Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Ralph Sheheen And Double-File Restarts Save Loudon


The biggest story of Sunday was supposed to be the threat of rain. As it turned out, rain was the last thing on the minds of the TV crew at the start of the telecast.

Play-by-play announcer Bill Weber had been involved in an incident at his hotel late Friday night and had been sent home. TNT did a great job of hiding that issue until Sunday morning, when (click here) this brief statement was released.

Weber's absence caused some changes in the on-air line-up. Pit road reporter Ralph Sheheen is a TV veteran and he was asked to move into the play-by-play position for this event. Unofficially, the Weber suspension is for one race. We will pass along Weber's status for the upcoming Dayonta event when TNT makes it official.

TNT's own Marc Fein expanded his duties from hosting the one hour pre-race show to handling everything right up to the green flag. He hosted NASCAR on TNT Live with Kyle Petty and Larry McReynolds and then handled the Countdown to Green show with Wally Dallenbach.

Fein has come a very long way from his first season of NASCAR coverage. On this Sunday, Fein bridged the gap left by Weber and handled the entire pre-race like a pro. While TNT never even mentioned Weber, the professional approach to the pre-race telecast set the tone for the race coverage.

Several weeks ago, Sheheen was the guest host on This Week in NASCAR on SPEED. After a couple of minutes, his presence was not an issue. Like a good basketball referee, Sheheen lets others have their time in the spotlight and just works to keep order.

On this day, it was apparent that Petty and Dallenbach were going to experience a very different on-air dynamic than Weber brings to the table. Sheheen was consistent from the start with his calling of the action and ability to let both analysts speak their mind. It was certainly a breath of fresh air.

Petty and Dallenbach continue to present a very different kind of commentary. Two very distinctive personalities have managed to blend into an enjoyable TV presence. One key to their success is the continual information provided to the booth by Larry McReynolds from the infield.

TNT allows all the members of the TV team to speak freely. This allows the pit reporters to interact with McReynolds in the infield as well as the trio in the announce booth. This race had the potential early to be another slip and slide COT event. Then, the restarts and the commercials began.

After some early boredom, a pattern emerged that should be validated when the TV commercial totals are posted over at cawsandjaws.com on Monday. TNT was just forcing commercial breaks into this telecast early on. The situation was similar to last year's race, where we questioned if this had something to do with the upcoming Wide Open coverage from Daytona.

TNT's remaining pit reporters hustled to get the stories and things worked out well on pit road. The triple-splits on the pit stops really served to show fans the various strategies and ESPN should have taken notice. With so much passing on pit road under caution, this coverage was critical.

Petty is not afraid to speak his mind and he did so once again from start to finish. He has worked very hard to invite NASCAR fans to have fun during this six race stretch. In addition to riding his motorcycle to this event, Petty continually communicated with the fans directly via Twitter as did Marc Fein during the race.

NASCAR's new restart rules injected just the right touch of excitement into this race and created stories for the TV team that lasted long after each new restart. This new dynamic lent itself to fans getting more interested in who was where because now it actually mattered.

Rain continued to be a threat, but TNT followed the lead of other NASCAR TV partners and did not update the weather radar once the race was underway. In NASCAR's TV world, viewers only know the rain is falling when the caution flag comes out.

In the end, the Logano victory will keep fans talking until Daytona and give the sport a week of solid news coverage. TNT debuts the Wide Open commercial-free coverage on Saturday night once again this season. With RaceBuddy and continuous coverage on TV, the next Sprint Cup race may prove to be an elusive look into how NASCAR TV should be, but will apparently never be in the near future.

TDP welcomes comments from readers. Just click on the comments button below to add your opinion on this topic. This is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind when posting. Thanks for taking the time to stop by.

Follow us on Twitter.com at @TheDalyPlanet.

76 comments:

Ryan said...

I really thought Ralph did a nice job under tough circumstances...The fact that we are not bashing him at all means he provided the perfect amount of excitement and traffic controlling needed to call a Sprint Cup race...That being said, TNT really needs to think about extending so the post-race interviews can be covered....Would have been a nice touch

Jack from PA said...

I had a feeling Ralph would deliver, and he did just that. The booth had its moments of dead air, but I think that is expected. Just think, about 48 hours ago Ralph had no idea he'd be the booth announcer. I believe he has play-by-play experience from Motocross on SPEED?

