Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Final TV Push To Homestead

Thursday starts the big push of the two remaining NASCAR TV partners, ESPN and SPEED, toward the championship weekend.

At 1PM ET NASCAR is holding the traditional championship press conference at a Miami area hotel. This is an opportunity to get Jimmie Johnson, Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick together for one last media availability before action starts on the track.

This year, SPEED is stepping up with live coverage on TV and online. Danielle Trotta, pictured above, will anchor the event for SPEED on television while will stream the entire press conference. That's the kind of media cooperation from SPEED that NASCAR wants to see more of in the future.

Allen Bestwick cranks-up the Infield Pit Studio at 4PM to host a one-hour preview of the weekend's events on ESPN2's NASCAR Now. Bestwick has Marty Smith and Mike Massaro on the ground in Homestead as reporters. He also has ten other ESPN on-air personalities from which to draw.

Hopefully, ESPN will right a wrong and give the Friday Camping World Truck Series race equal treatment. One criticism of ESPN across the board, especially on college football and basketball preview shows, is that the network focuses only on the games being played on the ESPN family of TV networks. Ask football fans about College Gameday.

The trucks have lots of stories to be told. This is part of a tripleheader arranged by NASCAR to have all the national touring series finish their seasons in this manner. Simply focusing on the Sprint Cup Series is unfair to the Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series drivers, teams and sponsors who have raced all season long.

SPEED has a huge hit on its hands with NASCAR Race Hub. The big decision by Steve Byrnes to come off the road and host this series full time Monday through Thursday has paid tremendous dividends. Driver, owners and sponsors now understand that access to national TV is just a short drive away.

7PM will bring a final preview edition discussing the three weekend races. Ray Dunlap, Hermie Sadler, Bob Dillner and Randy Pemberton will be breaking down the final events in Homestead. SPEED has effectively used in-house talent to do the heavy lifting on big topics, leaving rookie reporter Trotta to cover stories from the team shops and surrounding area.

The good news is that Race Hub will continue for two more weeks after Homestead, the bad news is SPEED has not confirmed yet it will return for 2011. New management at SPEED is now in place and whatever transitions are going to happen will do so in the off-season. TDP will keep you posted.

The complete NASCAR TV schedule for the Championship weekend is posted on the left side of this page. Some items of note are Darrell Waltrip coming back to SPEED's Trackside and RaceDay shows. On Sunday, between ESPN2 and SPEED there are four hours of wrap-up and post-race shows. Let's hope the race lives up to the hype.

This post will serve to host your comments on the Thursday coverage by the NASCAR TV partners. Please tell us what you think about the press conference, NASCAR Now and Race Hub. The push is on and this is the final day to preview the final events.

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...

Scratching Trackside and Raceday off my list of things to watch this weekend...I don't care to see Waltrip falling all over himself over Johnson for several hours.


51 yr. fan said...

Race Hub is tops among the NA$CAR
shows. I hope they don't drop it.
No false excitement, hand waving,
Wallaces, or Waltrips.

Keep up the good work SPEED!

Wisconsin Steve said...

I wouldn't be too optimistic about NASCAR Now covering the truck series today, unless its a brief mention. The championship is already decided, and they seem intent on focusing on the Cup Chase. I love the show, but don't see much truck coverage happening.

BTW - it would be great if ESPN posted entire episodes of NASCAR Now on their website next year instead of brief clips. Would this in any way be a violation of the Turner deal, JD?

MRM4 said...

JD, you are exactly right. ESPN's motto is if it's not on their network, it doesn't exist. I wouldn't expect much of a mention about the truck series at all this weekend.

GinaV24 said...

I won't be watching trackside or raceday either. Too much rehash and too much "drama". Leave that to TNT.

I probably won't watch much ESPN, maybe for the race, I haven't decided yet. Since I'll still have to use trackpass to know what's happening to my team, seems like a waste of a Sunday afternoon.

I was hoping that we'd hear that RaceHub would be continuing on through the "off season", too. I really like this show since Steve took over the hosting duties and IMO it would be a shame to lose what is an excellent show AND one that is located right in NC near the shops. I'm hoping that TPTB at Speed make the right decision for the fans and keep RaceHub on the schedule.

Please keep RACEHUB!

Anonymous said...

Tuned into the Race Hub by accident and was surprised at the improvements. The new format and the addition of Steve Byrnes gave me a reason to view this show on a regular basis. The Hub seems to have something for everybody.

Concerning all the other programing options this weekend - I'll pass on all that stuff and enjoy all three races.

Anonymous said...

