE is a turnoff as is the ESPN obsession with it.



Dot said...


I'm with you again. I'll read about NN via JD and my e-friends (how I think of alot of you), but will not watch it.

CA's race move is not going to help the first one. LV is only a couple of weeks later. Since I live in LV, it's a no brainer for me to choose LVMS over Fontana. And, since we're considered CA East, alot of
Californians have friends or family they can stay with. Again, more butts in the seats here. Plus, more to do here than 65 miles away from the action in L.A. Maybe CA will finally lose a date and Rusty will get his wish.

Why no word about the penalty for JGR? Is it a non issue now?

Small detour here. I have a dilemma. I said I wasn't going to watch the race this Sunday. But it's Bristol. Can ESPN miss all that action? What to do, what to do? Being an election year, I don't want to be a flip flopper.

Dot said...

Oops, the race is on Sat.

Sophia said...

Well if it's a track you really LOVE, watch it.

I will keep things open for me for Talladega...and some other tracks (Don't they do Chicago again? or Atlanta?)

see how disintrested I am? But this weekend it's Cajun/dixieland...two nights if I am up for it!

And don't hate me but I was never a fan of Bristol (sophia can hear folks screaming) Ken Schrader once said, it's a great event but a horrible race! I agreed.

But they did IMPROVE the track last year and OMG I just remembered..schrader is IN the race this Saturday....96 car I think

uh, oh...might have to tape it and read how he does here first.



Talk about your flip flops, Dot.

Well, it is a political year so we fit right in!!

bevo said...

Dot /

No penalty was announced today, it's a unique situation so I imagine it will take them an extra day or two to figure out the punishment.

Got to love Rusty's comment about Hamlin having a bad attitude and not thinking about the team. Yep, Rusty ;)

majors house said...

Only Rusty would know about having a bad attitude about a teammate and he has shown his butt on more than one occasion there too.

GinaV24 said...

I guess I'm a purist because I think the only place to have a race on Labor Day is at Darlington. If they had changed it to a night race, they'd sell it out every time. I'm not going to watch the race at the boring California track no matter when they schedule it. I've napped through the sleeper in February and its a matter of principle to me to never watch the race there on Labor Day in protest of NASCAR's stupidity. I hope Atlanta does benefit from a night race because that is a great track to be at to see a race. Yuck, Dega is still in the chase, great, what everyone needs a crap shoot to determine the 10 race champion. I'm not sure if I'm watching the Bristol race. ESPN has pretty much lost me as a viewer for races. It was an incredibly boring race last year -- hard to believe that NASCAR could succeed in making Bristol boring, but between the repaving and the cinderblock on tires, well, there you go. If I follow the race, it will probably be on MRN or my computer. Then I'll know what's going on instead of silence from the PXP or bad camera work.

Anonymous said...

I can certainly see why some race dates need to be moved . California in the summer really never made sense . Darlington in the sweltering heat on Labor day never did either , but the place sold out so how bad could it have been . This frenzy to stage every NASCAR series race on Saturday nights is very disturbing for local short tracks . There two reasons for it of course . Greed and Greed . Short tracks might have to start moving their races to Sunday afternoons just to survive .

Kevin in SoCal said...

All you "purists" need to realize that NASCAR is no longer a "Southern sport" and has reached out to all areas of the United States and even beyond. Stop being greedy yourselves and share your NASCAR with the rest of us. I'm not surprised to still see the hate for California even with them not being on Labor Day anymore. If y'all are consistant, you'll start bashing Atlanta now for being on Labor Day, but I doubt it, since its a "Southern" track. There are NASCAR fans in places other than the Southern states, and we would appreciate a little of that southern hospitality and respect you're famous for.
Next we need to start rallying for Martinsville, as it might lose a date next. There are only 6 short-track races on the whole schedule, and it would be a shame to lose one to Kansas or any other big "cookie-cutter" speedway. We have enough of those. I wouldnt mind giving up a California date to Iowa, but there are only 6 races here in the West, and 15 in the South.

Anonymous said...

Bristol IS a Great Event and a Great Race!!! If it wasn't, it wouldn't be the MOST wanted ticket in NASCAR!!!

glenc1 said...

Sophia, add me in...never cared for Bristol--too much wrecking, not enough racing, but I guess there are always some who prefer it that way. COT with repaved track has been much better racing.

BTW, kevininSoCal...I feel no anomosity to CA--but since they fill half the stands for both races, they've only earned one. And I think this may be a last ditch attempt to keep 2 there. They've done all they can do to get people in the seats. But I add to be fair, I am pretty sure Darlington had long stopped selling out even on Labor day, that's why they went to one instead of 2 (and it's one of my favorite tracks.) BTW--still wondering why everyone is so sure Rusty was the only one with a bad attitude. I think it was a 2 way street, and I like them both. Just very different guys.

But I'm digressing from the show. I'm thinking there was no time to get a Ganassi POV about Tex-H. But if I were them, I don't think I'd want to talk about it, lol. The show covered the bases, but I'm not sure there were a lot of 'Tough' questions.

Kevin in SoCal said...

With all the billions Texaco and the other oil companies are making, why would they drop their NASCAR sponsorship? Is Sunoco pushing them out?

Daly Planet Editor said...


Thank you for your comment. Without giving Ganassi a chance to respond, this story should not have been run.

Mr. Newton and I disagree fundamentally about journalism but why on earth would you tell only one side of the story when a phone call could fill-in the rest?

