Friday, July 9, 2010

The Thirteen Hours Of Chicagoland

Friday is jammed with NASCAR TV programming from 11AM to midnight Eastern Time. Three different TV production teams and twenty-five on-air talent will combine on two networks for thirteen hours of programming.

The ironman on this Friday is going to be SPEED's Steve Byrnes. He took some time off from his new role hosting Race Hub to get things organized for his Chicagoland marathon. Ready for the breakdown?

At 11AM, Byrnes starts the day with Nationwide Series practice. Alongside are the other ironmen of NASCAR TV in Larry McReynolds and Jeff Hammond. These three are tops in terms of practice and qualifying commentary.

Byrnes gets a coffee break next as the relief team of TNT's Adam Alexander, Wally Dallenbach Jr. and Kyle Petty stops by to host the first Sprint Cup Series practice. This is the last 2010 practice session for this crew and they have done a good job. Alexander has been a solid presence in his first try at TV play-by-play on the Sprint Cup Series level.

The TV buzz this week was created by comments about Mark Martin from SPEED and Showtime's Randy Pemberton. He returns at 2PM with NASCAR Live on SPEED. John Roberts hosts and he may well turn Pemberton loose for more silly season talk.

This is also Darrell Waltrip's last scheduled NASCAR TV weekend this season. He joins Byrnes and Jeff Hammond in the booth for final Cup practice at 3PM. There has been a running joke on this coverage as Waltrip's presence moved McReynolds to the role of garage area reporter. It has proven to be both a memorable and humorous experience.

At 4PM Waltrip gets a break, but Byrnes does not. He hosts Nationwide Series qualifying with Hammond and McReynolds. Once "ole DW" finishes his Mountain Dew, he returns to team with Byrnes and McReynolds on Sprint Cup Series qualifying. This time, Hammond takes a walk to pit road and asks the pit reporter questions.

When Allen Bestwick, Marty Reid and Dr. Jerry Punch finally take over at 7:30PM for live coverage of the Nationwide Series race one might think Byrnes was done. Not the case at all. There is still one hour of Trackside to host at 11PM with guests driver Kevin Conway and former crew chief Dale Inman.

Once the clock rolls around to midnight, Byrnes will finally be able to call it a night. Lots of laps will be under his belt and with an hour talk show to top off the night, Byrnes will certainly have earned every cent he is being paid.

We will use this page to host your comments on the Friday TV right up until the Nationwide Series race. We will live blog that event as always on a new post.

To add your TV-related comments, 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.


Ryan said...

Speed still does some practice and qualifying once ESPN takes over for races right?

longtimeracefan said...

Thirteen hours of NASCAR coverage on a Friday from Chicago is a stretch, or more literally, is gross overkill and a waste.

Nationwide practice, Cup practice, Nationwide qualifying, Cup practice, Cup qualifying, and Nationwide race, is way too much for anyone to digest. Who has the time to watch all of this stuff, a few thousand retired people?

Just show the Nationwide pre-race stuff before the race Friday night. Then cover the race with good images, professional commentary and adequate post race coverage. That's all fans want, a few hours of distraction, not a whole day of fluff.

Save the Cup pre-race stuff for Saturday's Cup pre-race shows.

NASCAR is taking itself to death.

GinaV24 said...

Lots of programming on today, but I will probably only watch what comes on after I get home and that is if I can avoid DW. He's no longer welcome in my home via TV - Larry and Jeff - when they aren't teamed with DW seem to be able to pull off a professional job.

I don't think I agree that Adam Alexander has been a solid presence for TNT. I think the PXP has lacked quite a bit with him in this role. I much preferred Ralph's style last season.

I am sorry though that this is TNT's last weekend broadcasting the race. Overall they have provided a much more enjoyable broadcast than Fox. I can't say that I'm looking forward to ESPN taking over - maybe they will surprise me, but I'm not expecting much.

And of course we keep getting closer to the "chase" and I dread when every other sentence will be "if the race ended now" or some other such nonsense uttered by some broadcaster. Ugh!

the word veri is "couti" LOL -- oh no, cooties! I wonder if its a sign.

Donna in FL said...

Just want to say, Adam Alexander hasn't done a bad job, but I won't be upset either way if he is or is not back next year. There's others I like better. I will most sorely miss TNT RaceBuddy & WideOpen coverage, the best media presentations of the season. The sport would be awesomely served if we got Buddy for more races.

Spent last night clearing DVR space. I like that almost everything is televised. But more than likely I'll FFwd most of the pre race stuff after getting home on time for the NNS race. I think you know why.

Daly Planet Editor said...


It's a mix of ESPN and SPEED depending on the weekend and the available ESPN timeslots.

What you won't see is any ESPN on-air talent being shared with SPEED for practice or qualifying.

Sometimes, ESPN just does not get it.

Daly Planet Editor said...


I think fans can make a case that Ralph would have been better.

He had enthusiasm like Allen Bestwick and understands how to inject excitement into a telecast.

Adam is rock solid on info and conversation, but cranking up the play by play excitement has not come naturally.

Anonymous said...

