NASCAR, IMSA and AMA Pro announce Fanschoice.TV
posted by Mike Neff
Wednesday March 12, 2014
Free live streaming of events will allow fans to view previously unavailable live events online
AMA Pro, NASCAR and IMSA announced the launch of Fanschoice.tv today. The free service will stream motorcycle races, sports car races and regional touring and local short track events. The first event will be the AMA Pro flat track 200 from the 1/4 mile dirt track at Daytona International Speedway.
Fans will have access to multiple camera angles, live timing and scoring and a feed from the track’s PA system. In addition to the touring events from IMSA, AMA and NASCAR, three NASCAR Home Tracks have already signed on to be part of the release. Langley Speedway in Hampton, VA., Lake County Speedway in Painesville, OH., and Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, WA. will have all of their races available for viewing on the new service.
NASCAR’s K&N Pro Series, Whelen Modified Tour and Whelen Southern Modified Tour will all be shown on Fanschoice.tv. The awards banquets for both the Whelen All-American Series and the Touring Series will also be streamed.
IMSA coverage will include streaming of its developmental and single-make series, as well as selected practice and qualifying sessions for the two IMSA national sports car series, TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge that are part of the recently-announced five-year agreement with Fox Sports.
NASCAR Changes Qualifying Format
posted by Summer Bedgood
Tuesday March 11, 2014
Following safety concerns regarding NASCAR’s new qualifying format, the sanctioning body is introducing some changes in preparation for this weekend’s race at Bristol Motor Speedway. According to the Associated Press, NASCAR is banning teams from cool-down laps after their qualifying attempts, but will instead be allowed to hook up cool-down units to the engine through hood flaps.
Late Tuesday afternoon, a release from NASCAR fully detailed the changes. Teams will be allowed a single cool down unit to be connected through the right or left side hood flap, however the hood must remain closed. Additionally, two crew members will be allowed over the wall while cooling down.
“The qualifying is new to all of us and as we have said over the past several weeks, we are looking at it from all aspects,” said Robin Pemberton, vice president of competition and racing development. “Following discussions, both internally and with others in the garage area, we moved quickly to make a few revisions that will be effective starting with our two national series events at Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend. We believe this will only enhance and improve what has demonstrated to be an exciting form of qualifying for our fans, competitors and others involved with the sport. Moving forward we will continue to look at it and address anything else that we may need to as the season unfolds.”
The move comes after three weeks of NASCAR’s new knockout qualifying system, where multiple cars are allowed to make qualifying attempts at the same time instead of the traditional one-car-at-a-time procedure. Drivers and teams had complained that the new rules didn’t allow them to cool their engines down on pit road, and the cool-down laps caused a dangerous situation with slower cars staying on the track at the same time that other cars were running by them at much higher speeds.
The rule will begin this weekend in Bristol, a track that has a much narrower racing surface than Daytona, Phoenix, and Las Vegas.
Kurt Busch to Attempt The Indianapolis-Charlotte Double
posted by Phil Allaway
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Andretti Autosport announced this morning that Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet in the Sprint Cup Series, will attempt the Indianapolis 500 in a fifth entry for the IndyCar Series team. Once the Indianapolis 500 is completed, Busch will fly from Indianapolis to Charlotte, jump in his No. 41 Chevrolet and compete in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Busch considers the opportunity to do the double as an old-school throwback moment.
“This is really to challenge myself within motorsports,” Busch said in Andretti Autosport’s press release. “Perhaps I am a bit of an old-school racer; a throwback, I guess. I enjoyed the era of drivers racing different cars and testing themselves in other series. It is tough to do now for a variety of factors, but when the opportunity is there, I want to do it. While NASCAR is my home, I have been fortunate to compete in Pro Stock on the NHRA circuit a number of years ago and test a V8 Supercar. This opportunity was a talk with Michael [Andretti] over dinner one night, a “What if,” and now it’s becoming a reality for me to drive in the Indy 500 with Andretti Autosport. It’s literally a dream come true. To go to the famous Brickyard with the iconic Andretti name, it doesn’t get much cooler or better than that.”
Busch will be doing the Indianapolis-Charlotte double as a Memorial Day mission to men and women serving in the U.S. Military via the Armed Forces Foundation. Fans can contribute to the cause by texting AFF to 50555 to donate $10.
Busch, who has never raced an IndyCar, passed Rookie Orientation at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway last year during a test session. At the time, Busch was more or less testing the Dallara DW12 for fun.
