Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Updated: Mayfield Arrest - Wednesday TV/Media Notes

Here are some TV and media notes that have come through the mailbox this week:

Update: Big media story breaking Wednesday. Former driver Jeremy Mayfield has been arrested for possession of methamphetamine. Authorities went to Mayfield's house with a warrant to look for stolen property. During the search, they found the meth. Lots of online stories already published, it will be interesting to see how ESPN and SPEED report it.

NASCAR is trying a new approach to the Sprint Cup Series banquet. Reba McEntire will be the official host and also the featured performer. Reba's son, Shelby, is teaming up with Roush Racing to co-drive a Grand-Am entry in 2012. Reba has appeared at other NASCAR races to sing the national anthem and is reportedly a fan of the sport.

The wild action at Martinsville seems to have reaped one benefit for the sport. The Sunday race got a 3.6 cable household rating which puts the race over 5 million total viewers. Last year, with the sport in a mess, the race on ESPN got a 2.8 rating. This is a substantial increase at a critical time.

The hot news that perhaps David Reutimann was out and Mark Martin was in at MWR for 2012 came in a little late for the ESPN folks at NASCAR Now. I was told the Tuesday show was recorded earlier in the day, several hours before the 3PM air time. Over at SPEED, Bob Dillner came to the RaceHub studio and updated the news.

Our friend Phil Allaway over at took on several issues about the ESPN telecast. Here are some excerpts:

"One of the biggest stories that came out of Sunday’s race was the fact that Travis Kvapil’s jackman, Sean Irvan, was hit on pit road during a stop by Mark Martin. Irvan suffered a concussion. However, based on ESPN’s coverage, I had no clue that this injury had occurred. I didn’t learn about it until after the race had already finished."

"Look, I know that Kvapil’s No. 38 team would almost never fall within the top-24 rule that Shannon Spake so eloquently described to me back in 2009. However, when something such as what happened to Irvan occurs, that is an extenuating circumstance, as far as I’m concerned. The script must be broken and the incident reported on. It is your duty to do so. Maybe ESPN doesn’t have any video that shows what happened. I don’t care. If you don’t have any video, tell the audience that you don’t have video, but still bring up what happened. Tell the viewers what went down, and provide updates. I’d like an explanation as to why a story such as this one was missed on the telecast."

Phil brings up a great point. Once again, an important story that ESPN was certainly aware of was not reported by choice. It made little sense to NASCAR fans.

The Sprint Cup Series race from Martinsville will re-air on SPEED at noon ET Wednesday in a three hour timeslot. NASCAR Now will be at 3PM on ESPN2 and RaceHub will be at 6PM on SPEED.

It's a tripleheader weekend, so the SPEED gang with Rick Allen, Phil Parsons and Michael Waltrip will call the truck race on Friday night from the Texas Motor Speedway. Marty Reid will team with Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree for the Nationwide Series race on ESPN2 Saturday. Jarrett and Petree return with Allen Bestwick for the big Sprint Cup Series race on ESPN Sunday.

The DirecTV deal with FOX being done has resulted in very little information being released to the public or the media. As usual, both sides seem to have given in a bit to get the job done. DirecTV gets a broad renewal of many FOX TV properties, including the FOX News Channel and the local TV stations. FOX most certainly got a higher price for those properties from DirecTV. We will keep an eye on whether or not those costs are going to be passed along to DirecTV subscribers soon.

The latest update on Rick and Linda Hendrick is that they are back in North Carolina after the plane crash in Key West. Mr. Hendrick has a broken collarbone and rib. His wife has bumps and bruises. Both pilots, who work for Hendrick Motorsports, also returned to Concord, NC. There has been no explanation for the brake failure on landing. Jimmie Johnson, co-owner of the plane, said that is the jet he and his family fly regularly on to and from the races. Both NASCAR TV news shows did a good job of keeping viewers updated on the story.

Update: Mike Massaro reported on NASCAR Now that after being evaluated in Charlotte, Rick Hendrick was found to have four broken ribs in addition to a broken collarbone. He was admitted to a Charlotte area hospital for observation and is expected to be released in a couple of days.

Some random TV notes: Matt Kenseth was at ESPN on Tuesday. These trips are a waste of time now that NASCAR Now airs at 3PM and has no repeat. Kenseth appeared for a liveshot on SportsCenter, but the exposure for all the effort did not make sense. The guest on PTI was Peter King from and Kenseth was not featured on any other talk show.

There have been no announcements from ESPN about the TV line-up for next season. Rusty Wallace is re-signed through the 2014 end of the current contract. Brad Daugherty and Carl Edwards are the two names in play. Edwards is reportedly joining ESPN to work the Nationwide Series races, what role Daugherty will play in 2012 has yet to be confirmed.

