Saturday, February 17, 2007

SPEED: Craftsman Trucks at Daytona

The Chevy Silverado HD 250 was the debut race for SPEED's 2007 coverage of the Craftsman Truck Series. After several years of experience, the network continues to provide outstanding pictures and sound that rivals the broadcast networks coverage of the NEXTEL Cup Series. From a truly technical standpoint, this event was a home run in terms of production and engineering.

Partnering with the production crew were booth announcers Rick Allen, Phil Parsons, and Michael Waltrip. They were supported on pit road by veteran Ray Dunlap and newcomer Adam Alexander. As with the 2006 season, Allen continues to struggle with his fit in racing, his terminology, and his style. His laid back commentary is more suited for baseball than racing, and his attempts to describe exciting on-track action and racing incidents leave him struggling to deal with fast-moving events.

Its clear that Phil Parsons should be given the opportunity to call a race in the play-by-play position with Michael Waltrip in the booth for color commentary. Phil balances Michael's commentary very well, and it is clear that Waltrip respects the former driver. Along with a strong pre-race show anchored by Krista Voda, Parsons and Waltrip could offer a stronger line-up to the racing fans than SPEED currently offers with Rick Allen. This is the only national NASCAR Series that SPEED produces, and it is time for Parsons to be rewarded for his hard work and dedication over the years.

This commentary would not be complete without a tip of the hat to both Krista Voda and Mark Martin for anchoring a pre-race show, in freezing temperatures, with class and dignity. Martin was surprisingly well-spoken on many topics, from current racing rookies to the untimely passing of both Bobby Hamilton Sr. and Benny Parsons. Krista Voda is continuing to prove over-and-over again that she is the only correct person to resurrect the network disaster that is the weekend SPEED Report. The network desperately needs her to restore credibility to their only national news program.