Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Craftsman Truck Teams Steamed At SPEED


It certainly is a good thing that the Craftsman Truck Series teams have the weekend off. Maybe, it will give them a chance to cool down. This past weekend, the NCTS ran on Saturday at Talladega.

The field featured a wide variety of drivers. Some like Johnny Benson, Ron Hornaday Jr. and Mike Skinner are well-known veterans of the series. Other drivers like Kyle Busch and Mike Wallace are cross-overs who were just racing to chase the win. The field even featured Joey Logano in his first NCTS ride.

The trucks put on a good show and the SPEED TV crew worked hard to keep the excitement level high. Rick Allen called the action and has proven to be very effective in keeping the focus on the racing. Phil Parsons and Michael Waltrip added the color analysis. Parsons is the TV personality most identified with this series.

Down on pit road was the always entertaining Ray Dunlap and his regular partner Adam Alexander. For this race, SPEED added the extra pit reporter and let pre-race host Krista Voda join the telecast. This combo worked well to tell the stories and the NCTS crew chiefs are perhaps the most cooperative in the sport.

SPEED has been happily reporting that TV ratings for this series have been climbing. It was no surprise then that this week brought the biggest announcement yet. SPEED's ratings broke the one million home mark during the Talladega race and the overall rating was up almost twenty percent.

With only five races to go, Talladega was really the key event down the stretch for the NCTS as they continue a good old dog-fight over the season championship. On the last lap scramble, Todd Bodine managed to edge-out Hornaday and Busch for the win. That left Hornaday on top right now, but less than forty points behind is the series most popular driver in Benson.

All of this was the good news. Then came Monday evening. SPEED is an official NASCAR TV partner and that network has exclusive coverage of the NCTS. This is the only NASCAR series where SPEED carries all the races and is responsible for the coverage. The TV crew is first-rate, the broadcasts are excellent and the racing is competitive.

Unfortunately, like almost everything else on the NASCAR TV landscape this season, the NCTS must bow-down to the Sprint Cup Series and The Chase for the Championship. No NCTS drivers went to NYC for the recent media tour. None are on the weekly NASCAR video conferences. None make the front page of the sport's websites.

SPEED provides no TV support programming whatsoever for this series. There is no weekly show, no monthly show and no interview show. Where SPEED is concerned, the NCTS drivers and teams live on the track and that is it. When is the last time a NCTS driver was on RaceDay, Trackside or NASCAR Live? Only The SPEED Report steps-up and treats this series with respect.

Monday brings the only program during the weekdays on SPEED that contains original NASCAR content. Think about that for a moment. This Week In NASCAR changed its title this season to open-up and venture beyond the Sprint Cup Series. The show has a new host, a new panelist and a new program format.

What it does not yet have is self-control. The NASCAR Media Group production team fell victim to "Chase Syndrome" and the results left a lot to be desired. Monday's show featured a nice debate about the Talladega finish. It featured a long two segment edited report on Dale Earnhardt Jr. because he was in the Chase. It featured coverage of the Sprint Cup testing at Lowe's Motor Speedway. The show even found time for Humpy Wheeler to talk about his beloved track and his innovations over the years.

What the only weekday NASCAR show on SPEED did not find time for was the Craftsman Trucks Series race from Talladega. That was the race live on SPEED that got the twenty percent ratings spike and broke the million home mark for viewers.

It was the race where the field was four and five-wide coming to the finish line. One side of the group was trying not to go below the yellow line while the other side was slapping off the SAFER barrier. No one lifted off the accelerator and Bodine won by a nose.

This season the trucks have had brawls after races, breath-taking runs to the finish line and the kind of throwback racing that NASCAR fans used to enjoy in other series. The TV crew complements the action and SPEED carries every single race live.

It certainly does make one wonder who is driving the bus at This Week In NASCAR when all of this can be ignored for a total focus on the Sprint Cup Series. There are over ten hours of TV programming on ESPN and SPEED each week focused on the Cup Series. That figure does not include the racing.

The NCTS gets back into action at Martinsville, VA in a little over a week. The TV coverage will once again be provided by SPEED. The race is Saturday afternoon. Maybe, this time Monday will bring some cooler heads, a balanced TV program and highlights of SPEED's only NASCAR franchise beating and banging on this classic short track.

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57 comments:

Kyle said...

They should be steamed. they work just as hard on set-ups and on the race weekend as the Sprint Cup Series teams do. And the truck races almost always perform, and put on a good race. SPEED and ESPN need to realize its not just the Sprint Cup, there is the Nationwide Series and the trucks. These two series should NOT be ignored. Websites are the same way.

