Friday, December 4, 2009

Banquet Doubleheader On SPEED


After an amazing chain of events that saw the Sprint Cup Series banquet switch TV networks at the last minute, Friday night will bring a NASCAR banquet doubleheader to SPEED.

NASCAR consolidated the Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series banquets into one evening. The festivities were recorded by SPEED and will be shown in an edited version at 7PM ET Friday night. This is the first part of the doubleheader.

In the past, these edited programs featured short chats in an informal setting on the stage with SPEED personalities Krista Voda and Rick Allen. The drivers have a couple of minutes to plug their sponsors, relay their thanks and maybe have a laugh. It should be interesting to see how SPEED chooses to present this newly combined banquet in a two-hour TV program.

NASCAR moved the Sprint Cup Series banquet from New York City to Las Vegas, NV this season. Amid the reasons was a desire to make this entire multi-day event more fan friendly. Certainly, one part of the problem was that ESPN offered only the small ESPN Classic network on which to carry the banquet live Friday night in primetime.

Just weeks ago, NASCAR suddenly announced that live coverage of the banquet ceremony was moving to SPEED. This satisfied three issues. One, it put the live banquet in front of a larger audience than ESPN Classic. Two, it got ESPN out from under the problem of showing the final seventeen races and then seeming to neglect the post-season official crowning of the champ. Finally, it kept the NASCAR TV product on a network that was familiar to the fans.

Needless to say, SPEED called all hands on deck and sent a good-sized contingent to Las Vegas. Steve Byrnes will act as the TV host handling all the SPEED on-air duties. He will be joined by Jeff Hammond. This gives SPEED a duo who can keep things smooth on the air and take the fulltime focus away from the awards stage.

Krista Voda and Mike Joy are going to handle the racing-related awards and presentations on the stage during the telecast. These two are wonderful picks to deal with all the live moments and negotiate this telecast through the myriad of awards and sponsor mentions.

Veteran comedian Frank Caliendo is going to be the celebrity host. In the past, this position has been rough to handle. NASCAR fans just plainly do not take to Hollywood types who make bad racing jokes and mispronounce names. Caliendo seems to be the type who can roll with the punches and his previous appearances on Fox Sports have been fun to watch. This has potential.

John Pinette has been very funny in the past as the comedian at several NASCAR series banquets. He will also appear on Friday night. Pinette seems to work very hard on preparing his background material, so hopefully his comedy presence will be a positive one for the sport at a time when laughs are sometimes hard to come by.

NASCAR announced on Thursday that Brooks and Dunn will be opening the show with their song "Only in America" as a tribute to NASCAR fans. Musician David Gray and the string quartet Escala will also perform during the evening.

The Brooks and Dunn appearance will be a part of a larger fan tribute that will also include the voice of TV legend Ken Squier. He will anchor a video titled "The Spirit of the Fans" that will hopefully work to show those who stuck with the sport during this rough patch that NASCAR has not forgotten them. Starting the show in this manner may go a long way toward patching things up.

TDP will offer a live blog post for both of the TV shows on SPEED beginning at 7PM. Please join us to offer your comments as the evening goes on. We will also be live with comments on Twitter at twitter.com/TheDalyPlanet from 7PM to 1AM ET.

In the meantime, perhaps you can share your comments on the topics above including the move of the banquet from ESPN to SPEED and the personalities selected to participate. To add your opinion, just click on the comments button below. This is a family-friendly website, so comments may be moderated before posting. Thanks for taking the time to stop by The Daly Planet.

13 comments:

Bobby said...

Las Vegas just doesn't cut it for some reason with fans on the East Coast. And I noticed no coverage of the Victory Lap unlike the times it was on Today or Good Morning America when it was covered when they did it in front of New York.

And without the people who do America great saluting the champion it just doesn't look right with the adult language used at the Champion's Roast Wednesday. Surely you would have never heard that type of talk used if Jimmie was the starter for the trading day of the NYSE or skating in front of the legendary Rockefeller Center rink, and Las Vegas is far from the heart of NASCAR's Northern series where New York makes more logistics than Charlotte, Daytona, or even Las Vegas.

Of course, it doesn't hurt when three NASCAR champions are from New York or New Jersey -- Camping World East champion Ryan Truex of New Jersey, Whelen Modified champion Donny Lia of New York, and Whelen Southern Modified champion George Brunnhoelzl III originally from New York. Only one (Kyle Busch, Nationwide) Nevada driver won a NASCAR title.

And what's this rumour about Comcast wanting to share with Speed on Modified races? The spring Atlanta and fall Charlotte races next year will have Modifieds on the quarter miles, and NASCAR is in talks with Versus and Speed for Modified races -- maybe Bob Jenkins or Jack Arute calling live Modified races for Versus/NBC?

Should see what this year's banquet does, but it does go up against the NFR.

KoHoSo said...

From Mr. Daly's article...

The Brooks and Dunn appearance will be a part of a larger fan tribute that will also include the voice of TV legend Ken Squier. He will anchor a video titled "The Spirit of the Fans" that will hopefully work to show those who stuck with the sport during this rough patch that NASCAR has not forgotten them. Starting the show in this manner may go a long way toward patching things up.

It is going to take a lot more than a mere song and the voice of Ken Squier (no matter how good each one is) to go even a short way for NASCAR to show that the fans have not been forgotten and to begin to patch things up.