Trackside on SPEED will once again be Rutledge Wood, Kyle Petty, Jeff Hammond and Marianela Pereyra from Texas. SPEED has confirmed that this will be the line-up for the rest of the season. Pereyra's four show deal was recently extended through the season. No word on whether Trackside will return for 2012 just yet.

We will update this post if any other TV/media information comes along on Wednesday. In the meantime, please click the comments button to add your opinion on any of the topics mentioned above. Thank you for taking the time to stop by The Daly Planet.


RPM said...

When Frank Caliendo hosted I thought it couldn't get any worse.

I was wrong.

Anonymous said...

RPM, you know Reba will be a terrible host because???? Must be some crystal ball you've got there.

She's hosted the ACM awards at least twelve times (I checked.) Contrary to what people might think, you don't need to know the difference between tight & loose to introduce people and tell a few (usually bad) jokes (written by someone else.) Geeeeeeeeezzzzzzzz....

Anonymous said...

I hate to think Carl might be one of the announcers for the Nationwide races. I am concerned that he will not be fair and will allow his prejudices to show. He has had a few ugly run-ins with some of the other drivers.

AncientRacer said...

When I first glanced at the picture I thought it was Kathy Griffin, and while thatwas a shock I have to say upon reflection that even a Kathy Griffin would be better than Mr. Caliendo.

MRM4 said...

I, too, never heard a thing about the pit road accident involving the crew member until the race was over. Since I switched over to catch from football a few times, I thought I had just missed it. Guess not. Total fail on the part of ESPN for not reporting that information.

Anonymous said...

The increase in viewership for Martinsville certainly helped. The race placed #4 on the weekly cable rakings beaten by Monday Night Football, The Walking Dead on Sunday and, also Monday, WWE Wrestling. #5 was the Ohio/Wisconsin State game. That gave ESPN 3 out of the top 5 last week.

Anonymous said...

When it comes to the Networks broadcasting a Nascar race, nothing surprises me. Certainly, the public should have been notified of an injured crewman regardless of how sketchy the details might have been. It would be great to have a roundtable with the Producers and Directors from the various Networks and get the opportunity to hear their approach for broadcsting a race. The TV viewers have to be foolish to believe that the Networks are being totally honest with the viewers. If we're lucky, we'll hear some honest opinions on a hot or open mic.

Stick with the Biff said...

AR, Kathy woulda been funny...but soooo not right for this crowd, at least not that they'd want to admit! I like Caliendo as a comedian, but not as a host. They ought to just go back to having Joy or somebody do it instead of going the celebrity route...forget I said that, they'd probably put DW or Mikey in there...(shuddering...)

Reba has a lot of experience doing these things; she'll probably be okay. Heck, at least they didn't ask Kim Kardashian.

Anon 9:16...we haven't seen Eddie Haskell in a while. Not sure if it's fatherhood, but Carl seems to have grown up a little. But we'll see....gotta admit he manages to sound pretty smart behind that desk, probably because he's more relevant. But yes, still potentially biased.

GinaV24 said...

Personally I like Reba and if she's a NASCAR fan that will be nice. I'm glad that at least they are trying another host - although the best banquet host isn't a celebrity - when Allen Bestwick did it, it ran smoothly and he wasn't trying to be "funny" unlike many of the comedians they've tried - who simply aren't funny.

I had read Phil's column yesterday and agree - ESPN should have updated the information about the pit crew member being injured. the way ESPN is acting makes me believe they don't really have any interest in pursuing NASCAR once the contract expires. It appears that they made their point by getting back into the sport and have run it far enough into the ground that they can walk away saying it's not a hot enough property for them.

Glad that Rick and his wife are back home again.

Anonymous said...

I would like for someone to explain to me how NASCAR can keep their name when they go to fuel injection. The cars will no longer be stock cars. DUH!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Ratings up, so much for the alleged bad coverage on ESPN. I guess America doesn't agree with most of you people.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon, my column tonight will focus on the topic of sports TV ratings vs. poor TV production. Thanks for raising the topic.

Anonymous said...

Thinking back to all the debates on this blog about Jeremy Mayfield... I really wonder how the dozens upon dozens of folks who insisted Brian France was unfairly persecuting an innocent man to exact some phantom personal vendetta will react to this news. Will they insist that Brian France planted the drugs at Mayfield's house?

If anything comes from this, I hope it at least clears up the ridiculous misconception everyone here seemed to have that you can't be a meth addict and have good teeth.

Anonymous said...

