Friday, October 17, 2008

Stewart And Newman Headline Friday's NASCAR TV


What a jam-packed Friday of NASCAR on both ESPN2 and SPEED. The action begins in the morning with trucks on the track in Martinsville and the day winds-up with Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman appearing together to talk about the 2009 season.

It will be the familiar voice of Rick Allen that welcomes SPEED viewers at 11AM Eastern Time for Craftsman Truck Series practice. Joining Allen will be Phil Parsons with a possible appearance by Michael Waltrip. Down on pit road will be the usual cast of Ray Dunlap and Adam Alexander.

After an hour of the trucks, ESPN2 is next with Sprint Cup Series practice at Noon. Dr. Jerry Punch, Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree will be looking out the window of the Infield Pit Studio as the teams use this time to dial-in their cars for both qualifying and the race.

The Craftsman Trucks return on SPEED at 1:30PM for final practice. Allen and Parsons are going to be dealing with some good stories from the morning session. There are a lot of "one timers" on the 40 truck entry list for the Martinsville race. They include SPEED's own Hermie Sadler, Mike Skinner's son Dustin, Sam Hornish and Kyle Busch.

The big rumor is that fan favorite Johnny Benson has lost his team sponsorship starting this weekend even after a tremendous season of racing. How and why all this is going-on can probably be traced directly to the economy, but Benson will most certainly be asked about the issue. Bill and Gail Davis have apparently entered Benson on their own dime.

Punch and the ESPN2 gang return at 3:30PM for Sprint Cup Series qualifying. This is always an interesting affair at Martinsville and this week finds 45 cars trying to make the field. Among those to watch are Mike Bliss (#00), Sterling Marlin (#09), AJ Allmendinger (#10) and Ken Schrader (#96).

The pit road crew of Jamie Little, Shannon Spake, Mike Massaro and Dave Burns joins the ESPN2 coverage for qualifying. Tempers are a bit tight in the Cup garage and Martinsville is both a "payback track" and a fundamentally tough race to finish.

One big story will be the addition of Scott Speed to the field coming-off his ARCA disaster at Toledo. It should be interesting to see how ESPN deals with Speed after interviewing him on Wednesday's NASCAR Now.

After the on-track action from Martinsville is over, ESPN2 is up first at 5:30PM with a thirty minute version of NASCAR Now. Combining live reports from the track with highlights of the day, this should be a good wrap-up show for fans who are just coming home.

The evening ends a bit earlier than normal because of the Barrett-Jackson car auction that is on SPEED beginning at 7PM. The popular Trackside program is moving to 6PM for this week and it might be a good idea to record this one.

Host Steve Byrnes and his panelists Larry McReynolds, Jeff Hammond and Elliott Sadler have lined-up what could be a "big show." Tony Stewart will put on his Sprint Cup owner's hat and bring his driver Ryan Newman along as these two appear on the show to talk about the dynamic of rolling-out a new team in 2009.

With Stewart effectively out of the championship hunt and Newman not in The Chase, these two should be able to talk freely for perhaps the first time about their efforts toward next season and their goals for 2009. This panel always gets their guests very involved, so there just might be some memorable comments. Denny Hamlin will also appear on the show.

Our final tip for the weekend is that NASCAR.com is making Sprint Raceview free for the Sunday Cup race. Click here for the link to be taken to the Raceview page. This will be a good opportunity for fans who miss TNT's RaceBuddy to try out NASCAR's own Internet video offering. The complete TV weekend line-up is posted on the right side of the main page. Friday should be good for lots of stories by the time Trackside hits the air at 6PM.

The Daly Planet welcomes comments from readers. Simply click on the COMMENTS button below and follow the easy instructions. The rules for posting are located on the right side of the main page. Thanks for taking the time to stop by.

31 comments:

Rockin Rich said...

JD, what do you suppose will happen to all this TV lineup today? The forecast is for rain, (and cool), apparently all day. I suspect we won't see much live, at the track, TV. I also suspect that Speed will do more, (much more), live TV today than ESPN will.

What do you think, or know?

Anonymous said...

I'm confused about the schedule. Nascar.com lists Sprint Cup practice at 1:30PM on SPEED.

Rick said...

anon@9:40,

My DishNetwork guide says that is Truck practice at 1:30.

