TV Times – Nice Going, Denny!
Nice going by Denny Hamlin for doubling up to take the Cup and Nationwide races at Darlington last weekend.
Kevin Harvick, after sixth place, still leads JJ by 110 points with Kyle Busch in third after a seventh at that track. Jeff Gordon is fourth in the point tally after he took four place and Matt Kenseth cracked the top five while JR is 12th in points after a 18th place. An accident eliminated JJ early on and it appears that being bulletproof in the early season has changed.
The Crown Royal Presents the Heath Calhoun 400, which aired on FOX, earned a 3.4/7 overnight Nielsen rating that Saturday night. This rating was down 8 percent from last year’s 3.7/7, but FOX earned a 3.5/7 average rating in Primetime, highest of the major networks in the metered markets. The green flag waved a half-hour earlier than last year’s spring race at Richmond International Raceway, causing some of the initial tune-in times to be a bit skewed. NASCAR on FOX is currently averaging 4.6/10 in the overnight ratings, down 2 percent from last season. This report came from StockCarGazette.com and Jayski.com.
ESPN2′s live telecast of the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Richmond International Raceway on Friday, April 30, earned a final national household coverage rating of 1.1, averaging 1,357,449 viewers. The rating was down from the 1.2 rating earned for last year’s race, which also aired on ESPN2. Excluding Monday rain-out races, ESPN2′s average rating for NASCAR Nationwide Series races so far this season is 1.8, up from a 1.7 average at this point last year. This came from ESPN PR and StockcarGazette.com.
According to the Albany-Times Union of NY, Fox Sports jumped from the rain delay at Fenway Park hosting a Red Sox-Yankees game at 7 p.m. to cover the Cup race at Darlington. Fox moved the Red Sox-Yankees game to FX. We are sure that some Red Sox and Yankees fans that didn’t have cable access were not too happy. The still loyal NASCAR fans have been there and done that.
There’s been a lot of chatter regarding no Cup race for Kentucky in 2011. Considering that NASCAR is still fighting an up-hill battle to sell tickets and boost the TV ratings, it would be prudent to put that change on hold. It’s obvious to all that a new race date won’t come out of NASCAR because it would have to be moved from another venue. Too many changes combined with the deep economic recession are responsible for fans losing interest. NASCAR, ISC and SMI should keep their nose to the grindstone trying to increase the ticket sales and TV ratings. Which is what they have been doing and the TV ratings show it. Moving tickets in this deep recession is still a tough sell. If a race is moved from a current venue, it will surely agitate a lot of fans who have supported the track that loses a race. NASCAR fans are a tough lot and won’t forget and will take it to heart. They may also boycott the track’s remaining Cup event if there were two of them in a season.
On the track and in the media’s opinion, Jimmie Johnson was simply the best as he was voted the winner of the DRIVER OF THE YEAR for the first quarter of the 2010 racing season. Johnson, the four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion and three-time DRIVER OF THE YEAR, led his series’ points standing and garnered the most first-place votes in the balloting by leading broadcasters and journalists in the United States. The driver of the Hendrick Motorsports No. 48 Chevrolet humbly reacted upon learning of his media accolade. “I certainly appreciate the motorsports press recognizing the efforts of the No. 48 Lowe’s team and respect the competition we were up against,” Johnson said. Johnson, 34, had a streak of three wins in four races, and six top-nine finishes in the first quarter, which ended on April 19th. This came from StockCarGazette.com.
Porsche will contest the 38th edition of the Nürburgring 24 hour race on May 15-16 with its largest entry in many years. Porsche AG as well as several customer teams tackle Germany’s greatest motor sport event with a total of 33 vehicles featuring its iconic 911 six-cylinder boxer engine. The defending Nurburgring 24 hour championship drivers from Manthey Racing will compete in the race at the wheel of the number one car: Porsche works drivers and former Penske Porsche RS Spyder American Le Mans Series champions Timo Bernhard (Germany) and Romain Dumas (France) along with factory teammate Marc Lieb (Germany), as well as Manthey pilot Marcel Tiemann (Monaco) pilot the new, 480 hp 911 GT3 R. This winning squad already sent a signal to their competition showing their determination to bring home the fifth straight overall victory at the first two races run in preparation for the Eifel marathon. At rounds one and two of the VLN Long Distance Championship Nürburgring, the team’s yellow and green racer saw the checkerd flag in first place. This came from Porsche Motorsports.