Here is the thing about the pit-road incident... they would not have known the crew member had a concussion until after a CT scan would have been performed at a hospital. You can get a concussion in a rather unspectacular accident, and it is possible that the actual car contact and resulting injury didn't seem particularly significant visually, and thus wasn't reported. It would probably be some time before an concussion victim started reporting symptoms consistent with a more serious injury and need to be checked out. So, you can't fault ESPN if they had no idea there was any serious injury until much later. Or did they know at all? Did the team report the test results back to the track? Unlikely.

Michael Stoffel said...

I guess because I love a conspiracy theory, I was believing Jeremy Mayfield....til today. What a waste of talent.

And Reba will be a great host for the banquet!

Anonymous said...

espn have scanners for race control,drivers,and emergency personnel.they knew,it just wasn't a top twelve team.

Sophia said...

Sad but not surprising about Jeremy.

Took Pete Rose what 18 yrs to admit he betted on baseball?

Denial and self delusion is a powerful thing. :(

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon, the guy was KO'ed on pit road and left the track in an ambulace!

TerryG said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would like for someone to explain to me how NASCAR can keep their name when they go to fuel injection. The cars will no longer be stock cars. DUH!!!!!

November 2, 2011 10:47 AM


Maybe you haven't bought a new car in a while, but you're hard pressed to find a new car that has a carburetor. They're all fuel injected anymore. And for that matter, the "stock cars" that NASCAR has been running for the past few years haven't been "stock" in any way, shape or form.

KoHoSo said...

Anonymous bring up a good point. I was one of those that questioned NASCAR's motives and especially the way they handled the situation. Obviously, NASCAR had it right. Still, that just goes to show how little faith many have in the sport's leaders due to too many years of things such as secret fines, inconsistent rulings, knowing what happened with Tim Richmond, and a general perception that NASCAR no longer takes actions that put the fans first. That type of environment makes it much easier to consider the possibility of a conspiracy or to fall prey to those that put such a thing out there as a troll.

Vicky D said...

Finally someone is standing up and saying something negative about ESPN's coverage of the pit road "incident". I'm sure Irvan wouldn't think of it like that but don't the viewers deserve the report anyway???? C'mon ESPN!

GinaV24 said...

well there goes Mayfield's lawsuit!

GinaV24 said...

Anon 10:47 -- my car has fuel injection already, doesn't yours?

there aren't many cars left that have carburetors - so the fuel injection will make the current car more stock like, not less.

Not that it makes me like this current ugly piece any better.

AncientRacer said...

Shame about Mayfield. Meth is so destructive and seductive. I hope he can get past it though I have yet to see anyone I personally know shake it. Bad stuff.

I know this makes me sound like Debbie Downer, but it reflects my experience. But only mine.

glenc1 said...

Fergie from BEP is one of them who beat the odds. Google it, some interesting tales. But from what I read, what AR says is very true--it's a particularly tough one to beat. Always a shame to see a guy who once had everything destroy himself.

Jonathan said...

JD looking forward to your column tonight! Oh and for Mayfeild I have one word for him


Roland said...

My first reaction when I saw the first tweet about Mayfield:

"Oh, I guess he was on meth then. Huh."

A lot of people are saying he threw away the opportunity of a lifetime. I agree completely. But he now has another major oppurtunity. He can either continue to lead the life he has chosen to live, or he can for lack of a better term "pull a Josh Hamilton". Either way he has some major issues that need help and I hope he gets the help he needs.

It was interesting to sorta people watch on twitter today. Watching all the Mayfield tweets come in. Some were joking about it, some were compassionate about him getting help. Interesting to see the media who choose to report news objectively and those who choose to report based on opinion. Different strokes for different folks I reckon.

Im just glad that this whole mess is somewhat over. Now Nascar can wash their hands of the situation and everybody can move on. The legal system will take care of Mayfield. Itll be interesting to watch.

diane said...

Addiction is a horrible thing. I do know one person who beat meth but it was after she was in the hospital near death.

Sorry to hear that Mayfield, or anyone is caught up in it.

Anonymous said...

"Thinking back to all the debates on this blog about Jeremy Mayfield... I really wonder how the dozens upon dozens of folks who insisted Brian France was unfairly persecuting an innocent man to exact some phantom personal vendetta will react to this news. Will they insist that Brian France planted the drugs at Mayfield's house?"

@Anon. Its clear Mayfield was lying. But doesn't it show the reputation Brian France and NASCAR have produced for themselves over years of secret fines and other things. The fact that this Mayfield's allegations could stick with anybody shows NASCAR has a poor reputation of honesty, somewhat of their own doing.