A song and a video is just a PR move to try to pull at one's heartstrings just like a political commercial. If NASCAR really means it and truly wants to "kiss and make up," we will start to see a better product on the track and via television over the next two years. If that does not happen and the coming changes to the "Car of Templates" are insignificant, I don't know if I can hang on much beyond that after what will soon be a decade of what almost amounts to out and out abuse of the fan base.

I do hope that my negative viewpoint at this moment in time turns out to be needless. Everybody makes mistakes and sometimes those errors go on for a long time before they are corrected. I am certainly willing to give my full love and devotion back to NASCAR if it is reciprocated. If I wasn't, I wouldn't waste time reading this blog.

Father said...

I hope people can realize this is a Champions Banquet and not a TV Show for their enjoyment. If you can watch it from that perspective maybe it will keep the complaining to a dull roar. It should be a happy time of the year!

Donna in FL said...

I am absolutely all for the move from ESPN to SPEED, The biggest reason is because I have SPEED in HD, and Classic is in only SD. I also have no problem with the people hosting. I just hope the "celebs" did some homework. And feel free enough to keep jabbing and skewering Jimmie in good humor. Just really disappointed more of Champions Week events didn't make it to TV, they were quite lively, I hope that gets fixed next year. Got the DVR set for both banquets, will be watching.

50 yr. fan said...

I looked at the four links on
Jayski for more Vegas coverage.
I only found a tape of JJ's
burnout and Mike Smith's weekly
cartoon. Seems like the WRASCAR
publicity people failed to feed
anything to the local news or
maybe the locals just don't feel it newsworthy.

GinaV24 said...

I'm really looking forward to watching the banquet this year. Having it be on Speed and with the Speed crew doing it has the potential to be a lot more fun than the way ESPN has handled it the last few years. I'm sure that Steve Byrnes, Krista, Mike Joy, Hammond and the others will make the experience a much better experience for the drivers and for the fans.

I honestly don't care that much about the "entertainment" part of it. I don't need a comedian as part of the show, I want it to be about the driver's accomplishments, but maybe this guy will be OK. Brooks and Dunn and Ken Squier - now that is awesome.

I am planning to be home to try and watch the combined Truck and Nationwide banquet, too. I hope that they get their proper due for the hard work this past year.

Joy said...

50 yr. fan said...
I looked at the four links on
Jayski for more Vegas coverage.
I only found a tape of JJ's
burnout and Mike Smith's weekly
cartoon. Seems like the WRASCAR
publicity people failed to feed
anything to the local news or
maybe the locals just don't feel it newsworthy.

December 4, 2009 8:45 AM

From the reports I have heard there is plenty going on in Vegas. Many many parties and interesting things to do. I think the last thing the Drivers and Teams want is to be doing local media and any press. They have been doing that weekly for Oh..about 40 weeks. Time for them to kick back and celebrate!

JohnP said...

As an east coaster, I'm glad the awards show is no longer in New York. It will be interesting to see how receptive Las Vegas is to Nascar. I'll not pre-judge it. But lack of news in making me wonder.

Sorry JD, gotta go with KoHoSo on this one. Brooks & Dun singing "Only in America" will not ammend a noodle for what Nascar has done to the fan base in the last two to three years. Nor will piping in Ken Squire.

I'm pondering here. Singing "Only in America" when Denny Hamlin, in a Toyota, and Brian Vickers, in a Toyota were in the Chase. Huh. I think only the top 10 walk the stage, but that leaves Denny Hamlin walking for the Toyota team.

saltsburgtrojanfan said...

KoHoSo said...
"It is going to take a lot more than a mere song and the voice of Ken Squier (no matter how good each one is) to go even a short way for NASCAR to show that the fans have not been forgotten and to begin to patch things up.

A song and a video is just a PR move to try to pull at one's heartstrings just like a political commercial. If NASCAR really means it and truly wants to "kiss and make up," we will start to see a better product on the track and via television over the next two years. If that does not happen and the coming changes to the "Car of Templates" are insignificant, I don't know if I can hang on much beyond that after what will soon be a decade of what almost amounts to out and out abuse of the fan base."

Could not agree more and NASCAR Winston Cup, yeah that's right, Winston Cup banquet is in Las Vegas can things get any more worse. Keep the damn banquet in New York like it has been since 1981. Fans did not seem to mind, lol.

JohnP said...

Kudos to Nascar for pulling the show off ABC/ESPN and moving it to Speed.. Good one Nascar, you got it right.. ABC/ESPN would of messed it up like they messed the Chase up.. They would of been looking for a "storyline" other then the awards.

Good decision Nascar. Looking forward to the show. Was not planning to watch it, now the wife and I are. Two more viewers by your decision. Kudo's.

hotaru-raganbaby_6 said...

Again, this is not something I'll be staying up for. Just another 'awards show', and just another 'awards show' I will skip.

Sorry.

Richard in N.C. said...

Can't think of a better musical group to be at the banquet than Brooks & Dunn before they start their victory lap and retire the group. Super idea by NASCAR.

Wurd Veri = emslyze = Hmmm?

Sally said...

Looking at that pic of JJ and his car with fluid on the ground under it...did his car have a little 'accident'?