Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Two NASCAR TV Specials On Thursday

The official festivities and the first on-track action both get underway from the South Florida area on Thursday.

NASCAR is hosting a luncheon and informal press conference with past and present champions at the Hyatt Regency Coral Gables at 1PM Eastern Time. Steve Byrnes will be there live on SPEED for a full hour of interviews. That is a composite picture of some of those attending above.

Past champions include Ned Jarrett, Richard Petty, Bobby Allison and Rex White. More current stars include Kurt Busch, Bobby Labonte, Dale Jarrett and Rusty Wallace. NASCAR on Fox's Darrell Waltrip will also be on hand, so Byrnes better be prepared. Waltrip has been off the air for months now.

Ryan Burr and the NASCAR Now gang have another one hour Championship Week show at 5PM. They are going to continue to follow the breaking stories about historic mergers in the sport as they happen and the resulting changes in team personnel. There seems to be breaking news almost every day this week.

Then, SPEED will present Craftsman Truck practice at 7PM with Rick Allen and Phil Parsons for an hour from the Homestead Miami Speedway.

The second special of the day will be an 8PM Thursday edition of This Week In NASCAR. Once again Mr. Byrnes will be the host with Chad Knaus and Michael Waltrip as his panelists. This time, the show will actually have live guests.

It should be interesting as SPEED has all kinds of Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Craftsman Truck Series championship contenders on the list to stop by. Perhaps, this should have been a two hour show. It might be nice for veteran fans to see Johnny Benson on this program one last time.

All of the Thursday NASCAR TV shows bear watching or at least recording. SPEED gets credit for stepping-up to televise the media event in the afternoon and for originating a special to promote the championships. It will also be nice to see the first wheels turned on the Homestead track.

NASCAR Now has Marty Smith in Florida and he has been chasing both the merger news and the championship contenders. Wednesday he had a good interview with Jimmy Johnson and repeated a wonderful video profile of this young Californian. The biggest news of the week is that ESPN let Smith on the air without a tie on Tuesday. That experiment was over by Wednesday. Some things never change.

This post will serve to host your comments about the Thursday NASCAR TV shows.

Thanks to and Getty Images for the picture at the top of the story.

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Daly Planet Editor said...

Not a whole lot going on today. Any comments on the champions press conference?

Rick said...

I just finished watching the press conference, and it was much as I expected it would be, a mutual admiration society.

I was disappointed that it was only Jimmie and Carl, but I guess I really should have expected that. Tony is always fun at these late season press conferences, he should always be invited. ;)

Daly Planet Editor said...

The press conference was vanilla, despite some efforts by the press to make it spicy.

Watching Jimmie Johnson blow David Newton into the weeds was a classic.

Anonymous said...

I kept refreshing to see if folks were chatting :(. I'll have to watch it a bit later. I was only able to read the CC when I glanced over between calls a few times.

@rick--I agree! There should be a rule about making sure Smoke is always invited :)

Love night practice :).

Anne M said...

Nothing on the press conference, JD, but I wanted to comment on the "new" NASCAR Confidential focusing on the Chase. (Sort of on topic since it's on tonight.) I was disappointed but not surprised to see that it's yet another rehash of the various pieces we've seen throughout the season. I actually really like these the first time (when they're not cluttering up my beloved TWIN) but enough is enough. We had a whole (very good) season of Survival of the Fastest last year, so how come we can't have a single hour of original material this year. Sigh.

While I'm critiquing, do you think there is any reason that TWIN is so badly lit? I don't claim to be an expert on stage lighting or TV, and I normally wouldn't notice, but the glaring yellow light is just awful. The week when Chad was interviewed on Nascar Now (in a split screen with Alan Bestwick) while he was on the TWIN set made this even more obvious. Even NASCAR Performance has more flattering lighting. I know that sets cost money, but lighting technique is something that can be learned, right?

I hope this isn't inappropriate, but it did look like you were a little less busy today. :)

Daly Planet Editor said...


Forgive my delay in aswering, I was still giggling from the fact that after all this time, Marty Smith and Nicole Manske were once again drowned-out by live cars on the track at Homestead in NASCAR Now. How many times this season have cars drowned-out ESPN announcers? Amazing.

The issue with TWIN is a very small studio at a facility that used to be called Sunbelt Video in Charlotte. This was actually the original home of Inside Winston Cup Racing with Ned Jarrett and Bill Weber.

The NASCAR Media Group is moving into an all digital facility in the early summer of 2009, but the current studio for TWIN is exactly the same one where Allen Bestwick used to get interrupted by the trash man.

I give them credit for getting a picture out of there after all these years and hopefully the dark colors will be gone during the off-season along with that DREADFUL table.

Thanks for asking!


Daly Planet Editor said...

How about Michael Waltrip during Truck Series practice mentioning ole DW and Jeff Gillooly in the same show?

Anonymous said...

I heard him mention DW in the show but missed the Jeff mention. Do you remember approximately how far into it it was? I'll recheck the recording later :)

Anne M said...

Thanks JD! Yeah, you'd think that ESPN would have figured out by now that those race cars are kinda loud. :)

I appreciate the history on the TWIN studio, and I have to admit that I do enjoy that Wayne's World vibe it has. With better lighting -- and non-beige shirts -- the show would look great, so I'll hold out hope they will change those two things when they move to their new home and leave the good things about the show intact. Have a good night!