Thursday, March 18, 2010

NASCAR on SPEED Vs. March Madness


Most fans remember how the NFL thumped NASCAR last year when football season began. Friday, NASCAR opens up after a two week break and goes head-to-head with the powerhouse NCAA basketball tournament on CBS.

SPEED is handling the Friday TV from the Bristol Motor Speedway and it will be Mike Joy, Darrell Waltrip and Larry McReynolds opening the day at 12PM ET with Sprint Cup Series practice. Over on CBS, it will be Greg Gumbel, Clark Kellogg and Seth Davis hosting the coverage that also begins at noon. Those three are pictured above.

ESPN2's NASCAR Now Friday edition hosted by Nicole Briscoe was bumped back to 8:30PM ET because of the NIT college basketball scheduled on that network. Marty Smith and Mike Massaro will be reporting from Bristol, TN.

That leaves SPEED to go it alone through Sprint Cup Series practice, two sessions of Nationwide Series practice and Sprint Cup Series qualifying. At 6PM, host John Roberts welcomes Jimmy Spencer to the SPEED Stage along with Randy Pemberton for the NASCAR Live program. Hermie Sadler and Bob Dillner will be reporting.

Perhaps the most interesting match-up will be at 7PM. CBS has a choice of four games to distribute from four nationwide venues that feature Duke, Michigan State, Georgia Tech and Florida State.

Meanwhile, SPEED's Trackside gang counters with Bristol guests David Pearson and Kyle Busch. Pearson has been quite memorable his last few times on TV with his opinions on topics from the COT to the behavior of the new breed of drivers. Kyle Busch and his fiance have been very busy connecting with fans directly on Twitter. It should be interesting to see what Busch has to say about his first social media experience.

This is another all-day affair for SPEED. The network has really grown nicely into the host role. Regardless of the fact that SPEED is not televising either the Nationwide or Sprint Cup Series races, the entire TV team seems to work very hard to make practice and qualifying sessions meaningful to viewers and fans.

How about leaving us a comment on how much TV you will be watching on Friday and whether you are going to choose basketball over NASCAR? As the Friday coverage moves on, we will also use this post for your comments about SPEED's telecasts from Bristol.

43 comments:

Anonymous said...

Is either Nascar, American Football and soccer for me. Not really a basketball fan. So I will be watching Nascar on speed tomorrow.

Anthony said...

I'll definitely be watching Sprint Cup practice and qualifying, but CBS will be on the rest of the day.

The NCAA tournament only happens once a year, so it's nice to soak it all in and enjoy the wall-to-wall coverage CBS provides.

So when Sprint Cup isn't on TV, basketball will.

Anonymous said...

Man, I wish I could watch sports all day Friday. But I have A JOB!

Jonathan said...

basketwhat Please who wants to watch that???? not me :) anyways I will be watching Speed from the moment I wake up around 1 or 2pmish cdt till I go to work at 10pm! I see they have Spencer on today that will be interesting to see!!!

Jim said...

All NASCAR all the time.

Our TV has never experienced college sports or pro basketball.

Limited viewing of NFL is allowed, if there is no conflict with motor racing.

Vicky D said...

Spencer's back? That's really something and Randy LaJoie will be back on NN on Monday night too. But I'll be running errands and trying to keep track of my teams and checking out my brackets hoping to beat son. Looking forward to some good racing this weekend.

51 yr. fan said...

I wish SPEED would hire Marty Smith
and Ricky Craven. They could get
rid of Spencer and Wallace and
have some credible commentary.
Leave it to ESPN to have some
ad hoc slot again for NN.

The basketeball followers will be whittled down a lot by Sunday
afternoon as the fans exit with
the losers.

Jojaye said...

Streaming the NCAA,which NCAA is doing for free & using tv for watching practice.

Sunday is the tough choice = UConn women or Bristol? its gonna be a 2 tv day & the racing better be good!

glenc1 said...

anon 11:56, I'm with ya.

Despite my neighbors painting the town orange, I really don't care that much for basketball (though college interests me way more than pros). I might watch a bit here and there. But I am definitely feeling race withdrawal, so that will be my focus.

Donna in FL said...

Simple choice for me! Don't give a FF rats ahem about NCAA so its NASCAR DVR all the way baby!

JohnP said...

Will watch Sprint qualifying today.. Don't give a darn about basketball..

GinaV24 said...

I'm not a basketball fan, so it will be NASCAR for me once I get home from work. I agree that Speed does a nice job handling the practice and qualifying session stuff. I will look forward to seeing David Pearson on Trackside, KyBu not so much, so I'll watch at least part of the show. Hope that DW won't act the total fool on the show.

OSBORNK said...

I don't watch much college basketball except during the tournament. I watch it to see underdogs win occasionally. I would not watch it if only the top seeds won like they do in NA$CAR. The chances of a 14th seed beating a 3 seed like I saw watching basketball yesterday happening in NA$CAR is about the same as me winning the lottery (that I don't play).

