Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Homemade Soup Always Tastes The Best

It's easy to buy the soup that is on sale at the supermarket and simply stick it in the cabinet. Red labels line my shelf and promise exactly the same taste over-and-over again. Consistency trumps quality when convenience is the goal.

Wednesday afternoon, the folks at The NASCAR Media Group (NMG) used the SPEED network to remind us of one simple fact. Despite the ease of buying off the shelf, nothing tastes better than homemade soup.

Using all the ingredients left over from 2008, NMG took three hours to deliver just the kind of TV lunch that creates a great memory.

Like the tastes of the past that come to mind when homemade soup is on the menu, the NASCAR pictures and sound flashing by in the first episode of NASCAR 39/10 were just flat-out good for the soul.

These are tough times and watching the memories of Daytona and California allowed for three hours of relief from reality. Storylines jumped off the screen as images of the Shootout flashed by mixed with honest comments and familiar faces.

NMG pulled from all the 2008 NASCAR footage and allowed the story to wander from high-speed racing to the slow and steady pace of the late T. Taylor Warren as he captured the action. Announcers from both the TV and radio broadcasts combined to deliver a fascinating mix of commentary styles.

Inserting interview footage right in the middle of the action as it happened is a trademark of the glossy TV style of NMG. Seeing the calm face of Ryan Newman commenting on his Daytona 500 win seconds after watching his car cross the line is just tremendously effective.

The closing review of California was a reminder of the weather struggles for the series last season. Even with the kind words of SPEED's John Roberts as he talked about the history of the facility, the real world struggle of the racetrack was well chronicled. One look at the grandstands confirmed that issue.

As a lead-in to the season, this first episode set a very strong tone in terms of quality and satisfaction. The challenge for NMG is going to be keeping this honest and upfront approach as the season hits the speedbumps that both the COT and Goodyear experienced in the stretch run.

The second episode of NASCAR 39/10 airs on Thursday, January 8th from noon to 3PM Eastern Time. The rest of the series continues on Wednesdays and Thursdays in that same timeslot for four more weeks. 30 hours of NASCAR action is not a bad kick-off to the 2009 season.

For those expecting a warmed-up re-hash of the past, finding a nice mix of ingredients in NASCAR 39/10 will certainly serve to invite fans back again to see what's on the lunch menu for Thursday.

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NASCAR TV Season Opens On Wednesday At Noon

Update: There is a new post up for your comments on the first episode of 39/10.

The time of day might be an issue, but the 2009 NASCAR TV season is officially opening at noon Eastern Time on Wednesday.

A brand new TV series from The NASCAR Media Group should be just what the doctor ordered for fans left out in the cold since the checkered flag at Homestead.

The series is called NASCAR 39/10: Reviewing the 60th Season.

There are thirty hours of programming in ten shows over five weeks. That is a lot of math, so let me break it down. Each Wednesday and Thursday from noon to 3pm ET there will be a new episode. Basically, it's like watching two football games a week.

This is DVR Theater at its finest, as noon on the East Coast is not exactly the primetime welcome NASCAR wanted to kick-off the 2009 TV season. After a long run of reality shows in primetime, perhaps SPEED might have moved some repeat programming to put these shows in timeslots where NASCAR fans would not be forced to record them.

For those of you without a DRV, TiVo or VCR, good luck to you as these episodes are not currently on the SPEED schedule to be repeated. Perhaps, a long lunch on the East Coast or a half-day off on the West Coast might do the trick.

TDP still does not have an episode list, but we do know that the first show on Wednesday will consist of pre-season testing, the Daytona Shootout, the Daytona 500 and the first California race. Like most of the edited highlight shows from NMG, these programs do not have on-camera hosts but do have a narrator throughout.

The best part of this type of show is that NMG captures the best parts of each race and then puts them all together in a style that is unmistakable. All the best race footage, in-car cameras, and pit road drama is mixed with the best audio clips and natural sound of racing. The result is almost always a winner.

As more information trickles in about the episodes, we will update the TV guide on the right side of the TDP main page. Shortly after this first episode ends, we will have a review up and ask for your comments.

The Daly Planet welcomes comments from readers. Just click on the COMMENTS button below and follow the easy instructions. The rules for posting are located on the right side of the main page. Thank you for taking the time to stop by.