TV Times – Brian France Has A Lot Riding on the Chase to the Sprint Cup
The fact that Mark Martin, a driver from the old NASCAR era, still leads the standings, after Kansas, has the older NASCAR fans cheering for this 50-year old. Jimmy Johnson, who has won a number of titles, has to eclipse Martin in every race which puts the pressure on him. A very hungry and driven Juan Pablo Montoya in third place still has him a long shot in the race to the Cup. But the Columbian continues to reach and make his mark in NASCAR.
While the former Indy Car and F1 driver’s presence legitimizes NASCAR oval racing on the world stage, American NASCAR fans are more provincial about who they will root for. At this point we would have to say that Mark Martin winning the NASCAR Chase To The Cup would be very happy ending. Tony Stewart’s fourth place at Kansas puts him in the hunt along with Kurt who is fifth. France, and his cohorts, designed The Chase to get the fans excited in the middle of the NFL season and the playoffs in the MLB. So far it’s working with the race tightening up going into this coming weekend. But to make it all work, this time, it has to go right up to the NASCAR finale at Homestead.
ABC’s live telecast of Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA 400 race at Dover International Speedway earned a final national household rating of 3.1, down from the 3.3 rating for last year’s race that also aired on ABC. The telecast averaged 5,084,257 viewers. ESPN2’s live telecast of Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Dover earned a final national household coverage rating of 1.2, up from the 1.1 rating earned for last year’s race. It was the fifth consecutive Nationwide Series race on ESPN2 to be up from last year’s race or corresponding weekend. The Dover telecast averaged 1,459,145 viewers. This came from the Jayski.com webpage and ABC/ESPN.
The Vegas ratings are up by double digits. The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race from Las Vegas enjoyed an 18-percent increase in Nielsen Household Ratings year-to-year on SPEED, averaging a .46 (338,000 households) as compared to a .39 (285,000 households) in 2008. This year’s race, a late-night start for East Coast audiences, peaked at a .51 (381,000 households), up 6 percent from last year’s peak of .48 (349,000 households). This marks the second consecutive week that the NCWTS race on SPEED has increased ratings by double digits (Loudon was up 40 percent a week ago), and continues the overall trend of year-to-year Nielsen Household Ratings increases for the series. To date, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races on SPEED have averaged a .80 Nielsen Household Rating, up 3 percent from last year’s .78 at this point in the season. No event has shown a ratings decline since July.This came from SPEEDtv PR and StockCarGazette.com.
Suspended NASCAR driver Jeremy Mayfield is turning to high-profile attorney Mark Geragos to help fight his drug suspension. Geragos confirmed to The Associated Press on Friday night that he’s finalizing a deal to represent Mayfield himself out of his Washington, D.C.-based firm Luque Geragos and Marino. “It’s clear to me that there are real issues here, substantial issues, and I think he’s getting a raw deal,” Geragos said. Geragos declined to discuss specific issues until he could review the case, citing a protective order that U.S. District Judge Graham Mullen has in place. Mayfield has been suspended since failing a May 1 random drug test. NASCAR says he tested positive for methamphetamines, and the driver has denied using the illegal drug. Mayfield sued to have his suspension lifted, and NASCAR countersued. This came from several sources including StockCarGazette.com.
Let’s check to see what’s going on this week on the tube courtesy of RaceFanTV.com and other sources. On Monday ESPN2 airs NASCAR Now at 6 p.m. with 5 p.m. air times for Tuesday and Wednesday. On Thursday Speed offers the Camping World West race from Roseville, CA at 3 p.m. with ESPN2 going with NASCAR Now at 5 p.m. Friday is ramp-up day with a 2:30 p.m. airing of Cup Practice from Fontana while VS offers IRL Qualifying from Homestead at the same time. Then NASCAR Now goes on The Duce at 5 p.m. with VS broadcasts the IRL Indy Lights race from Homestead. Then it’s a 6:30 p.m. airtime for Cup Qualifying from Homestead on Speed.
Saturday will be busy with a midnight airing on Speed of the Nationwide Practice from Fontana. Then at 1 p.m. it’s the Grand-Am race from Homestead while ESPN2 airs Cup Final Practice from Fontana at 3 p.m. VS airs the IRL Indy Car event from Homestead at 4 p.m. At 4:30 p.m. The Duce offers the Nationwide race from Fontana. At 10:30 p.m. ESPN2 airs NHRA Qualifying at 10:30 p.m.
Here’s Sunday’s even busier line-up. It all starts at 10 a.m. on ESPN2 with NASCAR Now. Speed returns with NASCAR RaceDay at 12:30 p.m. with ABC offering the American LeMans Series from Laguna Seca at 2:30 p.m. Also at 2:30 p.m. ABC goes with the Sprint Cup race from Fontana. ESPN2 comes back with NHRA Finals from Richmond at 7 p.m. At the same time it’s the Speed Report on Speed then Victory Lane followed by Wind Tunnel. At 8 p.m. HD Theatre airs the World Rally event from Norway. Speed continues on with the ARCA/REMAX race from Rockingham at 10 p.m. At the same time The Duce offers NASCAR Now. (END)
NOTE: INFORMATION FOR THIS COLUMN CAME FROM VARIOUS REFERENCED
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