Saturday, March 28, 2009

No TV Winners In Martinsville Rain


Across the board in NASCAR TV land the rain really killed the momentum of the season. Sparse crowds at the SPEED Stage for big shows like Trackside and NASCAR Performance really showed just how bad the weather was in the area.

Luckily, Trackside guests Marcos Ambrose and Timothy Peters kept things lively. Ambrose reveals little slices of his personality in each interview and his fascination with American history showed yet another piece. The fact that he blends so well with the Trackside crew also helped.

Timothy Peters is a personality that NASCAR should certainly expose to the public more often. A great sense of humor and a diverse background made him a pleasant surprise where NASCAR TV is concerned.

It must be interesting for Kyle Petty to travel to the Sprint Cup Series venues these days. Since he is not involved in the radio coverage and does not work on the TV side until the TNT telecasts, he only pops-up on the media radar while participating in the off-base game show on SPEED called NASCAR Smarts. That is a lot of travel to face-off with Rutledge Wood for thirty minutes every weekend.

Fox filled the original Saturday Camping World Truck Series timeslot with live coverage that never really talked honestly about the rain. Even with the drops visible on the ground, the conversation was themed around the race getting underway shortly. That was never the case.

This weekend it was Chris Myers and the Fox Hollywood Hotel instead of Krista Voda and the SPEED gang. This left Myers running the show in the rain delay with Voda relegated to the role of a pit reporter. Myers has limited knowledge of the CWTS and it was a smart move to bring Phil Parsons onto the pre-race show.

This let viewers see the two "camps" as Parsons continually addressed serious issues and offered information while Myers and Jeff Hammond continued their goofy act about birthdays, the Martinsville hot dogs and kidding because they care. Two very different styles of presenting NASCAR on TV.

The CWTS event will be shown live on SPEED Monday at noon ET. The SPEED announce team of Rick Allen, Parsons and Michael Waltrip will call the action. Krista Voda and Adam Alexander will handle pit road, Ray Dunlap is on vacation.

Sunday, the regular TV line-up is in place as ESPN2 starts the day with NASCAR Now at 10AM. Mike Wallace will join Mike Massaro in the ESPN studios with Nicole Manske and Marty Smith reporting from Martinsville. SPEED follows with RaceDay at 11:30AM. Guests include Rick Hendrick and country star Trace Adkins.

The NASCAR on Fox crew takes to the air at 1:30PM with Myers and Hammond once again from the Hollywood Hotel. The weather should be windy, but the chance of rain is low. Mike Joy will call the race that takes the green flag at 2:16PM. Darrell Waltrip and Larry McReynolds will join Joy in the booth while Steve Byrnes, Matt Yocum, Voda and Dick Berggren will handle the pit reporting.

There are plenty of storylines and plenty of potential spoilers in this race. The COT at Martinsville is an interesting sight. Big, boxy and sporting a rear wing it certainly does not have the look of a race car designed to duke it out on a flat short-track. To say it was not created for television is an understatement.

On the bright side, the Fox coverage from Bristol was orderly, inspired and focused. All of that will once again be required to deal with this race. Teams can easily get a lap down quickly. The pit road is a challenge to cover for both the reporters and the TV director. Finally, the slow speeds and lack of side-by-side racing action on a green track will require a lot of patience and good on-air conversation.

After the race, Bob Dillner will be reporting live for The SPEED Report at 7PM. John Roberts, Jimmy Spencer and Kenny Wallace offer winner interviews on Victory Lane at 8PM on SPEED. That network ends the night with fan favorite Kenny Schrader co-hosting Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain at 9PM.

TDP will be live blogging the Martinsville event, please feel free to join us. We welcome comments from readers on the topics discussed above. Just click on the comments button below. This is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind when posting.

Thank you for taking the time to stop by The Daly Planet.

14 comments:

HarpAmy/Amy in FL said...

JD,

How will this affect TWIN as Michael was supposed to be on this week with Greg?

Just wondering?

Daly Planet Editor said...

SPEED is still working on that one, will update it when they decide.

JD

Richard in N.C. said...

