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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