Sunday, January 10, 2010

Sunday Starts The 2010 NASCAR TV Season


Well, how was your vacation? If you are a NASCAR TV fan, I ask because Sunday it is all over. At 7PM ET, The SPEED Report hits the air and eleven months and thousands of hours of NASCAR TV begins again.

It will be Adam Alexander and Bob Varsha co-hosting this first telecast. TSR has transformed itself into an outstanding program featuring news, results and features on all types of motorsports. NASCAR is expected to be front and center on this day.

One hour of general motorsports featuring NASCAR is a good way to get back into the TV groove because this year is going to be very different. Monday through Thursday, there will be now be two NASCAR specific television programs on the air for the entire season.

ESPN2 returns NASCAR Now beginning February 1 with hosts Allen Bestwick, Mike Massaro and Nicole Manske. The one hour Monday show gives way to thirty minute versions on weekdays and an hour preview show on weekends. Ricky Craven has confirmed that he will be back as a regular panelist, as will ESPN's cast of race analysts and news reporters.

When the ESPN motorsports executives fixed this program by changing announcers and format, the series came alive. 2009 featured some outstanding interviews, features and even a cameo from President Obama during a White House visit to promote the sport. This year, the show is going to face a new challenge.

Race Hub on SPEED is also back beginning Monday and that is good news for fans. The drawback of NASCAR Now is that it originates from the ESPN studios in Connecticut. Pre-arranged satellite interviews and phone calls are the primary contact that the series maintains with the Concord and Mooresville, NC areas where the vast majority of the teams are located.

SPEED is still settling into the new HD studios right down the road from the Charlotte Motor Speedway. In returning Race Hub, the network has committed to a Monday through Thursday show that is intended to get NASCAR personalities live in the studio to discuss the issues of the day.

Randy Pemberton, John Roberts, Adam Alexander and Rick Allen will all take turns hosting this week. Guests are still being firmed up, but Danica Patrick's name has been bounced around as being on the program on Monday. That would be a nice touch for both SPEED and Ms. Patrick as she gets her feet wet in the sport.

Update: Danica is now confirmed as a guest on Tuesday's Race Hub on SPEED.

While there is no TV scheduled from the Speed and Sound event this weekend, the Daytona Fan Festival will feature two live programs on Jan. 15 and 16 on SPEED. Over on HBO, the first of four programs in the 24/7 documentary series focusing on Jimmie Johnson preparing for Daytona airs on Jan. 26. Finally, details of a four part TV series focusing on JGR will be out shortly. The first of those programs airs on Jan. 24.

Slowly, during the month of February, the remainder of the NASCAR TV series will return and lead us up to the first weekend of racing. We will welcome a new Wednesday TV series on Showtime even as we wait for word from SPEED on the return of This Week in NASCAR. We continue to be cautiously optimistic.

TDP will have a full multi-network composite TV schedule on the main page that includes all the network announcers and guests. In short order, the information will start coming in and the NASCAR TV scene will get right back up to speed.

How was your off-season? Should SPEED and ESPN maintain some sort of presence on the air during December and January? Did Twitter and the Internet more than make up for any off-season TV show as far as NASCAR information is concerned? Would you have watched more off-season programming like races, reruns of shows and historical programs?

Help us out with your opinion on these topics by clicking 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, here we go again!

49 comments:

Richard in N.C. said...

Yes, SPEED in particular should have had more continuation of racing coverage after the NASCAR Cup banquet. I will never understand the annual hibernation of Wind Tunnel for 10 weeks or so each year, especially since it was demonstrated this past summer that the show could continue with a guest host. At least a weekly racing news show could have given adequate coverage to Michael Schumacher's return, Jimmie Johnson's winning the AP Athlete of the Year award, and other stories that got only lip service. In the old days it always irritated me that our local paper, with a NASCAR reporter, embargoed almost all NASCAR news in December and January apparently to fill its annual end of January Sunday special on NASCAR. If tennis, golf, the NHL, MLB, and the NFL can support their own networks, it would seem clear that at least SPEED should have year-round racing coverage.

Thank goodness VERSUS is providing daily, and good, coverage of the Dakar Rally.

Anonymous said...

I know everyone is really down on pay-tv with the Showtime announcement... but I for one am REALLY looking forward to the HBO 24/7 show on Jimmie Johnson.

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Daly Planet Editor said...
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Jonathan said...

Im so excited and I just cant hide it!!! LOL time to get this 2010 season in gear! Cant wait JD thanks

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Donna in FL said...

