Friday, July 10, 2009

"This Week In NASCAR" Facing Cancellation?

Update: Friday afternoon we posted this item after being informed of a Tweet sent directly to fans by Michael Waltrip about This Week in NASCAR on SPEED.

We provided a location on this NASCAR TV blog where fans could express their opinions on this topic. The support for this show was overwhelming. Now, we are getting hateful email after another comment from Waltrip on Twitter:

i tweet cause i love my fans. i dont even know what the daily planet is nor do i care. dont yall let uninformed third parties make u mad

Let me get this straight. TDP offered fans a location to voice their support for this program after a heads-up on potential trouble from Waltrip himself and now we are the problem?

Here is the original column, judge for yourself:

The TV island that is This Week In NASCAR on Monday nights may soon be abandoned. After losing all the other NASCAR programming on Monday nights, SPEED is reportedly considering cancelling this TV series that has run for over a decade.

Here is the information Michael Waltrip offered on Twitter Friday afternoon:

TWIN is a question next year. Speed says the rating aren't good. I asked to dress up like the caveman for ratings week but I haven't heard.

This certainly will grab the attention of hardcore fans who have enjoyed this program for a very long time. Originally titled Inside Winston Cup Racing, this series is burned into the memories of TV viewers for a classic line-up of personalities.

Michael Waltrip, Johnny Benson and Kenny Shcrader were a trio that brought NASCAR into the homes of many SPEED viewers. Hosted by TV veteran Allen Bestwick, the show featured a quirky mix of personalities that worked on several levels. Kenny Wallace, pictures above, was a guest panelist on the series.

Many classic TV moments occurred on this program. Schrader would annually ask NASCAR President Mike Helton how much money he made...just for the record. Waltrip was once handed the replay controller and chaos ensued for months until the producers wisely hit it. Benson and Bestwick were the perfect straight men for the antics of Waltrip and Schrader.

TDP will have more on this issue as the information becomes available. To offer your opinions on this topic, just click the comments button below. This is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind when posting. Thanks for stopping by.

CNBC's NASCAR Snapshot (Updated)

Updated: Darren Rovell from CNBC has been nice enough to join us in the comments section. If you have reactions or questions about this program, this is a good time to offer them directly to the person who hosted the show.

"Given the economy, NASCAR is holding up pretty well," said veteran NASCAR reporter Monte Dutton. This one simple sentence essentially summed-up the Thursday night one hour CNBC special on NASCAR.

It was CNBC's Sports Business Reporter Darren Rovell who led TV viewers through a rather elemental review of NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series. Rovell has the enthusiasm of a new fan and chose to offer this program from a very fundamental perspective on racing.

Punctuated by interviews with NASCAR personalities from Brian France to Tony Stewart, Rovell walked through the sport telling brief stories that were loosely connected by the current eoncomic issues.

Often naive and sometimes unintentionally humorous, Rovell intended this program for TV viewers who were not very familiar with the sport. He often took the time to re-state the most fundamental facts about NASCAR. That included asking Brian France some general questions about the state of the sport.

In this program, France came away as an aggressive and well-spoken executive who was clear in his message that NASCAR had worked hard to reach the level of national popularity it now enjoys. His answers made sense and ran the gamut from attendance to TV ratings. It was perhaps his best TV appearance in quite some time.

Rovell focused on the broader economic concepts of team sponsorship, including overall media exposure and brand loyalty. His interviews with marketing and team executives reinforced the messages that NASCAR fans know all too well. They are the most loyal in professional sports and support the brands that participate.

Tony Stewart was featured as a driver-turned-businessman who had to overcome the high cost of fielding a Sprint Cup team in his new venture. Stewart was interviewed and proved to be a good representative of racing in general. He presented a snapshot of an ordinary American chasing his personal dreams in the motorsports world.

In this program, there were the normal video clips of busty female NASCAR fans whooping and hollering at the track. There was a profile of a family who collects NASCAR merchandise perhaps beyond the boundaries of good taste. Kevin Costner was interviewed as someone who actually can speak about the sport with credibility.

