Saturday, March 7, 2009

Sunday's TV Challenge Is Kyle Busch Overload

This theme may be familiar to veteran fans who sat through last season's controversy surrounding Darrell Waltrip and his unabashed feelings for driver Kyle Busch.

Once again this season, the younger Busch brother is going to be front-and-center on the Sunday Fox TV coverage. Busch made a tremendous comeback on Saturday from an ailing transmission to win the Camping World Truck Series race in the closing laps.

While Sunday's pre-race show from the Hollywood Hotel is scripted, things are likely to change once the race coverage gets underway at 2PM. Names like Carl Edwards, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jimmie Johnson are just not making news.

Mark Martin may be on the pole, but all eyes will be on Kyle Busch once the race gets underway. This season, Busch and Earnhardt may be the only two drivers that Fox will regularly update when they are outside of the top fifteen.

Last week the NASCAR on Fox team in the booth talked a lot. Unfortunately, they spent the vast majority of the race talking about the cars in the top five. The best pit road reporters in TV were used sparingly and offered only occasional updates on the rest of the field. In these tough economic times, it would be smart of Fox to provide more than just the scrolling ticker to tell the tale of the full field.

NASCAR VP Robin Pemberton this week addressed an issue that has been ignored by TV for years. This season, "start and park" teams have become a part of all three national series. Pemberton spoke about the teams who focus on qualifying to simply make the race, race for a single fuel run and then retire for the cash.

This Sunday will be a good opportunity for Fox to address the impact of these teams on the sport and how they are forcing good teams who want to run the entire race to go home. Perhaps, the RaceDay on SPEED crew might address this issue as well.

Digger will be back with a pre-race cartoon and the normal in-race animation. This is a high-speed dangerous track, so hopefully fans will only see Digger during the happy moments that do not affect the race directly.

TV Notes:
Fox has decided to jump on the Twitter bandwagon with NASCAR content. The Twitter tag for updated information is NASCAR on Fox.

Kudos to ESPN for dumping the ESPN-only promos from NASCAR Now and actively promoting the CWTS race on Saturday, including the info that it was on SPEED.

It is Championship Week on the ESPN TV networks. Unfortunately, NASCAR gets pushed to the back burner. The popular Monday "roundtable" version of NASCAR Now is not airing until 1AM Tuesday morning due to the abundance of college sports. Although that is 10PM on the West Coast, it is the big East Coast audience that will miss the show. Ricky Craven, Mike Wallace and Ray Evernham join host Allen Bestwick on the Monday show.

No, Chad Knaus will not be on This Week in NASCAR on Monday at 8PM on SPEED. Greg Biffle will join Michael Waltrip and host Steve Byrnes. One feature will profile Greg and his father.

Please join TDP as we live blog the Sprint Cup Series race at 1:30PM Sunday on Fox.

TDP welcomes comments from readers. Just click on the comments button below. This is a family-friendly website, please bear that in mind when posting. Comments may be moderated prior to being added to the site.

Thanks again and happy posting.


Anonymous said...

But Kyle is a Wheel Man ! One of the best I have ever seen.
Would John Daly remember the early ESPN days with Bob & Larry? Camera's really followed something other than a name. They follow the race for 20th with Tommy Ellis plus cover the top race all at the same time.
Today it's follow the big names, saying the same over and over, bite, tires, JR, and cover sponsors.
The real producers and directors cut their teeth with ESPN's Thunder & Auto Racing series. Somebody needs to tell them to go back to what made them who the are.

Kyle deserves everything when he is sawing at the wheel or driving thru a whole. But let him lead and cover the race. Maybe those guys in the booth need bigger tv's to watch. There talking about Jeff's guns or some guffus nothing while somebody is making a move. Watch the TV not the track.

Oh by the way? is this the same John Daly that brought feeds in at ESPN in the early days?

Dot said...

Oh boy, another Kyle love fest tomorrow.

You know we're going to hear about the S&Ps from Jimmy & Kenny.

If I'm not mistaken, I thought I saw that Raceday is over before the FOX prerace. How'd that happen?

DewCr3w88 said...

Heres to ticking off another pre-race. And ticking off another week of digger.

I think Ill likely stick with my combo of turning the race on for the green flag, muting it promptly, and turning on MRN.

Anonymous said...

once again i remind all those to revisit the 2008 daytona 500. dw had nothing good to say about kyle busch. when the various media outlets made compariosn after comparison of kyle and the young dw, then dw jumped on the bandwagon. when it was all about dw, then dw jumped on the shrubby train. again, dw is all about dw. race coverage with no waltrip, is good race coverage.

Anonymous said...

I don't envy the job the crew at Fox has before them. Kyle Busch has become central to the NASCAR story through a combination of incredible talent, great opportunities, and a lot of hard work.And he's getting results.Until someone else emerges, as JJ did in the Chase last year,to become the focus of the race weekend, you have to keep him central to the storyline.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad that NASCAR is taking a long look at the "start and park" drivers. There should be a rule requiring that all drivers make a good faith effort to run the whole race. If NASCAR decides that a team has not made a legitimate effort, they should have all winnings withheld and should be barred from entering a car for at least one race.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Yep Dan, you can email me at anytime.


Newracefan said...

