Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sunday TV Marathon: 13 Hours Of Live Comments


ESPN2's NASCAR Now is the sandwich for Sunday's NASCAR TV programs. Mike Massaro and Boris Said start the day at 10AM with a one-hour preview show and end the day at 10PM with a review show of the same length.

On this Sunday, TDP is going to keep open a live blog for every single NASCAR TV show during this thirteen hour run. That will let you hop over and comment whenever the spirit or the TV program moves you.

While Massaro has Said in the studio, he also has Terry Blount and Nicole Manske in Kansas reporting. The big wheel of ESPN NASCAR personalities seems to never stop spinning. Perhaps, Marty Smith on-site would have been nice during the Chase.

RaceDay comes along at 11AM on SPEED. Kenny Wallace and Jimmy Spencer each do a lot of talking on this program, but recently it does not seem to be to each other. Kenny has fallen into a habit of getting his time on camera and talking directly to the viewers. "Let me tell you something, race fans" gets a bit tiring in a two-hour show.

Hermie Sadler and Wendy Venturini have become a potent one-two punch for this TV series. The ability of both of these reporters to speak with anyone involved in the sport is never more on display than during this time of the year. While the ESPN pit reporters get short answers and tight smiles, this duo never fails to get the information while having some fun along the way.

John Roberts looks tired and there is certainly a good reason why. This is October and he has been sitting in that daggone SPEED Stage chair for eight months directing traffic on TV shows from RaceDay to NASCAR Smarts. His NASCAR Live shows on Fridays and Saturday are also key to the network's scheduling. Make no mistake, Roberts is the quarterback on this team.

Rutledge Wood is a role player on this show, but his role is still undefined. He acts the fool, shills for the sponsors and generally accomplishes nothing. That is a shame. SPEED had allowed him to report and contribute in a more serious fashion last season, but this year he is once again doing the things it appears no one else wants to do.

RaceDay is a formula show that suffered from being pushed back an hour and not going head-to-head with NASCAR Countdown on ESPN. That is also a shame. When put to the test, ESPN had to step up in order to compete. Now, the pre-race show is a scripted dance of talking heads, shallow driver interviews and little real content.

TDP will break off from this post to offer a stand-alone live blog on the pre-race NASCAR Countdown show at 1PM and the Kansas race coverage at 2PM. Once again, NASCAR goes against NFL Football in exactly the same timeslot.

After the race, it will be Ralph Sheheen and Leigh Diffey co-hosting The SPEED Report at 7PM. This is hands-down the most improved motorsports TV show of the season. The producing, highlights and reporting are outstanding. Bob Dillner will offer a NASCAR race recap with interviews from Kansas.

The new wrinkle at 8PM in NASCAR Victory Lane on SPEED is that Jimmy Spencer is out and Larry McReynolds is in for the rest of the season. As silly season continues on TV, Spencer has been added to the This Week in NASCAR panel and has to be back in Charlotte to tape the show on Monday.

McReynolds immediately changed the tone of Victory Lane from emotional to informative. His questions are those of a NASCAR TV veteran and show why he is featured on Fox, TNT and SPEED throughout the entire season. Kenny Wallace is working hard to figure out how to deal with this new show dynamic.

Dave Despain missed Danica Patrick and now is going to miss AJ Foyt. Once again on vacation from Wind Tunnel, SPEED has Robin Miller sitting-in for Despain at 9PM while Foyt will be back in his shop on a liveshot. Miller claims this is his first time on TV without adult supervision, so it should be interesting to see if Super-Tex makes it through the entire interview.

While Foyt is known for his open-wheel history, he has some remarkable NASCAR stories and experiences. His ability to transition between all types of racing cars may be one of the reasons his number is displayed on the side of Tony Stewart's Sprint Cup Series ride. Stewart was the 1997 IRL champ and won the USAC Silvercrown, Sprint and Midget titles in the same season two years earlier.

Retired motorcycle veteran Gene Romero of On Any Sunday movie fame is Miller's second guest. This colorful personality will be a very different interview and is active with motorcycle racing to this day. The movie is mandatory viewing for any race fan.

Massaro and Said cap the day off with one of the best NASCAR review shows on TV. The Sunday night version of NASCAR Now only runs during the ESPN/ABC races. That is another shame. There are lots of highlights, interviews and information in this hour. Since ESPNEWS does not cover the media center press conferences during the NFL season, this is the only place on ESPN to get NASCAR info after the race.

We invite you to stop by and post any comment during these shows. TDP is just looking for your reactions, both positive and negative, to what the two remaining NASCAR TV partners are providing to you. To add your opinion, just click on the comments button below.

This is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind when posting. Thank you for helping us out and taking the time to stop by.

56 comments:

Anonymous said...
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Zieke said...