The main NASCAR page show that time slot as Cup, but the complete Broadcast Schedule on NASCAR.com shows it correctly as Truck practice.

Ken said...

The 80% chance of rain all day might impact everything that is planned. It drops to 20% tomorrow afternoon.

Jo said...

I doubt much will be on - its still raining steady.

Anonymous said...

Cup quals cancelled. NASCAR still is trying for NCTS Prax.

Anonymous said...

Ok, just announced that qualifying is indeed cancelled for the ninth time this year.

Daly Planet Editor said...

What a drag. How they can get the trucks in later.

JD

Lou said...

JD, gotta tell you. I did enjoy Andy and Dale during this rain delay. Their insight is great and was a pleasure to follow. And thanks to the drivers that came to the studio, Hermie was good. To bad that for the 8th or 9th time the line up is by owner points. NASCAR I think needs to address that issue. Yes, it is an issue,IMO. I always think that the fastest cars should start.

I will watch the race, on HotPass,in that I have been at Martinsville the last few years, both spring and fall, from Kingston, NY. It was wet in the spring this year when we were there and is wet today. But we had a heck of a time tailgating.

majorshouse said...

I agree that the fastest cars should be the ones qualifying and I hate this stupid top 35 rule. I am beginning to think that we might have better racing with less cars, but who am I to say? I am not surprised that cup qualifying is cancelled again. They have had a real rash of that this year and I gues it cannot be avoided.

red said...

hey jd? i just received/completed a nascar fan council survey on (of all things!) . . . the truck series! wonder who's been reading TDP?

anyway, survey suggested i consider the impact of reducing the truck field to 36 entries. it asked for my perceptions of the positives and negatives of that possible change to the series. also asked about my perception of qualifying coverage on SPEED and FOX: live versus taped coverage, impact of "announcers you like" handling qualifying coverage, etc.

one of my favorite questions about what it would take to have me watch more qualfying coverage had to do with "knowing when it's on"! it also asked if the 36 truck field change would increase my viewing choice as well as my attendance at truck races. interesting, eh?

Lou said...

yes red, very interesting

Rockin Rich said...

Isn't the CTS field already 36? Interesting that coincidentally this weekend that there are 40 trucks entered to qualify for the 36 starting positions.

darbar said...

People are complaining left and right on Sirius Nascar Radio about all the non-qualifying this season due to rain outs. Most cannot understand why Nascar cannot provide a rain date/hour so that qualifying isn't washed out. Moody was especially interesting in saying that Nascar has no choice in the matter because of TV contracts. If that's the reason, it stinks. What about the stick and ball sports that have TV/radio contracts that don't seem to be affected when there's a rain out. So, why can't TV handle it if qualifying has to be later in the day or the next morning? It's just not fair to those who bring cars and teams and then are shut out because of rain and TV contracts.

Gymmie said...

I was confused about that as well rockin' rich. The Pick 'em Ups field is already 36.

Anonymous said...

Hello,
Imagine my surprise.... Last evening as Nascar Now ended they told me that it would be on at 5:30on Friday. I double checked my Scene Daily e-mail and it too said 5:30. I was quite proud of myself for remembering. : ) At 28 mins. after 5 I turned to the correct channel and I got the closing comments and told to they will be on again at 10:00am on Sunday..???
Marybeth
PS I have been watching Barrett-Jackson hoping to see a '55 & "56 Bel-Airs side by side, or something close. Those guys do a great job. They make it very interesting!

Gymmie said...

Yes with the rain they bumped it up, but it was originally to be on at 5:30. It looks like there's a 2 am re-airing hopefully you can record that :).

Rockin Rich said...

Did anyone else notice that at 3:30 PM, (originally to be Cup qualifying), ESPN simply played back the tape of their noon show? I was wondering why they were interviewing the same drivers again. Then I noticed during the Biffle interview that the same dog I had seen earlier again was walked by its owner across the parking lot in the background.

Great original programming! This isn't a great failure by any means. But, it just continues to boggle my mind that, after spending so much money to get the rights to NASCAR broadcasting, ESPN spend so little effort, and attention to realizing a return on that investment. I would think that senior management, or a board of directors member might wonder about that too.

I don't know if ESPN is traded publicly, but if it is, there should be some concerned management by now.

