Sunday, November 20, 2011

Long Day's Journey To Green Flag

Sunday's NASCAR TV action starts with NASCAR Now on ESPN2. This leads a blitz of 4.5 hours of pre-race programming. That total does not include ESPN's own one-hour NASCAR Countdown show.

Mike Massaro kicks things off with Ricky Craven from the ESPN studios in Bristol, CT at 9AM. Craven has been wonderful this season in a variety of roles, it should be interesting to see what ESPN does with him next year. Marty Smith and Shannon Spake are in Homestead. Smith has been shadowing Tony Stewart while Spake drew Carl Edwards as an assignment.

Adam Alexander and Ray Evernham are next with Speed Center on SPEED at 10:30AM. There will be tons of SPEED personalities joining them via liveshot from Homestead. It seems every on-air talent who could find a reason headed for Florida.

The Big Kahuna is next as SPEED unleashes three hours of mind-numbing RaceDay programming. John Roberts is the ringmaster for a show that has two different sets and nine on-air talent mixing with the many scheduled guests. We don't call it the Super Wal-Mart of NASCAR TV for nothing!

Roberts, Kyle Petty and Kenny Wallace will be on one stage while Mike Joy, Darrell Waltrip and Larry McReynolds will be on another set located in the infield. Wendy Venturini, Hermie Sadler and Rutledge Wood will be the reporters.

The sad news in all of this is that Hermie Sadler is leaving RaceDay after this program. The network will announce on-air changes next week, but Sadler has been a solid addition to the program for the last several years. SPEED has been making some rather strange staffing changes recently, it should be interesting to see who steps into that role.

First Lady Michelle Obama and Ms. Biden will be at the track, so that means increased security and certainly a more hectic time for teams already dealing with the many visitors and headaches that a big season-ending race brings.

It's a bittersweet time for many of the NASCAR teams as well. Two top Sprint Cup Series teams are losing a car for next year and at this moment it appears the two-car Red Bull team is also closing it's doors. It is pretty certain there will be a significant number of folks working on Sunday who may be unemployed on Monday.

This post will serve to host your comments as the pre-race shows zoom by. To add your TV-related opinion, just click on the comments button below. Thanks for taking the time to stop by The Daly Planet.


AncientRacer said...


Somebody, and I do not know who it was (though I will bet a nickel it was not BZF) was on the track this morning at 7AM ET making ahellvaracket.

Woke everyone up. Pigs on the barbie now ... so dress In RED, support Holden

and all will be well down to The Burger King.

"Death to DuckBoy!"

(Metaphorically. Not like really)


ChrisK said...

I'm skipping the journey and going directly to the destination. Really, six hours of pre-race? See you at 3:00 (actually 1:00 here in AZ).

glenc1 said...

Roast duck for lunch?

Enjoy the race, AR, we are jealous (because apparently the racing is good, we're just not seeing it...)

I'm not going to watch it all, NASCAR Performance is on now, got some errands to run.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Good start! Nascar Now was great!

Bill said...

Have fun, AR! You got "NEETRUOF" printed on your forehead? (That's 14 spelled backwards, BTW)

And say hello to Nicole for me.

Anonymous said...

Jd you can just feel the excitement in the air this morning

Daly Planet Editor said...

NN was good, trying to see how RaceDay goes.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Dave Despain in a suit and tie! Wow, the new marching orders are out at SPEED!

Marsha said...

Wendy also attired differently!!!!

Dave said his show was still a no tie zone.

Daly Planet Editor said...

"His show" being the key words there!

Anonymous said...

This could be a monumental day for TV,alot of hype should have a ton of people watching

Jonathan said...

This is going to be so fun! I have the tv jacked up Nascar race day is on, then its off to a Nascar Championship viewing party at Hollywood Casino hosted by Chicagoland Speedway! Go JR, GO CARL

and everyone have fun

Zieke said...

Waltrip is back on raceday---Please God, say it isn't so...Well thank you for remotes.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Zieke, they used to let him do the truck race too! thank GAWD they stopped that.

Anonymous said...

What's this strange obsession with whether people wear coats and ties? My only focus is what these on air people say. To me, Cravens on air commentary and insights on today's show were excellent. Especially how Carl is speaking like a politician and Tony like a professional wrestler. I never thought of that but he's right.

Daly Planet Editor said...

It's not a strange obsession at all. It's one of the key elements of sport TV telecasts.

ESPN works in suits and ties, changing to long sleeve oxfords for practice and qual shows. It is a network-wide dress code.

SPEED has been working with various clothing providers for years to get polo shirts, oxford shirts and jackets.

