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.