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.