Sunday, November 30, 2008

Nationwide Series Banquet Highlights Nicely Done By ESPN


During the off-season, it has been mostly gloomy topics that have dominated the NASCAR scene. The ESPN2 telecast of the Nationwide Series banquet proved to be a pleasant distraction on Sunday afternoon.

Both the Nationwide and Truck Series have recently changed their banquet TV coverage to an old school "Tonight Show" format. On this telecast, it was Allen Bestwick behind the desk as the late Johnny Carson and Shannon Spake sitting to the side and doing her best Ed McMahon. Once again this year, it worked like a charm.

After watching the tightly-wound Bestwick all season on ESPN and ABC, it was a very different TV personality that viewers saw on Sunday. As each of the top ten drivers came over to the "set" to be interviewed, Bestwick related personal stories, teased them about off-track issues and asked each of them at least one hilarious question.

"You're a young guy," said Bestwick to runner-up Brad Keselowski. "Those of us who have been around for a while know that those who wear the Nomex (fire suits) tend to attract women. So, this been a good year for you?"

"Awwww man!" said Keselowksi blushing. "Well...it can always get better," he continued as the crowd roared. "Thanks for that one," Keselowski croaked.

This is "banquet lite TV" with little in the way of real content. It is basically a fast-paced whirl through the drivers with a musical performance along the way. Hardcore fans are once again going to be thrown off-guard, as this show simply skimmed the surface of the season and focused on quick conversations and a couple of brief speeches.

Shannon Spake was in good form and kept her questions to relevant topics. Some drivers talked about the season while others talked about family or real life events. Spake and Bestwick combined to offer a good mix of personalities in this highlights format.

Over the years, NASCAR has struggled to figure out how to translate the post-season festivities to TV. This highlight format basically assumes a small TV audience and is more an hour of conversation than anything else. One has the feeling that a collective "whew, that is over" can be heard as the teams head out for vacation.

This signals the official end of the Nationwide Series season and closes the ESPN coverage for the second year. Bestwick and Spake certainly did their best to keep the mood light and the TV program moving along. The TV schedule for the Truck and Sprint Cup Series banquets is located on the right side of the main page.

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21 comments:

Anonymous said...

Television award's program have a history of dismal ratings. It does not matter if it's the Emmys, Oscars, Tonys, Grammys, etc. At most of these they usually have A-list celeberties honored, A-type entertainment, and A+ hosts--and they still can't get super ratings.

NASCAR does not have as big a following, so I think lite is good. I'm sure the familiy members and guests had a good time. I hope they all have a good off season.

inkthatpaints said...

Marcos gets a free pass from Nascar due to a 'family commitment'. Kyle must've been fuming at the banquet. Talk about rubbing salt in the wounds.

Vicky D said...

I always find award shows rather boring and unwatchable, although as I was scrolling through the tv channels noticed David Reutimann's interview which was ok, although he's still beating himself up. After that I couldn't help but change the channel.

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Dot said...

I didn't watch the banquet because Marcos wasn't there. I can see the Cup drivers at their own banquet next week.

@ inkthatpaints, you took the words right off my keyboard.

Robyn said...

@inkthatpaints-

I had to look to see if I could find a reason why MA was excused from the NW banquet.

This was posted on MA's site on November 25th. It is from a press conference that was held "last weekend", which would have coincided with the Banquet.

Q: How long are you home for?

MA: Good question. Until they call me and they want me back.

...

My Grandad’s not that well, my Dad’s not that well, I’ve had my family over there in the US away from their parents and grandparents for too long so I’m excited to be home so I’m trying to make the most of it and it will be great.


So it seems that his reason for being excused was family. I think that is more important than a sponsor appearance. When you sign up to drive, you know the commitments. Unfortunately one can not control your family's health.

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Daly Planet Editor said...

Sorry folks, our racists are back and having fun. They sure do have a lot of free time on their hands.

JD

Newracefan said...

