Saturday, November 8, 2008

In-Progress From Phoenix: Saturday Practice And Qualifying


Things get underway at Noon Eastern Time on Saturday from PIR with SPEED hosting Nationwide Series qualifying. Steve Byrnes, Jeff Hammond and Larry McReynolds will be along to call the action. Down on the grid will be Wendy Venturini and Bob Dillner.

This same TV crew will hang around once qualifying is over to watch the early practice of the Sprint Cup Series cars. This is one of those sessions that was added late in the season after a lot of fans (TDP readers) made a lot of noise about ESPN not covering early practice. This sessions runs from 1:30 to 2:30PM.

John Roberts is up next with SPEED's NASCAR Live. This little show, originally designed to fill time from the tracks, has taken on a life of its own. Roberts was paired this season with two very unlikely TV reporters, Hermie Sadler and Randy Pemberton.

Instead of giving fans more of the same talking heads, both Sadler and Pemberton have embraced this show and made it fun to watch. Sadler has fun teasing the drivers about college football or their bad golf game while he gets the standard information about how things are going for the race.

Pemberton has been stellar on DirecTV's Hot Pass and his name has been bounced around for all kinds of roles in 2009. In the garage, he is a focused reporter who asks the tough questions with such sincerity that no one gets offended. He has pushed his way back into NASCAR with a lot of hard work this season.

The final pre-pre-race show will be ESPN2's coverage of Happy Hour for the Sprint Cup teams. Starting at 3PM, it will be Dr. Jerry Punch hosting the telecast. Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree will be along as the analysts. Shannon Spake, Jamie Little, Dave Burns and Mike Massaro will be handling the driver interviews from the garage.

There will be a new post up for NASCAR Countdown and the Nationwide Series race on ESPN2 later this afternoon. Countdown starts at 4PM and the race coverage begins thirty minutes later. Please feel free to add your TV-related opinions on the daytime Saturday coverage to this post.

To add your comments, just 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. Thank you for taking the time to stop by The Daly Planet.

31 comments:

jojaye said...

Hi all! Just getting started on the day here. Coffee'd up & watching Speed Nwide Qualifying.
Thanks JD for the schedule on the front page! DVR is set for day, I'll probably watch it later for the parts I miss.

Lou said...

JD, As usual enjoying the coverage with Larry Mac and SPEED. SPEED has stepped up as usual. If only ESPN could do as well.

Yes, as a HotPass customer I so enjoy Mr.Pemberton.(Probably why I do not comment during the race as much, HotPass is that good to me.) Would hate to lose him on HotPass, but he is an asset to the TV coverage of the sport. And in the paragraph you mentioned him in is so true.

Sean said...

Nationwide Qualifying has once again been excellent on Speed. There's no comparison

bevo said...

JD,

Hope you have some inside info about Pemberton you're not disclosing yet. He has been stellar on HotPass this season and he deserves to move up to a more prominent position in NASCAR coverage.

Any word on the horrible attendance at the truck race last night? Does it look like it will carry over to the NW and Cup races this weekend?

ri88girl said...

Well, they seem to have gathered it back up, they was gettin' a little loose last night by trackside. Another enjoyable, fun and information filled day. What a nice treat it would be if they let AB audition over at ESPN. Note to management. The muffeling of Doc during quals, is not a substitute for good PXP. Nothing against DJ and AP but they should not be relied upon to do this, it wasn't why they were hired.

Daly Planet Editor said...

NASCAR is in shock after last night. There had better be some fannies in the stands for the Nationwide race this afternoon.

I can't even get an estimation of the crowd from last night. This race is on the sched for next season but no fans until Sunday is ridiculous.

JD

jojaye said...

Last night it was empty! I was shocked. And today I hope it fills for this afternoons race. The hill is pretty empty from what I saw. This is not good.

ri88girl said...

JD,
This is a tad off topic, but I'm wondering if the tv partners are sending any vibes that there will be layoffs or other cost cutting measures coming in the off season?

If you look at the general economy, one of the areas that has got to be really scaring NASCAR is the poor health of SPRINT as a company. The lack of attendence I can't see getting better and I wonder what NASCAR would do if they couldn't support three top series. Would this alter their contraces to the point where ESPN might walk away instead of having to be pushed?

My feeling is that for any of the entities in racing to servive and trive, they are going to have to be small and nimble. Somthing the bloat of ESPN and ISC, SMI don't seem to have.

Lou said...

