Sunday, September 14, 2008
NASCAR Now on ESPN2: The Morning Edition
After almost eight months of racing and then talking about it, here we are. ESPN2's re-vamped NASCAR Now TV series is about to preview the first race in The Chase for the Championship for 2008.
This Sunday morning one hour edition has been slowly gaining ground on the big brother Sunday night wrap-up show at 10PM. Nicole Manske and Ryan Burr both host the morning show, which features a ton of ESPN folks with news and comments from the Sprint Cup Series tracks.
This weekend, ESPN fell victim once again to the "ESPN only" syndrome and eliminated all mention of NASCAR's Craftsman Truck Series race in Loudon. The simple and childish reason it was pushed off the map is because it was on SPEED. This issue also happened last year at this time.
The Truck race was dumped off the NASCAR Now racing schedule page and was not even promoted by the ESPN announcers who were on the air from the very same track. A sad commentary on the current state of the ESPN and NASCAR relationship.
ESPN replaced the Truck Series race with NHRA information, even though the name of the show is NASCAR Now. So, it should be interesting to see if the Sunday morning show uses footage from the Saturday NCTS race. The race was pretty good, but the fight on pit road after was outstanding. Brought back memories of Jimmy Spencer at Riverside Speedway in Agawam, MA.
Dr. Jerry Punch is a former medical doctor who practiced for a very long time. His silence on the Ron Hornaday steroid issue has been puzzling. Perhaps, the Sunday morning NASCAR Now program is a good place for him to man-up and speak to fans about the testosterone replacement therapy that Hornaday was attempting and why it had nothing to do with performance-enhancement.
Also silent on this issue have been Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree. Both men know Hornaday and Jarrett is about the same age. Their views on this subject should be interesting to hear. It was NASCAR Now's Lead Reporter Marty Smith who teamed with host Nicole Manske on Friday to deliver a stinging rebuke of ESPN the Magazine reporter Shaun Assael's assertions of Hornaday's steroid use as performance-enhancing.
The in-fighting at ESPN is almost more fun to watch than the COT on a flat track like Loudon. This show should also have the UPS news of David Ragan sponsorship and a look at Joey Logano taking to the Cup Series in the #96 rental car.
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