Monday, January 19, 2009

How Are You Feeling About The Approaching Season?


There seems to be a very different vibe in the air this January when it comes to the upcoming NASCAR season. Lack of information about what is actually going to happen in the three national touring series seems to be an epidemic in the media.

This is especially true in TV land, where ESPN has limited the NASCAR exposure during the off-season to virtually nothing. No featured stories in SportsCenter presented by the NASCAR on ESPN analysts or reporters. No segments on ESPNEWS talking about the overall picture in terms of the sport on the track this season.

SPEED has been guilty of veering off-course in dramatic fashion, featuring "puff pieces" about teams and even throwing in a "Mall Cop" movie promo. Both the Preseason Thunder shows and The SPEED Report have missed the opportunity to host a panel of SPEED's own experts to talk about this crisis.

For those fans who have Sirius Satellite radio, it's great that you have heard some more information than the rest of us. Certainly, the Internet continues to grind out stories as Daytona approaches, but almost all of them talk about only one topic.

With the recent news that the merged Ganassi-DEI team might be down to two cars, the reality of the new season is really hitting home. If these are the struggles of the Sprint Cup teams, what in the world is NASCAR going to put on the track for the Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series?

This week will be a key opportunity for SPEED to solve these problems for the fans. Taped this week in Daytona during Fan Fest were five Trackside shows that will air Monday through Friday at 7:30PM ET. This should give Darrell Waltrip, Jeff Hammond and Larry McReynolds an opportunity to touch on exactly these issues.

It will be a shame if host Steve Byrnes is put in the position of interviewing the Fan Fest drivers and asking the same type of generic questions that fans saw on Preseason Thunder during week one. Trackside usually runs wide open and talks about almost anything, hopefully that will be the case this week.

SPEED will also use Bob Dillner, Wendy Venturini and Ray Dunlap to chase the Charlotte media tour as it goes to the various race shops in the Mooresville and Concord, NC area. The reporters will offer their information in another week of Preseason Thunder shows that will originate from the new SPEED studios at 7PM ET.

These two shows need to focus on the issue of keeping the remaining fans in the sport and not allowing this economic challenge to continue NASCAR's slide. While Sirius listeners may have heard Mike Helton and others talk about these challenges, TV viewers have not.

In addition to the teams and drivers, fans need to see the faces of the sport like Helton, Brian France and Jim Hunter. It is an especially confusing time for the newer fans who do not have a perspective on the manufacturer, team and racing history of NASCAR. A few well-chosen words can go a long way coming from the right person in an official position.

Ultimately, the TDP email has been busy with fans trying to make a personal decision about committing forty weekends of the upcoming year to a sport that seems to be in a nosedive. Certainly, the struggles of 2008 with the COT, tires and the dominance of Jimmie Johnson left a tough taste in the mouth of some fans.

TDP is wondering if you have made a decision about this season yet or if you are one of the fans still pondering if and how much of NASCAR you will watch on TV this year? Once the spectacle of Daytona is done, will you be back as the series travels to California?

Thanks for taking a moment to share your TV and NASCAR thoughts with us, there will be new columns up all week talking about the multiple TV shows on the air.

To add your 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. Than you for taking the time to stop by The Daly Planet.

52 comments:

Anonymous said...

As an old-time race fan, I'll watch ALL the NASCAR races on TV. I may get discouraged with the coverage, I might not like all the changes, but racing is racing and I'm counting the minutes to the green flag!

diane said...

Gut feel is that I will be watching a lot less Nascar than the past several years. I followed Marcos Ambrose through his trucks and nationwide years. I followed Scott Speed in Arca and Trucks. Now I can see them both full time in Cup.

However, I have been less and less excited about Cup racing as the years have gone by (too staged). I will probably record all the races and just fast forward through them.

Rockin Rich said...