Don't know if it's a privilege or curse,but I'm one of those retirees who could watch hours of Nascar TV....if it was worth watching! I'm glad that TNT's stint is over. Objectively,Larry Mac was the only reliable,consistent player. Wally has no Nascar bonafides and adds nothing. Lindsay struggled. Kyle just talks too much. Double A needs a little more experience. He made improvements on each brodfcast and just needs more seat time. I agree that the hour pre race broadcast before the Nationwide and Cup races is more than adequate. The repetition all week long is mind numbing. After all,how many interviews with Jimmie Johnson can one tolerate? Nothing against Jimmie,but the same tiring questions over and over. It could be worse. You could have to listen to Kenny Wallace. Besides the hair transplants,he now has dyed his hair darker. You can't make this stuff up!

Anonymous said...

Happy Friday Planeteers!

Busy Busy Busy <3

@longtimeracefan--some folks are off on Fridays and even when I worked in the B&M world I recorded and still watched. Heck, a few years ago BSPN had delayed the already delayed HH to around midnight due to the N'wide race running long & they had to get to their precious Football. Everyone already knew who did what but I know many who stayed up to watch and/or recorded it. What BSPN DIDN'T tell us during the N'wide race was that it was going to be interrupted HALF WAY through for some silly baseball show. People were PISSED! So yes even though folks know what happened some will still record/watch the days events. And some who are smarter than me also use it for their Fantasy Picks. Since Yahoo has to be picked before practice 99% of the time some pick who they think will do the best and then use practice to make adjustments. Yes there's the charts but some folks like to see it too either the whole thing to hear things that aren't reflected in the charts or FF to see certain things.

OSBORNK said...

There was a time when practice and qualifying meant something and was worth watching. The top 35 and guaranteed starting spots have rendered them almost meaningless and no longer worth watching. Practice was once used to get the car fast enough to qualify for the race and great effort was used to get the car right. Now, practice is frequently used for experimenting different setups and the times are meaningless.

Qualifying used to determine whether or not the driver got to race but now it only determines the pit selection and doesn't even get you into a special race.

Also, once you had to watch the shows to get information about racing and now it is instantly available from many different places.

GinaV24 said...

Thanks, JD - yes, AA did a good job, I just don't think he was as good as Ralph.

Gymmie, I used to watch every minute of NASCAR on TV when I could and recorded it to watch when I wasn't able to see it live. Now, I'm with OsbornK, it simply isn't as compelling or interesting to watch practice and qualifying so I don't spend as much time watching as I did. Plus the way it is covered its less about the cars on the track than it is about someone's opinion of what is going on and after 10 years of the same people talking, I am bored with their point of view.

Same goes for the races -- the chase has made the "regular" season of less value from the perspective of the championship, so it gets a lot less of my attention than it did and you have the same announcers saying the same stuff race after race after race ad nauseum.

If Brainless continues to "tweak" the chase to become even more entertainment and less sport, it won't be good for the sport. I wonder if you can penalize management for "actions detrimental to stock car racing"?

Anonymous said...

why can't we seem to get away from having a Waltrip hukster involved with the NA$CAR "media"?

Anonymous said...

I am going to miss TNT although I have noticed that KP has gotten a bit more mouthy the last couple of broadcasts. I am glad DW will be gone the rest of the season. As far as all the other people with TNT, they passed muster IMO. No one is perfect and we will never have another BP or NJ. Hopefully, ESPN will give us good broadcasts that are tolerable. As far as everything else, Speed is on overload today and it seems they only zero in on certain drivers and that gets old. I do record some but most of time never watch the quals or practice because one finds out all the info and happenings before one gets to watch the recordings.

Osbornk and GinaV24 said it very well.

GA Red

Zieke said...

Did someone really say Waldrip is gone for the season. What sweet music!!! There is a God. Now ESPN can get down to the business of racing and broadcasting without the blathering shill.

Anonymous said...

I have to say, the two-hour practice session with the TNT announce team was a mix of interesting commentary and quite a few periods of silence. Overall, I wasn't all that pleased with their efforts to find stories or find drivers to talk with ... it was quite a boring session to watch.

Steve, Larry, and Jeff, on the other hand, have done a superb job with Nationwide coverage and the second Cup practice.

Lisa Hogan said...

I think that the TNT group had the silly giggles today. I smiled along with them.

Steve, Larry, and Jeff are very good in the booth together. I would really enjoy the Nationwide series on SPEED with these three in the booth!

Richard in N.C. said...

Based on the high level journalism(?)on display at EESPN since Wednesday morning, I presume the top guys are all huddled in Bristol trying to determine where to add Lebron's "L" to their call letters. LEESPN? L'EESPN? EELSPN? EELPN?

Anonymous said...

Why does it sound like giggling high school girls in the SPEED booth?

Anonymous said...


agree. they are laughing hysterically at DW's lame jokes.

don't think I can take anymore.


David said...

Thank you Bill Elliott for shutting DW up!!!

David said...

I stand corrected, give DW a live mic and 20 minutes and he will STILL find a way to doubletalk his way out of something

Daly Planet Editor said...

I think DW did not work for SPEED in the booth. They should have stuck with Hammond and Larry Mac for practice and qual.

BTW: The Nationwide Series live blog is up when this qual coverage is done.