Friday, November 11, 2011

ESPN2's NASCAR Friday Could Be Kooky

It's really great that Tony Stewart and Carl Edwards are in a Sprint Cup Series Championship fight. Unfortunately, that fight will not play-out until Sunday at the Phoenix International Raceway.

On Friday the only network live from the track will be ESPN2 with Sprint Cup Series practice coverage at 1:30 and 5:30PM ET. That means two two cracks at covering the biggest story of the weekend. Tony are Carl are not even on the radar.

Kyle and Samantha Busch may have hidden in Gomez and Morticia Adams costumes for Halloween this year, but there is literally nowhere to hide on Friday in Phoenix. Busch has to participate in both practice sessions and his recent run-in with NASCAR officials in Texas means every lap will be watched.

The news breaking on Thursday was that the M&M's sponsorship had been removed from the #18 car for PIR and Homestead. Busch will be behind the wheel, but the familiar Interstate Batteries colors will be on the car. Earlier in the day it was rumored that Busch being removed for those two races and would be replaced by Aric Almirola.

At 9:30PM on Thursday night, reporter Dustin Long from Landmark Newspapers tweeted that although M&M's would not be involved in the final two races this season, Joe Gibbs Racing had confirmed the company would return as Kyle Busch's sponsor in 2012.

This leaves the NASCAR on ESPN team a whole lot to talk about on Friday. This story has been very fluid, but finally seems to have settled down into something that makes sense. Of course, no one can predict what might happen to Busch in the garage or on the track in Friday's two Cup sessions. He is not in the Nationwide Series race.

The regular media availability for Busch will be 11:30AM ET on Friday. Normally, this is carried on the website. This is where the media gets to ask questions of the drivers before the events of the weekend. Check the front page of for the link.

That means ESPN will already have the basics of the story before the cars hit the track for the first TV session. It should be interesting to see if JGR chooses to have Busch, Joe Gibbs or his son JD do a one-on-one interview with ESPN as well.

This is a unique situation, having a driver who is active along with his wife on social media in this position. Kyle and Samantha talk regularly with fans on Twitter and Kyle is quite different in his conversations than the hot-head we witnessed wreck Ron Hornaday under caution.

Busch has been absent from social media for five days, his wife for two. This type of instant communication tool is key for the NASCAR teams, drivers and sponsors these days. It should be interesting to see what Busch, his wife and JGR tweet to the NASCAR fans on Friday.

This post will serve to host your comments on the Friday media coverage of the Kyle Busch story. Feel free to add your opinion of the coverage on the various NASCAR TV, radio and online outlets throughout the day. To add your comment, just click on the comments button below. Thanks for stopping by.


Debbie In NH said...

I for one am sick and tired of KB talk 24/7 on Sirius NASCAR radio and on twitter. We have a great Chase going on and JJ will not being winning his 6th straight. This is more exciting than the latest chapter in the KB saga. Believe me, I am sure he is soaking up all this attention!
Can't they just ignore KB and maybe, just maybe he will go away?! What would be perfect is if he won the race and the whole media group IGNORED him!!!

SD80MAC said...

According to various media folks on Twitter and Claire B Lang on Sirius/XM NASCAR Radio, the Kyle Busch media availability will be a press conference including Joe Gibbs and Kyle Busch. Sirius/XM will cover it live at 9:30 EST/11:30MST.

I listened to Sirius/XM all day Thursday, starting at about 8:45am. I am normally not up then, but woke up early and turned it on. Not a great day for the hosts. Unfortunately, talk-radio hosts usually have little control over what is discussed on the shows. Whatever the callers want to talk about is what you get.

Thursday was an almost constant stream of Busch fans and haters, and those supporting or bashing the sponsors. If M&M/Mars had heard some of the stuff that I heard today, they would probably runn like hell to get as far from NASCAR as they could. Some callers were very rude and a few even tried to blame the the penalties given to Busch and his silence and reclusiveness this week on the hosts! I heard more callers get dropped today than in several months. Debbie in NH will be happy to know that I heard a few callers who wanted to talk about Edwards, Stewart and condition of the new track pavement, but those callers were few and far between. Most of Lang's callers (7-10pm EST) were well mannered.

Fortunately the M&M/Mars short press release was distributed late enough that few people had time to call in, but a couple rude or angry got in during the last few minutes.

Tomorrow, all I want to hear about on radio or TV is what Smoke is going to do to stay in front of Edwards!

Anonymous said...

"Fair Weather Friends" disgust me. Over 37 years at a fast growing, large company, I saw lots of people abandon those whose careers took a momentary downturn. Like most folks, I never heard of "Z-Line Designs" until Kyle won a ton of races for them. There's tons of tape of "Jim and Monica" celebrating in Victory Lane or strutting across the stage when Kyle won the NNS Championship. Now I read that Jim and Monica don't want Kyle in their car for the next NNS race. That's fine. If I were KB, I'd work as hard as I could to find another sponsor. There's a saying in the Business World that comes to mind...."We don't need people like that...". Thanks for the heads up, JD. I'll skip today's theatrics. For fun, watch Busch-hater Larry McReynolds today dump on Kyle. I suspect there'll even be interviews with Harvick where he complains about people who can't control their emotions and retaliation. 2011 has to be a real low point with Nascar. I can't wait for this season to end.

