Tuesday, September 30, 2008
"NASCAR Now" Shines On A Busy Tuesday
"Wow, what a way to start the show," said NASCAR Now host Ryan Burr. He had just opened the Tuesday edition with the news that Joey Logano was out of the #96 Hall of Fame car for the rest of the season.
It was NASCAR Now Lead Reporter Marty Smith who reported live by telephone with the update. "It just wasn't working," said Smith of the Logano rent-a-ride. He filled-in the details and said it would be fan favorite Ken Schrader in the #96 car for the rest of the season.
NASCAR on ESPN analyst Andy Petree was next to apear on-camera. He commented on the Logano situation and addressed the positive and negative things that were happening to the young man in the Sprint Cup Series.
Introducing a topic with the host, filling-in the details with the reporter and then letting the analyst talk about the issues has always worked best on NASCAR Now and it did once again on Tuesday.
Next-up was the Paul Menard news. Once Burr explained the Menard move to Yates Racing for 2009, he welcomed Yates GM Max Jones to the program by phone. Jones was very up-front in explaining the details and why he felt Menard would benefit from the Yates and Roush-Fenway partnership next season.
Covering both sides of the story, Burr brought-in ESPN.com reporter David Newton on-camera who explained that DEI knew Menard was going to leave. The follow-up question from Burr addressed how DEI would do for 2009. Newton said DEI might have only two Sprint Cup cars next season.
Not missing a beat, Burr continued with the Scott Speed story and brought-in Speed by phone to talk about his Red Bull connections. Burr tried his best to pin Speed down about his plans for 2009, but Speed would not take the bait. This is one situation where the veteran news anchor Burr works very well.
Up next on-camera popped Mike Skinner, who would pilot the Red Bull car at Talladega replacing AJ Allmendinger. Skinner is a great interview and Burr let him talk about the dynamics of the Red Bull team and Allmendinger's future. Positive words from a veteran like Skinner on national TV go a long way where getting a new ride is concerned.
David Newton returned to say Speed was "dancing around" the fact that he was going to be the full-time Cup Series driver for Red Bull next season. Newton also said positive things about Allmendinger and mentioned the Kyle Petty ride. Burr immediately followed-up to ask about Petty. Newton was not optomistic and basically said "this may be it for him" when talking about Petty having possibly ended his career last week in Kansas.
Tim Brewer was next and recapped the restrictor plate situation for Talladega. His hands-on demonstration served to clearly illustrate the mechanics behind the device. Petree followed Brewer and was all smiles about Talladega because of his personal success at the track. He reminded Burr that the entire Chase could be turned upside-down with one big wreck in this event.
On the way out the door, Burr told viewers that both Steve Letarte and Chad Knaus would be guests on the Wednesday show. That makes sense, because there certainly was not one free moment of time in this one.
This may have been the best weekday NASCAR Now program in the 18 months that this TV series has been on-the-air. It was concise, informative and loaded with all kinds of guests, reporters and ESPN analysts. The hard work of the production staff was clear to see and the results were outstanding.
The show returns on Wednesday at 5PM ET and re-airs at Midnight/9PM Pacific.
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