You sure have to wonder what's up with Despain going on vacation during the "real" racing season. Isn't having the winter off from TV enough? Missing Danica was bad enough, but doing the same thing to someone else is over the top. Maybe if they just gave the show to Robin Miller he would show up for the duration. That's would be fine with me.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Boris has been doing quite well this season on NN. Very different from last year.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Zieke,

TV silly season always gets the rumors rolling. This is certainly an interesting weekend to have AJ with no Dave.

JD

Daly Planet Editor said...

Kinda miss Marty Smith being at the track on a Chase weekend.

Vicky D said...

Again, we are watching re-broadcast stories from this week. I think Boris is actually doing better today plus it looks like he has his hair cut. I was going to say that for the last few months it looks like he has new teeth but that wouldn't be very nice.

Daly Planet Editor said...

He got all that fixed a while back. TV is a business just like any other and the smart NASCAR drivers embrace the changes. Ricky Craven may be the best example.

Ken-Michigan said...

Maybe it's a testimony that I watch TOO MUCH nascar TV.

Re-hash ... Re-hash... Re-hash !!

Same topics over and over.

With 43 teams in the NASCAR garage on a Sunday morning, and hundreds of crew members & NASCAR officials, I'd think there could be a few more stories to cover.

The stories are out there, but it doesnt seem like anyone is doing the "leg work" to get them on the air.

By the way... Terry Blount does absolutley nothing for me on these programs.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Ken, that's why it's fun to watch a tightly-scripted show like NN and then watch a loosely-scripted show like RaceDay.

Martin Vincent said...

Anyone know if Bobby Labonte will run the full distance? His TRG Motorsports car had no sponsor on it in qualifying.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Great NFL Films opening on RaceDay.

Daly Planet Editor said...

The difference between the antics of Wallace and Spencer and the great info and reporting from Venturini and Sadler is amazing.

West Coast Diane said...

I am starting to believe that I am getting bored with NASCAR. Can't believe I am saying that. Don't know if it is because the season is long and everything seems to be rehashed as a earlier poster said.

I haven't watched NASCAR Now since I don't know when. Missed the last few Tracksides. Same for TWIN last week. Don't watch VL...Kenny has gotten to me...LOL!

Yesterday I "watched" the NW race in a little over an hour. Only "listened' for pit stops and restarts on cautions.

I think the biggest reason is ESPN. They have just turned racing into the mundane. With all due respect to Marty Reid, one man can't fix the other issues, especially the directing and producing problems. God bless Andy & DJ, but they rarely offer anything but the obvious.

I will probably FF through RaceDay looking for Wendy, Hermie and drivers that interest me.

I will watch today's race on HotPass.

I will read TDP because I learn a bunch of good stuff and it is so entertaining.

Hope it is a good race today. Maybe some non chasers will dominate...wishful thinking...and mess up ESPN's script.

Thanks for letting me vent :-)

Daly Planet Editor said...

Di,

Feel free to send your comments to Jeff Gluck anytime.

This is one of the most exciting sports in the world being presented as background noise for someone else's agenda.

JD

Anonymous said...
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Bill said...

On Any Sunday, Wow what a blast from the past!!!

Gonna have to dig my VHS out and watch it again!

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Daly Planet Editor said...

Bill, the Gene Romero footage in that movie is awesome.

It will be interesting to see what he looks like now and what he is doing.

JD

bevo said...

@Diane- You're not alone. Tried watching RD the other week and I just can't handle Spencer and Wallace anymore. NN is just a rehash and if by chance you miss it all of the stuff will show up on the race.

I still watch the Trucks start to finish, NW when it's Marty and RL. I try to save my energy and patience for ESPN and the Cup race each week but even that is being tested. If it wasn't for JD and all of the Planeteers I would probably bug out earlier on Cup races on ESPN.

David said...

Liked the Kyle Petty segment, I agree.

Lou said...

just read the comment from west coast diane. hello nascar/espn are you listening? so far i doubt it. i went through w/a similar vent on this blog a month or so ago. you are losing a great fan base. maybe next year some changes for the better will come. today is the first time in months i am actually listening to raceday. yes you heard it listening not watching.

If it were not for Wendy and Hermie all would be lost. thanks to both of you for what you go through and give us the fans


at this point i am thankful for hotpass w/mrn or prn audio. i will miss the end of race today as i have other plans. one year ago that would not have happened.

just a shame, how much i miss those who understand this more than i who used to comment on this site on a daily basis.

bevo said...

Kenny ought to be careful quoting "bubble-headed bleach blondes" about non-NASCAR outlets. Glass houses and all of that...

kbaskins said...

I'm at work so I gotta make this quick...

I have the SPEED pre-race show on the little TV in our production room. This is the first time we've been able to get this channel at work.