I plan to watch virtually none of the pre race shows, but will watch all of the races this weekend. I just can't take any more of the hype. Everyone has opinions and theories as to who is going to do what or should do what. All that really matters is the racing and that's what I want to see. Race Hub is better than Twin, especially with Waltrip gone. Byrnes is better than he was on Twin, but he often disappoints. A few weeks ago, he was sitting across from James Buescher. The tape was shown of James wrecking Danica. Byrnes asked him about it. Buescher gave a bs response. Byrnes didn't challenge,but moved on to the next scripted question. I just wish the TV hosts could cut the political correctness. They just seem reluctant to assign blame. There will be an incident on the track. An ex-driver in the booth will first imply that driver 'x' was to blame, then say maybe it was the fault of driver 'y' before concluding it was just "..a racing deal". Meanwhile,us viewers are watching replays of a blatant act of retaliation. Reminds me of that old saying..."on the shoulders of giants".

Anonymous said...

It isn't Steve's place to 'grill' a guest invited on the show. He asked, James answered; I don't expect more than that. I don't think that's what most of the viewers want to see. This isn't some news entertainment show where hosts are rude & guests walk off or where they chase someone down with a microphone (and ask Vince Welch how that went with Montoya). If it were I wouldn't watch it (which is why I don't watch any of 'those' shows either.) During the broadcast, yes, I expect them to assess blame as part of the analysis, but especially knowing you want your guests to return, it's not what a show like Racehub should be.

OSBORNK said...

Thank you for letting us know where DW is going to show up. I won't have to tune in and then lchange the station or turn the TV off. When any Wallace or Waltrip shows on ANY show, I quit watching. I hate it when I am forced to watch a race when they are bloviating. They make the mute button the most important key on my remote.

PammH said...

No pre race for me this week. I'm sick of the hype of the "chase" & if DW is on, that seals it for me. I just want to watch a race, which I probably won't get to do either, due to poor camera work. But I'll be listening to the radio!!

Vicky D said...

We really like Hub now that Steve is permanent host (well for this year at least). I like the new set and Jimmy Spencer is so funny with his crying towel too. Hope Speed keeps Hub!

longtimeracefan said...

Just finished watching the live presser with Hamlin, Johnson and Harvick online with in one window and in another. It was interesting comparing the two. had a much higher quality picture and they only showed a wide shot of the three drivers with an occasional tighter zoom on however was speaking at the time. started cutting away to other images and graphics while the live audio continued. It seemed kind of out of place to do that at a live press conference. Is it just in the DNA of TV production types to take a purely basic event and muck it up? It looked pretty lame. Plus, about five minutes before it was over, ended their coverage . . . on purpose. What's up with that? I thought that when Ms. Wheeler took over, things like that would not happen.

Unknown said...

Mr Editor -
Other than trucks, pre-race not worth my time this weekend ...other than trucks ...ESPN shills n-o-t so worthy ...MRN qualifying coverage excellent when I can find the live broadcast ...just curious, but who provides direction when SPEED picks up up Cup or Nationwide qualifying and practice? ...same camera locations? ...just seems better production values than ESPN

glenc1 said...

I can't see myself watching Raceday. Ever since the Kenny Wallace 'I know everything and you don't' incident I just can't stomach him. It's a shame because I think Kyle sometimes has things to offer, and Wendy & Hermie are excellent. But basically, as what's going to happen is completely out of the hands of the, I think I'm happy to just let the race unfold. Might even turn off the sound in favor of MRN. You know, it's too bad TV's don't have a 'voice recognition' feature--you know, if it's a certain person you don't like, their voice would be automatically muted? That might be a really valuable tool.

I hope SPEED knows the value of Racehub. I would love to see that show continue.

Daly Planet Editor said...


When SPEED does a Cup or NNS session it is directed and produced by SPEED personnel.

Anonymous said...

I hope the Hub returns! Steve has done such a good job in giving it an identity.

Zieke said...

Speed couldn't end their race shows in a worse way if they had to. Every time we hear of Waldrip being on a show the bloggers come out in full force. Why doesn't Speed get the message? Are they just plain stupid? Thankfully the NFL is also on, and their pregame shows as well. I will watch part of the race itself to check on my fantasy drivers, but NOOOO pre-race activities. Speed and NASCAR are shooting themselves in the foot with these awful so-called personalities.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Pretty bent that "NASCAR Now" on ESPN2 did a full hour preview of this weekend and mentioned the truck series race once for ten seconds.

No interviews, no highlights and no respect.

Anonymous said...

editor is incorrect about speed practice/qual sessions... director might be speed but line producer is from nmg.

Anonymous said...

I thought it was pretty lame stopping the coverage of the news conference right in the middle of a question/answer in order to go back to a rerun of last weeks Busch race.

I mean.. news conference with cup competitors equal this weeks news... last weeks boring Busch race equals um... last weeks news.

Hello people! Not everyone can take time to sit down at the computer for this stuff. Not everyone has broadband in order to pull down video.

Gosh, it would be nice to have some decent race coverage in this country. No, really!

Unknown said...

Mr Editor -
Thanks muchly for the follow-up on my query, what a treat when I stumbled across NASCAR Classics (SPEED) ...enjoyable to watch last half of the race ...Bill Weber was much less intrusive than I remembered and heads and shoulders above current PXP personalities, forgot Allen Bestwick and Benny Parsons were on the crew ...even Wally Dallenback seemed to hold his own

Daly Planet Editor said...