Busch will be the fourth driver to attempt the Indianapolis-Charlotte double. John Andretti was the first driver to attempt it in 1994. After finishing four laps down in tenth in Indianapolis, Andretti crashed and had engine problems in the 600. Robby Gordon has attempted the double five times, most recently in 2004. However, Gordon failed to make it to Charlotte on time and did not start the 600 in 2000 (P.J. Jones started Gordon’s No. 13 Ford in that instance). Finally, Tony Stewart has attempted the double twice (most recently in 2001) and is the only driver to ever complete all 1100 miles. Neither of the three drivers has won either leg of the double. The best finishes are Stewart and Gordon’s sixth-place finishes at the Indianapolis 500 (although Gordon’s came in 2000, the year he didn’t make it to Charlotte in time to start the Coca-Cola 600), and Stewart’s fourth-place finish in the 2001 Coca-Cola 600.
Danica Patrick, Justin Allgaier Talk About Phoenix Incident
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
A disappointing start to the year for Danica Patrick won’t include continued conflict. Patrick met with rookie Justin Allgaier Sunday, shortly after the Phoenix Cup race after a wreck ruined both drivers’ days. Patrick, who was critical of the No. 51 car on the radio, claiming Allgaier was “driving all over the track” appeared receptive to a conversation that quickly settled differences over what will be a long season.
“She was just upset because she got involved in the crash that we had,’’ said Allgaier to the Motor Racing Network. “She says she’s been through this and that she felt like I needed to settle down at that point. I explained my position on why everything happened. I think she understood where I was coming from. It doesn’t fix either one of our racecars. It doesn’t fix either one of our days. Unfortunately, we were both having pretty decent days.’’
Allgaier wound up 30th due to the incident while Patrick was 36th. The incident, which was caused by Allgaier’s spin also involved the No. 32 team and Travis Kvapil, which wound up 38th after sustaining heavy damage.
Camping World Close to Extending Title Sponsorship of NCWTS
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Marcus Lemonis, CEO of Camping World, Grand Marshal of Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway, and star of CNBC’s “The Profit,” made the announcement over the weekend that the retailer is very close to announcing a deal that would continue its title sponsorship of NASCAR’s Truck Series. The original agreement with NASCAR is scheduled to conclude after the 2015 season.
According to the sanctioning body, no formal contract has been signed, but “the agreement between the two parties has proven to be a beneficial one.”
“In about a month, we’ll be announcing a significant extension to that contract. It’s been great for us,” said Camping World’s Lemonis in a statement. “The NASCAR relationship has worked well for Camping World. When we started, we had 35 stores. Now, we’re up to 120 stores. As we travel the country and we meet new customers in stores, they always are very appreciative of our relationship with NASCAR. It’s been good.”
Gaining a long-term commitment from Camping World to sponsor the Truck Series would be a relief for NASCAR, which is set to lose Nationwide Insurance as title sponsor for the NASCAR Nationwide Series at the end of the 2014 season. The sponsorship of the Cup Series by Sprint runs through 2016.
The NCWTS is back in action on March 29th at 2:30 PM (ET) when the trucks visit Martinsville Speedway in the Kroger 250, which can be seen on Fox Sports 1. Ratings for the season opener were up 11 percent.
Harvick Takes Win At Phoenix In Second Race With New Team
posted by Justin Tucker
Monday March 3, 2014
Phoenix International Raceway has become Kevin Harvick’s home away from home. Sunday Afternoon was no exception as Harvick charged to the front early and would dominate for much of the day, leading 224 of the scheduled 312 laps to record his record fifth win on the one mile oval and his third win in the last four races at Phoenix.
Harvick, coming off of a disappointing Speedweeks which was capped by a last lap crash in the Daytona 500 in his debut with Stewart-Haas Racing, set the tone on Saturday by winning both practices while having the best 5 and 10-lap averages in the first practice of the day on Saturday. On Sunday, Harvick and his No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet was nothing short of flawless as he was able to hold Dale Earnhardt, Jr. by .489 seconds after a late race restart to claim his 24th career Sprint Cup Series victory.
“Man, this is awesome,” Harvick said after his dominant victory on Sunday. “Man, this just solidifies so many things and so many decisions. It’s been so much work with all the time and effort that these guys (the crew) have put in—but what a race car.”
Stewart Haas Racing co-owner Gene Haas shared in Harvick’s excitement after the race.
