Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wednesday NASCAR TV/Media Notes

This is an off-week for the Sprint Cup Series, however both the Camping World Trucks and the Nationwide Series are racing in Nashville, TN. Trucks are on Friday night and Nationwide teams race Saturday afternoon as NASCAR stays away from the Easter holiday.

Michael Waltrip is away this weekend, so it will be older brother Darrell teamed with SPEED's regular CWTS crew of Rick Allen and Phil Parsons to call practice, qualifying and the race. Hermie Sadler and Ray Dunlap will handle the reporting duties.

The senior Waltrip is very popular these days. As you may know, SPEED is carrying the upcoming Nationwide Series race from Richmond, VA due to an ESPN scheduling conflict. There had been much speculation about who from the SPEED and FOX stable of announcers would be selected for this one-time special.

SPEED has now confirmed that the line-up will be Allen with both Waltrips. That's right, Michael and Darrell working together on a race without a "crew chief" up in the booth. This is a bit surprising, because Jeff Hammond and Hermie Sadler have been teaming-up on the Nationwide Series practice and qualifying telecasts on SPEED with good results.

Details are still being worked-out on the pre-race show, but covering pit road in Richmond will be Krista Voda, Ray Dunlap and Hermie Sadler. Look for Voda to be tapped to handle the pre-race duties.

Back in Nashville, ESPN is covering the Nationwide race with Marty Reid, Ricky Craven and Brad Daugherty in the TV booth. Since this is a stand-alone race, the pre-race show will be hosted by pit reporter Dave Burns. Shannon Spake and Jamie Little will be the other two pit reporters.

This is an opportunity for Craven to showcase his skills as he continues to emerge as a talented NASCAR TV analyst. Daugherty has been frozen in time since he came on the scene back in 2007. This telecast will put him in the position of doing a lot more than cheerleading from the Infield Pit Studio.

On Thursday, April 28, there will be a live telecast on SPEED of Denny Hamlin's annual short-track shootout charity event at 8PM ET. This year, with Southside Speedway temporarily closed, the Late Model race is going to be held at RIR.

SPEED has passed along that Mike Joy will call the racing that night with Ken Schrader and Kenny Wallace in the TV booth. Handling the interviews will be Bob Dillner and Dick Berggren.

Over at VERSUS, the new Comcast/NBC management team has done as we all expected and announced that network will be rebranded with something containing an NBC in it. The network of IndyCar and the NHL also hosts NASCAR programming consisting of post-produced Whelen Modified races and a late season weekly review program.

You can scroll down to the earlier post for full details, but the announcement that the former head of SpeedVision, Bob Scanlon, has returned with a new HD network backed by Discovery has some folks scrambling. Velocity is going to be 24 hours of male-oriented motorsports, adventure programming and high-end HD car shows. It will take the place of Discovery HD Theater on your cable dial.

The great news from Scanlon is that there is already an original series in development with the NASCAR Media Group. No details yet, but Scanlon is the original man behind the Monday night Inside Sprint Cup Racing franchise. Stay tuned.

Just as Rupert Murdoch used News Corp to buy SPEED and get into the motorsports TV business, there is a report out that he may be eyeing Formula 1. Click here for a story from Mark Kleinman about this latest project continuing the path of Murdoch and his family trying to acquire truly global sports TV properties.

On the ratings front, the Nationwide Series race came in with a 1.8 and the Sprint Cup telecast managed a 4.6, down slightly from last season. Ratings are affected by many factors and reading too much into them just gets the true discussion off the right track. ESPN and FOX have simply been resistant to real change and this is the result.

Mike Massaro is hosting NASCAR Now this week on ESPN2. It's unfortunate that ESPN has eliminated the reporter roundtable shows on the Sprint Cup Series off-weeks. That leaves a big TV hole on the Monday before Richmond. Danielle Trotta is hosting Race Hub on SPEED Wednesday and Thursday as Steve Byrnes is on vacation.

After his strong finish at Talladega, there has been a groundswell of fans who would like Dale Earnhardt Jr. to get on Twitter. Jimmie Johnson has recently come on board and is having a great time with the fans. If you have not done it, take a second to sign-up and download a free Twitter app to your cell phone.

Twitter is an amazing resource for NASCAR information and does not take up any more time than you allow. You can follow us at for news, opinion and links. If you ever wanted to communicate directly with a driver, team or media personality, Twitter is the place for you.

Please feel free to offer your opinion on the topics mentioned above. To add your comment, just click on the comments button below. This is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind when posting. Thank you for taking the time to stop by The Daly Planet.


glenc1 said...

