Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Double Shot Of My Baby's Love

The first two episodes of Kyle Busch: Riding Shotgun aired back-to-back on ESPN2 Tuesday afternoon. The original airing of episode number one was preempted by US Open tennis on Monday.

This series just popped-up on the TV radar screen last week. In a media release, both ESPN and the NASCAR Media Group said a lot of polite things about the sport and each other. What they never explained is where this project originated and why it came about. This is the extent of what fans were told.

"A new and highly innovative five-part television series featuring NASCAR star Kyle Busch will air on ESPN2 to help kick off ESPN’s live coverage of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship," said the ESPN media release.

"Whether the fans love him or he’s not one of their favorites, this program will present Kyle and his personality in an intriguing manner that will get their attention, just like his driving on the racetrack," said ESPN exec Julie Sobieski.

"Kyle has a very busy schedule that week and we’ll be shooting one day and airing the next, something very rarely even contemplated in today’s television industry. We appreciate the opportunity and access that Kyle and his team have provided for us," said Jay Abraham, head of the NASCAR Media Group.

Episode one opened with Busch in his motorhome at the track. He was exercising with his fiancee, Samantha Sarcinella. She was telling him what to do and he complied while rolling his eyes. It seemed Busch was a good sport when it came to following directions from this young lady.

Footage from Richmond highlighted Busch in his pink firesuit as he caught grief from Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart for his attire. Sarcinella joined Busch again before the Nationwide Series race, sitting on the pit box . After a top ten finish, Sarcinella and Busch planned their honeymoon online and then browsed through engagement photos. Sarcinella lead the way.

The race highlights from Richmond morphed into the Chasers chatting post-race. Busch expressed an issue with Denny Hamlin to car owner Joe Gibbs, joked around during the photos in Victory Lane and ended the night asleep on the plane next to Sarcinella.

This first show ended with an opportunity for Sarcinella to be featured in her bikini out on the lake with Busch and friends boating. Busch got to do a little wakeboarding, Sarcinella got to do a lot of posing.

Episode two opened with Sarcinella playing to the camera while organizing clothes for a trip to New York. Busch then signed merchandise, made awkward conversation in the JGR shop and finally did a photo shoot where not one word was exchanged between himself and Hamlin.

Sarcinella was then at Kyle Busch Motorsports as she put logos on the charity truck while talking about various topics. SPEED fan favorite Rick Ren was forced to make even more awkward conversation with Busch while supposedly talking about KBM topics.

Busch finally lit up when given the brief opportunity to recap his Bristol, TN weekend as he hosted a crew dinner. He seems sincere in his understanding that it takes a team to help his racing efforts, unlike the infamous "old Kyle Busch."

Viewers were introduced to Busch's 1969 Chevy Camaro which had been fully restored. Clearly a car guy, Busch enjoyed telling the story of its origin. During this segment, Sarcinella from out of the blue offered that she did a bikini photo shoot with another one of Busch's cars.

Sarincella said she lay across the hood for the photo above shot by Charlotte area photographer Kevin Justice. What an interesting way to end a NASCAR TV show on ESPN2.

I certainly don't begrudge Sarcinella one moment of the opportunity to be on national television in a feature program series. The issue is that this project was intended to promote the Chase. Busch never expressed to the viewers his opinions about the sport, about the Chase or really about anything. Like it or not, the focus was on Sarcinella.

The remainder of this mini-series is going to chronicle Busch as he travels to promote the Chase through various media appearances. Ultimately, he will wind-up at ESPN on Thursday along with Stewart and Gordon for a full day of media work.

Perhaps, the hastily thrown together nature of this project resulted in the NASCAR Media Group creating a little bit of entertainment television to get things underway.

This is a very important week for the sport and ESPN got it off to an awkward start with the preemption of NASCAR Now and episode one of the Riding Shotgun series on Monday evening.

Hopefully, both parties will get back on track as the Chasers will be on the ESPN networks all week trying to drum up publicity for the final ten races while Riding Shotgun attempts to profile the most dynamic personality in the sport this season.

Did you watch these two episodes? We invite you to leave your opinion on the programs. To add your comment, just click on the comment button below. This is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind when posting.

Bonus: Click here for a playback of the original Double Shot Of My Baby's Love by the Swinging Medallions from 1966. For those of you not familiar, that is a record player. Thanks for taking the time to stop by The Daly Planet.


Ron said...

Yep, not much Kyle there, mostly her, but she is easy on they eyes. Not impressed enough to DVR it.

GinaV24 said...

Since I'm not a Kyle Busch fan, I didn't watch it or record it.

From what you described of the show and the interaction, obviously she wears the firesuit in the family or at least the bikini version of it.

