Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Mid-Week Media News And Notes

This week all three of NASCAR's national touring series head to the Dover International Speedway. Here are some news and notes about what is ahead.

Rusty Wallace will again be in the TV booth for ESPN's coverage of the Nationwide Series race on Saturday. Dale Jarrett has the weekend off. Wallace will join Allen Bestwick and Andy Petree to call the race.

After being selected for the NASCAR Hall of Fame, Wallace said he was stunned he was chosen before some of the older pioneers of the sport. Then, he went on to criticize NASCAR for having what he believes are too many Sprint Cup Series races.

"It’s the classic case of supply and demand," he said. "Too much supply and not enough demand. I love NASCAR. It’s been good to me, it’s made me a lot of money. I think it’s OK for me to give my opinion. I don’t think NASCAR would get upset about that. Maybe take four races off the schedule and increase that demand that means so much."

Click here to review a 2011 story where the president of Iowa Speedway discusses his desire to obtain a Sprint Cup Series race date. Wallace designed the track and is part of the ownership group.

After years of pushing for a change, this year the 5PM Camping World Truck Series race from Dover will be live on SPEED. In years past, this race was tape-delayed until Friday evening. Dover has no lights and while the intentions may have been good, the non-stop world of social media and digital communications makes tape-delaying a NASCAR race ridiculous. Positive move by SPEED to go live and even a better decision to replay the race that same night in primetime.

Dover is the final race of the season for the NASCAR on FOX team. For those of you complaining about Waltrip brothers overload, you better sit down. Darrell confirmed on Twitter that he will be working for SPEED during the TNT portion of the season and Michael will continue to provide color commentary for the Camping World Truck Series.

Both Kyle Petty and Larry McReynolds move away from the RaceDay program on SPEED when the TNT schedule rolls around. It would appear that Darrell will replace Petty during those six races and the buzz is that TV newcomer Matt Clark may replace McReynolds on the panel.

While we do know most of the pieces of the puzzle when TNT begins coverage, what we do not officially know is who will be hosting the six events from the infield. The name that keeps popping up is Krista Voda, although TNT has made nothing official at this point. There have been several faces in that chair over the past five seasons.

ESPN2's NASCAR Now series continues to air at 3PM, but at least the show has a nice new set. Without the Monday one hour roundtable show, the new set gives the program a polished look. Allen Bestwick was back to host early this week, but the afternoon shows are preempted Wednesday and Thursday.

FOX pit reporter Dick Berggren recently confirmed that this will be his last season working on TV. He made clear that he is not retiring, but will continue to work on his publishing interests, spend more time with the family and continue to be involved in the racing world.

Click here to see former ESPN and current NBC Sports Network announcer Bob Jenkins also confirming he is stepping aside after the IndyCar season. Jenkins has been in the motorsports TV game for over three decades. His voice will continue to be heard as the PA announcer for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Bob is a former co-worker and has always been a class act through thick and thin.

Any additional media news that comes along on Wednesday will be added to this post. We invite your opinion on the topics above. Comments may be moderated prior to posting. Thank you.


Colorado said...

The Waltrips cried enough, that they got their way. Waltrip overload through the summer. Bummer. Matt Clark? Why? Everyone is itching for TNT to take over, they clearly don't want the Waltrips anymore, so of course the most logical decision is to put them on ALL SUMMER. Darrell, don't you realize the fans don't like you? They want you gone. While I agree somewhat with Rusty, I can't help but wonder if there is an agenda with his comments coming right after the HOF annoncement, and right before Dover: The track that has been in rumors to lose a date for a few years now. If Dover loses a date, you can bet Rusty is working overtime to get Iowa on the list. Then if he gets awarded a date, then he really won't care if there are still 36 races on the schedule. A round of selfishness, please. Interesting story on Race Hub last night as Sterling Marlin has been in talks with NASCAR to get a "Busch Series" race as he still calls it to race at the Nashville Fairgrounds... And possibly trucks. Hmmm, Rockingham, then Nashville? The 800 lb. gorilla, commonly known as "bad racing" and "low ratings" is finally starting to be noticed by NASCAR. Sometimes you have to take a couple steps back, in order to go forward.

WB said...