Waltrip + Waltrip = mute + MRN

Anonymous said...

Given the choice of two Waltrips or slamming my fingers in a car door....I say, 2-door or 4-door? Seriously, The Waltrips and Kenny Wallace would cause your ears to fall off when they start speed-talking! Lord help us.

Anonymous said...

I saw Marty, Ricky and Brad would be in the booth for the Nashville race without Bestwick, Punch & Petree at the track. The thoughts in my head were not family friendly. Ricky Craven is stuck inbetween the statician and Mr. Opportunity.

The Nationwide series gets another punch in the gut with 2 Waltrips in the booth at Richmond. I can already imagine Allen struggling to keep control of the broadcast. Who thought this was a good idea?

allisong said...

The HOF nominees are out, and DW is again on the list. Expect a big push from all the FOX/SPEED shows to showcase DW's career. Lots of vintage clips, mutual backslapping with him and Hammond, and mentions of his glorious record at every track coming up on the schedule. Its becoming an annual tradition.

sbaker17 said...

Too many Waltrips and a Wallace. I'll take the weekend off, thank you.

Fed UP said...

Guess my weekend is free...I can't stand either one. Oh well.

Anonymous said...

Brad in the booth...oh there's a hot mess :(. Ricky will school him & Marty.

Poor Rick :( he won't be able to get a word in edgewise next Friday after he intros the telecast :(.

Happy that things worked out for them to be able to show the N'wide race at least.

Agree nice folks on Twitter.

cdh said...

The news about Brad and the Nationwide telecast is unfortunate. I cannot stand the sound of his voice and he never says anything original. Like a parrot. I guess I'll just FF to the end and see who wins the race. I guess ESPN doesn't need credibility.

AncientRacer said...

Took me, and that is just me being me, mind, a couple of tries to get past the picture to read the copy.

But I will follow Craven wherever they allow him to practice his craft.

And I know this DW stuff -- this, this year over the top and running hell bent for boogity boogity DW stuff -- will not be over until he makes the HOF.

The look on his face last year said it all and I cannot, I will not, and I shall never take it away from Darrell that he wants to win. For it is a fact the man needs to. Not for us. Not for the sport. For DW. God love and keep him.

Jus' sayin'

DaveM4210 said...

I just read a couple weeks worth of articles. I have gotten really burned out on both Fox and ESPN coverage of races. It was so bad for one race (don't remember which now) that I muted the sound on the TV and brought my XM Radio in from the car and connected it to the stereo!

The best race TV coverage IMHO right now is Speed's NCWTS and ARCA races and the Versus IndyCar races. Speed's coverage of the Rolex and ALMS series was good last year, but I have not had a chance to watch them yet this year.

I think the only hope for decent coverage of Sprint Cup and Nationwide races is for Speed and NBC/Versus (and maybe Velocity?) to bid for them when the contracts expire in a couple years. We can only hope, we can only hope!

I am also getting close to ignoring Trackside on Friday nights. What was the deal with Larry Mac no longer on the show? I will be glad when DW bails out at the end of Fox race coverage. I used to like Ol' DW, but not for the last few years. I had enough of Rusty the first race he broadcast. Bring back Eli Gold and Gentleman Ned Jarrett!

SD80MAC on Twitter

OSBORNK said...

The networks are clearly confused. They think we watch the races because of the Waltrips and Wallaces. They don't realize we watch the races IN SPITE of the Wallaces and Waltrips. They would save money and increase their audience if they sent all the talking heads whose last name started with W out to pasture.

GinaV24 said...

Wow, well based on that lineup in the booth, I'll give the Nationwide race a total pass this weekend.

Just who is it that the Waltrips are so popular with?

Anonymous said...

im with glenc1

w17scott said...

Mr Editor -
...enough already, now it seems FOX is dictating more to SPEED than previously known ...attn: powers-that-be - are you so hard up for analysts and air talent that you must recycle such disrespectful (to race fans) personalities as DW? ...he never tires of hearing his own voice, but listeners have tired of his relentless drolling on-and-on and use of a single pronoun, "I" ...hopefully, there will be a radio broadcast of the Truck Series, but more likely I will watch the Pelletier brothers saga on American Loggers ...keep it up NASCAR, this 50+ year fan has about with your abuse.

Anonymous said...

John Madden had a ton of detractors. But at the end of the day, he was still the voice of football and one of the most respected analysts out there.