Anonymous said...

While I believe they are vastly 'dissed'...my guess to the question of who was on last would be Mike Skinner.

Anonymous said...

Love ya, JD, but I failed to see where in your column you supported the assertion made by your headline.

All I saw is that you are steamed at SPEED. (Justifiedly so, perhaps, but that isn't what your headline says.)

Did I miss it?

Daly Planet Editor said...

Chose not to disclose the conversations and email I had about this topic.

I know times are tough, but man when nothing shows-up on the big NASCAR show on SPEED there were some hard feelingss.

I really think some of these Truck teams are just hanging-on by a thread. Hopefully, SPEED can wake-up and realize if this series fails they are out of the loop in a very big way.

Everyone is nervous about the Truck count when the series has to tow to Phoenix in a couple of weeks.

Good comment and I hope I answered your question.

JD

Sophia said...

My favorite races last weekend were on SPEED..ARCA and the TRUCK races. Better racing, BETTER coverage (aside from some hiccup directing during ARCA :) )

I find it sad SOMEBODY can't give the Trucks attention. Everybody is worried about the Economy but folks can't give 5 minutes to the Truck and NW series? Shame. I tought the old Monday night show used to cover all three?

Don't know who is making the behind the scenes decision there but I wish they could at least expand that show this time of year. Heck, if they are going to show pre-made videos, might as well show a couple segments on Trucks and NW, right? show some extra commercials. Or why is there not a SPEED Report during the week though I realize that costs money to have so many live bodies and talking heads.

It would be sweet if the guys on the camera that we enjoy in our homes Monday night had more say about the show.

I will be very sad if the TRUCK series goes by the wayside. It's less TIME in front of tv and BETTER racing and the guys in the booth show genuine excitement.

They did not bring back the CHASE show this year but obviously are sneaking that into TWIN. Well, can't somebobdy figure out a way to include at least 3 minutes of the Trucks?

I love the bonus coverage online each week on NASCAR.com of SPEED. But with the economoy rough on the entire sport, be nice to see SPEED do SOME show on TRUCKS. Heck even VIDEO RECAPS Monday nights of NW and the Trucks before or after TWIN would be helpful.

It's tragic if the focus on the CHASE is so OVERLY concentrated on, that TPTB at NASCAR are shooting their feet off, one toe at a time.

YOU KNOW Mikey, Biff, and Steve would love to talk trucks and NW series. I would bet.

I understand ONE SEGMENT on the Chase by why TWO? if it's honking off so many fans.

Oh and for what it's worth, i had heard the story about how Jr got his spotter on several other shows earlier in the season.

Sorry to hear there are hard feelings from the trucks but I can understand it.

Just don't know what the answer is, JD.

Photojosh said...

Speed bums me out. There just isn't anything there anymore for the race fan.

I care so little these days for Speed that I didn't even bother to call Comcast when the channel mysteriously disappeared from my lineup.

I miss the trucks and "This week...". But given how little Speed seems to care about racing these days, I guess they don't miss me.

Daly Planet Editor said...

By the way, I used the picture of Hornaday just because he is the points leader.

I did not talk with anyone on that team.

Thanks,

JD

Sophia said...

typo

"thought" not tought. sigh

HarpAmy/Amy in FL said...

One suggestion that I have is to expand TWIN to 90 minutes and use those extra 30 minutes to cover the NW and trucks if SPEED insists on keeping alot of the prepackaged videos that they show.

I am sorry to hear about the problems.

Anonymous said...

Sophia - The ARCA series doesn't even get the best of tv coverage ... Many of their races are NOT shown on tv at all and some are shown on some offbeat channel that hardly anyone gets ...

The CHAMP Atlantics series is the one that's gotten screwed over the most ... Only a handful of their races are going to be on Speed in Nov & Dec (which is dumb because the series ended this past Friday) ... They're not even showing the race that was at the new track in New Jersey and it was an American that won that race ...

Anonymous said...

JD - Thanks for using the pic of Grampa!! But, oh the irony that KHI & Sprague have parted ways yesterday & nothing on TWIN about it ...


There's only 25 races in the Truck series season ... and it's constantly the best racing out of all 3 series ... Maybe it's the seasoned veterans who race hard like every race is their last as compared to the Cup & Nationwide races where it seems like some of the drivers are too concerned about their hair & manicures ...


My complaints about the Trucks coverage are:

Too little coverage - Show me the practice & qualifying sessions esp if they're at the same track as Cup/Nationwide ...

