Friday, June 26, 2009

SPEED's Steve Byrnes Earning His Money On Friday


Once veteran broadcaster Mike Joy ends his NASCAR season, Steve Byrnes steps into the play-by-play position for the SPEED coverage of Sprint Cup Series practice and qualifying sessions. It seems only fitting that Byrnes gets to stand in Joy's footprints once Digger and friends have left the scene.

Byrnes has been around in the sport a long time, as his Wiki page will attest. He and I have in common stints at the old Sunbelt Video in Charlotte, NC. That club also includes Bill Weber, Randy Pemberton, Ned Jarrett and countless NASCAR TV production folks.

Friday, Byrnes will be "the show" on SPEED as the network launches a full day of coverage from Loudon, NH. After John Roberts warms-up the crowd with NASCAR Live at 11:30AM, Byrnes starts his day at noon with Sprint Cup Series practice.

As usual, Byrnes will be joined by Jeff Hammond and Larry McReynolds. This trio has fun and keeps things in a healthy perspective during the SPEED coverage. Hammond is a very different person when free from the Hollywood Hotel and McReynolds continues to be the hardest working TV guy in NASCAR by far.

The same telecast teams stays in place as the Nationwide Series cars take to the track at 1:30PM for practice. A new slew of cars and drivers has not been a problem for the SPEED crew this season and the Nationwide Series gets the attention and respect it deserves from this TV team.

The big show is on the air at 3PM with Sprint Cup Series qualifying. Once again, Byrnes will be anchoring the coverage. SPEED has perfected the art of covering qualifying by giving each car TV time and covering each run equally. McReynolds is especially good at helping viewers to understand what each team is trying to accomplish and where they stand on qualifying efforts throughout the season.

Where the overall production really shines is during "knockout Cup qualifying." For lack of a better term, the go-or-go-home cars battle it out at the end of the session. Sometimes, these are legitimate teams trying to make the field and run the race. Sometimes, the bottom-feeders are battling strictly for start-and-park dollars.

Byrnes caps the night by anchoring Trackside on SPEED at 7PM. Once again, McReynolds and Hammond are along for the ride. Elliott Sadler is the fourth panelist and this week's guests are Matt Kenseth and Brian Vickers. This show comes from the SPEED Stage at each Sprint Cup Series track and attracts a darn good crowd.

That puts Byrnes at right about the six or seven hour mark in on-air presence for Friday alone. After that long day, he gets to return on Saturday and start SPEED's coverage off once again with Sprint Cup Series practice at 9AM ET.

This post will serve to host your TV-related comments on the Friday coverage on SPEED from Loudon, NH. To add your opinion, just click 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.

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

Some great clips of a very young Steve Byrnes with Dale Sr at this link:
http://www.cmt.com/movies/dale/clips.jhtml

It's about halfway down the list and worth watching if you are a TWIN fan.

Dot said...

@ Anon 10:58, thanks for the link.

I love Steve. He fits in all situations. Trackside, TWIN, the booth, interviews. He deserves every penny he makes.

I'll be watching SPEED all day tomorrow. I'm fizzed up. Only to go flat on Saturday for the NW race.

Gymmie said...

<3 Steve too! He rocks. He was/is Totally NA$CAR I miss that show and while Krista was good it just wasn't the same without him.

I remember when for one of the Sears Point races Steve went to PE and helped Kyle decal the car he was to drive. The King was impressed but told them not to quit their day job and the guys at the shop fixed it all nice and purdy :).

Anonymous said...

Wow, he is going to work 8-10 hours.....wonder how many of us do that 5 or or more days in a roww???!!!!

Anonymous said...

Trackside is becoming like Raceday for me:Unwatchable.
The reason is they went from having fun, to allowing the sponsors dictate who are guests on the show to further "agendas". Richard Childress last week to shill Cheerios, etc. Tonights' guests with Vickers and Kenseth has nothing to do with performance on the track, I guarantee.

Zieke said...

I've found that I can watch Raceday and Trackside for their entertainment value as long as I like the people. It's obvious that the drivers and occasionally an owner have to shill their sponsors somewhat, but nothing is as pathetic as the Waltrips, so take the good while we have it.

MikeC said...

Here's the latest weather forecast for the NHMS area this weekend:

This Afternoon: Showers and thunderstorms likely after 1pm. Some of the storms could produce small hail and gusty winds. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 80. Southwest wind around 7 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.

Saturday: Showers likely. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 72. North wind between 3 and 6 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible.

Sunday: Showers likely. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 67. East wind between 5 and 7 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible.

Lou said...

"SPEED's Steve Byrnes Earning His Money On Friday"

The iron man of speed today. it will be a long weekend for him. but you can tell he enjoys this. and after decades of covering the sport his enthusiasm needs no explaination.

Lou said...

btw, the link from the first post was good . had never seen it before. thanks. just another side of dale sr that needs to be out there.

West Coast Diane said...

Yea!! SPEED covering Nationwide qualifying tomorrow. Wish it could always be that way. Well if we could wish, guess we wouldn't have ESPN cover any NASCAR racing.

Anonymous said...

