Friday, November 19, 2010

Biggest TV Friday Of The Season

Who knew it was going to come down to this? First, the trucks are going to race under the lights on Friday. Then, the Nationwide Series sets the stage with a day race on Saturday. Finally, the big showdown between three top Sprint Cup Series drivers for the championship with everyone else running all out just to win the race.

It's going to be important to get Friday started right. ESPN's TV team is up first with Cup practice at 11:30AM on ESPN2. The late Thursday truck series practice got rained out, so the trucks have the track in the hour prior to this telecast. That should make pre-production a bit noisy.

SPEED is up at 1PM for Nationwide Series practice. Steve Byrnes flew down to anchor this coverage after coming off the road for several months to anchor the new one-hour Race Hub show. Kudos to Wendy Venturini who is working at a reporter for SPEED this weekend despite being in the late stages of her first pregnancy. She and Bob Dillner are the reporters for SPEED.

At 2:20PM it's going to be interesting. Both ESPN2 and SPEED are live. Over on ESPN2, Allen Bestwick hosts NASCAR Now. Meanwhile, it's John Roberts from the SPEED Stage hosting NASCAR Live. Tough choice these days with both shows being solid and offering essentially the same information.

3PM is the big Cup Series qualifying show on ESPN2. Very important to qualify well in this race for the top three championship teams. Avoiding a start at the back could be avoiding potential disaster. ESPN will have Marty Reid, Dale Jarrett, Andy Petree and a cast of thousands on this program.

At 5PM the truck series team for SPEED will call qualifying. Rick Allen, Michael Waltrip and Phil Parsons have been a steady presence all season long. at 6PM Roberts comes back with another edition of NASCAR Live and at 6:30PM Byrnes will wind-up his day with Nationwide Series final practice.

We will live blog the truck series race Friday night on a new post. This will serve to host your comments on all the daytime TV on ESPN2 and SPEED on Friday. It should be fun to watch. To add your opinion, just click the comments button below. This is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind when posting. Thanks for stopping by!


Jonathan said...

Im SOOOOOOOOOOOOO #*&@(* ready for this weekend I had to take off tonight at UPS so I can take in the last 3 races of the season! We start w trucks then Nationwide and Sprint Cup! Im hopeing Kevin Harvick takes it but will be happy for Jimmie Johnson if he gets 5 in a row! What I do not want is to see Denny win cause in my book after what he said about Nascar this year dosent deserve to be Champion!!! But thats just me

Sit back grab a cold one and enjoy this weekend everyone! Oh and thanks JD for all you did this year and what you plan on doing for the years ahead we as fans appreciate this sooo much I just want to say Thank You

Everyone enjoy the final weekend of racing from Homestead-Miami Speedway cause I know I will


Anonymous said...

If the TV ratings are lower for Sunday's finale, then NASCAR has a real problem on their hands.

GinaV24 said...

LOL, Jonathan, you are stoked man! Looking forward to the trucks tonight and actually since the championship is locked up for both trucks and nationwide, I can just enjoy the racing, although I'd prefer to see someone other than a Cup driver win those races -- but that's just me!

I am still hoping that Harvick pulls a rabbit out of the hat at Homestead. IMO, he's the champion already and no I'm not on board with Johnson winning 5 10 race trophies in a row - but that's just me. LOL

I usually still pick Speed over ESPN although when it's Allen on, it makes it a tough choice.

Ratings at Phoenix down 24% was what I heard. Methinks that a lot of fans who are unhappy with NASCAR have voted with their remotes. NASCAR may own the bat, ball and playing field, but they still need an audience for it.

Anonymous said...

The sound of America snoozing thru the finale

Anonymous said...

I'm so excite about this weekend!

I just hope the networks focus on Jimmie, Denny, and Kevin during the practices and qualifying so we are fully aware of what they have by the time the race starts on Sunday.

Anonymous said...

I won't be snoozing, will be watching exciting NFL football.

AndyinMI said...

I like AB DJ & Ray in the booth. Is there any chance of this lineup for next year's ESPN coverage?

Roland said...

AB, Dale, and Ray are great. Im very thankful to espn for treating us to this. But the coverage of practice has been terrible. They havent talked about anyone but the top 3. THIS IS PRACTICE dont do a 5 minute video piece on the pit studio. I have zero idea what is going on in practice. They refuse to show cars on track. They mainly just show the garage stalls of the top 3. This is absolutely the worst coverage of practice ive seen all year.

Anonymous said...

It is going to be the worst race coverage ever and the ratings are going to stink bad.Remember, is all about the top 3 and nothing else would matter. I for one will be flipping the channel with no hesitation.

Anonymous said...

Brian Zero France has stated he will continue to repair NASCAR until no one is watching anymore.

Anonymous said...

After reading Brian France comments, How far off is the Sport's downfall?

Sophia said...

Anonymous said...

Brian Zero France has stated he will continue to repair NASCAR until no one is watching anymore.