Not enough pit reporters - Utilize Krista more ... She's there for "The Setup" ... Get her in the pits / garage for the race ... It was great to have her there for the Dega race as she could pick up Ray & Adam's slack LOL

Tone down Mikey - Cut down on the caffeine and PC tones when it comes to toyota & Nascar ... We want unbiased coverage (NOT someone who's gonna tow the company line) ...



Whatever happened to the daily news show that Speed had promised us a few years ago ... after they got rid of that sexist tripe called "Nascar Nation" ??? Since ESPN won't return to the good ol' days of "RPM2Nite" where it covered all forms of racing, SPEED needs to pick up their slack ... This would also give SPEED the opportunity to focus more on the drivers/teams of all racing series like they claimed they were going to do with the Speed Report ... In two days, we've seem driver changes at 2 Nascar teams as well as F1 dropping the last North American race from the 09 season ...

Sophia said...

Anon

Yea I know ARCA got dropped a LOT this year and that is a TRUE Insult to that other series you mention??? OUCH. CHAMP Alantic series is over and only going to be shown months from now? I did not know that stuff happened since the days of WW or sports!!

I forgot all about that lousy show "NASCAR NATION" with all the cleavage baring barbies. Ugh.

Somehow the management has different priorities.

Whatever happened to that guy that bragged he was going to start an all racing channel to compete with SPEED. heck I guess it costs huge bucks to start your own station.

But I do wish SPEED would honor TWIN with some NASCAR news shows before or after it. Like Harpamy said and I alluded to, just add extra video stuff to TWIN or have a second show prior to the show. LESS PINKS...more real tv.

I remember when IWC was 90 minutes and they NEVER ran out of things to talk about :) I understand budget cuts but not if it's killing all aspects of racing.

And frankly, I will not SUPPORT ESPN by watching them unless I HAVE TO and even then, the CUP race is a major disappointment.

WHat is Mike Wells doing this time of year? He could give camera lessons to ALL Partners on how to broadcast a race! :)

oh, and no offense to Humpy but his tidbits could easily go on RACE DAY (which is a nice show about an hour too long and off the pace since they are "not allowed" to go until race time.

All these money problems and logistics of who can carry what and in what time frame? HOw did this get to be such a mess anyway.

I realize it's about the money but there has to be a middle ground. How about cutting Race Day back to an hour or 90 minutes? Does it REALLY do that well at 2 hrs? I have the tv on sometimes but never the whole 2 hours.

oh and I agree it's a shame there is no where for news on Sprague...or the F1 losing it's NOrth American race.

Oh and for what it's worth, I think the SPEED F1 guys do a FUN job watching the races from across the pond and i like the crew in the booth. :)

p.s. Hey, if the TWIN show was sponsored by somebody like Office Depot or something, could they have more talk? :) Race Day has become all about promoting Home Depot, correct?

And I like Jr and Herman..but honestly, wouldn't we all like more chats from Mikey, Biff and or Chad and Steve?

Seems we haven't had the "Odd Couple" on together as much lately. Hope Mike and Chad are together again soon.

And the bonus on NASCAR.com are great but should be shown on tv. Those are some sweet gems and for folks on dial u or without computers at home, they miss some fun playing with the guys...mikey's leg behind his head...or him quoting Bowyer he himself being the worst driver EVER...that clip had me rolling as it faded off my computer screen.

:)

Dot said...

The trucks don't get very much print coverage either. I subscribe to a weekly NASCAR racing paper (won't mention the name). There's only one page of truck info and they only list the top 10 in points. Heard tonight that Jack Sprague got a ride with the 60 team. One of the last things mentioned on NN. Maybe they need to have more brawls after the race.

SPEED could accomodate us by showing more NASCAR related shows at least one night a week. But then they couldn't show four hour blocks of Pinks and the other 18-34yr old demographic shows.

SPEED, take a hint from Harpamy and expand TWIN to 90 minutes. At least during the Chase weeks.

Anonymous said...

Okay, what I am going to say here is not going to be popular, but...

The NCTS got what it deserves.

In my book, below the Spint Cup you have the Busch/Nationwide Series. To me, that is sort of the minor-leagues of our sport. The Craftsman Truck series ranks below that - it's sort of like a senior circuit.

Now, I like the truck races. They have good finishes and some really fun personalities. But I don't kid myself as to what it is - a sort of touring Hall of Fame for old drivers, rookies, and Cup drivers looking for seat time. In my mind, ARCA is a more relevant circuit than the NCTS.

Next year, the series is losing Craftsman - and attendance for the series has not been great. I don't think just because they had a good race SPEED should elevate the series beyond what it is? When was the last time you saw a minor league story on the front page of a sports section?