Yet again, another TNT broadcast that beats the pants off of ANY FOX race from this year. It seemed there was a slight increase of commercials, but nothing like FOX. Wally and Kyle are great together, and with Larry Mac feeding them info and offering his insights, it's almost hard as a play-by-play announcer to screw up the broadcast.

I found the racing to be pretty good for New Hampshire. Not sure if it was the high number of restarts or what, but it was a good race, would have liked to have seen it go all the way, but am happy to see Logano score his first win (this from a Gordon fan).

All in all, a great job by TNT as a whole, but definite kudos to Ralph for doing a fantastic job given the circumstances.

Andy Marquis said...

TNT,

PLEASE KEEP RALPH IN THE BOOTH!

glenc1 said...

it did get better, both the race & the analysis.

when you have MRN on, though (at a race) they have this phrase 'mikes are hot'...somebody didn't get that memo at TNT...it was sort of amusing ('this will be a Kyle bash') but should not have been happening...

Ralph was good. I'm not a Weber fan, so I'd be just as happy with him up there permanently.

There were some really funny moments up there; they did seem to be having an exceptionally good time. Maybe no Weber loosened them up.

Dot said...

If we can't get rid of JP, there's no chance of a booth replacement at TNT. For short notice, Ralph did a great job. Good combo. Keeping up with KP on Twitter fills in a lot of blanks.

The race was good during the DFRs. I just hate rain called races. I don't know what NASCAR can do but, they need to be consistent when it's past half way and the rains come.

There was no reason that Reut had to suffer 2 hours to wait to be called the winner. Yeah, I'm still bitter. Joey was in the right place at the right time. Good for him.

@ glenc1, I think they forgot to treat the mike as always hot. Just like guns need to be treated as always loaded. That was my Twitter reference.

Anonymous said...

Dot Said...

There was no reason that Reut had to suffer 2 hours to wait to be called the winner. Yeah, I'm still bitter. Joey was in the right place at the right time. Good for him.


Lowe's Motor Speedway has lights and NHMS doesn't. Waiting for the weather to clear wasn't an option,at Lowe's it was.

Anonymous said...

I cannot believe we haven't seen a Tweet from Jenna Fryer, seeing as she's the one who gets the gossip first and then Tweets about it. I'm surprised no word from her on the Bill Weber situation.

stricklinfan82 said...

Major kudos to Ralph Sheheen for stepping in and doing a great job under such short notice and difficult circumstances.

I was very disappointed though that the TNT network decided to completely ignore the Bill Weber situation. I wasn't able to watch the race live and as such avoided the Internet so the outcome wouldn't be spoiled, so I was completely shocked when I saw that he wasn't there and that it went with absolutely no acknowledgement on the air. I'm just thankful to know now that something serious didn't happen to him or his family.

I recall Marc Fein at Sonoma saying something along the lines of "I was always taught growing up that when there's an elephant in the room the first thing you should do is introduce him". That certainly didn't happen today. I respect Mr. Weber's privacy in this matter and completely understand the decision not to disclose the specific details of the incident. I'm just dumbfounded as to why we couldn't have been given even as much as a very simple generic statement like the release JD quoted on this site.

I was also disappointed that TNT completely danced around the rain issue all day long. I was completely shocked to read the actual forecast reports on the Internet after the fact when I had just watched a broadcast that, if I remember correctly, started with some generic graphic like "slight chance of rain late in the day".

Finally, it was another colossal disappointment to have NASCAR and these TV networks rob the fans of yet another completed race with another ridiculously late start time. To put it quite bluntly these shortened NASCAR races are a complete farce and starting any 3 1/2 hour race at a track without lights at 2:15 PM local time is completely moronic.

It's long since been time for NASCAR to adopt the MLB playoff rules and run every event to its completion no matter what. I have a strong suspicion that if NASCAR and TV suddenly had that BS "halfway is an offical race" rule removed they would instantly start applying some common sense when scheduling these races.

It's a terrible shame that this TV-driven agenda for ridiculously late starting times is robbing the real NASCAR fans of seeing real races and that nobody from NASCAR or TV seems to care. Instead they each seem quite content filling their sports program block / fulfilling their obligation of sending the paying customers home having seen "an official race" and don't seem to care about the very sour taste they keep leaving in the fans' mouths.