“It took long enough,” Haas joked. “This is phenomenal. I think there was a lot of skepticism last year about what myself and Tony (Stewart) what we were up to, was there a lot of madness to this. Quite frankly, it’s a great team, there’s a lot of synergy at the shop, people working together. I don’t know what we did, but I think we put together a great organization.”
Daytona 500 winner Dale Earnhardt, Jr. continued his hot start to the 2014 season. Earnhardt Jr. would finish second on Sunday, marking his seventh consecutive top 10 finish since the end of the 2013 season. Earnhardt Jr. was pleased with the effort after a coast-to-coast whirlwind week after winning his second Daytona 500 and also gave great praise to the efforts of Harvick and the No. 4 team.
“I’ve got to congratulate Kevin. Those guys were two-tenths faster than everyone all weekend in practice. They were just phenomenal,” Earnhardt said. “To be able to run with them all day was a big confidence builder for us.”
Joining Harvick and Earnhardt in the top 5 of The Profit on CNBC 500K were Brad Keselowski with his second consecutive top 3 run of 2014 in third. Keselowski’s Team Penske teammate Joey Logano would finish fourth, and Jeff Gordon would come home fifth in his No. 24 Pepsi Max Chevrolet.
Jimmie Johnson finished in sixth, followed by Ryan Newman with a nice rebound after Daytona in seventh. Carl Edwards would carry the banner for Roush Fenway Racing by finishing eighth, Kyle Busch was ninth, and Jamie McMurray would finish tenth.
A look at the Profit on CNBC 500K by the numbers. There were 14 lead changes among eight different drivers, there were eight cautions for 39 laps which slowed the race pace to 109.229 MPH.
Next Sunday, the Sprint Cup Series heads to Sin City and the Las Vegas Motor
Starting Lineup: The Profit On CNBC 500K
posted by Thomas Bowles
Saturday March 1, 2014
Drivers in RED (i) are those ineligible to collect Sprint Cup points
Daytona 500 TV Ratings Down
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Wednesday February 26, 2014
What was the longest weather delay in Daytona 500 history turned out to bring NASCAR lower ratings and TV viewership Sunday night than expected. According to a report Monday from FOX Sports, the 56th running of the Daytona 500 airing at 8 PM (ET) posted a 5.6/10 national household rating/share which averaged 9.3 million viewers. That’s down 44 percent from last year’s 9.9, easily making it the least-watched Daytona 500 of all-time.
Due to the six-hour, twenty-two minute rain delay in Daytona, the race was up against the primetime coverage of the Winter Olympics Closing Ceremony from Sochi, Russia on NBC (15.25 million viewers). FOX also reported that 69% of the pre-rain delay viewers of the race, which began at 1 PM (ET) kept tuning in.
In comparison, the 2013 Daytona 500 on FOX was the most-watched race in five years, posting a 9.9/22 rating/share, commanding 16.7 million viewers. The Daytona 500 in 2012, the first to ever be run on a Monday and in the primetime slot did a 7.7/13 overnight rating/share which resulted in 13.67 million households viewing the race according to Nielsen TV ratings data.
Earnhardt, Jr. Claims Second Daytona 500 Victory
posted by Justin Tucker
Wednesday February 26, 2014
Ten years is a long time. For Dale Earnhardt, Jr., it felt like an eternity. NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver endured many near misses and close calls at the Daytona 500 since his only win in the Great American Race in 2004. Earnhardt had finished second in two of his last three Daytona 500s coming into Sunday’s race. He was also riding the tail of a 55-race winless streak, dating back to Michigan in 2012.
However nothing would stop Dale Jr. on Sunday, not even a 6 hour and 22 minute rain delay from capturing his second Daytona 500 win. Earnhardt Jr. led a race-high 54 laps on the evening and used some timely drafting help from teammates Jimmie Johnson and, on the final restart, Jeff Gordon to separate from the pack and secure the victory.
“Winning this race is the greatest feeling that you could feel in this sport besides accepting the trophy for the championship,” said a jubilant Earnhardt after pulling into Victory Lane. “We could fight off battle after battle. We got a little help at the end there from Jeff to get away on the restart. This is amazing. I can’t believe this is happening. I never take this for granted, man because it doesn’t happen twice, let alone once.”