I am not trying to insult the fine drivers of NCTS by calling them the more minor of the minor leagues, but those are the facts.

bevo said...

JD,

How much of the increase in ratings for the truck races can be attributed to SPEED getting into more homes?

I still think they should have a nightly one hour motor sports show like the old RPM2Nite.

Anonymous said...

After surviving this year's Cup issues of weather,bad tires,COT single file parades,I found the Truck and Nationwide series to be the source of outstanding racing. It's a shame there's not more prize money and media coverage given to those two series.But then again,I guess Speed thinks we really want to watch a bunch of guys hitting a golf ball.

Anonymous said...

JD , you said it yourself . The trucks are a throwback to the old days of racing . And you know very well how hard Brian France is running away from anything his father ever touched . NASCAR feels that the truck racing , while i'm sure profitable , is too close to the backwoods roots of the sport , and could be an embarrassment to the new demographic and the new casual fan . NASCAR feels its sometimes best to keep certain relatives out of the public eye . So look for them to lean heavily on the networks to cover the Cup series , while the trucks , not so much .

Rich from Bristol said...

I'm surprised nobody has brought up this issue, which is the availability of the SPEED channel to TV viewers. It is a standard channel on a lot of cable systems, but for me to add it to my menu, it would require an extra arm and leg, plus give me a bunch of stations I didn't want to pay extra for. Occasionally I get to watch SPEED in my travels, but to pay extra for a bunch of drag racing and car auction shows, just to watch 25 truck races, would not be cost effective...just my 2 cents...

red said...

anon 2:28 AM: your perception of the truck series speaks to the problem that no one wants to mention: the trucks are perceived as "the more minor of the minor leagues" and that's why there's so little coverage. i understand that perception but i have to strongly disagree with it.

i contend that the trucks are a major league racing series unto themselves and are THE best racing out there right now. and i believe i know why many see trucks as you very eloquently stated: it's what i think of a "series pollution."

cup drivers belong in the cup series ONLY, not running n'wide and truck. same with truck and n'wide drivers: they belong in those series and shouldn't be skipping back and forth into cup. a truck is NOT a car, either a cot or a n'wide car. it handles differently, it runs differently and the racing is much closer to the roots of our sport than cup is right now! the argument that cup drivers want "seat time" is nonsense and, with the possible exception of harvick, one of those cup boys have any stake in a truck team.

yes, the trucks have acted as a feeder series in many respects and i believe that's where the idea of it being a "minor league series" comes from for many who are more accustomed to the stick and ball system. but, as has been pointed out repeatedly on this blog, nascar ain't no stick and ball sport. and the trucks aren't minor league!

the truck series is premiere racing, in and of itself. in fact, i've passed on cup tickets in order to watch the trucks race the day before and i have not regretted it: the truck races deliver! if those drivers aren't are well-known as their cup colleagues, it's not b/c their stories and personalities aren't as great. it's because they don't get the attention they have earned -- and that is exactly the point of jd's column. the networks which carry racing have bought into the idea that the trucks are minor league or a glorified "seniors tour" and that no "real" racing fan wants to watch them. they couldn't be farther from the reality of the situation.

what all the nascar media partners shoud do is start giving the truck series some time: help fans learn about teams and drivers, just as they do with the cup guys. give the races coverage during the week, write the interview articles, follow the stories. i guarantee no one will be disappointed.

and to those guys who work in the truck series: you are the last bastion of great racing each week for me. i appreciate your committment to your series and i support your work wholeheartedly. thanks for reminding us of what REAL racing is all about!

Anonymous said...

Well said Red

Anonymous said...

NASCAR feels that the truck racing , while i'm sure profitable , is too close to the backwoods roots of the sport , and could be an embarrassment to the new demographic and the new casual fan .

Source?

Or did you just make that up?

Anonymous said...

I am not trying to insult the fine drivers of NCTS by calling them the more minor of the minor leagues, but those are the facts.
That's a stick-and-ball term that doesn't fit the reality of this situation.

chase said...

SPEED does all of us a disservice by not having more NCTS coverage other than the actual race. I watched the 'dega race and, as usual, the coverage was blisteringly exciting! I have watched most of the truck races this year with one or two exceptions and the racing and the coverage are top drawer. I am surprised that SPEED does not consider the truck series equally important to the Nationwide and Cup Series. ESPN could learn an awful lot by watching truck races as well as to find out what good booth and pit chemistry really is. The drivers deserve more coverage - not the dregs. SPEED Channel started out as the only TV source for racing fans and it seems to have gone downhill since its infancy. Come on SPEED, a bit more truck coverage!!!! Thanks John!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
3bud said...