Not to mention nary a peep about horrible tv coverage (all tight cam shots, in car, bumper cams & no wide shots ruining the race?)

CLUELESS BF & apparently nobody with the GUTS to ask him if he watches the dreadful truck production from his home.

NFL has been up against the races forever, correct? if the tv coverage is good, people will watch.

Then again, DW's idea to start sooner (& maybe shorten season, race on Thurs?) and END before NFL is good one.

Also races ALL NEED shortened ..but I still won't watch if the camera work stinks. STUNNED nobody is addressing this anywhere?

I will not be watching NFL, as I RARELY do and bengals fan interest is so low, game not sold out for 7 years. So while Cincinnati tax payers pay for stadium, fans still gypped out of watching game in 75 mi radius.

But to be honest w NASCAR? I don't care one whit about this last race.

I am not into abusive relationships and that is exactly what tv race coverage is giving us.

PRETEND to show the race on track (but nobody does)

PRETEND all is well with the sport (we know it is not and tv coverage being lousy has to be only 1/2 the issue)

PRETEND it's all about the fans all the time, even tho it ain't. (DFRestarts lost on us since TIGHT ZOOM CAMS or IN CAR-sponsored cams/bumpercams/roof cams show us ZILCH in actual 'race perspective)

I love many in the media in NASCAR but i'm done rooting or caring that much.

Not watching today on tv, sadly.

One by one NASCAR has shot itself in the toes. Not even my fondness & respect for Steve Byrnes has drawn me back to watching the extra program NH except on occassions.

If it's on after Sunday I will tune in then. but all the sunday pre race shows & the like are just repeated baloney. I've also enjoyed Jimmmy Spencers crying towel routing & think Steve Byrnes knows how to interact with him.

If only we had weekend race shows FROM THE STUDIO with Steve instead of the vertigo inducing/fan sign waving crowds in the SPEED shows.

I've rarely caught NPerf but LOVE it in the studio but just give us Bootie & Chad & Larry. No offense to the other guy but it ruined the flow of the original show.

Also, Steve Byrnes is calming influence...just like I find Mike Joy's voice to be comfort food.

Let's just hope FOX/ESPN/NASCAR can get their act together before camera work next year.

But sadly, I'm not hopeful.

Tracy D said...

Jonathan, I'm stoked too! This should be phenomenal racing. I just pray that we'll see it without a commercial every other second, and that we get to see the whole field, because those other 40cars on the track are going to affect the outcome as much as the efforts of the Top Three.

Brad K going flat out for the owner's points in NW should be a good show as well.

Sophia said...

p.s. Ok, I lied!:)
...just saw ESPN is doing most stuff today.

So just to make myself wistful, I turned on SPEED just in time to hear Steve B & will watch the practice. Least you FEEL the love for the sport from these guys & they seem to like each other...chemistry is good.

Maybe they will cheer me up on this most GLOOMY of Ohio days...again.

JohnP said...

I just don't see much of a reason to watch this Chase race at Homestead. My driver is not in the top 3 and no one will be covered except Hamlin, Johnson and Harvick. What's the point of watching a race if they don't cover it? And history has proven beyond a doubt they will not cover the actual RACE! I'll be watching football and just check in around 5pm to see who won. Nothing exciting about it unless your a Hamlin, Johnson or Harvick fan. The rest of us are left in the cold bearen polar icecaps of TV coverage.

Anonymous said...

Brian France's comments are vry upsetting. The CEO of NASCAR, completely out of touch with his own sport. Maybe we need to inform him before he hides under a rock again.

France just does not understand NASCAR is different from stick & ball sports. Every race or championship can't come down the the wire. Yet he continues to draw comparisons and 'fix' the sport. He wants the season to have more value, then end this 'Chase playoff' format.

Television coverage quality has dropped considerably due to the commercialization of everything. In-car cameras, biggest mover of the race, tech center, blocking billboards of certain sponsors, even the foam of the safer barrier! We miss a good portion of the race to watch even more commericals. Combine that with commentators that are either clueless or acting and the ratings drop 25% on a weekly basis.

Everything is a gimmick. The Top 35 rule, qualify 30th, but that may not be enough, you did not beat the right drivers. Debris cautions thrown when NASCAR wants some drama. Double file restarts - the cars couldn't pass, so lets have them 2 wide at the start to make up for it. Lucky dog, wave around - there is no reason to work hard once a lap down, NASCAR will just hand out free laps to everyone.

All these measures were put into place to make things tighter and cover-up the aero problems and difficulty passing. But I'd rather watch an honest race with simple rules than the NASCAR carnival of manipulations and distortions. NASCAR needs a real leader right now that can put this sport on the right path.

JohnP said...

Sophia said "NFL has been up against the races forever, correct?"

Absolutly 100% correct Sophia. No one with an ounce of logic will blame the NFL for the downturn in ratings because it's been that way for 20 years.

And no one with an ounce of logic will blame the economy for the tv ratings. They should be going up since folks have less money to do other activities, including actually attending the race.

Sophia said...