Aside from the race itself the big story of the race was the 6 hour and 22 minute red flag, which threatened to move the race to Monday evening (had the race been postponed, FOX Sports’ Chris Myers had tweeted that the race would resume at 5:00pm EST). However, Mother Nature would cooperate and would allow the race to be run under different conditions from which they practiced this week. Once the race resumed, the intensity picked up from the changing track conditions. This allowed the pack to race side-by-side and at times 3-wide up to seven rows deep.
Joining Earnhardt Jr. in the top 5 for the 2014 Daytona 500 were: Denny Hamlin who closed out a spectacular Speedweeks in second, Brad Keselowski in third, Jeff Gordon in fourth, and Jimmie Johnson who overcome two wrecks leading up to the 500 in fifth.
Rounding out the top 10 in the Daytona 500 were Matt Kenseth in sixth, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. in seventh and Greg Biffle would bring his No. 16 Ford home in eighth. Austin Dillon would come home ninth in his first Cup Series race in the iconic No. 3 for Richard Childress Racing, while Casey Mears would round out the top 10.
A couple of major contenders for the Daytona 500 win would see their hopes dashed early on as Martin Truex, Jr. would blow up just 30 laps into the race, relegating him to a 43rd-place finish in his debut for Furniture Row Racing. Crew chief Todd Berrier was already in Nashville for a test session before the race was even over. Kyle Busch, meanwhile would have a pit road violation just before halfway and would spend much of the race battling back from that mistake. Busch would eventually finish 19th after leading 19 laps.
Danica Patrick would also be bit by bad luck as she was caught up in a multi-car wreck on lap 145. Patrick would lead her second consecutive Daytona 500, but wouldn’t have the finish to show for it finishing 40th. Tony Stewart would encounter a frustrating evening as well, with a fuel pickup problem derailing his quest for his first Daytona 500 win. Stewart would finish 35th.
A look at the Daytona 500 by the numbers. There were 42 lead changes among 18 drivers, while seven cautions for 39 laps would slow the race pace to 145.290 MPH.
Next week, the Sprint Cup Series heads to the “diamond in the desert,” Phoenix International Raceway for The Profit on CNBC 500K. The Green flag is scheduled for 3:15pm EST.
Nationwide Series Post-Race Quotes: Drive4COPD 300
posted by Thomas Bowles
Tuesday February 25, 2014
Frontstretch Interviews – Courtesy Mike Neff
ELLIOTT SADLER – FINISHED 4th
Thoughts on the race?
It’s definitely a lot different racing than what we’re used to.
Comfortable with it?
Yeah, it’s just different. You’re worried about what you’re doing, but you’re also worried about what everyone else is doing and they’re not doing more than you’re doing. Physically pushing a guy is way better than just riding so you just gotta time it right and push it to the edge.
Happy to start the year with a top 5?
Yeah. Hell, that was the worst we ran all day, I think. I have no idea how they put the 3 car in front of us on that last restart. I hadn’t seen the 3 car hardly all day. When they put us from fifth to sixth, on the outside line, it just really boxed us in. I would have really restarted behind my teammate and given him a good push to the front. Anyways, it is what it is; we’ll take it and move on.
Looked like you were up front all day.
The guys did a good job. We had a fast race car. Great pit stops, just really proud of these guys. The car’s in one piece and we can take it to Talladega now. Great job by my guys. A lot of effort came into coming down here to Daytona and giving ourselves a shot to win. We had that chance to be up front and make some things happen. Fifth is not what we want, but we’ll take it and move on.
Bumping vs Pushing?
It’s way harder. You don’t want to lay on the guy in front of you, so it’s tough racing. A lot different than what we’re used to, ‘cause you gotta go. You gotta drag the brake too ‘cause you don’t want to hit the guys and you don’t want to stay on him. It’s a lot harder mentally than what we’ve done in the past.
Car was strong all day. Pushing vs. Bumping, is that harder to do than just getting on somebody and pushing them?
Yeah, it is a little bit. When you bump ‘em, you jar ‘em, it kinda jacks ‘em a little bit. It’s a little more abrupt, obviously. I thought it was OK there at the end. It was certainly fun and hopefully entertaining. But a little bit of a struggle in the early part of the race and the midpart of the race to see a good race. And that’s unfortunate for the fans. You can’t do that the whole race, you can’t tear up your stuff, knock your grill in, overheat your motor, all that stuff so there’s no sense in doing all that until you get down to the last lap. The 7 and the 6, they did a good job. Man, the 7 really held the 22 and I tight on the bottom. I was rubbing his door and hitting the apron at the same time, no room whatsoever. So it was good; wish we were the ones who could have won but a lot better now than what we were last year.