Where I live, scraping ice off the car is not cool. Anyway... YES there should be a year round weekly presence for not only NASCAR but all auto sports. As I mentioned before, The SPEED Report is the best already available show to do this. I made out all right getting info from the internet, but people like my dad (80) who only use TV or print get shut out. I had to become his reporter for news. I also like to rewatch good races, but that of course is subjective.
I'm keenly interested in the JGR thing? what channel?

Daly Planet Editor said...

It's going to be a 4 episode preview show about JGR getting ready for Daytona. It will be on SPEED and I will have the airdates and times for you all today.

JD

Donna in FL said...

Awesome!! Thanks

GinaV24 said...

Thanks for the updates, JD. It will be nice to see Speed Report back on and I'll DVR race hub to see what's going on for my daily race fix. I'll try and remember that NN is on, but I still find ESPN's style a real turnoff - too stiff for this race fan.

I don't get HBO, so I won't be watching the Johnson show. Sounds like a nice Christmas present for my brother the 48 fan for next year if they offer it on DVD.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Here is the JGR TV series info:

Title: JGR's Countdown to the Daytona 500.

Episode #1 - Jan. 24th at 6PM ET.
Episode #2 - Jan. 31st at 9PM ET.
Episode #3 - Feb. 7th at 4PM ET.
Episode #4 - Feb. 13th at 6PM ET.

Should be interesting!

JD

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batchief said...

Kids must be out of school somewhere again John. Mr. Juvenile Punk is visiting us again.

GinaV24 said...

Let me just say the that "numbers idiot" is just that - an idiot! Why waste everyone's time?

MRM4 said...

It seems like the trolls have taken over. :(

With the internet being so popular to keep updated, I don't see the need for many shows during the off-season. Having a weekly, weekend show might be okay for some inside stories or having Wind Tunnel on to discuss hot topics among people in the sport. There's a hot debate going on within the dirt late model community concerning teams using chemicals to soften tires. The use of these are harmful to health and the environment. Series are banning its use ,but teams still use them. This would be a great topic to discusss on TV.

boyd said...

Yes there needs to be a presence in the off season!
The NFL still gets pub in off season.
Today MLB got mentions because of Hall of Fame voting.
The NBA get mentions during their offseason.
Barry Melrose even gets hockey thier due in their time off.
NASCAR....Nothing on TV.
Did Kyle Busch form his team during the TV/NASCAR season?
Did Danica get her mentions because of the time she made her announcements?
Has there been pub, except on twitter about the Harvick/Sadler truck ride sharing?

We need to have a presence if we want to be recognized as a major sport!

Anonymous said...

JD, Race Hub can not be returning, because it never existed. Nascar Hub could return however. I do wish that it is Race Hub because that would mean that it might cover more forms of motorsports than just Nascar.
Marybeth

David said...

Back on my soap box, sorry guys.

Didn't there used to be a daily general motorsports show featuring NASCAR that ESPN did for years and years? I think it was called RPM2Night? Nothing against SPEED and TSR because it is an excellent program but I work Sunday nights and cannot devote the time to trying to catch a single or double airing on a lone day of the week for motorsports news that has probably already broke across the internet.

NFL Live runs year round, RPM used to as well. I just wish ESPN could get NN to run similarly. Though with the state of NASCAR right now there isn't a ton of sole NASCAR news to discuss at the moment.

Just counting down to the Rolex 24 now...

Dot said...

I agree with Boyd.

Speed Report should stay on the air during the off season. There's racing going on all year isn't there? I don't know about other NASCAR fans but, I do like to follow other forms of racing.

Darcie said...

I'm wondering....will ESPN ever put a Nascar race on their 3D network? They mentioned college football, NBA and baseball, but no mention of Nascar. And, to be honest, when I heard that the network would be dark if there was no sporting event scheduled, I'm wondering how cost efficient a 3D network would be, considering that everyone needs to buy a new TV.

Andrew said...

I can sorta understand ESPN not having a December NASCAR show, with the craziness that is bowl season, but for SPEED not to have at least a weekly show is not excusable. There's been several big stories mostly ignored by ESPN this offseason:
- The Yates-Petty merger being finalized
- Smoke racing in Australia
- Addington going to Kurt's team
- The format changes for the Bud Shootout
- The trouble at NASCAR Scene, NASCAR Illustrated, and SceneDaily.com
- Robby racing in the Dakar Rally
- Danica Patrick
- And finally today's news of possibly going back to the spoiler on the cars.

Granted, this has all come out over several weeks, and wouldn't justify a daily show. But a weekly show would be perfect.

Newracefan said...