The answer...breaking news. The rush to have it first results in half-stories being put on the air. Ganassi has been a good racing guy for a long time and he deserved the right to comment on this.

We used to joke that TWIN on SPEED had the cart before the horse. Maybe since they got things sorted-out that have passed that distinction over to NASCAR Now.


Anonymous said...

Kevin , Sunocois one of the smaller oil companies . They aren't capable of pushing Texaco or anyone else out of NASCAR . Texaco just seems to have had enough .

Lisa Hogan said...

NASCAR has been racing in the state of California since back in the day. If I’m not mistaken, the state of California has three races per season. Greedy? Sounds like a case of “southern hate” to me.

The Southern 500 at Darlington on Labor Day weekend had a lot of history. A Southern 500 win was a victory that every driver wanted in their resume. A lot of people were upset to have that tradition taken from Darlington.

I’m going to show a little southern manners and not say how I feel about the California Speedway races. :)

I hope the changes in the schedule will work out for all the tracks involved.

Kevin in SoCal said...

Lisa, I completely understand the point about Darlington, but what I dont understand is the misplaced hate and anger towards California Speedway. It is NOT the track's fault. The blame lies squarely on NASCAR and ISC's shoulders, as they make the schedule every year. But the southern fans see fit to blame California anyway, and I dont get it. I dont hate the South, I just hate the attitude from the South directed towards my local track, which I feel is not warranted.

Lisa Hogan said...

Kevin, ever notice that you use the word “hate” a lot? :)

I’d advise you to start hanging out in different places if you are being subjected to “California hate”.

You can’t get more southern than I am. I have heard displeasure at the removal of the Southern 500 from Darlington; but have not heard the California track being blamed. You seem to be pointing the finger at all southern fans and that just isn’t fair.

But, we do live in two different worlds. Especially with me being a girl and all. :)

Anonymous said...

How do you watch NASCAR Now? I bet Ryan Burrster has never watched a whole NASCAR race in his life! He also looks just like Herman Munster and has the same BLAND voice!!!

Anonymous said...

California can't even support a NFL team in L.A. and NASCAR still thinks they will support 2 Cup races a year?

Anonymous said...

Yes, they needed to move the CA race, but they didn't move it far enough. They should have moved at least 1 race COMPLETELY OFF the schedule!!!

Kevin in SoCal said...

You see Lisa, these two anonymous comments above me are what I'm talking about. I see comments like this on just about every NASCAR website I visit.

L.A. supported two football teams just fine in the 80's and early 90's, but sports teams are fickle and they want the latest and greatest stadiums, better than everyone else. When the Raiders and the Rams couldnt get what they wanted here, they went elsewhere. It had nothing to do with the local fans. In fact, there are still huge Raiders and Rams fans here.

bevo said...

The reporting on the Texaco situation should dig deeper for the real story. The 42 is actually the Texaco Havoline car just like the 29 is the Shell Pennzoil car. Because of the exclusive deal SUNOCO has with NASCAR those sponsors have to advertise their engine oil and not their fuel. Remember Harvick's uniform when he won the 2007 Daytona 500 and the stink SUNOCO raised because Shell was too prominent? Just like NASCAR's deal with Sprint is forcing AT&T and Alltel to leave so now the same is happening with Texaco. NASCAR has cost three teams their sponsorships now with a poor economic climate to deal with.

glenc1 said...

but bevo...the car has been 'Havoline' going at least back to Davey Allison--have they ever stressed the gas over the oil? I don't recall it. I think this one is a different story. I'm guessing the poor performance of CGRw/FS combined with the last few lackluster years at Yates was just too much. I agree with the general gist of NASCAR's greed costing them sponsors, though. Add Geico from the N-wide series.

And I see JD's point now about getting more of the story or not reporting it at all. It could have waited, because it is odd that they're leaving the sport altogether.

kevin--just remember that people who post on boards are often pretty negative to start with, and don't necessarily represent the general public. Those anon comments simply said they should take one away. Personally, I like CA--the drivers will tell you that all those tracks are different, not the same as people think they are. And NASCAR isn't going anywhere. I think one there plus Sonoma is all they seem to be able to support at this time, unless this change really does work. Regardless, in my mind, they ought to light Darlington and put it back on Labor day. Spring race to KY. JMO--but it's not because I hate CA or the race there.

glenc1 said...

oops, should have said turn the lights back on, they already have them.

Lisa Hogan said...

O.K. Kevin, once more around the track. You point to two anon negative comments to support your statements that southern fans “hate” California.

I will point to those same anon statements as truly anon with no geographical location given. I think that you are seeing monsters under your bed when there are actually only dust bunnies. :)

I’m finished with this comment section before JD black flags me for conduct unbecoming to a southern belle. :)

Kevin in SoCal said...

Lisa, its not just southern fans, though. Read the comments from the start. The very first one is anti-California, and then there are several more right after that one. It wasnt just the last two anonymous ones, I just used them to prove my point. And as I said, its not just this board, its almost every board I visit. It gets to be tiring hearing all these negative comments about my state and about my home track. Whatever happened to "if you cant say something nice, dont say anything at all" ??

Anonymous said...

Darlington has good races, CA doesn't! Take away a good race and give it to a crappy track? Why shouldn't the SOUTH be mad? I want to see good races, not bad ones like, California, Pocono, Kansas and Chicago, I don't care where the tracks are located!!!