Monday, July 19, 2010

Big Monday For NASCAR TV Shows

It was supposed to be a quiet Monday in NASCAR TV land. After an off-week for the Sprint Cup Series, both ESPN2's NASCAR Now and SPEED's Race Hub were planning a brief review of the Nationwide and Truck Series races before zooming-in on the big weekend approaching in Indianapolis. Saturday night changed those plans.

The final lap of the Nationwide Series race opened a debate that started in Daytona and has grown in volume with every racing weekend. NASCAR opened the door to aggressive driving and now they may have created a monster.

Up first is the anchor show for ESPN at 5PM ET with no re-air. The one-hour Monday version of NASCAR Now has grown in popularity over the last two years. This is in no small part due to the hard work of Allen Bestwick. He took this show over and gave it the credibility it had been lacking.

This week, the versatile Mike Massaro is hosting. Massaro was actually at Gateway on Saturday night working as a pit reporter. He has some first-hand observations about the aftermath of the Nationwide Series race.

This is a reporter roundtable edition of NASCAR Now. Nate Ryan from USA Today, Bob Pockrass from Scene Daily and David Newton from ESPN will be on the panel.

Click here to read the Pockrass story suggesting Edwards should get fined for his actions. Click here to read Ryan's story about the same incident in which he offers no opinion but his readers certainly do.

Newton has been an interesting presence on the NASCAR scene. His Twitter comments after the Saturday night race offered two good points. One, Edwards should remember that Keselowski has nothing to lose in the Sprint Cup Series this season in terms of paybacks. Two, that NASCAR continuing to let this build could have serious consequences once The Chase is underway.

This promises to be a fast-paced hour full of good conversation. ESPN continues to be very formal on the air, with no viewer feedback except for a contrived poll with sometimes hilarious questions. No social media contingent to this program at all.

SPEED has been trying to get up and rolling with a one-hour 7PM version of Race Hub. Things have been uneven to say the least. From "More than a mouthful Mondays' to Miss Sprint Cup reading driver tweets on the air, this show needs a lot more real content and a lot less fluff.

Thankfully, one of SPEED's top studio hosts Krista Voda is back on Monday. Reporter Danielle Trotta returns with a JGR visit and fresh off his Legends Million experience driver David Ragan stops by the studio.

Voda needs some support in terms of dealing with the clash on Saturday night and the larger issue of letting violence in NASCAR escalate. This is one of those days where NASCAR should provide an executive to answer fan questions in the studio and deal with the issues head-on. So far, the sanctioning body has failed to answer this call.

Fans have seen the race highlights many times by Monday night and the new Race Hub has been slowly falling back into the old trap of repeating them again. The content of this show needs to come from fresh interviews, fan feedback and in-studio experts.

The challenge for SPEED is to step-away from their reputation in-studio as NASCAR's unofficial marketing and public relations arm and develop an identity for the network and this series. This show is not produced by The NASCAR Media Group and is an opportunity for the network to create it's own brand.

It should be interesting to watch two TV networks cover much of the same ground in very different ways. The suits and ties of ESPN vs. the casual look and feel of SPEED always makes for an interesting comparison.

We will use this post to offer comments before, during and after the two Monday TV shows. 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 The Daly Planet.


Anonymous said...

The Monday version of NN has always been my favorite show for a thorough review of the weekend's racing. Veteran drivers,crew chiefs and car owners give me a perspective I value. For that reason, I don't plan to watch tonight's panel of reporters. In the past, they just parrot the many interviews we've all seen and rarely add anything of substance. Often,it becomes a rhetorical conversation.Last year the new Chrysler engine experienced a number of failures where the crankshafts broke. It was widely reported. Yet on a NN with just the reporters, an ESPN writer who shall remain anonymous,twice stated that the failure was due to broken camshafts. This may seem trivial, but I question the credibility of a Nascar reporter that doesn't the difference between the two or doesn't listen closely enough to report accurately. I wanted to give the expanded Race Hub a chance,but my fears have been realized. There's just no structure or predicatability to the show. The interviews have all been heard a half dozen times and an hour is a long time slot to fill four nights in a row. I've always questioned who designs the set thinking that it will improve. It has changed---they added a pinball machine!

Donna in FL said...

This NN panel will be widely watched because of the hot topic. However, I've already read the reporters' opinions and would have preferred the panel to be Ray, Ricky, and a reporter. I'm not sure who RaceHub will have today on the same topic, I'd like Hammond or McReynolds' opinion. I agree a NASCAR official should pay a visit and have a chat.

I haven't been too happy with 1-hr RaceHub all week, they seem to be struggling with content as they have been using some old Raceday segments for filler. I had only supported 1-hr for Mondays, 1/2 hr rest of week. Definitely want their interview segments to continue, and I like on-site interview segments.

Vince said...