Red I could not have said it any better my self, and since I can't type very well I won't even try.

cvt said...

The Truck series is expendable. All focus is on the health and well-being of the Cup series and the teams that compete in it.Even with a concentration on the Cup series, ratings and attendance are tenuous and the outlook bleak for the next 24 months.

Serious consideration has to be given to a realignment of Nationwide and Truck races, so both can hang on until economic conditions improve.

haus20 said...

I agree with those that say this is all about perception. The perception is that the truck series is the 3rd tier Nascar series.

NASCAR needs to raise the profile of the truck series if they want the series to survive. They can do that several ways. As JD said, they need more programming and highlight coverage, but NASCAR doesn't completely control that. What they do control is how the series is managed and the image the series portrays.

The trucks and Nationwide series for that matter, need to create their own niche or identy. In order to do that, I think Nascar should impose a race limit on all the drivers. In other words, no driver should be able to run more than 45 races in the top three series. So a cup guy has his 36 races and then he can run 9 races of his choosing between the trucks and nationwide. This would also allow for young nationwide or truck series drivers to get "seat time" in the other series' if needed. I don't think you will ever get NASCAR to completely emiminate the cup drivers from the other series, but you could at least diminish their presence and their impact. At least this way, you wouldn't have cup regulars occupying the top spots in the Nationwide standings.

Another idea would be to run more Nationwide and Truck weekends and let the Cup series run more stand alone races. This would also curb the number of drivers running cup and nationwide races. I beleive this would also help the attendances at the truck races as they are the standalone race serveral times through out the season.

I think that NASCAR is its own worst enemy sometimes in how they promote (California) and how they market their product.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 9:43AM,

Drop me an email and I will tell you about it if you feel that way.

editor@thedalyplanet.tv

I had no idea about this situation until Tuesday when I got contacted and read the riot act by NCTS participants. They literally have NO TV exposure on the very network that carries their races and that is the key point of the column.

Try keeping a sponsor when the only time you are on TV is when the race is underway.

JD

Tracy said...

I'm with Red on this one. In fact, my husband and I are going to Martinsville solely for the truck racing. The first Nascar race I ever saw at a track was the truck race that Ricky Craven won, and Darrell Waltrip was driving his own truck. Hooked us for life on trucks and small tracks. Best racing, bar none.

I can't imagine racing without the trucks. The thought is too horrible to contemplate. Speed, get your act together! Nascar, do more to support this series!

Rich from Bristol said...

As a followup to my previous post...ESPN, TBS, ABC, FOX are standard for most basic cable suscribers, whereas SPEED channel is not. The TV exposure for the truck series is definately handicapped by that, and I'm sure there are many like me that would love to watch the races, but can't afford it. If TBS or FOX would broadcast some races (without botching up the coverage), I'm sure the fan base would grow...

Anonymous said...

Reading this, I just had a thought. If the Cup drivers need more seat time in the NW cars and truck series to "learn the tracks", maybe they aren't ready for Cup racing.

If the tv partners started covering the NW and truck series then they wouldn't have to rely on Cup drivers to get recognition. There are compelling stories in all the series. Each series should get their time in the spotlight. If the sponsors saw that they could get exposure with the NW and truck regulars, maybe more of them would be willing to spend the money.

Just my $.02.

And Skinner was the last truck driver on Trackside, but it was more to promote his Cup racing and Red Bull than the truck series. In fact, not much was even mentioned about the truck series that night.

Sophia said...

Red AMEN to your post!


Also agreed, the bundling of SPEED on different cables/satellite dish is weird. My brother in Comcast in seattle, least a couple years ago. got it on BASIC cable, He moved and I think the house has a satellite now.

All across the country folks get SPEED basic, some on digital (like ourselves but we get a like 10 variety channels with it..not just a handful of sports stuff like some here mention)

I wish EVERYBODY had access to SPEED for the truck races but yes, the guys do need more exposure and it wounds me some think of them as just old guys racing.

To me they are still hungry and thus still provide good racing.

Many of my friends are still shocked at my newfound love of racing started 4 years ago, when I have sometimes mentioned I love the trucks racing, they act like I am from Mars. I have to explain small street sized pickup trucks racing...they thing those MONSTER Trucks that run over things in stadiums...ugh...not for me..not that there's anything wrong with that!!

But I also wish I KNEW MORE about the drivers in the CTS.

Also I agree CUP drivers need to be limited but some say it's their money/high profiles that keep say, the NW in business. I am so confused I can't separate the facts from half truths and lies to justify the glorifying of CUP/now CHASE drivers ONLY to the expense to the rest of the NASCAR food chain, so to speak.

oh and Ray Dunlap said on TP to PUT the NW and Trucks together for lots of the stand alone races..to give fans more to see after their long drives to get to a race. AGREE.

