Friday, July 1, 2011

Friday Afternoon's Qualifying Showdown

If the weather in Daytona stays dry, TV viewers should get an interesting afternoon of programming on Friday. ESPN2 will be up first with Nationwide Series qualifying and then SPEED will be next with the Sprint Cup Series.

Fans already know that both series are deeply committed to the tandem-style of racing for the Friday and Saturday night events. Fans already know many of the teams and partners who will be pairing up from the green to the checkers in both series.

This new style of racing certainly throws a wrench into the typical TV presentation of qualifying. Other than missing the actual race, what is the real story? Once the green flag flies for these two races the scramble is not going to be for the lead, but instead to find your prearranged dance partner.

The challenge for both ESPN2 and SPEED is to tell the real stories of how things are different this year and what that means for the sport. Will Nationwide Series teams operated by Sprint Cup Series owners have an advantage? Will these power teams fade to the rear at the start and just ride as we have seen on the Cup side?

Ultimately, what does qualifying really mean for the Nationwide Series? If the TV presentation is done as if the tandem racing does not exist, what credibility does that give ESPN going into the Friday night race? Will we see graphics of the team pairings for the race during the qualifying coverage?

It's up to Marty Reid to try and put the single car Nationwide Series qualifying into perspective for a race that will never for a moment feature single car racing. If the only real story is the battle for the "start and park" positions at the rear of the field it could be a tough afternoon for Reid, Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree. Coverage begins on ESPN2 at 2PM Eastern Time.

Adam Alexander put his hands in his pockets a lot when he is on-camera. Maybe he is nervous, maybe he is relaxed or maybe he is uncomfortable. Alexander will once again have his hands in his pockets at 4PM ET as he leads the TV team through Sprint Cup Series qualifying.

This time it will be Kyle Petty and Larry McReynolds joining Alexander on SPEED. Petty has once again been a breath of fresh air this season because he speaks his mind on any NASCAR topic. The irony of Petty being matched with McReynolds is not lost on veteran fans.

It was McReynolds who started the pre-season by lecturing the NASCAR media face-to-face on the importance of being positive and making sure to report good things about the sport. He did that on the January media tour to a large group of veteran reporters from around the country. Needless to say, the frost between the Infield Media Center working press and McReynolds has never thawed.

This time, McReynolds gets to explain to TV viewers what relevance qualifying has for top 35 teams who have long since planned their Daytona tandem racing strategies. As the crew chief in the booth, it should be interesting to hear his comments on the topic, keeping in mind his own admitted philosophy of NASCAR "reporting."

Both networks stayed flexible on Thursday after rain delays and finally got some limited TV coverage of practice sessions for both series. If the start of qualifying is also delayed by rain, it may cause some interesting schedule issues between ESPN2 and SPEED.

Nicole Briscoe is scheduled to host a 6:30PM version of NASCAR Now on ESPN2 before the NASCAR Countdown show begins the Daytona coverage on ESPN at 7PM. It will be Allen Bestwick, Rusty Wallace and Jarrett on the pre-race show.

NASCAR TV winds-up on Friday with Trackside on SPEED at 10PM. Krista Voda hosts with Darrell Waltrip and Jeff Hammond. Brad Keselowski and Trevor Bayne are the guests. TDP will live blog the Nationwide Series race, join us right here for that event.

In the meantime, we welcome your comments on the Friday afternoon qualifying coverage. To add your opinion, just click on the comments button below. Thanks for taking the time to stop by The Daly Planet.


Anonymous said...

TDP, what is your take on the Gluck/Busch story behind the story?
Is the Mainstream Media too close to the drivers to report anything in a negative light. Should Speed/TNT, etc reporters be Twitter buddies with the people they supposed to be reporting on, good or bad? Will Glauck be ignored in the Media Room for bringing up the obvious, musch as McReynolds is for encouraging "tell the good news only"?

Daly Planet Editor said...

As a sports fan, I understand that interest in high-profile athletes goes beyond professional and into personal.

As a NASCAR fan, I have no interest in Kurt Busch's social life. While some wives choose to be higher profile than others, it's up to media members to determine if that type of content makes sense for their employer.

