Sunday, February 24, 2008
Well, the weekend is officially a nightmare for both NASCAR and the TV networks. RaceDay on SPEED showed us that the rain is continuing to fall, even as Fox is about to take the air for the scheduled live coverage of the Cup race.
It should be interesting to see how long Fox decides to remain on-scene live, and if they choose to use last week's Daytona 500 as filler programming.
Chris Myers hosts the coverage from the Hollywood Hotel, with Jeff Hammond alongside. In the booth, Mike Joy will handle the play-by-play with analysts Darrell Waltrip and Larry McReynolds. Down on pit road Fox has some reporters playing injured today. Krista Voda and Matt Yocum have both been under the weather, they will be joined by Steve Byrnes and Dick Berggren on the telecast.
After the long fill from ESPN yesterday, and the two hour RaceDay program today, it will be tough for Fox to find a whole lot to talk about. Even after the track was dry earlier this week, some "weepers" caused water to leak from cracks in the track for several hours. The high-speed nature of this track will not allow cars to operate at speed unless the track is completely dry.
It should be fun to watch this veteran TV crew from Fox deal with the issues associated with the weather and scheduling. Hopefully, things will work out for both Fox and ESPN2. That network will show the Nationwide Series race when the Sprint Cup event has concluded.
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There are certainly a lot of issues to be explained once the veteran RaceDay team takes the air at 1:30PM Eastern Time. They will certainly give us the first glimpse of the overall track conditions.
NASCAR Now came up short earlier in the day, despite the fact that Nicole Manske was on-site. Fans should have been made aware of what happened overnight, after the ESPN telecast went off the air.
RaceDay will again feature John Roberts as host, with Jimmy Spencer and Kenny Wallace alongside. Wendy Venturini will be reporting from the garage, and Hermie Sadler will be along with track description and race condition updates. Rutledge Wood is still defining his role on this series, and continues to be placed in a wide variety of situations by the Producer.
The SPEED Stage location was tough for Steve Byrnes and John Roberts on Saturday, and many posters have been telling The Daly Planet that the rain has continued all night long. We will get our first glimpse at what the day has in store when RaceDay hits the air at 1:30PM Eastern Time for a full two hours.
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This morning at 10AM Eastern Time ESPN2 will carry the one hour Sunday preview version of NASCAR Now. This will be the first glimpse for TV viewers of conditions at the track, and a hint of what will happen with the racing.
With the late night east coast TV work by the NASCAR on ESPN crew, it should be interesting to see what on-air personalities are on NASCAR Now today.
Ryan Burr continues to be the co-host from the ESPN Studios, with Nicole Manske traveling to the current races. Allen Bestwick, Brady Daugherty, Ray Evernham and Rusty Wallace are also featured on this program.
The show has plenty of reporters to choose from, and we know Marty Smith and Angelique Chengelis are both on-scene in California. There should be lots of interesting news coming out of the track with all these potential schedule changes continuing because of weather.
NASCAR Now has one hour to fill with only one race having taken place instead of two. It should be interesting to see how much Sprint Cup preview viewers get and how the network will approach setting-up the Nationwide race which does not have a firm on-air time and has not yet been officially assigned an ESPN network.
Update: ESPN has confirmed that ESPN2 will show the Nationwide Series race, tentatively scheduled for 9PM Eastern Time. This throws a wrench into the NHRA coverage that will be in-progress of the final rounds. Rain may play a role in both telecasts, stay tuned.
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