Scott said...

Since NASCAR fans are stupid I guess none of us noticed that the name Bill Weber was not brought up at all on the broadcast. I really didn't miss Weber because I think he's annoying and an antagonistic personality, but it would have been nice to at least acknowledge that he wasn't there for whatever reason they wanted to give. I think Ralph did a great job under the circumstances. TNT needs to skip the 90 minute pre-race and stick around for a few minutes for post race so that you know what happened in the race and get to hear from some of the drivers.

PammH said...

Funny, very few comments tonite...maybe because it was a pretty good broadcast, except for the extended amt of commls. Booth sounded like they were having a ball & us fans like that ALOT!! They didn't talk down to us, treated us fans like we knew racing..all in all-it was a treat! And we didn't have to "look it up, because someone else did".

Darren said...

Use to be, I would dread the TNT stretch of the schedule. Now, I'm gonna hate to see them go.

Fox has absolutely screwed their NASCAR coverage up beyond belief. If they approached the NFL in the same manor they do NASCAR, all ****would break loose!

So, major congrats to TNT for doing a most excellent job thus far this year.

TexasRaceLady said...

To be honest, I really didn't notice the commercials because I was having too much fun with Ralph, Wally, and Kyle.

This may not have been a great race, but the guys in the booth made it fun.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 8:32PM,

Jenna Fryer was not at the race on Sunday. She no longer travels to all the Sprint Cup weekends.

JD

Anonymous said...

Make Weber's suspension permanent and keep Ralph in the booth for good. He did a great job. Bill Weber is quite annoying and TNT may have found a top notch replacement today.

brad said...

it's great that fans have different perspectives on issues during a race. Today shrub had an incident that was questionable. some fans think it was a racing deal and they are called "marks" for shrub. others think the whole deal was his fault and they are "haters". 2 former drivers doing the broadcast called it a racing deal and the 2 former drivers on victory lane said he need to be patient and calm down. I love the fact that we can watch the same thing and have such different opinions about a situation or drivers. At the end of the day we all have our favorites and what we believe is right or wrong. Whether we like a specific broadcast or broadcasters we all come back every week to see what happens next. just keep supporting Nascar.

Dot said...

Who dictates start times, TV, track or NASCAR? If they know that rain could be an issue, start the race earlier if they're no lights at the track. What would've happened if there was a long red flag for a wreck instead of rain? I know, same ending.

I forgot to factor in the 3 hr time difference and didn't realize the late start time for NH. It wouldn't kill me to watch a race @ 10AM PDT.

Re: the pre race shows. Balance them out to show a longer post race.

@ Strick, Bravo.

@ TRL, ditto.

Haus14 said...

This could be the break that Ralph needed. He was very good.

Anonymous said...

TNT's team didn't miss a beat. What a treat it was to have Ralph Sheheen on instead of Webber. It would be a great change if TNT sees fit to do so.

Marcie said...

Any chance we can get Ralph for the remaining TNT events?? Please! If TNT listens to the fans we will.

Anonymous said...

Loved Ralph in the booth - he did a great job and knows what he is talking about. The show wasn't a let's see if I can talk over you like it is with Weber. Wever doesn't know a thing about racing and the show was much better without him. Love the Wally and Kyle combo also.

Keep up the good work, unfortunately you are only on for a few races.

Anonymous said...
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SallyB said...

TNT did another stellar job of showing the race today. The guys in the booth were having such a good time while watching what was actually happening ON THE TRACK (not what someone decided
the 'script' was for the day)that I felt involved. Not only that, no one had to explain yet again what 'loose' or 'tight' as if their audience had never seen a race before. Thanks for a great broadcast, and treating the fans with respect.

Anonymous said...

What does it say about Jerry Punch that a guy can come into the booth on short notice with little-to-no play-by-play experience and still be 10x more exciting and interesting than ESPN's Dr?

TexasRaceLady said...

@Anon, 10:14

Ding, ding, ding, we have a winner!

You are sooooooo right.

Wisconsin Steve said...

Sheheen did a very nice job in the booth today, but I look forward to Weber's return. His prerace show is the best on tv and his play-by-play style appeals to me.

