With apologies to my colleagues here on Frontstretch, the column everyone should be reading this week (actually, every week) is by Dr. Diandra Leslie-Pelecky at StockCarScience.com. It shines light on many of the reasons it’s easy to speed on pit road, what role rpms, gears and the transmission play, and why simply installing a speedometer …
Jeremy Mayfield stated that his positive drug test was the result of a mix of legal prescription and over-the-counter drugs – in effect, a false positive. Did NASCAR do the right thing with its “suspend first, ask questions later” reaction, or should they have ordered and waited for a more complete toxicology test and report… even given that some tests may take several weeks before results are available?
When Tony Stewart signed on the dotted line in July 2008 to assume 50% ownership in what was the struggling Haas CNC Racing outfit, there were plenty of people lining up to tell the irascible Columbus, Ind. native that he was making a colossal mistake. That it was a great deal financially speaking was the one thing that couldn’t be argued; Stewart didn’t have to pay so much as $1 for a half-stake in the two-car outfit. But all numbers aside, the real issue was that Haas CNC Racing had hardly set the racing world alight in its first six years of operating. Indeed, a driver who’d spent the last decade defined by stock car success had purchased a team seemingly destined to fail.
Greetings, race fans, and welcome to this week’s TV critique. Unfortunately, all three of NASCAR’s major touring series took the week off last weekend. This leaves me to give my opinions on some of the magazine shows on television. However, the buildup to the NCAA Basketball tournaments (Men’s and Women’s) has gotten in the way of rendering any kind of opinion on ESPN2’s NASCAR Now. This is because the show did not air in its normal time slot all week due to preemptions for live games. As a result, the critique of NASCAR Now will have to be pushed back – possibly to Easter Weekend. With that said, I still have some things to say about some of the other NASCAR-themed shows that have cropped up this season on SPEED Channel.
The first thing I do on Friday afternoons is click on SPEED to check out either Cup Pole Qualifying or practice – whatever is actually on. This past Friday was like the start of any other NASCAR weekend; but the minute I turned on the television, I immediately saw a graphical error scrolling across the screen. Todd Bodine had entered this past weekend’s Kobalt Tools 500 with the No. 35, a R&D team for Germain Racing. Well, the on-screen scroll at the top of the screen showed Bodine’s name up there – but with the wrong number attached (Scott Speed’s No. 82). I’ve mentioned this type of an issue before occuring during Truck Series races, but I’ve never seen it transfer over to Cup. Of course, this mistake was confusing for fans, with the more casual ones having no clue what was right or wrong on TV.
Now that Speedweeks at Daytona are over, it is time to look back and reflect upon what we have seen, and what we have been provided for our viewing pleasure by NASCAR’s media partners for Speedweeks (FOX, SPEED and ESPN2). Before I begin, I should state this. Speedweeks is supposed to be the most important time of the year in NASCAR, at least for the television partners. This is because the races at Daytona during Speedweeks are the biggest events of the year for each series that races. This includes the ARCA Re/Max Series that had their season opener back on February 7, in addition to NASCAR’s three national series. As a result, telecasts of said races should be held to a greater standard. It is to this standard that I have to critique the broadcasts.
Well, we’re through pole qualifying for the Daytona 500 and the Budweiser Shootout. As your TV critic, it is my duty to look everything over and pass some judgment on it; and starting this week and throughout all of 2009, I plan on doing just that. With the departure of the Daly Planet from the NASCAR scene last week, this column remains one of a select few that touches on television’s role with NASCAR – and I’ll do my best to meet that challenge head on. As I grow into this role, I hope to be what LeAnne Schreiber is for ESPN, someone that people can come to about their issues with TV coverage and get them addressed (although Schreiber is also on the verge of leaving her post). Of course, my duties are limited to covering just NASCAR TV programming… but I hope to have the same type of effect.
The recent announcement that the state of North Carolina has allocated millions of dollars via its budget toward the maintenance of some of its speedways has revitalized the hopes of many who want to see the rebirth of a track located in Wilkes County. North Wilkesboro Speedway held its first NASCAR race in 1949 and …