Anonymous said...

I will not be watching any basketball.I will be watching Cup and Nationwide practices and qualifying. The Friday night version of Trackside is usually a complete waste of time,but Pearson and Busch could make it interesting. I never miss the Monday version of Nascar Now, but never watch it when Nicole is hosting. The biggest bet for Sunday will be who takes out the #12 car. It could be interesting!

Anonymous said...

What are you guys, all millionaires? Who can sit around and watch sports all day Friday?

Zieke said...

Even tho the races are better than NCAA basketball, that does not include any of the prerace garp. I will watch some of both and listen to the radio race broadcast.

Dannyboy said...

As several have commented here above, I work 6-days a week for a living (no insult intended to any other commenters) and as some of you know, the toughest boss is when you own your own business. Happy to have a lot to do, but this year I'm regretting not having more time. I'm writing this with my morning coffee.

I never cared about college sports until I had grey hair. But living at literally walking distance from San Diego State, I have seen the rise of its teams from joke status to national contenders. The past few years have brought Tony Gwynn coaching the baseball team, Brady Hoke who took Ball State to a NCAA championship now coaching our football team, Steve Fisher who took Michgan to NCAA basketball championships now taking the Aztecs to multiple trips to the NIT and now the NCAA tournament, and Beth Burns' women, though eclipsed by the amazing UConn team nonetheless are a team to root for and be proud of.

So here comes Bristol (baby!) - one of my favorite tracks, and I don't really have "a dog in that hunt" since MW retired. If NASCAR had been on TV when the Aztecs played Tennessee last night I would have only switched to the racing when there was a time-out.

Now that March Madness is here (which I used to dread) TV is 24-7 b-ball, and ESPN2 absolutely DESTROYS any semblance of stability with its NASCAR scheduling and interruptions of regular programing. It has been almost impossible to catch NN this week: they list it at a certain time in all the program guides and schedule grids, you tune-in, and it's NOT THERE! I accidentally caught one show earlier this week and was chagrined to see Nicole and Brad D doing a faux-"bracket" for Bristol. I'm not stupid, I get the reason they did it, but GUYS! It doesn't translate in any meaningful way! 10 minutes of programming wasted on pure fluff. Yes, I realize there wasn't much going on, but they could've spent some more time on the spoiler test, which had some intersting aspects as reported on Twitter.

As bad as SPEED has become in some respects, their live NASCAR coverage is a welcome oasis of stability in the scheme of things.

My .02 cents.

Bucky B said...

Well, speaking for me personally-I'm a government statistic. I'm one of the nation's unemployed. So I'll be watching Speed all day and NASCAR all weekend, with some golf sprinkled in. As Dave Despain once said years ago, "March Madness? I thought that was Bike Week in Daytona".

W_Rabb said...

March Madness Trumps NASCAR Period

sbaker17 said...

I’ll use PIP and bounce the sound control between the 2 images
depending on the score of the game(s) or intensity of the racing.
But sound control will be on the tournament coverage any time a commentator whose last name begins with Wal is babbling away. Particularly the Wal family from the St. Louis area.
If the Wal babblers are used too much, then PIP will not be used and the tournament will be on the big screen alone.

Daly Planet Editor said...

It's so interesting to hear how everyone is going to be spending today with or without TV!

Palmetto said...

I don't watch college sports. It's either racing or the NFL, in that order. I'm watching practice until my father arrives and we leave for Bristol. Well, the hotel room in Asheville, but close enough.

Richard in N.C. said...

For many in NC, B-ball is more a religion than NASCAR. I'll be following B-ball on the internet off and on most of the day and watch recorded Bristol when I get home.

Anonymous said...

That's not Clark Kellog in that picture; I believe that it's Greg Anthony.

Just saying...

Oh, and I have to work so it's b'ball on the radio.

Chris from NY said...

Who would pass up Bristol for NCAA Basketball? Die-hard NCAA fans I guess. The reason why NASCAR always loses to the NFL in ratings is because the races that conflict with the games are usually intermediates anyway. Same case goes for the MLB games.

Richard in N.C. said...

The NFL trumps just about everything in sports, not just NASCAR - and one reason I never see mentioned is gambling.

OSBORNK said...

I was watching local TV this morning and they were on site at Bristol at a campground. The campground wasn't half full and they said there were "plenty" of good seats still available. They hope they pick up a lot of last minute deciders. However, the forecast is for a good chance of rain on Sunday (optimists say 40% and pessimists say 70%). Hopefully, the rain will arrive late in the day. Wunderground has it at 60% from 11:00AM til dark.

I don't trust anything I hear from Fox or Speed regarding conditions because they have a vested interest.

peggyann said...

The only thing more distasteful than NCAA B-Ball is Jimmy Spencer with red hair.

Anonymous said...

PEGGYANN, I agree and his double/triple chin isn't helping. He's already gotten on my nerves.