I will continue my normal viewing. I will attempt to watch:

• All cup qualifying;
• Nationwide qualifying when convenient;
• Cup & Nationwide practices when convenient;
• Truck races when convenient;
• Most Nationwide races;
• All Cup races;
• Pre-race shows only when I am in a place where the TV is already on the channel;
Almost no weekly panel, or other shows.

Actually, the dramatically changed NASCAR landscape has peaked my interest.

Geeze said...

No real decision here for me. I went to my first race in the 1960's and haven't looked back since. I won't quit or cut back on my viewing the race or attending a couple.

I guess I don't watch the broadcast's with such a critical eye as some do. It get's in the way of why I watch. The racing. Yes, there are thing's that irritate me at times, but I shrug it off and get back to the race.

Maybe mt attitude is due to fact that I remember when having any coverage of the sport at all was a big deal. When the Daytona 500 was a edited replay on Wide World of sport's. And the experts were Jackie Stewart and David Hobbs. :)

Newracefan said...

I will be watching everything Nascar that I can find, much via DVR except Cup races since I need my scanner during the race. I am hoping the race coverage is better but I'll be here supporting my sport and doing what little I can to help.

Mary said...

I will watch every single Nascar related programme I can. I'm sure I'll complain about some of the coverage but I just can't wait for the season to start again. The Preseason Thunder has been a breath of fresh air for me after the drought of the past couple of months!

Anonymous said...

It looks like my Sundays will finally be free this year to do more important things in life than watching a sporting event.

CG said...

I too will be watching everything Nascar. I have watched the Nascar 39/10 series and all of the Nascar Thunder shows.Although I agree they do not cover enough of the issues of the day I will continue watching.After a long absence from the sport, I am very glad to be back and look forward to every race with anticipation no matter who wins!

Anonymous said...

Im gonna watch every NASCAR program and race that I can. Do I agree with some of the decesions NASCAR has made? No I dont. But im a FAN of the sport. I stay through thick and thin. Honestly, they havent done anything to me personally so there is no need for me to be mad at them. I believe the people who say they wont watch are saying it for attention on the internet and jump on the bad wagon, but they really will watch.

Kyle said...

I will watch every second that I can. I cover the sport on my blog, as you know by now, so I am all but forced to keep watching. Its not a bad thing though, I still love NASCAR. And, I actually love the COT. I think that racing has much improved. Plus, you can be in 100 accidents and still be around at the finish.

ESPN/ABC will hopefully up their coverage when it becomes their turn. I think as soon as they get the Doc out of there (or whoever keeps struggling to cover the race live), it will improve a lot.

I will watch all weekly shows, pre-race shows. Then I will hop over onto the media-only post race press conference feed, then watch victory lane on Speed maybe, and if I feel like it, I will stay up late and watch NASCAR Now.

Anonymous said...

The way I see it three series cannot be sustained long-term. They cannibalize one another - this will be shown this year with Sprint - N'wide. You have good drivers and teams struggling for sponsors and then you look at the hogs taking sponsors in both Sprint and N'wide along with the NASCAR parent hogging its own fairshare of viable sponsors. It's a HUGE shame. N'wide racing actually takes away from Sprint in both TV and sponsors. Who is going to watch both races during a wknd? Not most people, so you choose at the expense of the other.

The Truck series is better than the N'wide series but it's struggling. Things for NASCAR are not going in the right direction for the bad economy and when it rebounds they'll still be in a bad place. This is the end of rich. hog era for NASCAR and the next era will go back to basics.

Photojosh said...

Like many on this page, I'll still be watching a lot of NASCAR. Unless life interferes, I'll be watching:

-All Cup Races
-Many Nationwide races (especially if interesting storylines start happening)
-Some Truck races (I'm making a new dedication to follow the trucks this year. But if the fields are tiny, the racing bad, or whatnot, I'm gone.)
-Pre-race once in a while
-The Monday "race review" shows (probably INC, nascar now sometimes)

&

-Shhhhhhhhm, some Grand Am races if Kyle Petty is racing.

