Friday, April 9, 2010
Friday NASCAR TV Searches For Traction
ESPN2 and SPEED are both on the air from Phoenix International Raceway on Friday. SPEED starts the day with Nationwide Series practice at 11AM and ESPN2 ends it with the Nationwide Series race at 9:30PM ET.
While the Camping World and Nationwide Series raced last weekend, neither had practice or qualifying televised. NASCAR's TV partners were busy with other programming, so only the two races were shown. There was also very little of the weekend TV normally associated with the sport because the Sprint Cup Series was off. Put those pieces together and it seems like a long time ago that the full-day style of NASCAR TV coverage has been on the air.
Despite the fact that there is a long string of consecutive Sprint Cup Series weekends coming up, it kind of feels like the NASCAR on FOX coverage has lost momentum. The quirky scheduling and the poorly timed off-weeks really took the wind out of NASCAR's TV sails.
Luckily, it is all hands on deck for the 13 hours of live TV on Friday. The Nationwide Series practices, qualifies and races within that span of time. On the Cup side, practice and qualifying is on the menu. Along the way, ESPN even sneaks in a NASCAR Now show.
The two big features of the day are Sprint Cup qualifying and the Nationwide Series race. Mike Joy, Larry McReynolds and Darrell Waltrip are handling the Cup qualifying session on SPEED. Dale Jarrett is off this weekend, so Rusty Wallace steps into the TV booth for the Nationwide Series race on ESPN2 with Marty Reid and Andy Petree.
NASCAR needs a good strong day of TV topped off with an exciting race. This weekend really starts the long grind portion of the schedule. As a reminder of what is to come, the Phoenix weather calls for a high of 88 degrees and bright sun. There is no chance of rain.
We will use this post to comment on the PIR television coverage right up until the Nationwide Series race. SPEED and ESPN have very different ways of covering the sport, so channel hopping on Friday should be an interesting experience. The complete weekend NASCAR TV schedule is on the right side of the TDP main page.
To add your comment about the Friday NASCAR TV, 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 The Daly Planet.