Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Getting Primed With Jimmy Spencer

The TV evolution of Jimmy Spencer continues on SPEED with his recurring role on the Race Hub series. This Monday through Thursday show is only thirty minutes long, so it moves at a pretty quick pace.

The fundamental idea of Race Hub is to make use of SPEED's location just down the street from the Charlotte Motor Speedway. The studio is an easy drive for most of the NASCAR personalities. It has worked out well to regularly have drivers, owners, crew chiefs and NASCAR officials being interviewed in a casual setting.

In looking for other elements to add to the series, SPEED has tried and failed with quite a variety of ideas. Currently, Miss Sprint Cup is a regular guest along with Jeff Hammond and Larry McReynolds. More recently, Race Hub has given Jimmy Spencer a chance to carve out a new niche with his unique take on NASCAR topics.

The feature is called Getting Primed with Jimmy Spencer. This title is due primarily to the fact that SPEED has actually landed a commercial sponsor for Spencer's bit. KILZ is a company that sells, you guessed it, primer.

The TV network quietly moved Spencer off the high-profile RaceDay show this season and replaced him with Kyle Petty. Spencer gave up his post-race role on the Victory Lane show to Petty as well.

SPEED tried Spencer in a Monday night show that featured him sitting in the Spencer Auto Salvage Yard. The set was meant to resemble the Berwick, PA office of the actual Spencer family business. Of course, host Ray Dunlap never got around to mentioning that point. What's the Deal was a complete and total disaster. It was removed from the TV schedule. Shows on SPEED are never officially cancelled.

Spencer has a well-defined character. Since TV producers know what they are getting, the real issue is building something that works for the viewers. Race Hub came along at the perfect time and has given Spencer new life. Unfortunately, some of the same bugs that existed in his now defunct TV series are still present.

Instead of being welcomed to the Race Hub studio like all the other guests, Spencer continues to appear from the old What's the Deal set. He also still wears his salvage yard work shirt, which features a "Mr. E" name tag. Once again on Tuesday, Spencer's appearance and surroundings were never explained.

Getting Primed features Spencer interacting with the Race Hub host. You could not have picked a more opposite character than the neatly attired and politically correct Rick Allen. In the Tuesday bit, Allen tossed scripted questions to Spencer and then pretended to enjoy the answers. Pretended is the keyword there.

Here are some Spencer tidbits from Tuesday:

To Scott Speed's about his on and off-track comments on the MIS contact with Casey Mears: "You know why I think you are so upset about this? Because the first two times Casey got in that car he kicked your butt."

On Jeremy Clements driving the Boudreaux's Butt Paste Chevy: "He was hauling ass baby, in that old buttmobile. He got to the top ten during the (Nationwide Series) race. For a family-owned team, I love it!"

To Kyle Busch on truck series frustration comments at MIS: "I am one of your biggest fans, what you do on the racetrack is amazing stuff. But when you get out of your truck and take a little dig at this guy (Almirola) who is driving your old truck...I used to be a sore loser, Kyle. I got some lessons. You know what? Give me a call, buddy."

Spencer is working items into his commentary like the crying towel for whining drivers and the victory cigar for positive performances on the track. Instead of recording his bit alone and then providing a email or Twitter link for fan comments, Spencer painfully interacts with the show host and then just disappears.

While Race Hub has Miss Sprint read some selected driver tweets, it's very clear that SPEED just does not get social media. With almost all the network's personalities using Twitter and Facebook regularly, you can click here to view Race Hub's Facebook page which has no feedback for Spencer at all.

A series like Race Hub needs characters. In the current politically correct atmosphere of NASCAR, Spencer is clearly a personality that can drive fan feedback and get the ball rolling on a lot of topics. Bringing fans into the conversation can perhaps finally get Spencer primed for a TV comeback and SPEED in the social media mix. It just might be Spencer's last chance.

The Daly Planet welcomes your comments on this topic. To add your opinion, 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.


Sally said...

Spencer is Spencer. Limiting him to a few minutes on Hub is about right. I'm not sure why they feel the need to do a feature with 'Miss Sprint Cup'. I guess it's an attempt to make her more relevant than standing around in the background in Victory Lane smiling insipidly and squealing as she gets sprayed with champagne.

