Monday, August 17, 2009
What A Week For "NASCAR Now"
It was a spicy mix of panelists on the Monday edition of NASCAR Now. Boris Said, Ricky Craven and ESPN reporter Angelique Chenglis have mixed it up in the past and did so again this week.
Host Allen Bestwick is great at keeping the flow going and the pace crisp. From the start, all three panelists had different opinions on a variety of topics surrounding the Sprint Cup Series race from MIS.
Chengelis chastised crew chief Alan Gustafson for taking a fuel risk that ultimately cost Mark Martin a lot more than the race win. Said pointed to the fact that Gustafson's big picture should have been The Chase. Craven said the team was right to go for it, having won on fuel mileage in the past.
Said has come a long way this season and thinks before he talks. This has made his opinions a lot easier to swallow. He still maintains his own point of view and often differs with the journalists on the panel. Craven is still the top NASCAR studio analyst on TV and his comments are thoughtful and concise.
The Monday roundtable show has become the foundation from which the NASCAR Now franchise has flourished. During this time of the year, ESPN also adds a late night Sunday wrap-up show to the weekly series. Meanwhile, the weekday shows get a big jump-start this week with a trip to the White House.
After hosting the Tuesday show, Nicole Manske heads off to Washington DC for what may be the best promotion for The Chase that NASCAR has ever planned. President Obama will be meeting with a large group of present and former drivers and NASCAR personalities.
The ESPN contingent includes Dale Jarrett, Rusty Wallace, Marty Smith and Brad Daugherty. These festivities will result in a special one-hour edition of NASCAR Now at 4:30PM on Wednesday. Cable listings do not reflect this schedule change, so viewers who want to record the program may have to do so manually.
ESPN is quick to point out that this is the first regularly scheduled ESPN program to originate from the White House in the thirty year history of the company.
There should be plenty for Manske to discuss when she returns to the air at 5PM on Thursday from the ESPN2 studios. Wednesday night features Whelen Modified and Camping World Truck Series races from the other Bristol. Hopefully, NASCAR Now will open the doors and include highlights from what may be the best race of the year, the mods.
Friday, Manske continues her hosting duties and slips a quick half-hour show in at 7PM after Sprint Cup qualifying and before the Nationwide Series race. Depending on how long qualifying actually takes, Manske may be providing nothing more than a quick update. This show will have to be live.
The NASCAR Now week ends with a very long Saturday. The preview hour airs at a special time of 9AM. Ricky Craven will join Manske on the set while Angelique Chengelis and Marty Smith will report from Bristol, TN. While Craven and Manske head for brunch, ESPN will get ready for the big night race at 6:30PM.
After the race, that whole NASCAR Now gang will be joined by the ESPN announce team as they put together the late night wrap-up show scheduled to air at 9PM Pacific/12AM Eastern on Saturday night. This has proven to be a very good show for fans to record and contains lots of original interviews.
All in all, this is quite a week for NASCAR Now. The Monday show set a great tone, but it will be the White House visit that certainly has the potential to be memorable for a wide variety of reasons.
TDP welcomes your comments on these topics. To add your opinion, just click on the comments button below. This is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind when posting. Thanks for taking the time to stop by.