Hannes Arch of Austria was declared the winner of the Red Bull Air Race in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday when adverse weather conditions made it impossible to continue the racing during the Top 12 round and the results were then based on Saturday’s Qualifying sessions. The Austrian had won the Qualifying point. Britain’s Nigel Lamb was awarded second place based on coming second in Qualifying while championship leader Paul Bonhomme was forced to settle with a disappointing third place in the third race of the 2010 season.
Tomy Drissi earned his third Trans-Am victory today in the season opener of the 2010 SCCA Pro Racing Trans-Am Series with his teammate Daniel Ramoutarsingh just missing out on the podium celebrations has he finished fourth.
“We won! It was a great race”, said Drissi. “I really had to fight to get around Tony Ave, it took several laps to get around him at the start. The RSR team was just awesome and put together an amazing racecar for me this weekend. The car just got better and better and faster all weekend. So when we started the race, all I had to do was do my job and drive the car. But I did have to push, because when I got by Ave he came back after me. Then RJ Lopez got by Ave and came after me. Then a full-course yellow came out with 15 laps to go, so I could never let up and I had to keep pushing because the competition was always in my mirrors. I have to thank my team and my sponsors for helping me get here today. It is great to put the #5 Marmaduke: The “Duke” Arrives sponsored Jaguar XKR in victory lane, just before 20th Century Fox releases the movie in theaters on June 4.”
Drissi led from Laps 14 – 40 and recorded the fastest race lap with a time of 1:20.467 (100.662 mph). His margin of victory was 4.652 seconds over RJ Lopez.
I am so happy for Tomy. I can’t think of anyone who deserves it more. He has been so good and we were working hard together this weekend. I was able to get all of the cob webs out and that is behind us now. We are back in Trans-Am and we are here to stay, I will be on that podium in Mosport!”
The RSR team did an excellent job preparing the cars. They were able to run trouble-free laps; several-hundred miles with zero incidents out of the cars. They came out of the box fast and only made a few small changes to have the results they did today. It is the start to a long season, with good results like this for both cars the team will keep pushing forward trying to be consistent and trying to be fast the rest of the season.
The series next travels to Mosport International Raceway in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada, May 21-23 as part of the Victoria Day Speedfest.
Red Bull’s Mark Webber took advantage of Lewis Hamilton’s bad luck in the Spanish GP last Sunday coming down to the end of the race. We’ve read reports that F1 El Supremo Bernie Eccelstone is still trying to get an F1 race at other locations in the USA. Considering the state of the US and the global economy, old Bernie should be offering Indianapolis Motor Speedway a deal rather than a costly street race in some city on the east or west coast. Either way running an F1 race on a temporary course is a loser. Eccelstone should consider what’s happening in Europe, make that Greece, which is in very serious economic trouble. The economic state shook up the ramping-up US stockmarket last week. Bernie should be paying more attention to the Wall Street Journal and Investors Daily. Much like the suits do in NASCAR, Grand Am, ALMS, NHRA and the IRL.
The NASCAR Nationwide Series races at Dover (Del.) International Speedway on Saturday, May 15, and ABC will have a live, flag-to-flag telecast. NASCAR Countdown presented by Hellman’s airs at 2 p.m. ET, while the race telecast starts at 2:30 p.m. with the green flag at 2:45 p.m. ESPN2 is the home of the series all season, with selected races airing on ESPN and ABC.
Also from Dover, ESPN2 airs coverage of NASCAR Nationwide Series qualifying on race day at 10 a.m. as well as final practice on Friday, May 14, at 1 p.m.
Marty Reid will be the lap-by-lap announcer, joined in the booth for analysis by 1999 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Dale Jarrett and two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion crew chief Andy Petree. Pit reporters will be Dave Burns, Jamie Little and Vince Welch. Two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion crew chief Tim Brewer will report from the ESPN Craftsman Tech Garage.
NASCAR Now, ESPN2’s daily NASCAR news and information program, airs at 5 p.m. ET Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of this week, with a special one-hour program from the new NASCAR Hall of Fame as well as an exclusive interview with an injured former NASCAR champion.
On Tuesday, May 11, NASCAR Now expands to an hour and originates from the Grand Opening of the new NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C. Host Mike Massaro and other reporters will speak with many of the special guests attending the historic day for the much-anticipated opening of the 150,000-square foot facility.
On Wednesday, NASCAR Now airs an exclusive interview with two-time NASCAR Nationwide Series champion Larry Pearson, who is recovering from serious injuries suffered in a crash during a race for retired NASCAR stars at Bristol Motor Speedway on March 20. In his first interview since the crash, an emotional Pearson speaks with ESPN’s Dr. Jerry Punch about what happened in the crash, the long and difficult road to recovery he faces and how the crash has changed his outlook on life.