Vicky D said...

JD, I think Spencer's 2 or 3 minute comments are really funny and that crying towell just adds to it. I like him on the Hub and I hope they keep him.

GinaV24 said...

OK, Kilz is the perfect sponsor for Spencer. It covers up things you don't want to see.

It was painful to watch that segment on RaceHub since its like listening to the punch line of a joke without knowiing what else was said.

I'm sure that Miss Sprint Cup is a nice young woman but again, its all out of context.

Sometimes watching these segments make me feel like I'm in a film that is done in a language other than English and there aren't any subtitles. It loses a lot in translation.

51 yr. fan said...

I can't understand SPEED's desire
to change their format when they
we so close to getting it right.

Anonymous said...

maybe he has a contract with Speed & they can't figure out where to put him anymore. Or they just feel sorry for him. He should be home tending his garden.

Once in a while he has a funny comment, but even a blind squirrel finds a nut now and then...

As for Miss Sprint--she is an ambassador for Sprint, so if Sprint is *paying*, essentially, to have her on, well...I wish they could find something more interesting for her to do. She actually does *have* a job as has been noted before, which includes travel and making appearances. So it's a bit unfair to just critizing her for doing what her employer asks; but Sprint sort of created the situation by having someone at all. At least she's in a firesuit, not a Hooters-type outfit. But the fact that they increased their headcount this year (there are now 3 Miss Sprints) means they apparently have plenty for them to do. I just don't think Racehub is the right place.

Ron said...

Oh No, say it ain't so! Not Spencer again. He's proved time and again he can't make it. I mean where do these people come up with nuts like Spencer, Waltrip and McReynolds?? I mean please, give us a break from these clowns!!

Earner said...

Luv Spence or hate him ..He's straight ahead with his comments..No Politically correct here ...Even thought whats the deal wasn't so bad..(horrible time slot) . Sorry Speed Fast track to fame & racing chef (lead into jimmys show) Would never interest me at all. Thats not what I watch Nascar stuff for. KEEP GOING SPENCE SOME PEOPLE STILL WANT TO HERE FROM TRUE RACERS (& not these pro polished...well you get it)

Anonymous said...

the issue isn't Jimmy's polish (or lack thereof.) It's that he has no idea what he's talking about most of the time, contradicts himself, and is just plain wrong. I can't *stand* Kyle Busch, but I don't think what he said about Aric was 'taking a shot' at him as Jimmy suggested; it was more like Kyle was criticizing himself at that track.

Anonymous said...

I actually like Racing Chef more than I thought I would. It's been a fun show :)

Anonymous said...

the spencer segments with Steve Byrnes are the best ones. rick Allen is just a terrible studio host. he's got this strange look on his face... like he's always afraid he's going to fall down or something. Voda and Byrnes should be the only Hub Hosts.

Sally said...

Actually, just thinking about all the comments about Delana Harvick and her firesuit...why does 'Miss Porint' wear one? She isn't even near pit road.

Anonymous said...

I was glad to see Jimmy back on VL after Pocono. Why don't they bring him back, at least while Kyle is gone. Let them all rotate more. He can replace Kenny.

Anonymous said...

I don't always agree with Spencer,but I'll listen to him any day over Petty and Wallace. I heard his comment about Kyle Busch's comment about Almirola. I didn't think it was a dig. Kyle said that he sucked at Michigan and that Almirola did in the #51 what Kyle couldn't do in 5 years in that car. I don't think Miss Sprint Cup adds anything to the Hub.

Donna DeBoer said...

I get it. Allen & Spencer are Laurel & Hardy ;) c'mon, seriously. No.
I don't mind Spencer in this small amount. His own show was too much. I do like him, he's definitely a character with strong opinions. But god forbid they try him as a Race Hub host.

I don't like Miss Sprint Cup on Race Hub reading tweets. Sorry. If anything each lady has a million great fan stories they could tell.

Oh, and Racing Chef has become quite a stellar show :) I've enjoyed both guests & recipes. Nicky's a riot.

Ben Florance said...

i have actually always liked spencer, he is one of the few people in nascar that tells it like it is because quite frankly political correctness is a load of poo