I would like to see Speed Report continue through out the year. There is always something going on in the racing world, maybe it needs to be cut to 30 minutes but there should be something. NN I'm on the fence about because it would just be a repeat of the Speed Report info and if I had to pick one although hearing from Marty Smith every week would be a good thing. Obviously there would not be enough info to do a daily show but... I've been asking for a few years now for a show that provides insite into what goes on at the shop during the "off season" it's not like they are sitting there doing nothing.

JohnP said...

Stewart raced in Australia?? Thanks Andrew, I have to follow up on that.. As a dedicated Smoke fan I've heard nothing of this.. Damn, I missed it..

Dot and Boyd are correct.. Speed Channel is about racing isn't it?? The show Wind Tunnel basically ignores Nascar coverage from Dave Dispain during the season anyway.. So why pull the show when the Nascar season is over.. That's the logic of an idiot..

After ESPN's coverage of the Jimmy Johnson Chase in 2009 I don't care if they ever broadcast another show concering the Jimmy Johnson Cup.. They burnt me out during the Jimmy Johnson Chase in 2009.. Won't ever watch their channel again for any sporting show..

Speed Channel however, fans here are starving for updates, team mergers, tire runs/practices.. Driver changers in the cars.. It's all going on and we hear nothing..

Thanks JD for the updates..

Vicky D said...

I like the idea of having Speed Report a weekly show even after the racing season is over. There's always driver/cc changes things like that they could report on. I think if the tv broadcasts went to 3d would be really something. We would actually have to wait til one of our hd tv's bites the dust in order to replace it. But my biggest question, would there be a business for 3D prescription glasses?? Can't wait for Rolex race coming up within weeks and Colin Braun has signed up to race in the Krohn Racing car with teammates Tracy Krohn, Nic Jonsson and Ricardo Zonta.

Chris from NY said...

I have DirecTV now and I'm wondering if the Shootout will be on HotPass.

I would like to see more of the Speed Report, as do most of us.

Here's to what should be a better year for NASCAR TV. If it isn't, I want heads. Those whose heads I want should know who they are.

GinaV24 said...

I would have liked it if Speed and ESPN had run some NASCAR programming during the off season. I'm a big fan of seeing the old races and try and watch them on Classic whenever possible. Heck, I enjoyed watching Jr's "back in the day" program.

I'll admit that I lean on the internet as my source a lot more than I did, mostly because I don't have to wait for it to come on TV, but if I have a chance to sit down and watch for a bit, it would have been nice to see some NASCAR coverage.

Happily the snow forecast was correct by the local news - we only got an inch or so! It was pretty on the trees and didn't make the ride to work miserable.

GinaV24 said...

@David, yes ESPN had RPM2Night on for years and it was a great show that covered all different kinds of racing. I really miss it.

GinaV24 said...

I hope the tests to use the spoiler on the ugly car go well. That stupid wing makes an already ugly squat box even uglier. I wonder if Speed Report will cover the testing - even if its just wind tunnel stuff.

Damon said...

Regarding the Danica/RaceHub thing on Tuesday, she'll be in Indy for the IRL's annual winter meetings.....you know the IRL, her DAY JOB!

Complaining about her not being in studio for RaceHub is lame, JD.

Daly Planet Editor said...
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Dot said...

No TWIN?????????? A sad day for the fans who watched that show religiously.

David said...

Hope either SPEED or ESPN will do something new. A organization by organization preview for 2010. Such as a whole day devoted to HMS, Roush, RPM, RCR, EGR, Penske, so on and so fourth with maybe a few drivers and crew cheifs on doing interviews talking about the upcoming season, etc. Devote a day to independents and new teams too. I think its a neat idea and would really bridge the gap between the Rolex and Speedweeks.

JohnP said...

Thanks Andrew, just got done reading about the Scott Darley Classic in Sydney. Three American drivers were there, including Smoke. They finished 1st, 2nd, and 19th out of a 24 car field. Would of never know that with the lack of racing shows on tv without the internet. It was an open wheel race on dirt a lot like Tony's track.

As far as TWIN is concerned for the folks who like it. Speedtv.com still lists it in the lineup of programs. However, no time slot is advertised as of yet.

Bobby said...

Speed Report probably will focus more on Supercross and Dakar the early weeks, of course, since Supercross just dropped the gate about a half-hour ago for its first round of the season.

Personally, the off-season reminds me that NASCAR should look at making the Hall of Fame voting and results be an off-season affair.

The big Aussie sprint car races (and drags too) seem always to draw the Yanks since they can spend Christmas on the sunny beach with temperatures in the 90's and and then race! With what we're having in the teens in the Carolinas, who'd love to soak up the sun in 80 and 90 degree weather and race?