Sure I'm bummed abotu some of the directions the sport has taken. Sure I'm bummed about some of the crappy coverage that the sport gets, particularly the Nationwide and Trucks. And sure I'm worried about the health of NASCAR racing in sn economy that is seeing sponsors drop out day by day and good drivers left without a ride.

But racing is racing and I love watching it. I'll be a NASCAR fan until the racing becomes less interesting than doing weekend chores. And even with it's problems, NASCAR has got a long way to go before I'd rather clean out the shower drain than watch a 1.5 mi track race.

Dot said...

I've been disappointed with the Preseason Thunder shows so far. Why oh why didn't NASCAR let them test at Daytona? It's just too quiet. When I watched on Thursday, they tap danced all around the testing issue. Were they supposed to test in the off season or not? I thought NO testing was supposed to happen.

I will watch the races since I'm a Marcos fan. I just hope that the preseason hasn't set the tone for the season. At least I'll have fun on TDP with my e friends.

Anonymous said...

I started racing stock cars in the 50s (we called them jalopies then). I have been a fan of NASCAR since then until a couple of years ago. Last year, I was a part-time viewer. This year, I will watch even fewer races and attend NONE of them.

I'll probably go back to the local tracks though, because racing is in my blood. NASCAR has left racing behind, in my opinion, to squeeze as much money as they can out of the fans and sponsors. I will probably DVR some races to fast-forward through them at my leisure.

I got my sirius radio because it was the way to get continuous coverage, but I don't think I've listened to it for months.

If NASCAR goes back to the basics, I'll be back.

Cheers,

Larry

3bud said...

I'll be watching. I'm a fan of the sport, maybe not a fan of every one running it but of the sport.Losing Dale Earnhardt didn't stop me,although the next couple of races where tough, (Remember Steve Park on that Monday afternoon)so I'll be watching. 28 days 31 minutes till The Daytona 500

glenc1 said...

I won't change much of what I watch--but I'm going to be very interested in how the economics of racing affect the various series. I don't sit glued to qualifying & practice--it's usually on while I do other things. But I want to be around in case something good happens (or bad, I guess...) I think we all hope for better TV coverage. In some ways, if Nationwide & Trucks survive, they might be very interesting. Could be more like the old days with a lot more local drivers showing up. New faces, new stories, even if they're 'field fillers' sponsored by the local lumberyard. If one of them finds success, it would be a lot of fun.

I've read they're already testing outside the lines. But since it's team by team, they're not going to want anyone to know what they're doing. I won't miss testing. Pointless & expensive. Half the time they'd admit later that they learned nothing from it because conditions change. I guess when there is *actual* news, we will hear about it, as we did with the recent mergers, etc. Not sure how much speculating is really needed.

SallyB said...

This is the first time since 2001 that I won't be attending the races at Bristol. Usually I sell my spring tickets to finance the night race. The racing there the past 3 years has been very disappointing, so this year I sold both races. I'm not ready to give up my season tickets yet, but the expense involved (travieling from Michigan to Bristol with the required 3 night motel minimum) isn't worth it to me if I'm not going to see the "Thriller from Bristol". And no, 'old school racing' the last 10 laps doesn't quite cut it for me. I've already gone from the days when nothing was allowed to interfere with my race weekends on TV, to getting around to the race eventually. I suspect that this year I will tape most of the races so I can fast forward, looking for something compelling to watch...without commercials.

Anonymous said...

I'll still watch, but the recent changes have made me start to question why.

I hated the new rules to determien who gets into the Shootout. They're meaningless. But I could live with 'em...until NASCAR said they'd allow mor ecars in.

If you're going to make up new rules, at least use them once before you change them to allow a popular driver in.

Then we hear that Robby Gordon could be in a make of car he doesn't really drive just to be in the Shootout. Which means Earnhardt-Ganassi could build a "Dodge" and get Monytona in for one race, too.

That's just ridiculous. Making up new rules and then bending them immediately doesn't help the sport at all.

