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.

39 comments:

77KJAX said...

DJ is gone , a perfect reason to use Ricky Craven (he is really impressive)& TPTB choose Rusty instead WTH?

51 yr. fan said...

Why "Rusty Repeat" when Evernham,
LaJoie and Craven add so much to
the presentation?

ESPN will lose the momentum from
the great show at Nasville.

Vicky D said...

JD, I thought I posted but I don't think it went through. I can't believe that picture! LOL, With Rusty (oh no!) back in the booth I'll have to have remote in hand to lower the volume when he starts talking! I also found it strange about the off-week schedules for Nascar racing. The teams will be complaining about no time off in the middle of the summer.

GinaV24 said...

Ugh, Rusty's back in the booth - what a shame. I really enjoyed the Nashville race with Ricky Craven in the booth. Darn, after last week's great coverage, I was looking forward to watching the N'wide race - now, not so much.

Fox seriously needs to have their act together starting with this race. Between what I consider the poor broadcast coverage AND the poorly timed breaks in the race schedule, I don't find myself at all excited to tune into the Cup race. I'll most likely watch this race since here on the east coast, it will be a "night race", but after this one, Fox will need to convince me there's a reason to stay in on a nice Sunday to watch a race. So far, I haven't seen one.

OSBORNK said...

We had such nice race coverage last weekend without having to suffer through the Wallace and Waltrip claptrap along with good work from the truck. I fear we will go back to the show as usual. We just witnessed how the broadcast can be done and anything less will be a disappointment.

A 9:30PM starting time for a race is insane. The majority of race fans will have worked all day and staying awake until midnight is asking a lot. I think it will have a big impact on ratings. It's hard enough to stay awake until the end of a race as it is.

Garry said...

Although I agree with Craven's professional approach, I have to say that he is TOO professional. It's like listening to Jimmie Johnson on Christmas Eve. Yawn. Not particular to Rusty either, but any emotion is better than dry emotion. Lajoie would have been the better approach.
I too was surprised about the lack of NASCAR programming last week, but when David Hill is in charge, it's a train wreck anyway.

Charlie said...

Been watching Speed in HD and there has been no picture or sound since 1:20pm eastern time. I am still getting a picture on the basic Speed channel.
Charter is my cable provider.

Jojaye said...

Well we could have had a pro without a vested interest in the race coverage ( I would have Liked Randy in the booth) - instead we get treated to an afternoon of cRusty shilling for his team, his son & his sponsors. Yippee (not)-

And the schedule is odd - Fox better make it good for us here too. Nice weather + dvr = us watching later & commercial free.

What happened to 1,3,7 start times? Or is that local? 9:30 p.m. is a bit late to watch live.

p.s. love word verify = lakers

Anonymous said...

1,3 and 7 are the start times for Cup races, not N'wide.

51 yr. fan said...

To Charlie @1:41

I've got picture and sound today.
on DirectTV. You may want to call provider.

Jojaye said...

@Anon - Thanks - for some reason I thought for N'wides too. Maybe just wishful thinking on my part!

Charlie said...

Still no Speed in HD. I called Charter and they said there is a problem and the tech. people are looking into it. It has been off now for over an hour and a half.

Charlie said...

Speed Hd is now working on Charter. Took about 3 hours plus to fix it.
Glad to see it back.

Karen said...

Guys in Cup booth actually pretty funny today.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Old Andy is certainly having to agree a lot with Mr. Wallace.

Daly Planet Editor said...

JWT out and Clint Bower in tonight for the Z team car.

Karen said...

JLittle said JWT fired by RCR, not just out for tonight.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Well, that is going to be a little issue for tonight. Be nice to find out what daddy said about it.

Might be to the point that he just wants a good run and his brand on TV.

Clint is the guy for that.

JD

tiamatsrevenge said...

Only took 5 posts in this thread to get to someone complaining about the start time ... LOL ;-)

I wonder how many East Coasters would be yelling IF they had to tune it at 6am for practice/qualifying ?? We've already had to put up with that several times out here on the West Coast this season ...


I think Jamie Little's trying to be the "National Enquirer" ... She needs to check with the owner of the team BEFORE she starts spouting rumors from an alleged crewman ... Esp since it looked like Townley spun in the same spot as Jimmie / Smoke / Kyle / Marcos ...

David said...

JWT got fired...who didn't see that one coming?

Should be interesting to see how that plays out since sponsor dollars are so rare to come by...

Gymmie said...

Utter says he spoke to someone at RCR and JWT isn't fired. However JWT still could be sat out a race or two. Will be interesting to see where it all leads :)

David said...

Well if he isn't fired shame on ESPN for the bogus report!

