Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Earnhardt Tribute By "NASCAR Now" A Classy Touch

It would be easy for ESPN to skip over the memory of Dale Earnhardt Sr.'s passing. Almost a decade has gone by and life has moved on as it always does. Stories within the sport from the Daytona 500 aftermath to the continuing sponsor struggles are driving the NASCAR news at this time. Luckily, the production team at NASCAR Now made a great decision. They chose to honor the past.

It was Mike Massaro in his new role as co-host of this series that kicked-off a classy tribute to Earnhardt in the Wednesday program. ESPN was no doubt aided by The NASCAR Media Group as vintage footage of Earnhardt flashed across the screen documenting his long and illustrious career.

Massaro then brought in ESPN's Ed Hinton to talk a little bit about his experiences with Dale Earnhardt, the person. Hinton is still getting the hang of TV, but his candid words and straightforward approach to subjects like this are always worth listening to on NASCAR Now.

Veteran fans may remember that Hinton was in the middle of the legal battle to access the images of Earnhardt after his passing. The issue was why and how the driver, a personal friend of Hinton, had been fatally injured. Click here for Hinton's Wiki page, which talks about that topic.

Massaro is making the most of his new position and putting his personal stamp on this program. Along with Nicole Manske and Allen Bestwick, Massaro and NASCAR Now may wind-up having the best season ever for this series.

The only fly in the ointment is one that has been with the program since it began in 2007. NASCAR Now refuses to promote NASCAR races not on the ESPN networks during the promo page inserted in each show.

This week, NASCAR Now has consistently skipped over the Camping World Truck and the Sprint Cup Series races from California to instead promote NHRA Drag racing action. With NASCAR needing every fan possible to either watch or attend the races, perhaps the production team will re-think this item.

On the whole, NASCAR Now has taken up right where it left off last season with a strong line-up that now includes Ricky Craven on a semi-regular basis. Craven will be on the Thursday show along with Lead Reporter Marty Smith to preview the racing in California.

If you have a comment about NASCAR Now, please click the comments button below to leave your opinion. This is a family-friendly site, comments with profanity or hateful speech will be deleted. Thanks again and happy posting.

Here are some additional Internet stories remembering Dale Earnhardt Sr. (just click on the title to open):
A tribute by Jen from The Bleacher Report.
Lee Spencer's original article from the 2001 Daytona 500 for The Sporting News.
Inspirational article by Jim Kidd for the site from last year.
Jenna Fryer's 2001 interview with Ken Schrader about the accident aftermath.
A chilling interview with Brian Williams on the NBC News in 2000.


Unknown said...

I'm not sure the family would have been pleased, but I enjoyed Ed's stories. It was a nice show.

While it's not a true 'promo' to talk to Todd Bodine, at least they mentioned the truck series.

I find it interesting that Todd, Junior,, Brian and Jason all made errors and Jason, whom I thought least guilty, ends up with a 5 lap penalty. I think the analysts have done well at covering the 'inconsistency' of those decisions. As honest as they can be, anyways.

Anonymous said...

I thoroughly enjoyed the tribute on Dale Earnhardt. He was truly an amazing man. So many things have happened in the sport ,since he has been gone that, I think, would not have happened had he not been killed.

I believe Dale Jr when he said he did not cause the wreck on purpose. He has never driven like that and I don't believe he will start.

Thank yo for bringing your site back up, truly appreciated.


Tracy D said...

Ed Hinton's interview was a good touch.
DW's autobiography includes the touching Bible quote his wife placed in Dale's car before the race. It's a comfort to know.

I like Massaro in this role. Wish NN was coming out of North Carolina.

Dot said...

Nice tribute to Dale.

I had to laugh at the interview between Mike & Jamie. They were talking about the 18 and the 20 cars at last years CA race. All the laps they led and they're the ones to watch this weekend. I think they forgot that Joey is in the 20 this year.

Poor Ed. All dressed up just to sit in his living room. Why doesn't BSPN relax that dress code? I enjoyed his stories.

RIP Dal3

Tom said...

NN has been generally a pleasure to watch this year. It is early, but so far I haven't heard much in the way of "gossipy" news and they seem not to shy away from tire issues and race incident discussion (even if Andy Petree was way off-base). I am looking forward to what they have to offer this year.
BTW- I did hear AB mention the truck race on SPEED last ...Thursday? andf it was up on the graphic as well. I do agree that needs to be more consistant.

Inverness, FL

Anonymous said...

I don't know, Dot--even veterans have admitted it's so much the car, and not the driver...if the 20team brings the same car and Joey doesn't mess it up, he could indeed run at the front. It's happened before.

Anonymous said...

What do you mean Ed Hinton is just getting the hang of TV? Faint Praise. He is much smoother than many others who have been on for a long time. Jeff Hammond has never gotten the hang of TV and probably never will. And who cares what they wear? I hardly notice as I watch for quality content, not a fashion show. If we are truly trying to improve TV coverage, lets aim at the areas of weakness.

Lou said...

Watched NASCAR Now last afternoon. I really enjoyed it. But one show does not make a season(suits at espn make note).

I went to TDP archives for 2007 overnight for reference. Mike Massaro was on the radar then. What a good soldier for the network. I remember watching espn with him at the heliport to get interviews. Good to see him on a regular basis for NN, a pleasure to watch as we have seen him be a student of the game that benfits all of us and his knowledge of racing. It can only add to the NN broadcast. Just once and a while JD, I wish they would dish the formal wear.

Opps, oh yea forgot the #3 is the topic. Enjoyed the interview with Mr. Hinton. I think if the Earnhardt family would approve, those short essays would make a nice read in the future.

Unknown said...

off topic, but Brian Vickers was on Jim Rome today--interesting interview. And Rome asked reasonably intelligent questions for a non-racing guy. At least the rest of ESPN seem to be aware that NASCAR exists....