The show was pretty good, AB and Shannon did a nice job. Reut got a decent amount of TV time and actually seemed to be having fun which is not the usual Reut interview. Brad presented himself well. Anybody else think Mike Bliss was a little confusing? Clint's speech was good, rehearsed but good. I wonder if he sat with AB and Shannon and we missed that part. At least the music didn't suck. Would have liked to hear everything everyone said but it will do. It's always good to see them having some fun.

Sophia said...

I had NO CLUE this was on ...very disappointed I missed it.

Oh, well. No promotions on any site and Jayski's links don't seem to work half the time and I can't find the HUGE countdown to Daytona anymore.

Bummer. If it was posted here I certainly did not see it.

HOPEFULLY somebody will mention the TRUCKS banquet??

JD

I am confused...did you turn OFF the comment moderation? I see several comments deleted....sorry if I am missing something.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Sophia,

The schedule of all three banquets has been on both Jayki's site and mine for over a month. My listings are on the right-hand side.

The info on the Truck banquet on SPEED is also listed at that location.

We have tried to return several times to free posts, but unfortunately have one very immature individual who is having problems with the pretty simple to follow rules.

The comment moderation will stay on for a bit. He is one of those Internet trolls who will not email the webmaster but continues to try and express himself in the comments section. Not gonna happen.

JD

Sophia said...

JD

thanks for the explanation. I have TRULY been in a fog and am embarrassed I never saw the link for the awards show HERE...sorry.

I still say when I click on a jayski link, it sometimes does not send me to ONE STORY but a page with tons of stuff...so, well, I obviously missed this show but not a big deal. I see the trucks listed and WILL catch that.

Sorry you have been so busy JD, and thank you for taking care of this place.

Oh, and I stumbled onto Raceline this morning, a little before noon. The guy does a WEEKLY show all winter long. JD did an article on him many months ago....I think he is Racelineonline or some such link. Those of you in NASCAR Withdrawal will want to check out the show. I just caught the last 10 minutes and hope to REMEMBER it's on next sunday at 11:30AM Sunday morning here in SW Ohio...some little station called CW. But I am sure you can look for your areas.

Hope it was ok to mention that JD since you mentioned the little show yourself. :-0

Gymmie said...

I do like the "relaxed" feeling to allow everyone to just sit and speak. But with the hour (and I believe hour and a half for the Pick 'em Ups) format it still seems "rushed". By the time the guy sits down and gets comfortable, it's over. I hope they sat longer, but due to editing it seems they only had 2 minutes or so.

I did giggle when JD lost his speech!

@Vicky--yes that's why I record and FF through. I like this a bit more than Cup because of the more relaxed, in/out not constantly "reviewing" every last second of the season. I usually wait to "watch" Cup after reading what others post so I know if I should stop on a specific segment. I gave up on watching it live (well not live live...but ya know) after they had people hanging from the ceiling a few years ago. I know they said they'd never go back to that so we don't have to see that again, but really the majority of the Cup one regardless bores me.

@Robyn, thanks for posting about Marcos' situation, I hadn't been following my newsletters folder so was going to check to see if there was anything in there about it. It's hard enough when dealing with one family illness but two :(.

I did notice on the Cup wrap up show at the end they had their own "poet"...wonder if they'll keep him next year to "out do" SPEED?

Thanks JD for all you do! Sorry some people have to act like children and make more work for you :(.

Becca said...

I enjoyed the banquet from what I watched. I really only seen Brad K, David R, Carl and Clint. Also I watched the last half of Nationwide highlights this morning. I had no idea they were on tv, but it was a nice surprise. I thought the package was well put together, concise and to the point.

ri88girl said...

hoist on my own patard again... With Shannon yet again shoving a mic in a drivers face to ask an inane question and Brian France the only human who can look rumpled and unkempt in a tuxedo were the bits I saw and just turned it off. I guess I will have to go back and watch the re-air if AB was that good.