Congrats to Logano. Always good to see nice guys win.

Anthony said...

Ralph Sheheen was awesome! I'd rather him over Bill any day!

Still curious as to JUST what happened with Weber though...

Brian said...

Ralph was amazing. You could tell they were having a great time, and it was awesome to watch. One of the best TNT telecasts every. I could go with this lineup until the end of the year... never though I'd say too bad TNT will be gone soon.

I hope TNT listens and keeps Ralph in the booth.

Anonymous said...
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AndyW said...

Ralph Sheheen was fantastic in the booth this afternoon. I've never been a fan of Weber as a play by play man, and was incredibly disappointed when NBC/TNT pulled Bestwick in favor of Weber a few years ago. TNT would be very smart to put Ralph in on a permanent basis, this race was much more enjoyable to listen to than anything Bill Weber has ever been a part of.

bevo said...

Great job by Sheheen on such short notice. He struck the right balance; often you see someone either lay out and let everyone else run wild or come in and dominate the presentation.

The first half was very sloppy from a technical standpoint. Missed cues, bad audio and hot mics. Sadly the audio problems got even worse at the end.

The Wood brothers feature was excellent and the overall pre-race tone continues to be top-notch.

Count me as one of those who miss having a post-race show. I will not go to NASCAR.com after the incident last year with the two yahoos who host it and the fine people at Jack Daniel's telling me to stuff it if I didn't like it. Knob Creek has my money now :)

Haus14 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Haus14 said...

Sheheen traded in his fire suit for his business suit. Hopefully TNT noticed that he can wear either one quite well.

Jojaye said...

Ralph did really well & I too, hope he stays. If he doesn't maybe bspn could get him... nah who am I kidding.
The broadcast was really good today

For those who hate rain&racin, well next weekend is Daytona. What moron would schedule an outdoor event that depends on no rain in the afternoon in Florida in the summer? NASCAR

I really hope I'm wrong about it.

Dot said...

@ Jo, you are right, only NASCAR.

I read elsewhere that according to the Dept of Agriculture, NH has rain every June and July. Yet they still schedule the first race in June. I know weather forecasting is a crap shoot but, look how many races are rain shortened at Loudon.

Maybe NH only needs one race. As does MI and Pocono.

Jojaye said...

@Dot - Daytona only needs 1 IMHO however the France family owns it so...

Charlie said...

@jojaye The Daytona race next week is on Saturday July 4th with a start time of 8:15pm Florida time.

Jojaye said...

@Charlie - ummm... it rains afternoons,till sunset and after. I live in Florida, sister is in Orlando. Trust us it rains in Florida - dang near daily this time of year. ; )

West Coast Diane said...

DFR's - Best NASCAR decision to date. Even my husband enjoyed the race because of them. So much more intense and great to see the leaders racing one another.

When a track has no lights, an earlier starting time should be mandatory!

I'll give Ralph a pass since it was short notice. He seemed to struggle and there were many "crickets chirping" moments. When he was engaged with Wally, KP and Larry he fit in great. However, as far as calling the race I would prefer Bill. Then again, it was last minute for Ralph so I would give him another opportunity.

OT - Saw some posts about RD and VL. I totally agree. I can't watch anymore. Jimmy and Kenny have worn out their welcome. The TNT pre race show should be an example. Great personal interest stories. Mixture of serious and fun without the wacky, goofy and unintelligent comments. JR and Wendy and Hermie are great. Cut RD to an hour and use the 3 of them. VL...bring them back. If JR can do both so can Hermie and Wendy. Or hey, what about Krista!

RobFromCanada said...

Once again..even with the double-file restarts...it was a bit of a parade/procession borefest except for the snooze breaking crashes(thankfully noone was hurt)
Its a problem that also affecting Indy with spec cars..the cars are basically identical and because of that your gonna get just a parade with very little change.
back in the "good old days" (pre-1998-ish) the cars has shape and semblence of what you purchased at the lot..and because of that..diff makes had pluses and minues..for instance..the 90's t-bird was a rocket on the straights in clean air..the chev's were king in the banked corners and alot was due to body shape..then nascar in thier severe lack of wisdom decided over time to go spec cars..now..racing has disappeared...like the Indy race at Richmond..spec cars dont race..they just go around in circles like choo-choo train.