The Mad Man said...

When the ratings come out next week, we'll be hearing the excuses that the ratings were down because of March Madness. What will be the excuse when ratings are down and NASCAR isn't up against any other sporting event as has happened in the past?

GinaV24 said...

Such a nice week of weather here in NJ so I decided it was worth burning a half day of vacation so I could get home and see qualifying. For some reason watching qualifying at Bristol and Martinsville just makes me happy.

I'm on a couple of mailing lists and have noticed that some of the tracks, including Charlotte and Martinsville are using e-mail to stay in touch with fans Apparently the new social media stuff is changing how the tracks are promoting the sport than they used to and thought it was interesting that it seems at least some of the tracks, as well as sponsors and manufacturers have finally caught on that NASCAR fans these days multi-task to follow the race, not just sitting in front of the TV watching.

Sound likes so many of us here on The Daly Planet during the races - multi-tasking to figure out what's going on-- I think what they may not fully realize though is that much of that multi-tasking is a result of the poor TV broadcasting from Fox and ESPN.

I was wondering to myself since I don't watch basketball - is the coverage that ESPN does of the NCAA tournament as disjointed as the race broadcasts - Cup side, since the Nationwide coverage has been much better this season.

Maybe if the sponsors and manufacturers finally "get it", it will help persuade the tv folks to provide better coverage.

Of course, I could just be dreaming too.

Anonymous said...

We're big NASCAR and Daly Planet fans. I read you daily and follow the comments during some races...but don't post very often. I have to take issue with the four teams that you said CBS will be featuring, 'cause although you mentioned Georgia Tech, they'll be playing Oklahoma State University. I "demand" equal time. Go Pokes!!

Keep up the great columns.

OSU Alum 1967.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Yep, that was the only CBS Sports picture I could find! You are exactly right.

Tooooo funny! Sorry for the Pokes omission!

Was a fun day of TV, can hardly wait for Trackside. Pearson and Kyle Busch....oh boy.

Darcie said...

B-Ball all the way. Some of these games have been incredible, especially the great Cinderella teams beating the big boys. One of my alma maters, Marquette, got spanked, but my Wisconsin survived a scare from Wofford. I haven't been much interested in Nascar this season, a lot due to the bad, boring racing. And now we'll have a fake rivalry, made even more so by the nasty comments between Harvick and Edwards. Sorry, but with all this crap, Nascar really IS starting to look more like WWE, each and every week. I may check back in once they bring on the spoilers, but for now, it'll be the Big Dance for me.

Jonathan said...

Darcie are you kidding me? I think your looking more like the WWF than Nascar is trying to stir up some drama?? Fake rivarly?? if you knew anything about Nascar you would know Harvick and Edwards already have a history that dates back a couple years back so theres nothing fake about it! Ha ok enjoy watching the basket go in the hoop all day long.... Sounds like soooo much fun!

Btw loved Pearsons answer to what he thought of Danica on trackside! The what??? Well shes pretty

Anonymous said...

Wanted to watch Nascar today but felt it would just be another DW show so we went fishing and gave up Trackside for the same reason and went to our local karting track. Just can't stand DW:sorry.

Anonymous said...

HAH - just wait until NASCAR has to go up against Tiger Woods. More of a ratings drop then.

Ken said...

I had not thought of the Tiger Woods impact. There will be a lot of people watching Tiger for the curosity factor. March Madness and Tiger hs been going up against NA$CAR for years but I think this year will show a bigger than normal drop.

One factor that has dropped out of the news since we got a new president is the price of gas. As it approaches and exceeds $3.00 per gallon, it does and will continue to have a big impact on race attendance and the number of RVs that show up at races.

Tracij said...

I am glad that I have 2 tv's and a DVR. I will be watching both. I love both. NASCAR is #1 though. I have Directtv so I can watch Hotpass.

I do not, I repeat do not like to hear anything that DW has to say. So I will make sure that I won't be listening to him.

51 yr. fan said...

I caught the early portion of
Trackside last night. Larry Mc
wouldn't let Carl finish his remarks before beginning the
"kiss-up"; then DW started gushing
the pro NASCAR Kool Aid. Why not
a few tough questions? Could it
be because Scotts is todays sponsor? I didn't see it all but
heard no mention of a equal time
for rebuttal from Kez. Did they
cover Harvick's remarks?

Todd Crane said...

John, sorry my friend but that's not Clark Kellog, He's in the field, that the Sr. BB editor from SI, and I don't remember his name. Needless to say, even though the NA$CAR show has gotten somewhat better, I'll be watching Basketball.

Daly Planet Editor said...

I know, but it was the only CBS Sports picture of Greg Gumble I could find.

JD

Anonymous said...

I do think the Food City 500 will be rained out on Sunday. If that the case, I'll watch college cheerleading on ESPN2 since my Kentucky Wildcats don't play on Sunday.