Sunday, May 24, 2009

Coca-Cola 600 Delayed To Monday At Noon ET On Fox

After a lot of talking, some animation domination and perhaps some half-truths, the Coca-Cola 600 has been postponed by rain.

The race will now be telecast on Fox at 12PM ET on Monday with a special edition of RaceDay airing at 11AM on SPEED as the pre-race show. Cars should be on the track and rolling for a 12:05PM start.

After some rain fill by the Fox team, many NASCAR fans then had the pleasure of watching some cartoons that were perhaps surprising in their content to some. That was a shame, because Mike Joy and Chris Myers had led the Fox team through some great discussion about NASCAR topics in the news. The NASCAR on Fox pit reporters also offered some great interviews and updates during the rain delay portion of the show.

West Coast viewers were reporting to TDP that some Fox stations were actually showing infomercials that were grabbed at the last moment no doubt. Instead of live NASCAR coverage from the home of the sport, TV viewers were being asked to buy exercise equipment and increase their earning potential by unlocking the secrets of the Internet.

Jeff Hammond and Myers were playing the half-truth game with TV viewers and those fans using Twitter. Both first maintained that the race would start on time, then repeated over-and-over that the rain had stopped and the track was being dried.

The final NASCAR on Fox Twitter message read: "Sorry folks. Things change fast. As you probably know by now, race postponed to tomorrow at noon on FOX. Good night." That is what is known in the TV business as a fast getaway.

Hopefully, the race will start on time Monday and run the full distance. This post will host your comments about the rain delay coverage. Just click on the comments button to add your TV-related comments on this topic.

TDP will live blog the race coverage beginning at 12PM ET on Fox. Please join us.

Race On Hold Due To Rain: Live Blogging The Sprint Cup Series From LMS On Fox

7PM - The race is on hold due to rain and Fox has returned to regular programming. TDP will update you on the progress of drying the track.

This is a huge telecast for the NASCAR on Fox gang. There is only one more race for this TV team after today. It has been a very long season for Fox filled with all kinds of issues both on and off the track.

At 5PM it will be Chris Myers leading Fox onto the air from the Hollywood Hotel. He will be joined by Darrell Waltrip and Jeff Hammond. These two will have an hour to fill before the green flag comes at 6:05PM. That may be delayed even further if the pesky rain showers that have been falling on LMS all day continue.

Mike Joy is the leader of the Fox team and he should be in all his glory at LMS. Larry McReynolds and Waltrip will join him in the booth for the call of this very long race. Down on pit road will be Steve Byrnes, Dick Berggren, Matt Yocum and Krista Voda.

This race has a ton of great story lines and there will be plenty to talk about even if the rain delays the start. From Mark Martin and his resurgence to the success of Tony Stewart the on-track stories are good. Away from the track, Jeremy Mayfield's drug suspension and the Tuesday driver meeting called by NASCAR are certainly interesting.

Look for Digger to make his presence known as Fox only has two more race days to sell merchandise. How much of the animation and graphics will be used should be interesting to watch. No word on whether another cartoon will be inserted in the pre-race show.

Fox continues to struggle in the pits and has used all different kinds of triple and quad splits. LMS pit road is straight, so we may see the old quad box back again. At least the graphics for the race off have been good recently.

One new wrinkle in the Fox coverage has been side-by-side video boxes at the finish. One shows the winner slowing down while the other shows a wideshot of the rest of the field finishing. It was an improvement over not showing any car but the winner finishing the race, but does not work very well. Both ESPN and SPEED simply use a wideshot and let the lead lap cars or trucks race to the stripe.

No doubt Kyle Busch will be on Waltrip's mind at this track. It should be fun to listen to the commentary as things sort-out on the track. Busch is often spectacular at this track, but this race is the longest on the circuit.

This post will serve to host your comments on the Sprint Cup Series race from LMS on Fox. To add your TV-related comments, 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 on this holiday weekend.

Live Blogging Indy 500 On ABC

Brent Musburger is down from his ranch and ready to lead the ABC team through another historic telecast of the Indy 500. Each season, TDP live blogs this one IRL race because it is truly a spectacle in auto racing.