After listening to Kenny Wallace spout off yet again, my co-worker (not a NASCAR fan) said to me, "Is this guy gonna try to sell us a Sham-Wow next?".

Even non-fans think he's a buffoon.

--KarenB

David said...

THATS the Spencer I like! LOL

bevo said...

Note to Spencer - "this guy" has a name. Learn it, know it, use it.

PammH said...

Wow, there was a familiar voice I haven't missed during this golden era feature! I don't watch NN Sun morn anymore, unless RC is on. Too much re-hashing..

kbaskins said...

Another co-worker comment after more Kenny Wallace antics: "Doesn't this guy ever get laryngitis?".

--KarenB

Anonymous said...

ABC out of philly has another parade today scheduled till 2pm, pulaski day

Daly Planet Editor said...

OK, there is a new post up for comments on the ABC presentation of the Sprint Cup Series race from Kansas.

We will close this post at 1PM and re-open it when the race is over for the final four hours of NASCAR TV on SPEED and ESPN.

Thanks,

JD

David said...

Crooks and Granny's?

Least thats what it sounded like Spence

Dot said...

I slept through the first half of RD. It used to be must see TV for me that I would set the alarm. Needless to say, I do not get up to watch NN. Like Ken in MI said, rehash, rehash, rehash. Maybe BSPN knows that the fans can't find it during the week.

Not to be rude but, January Jones sounds like a porn star's name.

I like Larry Mac on VL. He sure has a calming effect on KW.

Dear Sophia will be happy that Robin will be on WT.

bevo said...

@Dot- that's her real name, great role she plays on Mad Men. One of my top three shows on tv.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Moving comments to the ABC post. Will re-open after the live race.

Daly Planet Editor said...

This post is now open for comments on The SPEED Report, Victory Lane, Wind Tunnel and NASCAR Now.

Nice job by Bob Dillner on TSR.

Vince said...

Looking forward to WT and especially the Gene Romero segment. I used to go to Ascot Park in Gardena, CA on Friday nights in the 1970's to watch the AMA Grand National bikes on the flat half mile dirt track. Gene was awsome! He was a privateer with no factory backing at that time and used to regularly give the Harley factory boys a run for their money. As I remember he was a pretty colorful guy. Should be a good interview.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Good memory Vince!

Vince said...

Thanks JD. If I remember right he was riding a Triumph in those days and giving Springer and the rest of the Harley guys fits.

darbar said...

One of the best stories I've seen all season was done today in ABC's pre-race. The story of Victory Junction Game Camp and Adam Petty was wonderful and an inspiration.

Sophia said...

So far, Robin is talking a bit fast but doing great. Not letting it rattle him if he mis speaks. Just like folks do in real life and just goes with it.

Like how they missed the delay switch with opening when he said the D word..didn't bleep it but the word after it.

Back after break

PammH said...

I will be watching WT Mon morn, but can't wait to read the comments!

Daly Planet Editor said...

Can't you see the AJ Foyt influence on Tony Stewart?

Sophia said...

JD

Yes! lol

glenc1 said...

I'm enjoying this...AJ & Robin...no film of the laptop destruction yet, lol. They just got to the Arie punch...

PammH said...

Y'all are making me excited to see the show!

Daly Planet Editor said...

Man, SPEED is just flat out hitting out of the ballpark with this show!

Sophia said...

I remember when AJ threw the laptop! LOL.

I am taping this...Robin's talking fast to get as much in as he can.
Somebody get this man a SHOW!!

PSA

Robin does use the three letter A word and the four letter D word a few times if you have little ones in the room.

But this is great tv. Dave could go on vacation once a month IF Robin could be fill in host BY HIMSELF. :)

I heart RM&AJ said...

Having lived in central Indiana for 48 years...this love fest between RM & AJ is video gold!!! They could swap stories for hours & I would be glued to the set.

Sophia said...

uh oh...what happened to Robin...are they done with AJ? Darn it..they cut him off going to commercial...hope not.

I could listen to he and AJ for hours.

JD

Indeed, hitting one out of the park. Ive been starving for this kind of show!!

Daly Planet Editor said...

This is the kind of TV I thought SPEED would invest in and develop for us.

Instead it's Pinks and Jacked and towing crap.

This is motorsports TV gold.

Sophia said...

Ok..great tv.

i am so SAD this segment with Robin and AJ is finished! :(

Sophia said...

JD

When you SEE something this priceless, isn't it sad how the fake shows you mentioned are what fill the SPEED AIRWAVES and repeated ad nauseum?

Sophia said...

rats it took me two minutes to get WT EXTRA..miss who is on the phone

Daly Planet Editor said...

Thanks for hanging with us today, great comments.

JD