On a lighter note..it was VERY noticable that Bill Weber was absent..and that was a big plus..i love the TNT team..they are the most fun and least obnoixious of all the broadcast teams for nascar..but Webber was a downer..am happy he wasnt there..Ralph and the boys did a great job..a couple of fluffs and stutters..but otherwise..they kept me informed and entertained.

Anonymous said...

I,too felt that Sheheen did his usual great job. He filled in recently for Steve Byrnes on Twin and was much more focused leading the show. I thought Wally and Kyle were not as crisp as they were at Sonoma. I've never fully accepted Wally due to his lack of any kind of success in Nascar. The lack of a real post-race show was again annoying. Its like everyone wants to just go home. Spencer/Wallace have ruined VL. Substituting Herme and ANYONE else would be an improvement. I do enjoy, though watching Kenny's hair transplants grow!

rob stiens said...

wow..a tnt broadcast i actually liked..i dreaded having to sit threw another bill weber broadcast, he is so much smarter than all of us..that i even told my friend about the countdown to abc so i didn t have to listen to him..i would listen to sirius play by play if it were not for kyle..but man ralph great job man..please tnt listen to the fans..keep ralph dump weber..is there a way to let tnt know?
rob stiens

Anonymous said...

TNT really is doing a great job. I hope everyone learns a little from them.FOX,DW?? Ralph Shaheen did a good job, but lets not put him in the broadcasting hall of fame just yet.I also believe the last 3 rain shorten races at NHMS would have finished the entire race if the race started at 1pm like they used to instead of stupidly waiting until 2:15 or so.NASCAR needs to return to the start times that worked very well for years.

Anonymous said...

I think the broadcasters should look at rotating announcers on a regular basis. Fox has access to Mike Joy, Steve Byrnes, Dave Despain, Bob Varsha and Rick Allen who all have play by play experience. ESPN has Dr. Punch, Bestwick and Marty Reid, TNT has Webber and Sheheen. Sheheen is an excellent announcer, he used to do play by play for TNN and is a go to guy at Speed. I think a rotating crew of announcers is something that could be done to keep the announcing fresh and exciting. TNT has done some wonderful work this year and it is frustrating to see the massively talented Fox crew get as stagnant as they were at the end of their season. ESPN is often on the negative end of the spectrum, bogged down with Dr. Punch's well documented struggles and Marty Reid's hit and miss style.

There is room for improvements at all the broadcasting teams and the improvements could be minor, but the pay off could be major.

Keith said...

I had to watch the TV with the sound off. Kyle Petty needs to understand that he doesn't have to fill every second of on-air time by constantly restating the obvious.

GinaV24 said...

I thought Ralph did a nice job. I'm not a big fan of Weber's so I don't miss him in the least. If Weber doesn't come back, that's fine with me.

TNT's commercial overload was very annoying. Good thing there was racebuddy because otherwise I would have gone back outside to do yardwork.

The double file restarts do add excitement but they also cause wrecks (as Jeff Burton pointed out). Although I'm happy for Logano getting his first win, the potential excitement of a finish between Gordon, Busch and Stewart made this a letdown when the rain came.

I hate the truncated post-race! I am making a point of NOT tuning in for all the pre-race junk.

Anonymous said...

did not miss weber at all
i'm told he has had a few "moments" with his crew
apparently he's a a hot head, a baby, and whenever he does not get his way throws a fit
complete non-professional
by by bill weber

MRM4 said...

Weber must have gotten himself into some deep trouble if they canned him for a race and didn't say much about what happened.

I sure do wish TNT had more than just 6 races. Fox is about selling shirts and toys and the ESPN bunch is just plain boring.

50 yr. fan said...

I agree with Stricklin on the
scheduling. NA$CAR is stupid to
delay the start when it summer
rains always build in late afternoon. It also shows no consideration for the fans in the
stands who have to fight traffic
and drive major distances to get
back home to face Monday.

Anonymous said...

To TPTB at TNT, PLEASE dump Weber and keep Ralph!! Yesterday's broadcast was the only one I've truly enjoyed since TNT started covering Cup races.

Mary
Richmond, VA

LuckyForward said...

I did not miss Bill Weber at all!

Zieke said...