I started watching NASCAR with Bob Jenkins, Benny Parsons and Ned Jarrett. Those three knew how to broadcast a race without talking over each other, blathering on and on and embarrassing the sport. Little did I know how good we had it back then.

OSBORNK said...

The Waltrip brothers are like a computer virus. They keep popping up everywhere to do more and more damage to the sport we love. It looks like they are so entrenched that there is not program available to get rid of them. I hope something is found soon before they drive even the most dedicated fans away.

mrclause said...

Sure doesn't look as if the networks care much more about the fan complaints than France does. The NASCAR shill (DW) replacing Kyle who will actually tell it like it is? That's certainly a step forward, NOT! Matt Clark is informative but just comes over flat. He's going to find it very difficult to overcome the mouth of the south.

Doctor dirt retiring, Bob Jenkins the same, several more probably in the next couple of years, who is going to replace them? Let me guess, the Waltrips are available to fill any void left.

Just for the heck of it I'd like to see someone do a poll on a like or dislike of the announcers and pit reporters just to see what the out come would be.

GinaV24 said...

Oh my heavens! Is there no mercy and no escape from the terrible twosome? Well, DW and Mikey can work with Speed but I don't have to watch. I'll use Racebuddy (hooray) and follow the races on TNT without any interaction with the Waltrips.

I thought it was interesting that Rusty made those comments about reducing the schedule. I had those same thoughts 3 yrs ago - it's a case of supply and demand. NASCAR oversupplied a product and on top of it the product was no longer a superior one, but has become generic and so now there is even less demand.

IMO, reduce the schedule to one race at each track, put a decent racecar out there (one that the fans could identify with a brand again), make each race an EVENT that's fun to go to or watch on TV and maybe things would improve.

Waltriping and/or boring me to death with points racing from Daytona to Richmond isn't going to cut it.

PammH said...

Ever since Mikey started announcing trucks, I listen to Sirius. Saves me alot of grief. Stopped watching RD this yr because of KW, so adding ole DW won't affect me either. BTW, there are 3 Nascar fans in my office besides me & I heard them all say Tues, what is going on w/the racing or lack of it? They are about ready to quit watching, as it is too boring. All long-time, die hard race fans too...And NO, they don't want wrecks, they want racing, not riding!!

Colorado said...

Ditch the Chase, plain and simple. It causes the drivers to "points race". They even admitted it after the All Star race. Dw and Mikey for the summer. God, my head hurts already. I would love to see the sign off from Dick Berggren after the race. That is if loud mouth moron will let him talk. I love how on Race Hub, when they go Radioactive, 98% of the chatter is from MRN. They have something useful to say.Barney Hall must be glad that he's in another booth, being an adult professional. Meanwhile, next door in the Clown Cave, there's a comment about everything under the sun.Me, My, Our, I,etc.

Stick with the Biff said...

funny story...I mentioned to my dad that Rusty was picked for the HoF...and he says 'is he that obnoxious guy?' And I'm thinking, he's a terrible analyst but I don't think of him as particularly 'obnoxious'...and then it dawns on me, he means Kenny. And sure enough, Sunday morning rolls around & Raceday is on, and he points at Kenny & says 'that's the guy...he's annoying!' this from someone who is probably only one step up from a casual fan...but he knows obnoxious when he sees it. I don't watch much prerace anymore.

I think Matt Clark is okay...he's pretty good under more 'rehearsed' conditions...not so good at the impromptu, ad lib stuff. But that is usually learned, not always 'natural'. So seeing how he's been doing TV for maybe a year, I think we can give him some time & see if he gets better. We complain about announcers, but people seem not to want to give people time to improve (such as Clark & Trotta). I'd like to see more use of guys like LaJoie & Craven, but one would have to admit, even they are a few steps away from the garage now. Need new blood, especially with guys like Dr Dick & Jenkins retiring; big loss.

Slightly off topic...I hate to admit it, because I enjoyed Bootie & miss him, but I think Danielle has actually improved NASCAR Performance. I thought she was just there for eye candy, but the show was, shall we say, a bit dry, and I think adding her to move the segments along was a good move, and they all seem to have good chemistry. Hate me if you will, but I think this move worked.