3bud said...

I agree that the expense of the trucks traveling to stand alone events with such small purses is got to be financially difficult,putting the NW & trucks together on their stand alone events can only help both series. They need exposure and if the channel that soley ares them can,t give it to them I am affraid they may have a tough time in these hard economic times. Oh yeah and Dodge pulling support,not good give them all the help they can.

Derek said...

Why is it that we all seem to fail to see how NCTS and NNS are the equilvalent of the MLB's minor league, or the NHL's minor league, or other professional sports in AMERICA?? I totally understand the viewpoint you have given this week, but lets be real here, you want me to believe that ESPN would show even ONE.. show me ONE, highlight of a smaller divisioned professional sports league, during the world series, or perhaps during the Stanley Cup finals in hockey.

We complain about the raised standards of the economy, and how the dollar is falling, and yet you think that SPEED makes any money in the positive showing any sort of NCTS material on ANY of their broadcasts. They can't afford to make a NCTS only show every week, not enough to talk about in regards to what the general population of NASCAR cares about.

I think we're losing sight of what the majority of NASCAR fans like and follow the sport for, and that is SPRINT CUP. The chase.. whatever, it has its bandwagoners, but the bottom line is, we watch and follow the sport to see the BEST OF THE BEST race on sunday's (sometimes saturday nights)

Point being: WHO CARES?? This is the most NASCAR specific TV coverage we've had specifically geared towards NASCAR in general EVER.

haus20 said...

Derek, it isn't that we fail to see your viewpoint it is that the Nationwide series and Truck series are not the minor leagues.

If it were the minor leagues, the cars would have the same specs as the Cup cars, or at least the same aero packages with tuned down engines. All three series have different vehicles with unique handling characteristics. There are different skills and disiplines needed for the trucks and the NW cars compared to the COT.

In stick and ball sports you usually have to dominate or be very close to dominating in the minor leagues before you come up to the next level and ultimately to the big club. That isn't how it is in racing. You may struggle in the Natinowide series, but be spectacular in Cup (Jimmie Johnson). Some guys can run in anything with 4 wheels no matter if it is dirt or pavement or no matter what kind of car it is (Tony Stewart), but some guys do well on pavement, but not so well on dirt (Jeff Gordon).

Again, I do agree that there is a perception that the NW series and the truck series are the minor leagues, but that goes back to the responsiblity of NASCAR to properly market and present their series'.

Sophia said...

haus20

thanks for your response to derek. I did not even know how to respond to that though I know that is how some casual fans think. Derek, this blog is all about opinions and you are fine to share yours of course. But I disagree.

I hope NW and Trucks get funding they needed (and ARCA gets more broadcasting next year!)

Sometimes, even Sophia is left speechless.

Well, almost! ;-0

Anonymous said...

The Truck Series is the BEST "racing" NASCAR has going for it!!! If we fans knew more about the drivers, their personalities, the teams and the Series itself, the ratings could be double!

Why not at least a 30 minute show on Monday's before TWIN?

haus20 said...

I must say I am suprised that SPEED doesn't have a 30 min. show especially since it has the rights to the series. That is a great way to promote your channel and increase your ratings, unless that is, you don't believe in the product yourself.

3bud said...

It seems that some SPEED excutives don't think some of the best racing in the world is worth more then say PINKS, WRECKED ,I can't remember anymore of them, but not a weekly show to at least promote the TRUCKS. I really only need SPEED Fri.- Mon. maybe people are really watching the other fluff,but it could only do all involved good to show at least alittle more then just basically the race,it is called SPEED after all.

Sophia said...

3Bud

Your comment makes some folks remember the changes at MTV (though I was never a big fan nor do I watch it now, too old)

Like why is it MTV if they never or RARELY show Music Videos?

Thus our confusion to SPEED trying to be SPIKE or some other reality show. Is SPEED channel so close to bankruptcy they need to market the lowest common denominator at the EXPENSE of NASCAR, F1, Rolex, and other racing series? Heck, instead of delaying races by MONTHS, at least show it on Monday or Tuesday or Wednesay.

I guess somebody needs to interview the SPEED suits and ask "Why the direction?"

And do not tell me is about the ratings only.

Jerry Springer was number one in daytime for years but nobody I knew ever watched it?

So, maybe somebody needs to get an interview with the top guys that rule the roost at SPEED.

Think they would do a call in show on radio and take questions from racing fans?

I didn't think so..but this thread does get us to thinking.