Lou said...
btw, the link from the first post was good . had never seen it before. thanks. just another side of dale sr that needs to be out there.

June 26, 2009 12:40 PM

Wonder how people would react if KB responded to reporters that way or joked like that. Bet he would get killed for it and called a brat!

Anonymous said...

Wow, he is going to work 8-10 hours.....wonder how many of us do that 5 or or more days in a roww???!!!!

Funny. But it doesn't reflect reality. When you have to do your job for 10 hours straight while being watched by several million people, get back to us.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Wow, he is going to work 8-10 hours.....wonder how many of us do that 5 or or more days in a roww???!!!!

Funny. But it doesn't reflect reality. When you have to do your job for 10 hours straight while being watched by several million people, get back to us.

June 26, 2009 3:43 PM

Not sure there are several million people off work Friday afternoon-Morning to watch NASCAR Practice an Qualifing on TV??

David said...

I got off work at 6:15 this morning...so actually I did come home from work to watch practice lol.

Working 8-10 hours on the camera is alot, but take in mind what this weekend will be in itself alone. Working all day today, covering happy hour tomorrow, then the race Sunday? Ontop of the countless hours spent during the week off camera preparing, getting stories, finding out information from Sonoma that they may have missed, etc. Im positive he earns his keep far beyond spending this entire day behind the mic on camera.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the previous poster. I met Steve in a coffee shop in Charlotte and he told me that there is so much more to being on-air than many people believe.

hotaru-raganbaby_6 said...

anon 3:54- I only watch 'cause there's not much on Fridays.

I checked the forecast for the weekend a few days ago. All this cancellation today doesn't suprise me. Wouldn't shock me if more rain affects the schedule.

MikeC said...

On a side note I see NASCAR has announced the implementation of double-file restarts in the Nationwide series starting next Friday at Daytona.

Sophia said...

Not to mention Steve and OTHERS spend HOURS traveling and away from home. Maybe not as hard as coal mining but they give up comforts for the sport they love.

I like Steve..always passionate and fun..and CLASSY GUY. Sweetie in my book. Not that I've had dinner with the guy or anything. :)

Gymmie said...

I agree Sophia. There are events/memories they miss that they'll never be able to replace. They try if they can rearrange schedules and such and of course the "big" things (i.e. graduation) they'll be there for. But for kids everything is "big" :(

darcin5261 said...

Nothing was mentioned about Friday's Nascar Now and I really think it was a show we need to discuss.

Early in the show, Massaro discussed JP Montoya and his "points racing" in Sonoma. Shannon Spake was brought on as the "expert" on Montoya and his racing in Nascar. What I found interesting and quite honestly maddening, is this whole points racing fiasco, and NN did not go beyond to saying how "smart" Montoya is by becoming a points racer. This would have been a perfect time for NN to discuss the fact most fans are sick and tired of all this points racing which contributes to the boring racing on the track. But if you believe what was said on NN, you'd believe that points racing to make the Chase is the greatest thing since cheese burgers.

Jeremy Mayfield was also discussed and he was quoted as saying that he does not "understand how or why this is happening to me or my family....but I believe my career will be effectively over if I am forced to sit out the rest of this season. I am afraid that I will have to sell my race team, and I know of no other way to make a living except as a professional race car driver". Nascar also filed affidavits from Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Robbie Gordon saying they are not willing to put their lives on the line with drivers who test positive for drugs that diminish their capacity to drive a race car. But again, this issue was left to die on the vine without discussion. It would have been incredibly interesting to see someone follow up on this by interviewing Johnson, and both Gordons. They missed some great opportunities.

These two issues alone would have greatly benefited from additional discussion and not be allowed to die on the vine. They are both issues that affect not only Nascar as a whole, but holds great interest for fans...a fan base that's shrinking weekly.

Dot said...

Does Steve get paid when he's not in front of the camera?

SPEED showed CUP practice 3 times today and countless NASCAR Smarts shows. Worked out well for the fans who had to work today, they got to catch the reruns. At least they didn't show Pinks, Pimp My Ride and Wrecked all day.

It seems that when I have Friday's off, it rains at the track. I'll talk to my boss about taking Wednesdays off instead. For the good of the sport.

@ dar, for the reasons you mentioned is why I don't kill myself to watch NN other than on Mondays. Shannon Spake as the "expert"? Why not ask a driver past or present, their opinion?
Good post.

Gymmie said...

LOL! Dot :)

Anonymous said...

I think it was cool to hear Matt Kesneth talk about becoming a father again any day and Brian Vickers making his 100th NW start and flying upside down in a helicopter and actually ENJOYING it...didnt see any sales or sponsor ties in their visits with the Trackside guys

Anonymous said...

""I remember when for one of the Sears Point races Steve went to PE and helped Kyle decal the car he was to drive. The King was impressed but told them not to quit their day job and the guys at the shop fixed it all nice and purdy :).""

Actually, that was Kyle Petty and Matt Yocum decaling up a 45 car with a KP Charity Ride wrap for the Kyle Petty Charity Ride kick off. And yes, it was not a great decaling job. ha ha

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