JD, quick question. I don't have cable anymore and can't watch either of these shows. Do you know if either of them are available online after they are aired on tv? Thanks.

GinaV24 said...

Unfortunately I won't get home in time to watch NN since it starts at 5 p.m. and with no re-air scheduled, I'll have to read about it instead. Speaking of reading about it, I went to read Ryan McGee's column on and find that in order to read All of it, I need to subscribe to ESPN now. I am going to think about whether or not I like ESPN's writers well enough to spend money on it.

Absolutely a NASCAR official should be available, but if all he says is what the dummy Balash did -- "its just hard racing" that will not be acceptable for me.

I like AB very well, but the whole round table thing with the writers doesn't make me that excited. I'm with the Anon, RaceHub just hasn't hooked me with their program yet. Too much rehash, not enough substance and they still tend to come off as apologists for NASCAR. I DVR the program and FF'd through it.

JohnP said...

Donna, I could not agree with you more. Race Hub 1hr Monday's, 1/2 the rest of the week. And since there in the middle of Nascar County they need to pick up their content. Overall it's a Boring show and has been everytime I've watched it.

The Edwards/Keslowski issue. Well now, didn't watch the Nationwide race so I have no clue what to think. Don't know what happened. But I do hope Keslowski whooped up on Edwards.

77KJAX said...

The NN Panel with all reporters did a good job a few weeks back ,but this week they will not have the credibility to analyze the subject of BK & CE (opinions, but NOT credibility) It was obvious that Carl went OVER the line as a driver to me( a former racer)& I don't think the writers possess the proper perspective to evaluate the situation . Add in Mike Massaro instead of Bestwick & I am skeptical that NN will be a good show . Although I like most of the folks, Racehub will probably ( I hope I'm wrong)tow the nascar line as usual. I believe NASCAR should draw a line in the sand with this situation ,by removing the win from Edwards (which they will never do)& suspending him(1 race?).... Agree?

GinaV24 said...

@77, NASCAR will probably put Edwards on double-secret probation which will be meaningless. It wasn't that long ago that NASCAR parked Harvick in the Cup series for an incident in the trucks -- that's what I think they should do to Edwards. the problem is that NASCAR painted themselves into a corner with their "have at it, boys" comments and face it, NASCAR likes the publicity it gets, bad or good, people are talking about the entertainment since I can't call it a sport any longer. WWE on wheels, yes indeed.

I don't have any expectations that ESPN or Speed will do anything other than bumble around on this issue. There isn't a spine among them.

Richard in N.C. said...

Tonight's NASCAR Now is where L'EESPN needs to have some real experts (ex-drivers) on to discuss the Carl - Brad incidents. Sure would seem to be a super time to have Ned and DJ on to discuss the issue.

Anonymous said...

JD and all ... well, we'll know for sure Tuesday. Tonight is speculation. Tomorrow is Penalty Day. Will be fun!

...and, though I'm for Carl in this (minority opinion, apparently) is this not why we love this sport?

Vicky D said...

Did ya'll listen to Kevin Harvick's comments on Kez & Edwards on Wintunnel last night. It was very telling and he didn't like the way Carl hooked Brad. I still feel bad for Bob Keselowski and liked his passionate comment after Brad's altercation with Carl. I'm looking forward to NN tonight although hopefully it'll be recorded on our dvr.

Anonymous said...

NASCAR Fan Council member here-no questions asked this week in regards to the last lap of the Nationwide race. Simply asked how much of the race I watched (0-100%), did I enjoy it (on scale of 1-10), how was the TV coverage (on scale of 1-10), and was the time from green to checker flag too short, long, or just right.

Sophia said...

Anon 6:51

Agree with all your points.


That STINKS ESPN wants to charge money with their cluttered muck of a website. SHARK JUMP.

They're all over our freaking digital tv & need more revenue. Most disappointing.

All NASCAR shows are on the side of NASCAR all the time. Just sad.

I swear we got more honest opinion or sarcastic agreements (wink, wink) or humor of Schrader, about NASCAR rules on TWIN....sigh


P.S. For me the loss of that show was a MAJOR SHARK JUMP & affected my NASCAR viewing or lack thereof...course the rotten camera work didn't help but the final finger to the fans was taking away that show. IMHO

Word Veri

FULESS. Ha! Yes they did so I watch less NASCAR.

Anonymous said...

I think both shows will use their media skills to spin it the way Nascar wants them to. I will not choose to watch either as they won't be totally correct in reference to what really happened this past weekend.They will be tactful, yet very skillfully not really place blame on anyone and talk about HAIB's really letting the drivers be themselves. If one cannot look at the incident objectively and if one does not really know what goes on in racing and only gets a biased media picture of it, then those people will take whatever they hear as the truth and continue to argue with others about what really went on. All media, including NN and RH will do it Nascar's way. Most of the shows on these days are simply time consuming spins and enticements to get people to watch or go to the races. Very little in any of them really reflect auto racing.