GinaV24 said...

This tandem style racing sure makes for some weird coverage. Nice day in NJ - don't know that I will stay inside once I get off of work to listen to Adam or Marty, esp when qualifying won't mean much for the actual races.

Larry has created a serious credibility problem for himself - at least from my perspective - how can I trust anything he says if he always puts a positive spin on it? I'd much prefer that all of them and especially the media try to be impartial and present the information without editorializing or if it is just their opinion, then say so.

Obviously people like some people better than others, but if an online journalist can get fired for "cheering in the press box", why is it any different for the commentators?

Guess that's why my mute button gets such a workout -

Roland said...

I dont think Gluck did anything wrong. The media, including Gluck, respected his privacy until Busch publicly showed off the new girl. At that point the cat is out of the bag and its fair game.

As far as today goes, im not really excited about any of the coverage. Yesterday ESPN spent most of the first 10 minutes of NNS practice in commercial or in replay for the stuff they missed. Pretty sure today it will be a commercial after every car. Marty struggled today and I dont expect miracles. Im kinda glad hes back, now I can listen to MRN and not feel bad about it.

On an unrelated note. Last night Bristol did another one of their internet shows where they talk about the upcoming race weekend and give away free stuff. This is the kind of online content all tracks should be doing. Tracks need to wake up.

sue said...

Its kind of funny that nothing was said after Jimmy Spencer spouted off a few weeks ago on Race Hub that Smokes crew doesn't care for his new girlfriend yet several articles are now being written about the Busch separation. There definitely is a difference between stating the obvious ie. new gal in VL and no wedding ring versus an opinion on someone's friend.
But enough of that.

Some one tell me why I should turn in and watch qualifying at all on restrictor plate tracks. It doesn't matter and is a waste of time. The cars rarely run by themselves on plate tracks and many good cars will be racing in the back trying to avoid problems. Just a thought but maybe next year Speed could have the Barrett Jackson auction preempt the plate qualifying instead of last weeks live road course qualifying.

PhoenixHotZonie said...

Yesterday Jeff Hammond said he was on pins and needles during the big pack racing,slicing and dicing of yester Daytona races. I assume his agenda & NASCAR is to tell us the fan that the tandem hookup,dancin partner,2 car team racing is the way it is. Like it or not. NASCAR solution to the "big one" & the expensive dollar and/or point carnage for the owner & drivers. A trade off of exciting pins and needles big pack for strategy not so exciting-wait till the end-multicar photo finish. Maybe we get a balance of big pack pins and needles,2 car strategy, 5 2or4 tire changing pitstop then go go go go racing and everybody is satisfied.

Anonymous said...

I love how 2/3rds of the NASCAR on TNT announce booth crew does the shows on SPEED. Where is Wally? Only time I have heard him on SPEED was the first Pocono practice and then the final Cup practice at Sonoma last week.

I get that SPEED is with FOX and wants to have their crew together like DW and Larry Mac, but FOX's part of the season is over.

Joe said...

Would someone tell Dale Jarrett the term is "point in time" not "point and time". So, at this point in time blah blah blah...

And Larry, good guy but work on the use of plural words. Please....

NorCalFan said...

Off topic from qualifying but I attended Gluck's tweet-up gathering at Sonoma and asked a Penske PR rep if Kurt was getting a divorce. She answered yes and that Kurt and Patricia have been seen being affectionate in the garage area; Kurt's marital situation has not been a secret within Nascar. She also said that since Patricia was at the track her presence with Kurt would become very obvious today (rep must have been referring to likelihood of her being shown on camera during National Anthem unless she was clairvoyant on Kurt winning the race). Gluck said he wasn't sure how to treat the information, i.e., was the impending divorce affecting his on-track performance? Had interesting chat comparing situation with Jeff Gordon's very public divorce. In the end, Gluck's story quieted his twitter followers.

Matt said...

Is anyone having sound trouble on the HD feed of ESPN's qual? My SD feed is perfect though.

Anonymous said...

