Tuesday, February 21, 2012

SPEED Sets 2012 Starting Line-Up

Things are in transition behind the scenes, but the folks at SPEED have unveiled their official starting line-ups for the 2012 NASCAR season. As expected, there are some changes in both on-air personnel and schedules.

The Monday through Thursday NASCAR Race Hub show has been back on the air for a couple of weeks. Steve Byrnes returns as host and Danielle Trotta as reporter. Larry McReynolds and former pit crew coach Matt Clark are being featured pre-season. Look for them to be joined by everyone from Jeff Hammond to Jimmy Spencer once things get rolling on track. This one-hour show still airs at 6PM ET with Byrnes live in studio, but the real travesty is no West Coast re-air. 7AM ET the next morning is the only repeat.

Speaking of McReynolds, he joins the NASCAR Race Day cast for the season. John Roberts returns as host with Kyle Petty and Kenny Wallace on the expert panel with McReynolds. Wendy Venturini, Rutledge Wood and Clark will be the reporters this season.

This show remains two-hours and ends when the Sprint Cup Series network TV pre-race show hits the air. The early exception is the week of the Daytona 500, where it will expand to three hours before FOX takes over. There will also be Race Day shows before the Bud Shootout and the Duels.

Both McReynolds and Hammond will be front and center on the NASCAR Performance series this season. SPEED added Trotta in a host role, in order to let McReynolds, Hammond and series regular Chad Knaus concentrate on the issues. Bootie Barker is the odd man out, he leaves after several seasons. The first show is Saturday, February 25 at 6:30PM ET.

SPEED's biggest NASCAR TV mess last season might have been Trackside. Formerly a hardcore race fan show it evolved into a mix of entertainment, interviews and embarrassment. This year Krista Voda will step into the host role to try and restore some order. Kyle Petty and Rutledge Wood will continue as panelists and controversial Marianela Pereyra will return as the show's reporter.

Ultimately, the SPEED executives just have to decide what they want this series to be and work toward that goal. Trying to mix serious interviews of NASCAR personalities with the clown act of Petty and Wood made no sense. Throwing the woefully unprepared Pereyra into the mix just deepened the mystery. What is this program all about? We will see shortly, as Trackside starts Saturday, February 25 at 4:30PM ET.

On the live event side, SPEED brings the same line-up back to cover the Duels. Voda and Hammond in the Hollywood Hotel with the NASCAR on FOX trio of Mike Joy, Darrell Waltrip and McReynolds in the booth. Byrnes, Dick Berggren and Matt Yocum will cover pit road.

For those asking, Michael Waltrip will be returning to his Camping World Truck Series role on SPEED as an analyst. He will be joined by Rick Allen and Phil Parsons in the booth with Ray Dunlap and Hermie Sadler on pit road. Voda will host the pre-race show. Sadler announced late last season he had been replaced on Race Day, but will be handling other on-air duties for SPEED like practice and qualifying shows.

Kenny Wallace is trying to make the Daytona 500 this season and it certainly sounds more and more like he is on the verge of wrapping his NASCAR driving career pretty soon. The NASCAR Media Group will follow Wallace and create a documentary of his efforts that will air on Wednesday, February 22 at 9PM ET.

Other SPEED favorites are also coming back. Adam Alexander anchors SpeedCenter, Dave Despain hosts Wind Tunnel and John Roberts is joined by Kyle Petty and Kenny Wallace for NASCAR Victory Lane. That show will now appear immediately after every Sprint Cup Series race, including the Saturday night events.

The full NASCAR TV schedule for all the TV networks involved in the sport will always be posted on the left side of this page and updated constantly with information on guests, on-air talent and topics.

We welcome your comments on SPEED's starting line-ups for 2012. To add your opinion, just click on the comments button below. Thanks for taking the time to stop by The Daly Planet.


Unknown said...

Trackside was my must watch on Friday nights, half way thru last season it was hard to watch, like WTF it was unorganized and mismatched I like Rutledge,Kyle, and Hammond but it did not work and if i read it right they are going to try the same mess again? I guess I hve to find something to do on Friday nights.

Jonathan said...

Nice so glad to hear track side will air right after the race!!! Its hard to get into all the victory celebration and such the day after or hours after the race that was sorta odd.

Dannyboy said...

Trackside was like the old Inside Winston/Sprint Cup Racing: it was a successful formula with great chemistry and it worked so well that the geniuses in the suits HAD to mess with it. So now all we have are memories, or if we're lucky, recordings to remind us of how good they were.

Anonymous said...

I didn't see Ray Evernham's name mentioned on Speed Center. He helped Adam Alexander a lot. Speed should disavow any connection to Trackside. The show is just insulting.

glenc1 said...

