Wednesday, January 11, 2012

NASCAR's Dress Rehearsal Starts Thursday

Following one of the most tumultuous off-seasons in years, the survivors of NASCAR's sponsorship woes are finally heading to Daytona. It's testing time for the Sprint Cup Series teams.

SPEED is going to handle all the activity and will split the morning and afternoon sessions between online and cable TV coverage. Thursday through Saturday at 9AM SPEED will stream coverage on the website. There is no charge and the video stream should open on portable devices as well.

Rick Allen and Jeff Hammond will be up in the booth talking about the on-track happenings while Wendy Venturini and Bob Dillner will be covering the ongoing stories in the garage area. There should certainly be a lot of things happening live.

After lunch, the 1PM sessions will feature the big boys up in the TV booth on SPEED. Steve Byrnes, Darrell Waltrip and Larry McReynolds will be talking a lot about the new rules package and what effect it will have on the "tandem racing" we saw last season. Hermie Sadler and Randy Pemberton will be the reporters.

John Roberts will be hosting all of SPEED's coverage and should provide a solid presence from the infield, even without the SPEED Stage. Daytona weather is always changing and the current forecast does contain the threat of rain and also changes in temperatures during testing time.

NASCAR has made it very clear that the newest set of rule changes in radiators and cooling systems is clearly aimed at stopping the two car "tandem racing" that fundamentally alters the dynamic of racing as we knew it. Teams adapted quickly to this style and poured resources into this type of racing.

SPEED returns after a hiatus that saw the NASCAR news continue at a frenetic pace on social media and racing websites. Unfortunately, the only designated motorsports-themed cable TV network stepped aside and despite one off-season special following Kurt Busch's departure from Penske, there was silence on SPEED where NASCAR was concerned.

One week after the testing coverage is over, SPEED returns the Monday through Thursday RaceHub program anchored by Steve Byrnes. Right now, the original air time is still listed as 6PM but perhaps the network might reconsider and move this important show back to the original 7PM ET timeslot.

West Coast viewers used to get the RaceHub repeat at 9PM Pacific, but SPEED also changed this time in mid-season. The 11PM timeslot meant many viewers had to record the show and try to catch it a day later. Returning the re-air to 9PM Pacific would certainly help the series and the sport at a time when both need it.

Thursday really starts the NASCAR TV season, this will be our sixth since opening the TDP blog. Next up is the Hall of Fame induction and then things get underway in Daytona for real. We will keep updating the media listings on the left side of this page.

We also encourage you to take a moment and join Twitter. This easy to use and free service will put information from your favorite drivers, teams, tracks and media personalities right on your computer or phone. You don't have to type anything or disclose any information. It's just a great way to stay plugged into the NASCAR scene with the most up to date information. We are at

There will be a live blog open for testing each day, but please feel free to add your TV and media-related comments to any of the topics mentioned above. To add your opinion, just click on the comment button below. As always, thanks for stopping by.


Anonymous said...

I know the NASCAR season is a long one but I like it and can't wait to see cars on the track. I never liked the tandem racing and really hope the changes NASCAR makes helps stop that.

AncientRacer said...

I do hope Race Hub is moved back to 7:00 pm ET.

I am just one person so though exreaordinarily important to myself I do not cout for much in the aggregate. But I have seen Race Hub maybe twice or three times since it moved to 6:00 pm as it flies in the face of one of my habits.

Put simply: Race Hub vs. Local & Network News = News wins.

GinaV24 said...

thanks for the info, JD. It will be interesting to see how the rule changes affect the racing at Daytona.

It would be nice if NASCAR would design the cars so they didn't need a "partner" to get more speed but I don't want to see a lot of cars blow up because they've overheated either.

Anonymous said...

Can't wait to see cars on the track even if it is just a test.

D. Speed

Vicky D said...

Ancient Racer, I much prefer Hub on at 6 PM Houston time also I'm usually home from work by then and we can usually sit down and watch it while we eat.

AncientRacer said...

@Vicki D

You and me. We are saying the same thing.

Buschseries61 said...

I also support the movement to move RaceHub back to 7:00 PM ET. In my case, RaceHub used to fit perfectly between dinner at 6 and the gym at 8. I think Pass Time and old episodes of Pimp My Ride are less important than the reality that is actually happening in the present time.

Tracy D said...

I'm with Vicki and Ancient Racer.
By 7 EST everyone is home and we can watch Speed.

Six p.m. Eastern is just in the middle of getting the dogs fed, walked, and dinner on the table for the humans (who come last). No time to sit down to watch TV for me.

BToS JD said...

I am anxious for TV coverage of drivers/crews from the pits and the track and have the TiVo set.

Race Hub at 6PM Eastern conflicts with local news broadcasts and should be positioned at 7PM. That way Race Hub fills the void between the news and prime time TV.

53 yr. fan said...

I agree that the best time is 7PM. It suits folks who have to get home,eat, and do chores. There would be no confilict around Charlotte anytime as they
run news continuosly from 4:30 thru 7:30 and it's mostly commercials and telling you what
will continue in the next segment or the 11PM news.

3/88 Fan said...

Thanks to SPEED for putting the morning session online. I will be following to see if the changes actually make an impact. In my opinion the two car will not change until the tracks break down some

Anonymous said...

It doesn't matter to me what time Race Hub is on. I record it and watch it with my morning coffee.

Dot said...

At least whatever time Race Hub is on, it's consistent. Unlike nascar Now over at BSPN. I know when I record RH, I'll be seeing it later, not something else.

I read where The Car Show wasn't renewed. More room for no longer in production reruns?

SD80MAC said...

The TV testing coverage can't get here soon enough for me!

I guess I am the only one who likes having RaceHub at 6pm ET (being a weather geek, I like to watch TWC Weather Center at 7pm, particularly when there is severe weather, which was most of the time during 2011). When it was on at 7pm, I watched the late night replay. I am one of the privileged few who do not have the be in bed early to get up at zero-dark-thirty!

For anyone that is interested and has access, Daytona President Joie Chitwood will be on SiriusXM NASCAR at 8:30am ET. Dr. Dick Berggren at 2pm ET, Dave Marcis at 3:30pm ET and Richard Petty at 7:30pm ET. Sirius Speedway at 3pm ET will be hosted by Angie and Mike Skinner who are in Daytona at their winter home, but I do not know if they will be live at the track (the Godfather is on vacation).