Rovell used the All-Star race at Lowe's Motor Speedway as his backdrop. This led him to speak with Marcus Smith, to ride along in the burn-out contest and to tape his on-camera segments on the start-finish line. The editing of those at-the-track segments with Rovell on-camera was rather unique.

This primetime special accurately reviewed some of the issues and stories associated with NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series in 2009, but as Rovell suggested to TDP before the program aired, it was not meant for hardcore fans.

Perhaps, a touch of irony was that Rovell's own polo shirt may have been the only one in this program without logos. Clicking here would have taken Rovell to a beautiful polo from his parent company NBC and their sports division. Perfect for the racetrack.

Amazingly, this $29 dollar shirt is on sale for only $15. It seems NASCAR is not the only company working hard to deal with a struggling economy.

TDP welcomes your comments on this topic. To add your opinion, just click on the comments button below. This is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind when posting. Thanks for taking the time to stop by.

Marty Smith Explodes The Mayfield Chaos

If you missed the original airing of NASCAR Now at 6:30PM, click here for the link to Marty Smith's story on Jeremy Mayfield. NASCAR Now does not re-air due to tonight's Sprint Cup qualifying.

As TDP pointed out earlier Thursday, the Mayfield story about his recent drug testing experience was about to explode. It was Smith who took the bull by the horns and used ESPN's national exposure to relate the emotional response of Mayfield to what he believes is harassment by the sanctioning body.

Here are some Mayfield quotes from Smith's story:

"It's bull---- man and somebody needs to stand up and see through this. There's experts out everywhere saying the same thing I'm [saying]."

"Now, all the sudden, Brian's [France, NASCAR Chairman] coming back saying, 'Well, we have positive tests all the time.' Well, if it's a zero-tolerance policy, how in the hell do you have people testing positive all the time?

"Then he comes back and says there's a list. I forget what big word he used -- an exhaustive list of drugs. Everybody in the world has asked him why the drivers don't have a list. What did he say? Now there's a list -- an exhaustive list. Right? Where's it at?

Smith did an outstanding job of relating the chaos of Monday when Mayfield was drug tested three times. Smith delivered the information and followed-up in his normally straightforward manner.

"The bottom line here is that Mayfield's story and NASCAR's story don't mesh," said Smith. "He's livid, he is absolutely livid," said Smith of Mayfield. "He felt like he has been drug through the mud. He believes he is a marked man."

Mayfield called Smith on Wednesday evening and offered the information contained in the NASCAR Now report and the story. This determination to follow this story by both Marty Smith and David Newton has really been outstanding.

If you watched NASCAR Now or perhaps will take a moment to read the article, please feel free to leave a comment on how you believe the NASCAR TV networks and media are treating this latest development. To offer your opinion, just click on the comments button below. This is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind when posting. Thanks for taking the time to stop by The Daly Planet.

Live Blogging The Nationwide Series Race From Chicagoland on ESPN

The Nationwide Series rolls into Chicagoland with Allen Bestwick beginning the day on NASCAR Countdown at 7:30PM. Bestwick will be joined by Rusty Wallace and Brad Daugherty from the infield pit center.

Wallace will then move up into the booth and join Jerry Punch and Andy Petree for the race telecast. Down on pit road will be Mike Massaro, Jamie Little, Shannon Spake and Dave Burns.

ESPN will move Marty Reid into the play-by-play roll shortly, leaving Punch to handle only the ESPN Sprint Cup Series telecasts. Dale Jarrett is off, so Wallace will be doing double-duty for the series that includes his own race team.

Tim Brewer will be in the Tech Garage and Bestwick will continue to keep the infield studio open with Daugherty alongside.

This post will serve to host your comments about tonight's Nationwide Series telecast on ESPN. To add your TV-related comment, just click on the comments button below. This is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind while posting. Thank you for taking the time to stop by The Daly Planet.