Going home in one piece makes it a lot better, right?
Yeah. My back feels good. My foot feels good. Past years here, I’ve been going home with pain so I’m alright.
Connect with Mike!
Check in with Matt and Jay on their site at CareyandCoffey.com.
TV Critique · Phil Allaway · Monday February 22, 2010
Hello, race fans and welcome to our weekly look into the race broadcasts that you and I watch each week. It is my 50th critique, the “golden critique,” if you will. This past weekend, the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series teams were in Fontana, Ca. for the Auto Club 500 and Stater Brothers 300 (not Statler Brothers, as one country music-obsessed poster on Twitter kept confusing it for on Saturday) at Auto Club Speedway (Officially, it’s “The Auto Club Speedway of Southern California,” but that’s unwieldy).
Before I start, I should also talk briefly about SPEED’s new show, Fast Track to Fame. Apparently, this is a talent show that will be held at individual race venues and is currently scheduled to premiere on March 1 at 8 p.m. on SPEED. SPEED has announced that Charissa Thompson will host the show, along with Michael Waltrip and Riki Rachtman. Auditions will be held around the country for the show. Auditions currently listed on the show’s Web site include Birmingham, Al. on March 6, Phoenix on March 27, and Dallas on April 3. Standard eligibility rules apply: 18 and older, no association with SPEED and its parent companies, sponsors, etc.
I’m debating whether to critique it or not. More to come in the approaching weeks.
Also of note, Jimmy Spencer’s new show, “What’s the Deal?”, will move to 10:30 p.m. from 8:30 p.m. as a result of the new show on SPEED. This was planned well in advance and had nothing to do with the generally negative thoughts about the show, so far.
The Stater Bros. 300
The start of NASCAR Countdown prior to the Stater Brothers 300 was delayed by approximately seven minutes due to a college basketball game between Missouri State and Nevada running long. Normally, ESPN would shift Countdown to ESPN Classic in these situations, but ESPN 2 chose to take a “wait-and-see” policy since it was borderline whether the game was going to go to overtime. ESPN Classic played about nine straight minutes of commercials in anticipation of pre-race coming over there, and apparently, TSN in Canada did so as well. The game didn’t go to overtime, but did have some delays in the final minute, which led to the delay in the start of NASCAR Countdown. It bites, but I understand.
NASCAR Countdown included only one pre-race interview, with Danica Patrick, who struggled mightily during the race. There was also a “Danica Goes Hollywood” feature which went behind the scenes of a GoDaddy commercial (I think) with Danica. It’s fair to say that she had precedence during the pre-race show. There was also the usual pre-race analysis from Bestwick, Wallace, Daugherty and Evernham in the Infield Studio.
The race coverage was not quite as good as what we got in Daytona, but there were some bright spots. For example, ESPN was about to go to commercial when John Wes Townley spun exiting Turn 2, potentially in oil from Kevin Harvick’s blown engine. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. made an ill-advised move to go beneath the spinning Townley and promptly deposited himself into the inside wall. ESPN had the foresight to hold off on the commercial break, unlike SPEED during the NextEra Energy Resources 250 telecast on February 12. Rick Allen said that they were “beyond the point of no return.” As far as I’m concerned, if there isn’t a local commercial airing, there is no point of no return. In the style of message board postings, I give ESPN a “+1” here.
Unlike last year’s complete and total anti-climax, this years’ Stater Brothers 300 had an exciting finish and ESPN was prepared to bring it to us right. For the most part, they were up to the task. I would change two things, though. Kill the cutaway to Danica crossing over the finish line. That’s not the real story. Two, I’d argue that it wouldn’t be a bad idea to ditch the current method in which the unofficial results are shown at the line in favor of the old drop down method used through the end of 2008. Also, Logano’s car didn’t show up in ESPN’s unofficial results pickup at the end because he was spinning. He was credited with a fifth place finish. More on this in the Cup review.
The Nationwide race ran a little long, so post-race coverage was relatively thin. There were interviews with winner Kyle Busch, Greg Biffle and Joey Logano (who was angry with Biffle for a bump and run on the GWC). The unofficial results, adjusted to include Logano, ran in the scroll during the interviews. There was also some post-race analysis before ESPN left the air.