TDP @ 1410hrs. Thank you for the update. I watched the race also. I would have thought more fans from the west coast would have been at the race. It was good racing. And the announce booth was good also for the tv coverage of the race on SPEED.

Not to mention, if you were on the hill where Krista was, what I great view. I envy those who had that and someday hope I will.

Geeze said...

Friday night truck race's rarely have a good crowd. At least none of the one's I've been to. Partly due to the fact that they aren't getting the word out about how good the racing is.

Also, most people who are coming to town for Sunday aren't in town yet. As far as track's in the west goes, the locals have a tough time making a 5:00pm local start time on a Friday.

Anonymous said...

Not to mention, if you were on the hill where Krista was, what I great view. I envy those who had that and someday hope I will.

It is a great view and the "seats" are pretty cheap. (I think they were $30 the last time I checked.) Then again, PIR is the best value in NASCAR, or maybe second to LMS.

After seeing several races at both of those tracks for reasonable prices, I almost fell over when I learned what it costs to see NASCAR races at Chicagoland. I feel bad for people who live there but can't afford to go to their home track.

Anonymous said...

Last night it was empty! I was shocked. And today I hope it fills for this afternoons race. The hill is pretty empty from what I saw. This is not good.

Yeah, but track races and even NNS races don't usually sell well. They never have.

This tells me that a lot of people aren't "racing fans," but fans of drivers.

If they really wanted to see good racing, they'd go to truck races.

Anonymous said...

That was "truck" races, sorry!

ri88girl said...

did Kasry just throw GEM under the bus and drive over them?

Newracefan said...

I thought Kasey threw Dodge under the bus

bevo said...

I was at the truck race last Friday night at Texas and I'd estimate the attendance around 75,000.

I realize the race started kind of early for them and traffic might have been a problem but I always thought Phoenix attracted a lot of campers from Southern California. Maybe Las Vegas just cannibalizes the crowd.

majorshouse said...

I know that Spring lost another 1.3 million subscribers last quarter and it makes me wonder if they are going to have the finances to continue with the Spring cup and also makes me wonder about the television contract too. I still say I would love to see all three series on Speed because of the great coverage that they give us.

Daly Planet Editor said...

There is some GEM stuff going on, I will have a column about it on Monday. This should be a wild off-season in many ways.

JD

Lou said...

Thank you JD. It just keeps me coming back for more. Look forward to it, thanks

Anonymous said...

ESPN and Punch going all out to hype the fact that if Johnson has trouble "it could make Homestead really exciting".

Hey Jerry, Johnson won the pole, has the first pit position, had the fastest car in the first practice, and here you go trying to make that THE only story for the Sunday race.

ESPN followed up with a graphic showing polesitters at Phoenix who had bad races, showing about six different times in the past 20 years where that happened. The graphic actually showed Rusty Wallace with poor finishes from the first spot back in 1990 and 1992.

Nice try, Jerry.

Dot said...

I was shocked to see Cup practice being shown on time @ noon. How/why did the football game end early or on time? I would've bet that we weren't going to see practice at all based on prior experiences.

ri88girl said...

What propagandist BS is this?

PammH said...

I let the dog out & come back to this crap? What happened to practice, ie. cars on the track! God this channel sucks!

Rick said...

Just got home and turn on the tube and what do I find? The tech center promo they've been running all season.

Are there cars on the track?

Newracefan said...

I hope all the cars are off the track, not real sure that is the case. First its the pit studio then the tech center. While I think its cool, it doesn't belong here if the cars are still practicing

Rick said...

I guess practice was over, but wouldn't that time be better spent reviewing the practice rather than shilling for themselves?

jojaye said...

Shilling for themselves LOL accurate & sad.
Heaven forbid they give a re cap of the practice or preview Nwides later. Nope not espu
Chit chat now in matching suits.

Daly Planet Editor said...

There is a new post up for the Nationwide Series coverage on ESPN2 from Phoenix.

Thanks,

JD

Gymmie said...

Yes practice was over, but I do agree *that* wasn't the place for it. What they *should* have done was to recap what happened DURING practice!

People tuned in late/had a phone call/etc. and may have missed things.

Anonymous said...

How can you find out which announcers will be on Hot Pass each week? I don't want to mess up and plan on watching when Rice is announcing again. I can't stand listening to him there or on PRN.

Daly Planet Editor said...

We will have the DirecTV info posted on the race page tomorrow.

DirecTV is still a mess where Internet info and PR stuff is concerned.

I am going to talk to them about it next week. Hopefully, we can get things sorted out.

JD