52 yr. fan said...

Great call from the sponsors. Too
bad JGR doesn't have enough integrity to finish the lesson.

I bought a Z line TV stand before
they became a NA$CAR sponsor. On
several occasions I've felt like
trashing it. It is a strong and
decorative accessory for the wide
screen, so I'm glad I didn't do a
Kyle Busch move to it.

Keep up the great work JD!

bozo said...

It all been predictable. Mars had no intention of leaving Busch, they know the future holds much more promise then demise.

This has been a "scared straight" effort by JGR, Nascar, and Mars - lets just hope KB is scared straight, and like those before him realizes in the end Nascar really doesn't need him there is always someone to come in and drive.

GinaV24 said...

well, I'm working on Friday since my company doesn't have it as a holiday so I'll miss all the KyBu watch.

I don't have sirius radio any more since the NASCAR coverage on it was no longer worth the $$.

I'm honestly sorry to hear that M&M's has decided to continue as the sponsor for Busch in 2012. I will continue my personal boycott of all products produced by Mars Co.

Since the excitement is supposed to be building about the last 2 chase races, you'd think that I'd actually feel excited - but I don't. I'm waiting for the season to end because essentially I find the whole chase deal a bore. Ancient Racer will probably point out I wouldn't feel that way if Gordon was involved and he would be correct - Tony vs Carl? for me that's a who cares, other than I hope that a Ford doesn't win it.

Won't it be ironic if the 2 championships won by Roush racing would both be with only a single victory per season? I wonder what BZF will do next?

w17scott said...

Mr Editor -
While KyBu did no more than drivers have done in the past, his error was committing this 'sin' on the national stage in front of media and fans ...situation handled well by JGR and M&M/Mars and about as expected ...interesting to see choice of Addams Family for Halloween ...spooky in fact, if you consider the trick-or-treat impact of recent events ...for #18 team, here's hope KyBu will re-double his efforts to move his team to the front this weekend

glenc1 said...

Sponsors, anon 6:47, also have a clause in their driver contracts which requires the driver to fulfill certain obligations as to representing the company--the 'behavioral' clause. And they have a right to be angry if that rule is violated in some fashion that reflects poorly on their brand. They are not 'friends', they are *clients*; the ones PAYING big bucks so the team can's not out of the goodness of their hearts.

Personally, I never gave up my M&M's, even if I couldn't stand the little twerp. His statement may have been a bunch of PR baloney, I think this may be a wake up call for young Mr Busch, I think bozo is right. But I'm already sick of hearing about it.

Roland said...

Very surprised at the lack of coverage from Phoenix today. No Nationwide practices, no Nascar Live, no Speed Channel period. Surprising. Not good since its a new track and people want to see it.

Michael Stoffel said...

Get over it! I guess if you flash a mischievous grin after you wreck someone like Dale did, it's okay. Otherwise it's one of the most heinous acts ever perpetrated.

What's really horrible is what happened at PSU.

As a KyBu fan, I respect M and M's decision, and applaud them for returning next year.
The thing to watch Sunday on ESPN is how many times the name Paterno scrolls by on the bottom line.
(And I hate that the verification word I just had to type in was "winter"!)

Buschseries61 said...

So true bozo. I think Mars and NASCAR knew what they had with Busch, judging by their commercials. In this age with so much competition, sponsors would take a poorly behaved 'villain' over a nice guy that nobody remembers.

Hopefully Busch learned from this and there will be no more attempted murder on the track.

Dot said...

I guess the script is written for BSPN today and Sunday. All we're going to hear and see is KyB. Tony & Carl who?

Have to laugh at my veri word, stash. Thought of Mayfield. LOL

Anonymous said...

Enough about Tony, Carl, and Kyle. There are 40 other drivers that will be racing on Sunday. They all deserve EQUAL airtime. That should be a requirement.

OSBORNK said...

I think the Kyle Busch punishment is a publicity stunt by NASCAR in an attempt to bring attention to a sport that is fading from the consciousness of the public. The coverage of NASCAR by the mainstream media has dropped dramatically in the last few years and this stunt is an attempt to revive interest. Kyle did less than some drivers like Carl Edwards, Kevin Harvick and even Dale Sr. did over the years without consequences. The interest dropped when Dale Sr. died because people quit watching to see what he was going to do to who next. Many people don't want to watch namby pamby pretty boys run around in circles if there is no Kyle Busch or other "bad guy" to root against.

Dot said...

@ OSBORNK, good points in your post.

I was listening to the radio this morning and the LVMS comml came on to buy tix for next year's race. Drivers mentioned were Edwards, Jr and someone else. Conspicuously missing was KyB. Thought for sure being a home town boy, he'd be mentioned.

@ Anon 1:30, I agree with you about the 40 other drivers. Unless they do something bad, they're invisible.

TEX said...

