Saturday, March 17, 2012

Updated: Saturday Is Danica Day At Bristol Motor Speedway

Update: The race is over, Elliott Sadler is the winner and Danica was lapped before halfway. Typical ESPN race with tight camera shots, in-car cameras live and full-screen replays under green. Most of the actual racing was missed on TV. Marty Smith appeared pre-race in the Infield Pit Studio and shook up both Rusty Wallace and Brad Daugherty by disagreeing with them on almost everything. That was priceless. Happy to have your post-race comments on this post.

She was 26th on the SPEED chart, no one picks her to win the race and the 19 year-old girl in the field has more than twice her short-track experience, but Danica Patrick is once again going to be the TV focus on Saturday.

SPEED has Patrick in the Nationwide Series qualifying show at 10:30AM. Rick Allen, Phil Parsons and Jeff Hammond will have plenty of time to talk about Patrick's well-funded team challenging the Bristol high banks with lots of crew but very little driver experience. Qualifying at this track is a moment that can humble any driver at any time. It should be interesting as it is only hours before the race.

ESPN then has an entire hour of NASCAR Countdown at 1PM to explore Patrick's attempt to last in a field of hungry Nationwide Series regulars and five Sprint Cup Series cross-over drivers. After her recent run of avoiding the media, it should be fun to hear Patrick's pre-race comments.

Analysts Rusty Wallace and Brad Daugherty have been a little testy with each other this year down in the Infield Pit Studio. It may well be that the producers have asked them to spice things up a little bit. Having Patrick racing at a track like Bristol may give these two ESPN personalities a little more fuel for their personal fire.

The Go Daddy media hype machine has also been in high gear this week announcing that Patrick will head to Tony Stewart's Eldora Speedway for his Prelude to the Dream charity race. The media release explains that Patrick's previous experience racing on dirt was in a go-kart at the age of 14. Keep an eye on whether this topic makes it into the pre-race show.

Allen Bestwick has kept a level head, but Dale Jarrett has been squarely on the Danica bandwagon for some time now. Andy Petree joins those two as the live race coverage starts on ESPN at 2PM. While the pit reporters are limited in their contributions at a noisy track like BMS, ESPN will have all four of the regulars on hand and ready to cover the action. It could make for some interesting post-accident interviews.

As usual, we will be hosting a live stream of conversation on Twitter starting with the pre-race show. To locate our stream, just type #TDP1 into the search box on the Twitter page and it will appear. To have your comments in the stream, just add #TDP1 to the end of your tweets.

If you have not already come over, stop talking yourself out of it. We now have almost every driver, TV personality, team, track and NASCAR reporter actively involved in social media. The live stream is easy, free and if I can figure it out you can too.

My Twitter account is Click on who I follow to start building your own list of NASCAR personalities, tracks and teams. If you have a question about starting on Twitter, post it here and we will answer it.

Thanks again for helping the NASCAR community grow the social media presence on Twitter. Fans are a huge force in change and your voice and comments are heard loud and clear.

If you have any Danica Patrick comments on the TV coverage, please feel free to leave them below. Thank you for taking the time to stop by The Daly Planet.


AncientRacer said...

I get up way early: far too early for a weekday; would never do it on a weekday, unless not a workday because I am going fishing before racing comes on.

Danica has not been on TV yet, but already, IMO, the coverage is … is ....

Hmmm … Could Danica be the new Digger?

MortonGroveDon said...

Personally, I think we really need a new channel. We could call it DUMB (Danica's United Media Barrage). They could package it with the OWN (Only Waltrip Network). There'd be no need for all these silly discussions over in car camera time, or how much commercial time is used over show ing a race. I think the 3 biggest reasons to watch Nascar really need our support in these trying times.

OSBORNK said...

I'm more and more convinced that the Danica lovefest is more by the media than the average race fan.

I live about 50 miles from Bristol and my daughter lives down I-81 just beyond Bristol. I drove to her house yesterday afternoon expecting the usual heavy race week traffic. It was not there. The traffic was just slightly higher than a normal Friday and the hugh number of RVs heading to Bristol was just a trickle. The local TV stations are not showing the usual crowds on newscasts as they have in the past. The weather forecast is for very warm weather with a moderate chance of rain showers. I suspect the attendance will be lower than expected.

tommy1946 said...

MortonGroveDon - rah - rah!!! Couldn't have said better myself!

Daly Planet Editor said...

Bob Dillner interviewed Danica after poor qualifying effort. She said "I don't know" about what happened. Pretty profound statement.

Buschseries61 said...

The Danica coverage has one positive, it forces ESPN to show some racing outside the top 10. I watch her in-car camera on RaceBuddy to watch the mid-pack drivers and racing instead of staring at the running order crawl all afternoon.

I thought the past two weeks of coverage on ESPN have been disappointing. (FOX has been better imo) I've given up on Dale Jarrett, he's a complete bore and headmaster of political correctness. I only hear the life in his voice after Allen Bestwick reads a basketball promo and they talk about the games they watched last night. I still don't think Andy Petree really cares about the Nationwide series. He only seems to obsess over the Cup drivers and RCR. This season Allen has not had the chemistry with Andy and Dale as he had with Wally and Benny on NBC. What a booth it would be if Benny was still here.