How can so many of us that love the truck races be so WRONG??

AndyPandy said...

I would love to see expanded Truck series coverage. Ever since Nationwide (but it's still Busch to me) became Cup Lite, the only interest I have in it is the finishing order to see where the non-Cup drivers ended up. I don't bother to watch the races anymore since the only time you see the non-cuppers is when they're getting passed by the big boys or wrecking.

However, the Truck series is something else - superior announcers, up-and-coming young drivers, still hungry veterans and more than just the usual, sometimes boring Cup tracks.

If one series had to go away, I'd recommend Nationwide, but only if NASCAR keeps the Trucks away from the Cup tracks (or institutes rules to keep the Cuppers out).

3bud said...

By the way ,I really like the picture of the 2008 Champion,um I mean Ron Hornaday.

Anonymous said...

I dont get what the big hoolay over the Truck Series exposure is all of a sudden. It has been like this since the series was started. Its a blessing that the series even has all its races carried on one network, because it didnt use to be like that.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 5:17PM,

This is the second season of the new TV contract. SPEED has the rights to the Truck races and two get upgraded to broadcast TV on Fox.

Our discussion is the fact that the Cup Series and The Chase has suddenly pushed Truck highlights and interviews off TWIN in the same way that the Nationwide Series is given the short end of the stick by ESPN.

The new TV contract has good parts and bad parts. The fact that neither the Nationwide or Truck series has even ONE television program featuring them admid the hundreds of hours of NASCAR TV is disgraceful.

How are these sponsors supposed to get exposure away from the track? These NASCAR TV networks have a role to play and it seems that the new kids at ESPN and the new execs at SPEED are having trouble with that concept.

Ironic that the series that suffer are televised on those very networks.

JD

Anonymous said...

The new TV contract has good parts and bad parts. The fact that neither the Nationwide or Truck series has even ONE television program featuring them admid the hundreds of hours of NASCAR TV is disgraceful.

This is the problem. If they were to devote shows just to the Truck and Nationwide Series the ratings would be very low, much lower than a show like "NASCAR Now" and TWIN. Networks would not be able to make money off these shows.

SPEED tried carrying shows like NBS 24/7, but that was a failure due to lack of ratings. People arent interested in JUST hearing about nationwide and trucks....Let me rephrase that before someone tell me wrong.

the MAJORITY of people arent interested in a show about the Truck Series. Only a minority are, including myself. But its useless to pur money into a show if you know ratings will be low and the show wont last. In order for a show to be started you have to be confident people will watch. SPEED is not confident yet that people would watch a show about the Truck Series.

Until that happens, we will only hear a little bit OR nothing at all about the truck series on the shows NASCAR Now and TWIN.

3bud said...

anon 5:17 that is true but the show THIS WEEK IN NASCAR could atleast throw in alittle something about the other series espcially sinse SPEED pays for the right to televise the TRUCK races,it would seem to be in their best interest along with teams, sponsor,& tracks to show how good the product is. These are tough times and I would think the sponsors would be appreciative, and maybe a potential sponsor inclined to stay around through some hard financial times.This subject got me going ,I really hope the Series sponsorship can get worked out.

haus20 said...

I personally enjoyed the behind the scenes shows about the Nascar teams...I am still relatively new to the sport (4 years) so those shows really helped me to get to know the personalities as well as some of the logic and strategy behind the sport.

I can't imagine that Livin' the Low Life or Pass Time or some of the other reality shows on Speed do better than NBS 24/7 and "7 days."

Again, this all goes back to promoting your product...I know this is almost blasphemous, but look at how ESPN promotes Monday Night Football now. Somewhere around 2 pm on Mondays, all their shows originate from or give considerable time to the venue of the Monday night game. They are doing nothing more than promoting their product.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 5:49PM,

I have to disagree. The personalities involved in both series and the reality of racing on that level are something that The NASCAR Media Group could do a good job of showing.

Just one behind-the-scenes show that brough viewers what they missed on raceday and then some follow-up would go a long way toward improving the image of both the series and the drivers.

The sponsorship of the program should be divided between the new Truck Series sponsor for 2009 and Nationwide.

JD

Anonymous said...

Anyone wanna bet what time the race activities will actually start on ABC???? There's a football game on right before, and we all know what's happened in the past when precious football games go overtime. We can bet if the race will be put on the Deuce, or Classic or News.

Newracefan said...

Speed needs to include NW and Trucks on TWIN, it's not Inside (insert sponser here) Cup anymore it's This week in NASCAR which includes NW and Trucks. The Chaser driver profile is not necessary and takes up too much time, talk about the Trucks and NW especially the series only drivers and give the series and us what we deserve.