Then there's the new reason to call more bogus cautions, the sponsored yellow flag. If this doesn't make for more and longer caution periods, specifically to accomdate ServiceMaster, I'll be astonished.

No testing? Less to watch.

Possibly eliminating pit stops for the trucks and adding a "half-time"? Oh, goody, let's take last year's most competitive series and tinker with it until we break that, too.

If NASCAR would stop maniuplating everything and let the marketplace do its job, we'd see better racing.

Of course, it wouldn't be as profitable,and that IS the point, right?

Anonymous said...

Right now, I'm not excited and don't know if I'll watch as much, or care as much as I did in the past.

For me, I don't think it's much to do with the economy because my team/owner doesn't seem to be in difficulty but I just can't seem to get excited this year. Maybe if my driver wins a few out of the blocks and it's not the same 3 guys winning every week, I might get interested again. But if it's the Kyle/Carl/Jimmie show again and again, I'll definitely lose interest.

I'm on the fence.

The J said...

over the last few years ive watched all the races except 3 or 4. that wont change. as long as theres cars on the track, ill be watching it.

Grover said...

I'll probably do like last year...
Watch Fox and TNT package. Once ESPN comes on, just watch the good races (Dega, Bristol etc.)Listen to the rest on the radio.
If they would have blown out Dr. Flashcube, I might have given espn a chance this year. As It is now I wont even watch a Bush series race till the last 17 when we get Marty the party Reid.

Vicky D said...

JD, good column. We will probably have the races on the tv. I have already said previously that I thought Nascar has ruined the Nationwide series with so many cup drivers in the field. I'm hoping the truck series can make it through this economic downturn. My company, Caterpillar, has a new team for us to root for so we will find that exciting. And on the pre-season thunder show, so many of the same questions of the drivers and so many of the same answers from them. Boring.

Gymmie said...

@anon 2:07--You have a lot of great points. I don't understand how this "change" for the Pick 'em Ups is going to be good for the racing. What makes NA$CAR different from Stick 'n Ball sports is that we don't have "half-time" short of rain (or snow as we saw in Bristol a few years ago) or something that brings out the red flag, there is no "stopping" the action. The teams decide what they're going to do...we've seen teams make *no* pit stops and still have plenty of fuel and tires in good shape. And others where they've gambled to make 1 pit stop while everyone else made 2. That's what makes the Pick 'em Ups great. Those roughly 200 miles brings up a million different strategies/scenarios and each team will push it as far as they can.

For the Shootout, I think they should have grandfathered in this year to begin with and now they're essentially doing it. Of course it doesn't help some pole winners like Joe Nemechek & Patrick but it would have been nice for them to get the chance if they did get a ride. If they said at the beginning of the season that's one thing, but to change halfway through (and I do understand Budweiser's reasoning and don't have a problem with that) but they should have grandfathered in for this year and then have the 'new' rules starting in 2010.

But I'll be watching everything as usual. And will have my handy dandy Trackpass ready for especially the EESPN portion so I can follow where *everyone* is at any given time, know if there's a caution because they're yapping about some nonsense for 20 minutes and get some real coverage. I'll also be chatting here with my friends at TDP. Hope our comedy tour continues :)

bevo said...

Well I'm already fed up with Digger, Fox has made it the theme for their coverage on the ads during football.

I've been spoiled the past couple of seasons by HotPass so I don't know if I'll be able to handle the network coverage. I would switch over to it occasionally so I could add my two cents to the discussion but I always knew I could switch back to HotPass.

I will be using my Tivo to synch up with the radio call on Sirius to start the season.

AMS fan said...

I have not been watching so far.
I will watch whatever is on Speed, FOX and TNT. As I've said before, this is only one person talking, so no great loss to the sponsors, but I won't watch anything on "The Worldwide Leader in Sports" until the last needed change is made.
Sirius will be just fine for those races. They're better on radio anyway.

Rockin Rich said...