I do think that ESPN needs to seriously reconsider how they cover Danica in these races. I think fans have reached the saturation point with her, and think that she should be covered commensurate with her performance. Or, at least a little closer to commensurate with performance. The ratings for Saturday’s race do not show a major improvement over this race last year (1.5 rating over last year’s 1.4). I’d argue the slight improvement was mainly because the race coverage started at 5:30 p.m. EST rather than 10 p.m. EST like last year, instead of any appreciable “Danica Factor.”
The Auto Club 500
Pre-race for the Auto Club 500 started out with the typical pre-race chatter and features. At Daytona, FOX teased a new feature with “Who is Pizzi?” I didn’t care at the time (and so didn’t a lot of people, and they acknowledged this on air). It turns out that Pizzi is a behind-the-scenes guy for Fox Sports that has his own internet-only interview show, “A Slice with Pizzi” that airs as part of FoxSports.com’s Lunch with Benefits series. For the uninitiated, Lunch with Benefits is a series of one hour online-only shows that airs midday on FoxSports.com on weekdays. It appears that FOX is going to have a series of short Pizzi interview segments in the pre-race show. Personally, after the first one that aired with Jeff Gordon on Sunday, I think they should shelve it permanently. It’s stupid as all heck. At least it’s not a Digger cartoon, but let’s face it. Pizzi is terrible as an interviewer, but perhaps it’s intentionally bad, like Martin Short’s character Jiminy Glick. I still don’t think it was a good idea for Pizzi to climb onto Jeff Gordon’s back for a piggyback ride like he was six, though.
There was a nice feature about Jamie McMurray and the highs and lows of stock car racing, which had a quick “get to know you” segment with Kevin “Bono” Manion, McMurray’s crew chief. Regular interviews were few and far between. When FOX’s pit reporters are put in the old quad pits setup and talk about certain drivers, those are the only drivers that will be interviewed during pre-race. News and notes were something like 45 minutes into the pre-race, which I don’t think is right.
As for the broadcast, there were some technical issues. Right after the brief Q&A with Manion, there was this strange zooming in and shifting of the camera in the Hollywood Hotel. No clue why this was the case. The scroll also had some issues for the first five laps of the race. When this would happen, FOX would remove the scroll from the screen and try to fix it from the compound. After Lap 5, there were no more problems there, but then the focus turned to some weird pixelation that occurred during the broadcast. A lot of the time, this stuff just happens. It’s not intentional and the hardworking men and women in the TV compound take great pains to make sure that these problems are fixed as soon as possible.
However, there were some things that FOX could do something about that they were deficient. FOX missed Denny Hamlin’s spin on Lap 201. At the time, they were showing a replay of some bumping from the restart. As a result, they could only show a replay of Hamlin’s spin (caused by a cut tire, I think). It made that portion of the broadcast look a little low rent, to be honest. And that is a shame. Alas, it’s still February. Early season teething issues are typical. If this was the Coca-Cola 600 in May and this happened, I might not be as conciliatory.
Post-race coverage was relatively brief since the race ended with barely ten minutes left in FOX’s timeslot. Instead of leaving at the end of the slot having very quickly interviewed the driver and that’s it, FOX stayed over the end of the slot in order to do five post-race interviews, show the unofficial point standings, and have some post-race discussion. In a sport that seems to often get kicked aside in favor of (insert stick and/or ball sport here) these days, it’s good to see that someone actually wants NASCAR to succeed.
That is all for this week. This weekend, the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series teams are going to be in Las Vegas (heck, based on pictures posted on Twitter Monday, they’re already there). Coverage starts on Friday with Nationwide Series practice at 2 p.m. EST/11 a.m. PST. Cup practice follows at 3 p.m. EST/Noon PST, then a second Nationwide practice (Happy Hour) from 4:30 p.m. to 6p.m. EST. This will be followed by Cup qualifying, which is scheduled to air at 6:30 p.m. EST. All of these sessions will be broadcasted live on SPEED.
On Saturday, coverage starts with qualifying for the Nationwide Series at Noon EST/9 a.m. PST on SPEED. Best get a early draw there in order to get a good starting spot. That is followed up by two Sprint Cup practice sessions from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Coverage of the Nationwide Series’ Sam’s Town 300 is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. EST/1 p.m. PST on ESPN 2 with a half-hour edition of NASCAR Countdown. There is a college basketball game between Mississippi (Ole Miss) and Alabama as part of “Judgment Week” that is scheduled from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. EST. If that game goes long, it could bounce pre-race over to ESPN Classic. Race coverage will start at 4:30 p.m, with the green flag tentatively scheduled to fall at 4:46 p.m.
