Saturday, March 6, 2010
The new start times for the Sprint Cup Series races have forced a little reorganization where NASCAR TV is concerned.
The Sunday morning TV starts with NASCAR Now on ESPN2 at 9AM. Nicole Briscoe hosts with Marty Smith reporting from Atlanta. This one hour show continues the ESPN formula of basing the shows in Bristol, CT and sending reporters out to the events. ESPN packs lots of information in this fast hour.
Over on SPEED, the disorganized and faltering NASCAR Smarts show airs at 9AM. I have no clue where SPEED is going with this program or what it accomplishes. The original sponsor, Ask.com, is long gone. Remaining is a ridiculous format and some bad TV. NASCAR in a Hurry fills out the hour with a video recap of Friday and Saturday at the track.
RaceDay rolls in at 10AM on SPEED with momentum building. Kyle Petty has been a breath of fresh air for this program. Now, the challenge is for Kenny Wallace to stop shouting. He got into this bad habit because of Jimmy Spencer's antics. With Spencer long gone, the one thing that Wallace should never say again is "Let me tell you all something!"
Wendy Venturini and Hermie Sadler continue to be the heart and soul of this show. Their ability to effortlessly handle any situation inside the track makes RaceDay worth watching. While they may have very different personalities, they share a solid knowledge of racing and a wicked sense of humor.
Petty is still trying to define his relationship with host John Roberts. These two both like to have the last word and it has made for some interesting moments. Petty is not afraid to let his opinion be known, but unlike Spencer does not need Roberts to step-in and sort things out once he is done. It's time for Roberts to go back to hosting and let the opinions come from the panelists.
NASCAR Now and RaceDay combine to offer three hours of pre-race coverage that leads into another hour of pre-race from FOX. As we watch the shows roll by, look for how many times the same guests promoting the same topics are interviewed. It's not uncommon to see the same person three times before the racing starts.
We are going to use this post to open comments up before, during and after the morning NASCAR TV shows. There will be a new post up for the NASCAR on FOX telecast that begins at 12PM ET. As we move through the morning, let us know what you like and do not like about the pre-race shows.
To add your TV-related opinion, just click on the comments button below. This is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind when posting. Thanks for stopping by, make sure to join us for the live race chat Sunday afternoon.
With the Nationwide Series off this weekend, the ESPN gang is not in Atlanta. That allows the SPEED TV team to step forward on Saturday with live coverage of the Camping World Truck Series. Thanks to Nate Ryan of USA Today, shown above is a picture inside the SPEED TV truck with the crew getting ready for the coverage.
Krista Voda will start the telecast with The Setup pre-race show at 1:30PM ET. Voda will have Geoff Bodine and the gold medal Olympic Bobsled team as guests. Bodine is racing a truck in Atlanta.
Calling the race is Rick Allen. He will be joined by Phil Parsons and Michael Waltrip. Allen has been a regular anchor on SPEED's new Race Hub show. Parsons has been in the news as the controversy over "start and park" teams continues. Waltrip just unveiled his new amateur talent show, Fast Track to Fame, last Monday night on SPEED.
The biggest TV news involves truck series pit reporter Adam Alexander. He has just been selected as the new play-by-play announcer for TNT's six Sprint Cup Series races. Alexander is joined today by Ray Dunlap on pit road.
SPEED's truck series production formula is simple. They show the race, focus on the teams and eliminate the TV bells and whistles. Last season, we argued with Allen over his omission of the many truck teams that were starting and parking. He defended his decision. Should be interesting to see what happens if and when some teams head for the garage early in the event.
Waltrip has been finding his voice as an analyst and putting his normally sponsor-driven personality on hold. The results have been outstanding, especially down the stretch last season. With the Daytona race being more of a stand-alone event, this Atlanta race should really show TV viewers if Waltrip can continue his growth in this position.
Last year, Parsons flew under the radar with his Nationwide Series start and park teams. This year, his move into the Cup Series put him front and center. SPEED has worked very hard to avoid this topic and it should be interesting to see what Parsons has to say when the S&P truck teams pull off the track.
The truck series has traditionally had great racing in Atlanta. The weather is cool and clear. There are a handful of Cup Series cross-over drivers who should run up front, including Kyle Busch. It should be a good mix of personalities.
This post will serve to host your comments about the TV coverage of the Camping World Truck Series race from the Atlanta Motor Speedway. To add your comment, just click on the comments button below. This is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind when posting. Thanks for joining us today.