Well, after posting a somewhat positive note early today, I am sad to report an unhappy sighting.

While watching the first half of the Eagles/Cardinals game there was an ad for the superbowl. It featured that unlovable rodent Digger! During an NFL game in an ad for an NFL game! They even mentioned his name.

Not a good sign!

Sophia said...

Sad to hear Digger is more important than the CARS.

Disappointed in Fox already without their HORRID direction (only ONE car across the finish line coverage0

Usually by this time, I am hungry for a race.

Not at all this year. I hope the Daytona sparks the passion back for me but i have a feeling it may not. And before somebody calls me 'NOT a true NASCAR fan'...that has nothing to do with it. We get little "actual racing camera work" during these way-to-long races full of commercials and cautions for gum wrappers.

I will keep up the sport with WT and TWIN (if the suits don't screw that show up FURTHER and just let the boys talk, NO music over their voices, not canned video...just "CONVERSATION".

Also, how long is RACE DAY going to be this year? If it's not gone back to one hour, will probably not watch it much this year either.

So, after last season and the bad rulings and fuzzier make-it-up-as-they-go along stuff and HORRIBLE announcing and camera work, I will get my news online from articles. And here.

If TPTB continues to let 'the racin'' take a back seat to their other propaganda, I will NOT be tuning in except for my favorite tracks.

Richard in N.C. said...

JD, I will watch or listen to all the CUP and most of the Truck & N-wide races, and tape those I cannot watch. A "bad" race is better than no race at all.

Maybe it's because there have been so many questions about the upcoming season, but it seems to me that across the board all the media has been less active this season than in the past - maybe? due to the effect of the economy on the various media outlets.

On the Eagle-Cardinal broadcast Joe Buck read a commercial for the Daytona 500 with all the excitement of Dr. JP diagnosing a hernia - until he came to mentioning Digger.

Besides the races themselves, I am really looking forward to the discussion of the coverage on TDP. A "bad" race is always made better by the discussion on TDP. MANY thanks.

Kenn Fong said...

J.D.,

I can hardly wait for the season to begin! Wow! I'm trembling just thinking about how excited I'll be to Jimmie Johnson win his 17th Cup Championship! I don't think my heart can stand it! To prepare, I'm getting into shape by watching my lettuce grow and bread dough rise!

[Try the Buffalo Wings. Don't forget to tip your waitress.]

Since there's no Hot Pass and I let my NASCAR Scene and NASCAR Illustrated subscriptions expire, I have no financial incentive to surrender the next 40 weekends to Brian France. Phew! I thought I'd need to go to Betty Ford, but I don't have any withdrawals.

For me, the season is WAY too long. I can't think of any other major spectator sport which requires its fans to surrender 77% of the year. NASCAR begins before baseball Spring Training, and ends a month after the World Series.

[The other major difference is all the athletes/teams participate in every (Cup) event, meaning a serious fan can't pick and choose to see only the games/events with his team.]

What's more, the individual races are way too long. 5 hours is too long for me to commit only to see Kyle Busch win or Jimmie Johnson pile up points en route to another Cup Championship. I'm not saying the races should have a time limit. (Unlike many, I don't believe the world should be restructured to fit my needs and desires. by the way.) If you're willing to let Brian France and Mike Helton hold your Sunday afternoon to ransom, that's your business.

Short of someone giving Jimmie Johnson a personality transplant, I don't see myself committing to another full season of NASCAR. On the other hand, NASCAR might be like herpes; no known cure. I'll know in a few weeks. If I do decide to commit to a season, the Daly Planet live raceday blog makes each race a lot more fun.

West Coast Kenny
Alameda, California

Photojosh said...

"For me, the season is WAY too long. I can't think of any other major spectator sport which requires its fans to surrender 77% of the year. NASCAR begins before baseball Spring Training, and ends a month after the World Series."

PGA golf is the only other sport that might beat NASCAR in terms of length of season.

Karen said...

Kenny,

Now, that was funny.

