Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Media Day Stars Stop At "NASCAR Now"

The starts of The Chase were right down the road from ESPN in New York City for NASCAR's media tour. Host Nicole Manske brought the first guest onto NASCAR Now for Wednesday and surprisingly it was Jeff Gordon.

Almost the forgotten man in The Chase, Gordon was polite but seemed to have a tough time with Manske's questions. She focused on the negative, but finally let him have a moment in the sun before moving him off for the next interview. Gordon was certainly an interesting first selection for The Chase media tour show.

It was Mike Massaro on-site in New York who interviewed Kyle Busch. Massaro tried, but Busch was not going to be rattled or give anything away. He appeared relaxed and never gave a hint that his incident with Dale Earnhardt Jr. was on his mind. With Toyota and Joe Gibbs Racing behind him, it was clear Busch was confident.

Various "soundbites" from drivers like Tony Stewart and Dale Earnhardt Jr. were their only participation in the show. Jeff Burton seemed thoughtful, but he was speaking to a group of reporters and what question he had been asked was not very clear. Manske also talked to Matt Kenseth, again an interesting choice. Kenseth was quiet and polite and said all the right things.

Massaro never appeared on the show live, instead it was Brad Daugherty who was clearly not in New York. Daugherty tried to put into perspective the mindset of the other teams still in the Cup Series but outside of The Chase. His focus was on staying or trying to get into the Top 35. "They will be racing their guts out," said Daugherty. He says that a lot.

Manske never played Letterman's Top Ten list read by the drivers. She never replayed any portions of the morning show appearances or let TV viewers see what went on behind the scenes. NASCAR Now was just in the media line like everyone else.

On Tuesday's show, Manske re-aired a long feature from the E:60 news magazine on Joey Logano. Later, she re-aired parts of a segment from the Monday version of NASCAR Now. It seems as if the program is suddenly having a tough time with content.

This season, NASCAR Now has been nothing short of fantastic. Every show has minor issues that need attention, but this TV series has been the one fans turn to for information on a regular basis.

Hopefully, now with the current on-air team heading into The Chase for the first time, the show will continue to work hard to go get the real news stories that live behind the PR fluff and the promotions. Manske will be back on Thursday at 5PM with another edition of NASCAR Now on ESPN2.

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Anonymous said...

I reduced the amount of times I watch shows like NASCAR Now, because frankly, its information overload. I mean honestly, what different things are these drivers going to say that they haven't said before?

Newracefan said...

Tuesday was a waste of time, as far as Wed goes you would think they would show an interview with MM from everyone instead of the long distance thing along with sound bites, strange show.

majorshouse said...

I thought that show tonight was a total waste of my time. I thought it was really boring and even thought the chase is big news to the media and to NASCAR, it doesn't really mean a thing to some of us long time NASCAR fans that really care about the racing and not the personalities that are trying to milk the media for all it is worth.

Sophia said...

There is that word 'milk' again! :)

I caught just a few minutes of Jeff Gordon and then turned off the tv. I thought I might accidentally see Hinton.

Thanks for telling us what we missed, JD. Nothing.

I also agree it's information overload and as somebody who has only been watching NASCAR since 2004, the "Chase" does nothing but irritate me.

The sound bites and interviews are all alike these days.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Anonymous said...

You constantly use distance as your major evidence as why Charlotte is too far from Mooresville for it to be a legitimate solution to ESPN having a studio down in NC. Yet whenever NASCAR is in NYC you say it's "Right down the road from ESPN." Midtown New York City is over 100 miles from ESPN and over a two hour drive. Just saying, it's not "Down the road."

Anyway, all geographical kidding aside, isn't there a chance that ESPN couldn't get the rights to the Letterman or morning show stuff as it might have been from CBS, NBC, or Fox? I know Fox and ESPN have an awful relationship, as evidenced by ESPN never being allowed to show any footage from BCS bowl games aside from the Rose Bowl. I imagine most of those networks aren't too giving when it comes to approving their footage for air on ESPN.

Anonymous said...

Seems to be almost unanimous . The PR blitz thru New York was a complete waste of time , did nothing to really increase excitement in the Chase or in NASCAR , and there are way too many people and tv shows spitting out way too little new information and stories . But what do you want to bet NASCAR will call it an overwhelming success and begin planning next years trip to the Big Apple immediatly .

majorshouse said...

I really would like to see this stupid nonsense called the chase done away with. It really does nothing to make racing in the highest division of NASCAR exciting. It does nothing to promote good racing, but racing to get into the chase and I would rather see a lesser amount of races and have no chase rather than this crap that we have now. If you look at the truck series, they have no chase and look how exciting those races are because they race. I would make some really serious changes to the COT and make it look more like a stock car. DJ is right, that wing needs to go and I am not so sure that the splitter doesn't need to go too. I just wish that there was a way that the average fan could contact both NASCAR and ESPN to really voice our displeasure with the car and the racing that we have been forced to endure lately.

GinaV24 said...

majorshouse -- excellent post! I taped most of the media stuff so I could see my driver (since he's part of the frenzy) but otherwise, I fast forwarded through all of the rest of the stuff cuz I don't care. I would like to see good racing again, however, I'm not holding my breath since NASCAR has forgotten that's the point of all of this. It's not just about ratings and attention -- its about the actual thing that made people excited to spend their time and money on.

Aven said...

I think NY, TV shows and the chase are a waste of time. I would not use a points system For the first three spots and the chanpionship, I would award those places based on the number of wins. All positions after that, I would base on the average finish and not count the 3 worst finishes of the driver. That way, a driver could miss up to 3 races due to illness, injury or other reason and not be punished in the championship race.

Anonymous said...

My FF button was humming last night. The show gave me no reason to sit through the whole thing. NN daily shows are starting to bore me altogether.