Kooky is right JD,
But do we really believe Mars will leave if he has another episode?

I dont recall their lawyer language in the press release but we all know he will cause another wreck or scream on the radio and give someone the bird and or get knocked out and trott away like a 2year old throwing his helmet and hans device.

He's not on any short rope at all anymore than I am.

This was all mirage.

And why doesnt Gibbs sit his but down by himself? Like Kyle Petty said on Inside Nascar "grow some"

Instead he let Nascar and Mars dance with him. Do you really think he learned his FINAL lesson?

lol...Yeah right!

52 yr old, Osbornk and bozo...good points. Finally some logicical race fans on here.

By the way Thanks to all the men and women who has and is serving our country. Thank you, Thank you Thank you!

sbaker17 said...

I just tuned in to watch The Cup cars at Phoenix. I see the cameramen and director are practicing (as if they needed it) their zoom in procedure for Sunday's race. If they would zoom out I'd be able to get some sense of the speed the cars are running. Why don't they just put up a still image and be done with it? Or perhaps a slide show....

On another note. I wonder if Ky Bu gave Ernie Irvan a call this week?

Also my word verification is "savorit"
Wish I could...

Ken-Michigan said...

Good work by ESPN crew on some new / different camera angles on the new configuration at Phoenix.

The banking looks much more pronounced on TV....good job.


Vicky D said...

Gee JD, I was kinda hoping for your special picture of the cactus that you usually post when the racing is at Phoenix! Like Debbie I am sick and tired of all the talk and showing that video over and over. I don't believe KyBusch will ever grow up. My word verification is towar! That's funny.

Anonymous said...

To all of you who are working triple-time to excuse the actions of that thug, Kyle Busch:

How would you feel if you were a fan of Ron Hornaday? Kyle Busch did more than just ruin one race for Hornaday.

Roland said...

Awful coverage today by Espn. I really wish Speed would have had the coverage today. ESPN missed 15 minutes of the first practice on Kyle. Come on man. Its time to move on. If they wanted to do all that recap crap they should have put a Nascar Now on before hand. When there are cars on the track I want to see them, not recorded interviews. With this being a new track, people want to see it.

They also missed the last 20 minutes of first practice due to soccer.

Going back to the "if cars are on the track I want to see them" thing they cut away from 2nd practice to show a lengthy Carl Edwards tour of the pit studio and Brewers playhouse. I dont need or want to see this. Every year at the fall Phoenix event they show a behind the scenes thing like this. Thats cool, it can be interesting, but once again its better suited for Nascar Now. There are cars on the track I want to see them!!!

Also really dissapointed in Speed for not showing Nationwide practices today. Guess the replay of WOO from Charlotte last week was more important.

Whole day was a poor effort by 1 party and no effort by another. Speed and ESPN dropped the ball.

Daly Planet Editor said...

This day of coverage ended with a thud.

Not what I expected for the next to last race weekend Friday for sure.

Did you see the ESPN behind the scenes feature?

Mule said...

Wow, it's more about lack of coverage. Looks to me that Phoenix, even with all the extra attention, is still mostly a one groove track, so it will be another follow the leader race. Can't fault Phoenix for all of it, more like NASCAR for the flying brick.
As predicted by many, another slap on the wrist for KyBu. 50K is pocket change and with his title shot all but over, he misses 3 races. Remains to be seen if Z-Line comes back but they would be foolish not too. Neither Busch can control their emotions. Sit back and wait for the next big cluster. Lets just be done with it and cover "Stock Car Racing".
BSPN has already demonstrated its non ability to act as a cohesive unit even with AB in the booth for race coverage. Support programming may as well not even exist.
SPEED gets another shot at finishing their year out at Homestead on a high note with little participation from BSPN. Their support programming has become pretty much of a joke. Racehub is okay, but who gets to see it with their time slots.
It's become to predictable for me, just like NASCAR. Just like last year, I won't be suffering from NACSAR withdrawal over the holidays. This last minute testing for Daytona doesn't include enough teams or time to come up with other than a band aid for an arterial bleed. Pretty much like the restrictor plate itself.
How many times does a skid of bricks have to fall on your head before you wake up.?

nan said...

I can only hope that on Sunday they focus on Carl and Tony and whoever may be actually competing for the win. Regarding the picture, it looks like Kyle should buy his wife a sandwich.

Gary said...

Billed as part of first lady Michelle Obama’s “Joining Forces” initiative for military families — and perhaps as a way to woo average American voters — Mrs. Obama and Vice President Joe Biden’s wife, Dr. Jill Biden, will serve as Grand Marshals of the November 20 season-ending NASCAR Ford 400.

According to the following White House statement, NASCAR will participate in the Joining Forces initiative:

As part of the season-ending NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship race, NASCAR will rally its millions of fans at the speedway and online to serve military families through the holiday season by asking them to visit and to find service opportunities and ideas to give back to those who serve our country.

We don't need marty reed said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Nan at 2:34 -

Better make that a bag of M&M's. Show the sponsor a little love and appreciation for keeping hubby employed.