WOW. You said it all better than I could. Kudos

Sadly B France laughs all the way to the bank at the PRETENSE of being concerned. He originally fixed what was NOT BROKEN from what people tell me.

Many detest the "Hollywoodization of NASCAR" but it seems to still be the dream of BF. The crass commercialization interfering with racing telecast is killing the sport, Brian France. Hello? Are you listening...uh, that would be no

I've no hope for the sport. Ugh, just clicked on ESPN practice.

CLICKING to DVR to watch Young & the Restless.


PammH said...

OMG, I just read an article on yahoo where BZF was suprised to hear people said they don't like the chase! He didn't know that??? He is on another planet in regards to this sport...disgusting.

Vince said...

After hearing BZF's responses to the questions posed to him at his interview today, I'm almost at a loss for words. I'm thinking HE needs to be drug tested before he speaks to the media. I can't say what I really think of BZF because JD would censor my comments in a heart beat. I will say from BZF's comments that I think he is a pompous arrogant a**! What a jerk!

I'm on the Nascar Fan Council and most of the questions I've seen on their surveys have been pure fluff. Not a lot of real probing questions about the sport or the way it is broadcast. Zip, zilch, nada.

I hope everybody enjoys the race this weekend. Unless it is streamed live on I won't be seeing it. I'll just have to watch the NFL, because I don't need cable to watch it!

JohnP said...

Did anyone see where BF said this was the 7th year of the Chase?? - When it's the 5Th? OMG - this dude is on drugs or something.

""FRANCE../.. And by the way, it's exactly what the drivers want. It's working out that way this year. We are in year seven of the Chase.""


Daly Planet Editor said...

Pretty interesting day so far. I had hoped Marty would bring it for Cup quals...but no such luck.

Sophia said...


I felt the same way about the lame Fan Council questions..thus I never filled it I stopped watching..but when I tried to answer WHY I did not watch, a bunch of "pre packaged questions" that were useless.

BF is beyond clueless. Sadly he was geting by with this rubbish before his father died, and out of touchness WORSENS since the entire remaining family must support his insanity these must Helton:(

Pitiful, pitiful, pitiful.

Wisconsin Steve said...

I may not fit in today since I don't have anything negative to say about Mr. France, but I really like what he said about NASCAR considering shortening some of the races. I love watching Cup events but some of them would be better at shorter distances (Pocono, Texas, Atlanta and Talladega come to mind).

Wisconsin Steve said...

ESPN: Please interview Bill Elliott. He deserves some air time today.

Wisconsin Steve said...

Great to see Awesome Bill near the front again (and being interviewed).

terri said...

@ JohnP....maybe you should check your stats. Kurt Busch won the first Chase in 2004. So that's 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and this year is 2010. That makes 7 years of the chase.

Wisconsin Steve said...

Kudos to ESPN for the strong post qualifying coverage; interviews with Elliott, Mears, and Smith plus a follow-up with Kyle Busch and a Chaser recap.

51 yr. fan said...

E$PN is on now bragging about their
bells and whistles and 150 people.
They still don't get it that fans
don't care how high the studio can
lift and Brewer has redundant gadgets. We just want to see the

BoZo France is happy now that racing is "elevated" for the championship run at Homestead. It
is a shame they don't do something
to make the first 35 races more interesting instead of a just a
merry go round.

saltsburgtrojanfan said...

Let me second Vince's post. I Could not have said it better myself. Brian France is out of touch with his sport and its fans. King Brian's family needs to impeach him because he is so arrogant and greedy, he does not realize without the fans we would not have NASCAR. Brian France is ignoring the TV issues and hollywoodizing NASCAR is just turning away fans. Also, the NASCAR fan council, i am not a member of btw, has homgenizing surveys it just show he cares about one thing and one thing only, $$$$$$$$$$. And you know, i think satan is guiding Brian France.

NASCAR is continuing to run down a slippery slope and when there are no fans left Brian France will be begging fans to come back. Well it will take a monumental effort for fans to come back. And BZF is not willing to do that, in my opinion.

saltsburgtrojanfan said...


Vince said...

SBTF, I hate it when you hold back.


Daly Planet Editor said...

Got a new post up for the CWTS race tonight on SPEED.

Don't forget the Truck Buddy application on as well tonight.


Jonathan said...

John P you might be on drugs or drunk cause from my math (and I suck at math) this is the 7th year of the Chase! not the 5th lol it started when I started watching in 2004 count with me 2004-05-06-07-08-09-10 this is the 7th year of the chase!

Anonymous said...

BF - a later start would really help...I am sure no casual sports fan will be watching the Colts vs. Pats.....

The Loose Wheel said...

So King Brian likes ESPN the way it is...


The Chase is fine? He laughed and wondered why ANY fan wouldn't like the Chase?

Jeremy Mayfield, maybe your right and he IS on drugs....

What a joke. Seriously.

This is what is turning me off of NASCAR. Constant change and the 5 second attention span.

HA! word ver: flingi....nice.