PammH said...

I am not excited as I wish I could be for the new season. Should be interesting w/all the changes tho. I will watch & b!tch about poor coverage as I have in the past! I have drivers I pull for in all the series, so I will watch for them. But it's a loooong winter here in MI already & we aren't even done w/Jan, so I may be listening to the radio outside in the spring & summer & taping the races to FF thru later. Not my norm, for sure.

Anonymous said...

No kidding< i'm not watching unless its raining or there is NOTHING else going on in sports tv

I have been a fan for 40 years, but this sport has lost me. Mismanagement, loss of icons, tv coverage that is laughable

My time and money is too valuable to waste on a sancioning body that show such disdain for me

inkthatpaints said...

I'll continue to follow everything Nascar, but I think I'm throwing in the towel in attending the race out here in So Cal. I absolutely love the atmosphere of the race and have attended every race for the past 8 years but I just can't hang with the long race and lack of excitement. It has nothing to do with the economy but I'd just as much watch it from home with my Trackpass than attend. However, I am pumped about next weekends Toyota All-Star event at Irwindale, a track that is actually IN Los Angeles and has some of the best short track racing anyone will see. If Nascar ever wants to reconfigure California Speedway, it doesn't have to look far.

Matt said...

Agree with Ken in general, though not in all specifics. Nascar is much like golf or baseball, in that the season is so long that you almost can't pay attention to every contest.

I almost think I'd like to see Cup switch places with the local tracks. Run most of the cup races on Sat nights, under the lights, with little sports competition on TV most of the season, and run the local tracks at noon or 1PM Sunday.

I'm in my mid-30s, married, and might be considered somewhat boring. I'd much rather click a race on at 9:30 on a Saturday night and catch the last 90 laps before bed than give up a chunk of Sunday afternoon. I also think Nascar has GOT to get away from the NFL at the end of the season, why not see who want's to try some more Sat nights next time around on the contracts?

One thing I agree with ESPN's Bill Simmons on:almost NOTHING in life needs to last three hours. I definately think a race isn't one of them-except for three or four special events through the year.

Daly Planet Editor said...

ink,

If you get some good pics, make sure to pass them along.

editor@thedalyplanet.tv

Thanks,

JD

Anonymous said...

I am worried about the upcoming season.

I am worried that the no-testing rules will eliminate teams' ability to improve their programs, and hence improve the quality of racing. And let's be frank: 2008 had more "bad" or "awful" races than any year in recent memory.

I am worried one or more major car manufacturer will have to pull out of the series due to bankruptcy or restructuring.

I am worried some of the best tracks in NASCAR are going to have empty stands - noticeable empty stands.

I am worried that some races will not run a full field, that some teams will qualify and then park for cash, that some teams will not financially survive the year, and that overall this 2009 season could possibly go down in the history books as an "asterik" season.

I am worried that television production will be cut on NASCAR and that many people making changes or so-called "improvements" to NASCAR broadcasts have no idea what real fans wants and that with their gopher-cams-named-after-family-members, shots of the flag-waver, catering to yellow-flag sponsors, and improper broacasting personnel roles will ruin a season that could be great but will no doubt be marred by sub-par network TV coverage.

I am worried that the Truck Series will be toast due to the economy.

I am worried that Joe Gibbs made a horrible mistake putting Logano in the 20 this soon.

I am worried we will get sick of Chad Knaus because it seems every network only goes to him for non-driver/non-owner interviews of any kind.

I am worried that SPEED will create six more reality shows based on concepts completely unrelated to NASCAR.

I am worried that to many casual sports fans, Spencer/Wallace are the face of NASCAR broadcasting.

I am worried that Tony Stewart will not even get close to the Top 10 this year.

I am worried that there will be a serious driver injury due to a tire malfunction because Goodyear is too cheap to do proper testing of their own (Denny Hamlin, you are one lucky man).

I am worried that the Brickyard 400 will not be that much less of a disaster than 2008.