Also on Saturday is the first of SPEED’s one week delayed broadcasts of the Australian V8 Supercars. If you don’t recall, SPEED inked a three year deal late last year that will see these races aired more or less during the actual V8 Supercar season, as opposed to over the winter, or not at all. Last weekend was their season opener from the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. I saw some bits and pieces of the race online last weekend, so I won’t give anything away, but I will say that this race was held at night and was quite the sight to watch, despite the fact that the stands looked…empty. Coverage starts at 4pm EST on SPEED and runs for two hours. I’ll be DVR’ing it while critiquing the Nationwide race. I fear that the editing to fit it in a two hour slot will cut the 400 kilometer round (two races, I think) to heck and back, though.
On Sunday, coverage on FOX is scheduled to start at 2 p.m. EST/11 a.m. PST with a one hour pre-race show. Race coverage of the Shelby American (which apparently is back down to 400 miles instead of 427) starts at 3 p.m. EST with the green flag scheduled to fall around 3:16 p.m. EST. I will critique both of the NASCAR race telecasts and the V8 Supercar race, while also giving my thoughts on whatever may happen in the world of NASCAR TV.
If you have a gripe with me, or just want to say something about my critique, feel free to post in the comments below, or contact me through the email address provided on the website in my bio. Also, if you would like to follow me via Twitter, you can go to my Twitter page here. And if you would like to contact TNT, ESPN, or the SPEED Channel personally with an issue regarding their TV coverage of NASCAR, please click on the following links:
As always, if you choose to contact the networks by email, do so in a courteous manner. Network representatives are far more likely to respond to emails that ask questions politely rather than emails full of rants and vitriol.
©2000 - 2008 Phil Allaway and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
I got a glimpse of Ms. Patrick storming away from her car and ignoring the press as she steamed to her hauler after the race. I thought it would take more than 2 races before we saw a foot stomping tantrum from her Royal Highness, but alas I was wrong. That should give the broadcasters the out they need to ignore her until she shows some actual on track talent.
I thought it was pretty lame they way they kept giving Danica updates as she was racing for 31st 3 laps down, and the fans will tire of this in a very short time indeed.
Last I checked, Danica beat 12 drivers including Cup Driver and Nationwide Series regular Kevin Harvick.
Not to mention she’s higher in the standings than Dale Jr. and David Reutimann. And only 18 markers back from the only other female that’s holding the banner this year. As the lone female driver of substance and with the brightest future she should recieve a large portion on the coverage.
All of you Nationwide Series fans argue that Nationwide Regulars (the future of the sport) don’t recieve enough coverage – well Danica is the future of female racing in Stock Cars/ Give her some love!
DansMon…..grow up!! ALL Danica is a sex symbol for Christ sake!! If she didn’t have looks or a hot body no one would pay any attention to her….All she has now is the young guys and you….Yep, I think you just might be a man, a young one at that!!
Danica and her sponsor are degrading to women. I don’t care how well she can drive, she’ll never receive my support.
If Danica truely wanted to be known for her racing accomplishments and not her looks she would not be doing the talk show circuit and would tell the race reporters that finishing in the back half of the field does not justify the amount of attention that she is receiving. In the IRL she usually finishes in 5th to 10th, but remember there is only around 20 drivers starting instead of 43.
You want to talk about degrading sponsors. How about the Subway commercials with the Indian’s dancing and wearing traditional Indian Clothes. Like that’s not an incenuation on EVERY Subway Franchise in America.
If you’re ever short for material, feel free to critic SportsCenter on Monday mornings. This week they pointed out how Jimmie Johnson exited the pits before the leader crossed the start/finish line, not a timing line.
I also learned that the complexion of the race changed when Juan Carlos Montoya’s engine blew up.
How is Danica storming off any different than Kyle Busch or Steven Wallace doing the same? When they do it it’s okay because they’re angry, when Danica does it it’s because she’s apparently a no-talent woman. Can you say double standard?