Marty Reid will be coming to NASCAR in July to call the Nationwide races for ESPN2, but this Sunday he will handle the play-by-play on one of the biggest races on the planet. Joining him will be Scott Goodyear and Eddie Cheever.

Goodyear is the polite Canadian former driver who offers explanations and analysis. Cheever is the impulsive and emotional former owner who is often at odds with Goodyear in terms of reasons for actions on the track. The dynamic between the two is fun to watch.

Since ESPN sliced their IRL TV package in less than half this season, pit reporter Vince Welch has been working the NASCAR trail. Today, he returns to the IRL beat. Also on hand is Jamie Little, who has been full time on the NASCAR beat for several years now. The third pit reporter is Brienne Pedigo, an IRL regular. Finally, TV veteran Jack Arute rounds-out the reporting corps.

Hosting the entire telecast is ESPN's senior statesman, Brent Musburger. He has worked hard to fit in at Indy even as his NASCAR efforts flopped. Musburger was quietly removed from the ABC NASCAR races last season.

ESPN's head of field production is Jed Drake. He has taken the Indy 500 telecasts to a new level and eliminated a lot of the fluff and distractions of the past. This year's race should be squarely focused on the teams and drivers, instead of the celebrities and the gimmicks.

TDP invites you to watch the race with us and give us your views of the ABC coverage. 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 taking some time out of your holiday weekend to join us.

Two TV Laps To Go For "NASCAR On Fox"

It certainly has been an interesting season for the NASCAR on Fox team. Both on and off the track things have been scrutinized from every angle as the TV ratings continue to slip for the Sprint Cup Series races.

Sunday is the final home game for the group as they telecast the longest race of the season from the Lowe's Motor Speedway. The Fox TV season ends in Dover, DE on the following Sunday. That is definitely an away game.

In Charlotte, the regular Fox crew will assemble yet again and follow two hours of pre-race coverage on SPEED with a 45 minute show of their own. Chris Myers has plenty to talk about from the Hollywood Hotel this week. Topics range from the actual racing to the upcoming Sprint Cup driver's meeting on Tuesday morning called by NASCAR.

Darrell Waltrip and Jeff Hammond have been on-the-air on SPEED for the past few days and the transition over to Fox is always interesting to watch. As Myers does his act, fans can quickly realize how little real information and NASCAR news filters through on this pre-race show loaded with gimmicks and cartoons. What a change from the simple and straightforward approach of SPEED.

Mike Joy had a very long day on the air calling Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series activity Saturday on SPEED. He returns to Fox Sunday to call the longest race of the year and should be a huge change of pace for TV viewers from ESPN's Jerry Punch on Saturday night. Joy directs traffic, calls the action and is not afraid to tell viewers when something goes wrong.

Last year, this was the first race where Waltrip began his slow emotional meltdown that caught many by surprise. Whether it is age or perspective, Waltrip seems to be genuinely and deeply affected by the end of his participation in the Sprint Cup Series telecasts.

This was also the event that exposed his deep affection for Kyle Busch and his belief that the talent of this driver is very special. Waltrip is unapologetic for his comments and has continued this season to be a huge cheerleader for Busch. Perhaps, the recent All-Star race telecast was a good example of this issue.

Larry McReynolds is the hardest working man in NASCAR TV and he will once again transition directly into the TNT telecasts while continuing all his duties for SPEED. He has been overshadowed this season by both Waltrip and Digger, but continues to offer the kind of solid and analytical commentary that made him a fixture on the NASCAR TV scene years ago.

Joy returns to SPEED as his vintage car hobby lets him have a great perspective for that network's Barrett-Jackson car auction telecasts. He jokes about having the off-season to research and find car parts only to have to go back to work to pay for them.

Fox emphasized Digger this season and it cost them dearly in the court of public opinion. They over-sold the races and the short event in Phoenix turned into a disaster on the air. Finally, Fox Sports executive David Hill hosted a one hour chat on his lunch hour and basically told fans he was doing things his way and if they did not like it that was "tough."

All-in-all, it has been a roller coaster since Daytona. Regardless of whether or not it has been a fun trip or a rough road, one thing is certain. Two more telecasts and this season's ride will come to an end.

TDP welcomes comments from readers. Just click on the comments button below to add your opinion on this topic. This is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind when posting. Thanks for taking the time to stop by The Daly Planet.