Personally, I am glad to finally know a resolution and at least some truth to the story.

Buschseries61 said...

What a week of NASCAR news! The chaos didn't stay in Martinsville.

I was one of the people that originally supported Jeremy against NASCAR. Everyone is innocent until proven guilty. Now it's clear he's made some horrible choices and he needs to get some help.

PammH said...

I was totally shocked that RH did not even address the JM situation until the end of the show! Sucky news for sure..thank goodness for twitter.

Anonymous said...

Per Mayfield - maybe he was just on scripts and cleaned up.

False positives are very easy these days, particularly with the sensitivity of tests and increasing similarity between compounds licit and not.

Not that they're comparable in a spectrometer, I'm sure, but Celexa has a similar effect as marijuana in rat brain receptors.

Something to think about when it comes to metabolites and tests for them...

Do I think he was clean? Very unlikely, statistically speaking. But addicts can get clean and then relapse after major events. Maybe he fell off the wagon.

Fact is, we don't know for sure. So I'll give him that much.

Far as "stock" goes - Nascar, McLaren et al are correct in stating that it's closer with EFI of any kind than a carburetor under the hood.

Low-budget, pile of junk late 80's Ford LTD (and I think..) Merc Zephyr had throttle bodies.

But regardless, it is a pointless distinction to make in this case.

People don't commute to work in tube-chassis anything, with no interior, no other seats, hood pins, tinfoil sheet metal, etc, etc.

Not off the lot. Not like the days of yore. And other series have somewhat, haltingly cropped up to replace that aspect of early Nascar.

I think it will hurt a lot of smaller teams, but so did the COT revisions in Cup and NW both.

Cars haven't been stock for ages, haven't always been pretty (that jellybean front end is atrocious, IMO - if you go back and look at it, like a kid smashed a car with his fist) and we ain't driving souped up Fords with rumble seats or 57 Chevy's or Plymouth Superbirds.

Where is Plymouth, Olds, Pontiac? Times change. It's worth giving change a chance, and being critical of losses in common sense, excellence, engineering, and so forth. Also, keep it simple, stupid!

But to apply that to a fuel delivery change is like demanding more stagecoach races.

Long rant, not directed at anyone but the issues raised. Whew.

Anonymous said...

One more thing about Mayfield that I totally missed - and apologies for that, no edit function:

Regardless of his guilt or personal situation, I do applaud him wholeheartedly for filing that suit.

One major complaint from any fan has been the lack of transparency in Nascar. It seems (At least I kinda remember it as being) that when it comes to drug testing, drivers get the short end of the stick.

A caveat to this is HIPAA rules regarding disclosures, but it does not prevent the governing authority from making available a clear, legally binding (to drivers) and explanatory (to everyone) ruleset for what is, is not allowed, etc.

Too many things are left up to the woeful actions-against-what-we-wants-so-shaddap! rule.

Don't expect that to change until the day potentially comes that they lose revenue because of it. Not a situation where you can start up Occupy 'Dega or something. :)

But kudos to Mayfield. He went down, but made some important waves. Shame they were so easily forgotten.

AveryNH said...

It's a shame there are more Jeremy Mayfield's than Shane Hmiel's in the world. I held out hope that NASCAR had messed up in banning an innocent driver. Unfortunately the allegations were true and he never unlike Hmiel tried to curb his habit. I'm sure Shane would give his life to drive one more time in a NASCAR series where as mayfield was perfectly fine pissing away the only thing he was good at. As for the pit road accident I only wonder what if the guy had died? Would ESPN have mentioned it then? They need to start covering the 'race' and not what they think we want to see.

Bill said...

Mayfield arrested for possession of amphetamines? What better channel to report on the matter than SPEED.

Anonymous said...

Avery - it's a function of brain chemistry. Not to be too out of line here, I hope, but your first time? That one? Bet you never went back to celibacy.

Multiply that by hundreds, thousands, or like meth, hundreds of thousands for levels of addiction and need...and it is an outlier percentile that get away from the stuff. Like monks. Not many of them. In either case.

Why Hmiel can't come back is beyond me. Driver's on probation? Fine, treat it same as real world probation. Wednesday you get hair/blood tested at own cost, urine tests (they sell inexpensive kits) until day of race, must remain on site or on call for a random that may or may not come.

Do that for long enough - 1 year, 10...and if you want to race badly, that badly, you'll set aside a bit of each purse for the next race.

But Nascar, and us fans, are not fair and just people. Again, a shame.

English Teacher said...

I don't know where you've been anon 10:22, but it will be great if Shane can just walk again, much less drive a race car.

You also might try working on some complete sentences in your posts; they would make a lot more sense.