The NMG director and/or producer is hired by SPEED as a part of the contract to produce content from the track.

My post was intended to confirm that it was no the ESPN staffers involved. Thanks.


Anonymous said...

This blog is a colonoscopy for NASCAR TV.

Too bad Michael Waltrip is the only one having one this week. Darrell Waltrip needs on too!

No pre-race for me - what time does the invocation start Sunday?

Anonymous said...

I think glenc1 is really onto something in his 3:28 post, namely a SELECTIVE mute that would only block selected individuals. I don't watch the truck racing because of MW. I would gladly tune in if I could mute him and him alone. Selective muting is technology I would gladly pay for. Anyone named Wallace or Waltrip would be at the top of my list. Well, a notable exception is Mike Wallace. I actually like him. I often wonder how he can be so different from his two brothers.

Anonymous said...

I thank all the networks that will be involved all weekend long and for the chanace to watch everything. I can't believe all the stick in the mud comments from fans. This generation is truly a bunch of spoiled rotten babies. Be thankful that you have the privilage of so much coverage not like the old days, on Wild World of Sports on ABC when they showed the green flag and three 5 minute segments and the checker flag of the entire race throught the 90 minute show.

Anonymous said...

Daly please enlighten us. Tells the bloggers all about the great storylines NASCAR Now is missing about the Truck Series.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Jeffrey Earnhardt racing and now fulltime for 2011.

Cole Whitt racing and fulltime next season for Stacy Compton's new team.

Tomm Hessert in the #77 for Germain racing.

Craig Goess in the #46 for Eddie Sharp Racing.

Elliott Sadler in the #2 for Harvick Racing, where he will be next year.

Jennifer Jo Cobb set to finish the season in top 20, (17th) highest finish by female in Cup, NNS or truck history.

All the big guns are out as well with nothing to lose since Todd Bodine already clinched. This will probably be the best racing of the weekend, as it is so often.

Hope that helps a bit, check for more updates.


Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 8:21PM,

That was the 1970's for crying out loud! Cable TV has been with NASCAR since the early 1980's.

Twenty years? As they would say on ESPN....Come on man!


Anonymous said...

So I've not tried watching Race Hub in quite a while but with all the positive comments I saw I thought I'd give it a try. I had the misfortune to tune in 10 mins or so in and the first thing out of Randy Pemberton's mouth is them discussing Front Row having 4 cup teams. When did Front Row buy out the Latitude 43 team? Did i miss something or are Randy and Danielle just that ignorant of the back of the field?

I'd like to think I've just not been paying attention and Front Row is a 4 car team, but I really don't think me it seems Race Hub is still useless if they can't get the simple stuff right.

rich said...

I think that this was Danielle's first anchoring of Racehub. She did a pretty good job. Overall this season she has impressed me for a rookie. I think Speed has found a good one there.

Anonymous said...

Yeah RaceHub sucks. All incorrect rumors. Ray Dunlap said he saw Brendan Gaughan at a Truck team carrying seats in. Gaughan on twitter said he heard that crap and its not true as he does not even have 2011 seats yet!

Then today Pemberton & SPEED's graphic showing Front Row having 4 cars! Randy was disgusted that a team w/ sponsors and 4 cars would lay off their crew until January. FR only has 3 cars and the sponsors are those put on by the owner as he runs 3 resturants franchises no money is given to him for that

Anonymous said...

I too, thought Danielle did a great job on Race Hub last night. She was witty and obviously comfortable in her role. I think she's a hundred times better than the female host over on one of the other networks (who shall remain nameless). Danielle's come a long way this season and hope she continues to grow as Wendy has.

Speedcouch said...

I was extremely disappointed with ESPN when checking the guide for Monday night. Was setting up my dvr to record the "roundtable" version with Bestwick, Craven, et al that is usually on Mondays. Couldn't find it anywhere in the guide because of college basketball or something. Is ESPN just done after Sunday??? Saw an episode on the guide for 10pm Sun, but then saw on Jayski that it will be hosted by Nicole Briscoe, so that's obviously not going to be the Monday night show I enjoy so much. Just disgusting that ESPN can't give us one last roundtable with Bestwick and a great group.

Anonymous said...

Hey anon 1:04--better check the news, Ray was 100% right. They always deny it until it's true.

Gaughan to a Germain racing truck.

gopapa said...

DW with Mikey in the same booth is one of the biggest paring blunders of the season. Heads oughta roll for that debacle. That said, I thought I'd never say something like this, but I'm looking forward to Fox after listening to Marty Reid on IBPN these last few weeks. Talk about a weak link. That guy is the worst, bar none.

It's a shame that the best crew has the worst TV package. It's Fox and ESPN that should only have 6 races each with TNT having the balance of the season.