Friday, June 19, 2009

Another Day-Night TV Doubleheader For NASCAR

Summer weather has again changed the schedule to put two NASCAR races from the same track on the same day on national television. The rain-delayed Camping World Truck Series race will now run on Saturday at 1:30PM ET on SPEED.

The network's veteran on-air crew of Rick Allen, Phil Parsons and Michael Waltrip will be calling the daytime action live. Ray Dunlap and Adam Alexander will be on pit road. The CWTS was supposed to be under the lights on Friday night before the weather closed in. That put SPEED in a very familiar situation with another NASCAR TV partner.

ESPN2 is scheduled to carry four hours of Nationwide Series action from the very same Milwaukee Mile on Saturday night. Qualifying coverage begins at 6:30PM with the pre-race show starting at 8PM and the race thirty minutes later.

Original schedules are out the window in the TV compound and once again cooperation is going to be key to get through a very long day on two different cable TV networks. Additional rain may twist things even further.

Dale Jarrett is off this weekend, so Rusty Wallace will be the one doing double-duty. He will join Allen Bestwick and Brad Daugherty for the pre-race show. Wallace will then step into the broadcast booth along with Jerry Punch and Ray Evernham to call the race.

TV viewers will once again get to see two different production teams offer two races from the very same track using very different styles. Over the years, the SPEED coverage of the trucks has become a familiar formula. Focused on racing, stripped of special effects and comfortable to watch.

ESPN is in the third season of Nationwide Series coverage. Marty Reid will step in and call the remainder of the races beginning in late July. This will give Jerry Punch a break as he was tasked with calling all the practice, qualifying and races for both the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series from July through November.

Breaking this up is a great idea and Reid has just the sense of good humor and racing smarts to make the final months of the Nationwide Series fun. As most fans know, once college football begins, the Nationwide gang often finds itself skipping around the ESPN family of TV networks like a fullback dodging tackles.

Punch will get to focus on the Sprint Cup races and try to get some positive momentum going for the sport at a very tough time. TNT is putting on a good show, but the ratings are still below last season. Hopefully, the Sonoma race will be changed drastically by the new restart rules and make for good TV at last.

Additional NASCAR TV programs on Saturday include NASCAR Live from Sonoma at 12PM ET with John Roberts and Hermie Sadler. That will be followed by the early final practice session for the Cup cars at 12:30PM. With the amended schedule, the Trucks should follow next weather permitting.

Special thanks to Dak Dillon for an exclusive picture of the rough weather in Milwaukee Friday night.

TDP will update any TV schedule changes early Saturday morning. We welcome your updates, information or comments about the topics on this post. Just click on the comments button below to add your information or opinion. This is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind when posting.

Thanks for stopping by, see all of you Saturday for some good NASCAR racing on TV.

Trucks Rained-Out Friday In Milwaukee

Update: CWTS race is postponed by heavy rain. SPEED will have live coverage Saturday at 1:30PM ET. We will be here to live blog the telecast.

The beating and banging of the original truck series should return this Friday night as the now Camping World Trucks take to the flat one-mile oval known as the Milwaukee Mile.

This is a critical time for the series, but all the elements seem to be in place for a good show. There are 34 trucks entered, with a handful expected to end the day early.

There is some added sizzle in the field this week with the likes of flat track ace Dennis Setzer, veteran Mike Bliss and former Cup driver Aric Almirola. The CWTS regulars like Ron Hornaday Jr., Mike Skinner and Todd Bodine are also in Milwaukee.

Ricky Carmichael is behind the wheel for Kevin Harvick Inc. this weekend with his Monster Energy Drink sponsorship. Jack Roush just announced that Colin Braun will be fulltime in the Nationwide Series in 2010 and he is in the field as well.

Finally, one driver with a little something to prove is Johnny Sauter while rapidly improving Tayler Malsam will be driving a Toyota for Randy Moss Motorsports.

Krista Voda will start the TV night at 8:30PM with The Setup. Adam Alexander and Ray Dunlap will be her reporters. Once things get underway at 9PM, it will be Rick Allen and Phil Parsons calling the action. Update: Being told by SPEED Michael Waltrip will be in Milwaukee and join the telecast team.

Ironically, the 2008 winner of this event is Johnny Benson. Gone from the CWTS after sponsorship woes, Benson was recently injured driving his hand-built Supermodified car in the Midwest. The good news is that JB is already out of the hospital and on his way to a full recovery.

The CWTS race will cap a long day of coverage on SPEED from both Milwaukee and Sonoma, CA. The Sprint Cup Series will practice at 3PM and then qualify at 6:30PM ET. Steve Byrnes, Jeff Hammond and Larry McReynolds will handle that coverage.

TDP will live-blog the CWTS race, but welcomes your comments on the Friday TV coverage on SPEED. 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 the time to stop by The Daly Planet.