AncientRacer said...

Why anyone would be surprised the Waltrips will be present during the summer stretch is beyond me. Same as previous years.

As for shortening the season, well, sure. Get out before or shortly after the opening of College/NFL football and beginning of the baseball playoffs. Wait ... Gee ... doing that might eliminate The Chase ...

What a concept! ;-)

Anonymous said...

Does Rusty realize that if we cut back the schedule he'll never get a Cup date for Iowa?

Anonymous said...

West Coast Diane said:

Doesn't affect me. Use to DVR & FF through. No more. Deleted season pass on DVR.

Stick with the Biff....I agree with you. Danielle comes across as genuine, not too contrived. I am sure they will fix that soon and turn her into clown with scripted goofiness.

Anonymous said...

"Just for the heck of it I'd like to see someone do a poll on a like or dislike of the announcers and pit reporters just to see what the out come would be."

I went to Martinsville and got a survey that covered everything from the hot dogs (kinda lousy when plain, IMHO) to the marching band SSB and the flyover. I guess there's no way to get to the TV watchers? /sarcasm.

KudzuCarl said...

My reduced schedule plan, if anyone cares. One race for each track except two for Daytona (24 races). Eight race chase revolves among all the active tracks. If your chase race doesn't sell out, you get skipped in the next rotation. Simple, reduced, gives tracks incentives to creatively move seats.

ThinkingBrian said...

1. I think Rusty Wallace's comments were dead-on about reducing the Cup Series season. The truth is, we don't need 36,37 or 38 races in a season. The key would be one Cup date per racetrack with a few exceptions.

2. Congrats to Rusty Wallace on getting into the hall of fame, he deserves it. Its not just numbers, its what he did and what impact me he made.

3. I really don't know what to expect from TNT's 6 races, this is head scratcher for sure. But I just really want something fun to watch.

Anonymous said...

"My reduced schedule plan, if anyone cares. One race for each track except two for Daytona (24 races). Eight race chase revolves among all the active tracks. If your chase race doesn't sell out, you get skipped in the next rotation. "

Interesting thought! I think the 2nd Daytona should be on the Grand Am/Road course, same with a 2nd Pocono.

Todd Crane said...

reduce the schedule? come on...does nobody remember back when Grand National drivers and cars ran 50 to 60 races a year...dirt tracks...quarter mile ovals...back when racing was racing...before the Waltrups...the COT the mysterious cautions...and the chase....I don't watch the mike and Darrel show so i don't care, and thank goodness Sunday will be the last for old's a shame cause Larry M and Mike are great in the booth!

Buschseries61 said...

Even though you pin Rusty's comments with an agenda to get Iowa on the schedule, I agree with Rusty despite his attatchments. Supply and demand is out of balance.

I'm excited the Dover truck race will finally be shown live. In the twitter period, tape-delay just no longer made sense.

David Hill's obsession with the Waltrips is just sad. Hill has driven the FOX team completely off course and working to do the same to SPEED.

SPEED's Krista Voda would fit in perfectly on TNT as the host. She's professional, knows the sport, and the chemistry is already established with McReynolds and Petty. It will probably be the only pre-race team worth watching once again.

Dick Berggren and Bob Jenkins will be missed. Bob was the play-by-play announcer of the first NASCAR race I watched as an 8 year old boy, and I've been hooked ever since. I'll remember Bob for his legendary voice and incredible on air demeanor. I've always admired Dick Berggren's experience on pit road and his enthusiasm for any type of organized racing. From Cup to modifieds, Dick was always informed and shared his knowledge and passion to the viewers watching. These guys are irreplaceable.

Anonymous said...

What WB said..

Bob Jenkins is the best. I've always felt that the last 10-12 years of NASCAR on TV if he was in the booth would have been different.

So true, that we had no idea how good we had it. Those 3 made it look easy.

Sally said...

Really? More DW and Mikey after Dover? Does no one understand that you can get sick from overexposure to anything? Just when I thought there was relief in sight....

Anonymous said...

The only way the schedule will be pruned is by slowly eliminating those not owned by ISC or SMC.
That way,ALL the profit goes back to those two groups.
Even if attendance suffers, they will make their money.