Anonymous said...

at least i was able to write down crew chief dave rogers' personal cell, email and office number off the close up of the businees card they showed sitting on his desk. LOL. i'll have to give him a shout and let him know what kind of job he's doing with kyle. haha.

Anonymous said...

good show regardless. turning something around like that is not an easy task. hats off to them.

Anonymous said...

ESPN should prescreen this stuff from the NASCAR Media Group, and reserve the right to not air it if it isn't any good.

Anonymous said...

I watched the 1st episode but missed the 2nd due to ESPN scheduling, after reading the sumation, I would have to say I wish the show was more about Kyle..will have to see what ESPN does on the rest

Patti said...

WAIT! Fans want access and you get access and now we're complaining it's not about enough racing?


All I have to say is that it's good to see what goes on behind the scenes. You get to see that Kyle really is one downright goofy kid. I swear he looks just like my brother in law too. I never noticed that because you rarely get to see him outside the firesuit. So now you get to see him doing the stuff he has to do as a racecar driver off of the track.

I thought that was the point. To allow the fans to see what happens during this week prior to the Chase starting. Well, they have normal lives.

Sam's cute and it's obvious she's a planner. And I think people fail to realize she's a huge part of his life. If they were doing this with Delana Harvick you'd probably see her as much also.

I can't wait to see if we get to see the Speed's as they are best friends.

I think it's a good show and they should do it each week for a different driver in the chase. But I'm sure as you get to the end of the chase no one will want a camera crew following them around.

If you don't like Kyle it's a good show to watch to see that he has an on track personality and an off track personality. Pretty typical of all of the drivers. Like he said, acting is easy because he's always acting. He understands that racing is also a show and gives it a little spice by acting the way he does on the track.

Donna DeBoer said...

Kyle's one of my drivers so I set the DVR to have a look at this show, the kids wanted to see it too. I wasn't happy with the show-go-round ESPN did on Mon because of other live sport delays, but the DVR got both episodes on time Tues. & we had a look. First, great job by the NMG filming & turning around an excellent finished product overnight! Understand that they are doing episodes this way all week, kudos, tough hours. Second, I agree that the show, so far, seems to be more showcase for Sam than Kyle, however, I doubt she would ever have gotten this kind of TV attention if not for Kyle. I have no problem with someone making the most of their opportunities (pssst contrary to perceptions, Sam is no dummy!) Third, I'm not sure yet what this has to do with the Chase, except for his being one of the drivers & showing his life as he prepares, I guess we'll get a real answer tonight & tomorrow after yesterday & today's NYC filming. Fourth, kids decided they probably wouldn't be friends with Kyle, said he doesn't seem friendly. I just had to laugh at that! Fifth, I wonder who paid for this & if the intention was mainly for Kyle to attract sponsorship.
PS did I really see a preview showing Kyle & Sam in a bathtub?? Weren't the bikini shots enough? LOL

Amy in FL said...

I am a person that is looking for a driver this season as my driver went to a severely reduced schedule if not retired after last season. I have been gravitating towards Kyle surprisingly and I am enjoying seeing Kyle off the track. I agree about the hot tub in today's episode as it kind of screams "reality" "bachelor/bachelorette" type of programming. My 8 y/o son happened to see that and thankfully he didn't ask any questions.

Overall, I think that this show is really great as it is showing Kyle in a good light. I am also noticing the love that Kyle has for Sam. That is written all over his eyes everytime that she is in the room. So far, this show is good for Kyle to maybe get some new fans too.

I like the idea of maybe doing this for other drivers as well. I like seeing these type of shows as I liked Nascar 360 too. NMG needs to do these for broadening their fanbase.


Amy in FL

Mïk said...

Nice fluff thru most of it. Yeah, not much on racing, but it's not about that. There is the possibility that the off-race life of Kyle Busch is wrapped around that bikini

Anonymous said...

I never watched it, I had a feeling I would not be missing much. I do want more access to the sport, the racing. NASCAR Now has been kicked around like street trash the past few weeks. The only other place to view NASCAR content is Race Hub.

Maybe this show highlights modern NASCAR - since apparently the sport is a show. Maybe ESPN dramawriters will switch the storyline from Kyle to Jimmie for the final 10 races. Instead of watching the cars the last 3 laps of the race, maybe ESPN will fill the screen with team members and spouses anxiously watching the final laps. Maybe the SportsCenter court jesters can tell some more NASCAR jokes under a mystery debris cautions.

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed both segments. I thought some of the folks were a little harsh on the thread on TDP a few days ago. My opinion is that folks should just lighten up and enjoy any Nascar show that gives us a chance to see what goes on behind the scenes.

The Mad Man said...