NASCAR Now continues its month-long series on NASCAR fans in the one-hour weekend edition airing Sunday, May 16 at 9 a.m. The program also will preview that day’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Dover International Speedway. The segments on fans will air in the weekend edition each week during May.
Featured in the May 16 show will be Patrick Hickey, a nursing professor at the University of South Carolina who also is an accomplished mountain climber. Hickey has scaled the seven summits of the world, an eight-year quest that included the highest mountain on each of the seven continents. His task was completed when he took a NASCAR flag to the top of Mt. Everest and managed to time it for May 24, matching the number of his favorite NASCAR driver, Jeff Gordon. Hickey and other fans featured in the NASCAR Now series are subjects in the recently-released book “The Weekend Starts on Wednesday” by Andrew Giangola.
NASCAR on ESPN analyst Ricky Craven and NASCAR Now reporter Angelique Chengelis will be joined by NASCAR driver Mike Wallace as panelists on NASCAR Now’s weekly roundtable discussion program on Monday, May 17, at 5 p.m. on ESPN2 with host Allen Bestwick.
NASCAR Now is hosted by Massaro, Briscoe and Bestwick and originates from ESPN’s high definition studios in Bristol, Conn. Contributors include reporters Marty Smith, Shannon Spake and Angelique Chengelis, analysts Ray Evernham, Tim Brewer, Brad Daugherty, Ricky Craven and Randy LaJoie, and ESPN.com reporters Ed Hinton, Terry Blount and David Newton. The NASCAR on ESPN team event coverage team of Rusty Wallace, Dale Jarrett, Marty Reid, Dr. Jerry Punch, Andy Petree, Dave Burns, Jamie Little, and Vince Welch also make frequent contributions to NASCAR Now.
The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series races this weekend in the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway and ESPN2 will air highlights of qualifying and eliminations. Qualifying action airs Saturday, May 15, at 8 p.m. ET, and coverage of eliminations airs Sunday at 7 p.m.
One of NHRA’s long-established events — the race celebrates its 30th anniversary this season — this belle of the South has gained a reputation as one of the tougher events on the tour to win. With summer approaching, warm temperatures can turn the event into “Hotlanta” and throw crew chiefs a curve as they try to glue their charges to the facility’s 660-foot concrete launchpad. The event is the fifth on the schedule to feature the high-revving 190-mph Pro Stock Motorcycles.
Paul Page anchors ESPN2’s coverage with analysis by 22-time NHRA winner Mike Dunn. Gary Gerould and Dave Rieff report from the pits. Rieff and Dunn host NHRA RaceDay presented by Lucas Oil on Sunday at 10 a.m. to set the stage for that day’s eliminations action.
To help race fans gear up for the Indianapolis 500 on May 30, which will air live on ABC, ESPN Classic is airing highlights of past editions of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing each Monday in May prior to the big event. In addition, the network will air six past races on Saturday, May 29, the day before the race.
The Indianapolis 500 is airing on ABC for the 46th consecutive year in 2010. ABC also is televising four other races in the IZOD IndyCar Series this season.
The remaining schedule (all times Eastern):
|Monday, May 10||3 p.m.||1987 Indianapolis 500|
|Monday, May 17||3 p.m.||1990 Indianapolis 500|
|Monday, May 17||5 p.m.||1992 Indianapolis 500|
|Monday, May 24||1 p.m.||1991 Indianapolis 500|
|Monday, May 24||3 p.m.||2008 Indianapolis 500|
|Saturday, May 29||Noon||1971 Indianapolis 500|
|Saturday, May 29||2 p.m.||1981 Indianapolis 500|
|Saturday, May 29||4 p.m.||2001 Indianapolis 500|
|Saturday, May 29||6 p.m.||2002 Indianapolis 500|
|Saturday, May 29||8 p.m.||2009 Indianapolis 500|
|Saturday, May 29||10 p.m.||2005 Indianapolis 500|
Here’s what else is happening this weekend on TV. NASCAR moves to Dover with the Trucks going Friday, the Nationwide on tap Saturday and the Cup on Sunday. NHRA moves to Atlanta while F1 will perform at Monaco. Also, the action from Indy begins. To get all of the details check RaceFanTV.com. (END)
NOTE: INFORMATION FOR THIS COLUMN CAME FROM VARIOUS REFERENCED SOURCES AND PRESS RELEASES.
|Track Trash – The Stripe||HISTORIC STOCK CARS TO RUMBLE AT ROLEX MONTEREY MOTORSPORTS REUNION|