Happy Night Racin' Planeteers <3

Agree JD. There had been talk on Twitter about it so it was "known" and when folks saw her on Sunday it blew up with "who is that?" "where is Eva?" Jenna tweeted a link to her bio. So yes there are fans who *do* want to know and others who don't. Just depends on where you stand.

Agree Roland that's why I don't get the "backlash" folks are talking about our the smart remarks about it. Once he put her out in public it was fair game to talk about. Nothing Gluck wrote about was "gossip" it was the straight facts. Kurt & Eva are no longer together, they're going through the process, he is now with someone else.

Roland said...

If Marty Reid says the words "four horseman" again the TV is going on mute

Charlie said...

During qualifying Marty Reid sure is a happy guy. I am not sure if he is faking how happy things are or he is just that way.
He talks happy like we are children being read a story from a book.

Anonymous said...

It didn't take long for Marty Reid to show his weaknesses. During the NNS qualifying as one of the drivers was completing their laps, he said the driver "was looking for the Tri-Oval". Looking for the Tri-Oval?? Then when Logano went out without a functioning clutch, Reid commented how slow his first lap was (37 th). Obviously, Reid never connected the fact that the crew pushed Joey off where he couldn't shift through the gears and where it would take a while to get up to speed. True, these are just nits, but they're indicative of how shallow he is when it comes to what's happening out on the track.

Can the announcer just be quiet said...

I don't get the IRONY of Petty
working with McReynolds ??
And only a few races left till
Adam goes away. Of course we dont
need Reed comes along -- for a long
time ..Argggghhhh
But any time with adam is too much
time. Dont ask me why ..I can't
figure it out.

It's all better now said...

OH Please God get me some tums
and a doctor who can fix stomach
The shtick between Adam and Kyle
was sooo hideous horrid ugly and
I hope you missed it ..

Palmetto said...

I've questioned the relevance of qualifying at plate tracks for years. There's no significance to it beyond pit stall selection.

glenc1 said...

I'm with Gymmie on the Gluck issue. You show up and a race with a woman not your wife and expect no one to comment, as if drivers are somehow golden figures beyond the touch of reporting? It doesn't really matter if you 'care' or not....but they are public figures in a sport that prides itself on its clean image. Only difference with other sports is that unless you're in a 'box', it'd be harder to tell who you're with, whereas WAGS are usually with the teams in racing. I thought Kurt was being a little ridiculous...I'm tired of hearing athletes talk about the press trying to 'tear them down' (Kurt is not the only one.) Usually they've created some situation themselves and then get upset that someone asks them or reports about it. That's part of the job. Personally I think racing reporters probably let more things slide than other sports.

Watching Jeff Burton's radio dial.

Debby said...

I don't think Gluck did anything wrong. One problem is that he is not one of the "popular" reporter/journalists. Matt Youcum and others took him to task for his info. Personally, I noticed that Kurt's wife wasn't there, but a lot of them don't show up each week. She seemed to be there all of the time.

Love the qualifying (only got to see Cup)and do try to tune out the booth. Just like to see how they do and where they line up, especially on plate tracks. Hope this is a great TV weekend for racing.

Wally and Kyle will you be quiet said...

DO U THINK that Kyle and wally
will ever....
SHUT THE H**L UP ??? no respect
at all Beyond bad ...we dont need
overkill information about the
dancing partners
How about letting them run and
letting us hear the engines

stop the insanity said...

The highs and lows of kyle and
wally talking their brains out

Dazed and confuzed said...

Do these folks really think that the Viewer at home --can follow
all the chatter about bumping
and cooling and hot engines and
drafting sorta and who cah go with
whom i am tired just typing this.
theeee worst -- and of course all
of the great roaring sounds from
Daytona are gone Beyond belief.
Wait let me check out the camber
before i switch to Lawrence welk

Broadcast School Grad said...

Woo hoo non stop chatter with
the non stop commercial chatter and
the boys in the booth .. have been
taken to the house for an exam of
the Gene in the brain that causes
folks to
Here is what it sounded like..

Falstaff beer said...

I got frost bite drinking
Coors. Good Nite.