It's the same with DW. He has his critics, but at the end of the day, he's still THE MAN.

Anonymous said...

The Waltrips should become hucksters for Walmart. Those people you see on the great website "people of walmart" are the Waltrips greatest fans, I am sure. Those 2 Waltrips could be out in front of the store arguing how the name of the store should be changed to Waltrips.

Zieke said...

The Waltrips are two of the most annoying people ever to grace a TV screen, for the reasons we have been articulating on for the past no. of years. Thank goodness Fox has no more races than they do.
This HOF thing has not been a fav. of mine either, simply because there is no racing, just politicking to get your favorite in.
Wonder how many guys who drove against DW would vote him in? Not very many,I bet.

Newracefan said...

OMG I've got nothing else

glenc1 said...

anon 11:17--it's a shame because DW has given us occasionally excellent moments over the years. When he first started it was fresh & often insightful. He was actually watching the races and noticing things the others did not. (However, I always thought the boogity thing was embarrassing.) But his commentating has just turned into something else--tired & uninspired. Trying to read the drivers' minds. Cheerleading for certain teams. Backtracking all the time to make it look like he's right about everything, when if he hadn't made these far out speculations to start with, he wouldn't have to. As much as he's a legend in his own mind, as a broadcaster, I don't believe he will never be remembered like Ned Jarrett or Benny Parsons (about whom I used to complain that they were the biggest NASCAR defenders around.) I used to complain about Larry Mac's grammar, but at least what he has to say is more valuable.

GinaV24 said...

anon 11:17 -- when DW started in 2001, I really enjoyed listening to him. Trouble is he's still saying the same things 10 years later plus he's so emotionally invested, as well as financially, in certain drivers and manufacturers that he fails the professional and credibilty test for me.

In the right context, I can enjoy DW - I'd rather see him doing the Hollywood Hotel gig during the race than what he is doing now.

And having him and motormouth on together to "call" a race, is a non-starter for me.

Anonymous said...

I realize this isn't going to change anybody's mind, but I seem to recall Brad D. doing a Nationwide(Busch) race back in either 2007 or 2008 and actually got some favorable comments in this blog. I think. I could be wrong. JD, do you remember that?

Anonymous said...

Haven't read and won't. The picture of two Waltrips just gag me. Off to the bathroom for a complete throw up.

The Mad Man said...

Looks like it'll be the MUTE button for me. Rick Allen and Phil Parsons handled the commentary fine for years before somebody decided to muck things up.

GinaV24, the Waltrips are popular with themselves and that's all that matters to them. The sounds of their own voices drowning out sanity and reason.

Faux is already campaigning for DW to go into the HOF. Has anyone been paying attention to all of these "DW Moments" in each and every race where they've been showing clips of his racing years? It'll only get worse. Wait til we see DW on any special about any driver who ever raced and DW talks about how he raced them or influeneced then even if they were dead or retired before DW even got to NASCAR. Yes, it will get that bad.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Yes, Brad did an NNS race before in the booth. He was still new at the TV game, but did a good job. As Rick Hendrick says, it's all about chemistry.

Anonymous said...

anon 11:17 -- when DW started in 2001, I really enjoyed listening to him. Trouble is he's still saying the same things 10 years later plus he's so emotionally invested, as well as financially, in certain drivers and manufacturers that he fails the professional and credibilty test for me.

I know a lot has been made about "DW being a shill for Toyota", but can someone - anyone - give me some concrete examples of this? In my view, it's been a long time since he's said anything on the air that shows a bias towards Toyota.

boyd said...

As much as I like Richmond, I will not watch the Waltrip love fest.

Wisconsin Steve said...

I really enjoyed Brad's influence in the booth back in 2007 when he did a couple of Nationwide races (one of them was at Kansas, I believe). I think this will be a good combo. Give it a chance, folks!

Anonymous said...

Apparently I blocked that out, I don't remember him being in the booth before.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand all this Waltrip-bashing.

I really got sick of Mikey on TWIN and am really tired of his clown routine on Inside NASCAR.... but when it comes to calling the truck races, he always does a great job.

And as for DW, I've heard him do the trucks before too (subbing for Micahel), and he leaves a lot of the histrionics of Cup behind.

Give the guys a chance before you lambaste them!

Horn Fan said...

Speed needs to get JB in the booth for the Truck races. In 2009, he filled in for Mikey did an awesome job, and made the overall broadcast better. I like Phil, but with Mikey in the booth, he just loses focus, and it's annoying hearing Rick continuely trying to keep them focused.