Saturday, November 15, 2008

Saturday NASCAR TV Leads-Up To Nationwide Race


SPEED and ESPN2 once again combine on Saturday to offer many hours of live NASCAR TV from the Homestead Miami Speedway.

John Roberts will host editions of NASCAR Live at 11AM and 2:30PM surrounding the Nationwide Series qualifying and Sprint Cup practice. Once again this week, SPEED is stepping-in to handle the Nationwide Series action.

It will be Steve Byrnes, Jeff Hammond and Larry McReynolds who call the qualifying at 11:30AM. There are some good stories playing out in this series and these cars really work well at this track. Wendy Venturini and Bob Dillner will join the coverage handling the interviews.

The same on-air crew will remain in place as the Sprint Cup cars take to the track for practice at 1:30PM. This is another of the non-televised practice sessions added by SPEED this season. It has proven to be a great idea and one that has paid-off over and over again with important stories.

Today will be the final time on-the-air for this hard-working SPEED crew that has been covering practice and qualifying for both the Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series most of the season. During both the NASCAR on Fox and TNT portions of the year, this crew handled everything but the race itself.

Only when ESPN comes aboard does the pattern change. Last season, many fans and TDP objected to practice sessions being non-televised and both NASCAR and SPEED stepped-in to solve that problem. Thanks to all who helped in that decision.

Byrnes, Hammond and McReynolds work hard to keep things informal and their on-air approach has been a bit hit with the fans. Dillner has come a long way with his people skills and is now a very informed and professional member of the TV corps. Venturini is versatile and at the top of her game. She continues to quietly work on the Sprint Cup Series races for DirecTV's Hot Pass as the only female handling play-by-play.

When the SPEED chunk of the day is done, the NASCAR on ESPN crew comes along to cover Happy Hour before the Nationwide Series race. Dr. Jerry Punch, Andy Petree and Dale Jarrett will be in the Infield Pit Studio to call the action. All four ESPN pit reporters will be in the garage area handling the interviews.

There will be a new post up for the Nationwide race, but this will serve to host your comments about the final Saturday coverage for the 2008 NASCAR season. To add your TV-related comment, 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.

Thanks again for spending a part of this final racing weekend with The Daly Planet!

25 comments:

Daly Planet Editor said...

No rain so far in Homestead, looking very nice for qualifying.

Jojaye said...

Just got home & see sliced bread JoLo is on the pole. Got the early stuff taped for later.
Glad its nice in Homestead - rain is here off & on,in Tampa.

Anonymous said...

West Coast Diane said:

Where is everyone? Exciting Truck Race hangover...LOL?

It is just amazing the difference between SPEED/FOX crew and ESPN. SPEED...old friends making you feel like you are a part of the race and know the drivers. Lots of camraderie. ESPN, manufactured, staged junk, useless bells and whistles, blathering commentary, zero excitement.

After Truck race and Speed qualifying not sure I'm interested in the rest of the weekend with ESPN. What a major let down.

Thanks again JD for what you do. This is my favorite NASCAR site even though I don't normally post live. You and many of the posters seem like old friends.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Got several emails from friends who went to the track today. They say there is NO ONE there. Wow.

Anonymous said...

West Coast Diane said:

I was thinking posters to this blog, but yes, track is really empty and it's in the 80's. Nice day to hang out. I think people are really freaked about the economy. Try to watch racing to take your mind off of it and you see unsponsored cars, people being laid off and people not knowing what is in store for 2009 season. Can't escape it!

Newracefan said...

Perhaps people are still resting up after that fantastic Truck race. You would think that since the NW championship is not decided that there would be more people there. I know if I had tickets I would spend the ENTIRE day there but perhaps with the heat/humidity of Miami they have to pace themselves. All poor excuses I know but hey I tried

3bud said...

Thanks to the entire SPEED crew for all your hard work and excellent coverage this year. Funny we noticed SPEED might have been off their game a bit last night, wait till ESPN comes on. On their worst possible day the SPEED crew is so far ahead of the ESPN production team AB,AP and DJ are real good, but they just can't do it all. To bad SPEED couldn't work out a deal to take over the Nationwide coverage when ESPN gets into college football season. I know availability of SPEED versus ESPN and all ,but it would be nice.

Jojaye said...

Crumbs! in a few minutes we go from all the goodness of Speed to espn. Crumbs...
Nice interview with Johnny B. just now on Speed.

I'm really gonna miss them this afternoon, wishing they had N'wide. Dang.

Newracefan said...

Here we go the last practice of the season and we got football. ESPN should have let Speed do HH too.

3bud said...

so when is the game beening swithced to ESPN Classic,oh they can't there is a taped auction on

Mary said...

Wonderful coverage by Speed and now we have Happy Hour but surprise surprise we don't because of ESPN2 and their stupid stupid football. Why couldn't Speed have done Happy Hour too? Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

3bud said...

Do they know that cars are on the track?

Newracefan said...

3bud the real question is do they care

Anonymous said...

Practice actually stated at 2:50 so we missed the first 15 minutes

3bud said...

nrf answer: NOOOO!!!

Newracefan said...

Almost all JJ and Carl already, this is not good.

AMS fan said...

I watched the Speed coverage.
I don't care to watch ESPN but I guess i'll have to @ 4:30.

3bud said...

a few minutes ago I noticed Regan Smith and JPM sightings then reality set in ,back to the Edwards Johnson show. I think we are getting a preview of tomorrow's ESPN on ABC coverage.

Kenn Fong said...

J.D.,

Is it considered taboo to deliberately show empty stands? How do you as a producer balance your duty to report the story of the race, which might include poor attendance? How important is it to maintain good relations with the powers-that-be for the sport you're covering?

From a story-telling perspective, is it important NOT to show the empty stands because it might make your viewers at home decide that the ticketbuyers were right; because if they don't commit with their money, why should I commit at home with my time?

Pacific Time Zone Kenny
Alameda, California

Daly Planet Editor said...

kenn,

It's not an issue for practice and qualifying. Up to the networks on the race coverage.

JD

PammH said...

another pat ourselves on the back piece..good grief.

Anonymous said...

ESPN sure is proud of its tech toys.

Now if it could just get people who care about NASCAR to produce the broadcasts, we'd be in good shape.

Newracefan said...

Interesting end to practice, it was a fun piece but belonged in the prerace show, I would hve preferred talking to drivers about their cars or how about an evaluation of the practices and how all the teams looked

Anonymous said...

What? No run down of the 10 fastest in Happy Hour? Just because they weren't all chasers or named Jimmie Johnson and Carl Edwards, doesn't mean that they shouldn't get mentioned.

Daly Planet Editor said...

that sure was a strange way to end the final practice...