Saturday, June 16, 2012

Tire Troubles Making News in Michigan (Updated)

Update #4: NASCAR will move to ABC at 4PM for the green flag, looks like IndyCar will move to the ESPNEWS network for the remainder of the race.

Update #3: ESPN just tweeted that Nationwide Series racing will be on the ESPNEWS network begining at 3:30PM. IndyCar stays on ABC.

Update #2: At 2:15PM, still waiting for IndyCar to start on ABC. NASCAR NNS is scheduled on 3:30PM ET. It's going to be interesting to see what will happen. Looks like ESPNEWS network might be the location that IndyCar goes in progress if the green comes for NASCAR. The current NASCAR TV contract calls for live TV coverage from green to checker flag.

Update: NASCAR has added a 6PM practice session for 75 minutes and SPEED will carry it live. The 24 Hours of Le Mans coverage will move to the SPEED.com website. The network will also be cutting into the Le Mans coverage as needed to update the NASCAR tire story still unfolding.

The late news from Michigan was that NASCAR and Goodyear were making a change for Sprint Cup Series teams this weekend. It was a problem with left side tires blistering that got their attention.

With speeds hovering around 200 mph, almost a quarter of the Cup teams had left side tire trouble due to the heat when using new tires. Rather than scuff in tires for the field, Goodyear decided to bring in a new tire with a tougher tread compound for the race.

The teams will qualify on the present tire, then use the new left sides in a special 6PM Saturday night practice session scheduled for 75 minutes. That will be the only opportunity to get things dialed-in for the Sunday race.

"With the new repave here at Michigan, coupled with the high temperatures we're seeing this weekend, we feel this change will help us put on the best race possible on Sunday," said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR VP of competition in a media release.

The first NASCAR TV comes Saturday at 11AM and it is ESPN2 on the air with Nationwide Series qualifying. It should be interesting to watch and see how ESPN approaches this Sprint Cup Series story.

Next up is Sprint Cup Series qualifying on SPEED at 1PM. This is the time of the year when a diverse group of announcers are in place for sessions like this. If Darrell Waltrip and Kyle Petty are the analysts, it may make for two very different opinions on this topic. This will be the first NASCAR TV of the day for SPEED.

At the present time, there are no plans to televise this added practice session, but SPEED does have a thirty minute version of SpeedCenter scheduled at 7PM between segments of live 24 Hours of Le Mans coverage. That will probably be the best TV location to get updated information on the results of this change and how drivers and crew chiefs feel going into the Sunday race.

We will keep updating the tire story on this post, please feel free to add your comments. We are interested in how both ESPN and SPEED cover this issue. Comments may be moderated prior to posting.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Based on the ARCA race yesterday afternoon on Hoosier Tires, the track was eating up tires after about 15 green flag laps of racing for some cars. Numerous pitstops for tires resulted in only about 5 cars on the lead lap at the end. Good idea to change compounds before the race.

Anonymous said...

comparing Hoosier to Goodyear is like comparing oranges and apples. Goodyear tested in April and for the last 2 day. 98 % of the teams report no issues. Because the biggest drama queen in nascar (29) can't get his set up right, Goodyear has to bring in a new tire.

Zetona said...

According to their website, Speed will broadcast the new practice session, meaning probably an hour (6-7 PM) less of Le Mans coverage. I don't like this move. I'd much rather watch the racing at Le Mans than a practice where a bunch of cars run around in circles. Updates from Michigan every 10-15 minutes would be OK, maybe a little picture-in-picture or something, but just Michigan? No.

terri said...

Just read on a Tweet that Speed will cover that last practice.

terri said...

NT that last Tweet, John! You had tweeted it before Hendrick! My bad.

Colorado said...

i agree with Zetona: Updates every so often is better. This is the
80th Running of Le Mans.I get that we should see some exciting times this weekend at MIS, but really? Cutting in to one of the most prestigeous (sp) events of all time, and we get practice? Bad move on the networks.

Eviltim said...

I don't understand this decision AT ALL.

Why should a practice session for a random NASCAR race preempt an hour of live coverage for one of the biggest and most prestigious races in the world? There is no reason to move the 24 Hours of Le Mans to SPEED.com. Practice should be on SPEED.com because it is an extra unplanned practice and the already scheduled race should remain on television where it is scheduled. I don't watch much of the 24 Hours of Le Mans but I know I am angry any hour that the 24 Hours of Daytona isn't on during that race.


Also, the tire needed to be changed, it wasn't just one or two drivers complaining. Many teams were having blistering of the tires in practice and it isn't acceptable for risk of tires doing that in the race. Tire problems at 220 MPH going into Turn 1 could not happen. Goodyear didn't do enough research with the tire/track combo and there was more grip on the track than they thought so the change had to be made. At least they made the change and possibly avoided another potential Brickyard-like tire debacle.

Buschseries61 said...

I agree with Zetona and Colorado, bumping an actual race off tv in favor of a practice session is a bad move. Le Mans fans deserve the coverage. What more are we going to see at Michigan? The tires will either work or blister.

Charlie Spencer said...

Hey, JD! The Indy car race on ABC is in a rain delay. ABC is also scheduled to carry the N'wide race at 3:30. Have you heard anything yet about the network is going to handle the conflict?

Jonathan said...

Sweet im glad Speed will be showing the pratice session! I will be watching ;)

Rambo M. said...

Holy cow. Can anyone remember the last time an Indycar race got NASCAR bumped to another network?

Rambo M. said...

...spoke too soon I see. Sigh.

Anonymous said...

Why ESPN News? Why not put the race on ESPN or ESPN2?

Charlie Spencer said...

Rambo, it's a bit of a shame. The Indy cars are putting on a pretty good show.

Buschseries61 said...

I think ESPN made the best of a tough situation. I'd take Indycar racing over NASCAR pre-race blabber any day. It's not like there is much to talk about anyway, the Nationwide series had last weekend off.

At least Indycar was moved to ESPNEWS instead of ESPN Classic.

Sally said...

soccer

Anonymous said...

Indycar is not in a position of strength but ESPN News twice so far this year.

Sucks to be them. Not all of us get all flavors of ESPN, nor do we want them. Someday there will be an ESPN 8. Maybe Indycar will be able to preempt Dodgeball on the Ocho.