RaceBuddy exposes how overproduced the ESPN coverage is. I like how RaceBuddy allows me to watch the race like I'm a fan in the stands and feel the energy of the race without the ESPN stamp. ESPN takes the event and makes it fit inside the ESPN box. The announcers are forced to analyze the 'athletes' more than ever this season with more stick and ball comparisons. The ESPN fixed storylines are so constrictive, viewers can hardly learn about the reality of the drivers and teams outside the top 10. I still don't get the iPod shuffle bumper music.

Hopefully things start getting better today.

diane said...

Danica is looking more and more miserable. I think she thought it would be easier than this. I think she was believing her own PR. Its not an easy transition to this type of racing. It will be interesting to see if she does poorly will she run away from doing interviews again.

Rainy2228 said...

From the aerial shots.....THEY HAVE SOOOOOO MANY EMPTY SEATS!!!!!...Brian(The Brainless) France, are you taking notice to the fact that you media sensation, Dumica, is NOT putting butts in the seats at the VENUE that ALWAYS sold out....????...Conservatively, theres not even a half-filled house for a Saturday race, and I do NOT think it's due to March Madness nor the price of IS the product...sad....just sad...

Buschseries61 said...

The first 100 laps had great coverage (and minimal Danica!) Just 100 laps of watching the race develop. I love the camera positioned in turn four.

This 100 laps segment, not so good. Dale uhhh.. Jarrett is out of it, to the point that Allen had to call down to Rusty for commentary.

Buschseries61 said...

Allen Bestwick calling the finish at the wrong lap was the highlight of the last 100 laps. Funny (and embarassing) mistake. But the rest of the coverage wasn't as strong as the beginning. The lack of wrecks threw them off. Since half the field is just riding around with the goal of a top 15, this series is tough to cover right now. Hopefully their stories are told and the series expectations can be raised.

*Hopefully someone finds Kenny Wallace by 4:30PM. His problems were ignored by ESPN.

James said...

If we ever wondered if the Planateers were really the voice of the NASCAR fan the attendance at this afternoons NWS proved that they are not too far off with their comments and "personal feelings". The Bruton Smith/Brian France show was very poorly attended. They should both be ashamed of what they have made of the "COLOSIUM"!!

Danica, she came home with all the fenders on and shows improvement every time she races. Keep in mind, other open wheel drivers with better records have NOT done as well as she has. Give her a chance to really get it. I think she realizes how difficult this is going to be and I am driving to Eldora to watch her run on dirt.

Jonathan said...

I enjoyed the race. Im not a fan of twitter at all its a mess if you ask me so maybe being focused on broadcast the whole race makes it more fun. Yeah we miss alot of racing but I think they did a good job I was on the edge of my seat screaming plenty of times and thats a good thing... Espn did a good job and the empty seats??? Its the nationwide Series and do you not know that place holds 160,000??? The place seemed have a lot of fans i say more than half filled and thats over 60,000 fans. Heck theres NFL that struggle to fill 50,000 seat stadiums and thats on a Sunday so the France family is just fine! JD I still wish you would reconsider and do the old school comments for us old school fsns. :)

Jonathan said...

LOL i need to read my stuff before I post.... lol I missed some words but hey I put down 8 beers :) you get my drift though

Charlie Spencer said...

I may return to Bristol next spring, if the Cup race has as much elbow room tomorrow as the N'wide did.

I don't watch pre-race shows, but I thought the Danica coverage during the race was consistent with other drivers not on the lead lap. She was shown as the leaders went by her, and that was about it. On the other hand, while coverage of her was consistent with that of other lap-down drivers, they're all not getting appropriate attention.

I don't recall hearing any mention of 'start and parks', or follow-ups on a couple of cars that went to the garage.

Bill Hicks said...

Do they (the tv networks) get a bonus from th sponsors when they show their car all the time?

Daly Planet Editor said...

Bill, they do not. TV commercials, paid elements and in-car cams are agreed to in advance.

NASCAR makes sure that the TV partners cannot work any side deals with teams or sponsors.


Fed UP said...

I don't watch the pre-shows anymore. Its a waste of time.

I try to tune in just before they go racing, and I've become fairly adapt at doing other things while listening to the race.

IMO, I prefer the old bristol where the drivers had to do some moving in order to get ahead..this bristol, eh..not so much.

Probably won't watch the cup race tomorrow either....if Nationwide with its "rookie" drivers can't make it exciting, I don't think that cup can.

Enjoy your race tomorrow, fellow planeteers...I'm going to go out and enjoy the sunshine and work in the yard.

Brian said...

Did anyone else notice it appeared ESPN was using a "GoPro" camera in victory lane? I'm talking about the one that was on the end of the long arm camera. When they first showed it I thought it was hooked onto a RC Helicopter or something, but I could clearly see the "arm" in the shadows later in the interview.

Anonymous said...

I thought that Mike Joy and Durrell were unsufferable. I give the network credit for not focusing on Danica during the race because she didn't deserve it. She was first lapped at the 50 lap mark (25 miles).Most Nascar drivers always impress me because of their public speaking abilities. Not Danica. Her answers and comments are often jaw dropping. I always get the impression from her comments that she's never been in a race car before.There were a ton of Cup cars in the NNS race with Junior running mid-pack for much of the race. It forced the cameras to at least check in on him occaisonally allowing us to see what else was going on. On Sunday, I'll wait for the green flag to drop before turning on my TV.