I have to imagine RCR is stuck with JWT whether they like it or not. They can him they lose all sponsorship and put several people out of work.

Qualifying coverage was eh so far, hope we can get a repeat in race coverage like we had last week.

Its a home game for me this weekend but not going to be able to make it out to the track due to financial reasons. Probably going to go in the fall though.

GinaV24 said...

I was planning to watch at least part of the race tonight (at least until I feel asleep) LOL. it turns out I have to go out so I'll probably listen to it on MRN on the way home -- the offer of pizza and beer as payment for my formatting skills is too much for me to resist.

It's probably PRN broadcasting tonight isn't it?

David said...

MRN. PIR is an ISC track.

tiamatsrevenge said...

The JWT/RCR issue is more proof that Jamie Little is in over her head ... She's no better than the "National Enquirer" ... Spouting rumors that get dispelled ...

JWT is 17th in driver points and 20th in owner points ... Compared to Colin Braun who is 30th & 36th (driver / owner points) ... and Ricky Stenhouse Jr who is 32nd & 36th (driver/owner points) ...


Seriously ... I just don't comprehend why Bodenheimer keeps Jamie / Shannon / Brad ...

tiamatsrevenge said...

FOX boys forgot that Front Row switched the cars/points between Gilliland and Conway ... because Conway's car DID fall out of the top 35 ...

Martin Vincent said...

@tia - All 3 Front Row cars are still in the top 35 in owner points. Conway may be out of the top 35 in driver points, but that doesn't count as far as guaranteed positions are concerned.

David said...

Si, MV is right. They are 33rd, 34th and 35th respectively. Kvapil is in the bubble spot. Conway's car is actually the highest of the 3. The car he is running this weekend at least.

Martin Vincent said...

The Front Row cars are not fast in qualifying, but Gilliland has just outqualified Kvapil by 2 mph and Conway by 4 mph. He'll probably outrun Conway tomorrow night and elevate the #37's ranking in the owner points some more.

majorshouse said...

I am really disappointed that Ricky Craven is not in the booth, I am going to ahve to turn the volume down and am not looking forward at all to hearing Rusty in the booth, too much Rusty is like too much Waltrip, ugh.

Martin Vincent said...

I don't like this style of qualifying coverage, makes it hard to follow with the Live Leaderboard when the TV coverage is 7 cars behind the live timing. I think the ESPN coverage of Nationwide qualifying was just fine with updates on the cars that ran during commercial.

glenc1 said...

"It's *went*?" Arghhhhhhhh...I just hate that. I like Larry, but that drives me crazy.

suddenly, I'm hungry for an enchirito...

Anonymous said...

Looks like AJ is getting the pole. Way to go!

Sally said...

Too bad winning a pole doesn't get you into the shootout anymore. Now the pole is just for pit road selection. Takes some of the fun out of it. It would be cool to see the #43 on the pole, wouldn't it?

David said...

Yes tia they did, 35th is the bubble though. So to keep the 37 stable in points they did a driver swap. Conway still has never fallen out of the top 35 in owners points. The 38 is 33rd, 37 34th and 34 is 35th. All 3 cars are still guaranteed starters. No matter what happens, Conway will always get put in the locked in car because of the sponsor money. they know he cant time in on his own.

Vicky D said...

JWT could sit out several races while another driver checks out car to see if there are other issues. That's happened a lot of times. Good Speed broadcast of cup qualifying but MR did a nice job of NW qualifying too.

Anonymous said...

JD, your tweet "Dinger, $$ and #blamehornish top three on the NNS grid." Isn't NNS the Nationwide series? And why should ESPN focus on the cup qualifying when their job is to broadcast the Nationwide race?

Daly Planet Editor said...

Don't I get a typo every million posts or so?

Speaking of that, the live race blog is up. See you there!!

JD

Anonymous said...

Isnt it great ... think about all of the tv moments we will have
with marty reed. 18 races yes 18
of em. Dont forgtet jabber jarrett
and handy andy.
Nice to dream about this and look
forward to every waking moment of the hell that is the Cup cars on espn. The horror
the hideous future that lies ahead.
We CAN SEE THE CARS RACING RUSTY
AND OH NEVER MIND just tell me shut
up. Oh wait ..the boys in the booth
couldnt wait to tell us about the
" issues " between some drivers...
Andy shut up !!!!! reeeed eeeek
rusty shut up good nite...
Does anyone here think that Nascar
CARES ABOUT THE PRODUCT THAT is
served up each week ??
Or maybe they like the non stop
utter destruction and nooo respect
at all for the viewers .
Wait maybe they think the non stop chatter is good...
I pray God that they dont amen