Friday, September 25, 2009

ESPN Working The Dayshift On Saturday

The sports car race is called The Petit Le Mans. It will be shown on SPEED from 11AM to 9PM ET live on Saturday. Needless to say, that means there will be no NASCAR on SPEED from Dover during the dayshift.

Instead, ESPN will offer Nationwide Series qualifying, the Nationwide Series race and finally coverage of Happy Hour for the Sprint Cup Series.

Marty Reid is back on the Nationwide Series this week, but once again he has Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree with him. Those two are pulling double duty in Dover handling all the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series TV. Perhaps, not the best idea.

Reid starts the day on ESPN2 at 10:30AM with Nationwide Series qualifying. As veteran NASCAR fans know, qualifying has not been a strong point for ESPN. The production format eliminates much of the actual on-track action and over-uses graphics and interviews during what should be a singular focus on just one car at a time.

The ESPN pit reporters will join Petree and Jarrett for this program. The weak line-up of the Nationwide Series will be bolstered by the cross-over Sprint Cup drivers. There are eight of them this week. This group has been the consistent emphasis for ESPN with the Nationwide coverage where interviews are concerned. Brad Keselowski may be the lone exception to that rule.

There is a college football game that starts at 12PM on ESPN2 this Saturday. Despite the fact that these games run 3.5 hours, once again the NASCAR Countdown pre-race show is scheduled for only three hours after kickoff. Luckily, ESPN Classic has a wonderful marathon of the New American Sportsman in progress at that time. Fans may well see the Nationwide Series pre-race show on Classic.

NASCAR Countdown will be Allen Bestwick along with Brad Daugherty and Rusty Wallace live from the Infield Pit Studio. During the last race, these three offered more enthusiasm and entertainment than Reid, Jarrett and Petree combined.

It will be 3:30PM when the live race telecast gets underway, hopefully on ESPN2. Tim Brewer will also be along from the Tech Garage, although laps at Dover are so fast and exciting he should only be seen during caution periods or in the smaller of the two video boxes in the split-screen. It is September and fans have been watching since February. Pointing at car parts this late in the season often makes very little sense.

While the three announcers upstairs struggle to find a winning combination, the ESPN production team is going to be facing the same old Dover. Two bridges over the track need to be cut-out of the TV pictures, the accidents happen with lightning speed and in-car camera shots used live are risky.

At 6PM, there is another big college football game scheduled for ESPN2. Should this race have several long caution flags, a red flag period or some rain, it will be interesting to see whether football or NASCAR interrupts the world famous New American Sportsman marathon over on ESPN Classic once again.

The wrap-up of the day is Happy Hour for the Sprint Cup Series scheduled for 7PM over on ESPN. This NASCAR program has live college football on both sides. Needless to say, it should be interesting to see how the day has progressed by the time 7PM rolls around.

SPEED finally pokes into the NASCAR world with the Camping World Truck Series race coverage. The pre-race show begins at 9PM and TDP will live blog that telecast. The only airing of NASCAR Performance with Larry McReynolds, Chad Knaus and Bootie Barker will follow the race at 12:30AM.

For comments before, during and after the ESPN dayshift NASCAR coverage on Saturday, just click on the comments button below. This is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind while posting your TV-related comments. Thanks for stopping by.


Kitch said...

According to an article at SPEED's Petit Le Mans coverage begins at 11.00am and runs for 10.5 hours. That would make the Truck pre-race show not start until 9.30pm ET.

"SPEED, the definitive network for motor sports and the automotive lifestyle, will provide ten-and-a-half hours of live ‘flag to flag’ coverage from this year’s American Le Mans Series (ALMS) Petit Le Mans fall endurance classic starting Saturday, Sept. 26 at 11 a.m., ET, from picturesque Road Atlanta, just north of the city."

Should be an awesome PLM this year with Audi and Peugeot back.

hotaru-raganbaby_6 said...