DansMom, stick to being the mother of Dan, rather than trying to make a viable argument on the internet. “Last I checked, Danica beat 12 drivers including Cup Driver and Nationwide Series regular Kevin Harvick.” Wow, I hope you didn’t have to do a lot of research for that one. She beat 4 start and park teams, and 6 stiffs that don’t have near the checkbook that her team does. The only 2 viable teams that she beat were the 6 because he got caught up in Townley’s mess, and Harvick blew an engine. By the way, you made yourself look even worse by pointing out that she beat Harvick. I’m sure she would have beaten him had he not blown up, right? Oh yeah, and she’s ahead of Junior and Reutimann in the standings. They’ve only run one race!! I’m sure you weren’t aware of that, otherwise, there’s no way in heck any remotely logical human being would make that argument. Glad I could point that out for you.
Finally, Michael in SoCal, Kyle Busch and Steven Wallace can storm off because they expect to run in the top 5 and 10, respectively. Danica is storming off, when all she’s been saying is how she just needs seat time and to get used to this type of racing. She’s obviously not expecting to contend for the win, so why is she all pissed off now? Did she honestly expect to run in the top 15-20 in the Nationwide series? Somebody must not have told her that at Fontana, running lap times 4 seconds off the leader’s pace, will get you lapped a few times assuming there are long green flag runs, which are notorious at Fonana (I’m from SoCal too). Perhaps she got all excited after she finished 6th in the Arca demolition derby and thought that NASCAR Nationwide racing would be the same ball of wax. No double standard there, buddy.
Do you know why any time the stock photo of Harvick came up on the broadcast (pre-race and starting lineup), he was shown in a plain red suit with no logos? I thought that was strange, since every other driver photo I noticed had sponsor logos.
George – They’ve run two races. Daytona and California.
wcfan , if Danicas’ accomplishments in the IRL don’t mean as much because there are fewer drivers on the track ( a ridiculous viewpoint by the way ) , then John Forces’ accomplishments must mean nothing at all in your scheme of things . He only has one other driver on the track .
And Phill , please get over the “ Danica gets all of the attention “ hysteria . You should be used to it . The fans have had Johnson , Gordon , Hendrick , and Dale Jr. rammed down their throats for years . Don’t blame her , blame the media . Even if its her putting out all of the hype ( and i don’t think it is ) the media could simply refuse to play along . This is certainly nothing new in the “ must fill every second of every day “ world of NASCAR hype . Shes a good driver , did a very good job at Daytona , so so job at Fontana . I’m one of the fans you think is sick of the coverage . I’m not . And if you for one moment think that any bump in the ticket sales or tv audience at Fontana WASN’T because of Danica , you’re not paying attention .
DansMom, I’m well aware that there have been two Nationwide races run so far this season, but thanks for pointing that out. What you clearly are not aware of, however, is that Junior and Reutimann have only run 1 each, Junior at Daytona and Reutimann at California. Be that as it may, it’s not out of the rhealm of possibility that Ms. Patrick would be ahead of both of them in the standings, although there are at present 3 drivers ahead of her in the standings that have only raced once, but I digress. Surely if Junior and Reutimann had raced in both events thus far, they would have more aggregate points than Danica would? I’ll go out on a limb and say that, even as bad as Junior is nowadays.
I hope no one minds if I intrude into the Danica chatter with a specific comment about the broadcast. To wit; the gentlemen in the booth really didnt seem to be paying much attention to what was happening in the latter part of Sundays race. After Scott Speed made his final gas stop on I believe 190 something, he was in a position to go to the end and was coming through the pack quickly on fresh tires. Jamie McMurray was also in good shape insofar as his fuel was concerned. I believe he was up to maybe 4th or 5th. Had the final caution not come out when it did, and I wont be cynical enough to suggest it wasnt necessary, Speed and McMurray would have been very close to the front after the leaders all made their green flag stops. No one in the booth seems to notice anyone coming through the field rapidly unless its Johnson, Gordon et al.
RamblinWreck, I’m not sure, to be honest. It almost looks like he showed up to the photo session without a firesuit, but with a red button down shirt.
I did not notice that before, but it does look a little weird. I’ll keep an eye out for that this weekend.
VABlueGrass, you need to be a little more specific. Do you mean the Sportscenter repeats from overnight, the live ones between 9am-3pm, or both?
Don Mei, I do agree with you here. I think that the booth guys were actually caught up with the whole “Will it rain or not” thing. Admittedly, that was a pressing issue (even though it never rained enough to red flag the event). I do wonder how this race would have finished without the caution for Brad Keselowski’s spin. Johnson wouldn’t have won, that’s for sure.
Wasn’t Mike Helton in the Statler Brothers?