I certainly hope JD is correct that some sweeping personnel, (both on and off camera), and, hopefully, philosophical changes will take place over the off season.

Daly Planet Editor said...

It sure was an interesting day. Lots of issues to continue to discuss in the future.

JD

Ken said...

When qualifying mattered, they would wait hours before cancelling qualifying and they would then spend the next day trying to get qualifying in.
Since is is now almost meaningless, except for a couple of drivers, they cancel it almost before the first commercial break.

Gymmie said...

I agree Ken! And what's really sucky is when there's only a handful of guys left to go they can get them out the next day in about 30 minutes.

I wish they'd at least let the GOGHers go since they're the only ones where qualifying matters. Those locked in are only worried about pit selection especially since they've changed the qualifications for the Shootout.

majorshouse said...

I have never liked the chase and with the newer format, I like it even less. I loved the fact that in years past, NASCAR was different than every other sport and now they are trying their damnedest to make it as generic as every sport. I would like to see the stupid chase done away with as well as the stupid top 35 rule and if they get rained out one day, qualify the next and not even care about the stupid tv contract.

Anonymous said...

Trackside was outstanding today! Loved watching & listening to Tony, especially when the group tried to free up that poor car for Tony to sign. Laughter is good and there was plenty to laugh about today!

Now I'll go back to cryin' about the Cup qualifying rain-out.... Gettin' to be real old real quick...

Anonymous said...

Hello,
"Gymmie said...
Yes with the rain they bumped it up, but it was originally to be on at 5:30. It looks like there's a 2 am re-airing hopefully you can record that :).

October 17, 2008 7:27 PM"
Gymmie, thanks for the info. If NN had wanted me to see their show they would have had it on when they told me it was going to be on. :) Also, if I were to record anything at 2:00am it would be F1 qualifying on Speed. :) Freddie has suddenly gotten cars like Renault had him in for 2 championships. He did well in practice, and he has 2 back-to-back wins in a year he did not think that he would get any!! If Renault comes back up to 'speed' :) I hope he stays there and does not go to Ferrari.
But thanks anyway!
Marybeth
PS In '56 or'57 the BelAir had a car that was 2-tone, peasoup green and mustard yellow, we had one, but I have never seen a one at any of the Barrett-Jackson auctions...?

Anonymous said...

In the modern era, qualifying has been cancelled 44 times. That means one-fifth of the total has happened this year. I think that shows where the priorities lie these days.

Anonymous said...


Great original programming! This isn't a great failure by any means. But, it just continues to boggle my mind that, after spending so much money to get the rights to NASCAR broadcasting, ESPN spend so little effort, and attention to realizing a return on that investment. I would think that senior management, or a board of directors member might wonder about that too.


ESPN is just cutting their losses. They bought NASCAR at the height of the popularity bubble, and now that bubble has burst.

Its not unlike buying a house in California at the peak of the real estate bubble. Now the market has crashed, nobody in their right mind would pour more money into a house worth much less than it was purchased.

Nobody in their right mind would continue throwing money into a bad investment.

Anonymous said...

Imagine my surprise when I get home to watch my Tivo Nascar Now and I get to see Rome Is Burning. Well, I'm Burning because ESPN continues to muck things up. Why the heck did they push NN up and put Burning in it's place. I'm getting tired of trying to Tivo my favorite shows only to find that I get to watch something stupid instead.

Anonymous said...
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Rockin Rich said...

Anon 12/17 @11:08PM:

Good alternate analysis. I don't know though. There is a loooong way to go on the contract, and I suspect that there is so much money sunk in already, (spent or firmly committed), that they have to make it work.

Plus, I think that their reputation, (read ability to continue to attract advertising buyers), is on the line here.

Fun to speculate about isn't it? Not much fun for us race fans though!

Anonymous said...

Rich,
I agree ESPN can clearly do some things in the off-season, not unlike what we've already seen, such as moving talent around, and continuing to try to find the right mix.

Other stuff, such as flat out more airtime for practices, and other content will likely be very hard to come by. I just don't see them increasing NASCAR's piece of the airtime pie across the board.

Gymmie said...

@anon 10:23--I agree! I had to back up the DVR I was hurting I was laughing so hard!

@Marybeth--Oh I agree! Bumping it up and not repeating in the scheduled timeslot messed up a lot of folks.