Basically, the whole 2009 season seems like a transition year. Maybe everything will be fine and we will come out on the other end with another season in the books and a future that looks clear. Unfortunately, I am "worred" that there will be many seachanges this year in NASCAR racing and that when the 2009 season is over the sport we have going forward may look very different than the sport we've known for the last 7-10 years.

Anonymous said...

West Coast Diane said:

I, like a earlier poster, am really curious at how many cars will show up, who has sponsors, who not, will lack of testing really mean anything.

I love racing so I will grumble and complain, but watch just the same.

If we can drive over 7000 miles to see a race live, I guess I can watch them on TV...with a DVR of course. Ask me if I would watch the races if I had to watch live and you would get a totally different answer.

Leaving Wednesday for Daytona and praying it still is fun.

While at the track..will TIVO all events watch when we return from the live event. Will do this while sitting outside with a cocktail!

David said...

JD,

I don't plan on centering my Day or evening around the races anymore. The Networks and NASCAR don't care whether I watch or not, I can feel it. They just want to sell their stuff and I'm not buying. I canceled my Trackpass renewal on NASCAR.com, I wasn't renewing HotPass anyway so. I will make sure to have plenty of other things to do this year. Between my Dolphins being so horrible for so long (until this season) and Boring cars and racing I have learned to free up lots of time. I will watch Daytona for sure but after that it will not matter, I don't even care that I am missing the Shootout because my daughters Dance Competition is that day. I just can't give my all to something that doesn't return it to me. Treating me like an idiot every race is not something I like..

ri88girl said...

I'll be watchin' and bitchin' as usual. Another poster mentioned that all the upheval has peaked his interest and I agree. I think the shifting owner points, top 35 changes, shootout changes are going to PO a lot of drivers etc and it should be interesting to see how they react and handle it with media sticking mics in their faces (ESPN). I think the racing is what it is until they deal with the COT so any economic issues don't really change that too much.

earl06 said...

As the coverage becomes more bland, repetitive and uninspired, I will probably watch less this year.

-Truck series. This series is in serious trouble. A handfull of veterans mixed with some buy-a-rides and some start-and-parks don't make the racing as good as everyone says it is. The saving grace is that the coverage is the best of the three touring series.

-Nationwide series. Can someone give me a good reason to watch the Nationwide series? Or, other than generating revenue for the racetracks and perhaps ESPN, why it exists at all? No identity, even when there were interesting storylines, the coverage was so poor you could always find something better to do.

-Practice & Qualifying. Essentially non-events strung out for 5 hours every Friday. What I'd like to see is a show, let's say from 6pm-8pm, that encompassed the day's/week's news, events and previews integrated with Trackside segments. Make the last 15 minutes a preview of the truck race and then drop the green.

I doubt if I'm alone in saying that I don't have the time to wade through an afternoon's worth of raw coverage to glean the relevant facts. Two hours of RaceDay news and interviews works, and the same thing would work on Friday, too.

-Cup series. Between Digger (and his new family) being rammed down our throats, and the ESPN miasma, I don't see the coverage getting any better. That said, I'm looking forward to what should be an interesting season.

Thank the heavens above for the DVR and Sirius 128.

yankeegranny said...

I will see every race with my race view focused in Dale Jr and the sound muted on the TV. I have tickets to Darlington and Season Tickets to Richmond. If I can con my husband into it, we will also go to Lowe's. I am so sick of car auctions on SPEED that I could throw up. I am really looking foreward to watching the Nationwide Series and wish that Boyer, Edwards and Busch would stick to their Sprint cup duties and let the purely Nationwide drivers compete for the championship. Last year I watched the trucks for the first time and I am hooked. Can't wait for the green flag....go 88's

Anonymous said...

I'm afraid that I'm utterly ambivalent. Speed Channel is a caricature of what it was when it was Speedvision. I'm expecting "Survivor: NASCAR Edition" any day now.

