Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sunday TV Notes

Here is a quick snapshot of the NASCAR TV topics for Sunday as the Sprint Cup Series races at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, CA:

Darrell Waltrip returns at 12PM ET on SPEED's RaceDay program. This week Hermie Sadler will be sitting on the SPEED Stage as series regular Kenny Wallace was racing in Wisconsin on Saturday afternoon. John Roberts will host the show with Wendy Venturini reporting.

TNT's pre-race show called Countdown to Green has really pushed RaceDay to drop the goofy antics and ratchet things up a notch. It seems ironic that RaceDay regular Kyle Petty is featured on the outstanding TNT program. Last week's show was perhaps the best Sprint Cup Series pre-race show in years.

This Sunday, TNT will offer Lindsay Czarniak, Petty and Larry McReynolds on the "infield rig" once again. The Pride of NASCAR feature is on Parnelli Jones, a racing legend. Petty's Ponytail Express will feature a visit to chef Guy Fieri's restaurant Johnny Garlic's in Santa Rosa, CA.

Several years ago, we called out TNT when they offered poorly shot and edited episodes of the Wally's World feature. Some genius decided to record all six at Pocono Raceway and then tell TV viewers it was other tracks.

These days, TNT and Wally's World has come a long way. Now, the features are shot in the off season using a green screen that superimposes Wally Dallenbach Jr. in all kinds of unique and often humorous settings. TNT advises that this week Dallenbach will be all over the Sonoma track offering his unique version of a course description.

Each week the TNT crew asks one Sprint Cup Series driver to join them during the pre-race and this week it will be Jimmie Johnson. Having an interesting season to date, Johnson may well be looking to get things back on track in his home state.

After the race, TNT will once again be crossing over to to webcast an extended post-race show. Last week, the network left TNT some 25 minutes before the scheduled end of the TV timeslot. Plenty of drivers were not interviewed and plenty of stories from the race were never told. It should be interesting to see how things go at Sonoma.

ESPN does not return with the Sunday night version of NASCAR Now until the network takes over the Sprint Cup Series coverage in late July. Instead, it will be the familiar three hour block of motorsports on SPEED beginning at 7PM ET.

The Speed Report is currently the best motorsports program on television. This Sunday, Leigh Diffey and Rick Allen are hosting. Diffey is coming off a fabulous performance calling the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Allen works well in this scripted studio format and has become a big asset to the network in this role.

Jeff Hammond makes an appearance on Victory Lane at 8PM. John Roberts hosts the show and Hermie Sadler will be the second panel member. Last week, Hammond was outstanding on this program while Kenny Wallace struggled. Hammond seems to thrive on being put in live situations and making conversation. With Kenny Wallace away, it should be interesting to watch this trio in action.

Finally, Don Hawk is a name that evokes strong reactions from many in the NASCAR community. The former president of DEI is now an executive with Bruton Smith's Speedway Motorsports Inc. Hawk is the featured interview at 9PM with host Dave Despain on Wind Tunnel.

It's been reported that SMI is about to make changes to the Sprint Cup Series scheduled dates at the SMI tracks. The issue is that no one seems to know what those changes are. Despain's conversation with Hawk on that issue and others should be one to watch.

TDP will live blog the Sonoma race at 2PM ET. You can follow us on Twitter or Facebook by clicking the links on the main page. We welcome your comments on the topics above. Just click the comments button to add your opinion.

Thank you for taking the time to stop by The Daly Planet.


JS said...

Speaking of Leigh Diffey, SPEED's Rolex Sports Car broadcast team is one of the best out there. Diffey, Dorsey Schroeder, Calvin Fish, Brian Till & Chris Neville do a great job & make that series really entertaining.

Zieke said...

No Raceday for me today with the blathering Waltrip there. Doesn't really matter, because TNT's pre-race is head and shoulders above Speed's show anyway. Wendy and Herme should receive extra pay having to put up with the DW drivel...

OSBORNK said...

Thanks for keeping us up to date on where a Waltrip or Wallace is going to show up. Many of us will use the information to avoid the shows but some will tune in because of it. Speed presents a conundrum for me today. Do I avoid Speed because DW is there or do I watch it because Kenny Wallace isn't?

JohnP said...

Nascar Performance on Speed with Larry Mac is excellent so far. Tech info that is not the basics.

JohnP said...

Now that's it's over I have to give Nascar Performance an "A". Larry Mac, Kanous, Booty and the other guy did awsome and showed a lot of tech info that was truly interesting. Good job Speed.

Daly Planet Editor said...


That show needs a better timeslot and some promotion!


bevo said...

Don't know how much of the race I'll catch. A lot of options today between US Open, IRL race, College World Series and MLB games. Might just wait for the debris caution at the end before paying attention. Kind of a waste of time to invest in a race if it's just going to be manipulated at the end to make it more "entertaining".

Ben Florance said...

dw in car at infineon ftw
nascar performance is great

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Why do they always show the Golden Gate Bridge? It's 80-90 minutes from the Sonoma track. I mean, so they so Augusta National Gold course when NASCAR races in Atlanta? San Francisco is TWO COUNTIES AWAY FROM SONOMA.

Anonymous said...
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Lisa Hogan said...

I have always enjoyed Nascar Performance. When it was first moved indoors, I was doubtful. But, the show is so much better without the people behind screaming and jumping. And talking on their cell phones. :)

Raceday is on my TV but I have been multi-tasking around the house and haven't seen too much of it.

Wishing all Dads a Happy Father's Day.

Wishing everyone a green flag day!

JohnP said...

Real nice class Anon 1:34. Not

Anonymous said...

Is anyone in the booth telling the folks watching what's going on???? Four cars got penalties - 33 and 1 for entering the pits too soon - one of them speeding leaving the pits.... and that driver would be???????????
This is annoying beyond words.

Richard in N.C. said...

I enjoy Raceday and thought what I saw this morning (a little over half) was good.

I always viewed Raceday as a light-hearted, friendly show - but I presume some topics were probably off limits to it as long as FOX was doing its pre-race show. In any event, if there has been some improvement in the show, then DW has to get some of the credit since he's virtually the only change.

Anonymous said...

I thought the pre-race shows on both networks were boring. I did not miss Kenny or Kyle. With DW, it was the same old-same old. The aerial and in-car shots during the race were the best I've seen in a long,long time. I could only take Kyle/Wally until lap six before hitting mute. Kyle thinks he needs to take 2-3 valuable minutes of air time to expound on some insignificant piece of trivia. After the race,my jaw dropped when Wally said, "If you're looking for Marcos Ambrose,look on the Golden Gate Bridge"!!?! Nice going Wally! Again,TNT left the air earlier then they had to with lots of interesting stories out there. Since Pocono, Almendinger seems to pull a bone headed move every week.