Friday, March 20, 2009
Eight Hours Of NASCAR TV On Friday
There is only one Bristol. That sentence has been said by many race fans and TV commentators over the years. At this tiny and hypersensitive track, the practice sessions are sometimes filled with more drama than the race. The qualifying, especially for those trying to make the field on time, can be nail-biting.
Friday, SPEED and ESPN combine for eight hours of NASCAR TV beginning at noon ET. The NASCAR on Fox gang gets the day underway with live coverage of Sprint Cup practice. Mike Joy will then be joined in the booth by Jeff Hammond and Hermie Sadler for the Nationwide Series practice at 1:30PM.
It will be Steve Byrnes hosting NASCAR Live at 3PM as the track gets ready for the Sprint Cup Series qualifying. This show catches viewers up on the news and notes from the day. No doubt Tommy Baldwin's recent merger announcement might be a story for this program.
Darrell Waltrip and Larry McReynolds join Joy at 3:30PM as the big boys get set to qualify live on SPEED. According to Jayski, there are 45 cars trying to make the field including nine that are not in the Top 35 and must qualify on speed. It will be Krista Voda and Dick Berggren handling the interviews from pit road.
After the drama of Cup qualifying, the always interesting Nationwide teams take to the track for "happy hour." This is the last time to make adjustments before Saturday qualifying and this 5PM session has proven to be both interesting and dangerous in the past. Joy will remain to call the action with Sadler and Hammond.
ESPN2 slips in the with now consistently solid NASCAR Now program at 6PM hosted by Nicole Manske. Mike Massaro will be reporting from the track along with Marty Smith. No doubt they will be hyping the live ESPN2 coverage of the Saturday legends charity race at 6PM. Ned and Dale Jarrett will be teaming up for the commentary.
It is still a shame that this program refuses to offer a promo with the correct time and TV channel for the Sprint Cup Series races. This is a glaring error and the only missing element in the newly revamped TV series. Someone on the NASCAR Now production staff simply needs to grow-up and it needs to happen soon.
There are a lot of potential topics to cover in the fast-paced Trackside show at 7PM on SPEED. From Darrell Waltrip's absence in the charity race to Mark Martin's awful season, this hour should fly by for viewers. Both Martin and Carl Edwards will appear on the show. No clue if Digger is along for the ride.
Steve Byrnes is the host and he tries his best to control Jeff Hammond, Larry McReynolds, Waltrip and the annoying Rutledge Wood. There are some big news topics this week and no doubt more stories will be breaking during the day on Friday. Trackside has done a good job of keeping viewers up to date as an end of the day wrap-up show.
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