NASCAR has jumped the shark with the COT and their uber-control mania. Petty Enterprises is gone. DEI is gone. Soon the Detroit manufacturers will be gone and it will be the "Sprint Cup - Powered by Toyota" and they'll all simply be IROC cars, albeit uglier and harder to drive.

The sport has gone off is some direction that I neither recognize nor desire. I cannot muster the urge to care what happens anymore.

3KillerBs said...

Budget said that we could pick the TV or the internet. We need the internet for the business.

I want to watch every moment of Nascar coverage as usual. My favorite drivers are all looking promising for this season.

Whether we get TV back in time for the Daytona 500, time will tell.

Anonymous said...

I feel that the only way I will find NASCAR entertaining is if there are a number of unsponsered privateer teams racing and beating the "factory teams" and the fully sponsored "corporate" teams. Only by getting back to its roots will Nascar survive.

Ken said...

My dedication to NA$CAR has gone from working my day around the race broadcast to "if there is nothing else going on". I DVR every race automatically in case I have something to do or fall asleep. I can "speedwatch" the race, see it in about an hour and not miss anything. I can scan at 60X and stop and watch in regular speed if I see anything happening that is of interest. My Dish DVR is an excellent unit and has saved me many hours of frustration and boredom. I think the uncertainty of the upcoming season will make it more interesting. It will be interesting to see who shows up to race and who shows up in the races.

GinaV24 said...

I just can't seem to work up any excitement at all about the upcoming season. I was bored by a lot of the racing last year and because there isn't a lot of good news to talk about, I just feel let down this off-season. I'm sure that once the season begins I'll be tuning in to races, but right now, I feel very flat and uninterested -- of course, I'm still over here reading the NASCAR news though, aren't I?

fntasm4 said...

I am not all that excited about the upcoming races. Interestly while thinking about this, I wondered if I would care about the racing if I did not read up and follow the series so closely. In the past only the races mattered and now I follow everything. Causes me to be a critic instead of a racing fan.


I am looking very forward to the racing season in general. Hopefully the other types of racing can fill in the sleepy feeling I get when a NASCAR race comes on.

I always DVR the races and catch up later except for specials like the Daytona 5 or Indy 5 (usually attend). I never watch the prerace crap and cannot figure out why there is an hour or more of prerace only to have the race start late. I would prefer more Saturday nite racing. Never watch a Nascar lite and only occasionally watch the Trucks.

chris

Anonymous said...

As an old timer myself,I look forward to the season with much apathy.I cannot stand the COT,I hate the rear wing with a passion.If DE was alive he would never have gone for the thing they call a car.I used to get fired up for Daytona and the upcoming season but the last few years I can't even watch a whole race.NASCAR had better wake up and listen to the fans or they may lose even more fans.

Tom said...

Oh, I will watch, but strangely my excitment about the upcoming season feels more like tuning in to watch a train wreck. For all the changes, I have a strong feeling that NASCAR is in trouble, and that no matter how much we watch koolaid drinking announcers tell us how great everything is, the wreck will be noticeable to everyone. Between team consolidation, sponsor issues, a completly out of touch management, and a network that seems intent on actually bringing the sport down in popularity, I think we are in for a long and embarrasing season.
I sure hope not, but....

Tom
Inverness, FL

Adam T. Martin said...

Two words: Bated breath

I don't like the COT, NASCAR's watchdog policy over drivers and media alike, the coverage across all networks, frequent commercials, gimmicks, and what not.

I'll watch Daytona, but after that, it will only be Atlanta, Bristol, Martinsville, Darlington, Talladega, Richmond, Watkins Glen, Brickyard, and Dover.

I'll be watching the IRL mostly on Versus.

cdh said...

I want the season to start mainly so I'll finally know who will drive what. Preseason show are pointless for me. I'll watch Nationwide series but can't take too much Punch so I'll be fast fowarding through those. And even though the same 3 guys will win almost every Cup race I'll still watch unless there's something better on TV.