Help I am so confused, my computer says it's 951 my DVR says it's 851. Yes I know the clocks turned ahead but Speed is showing My Classic Car and their web sight says it's Nascar Smarts. I'm worried I totally missed NP since the DVR time is wrong and won't have recorded it.

Anonymous said...

I no longer watch any pre-race programming. When the race comes on, I watch the race on Direct TV with the sound off and listen to the radio on Trackpass. The love affair with Kyle is turning off my love for racing. The coverage of racing is the most biased in the history of racing. Where have all the Ned Jarrett types gone?

Anonymous said...

The reason that Kyle Busch and Earnhardt Jr. gets most of the attention is simple. Whether it is auto racing, politics, professional wrestling, football, Hollywood, etc, the two people who gets the most attention and highest ratings are the most popular and the most unpopular. It is that way and probably always be. To be the most popular or unpopular you have to have a famous name and/or be very good at what you do. It also helps to rub the haters nose in it when you are successful.

Lou said...

I did watch the reair of the truck race overnight on SPEED. Sorry to see KB as the winner. The series does not need that. I still thought the racing and SPEED coverage was good.

Just what I do not want to hear is more KB overload on fox pre race. But then again I have not watched prerace shows this season on fox, since daytona. (it is that gopher stuff.) And as I have recently tuned on the race when the green flag dropped, so I would not have to witness the pre race program. Fox may be trying to stay with a script. But as fan of racing I can see through it.

Anonymous said...

Of course the networks are going after KB. He is off to a historic start (4 wins in all), and everytime he wins in cup, he gets closer to winning a Cup championship. Too bad he did not win last year, he can no longer be the youngest. That will stay with Jeff until Joey tries for it.

As far as Jr goes. Of course the cameras will follow him. Ever go to a race? Ever see him lead a lap? The fans go crazy! As far as popularity goes, he's got about 40% or so of folks who only want to see him.

It's the same on all sports, as was said by Ken. Ratings follow the best or the popular. Life is not fair. The so-so guys will never get the spot light in NASCAR, golf, tennis, NFL, etc. It's not up to Fox to make stars out of every driver.

bevo said...


Just flipped over to Fox Soccer Channel (don't ask why) and they're running a crawl warning of possible loss of signal "due to solar outages". I checked the space weather and solar activity is low. Could this cause problems for the Fox broadcast this afternoon? I'm on DirecTV but the crawl is from FSC, not DirecTV.

Anonymous said...

I gave up! had it with the MWR.NAPA
show. Will turn the TV back on at
race time.
Tks.JD. Ron Il.

Newracefan said...

JD Hope your watching Raceday they gave us a really cool tour of the Fox booth. Who stands where, why, and what they look at.

Vicky D said...

I don't normally enjoy Raceday because of Spencer & Wallace. However, Jimmy had some good points regarding S&P's. Also, I believe we will be watching Fox's lovefest with KB today. Heck with the rest of the cars in the field. There are drivers racing for the 30th spot that still have fans and would just like a glimpse and/or mention of them. Anyway, I don't have much optimism for anything different today.

Dot said...

JD, regarding the S&Ps. If there are only 38 cars in the field, how is the money distributed? Do the drivers make more, or does the extra money go somewhere else?

I can only think that this issue is money driven for the upper food chain and not so much about the odd wad teams. NASCAR didn't seem too concerned about the S&Ps before now.

One more thought. Let's hope that they don't start announcing "Kyle Busch and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series" like they do with "Kobe Bryant and the Lakers".

Ok, one more, THEY do know who is out of the race and why according to the booth tour. I was surprised they said that since they never tell us.

GinaV24 said...

I just had to change the channel from Fox--- too much Kyle and too much Digger.

Newracefan said...

I'm almost embaressed to say I thought this Digger cartoon was pretty funny.

I was totally against Start and Park in cup but after Jimmy's argument not quite as much but I do think that if I was Tommy Baldwin and one of the guys that sent me home parked it I would be pretty po'd.

Vicky D said...

Dot, I thought the same thing today when Mike Joy showed us the booth and mentioned about the cars out of the race. Well why can't they tell us then? With all that technology, why can't they go through the field and give us all the drivers updates.

Newracefan said...

09 appears to have parked it, I wonder if they will let us know. Blaney is 2 laps down, do we know why? At least Travis rated a mention

Vicky D said...

We must have had that solar outage here in Houston on our DirectTV we missed 2nd yellow went from about lap 10 to the green flag.

Newracefan said...

Kurt is spanking the field, this plus a green flag stop or 2 there won't be anyone left on the lead lap.

Thanks Mike for letting us know "why" Bliss out of the race. Overheating can't they just take off some tap or something seems a little lame to me.

Anonymous said...

Kyle B does remind me of Jaws (DW)before Rughead (Rusty) punted him into being a "good guy." Sure did used to have better nicknames.

I have some mixed feelings about Start & Parks. I have a problem faulting those guys that might need the prize from one race in order to be able to afford to actually compete in the next race. It does seem to me that a simple solution might be to require each car in the race to buy oh say 3 or 4 sets of tires and to have a pit crew if more than say 45 cars are entered. I'm not sure S & P's are a real problem if there are only 1 or 2 cars more than a full field entered.