Sounds like Webber got in over his head. Compared to Fox, all of TNT is much better, so whoever they have doing a race is welcome. Keep up the good work TNT.

Anonymous said...

Even tho my driver (Reed) got burnt in the rain delay, I had so much fun with Ralph, Wally, Kyle and Larry Mac. They were having a ball and it was a great time for all.

Let Weber go!

Wes Brown said...

I have to be honest. I've never cared for Sheheen. Not that I feel he's bad at his job, just didn't click with me.

That being said, I was VERY impressed with his work Sunday. That was a very tough situation to step into and he did a solid job. Was there room for improvement? Sure, but give him a week to prep and I bet you see it.

Even more so than what Sheheen brought from his own talent...the entire booth seemed loose and fun. Kyle is always refreshing, but Wally was entertaining as well.

I'd really like to see them get another run.

RonFWNC said...

Sheheen did great, particularly under the difficult circumstances. I have nothing against Bill Weber's work, but Sheheen's performance was good enough to merit consideration for the lead role in subsequent broadcasts.

I'm happy for Logano and I have no patience for those who think a strategy-based victory is somehow devalued, but I thought the race itself was fairly dull.

Terry said...

I thought Ralph did a great job! I was really glad to see that Weber wasn't anywhere to be found yesterday. I'm extremely curious as to exactly what happened, though, to make TNT can him for one race.

Geeze said...

These guy's did a great job. Ralph was a big improvement. There has been grumbling elsewhere about their "eekk" "acck" "oh" comments during on track incident's, but I like it. It seems that they really enjoy being there.

darcin5261 said...

Anyone with even a modicum of intelligence knows that later in the day, thunderstorms and rain showers happen later in the afternoon. If Nascar had started the race earlier than 2:15 local time, they could have gotten the race in before the rain. Like I've said before, Nascar's insistence that they need the West Coast viewers and therefore they need to start later doesn't hold water. The NFL has absolutely no problem with start times of 1pm for their football games, and the West Coasters don't seem to have a problem tuning in when their teams play on the East Coast. But I'm getting sick and tired of two things: canceled qualifying because Nascar refuses to change their schedules and rain shortened races. With stuff like this, Nascar is going to continue to lose fans and viewers. Why travel so far, pay a lot of money for tickets and hotels and then not get what you pay for?

Marylee said...

I just saw the last 50 laps, so didn't realize Weber wasn't there. Will have to watch the tape. I HATE his portentious style, so may enjoy this race.
I was VERY upset with how TNT cut away so fast after the race and thought that would be the focus of this article. I wanted interviews with Kyle Busch, and some of the drivers who thought he wrecked them. But instead, a 10 year old movie!
AND, did anyone else notice how in the "rain interview" with Joey, his mouth didn't match the words????? At least he didn't have to wait as long as Reutimann (and the fans at LMS) to find out he had won!

Kenorv said...

I hope that Sheheen's promotion is permanent. I have always liked him doing play by play whether it's races on Speed or CBS. Like many, I was never a fan of Weber to begin with. I just don't think his style is right for a play by play guy. He's just too dominant in the booth and sometimes he'll be saying stuff that should be coming from Wally or Kyle, or Benny when he was there. It's like he wanted to do both the play by play and the color. Ralph, on the other hand, did a great job of saying nothing more than was necessary and allowing Wally and Kyle to do their thing.

Desmond said...

I agree with your general comments about the race coverage. Ralph was ready to step in with only a few hours' notice and it showed.

However, I am bothered that TNT did not mention Weber's name at all. To say something like "Bill Weber has the week off" is only a matter of courtesy, regardless of the actual circumstances. I know that Turner Sports considers the confrontation to be an internal matter, but this borders on ostracism. If this was some kind of punishment, I hope Bill learns from this and moves on.

As for commercials, they took up almost as much time as the race itself. I also agree that this was front-loading prior to the "Wide Open" telecast next week.

I have a question about the NASCAR.com post-race shows: Are they better than last year, or is it unfortunately the same debacle?

bullitthead said...