Gymmie said...

@anon--I hate that ARCA is practically dropped...I remember every Labor Day watching Schrader and the kids live at DuQuoin. Heck, he even brought his buddies Smoke & Happy a time or two :)

Every year, they promise us coverage of the practice and quals and we get if lucky 3 or 4 a year.

I don't watch FBN (Fox Business Network) a lot lately but they've aired commercials for Cup and the Pick 'em Ups. And at least last year Friday was NA$CAR day, I haven't watched much on Fridays this season due to watching the coverage on SPEED/ESPU and getting my errands done, so I don't know if they've had the segments on. I didn't realize it last year until the off season really. I was watching and they had various stories on and had guests like Juan Pablo chatting about his BOA NA$CAR products and Mr. Lemonis when they announced the expansion of Camping World in NA$CAR.

Gymmie said...

@anon 8:34--at least they scheduled a post-game that may help eat up over time. I don't know if they'll try to have the full shows but maybe that'll keep us from playing musical channels :). But if it did happen Classic is the only open channel :(. Have they shown anything other than news on ESPNN?

Anonymous said...

the Nationwide series and Truck series are not the minor leagues

I love both the NCTS and the NNS, but c'mon - they are minor leagues.

Bottom line: the Nationwide drivers are not good enough to cut it in Cup. That makes it minor leagues. Some drivers can drive at the Cup level - they are usually promoted and given their shot. Those that come "up" to Cup and fail go right back to Nationwide. So, the minor league comparison is pretty darn accurate.

I can understand why fans don't want to call these circuits minor leagues - it is a term that sounds demeaning. But let's not get politically correct here. Hey, some of the best baseball I've ever seen has been in the minor leagues -- talk about fun! But that doesn't mean it isn't minor leagues. Same here, in my opinion.

I don't think the NCTS (if it survives at all) can overcome the perception that it is a senior circuit with the curent lineup of drivers any more than the NNS can overcome the perception that it is the minors when Cup drivers can come in and win races with ease.

The fact that Craftsman is leaving the truck series says it all -- can anyone think of a brand that has benefited more from its sponsorship? I don't know anyone who refers to the series without saying the word "Craftsman" without thinking about it. For them to abandon the series that has only known them as a sponsor tells me that they know something we don't.

bevo said...

The reason Craftsman is pulling their sponsorship has nothing to do with the health or status of the series - it has to do with the survival of Sears

Anonymous said...

A successful modern media presentation requires synergy among the various components that are involved: live broadcast, website support and marketing. Speed has a good broadcast, but fails miserably at additional support. It appears that, despite their name, they want to be Bravo TV Jr.

It is a shame that Speed does not offer a real time online lap tracker for the trucks. If one does not get Speed on cable, there is no other way to follow the events.

Without the trucks, Speed is off the NASCAR radar. One would think that our demographic would engender more respect from a network calling itself SPEED.

Anonymous said...

Sophia - Comcast in the Seattle market has SPEED on extended basic if you subscribe to the analog service ... If you get digital cable, it's on the larger package ... If you get HD service, it's in a special sports package ...


To the poster that asked about seeing minor league stick & ball on the front page of a sports section ... The Everett Herald carries a LOT of minor league baseball & hockey ... Everett is north of Seattle ... It has a minor league b-ball team co-owned by Jay Buehner and there's a minor league hockey team ... The minor league b-ball team in Tacoma is co-owned by Nick Lachey (ex-hubby of Jessica Simpson) ... Thanks to a local sports reporter at the paper, they also have done stories & keep up-to-date on several of the local racers who are in Nascar & CHAMP Atlantic & ARCA (Kevin Hamlin, Carl Skerlong & Tayler Malsam) ...



IF Fox was smart, they'd put the Daytona Truck race on Fox ... Get the people jazzed up about the Trucks starting in Feb ... But, they also should've bought the coverage for the Nationwide series for Daytona (as well as the first half of the season) ...


The current tv package was NOT well thought out ... There are way too many holes in it and WE are the ones that suffer ...



Please IOC / USOC - DON'T let ESPN Sports anywhere near the Olympics ... I'll stick with the CBC ...

Anonymous said...

perhaps someday NASCAR will realize it needs to hire actual in-the-flesh, highly experience sports television executives to run their media group.

Perhaps when this economic downturn has them starting 30 cars instead of 43 they'll realize how badly they squandered the fans' "loyalty capital" and reduced the sport to a mere skeleton of what it once was

good lord, my mate Bernie Eccelstone does a better job of embracing his fan and sponsor base

Bray Kroter