Had they had an episode about Dave Rogers and him discussing why those chose certain engine packages for certain races and stuff more oriented towards the gearheads, I'd be waiting for the next installemnt. But like all the fluff stuff that dominates a lot of these shows about NASCAR, it sort of killed my interest. Can't help it if I like the tech side of racing.

Anonymous said...

I just watched what I guess was the 3rd episode, day one in New York. Now I am certainly not against kissing, but this episode was all about kissing on a boat, in a hot tub, in the hotel room, etc. At least Sam admitted what was fake about her. :D

Anonymous said...

OMG - complaining about seeing too much of Samantha Sarcinella? She's one of Kyle's best assets next to his driving talent!

Vicky D said...

I might have seen just a few seconds of this when she was showing some uniforms that were going to be displayed at his truck series shop? Then she says - he makes suggestions but I don't listen I just do what I want in the end. I think that's what she said. Glad I didn't watch any more of it. Don't quite understand what that has to do with the Chase though hmmmmm.

Anonymous said...

Kinda like the ill-fated "NASCAR Wives" show.

No thanks,

Anonymous said...

after having just watched Changing Lanes....makes this look even more pathetic. Bunch of earnest kids trying to work hard & make it on talent, vs Kyle & his...errr...fiance showing off her 'assets' comparison. Hope he got a pre-nup.

The Mad Man said...

@ Vicky D I think NASCAR is trying to make Kyle more likeable to race fans in the event he wins the play-offs. They had a tough time "selling" his brother after he won his championship.It was a total PR disaster for NASCAR.

sue said...

Cute and fluffy show. Hubby enjoyed the gratis bikini shots a lot. Its kinda fun seeing a different side to Kyle but it did seem as though they were really trying a little too hard. Todays show had more bikini shots. Hubby again was smiling. I laughed thinking what Kyle said to Tony Stewart about being next to heavy guys during the chase photos. Well Kyle is certainly no Carl Edwards. But its mainly fluff. right?

Pegnancy Miracle said...

I never noticed that because you rarely get to see him outside the fire suit. So now you get to see him doing the stuff he has to do as a race car driver off of the track.

Anonymous said...

the problem is, it's nothing we haven't seen before (except Sam in the bikini.) I mean, drivers doing the stuff he's doing, even Racehub and Nascar Now have had features where they show guys signing autographs, touring the shop, doing sponsor deals, going to their own race shops, playing with their various toys. Nothing new to see. I think Mad Man might be right, but I think what people will see is that away from the track he's just not particularly interesting. I don't really like him, but the most interesting stuff he says is usually in the heat of the moment--take away the heat, and he's just not that interesting.

Tracy D said...

I watched all 3 episodes in a row off DVR last night, and found Kyle's fiance to be a gem. He's lucky to have her. Mostly this is about two young people in love, and I found it kind of charming, mostly because she's clearly very nice and truly an asset to him. His self-deprecation was amusing as well.
It makes for a nice change of pace show. Why not have some fun?

Anonymous said...

I liked these shows. They showed me what Busch's life is like off the track, and obviously that includes his fiancee. I really don't need any more on-track stuff, that doesn't really tell me about Busch.

Jimmie Johnson's wife played a prominent role in his HBO 24/7 program. Granted, she isn't a 20something bimbo type, but she's clearly just as involved in Johnson's off-track activities.

I liked these shows because Busch's personality comes through, and you get a sense of what his life away from the track is like, which includes his fiancee.

I would think that if ESPN did a "reality" show on Jeff Burton or Kevin Harvick, you'd see their better halves just as often as you see Kyle Busch's. That's just the reality of some of these guys lives: they include their women in everything.

Anonymous said...

She's using him as a stepping stone. This is her claim to fame. It's obviously casting a spotlight on her. I wish they would have chose someone else. It's bad enough Kyle Busch doesn't get the respect he deserves for being one of the best drivers on the track, now his private life will be target for the haters.

Anonymous said...

anon 3:21...they (not ESPN...I guess it was TNT that showed NASCAR 360?) already DID a reality show with Kevin & Delana, and yes, she did figure into his life. But she was featured as a partner in day to day activities, making decisions, showing some of their travel life; I certainly don't recall any bikini shots. Sam is a pretty girl and obviously likes to show off. That will always turn some people off. But even Kyle said last night he didn't realize it would end up being so much about her. That would be the choice of the producers. But again--they *claimed* it would be 'highly innovative' and it was far from that.

Donna DeBoer said...

Episode 4 was much closer to what I expected from the series, more about Kyle's prep, obligations, speaking about some personal as well as professional stuff. Plus the footage at JGR with his team. More about racing. I hope episode 5 continues those angles. I like Sam but to me, this isn't about her.