Thursday, February 3, 2011

Thursday TV/Media Notes

Some television and media items for you:

SPEED passed along that Adam Alexander will be the host of the new SPEED Center program on weekends. This show replaces The Speed Report on Sundays, but is actually an expandable update show that can be used on racing weekends and for special events.

The potential for Alexander to increase SPEED's overall integration into updated news, highlights and interviews from all forms of motorsports is absolutely fantastic. Stepping up to the plate is the right thing at the right time for SPEED.

While Alexander will be keeping his role as the play-by-play announcer for the six TNT races, he will be leaving his longtime assignment as one of two pit reporters for the Camping World Truck Series. It will be Hermie Sadler replacing Alexander on pit road and also keeping his Sprint Cup Series role on the popular RaceDay program.

Krista Voda will be stepping aside from her frequent studio role now that The Speed Report is gone, but she will remain with the Camping World Truck Series as host and as a pit reporter for the NASCAR on FOX telecasts.

Sticking with SPEED, the network has revamped the SPEED Stage and also the sets used for Trackside and RaceDay. This time, the fans are going to be included and not spend the entire time staring at the backs of the on-air announcers. Great news for all concerned.

Word is that SPEED is talking with the NASCAR Hall of Fame about moving the NASCAR Performance production into that facility. Since the show is now produced in advance of the racing weekends, it might be a nice touch to have visitors and fans in the background and even participating. Larry McReynolds will be back with Chad Knaus and Bootie Barker on that series.

For those fans who have been asking, the trio of Rick Allen, Phil Parsons and Michael Waltrip will be returning to call the Camping World Truck Series races for SPEED this season. Ray Dunlap will be a pit reporter along with Sadler, while Voda hosts the pre-race show.

In case you missed the earlier announcement, SPEED and have teamed up to offer the online TruckBuddy application free for every truck race this season. Again this year, it will offer four different video sources along with customized scoring information and a location for live chat from all types of social media sources.

Also over at, a new fantasy league has been opened featuring the real time data and scoring that NASCAR provides from the tracks. NASCAR Fantasy Live is apparently a pretty big deal. Information on how to participate and the rules are available at the website.

Finally, last week ESPN extended the contract of lead studio analyst Rusty Wallace through the 2014 season. Wallace is the first ESPN announcer to have his contract extended to the end of the current NASCAR TV deal with the ESPN networks. While we also know that Ricky Craven will get the opportunity to call seven Nationwide Series races in the booth, there is no word on whether Randy LaJoie might get the call to rejoin the NASCAR Now panel.

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