I must say I was somewhat surprised when I tuned in at 2 PM and did not hear Bill Weber wrapping up the "Countdown..." show. I surmised that he was out sick (what with the Swine flu pandemic and all), but I found out quite differently once I logged on to TDP to follow the live blog of the race. As others here have already stated, Weber must have really stepped in it this time to get suspended from the broadcast. I have certainly enjoyed Bill's work this year (IMO his best year of Cup PBP), but how ironic would it be if this spot of trouble got him sent back to the pits and replaced by a veteran pit reporter with PBP experience.

I have always enjoyed Ralph Sheheen's work and I thought he did a fine job in the booth yesterday. It will be interesting to see how this moment in the spotlight affects the quality of Ralph's future PBP assignments.

The rest of the TNT broadcast crew did a good job as well (Wally, Kyle and Larry Mac were especially entertaining). I look forward to the upcoming "wide open" coverage of the Firecracker 400 (gotta keep it old school here) as it has the potential to be the best race broadcast of the year.

Anonymous said...

HEARING BILL WEBER WAS FIRED
TURNER EXECUTIVES FLEW TO NH
HAD HIM PACK HIS BAGS AND LEAVE
HE WILL NOT BE BACK ON TURNER
HIS UNPROFESSIONAL CONDUCT WAS THE SOLE REASON - NON TEAM PLAYER - ABUSIVE TO OTHERS - BASICALLY HIS NASCAR TV CAREER IS OVER

Joe from Pittsburgh said...

Well this is interesting concerning Bill Weber. Wasnt it Allen Bestwick that had sustained injuries playing rec hockey a few years back that enabled Bill Weber to get in the booth and forcing Bestwick into the pit road/infield role?

Anonymous said...

I liked the TV coverage and thought Kyle was sometimes hilarious. Made it enjoyable. Still feels like watching a race with friends. I really dreaded coverage by TNT, based on last year, but cheerfully admit I was wrong. Do wish, however, they had mentioned the rain coming because it would have added to the suspense. Love the double file restarts!

Anonymous said...

They need to put Bestwick back in the booth. Weber is terrible.

Gymmie said...

@Charlie--yup like Jo stated it's generally in the afternoons which is why we were running at Daytona in July a couple of years back at 2 am! It was delayed due to rain. I think it was actually over by 1 am but by all was said and done it was 2 am. I was at a shingding so had everything recorded.

Ralphie did a great job. He had some moments trying of quietness as he allowed Kyle or Wally to speak when he thought they might have something to add. But it was NOTHING like the *crickets* that we get with DJP.

I hope he gets more opportunities to shine :)

Anonymous said...

Add me to the list of people who thinks Weber should have replaced a long time ago. Maybe this is exactly what needed to happen to move him aside. I really miss Allen Bestwick but Ralph did a good job too. He sounds confident, Weber sounded angry and forced.

Anthony said...

I don't think that TNT had any extra commercials than normal, but they do typically have more than FOX or especially ABC.

I do, however, think that the commercial load was heavy not just because of Daytona next week but also because there weren't quite as many at Infineon (at least IMO).

It sure will be nice not having all those commercials next week!

Fran said...

It was like watching the race with a small group of friends. Great chemistry!

Karen said...

I've always thought Bill Weber was a pompous a$$. Really like Ralph and his raspy voice. When Kyle, Wally and Larry Mac were talking about crew chiefs and their place in the food chain, they had me cracking up.

Rain and T-storms today in Orlando from 4:00-5:30 and about an hour ago but not too hard.

I also agree with darbar about cancelling Q'ing. I hate when that happens and expect it to happen again this week. Rain chance all week 60%, then 40% Friday and Saturday.

diane said...

Jayski is reporting the Ralph will be calling Daytona. Yeah!

David said...

Weber OUT for Daytona. Wow. Fired may have some merit here...

Karen said...

Best news I've heard in a long time.

Ron said...

Is there any chance we get Sheheen in the booth for the last 2 TNT races?

Daly Planet Editor said...

We are going to wait for the official TNT update before saying anything.

No clue where Bowles got that info.

JD

Anonymous said...

diane, just a clarification on Jayski...when he puts up a link that says 'Tom Bowles says', it's not Jayski that's saying it....he's merely reporting the report, if that makes sense. Occasionally we'll get one of the 'hearing that...' or 'sources say' type rumors where he can't say where he got it, but if there is a link, I try and use that. Jay's not just making this stuff up himself, and he would probably tell you he's not always right.