GA Red

GinaV24 said...

@Sophia - yes, for me, that's the nose of the camel under the proverbial tent. I know a lot of news media, etc. are talking about going to "paid access" for content, but for me to make that affirmative decision, I will have to WANT to read it really bad and since I agree with you about ESPN's website being a dog's breakfast, along with, I won't do it right now.

Yeah, there's already 3 or 4 ESPN branded channels on my cable system that I only watch for the racing shows and once a week when the Nationwide race is on and for part of a season when Cup is on. Unfortunately, I have to pay for them, watch or not.

hotaru-hockeymaiden87 said...

I've been non-opinionated on the whole 'rivalry' topic, really on all the so-called 'feud of the weeks' that have been hyped by the media. I have in the past kept track of how long they 'drag the feud out' (mentions on NN during the week). Every time they go past Wednesday with a mention, I'm like, 'okay,can we move on?' It has occured in the past (ironically with Carl/Brad)

I stopped watching RH. It isn't a must watch show (except for tonight, as I hear David Ragan is on! :) And even if I choose to watch the re-air, that's 2AM where I live.

Tracy D said...

It's a good show so far. I just wish they'd held Nascar's feet metaphoricallyto the fire a bit longer on possible penalties Carl deserves.

boyd said...

The opening debate showed that Pockrass and Newton like racing and Nate is there for the wrecks.
By the way, how many of these guys were at Gateway?
Also how much to put Bob K. in another car?

hotaru-hockeymaiden87 said...

Does a show like this (on a Monday after a Cup off-weekend) really need to be an hour long? I mean, look what's been mentioned since the 'incident', a bunch of filler.

Daly Planet Editor said...

They have done a reporter roundtable in this break before the Chase for the last couple of years. The format of the Monday show is one hour.

glenc1 said...

I liked what Randy had to say on RH...I pretty much agree. I don't know about a suspension (he may have the inside track...) but I like that he brought up the money it cost the other, innocent teams. Instead of fining them points, maybe they ought to make them pay out the cash to those teams....Krista's interviews are a little off today; her forgetting that Carl & Brad are running for a championship...and the Legends winner interview didn't come across as polished. If anything, though, I would say Racehub is uneven--last week I saw one really well done show (the one with Steve Park.) They need to work on that consistency. They do some things well some of the time.

Anonymous said...

Carl Edwards should be fined???? How does a fine matter to a multi-millionaire? They should take POINTS, since Carl cares more about winning a stupid Nationwide title than money.

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glenc1 said...

you know, I was afraid Danielle was there to be eye candy, but that JGR piece was pretty good. Nothing 'sensational', just calm, logical reporting talking to the right people.

FloridaMatt said...

Just watched my recording of NN. I was terribly disappointed with the panel, and wish they had stayed with the regulars.

hotaru-hockeymaiden87 said...

To be honest, I shut NN off after they started the segment on the 'rivalries'. I'd had enough by then.

Missed RH, as something else came on.

Orrymain said...

You know what? I stopped watching all of the race shows this year. I was so frustrated with the same things being said last year, that I just stopped.

Now in the last couple of weeks, I tuned in Race Hub and a couple of others, but I'm put off. It's the same old stuff.

Everything is so smooth and rehearsed. Where's the realism? They need to just sit down and talk without knowing what is about to be spoken.

I love Krista Voda, but I'm still turning it off because it feels like Access Hollywood.

I wish the commentators would just talk. I like Michael Waltrip. I like Kenny Wallace. I like, oh geez, I've forgotten his name -- the guy on Speed who is gray this year and does so much of the NASCAR Live shows. Anyway, they all talk like they're on pills, doing something for announcer's school. I want them to breathe, to slow down, and to just talk to me and not make me feel like it's hype city.

I'm just tired of it, on all the shows, and that's why I'm not watching. It's fake. I want discussion that isn't planned but which just happens.

Anonymous said...

I did not care for the panel AT ALL on Monday. I use to watch all the time. but had gotten away from it. Now I remember Why.Felt sorry for the Moderator(can't remember his name right now) He couldn't get a decent answer out of any of the panel.Maybe not all anti-Carl might have have helped. I doubt I will watch again.Will stick with THE HUB,do have some interesting interviews.

Anonymous said...

I'm not a Carl fan but, BK is a whining baby when things dont go his way. Its ok for him to be over aggressive and run into people as long as noone touches him. I have heard other drivers complain about both drivers and I think Brad needs to learn that he is not the little rich kid that gets his way all the time. The only reason he even has fans is because he drove from Dale Jr. Let them RACE! If nascar does anything then they are 2 faced for telling us they want personalities to come through and let them boys race. Nascar Fans need to stop criticising Carl for doing what 30 other drivers wanted to do. Brad....Go back hime to Mama and Daddy they will protect you.