Love Dover... but when it comes to NW, there's just too many Cup drivers that suck the life out. Still, if I had to choose 'tween than and the Chaseism of Sunday... I'll go NW on MRN. As for all the qual/final practc, I get that enough on Fri (where it bores me).

Trucks are always on my viewing list (when they race).

Daly Planet Editor said...


It's 1000 miles or ten hours, whichever comes first.

I think SPEED is covering both bets.

My guess is that if the race ends at 9:15PM, they will stay with winner interviews until 9:30PM and hold the NASCAR truck race in Las Vegas.

If it ends sooner, everything goes on time and the trucks have a great lead-in. Not a lot of cross-over, but a solid lead-in.

No problem with college or NFL football on SPEED, thank goodness!


Richard in N.C. said...

I applaud SPEED for covering the Petit Le Mans flag-to-flag and wish I could watch it all, which I am afraid would be incredibly fattening.

Gary said...

There are an abnormal number of NFL games starting on Sunday at 1 PM. A dozen games all starting at 1:00 PM ET may drain away some audience as Allen Bestwick hosts the pre-race show for the Sprint Cup Series race. Let's hope all three are incredibly enthused in the Infield Pit Studio.

ABC needs to do some "teases" for this show, Spencer bloopers, show pics of Danica or something! ;-)

The track will sure be clean...

Saturday night: Rain early...then remaining cloudy with thundershowers developing late. Low near 60F. Winds ESE at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 90%. 1 to 2 inches of rain expected. Locally heavier rainfall possible.
Sunday: Rain, occasionally heavy, early. A mix of sun and clouds in the afternoon. High 76F. Winds WSW at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 80%.

Glenn said...

Looks like there is plenty of time for house work and yard work. No need to turn the tv on until 9:00 pm.
(nothing against ALMS I just don't know anything about it)

I looked at the schedule yesterday and knew it would be hit and miss for coverage so I put off today what I can do tommorrow. At least there was a little Speed coverage today.

Hey I got an idea, maybe we can get that guy from the Castrol commercial to take his dipstick to a company board meeting? (rotfl)

Dot said...

I am so tired of playing channel roulette. I'm solving the "where will the race be shown" dilemma tomorrow by going to the pool.

I have to tell you, in the past I would never miss any part of a race to go to the pool. BSPN's poor coverage has made this choice easy for me.

The disrespect shown to racing fans by BSPN is getting old. NW series or not, the entire race should be shown on the channel listed on the guide.

If college football is so great, why don't they have their own channel?

Kitch said...

@ Daly Planet Editor

It never ends early! It's always the ten hours. Once the night comes, with the slower cars on track around the ultra-fast prototypes, accidents happen. And if there is still rain in the forecast, well...

Kitch said...

@ Richard in N.C.

Amen to that. It's going to be an epic race and one that deserves to go live, flag-to-flag. SPEED do a great job. Leigh Diffey and Brian Till are great PxP guys. Dorsey and Calbin are awesome analysts, and the pit reporters, unlike those on ESPN, actually add serious and important bits of info to the telecast. No "how do you feel" questions.

bryanh said...

On the coast of S.C. Time Warner dropped Classic, And News. This was 1-2 years ago, and all we have now is ESPN, and ESPN 2.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully the rain does hold off for the Nationwide race. It would be a disastor if the Dover race goes long & into the college football game. ESPN really needs ESPN 3 at the moment. Football-Race-Football is not working.

Ken said...

Football (college and NFL) has priority on all networks and racing (except the Indy 500) is a "filler" sport. It will be this way as long as the sports overlap because the people making decisions grew up with football and NA$CAR is a recent sport to them. Nobody in power grew up in the southeast where the roots of NA$CAR are.

Anonymous said...

"If college football is so great, why don't they have their own channel?"

They do, several. ESPN has ESPNU, FSN has 3 Fox College Sports Channels. There is the Big 10 Network, The MTN, CBS College Sports, etc. The public has a high demand for college football, so it spills over everywhere.

West Coast Diane said...