JD, Do you think there would be any chance that SPEED might consider doing TWIN live live?

I think I read somewhere weeks ago that Greg B. sold his helicopter.

Daly Planet Editor said...

TWIN has been done live before, but the logistics are being decided right now. Updates in the AM.

stricklinfan82 said...

I'm sorry for the rainout and the fact that most of us will now miss seeing the Truck race live, but I believe justice has been served now that Rick, Phil, Michael, Adam, Krista, and presumably the usual Truck Series production truck will be covering the race.

These individuals (along with the vacationing Ray Dunlap) ARE the identity of the Truck Series on the TV side and they should be doing every truck race that airs on Speed Channel or a sister network like Fox.

Again, this is nothing against Mike, Larry, DW and the Fox Cup gang but to me it's just not right to make the TV faces of the Truck Series sit out 2 races a year just because those two races happen to be on broadcast TV.

Here's hoping that if Fox insists on airing Truck Series races again next year that they will decide to keep the TV identity of the Truck Series intact, and the only difference between a Speed Truck telecast and a Fox Truck telecast is the logo on the scoring crawl and the logos on the microphones.

And here's also hoping that no one gets hurt on Monday on that dangerous pit road with the ridiculous Truck Series pit road rules in effect.

majorshouse said...

I will definitely try to remember to watch the race on Monday and am happy that it will be the Speed vrew doing it instead of the Fox crews because they make the races fun.

Anonymous said...

I turned on my TV shortly after the race was to start and my station wasm running infomercials that continued all afternoon. The station was in the Bristol, TN area.

BToS JD said...

This is off subject, but what happened to the 'Garage Cam' that nascar.com had last season on the website?

I used that to determine the current weather in the garage area on practice and race days before TV coverage began.

I'm a bit late in congratulating you, but it's great to see 'The Daly Planet' back in business, JD.

midasmicah said...

Just wondering. I know nas$car is a made for tv event nowdays, but why couldn't they have switched the truck qualifying with the cup qualifying. The sport has become so rigid nowdays that any idea that's out of the box is ignored.

Daly Planet Editor said...

BToS,

That has been gone for a while now. I enjoyed it, especially when the TV networks coverage was not on the air.

micah,

There are tons of logistics behind the scheduled events. On the TDP side, they include TV and radio coverage that has been sold in advance to advertisers.

We went though this discussion in the past with the rain and NASCAR said it is going to keep the current policies in effect for the rest of the season.

JD

Dot said...

JD, I think I solved the mystery why Kyle P is at the track.

When they were here in LV, I saw Kyle P at Sam's Town. They were doing the charity auction. If they do this at all the races, maybe that's why he's there. Can someone verify?

Heard that Kurt Busch is on WT.

Anonymous said...

Has Fox ever delt honestly about the rain situatuion? They sugar coat the state of the weather, like NASCAR did the state of the industry during the offseason.

Fox has no respect for the TV viewers time. They don't deserve to broadcast anymore races.

Gymmie said...

@stricklinfan--agreed! I loved it a few years back when NBC was still carrying the races. They thought they'd be "funny" and preempt the October Charlotte Busch race that was scheduled for TNT. The plan was to run it at its time and then play it the next AM on delay. I mean the 18 billion replays of L&O couldn't be preempted ya know. But Mother Nature heard the cries of us fans and it rained so they had to do a double header on Saturday *giggle*. I don't think any cars ever hit the track.

Yes that was my argument too...as much as I love my YUMYUM and love every second I see of him, the Pick 'em Ups crew DESERVES to do the Fox races. It's only 2 freakin' races!

@Dot---that would make sense. I know he's doing something with Rutledge for the VJGC maybe that's what it's about. I joined the Facebook page but really hadn't looked into it much...need to do that.

@anon 12:16--what are you talking about? Fox stayed on the air and tried to entertain us until NA$CAR made the official call. What did you want them to do?

Anonymous said...

It'll be interesting next weekend for the races here Texas. The local DFW area stations are predicting 60% chance of rain for Sunday. We've had some really wicked storms barrel through lately, too.