Friday, January 23, 2009
Three TV Topics For The Weekend
This certainly has been an interesting week of NASCAR TV from SPEED. This weekend provides the first live racing that fans will see as several high-profile NASCAR stars join the sports car gang for the Rolex 24 at Daytona.
Coverage begins on Fox and then transitions over to SPEED while the race itself has a much later start time in the afternoon. The TV listing information is located on the right side of the TDP main page.
Although this is the first big North American race of the season, it did not apparently deserve even a blurb on ESPN's SportsCenter or ESPNEWS. The stick-and-ball frenzy continues with plenty of time for endless talking heads, but once again ESPN swings-and-whiffs where motorsports in North America is concerned.
Hermie Sadler appeared on the final Preseason Thunder show of the week on SPEED. Sadler has come a very long way in a relatively short period of time with his TV skills. He covered a pretty wide variety of topics with good credibility, but once again SPEED ducked the issue of what the Truck Series would look like after Daytona.
This has been a strange phenomenon all week long, as the Camping World Truck Series is carried exclusively by SPEED and Fox. For some reason, the network has turned almost all the attention and effort toward the Sprint Cup Series alone. Sooner or later, the real story about the trucks will come out.
This week's Trackside shows, also on SPEED, were taped on Sunday at the Daytona Fan Fest. Friday's program featured an interesting interview with Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Brad Keselowski.
Since Keselowski lives in one of Junior's rental properties close by, Junior tagged Keselowski on-the-air as the friend who never calls and just comes over. Keselowski responded by admitting that he is, in fact, Junior's "Kramer."
A relaxed and happy Junior shared several family stories and had fun with the Trackside gang. After a long winter, it was refreshing to see the biggest star in the sport speaking about his family and friends openly and with pride. He also spoke candidly about the struggles for sponsorship on the Nationwide side of the sport.
While John Roberts on Preseason Thunder tried to preach to the viewers that NASCAR does not have its collective head in the sand about the real world struggles of the economy, that was never the issue that TDP raised. Roberts took a shot at "the websites" that were complaining about the smiley-faced approach of the pre-season TV.
The reality of life is best understood when those involved in the struggles are openly and honestly talking about them. This week on SPEED has been a parade of "fluff" with moments of candor. It should have been the other way around.
If NASCAR and SPEED were trying to keep the veteran fans and win new ones, the approach of having endless conversations about winter vacations, children and the fact that there has been no testing at Daytona did not do the trick.
After the Rolex 24 and the Toyota Shootout are over, SPEED has another week of Preseason Thunder at 7PM Monday through Friday. The Charlotte media tour is done, the drivers have all been interviewed and the rust has been knocked-off the brains of the NASCAR fans.
Next week will be the final opportunity for SPEED to be center stage, as NASCAR Now on ESPN2 returns on Monday, February 2nd. Now that new pets, scraggly beards and winter vacations have all been discussed, SPEED has the opportunity to step-up and do some real reporting on the issues in the sport including the Nationwide, Camping World Truck and regional series.
The Daly Planet welcomes comments from readers. 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. Thank you for taking the time to stop by.