Turned on NW practice yesterday to keep me entertained while doing some housekeeping in the motorhome. They started with Carl's broken foot clips leading up to his winning in Richmond.

Turned the TV off. Cleaning MH was more fun.

Yes, ESPN just sucks the life out of everything they touch.

I have DVR'd the NW race. If it moves I won't chase it.

Just don't care anymore. No fun.

Vicky D said...

Glenn good idea about the dipstick but maybe take it in the broadcast truck!

Daly Planet Editor said...

Leave it to Ryan Newman to straighten Shannon out on her facts.

Mary said...

Stupid Spake woman just told Carl he won 3 of the last 4 races. Rightly he was surprised and said he didn't know that. Why do I listen to this nonsense. I am so so sick of ESPN

Daly Planet Editor said...

She is having a tough day today like Jerry Punch had on Friday.

Martin Vincent said...

Where does ESPN get its stats?... Shannon tells Carl Edwards he's won 3 of the last 4 races and he was really surprised to hear that. He didn't! He finished 2nd at Bristol, so he's only won 2 of the last 3.

Anonymous said...

JP Montoya just twitted that weather on the way

Vicky D said...

I was surprised at Shannon's statement too - knew that couldn't be right and she wasn't. Wish Randy was doing this qualifying with Marty instead of the other two he's probably on cloud nine today after his son, Corey's, 3rd place finish in the Camping World East series race yesterday.

Anonymous said...

Thankfully qualifying ended on time.

Damon said...

Still don't understand the NASCAR media writing off Danica. Only 17 IRL weekends in 2010. Plenty of time for trucks &n'wide races


I don't either, DPE

If people actually bothered to read Ed Hinton's original article on this, he clearly stated she would re-sign with AGR and in addition to that she would be running some races in the Nationwide/Trucks series.

Not that she'd pick one series to run in over the other.

From Curt Cavin's Q&A today

Question: With Danica signing with AGR for another three years and Tony Stewart saying she will eventually switch to NASCAR, what is being said about her AGR contract allowing some limited NASCAR events so she can get some experience in the larger/heavier cars? (Mark, Fishers, Ind.)

Answer: Michael Andretti said her contract will allow her to do some things as they pertain to stock cars, although right now it doesn't appear she has anything specifically in mind. We'll have to wait on that one.

Anonymous said...

The game on ESPN2 is turning into a shootout, 14-14 still in the first quarter.

Sophia said...

WC Diane
That's something when cleaning house w/o NASCAR stuff on is more fun but indeed, BSPN sucks all the life out of things.

The BWINS really need to get their acts together. No excuse.

I had on SPEED for a short while Friday just to hear the voices...Steve and the guys are like "comfort food" to listen to in comparison.

Today I don't know if I will watch the NW race. I will go out for a quick bite and music for a couple hours but getting AGGRAVATED with ESPN coverage could put me in a bad mood before I leave the house. So why bother you know?

It's just a SHAME ESPN continues to do that. Also the demeanor of drivers being interviewed of SPEED guys is night and day.

West Coast Diane said... are so right about the Speed guys being like "comfort food". That is perfect. ESPN...nails on a chalk board.

OT...engine blown on hubby's race car...ESPN & blown engine...really bad weekend...LOL!

Daly Planet Editor said...

Di, you obviously need to take over the driving duties!

Charlie said...

Watching golf here and recording Michigan football game. I see someone posted the score so I will stay away from this part of the blog and come back for the truck race.

Hope Espn does the best job ever broadcasting the Nationwide race. Recording this race and will watch later. Golf will still be on.

Anonymous said...

Its just now halftime on ESPN2. If the 2nd half takes as long as the first half, we may be in trouble.

West Coast Diane said...

Yes, he has tried to get me to race...if we had only met when I was a tad younger :-) I'll stick to pit crewing. He was 5th fastest out of 40 plus cars, too :-(

Here's hoping with Marty the race is more enjoyable. To bad Randy isn't there.

Daly Planet Editor said...

There is now a new post up for live blogging the Nationwide Series race on ESPN2 at 3PM.