Glad to hear Hermie's contribution is solidified; I like him.

I will miss Bootie, though, I wonder what the real story is there. He has a kind of sarcastic wit that is rather refreshing in the usual 'rah rah NASCAR' world; he was the best at needling Knauss.

Trackside is pretty hopeless. It would have to have giant change to make it 'must watch' again. I leave it on in the background sometimes when I am doing things, but it would not be something I'd plan for.

Anonymous said...

I was a long time fan of Trackside and rarely missed a show, that changed when Petty, Rutledge, and Pereyra took over and made it a mockery. Such a shame of what the show has morphed into.

sue said...

I have to agree with Unknown and Dannyboy regarding Trackside. Used to watch it but it became too hard to watch. Seemed to have gone from an informative show with good guests to some wack a doodle entertainment show.

I do love watching all the prerace and post race shows on speed. Happy to see for the most part the same lineup.

I also enjoyed watching Nascar Preformance. I've learned so much about the car sets and racing mainly for this show over the years. The chemistry between Larry,Chad and Bootie seemed good so I'm surprised at the change. Any reason given for the change??

GinaV24 said...

I used to love watching Trackside, no matter who the guests were that week, it was an interesting and fun show to watch. Then the wheels came off and it become IMO unwatchable, so I don't.

I tune in if I know that someone I'd especially like to see will be on - usually via DVR so I can FF through the idiocy.

I like Krista Voda - she's a pro, but that won't be enough to make me tune in on a regular basis again.

corbeilgal said...

Sometimes its like change for change sake. Loved Bootie and his irreverance also the view from outside the big shops. Love Kyle but not in his current joker role. Hopefully the pendulum will swing back someday. Few enough race shows as it is. And I miss the Hub in its new time slot. Such a shame.

Anonymous said...

Interested to see how Jamie Howe will fit in during Speedweeks. Chris Neville did a great job for TNT, but this isnt a pit reporter role. The 2 big question marks for me are Jamie and Matt Clark

glenc1 said...

Matt Clark has already been doing a good job so far, imho. Better command of the English language than many others we've had to listen to, and his more recent experience make him sound much more relevant to 2012 instead of 1982.

Vicky D said...

I saw your recent tweet, JD, and can't imagine Monica Polumbo adding anything to a broadcast and reading those tweets really was too much to listen to. I'm not particularly fond of Matt Clark I think he is the odd man out I can't imagine what happened to Ray I really liked him as a technical guy. And I love Jimmy Spencer's crying towel but guess we won't get to listen to Kurt Busch, Radio Sweetheart!

Anonymous said...

Just read that Ricky Rudd is going to be on Speed Center in place of Ray. I just can't picture Ricky in that role.

diane said...

If they really wanted to fix Trackside, they should start with turning the stage back around and face the audience.

Anonymous said...

"Dirt to Diamonds brings you into the hectic lives of motorsports power couple Ray & Erin Evernham who live a lifestyle from two extremes (dirt to diamonds)."

If this is Ray's new TV gig, it sounds cringe inducing. More "reality" show crap. Just like any restaurant that advertises their "world famous" pie, if you have to call yourselves a "power couple" that's a sure sign that you're not viewed that way.

Daly Planet Editor said...


I understand that is a show about Erin Crocker that has Ray involved in the production. No network or solid air dates yet.

Ray's news is going to be related to NASCAR and perhaps we will be able to share it tomorrow.


Anonymous said...

It will take several good reviews on The Planet before I waste my time with what these shows have become - reality tv, fluff, toe the nascar line. MC

John D. said...


What does Speed say about Trackside? I have yet to see a posting by anyone that wants to see it continue in the current format. My DVR is no longer set for it. Maybe Krista will help.

Charlie said...

I hope they find a place for Bootie Barker. I think he has a knack with explaining things. He is good at it.

Tracy D said...

Will miss Bootie Barker on Performance.

Daly Planet Editor said...

John D,

I think they are stuggling to not make it another RaceHub or NASCAR Live.

The problem is that Byrnes and company had made it into a franchise with good guests and interesting information.

It had problems with crowd, too many talking heads and some DW issues, but on the whole it worked.

Now they are stuck with a mess and it's Krista's turn at the wheel.


I hope he still does a spot on RaceDay every week, but it looks doubtful right now.


Anonymous said...

Agree with you 120%! Turn it back into a racing show and not some half added comedy/ lifestyle show

Anonymous said...

Nothing has been mentioned about Bob Dilner. Is he still going to be with Speed. I certainly hope so, because he is the one I always looked for to get me the news accurately.