Many of those items are for sale on the SPEED website. New management (once again) for SPEED has resulted in a mid-season switch in clothing that leaves the TV looking awful.

Kyle Petty sits in worn blue jeans and a work shirt next to Johhny TV in his blue blazer that he was told to wear from now on.

Hermie Sadler and Wendy Venturini are dressed up in the garage while Rutledge Wood looks awful in a checkered work shirt and jeans.

The way networks "look" on the air is a huge part of the overall planning. The reason we are disussing it is because the new top exec at SPEED used to run NASCAR on FOX.

Every single day SPEED is becoming more and more like that product.

I hope that addressed that topic, as this is a TV blog and that is our focus.


Anonymous said...

I think the point is that SPEED was the anti ESPN. Now it has been changed for no solid reason. If they are going for the ESPN look then nothing diffentiates them from ESPN/TNT. The coverage of the Truck Series could change with tights shots just like FOX, u never know.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon, one TV friend told me SPEED is "losing their on-air brand" with the wardrobe change.

I don't know if David Hill and Patti Wheeler appreciate just how hard the network worked to build it.

Anonymous said...

omg! i love how larry mac didn't take the bait that dw just threw him on raceday! dw wanted larry to say that carl and tony reminded him of earnhardt and waltrip, instead larry said they reminded him of earnhardt and davey allison

Roland said...

Im not enjoying this show at all. They come back from break, let DW talk some, then go to long video highlights of the season so far, then come back and let Kenny talk, then go to break. And the process has repeated itself like 3 times. I dont know what this is supposed to be. Its been 1 long Nascar music video for the past hour or so. Theres no news, hasnt been an interview in god knows how long, barely any discussion from the panelists, and more tweets on air then on my twitter feed.

Bill said...

The booth team dresses up more for night races? More for the actual race? Business casual for practice and qualifying, and business formal for the race?

Don't they dress more casual on the Monday make-up races?

I can always hear Bestwick finishing a sip of drink before he speaks. He gets caught more than anyone I know.

Can't say I've heard anyone with food in their mouth. Do they have the ability to mute their own mic?

All broadcast teams are forced to stand while calling the race, correct? Are they given stools to rest on in commercial breaks?

Daly Planet Editor said...

Bill, most booth announcers have a "cough switch" they can push to mute their mics.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Bill, networks have dress codes for on-air talent.

You have often heard Krista Voda saying SPEED gives her no clothing allowance yet expects her to dress for the Truck Series pre-race shows all season long.

It's just another example of the long and twisted management history of SPEED.

Now we have a new group, they are moving people around and changing shows. So far, not with the best results.

w17scott said...

Mr Editor -
I'm on overload and I haven't spent more than 30 secs yet on any pre-race show ...what? blazer-palooza ...sadly, SPEED is melding into ESPN ...thanks for MRN least there will be one network with professionals broadcasting today's race

Daly Planet Editor said...

They are starting to all look the same!

Daly Planet Editor said...

Loving the big Junior and JPM heads over Larry Mac's shoulder.

52 said...

Looks like the SPEED execs are
totally out of touch on the dress.
Most businesses other thank banks
have gone to a more casual appearance such as polo shirts or
dress shirts without a coat. Even
doctors are dressing down. I'm sure the demographic that they are
trying to attract don't wear blazers/or ties. AR let us know if
you see any blazers in the stands.

Kickoff time!

glenc1 said...

they kinda creeped me out a little, lol.

I'm on football now. Did not want to see yet another salute to JJ.

ChrisK said...

There has been a lot of hype about this being NASCAR's "Game 7 moment." World Series game 7 got a 14.7 rating. Wonder how close to that today's broadcast will come.

Steve L. said...

Bill, it always bothers me when Kyle Petty clearly needs to clear his throat but does not! Sometimes it sounds like he's gargling mouthwash!
Hit the cough button Kyle!

Bill said...

Steve - Oh gawd, yes! Kyle, please clear your damn throat! And his incessant stuttering as he searches for words!

SD80MAC said...

I'm listening to Jim Noble and Claire B Lang on Sirius/CM, avoiding DW and the over-the-top Raceday. I feel sorry for everyone at Homestead. Between the normal media circus of the season's last race and hyper tight security with Michelle Obama and Dr Jill Biden, getting around at the track has to be one helluva mess! Claire talked a lot about the hassles race teams were having getting into the Driver's Meeting and the press is having getting into the media center.

Anonymous said...

I guess I'm the party pooper. I refuse to watch any of the overdone hype until 3:00 pm.

Daly Planet Editor said...

New live race blog is open. Please move up to the new post for ESPN coverage.