TV Times: Edwards, An All-Star in One Million Ways
It was his first win in six starts. He’s also leading in the Sprint Cup point standings as of now.
Kyle Busch won the Truck race at the same venue, his fourth of the season.
Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., was the surprise winner in the Nationwide event at the Iowa Speedway. At Indianapolis Motor Speedway on the final weekend of qualifying, Alex Tagliani became the first Canadian to win the Indy 500 pole with Scott Dixon and Oriol Servia comprising the first row for next Sunday’s Indy 500. Sabastian Vettle won the Spanish GP while Andrew Ranger won at the New Jersey Motorsports Park.
Jimmie Johnson wasn’t exactly a happy camper at the All Star race at Charlotte due to his on-track problems, after which he refused talk to the press, so out of character for him. It’s a fact that almost anything goes in that event.
Reports abound that NASCAR’s head man, Brian France, has been among the missing at some tracks on that circuit this season. He wasn’t at Dover either at which, by the way, there were plenty of empty seats. He did, however, show up at Charlotte and held a press conference prior to the All-Star Race.
ESPN’s telecasts of the final 10 races of the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season will have a new look with the introduction of “NASCAR NonStop,” a commercial format designed to bring more racing action to viewers while providing value to advertisers. The new format will be in effect for the races that make up the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship and will debut with the event at Chicagoland Speedway on Sunday, Sept. 18, at 2 p.m.
“NASCAR NonStop”, ESPN’s commercial breaks will feature a split-screen format showing the advertisement on the left side of the screen and a continuation of racing action on the right side. In addition, ESPN’s scoring ticker will continue to move across the top of the screen, allowing NASCAR fans to follow the running order of the race during the breaks.
When going to break during “NASCAR NonStop”, ESPN will utilize a screen wipe tied to an advertiser, with that advertiser occupying the wipe for the rest of the race. NASCAR NonStop will take effect at or near the halfway point of the race, with the first half of the race presented in the traditional commercial break format.
“Since we returned to NASCAR racing in 2007, one of the most common questions from our fans has been ‘why don’t you do the commercials side-by-side?’” said John Skipper, ESPN executive vice president, content. “We’re very pleased to be able to do it now with ‘NASCAR NonStop’ and showcase the advertiser while still showcasing the race. ESPN’s mission is to serve sports fans and this is a way to give the fans more racing action during the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.” Skipper said that ESPN worked with NASCAR to create the format for “NASCAR NonStop”. So how it took four years to implement this change?
“NASCAR has the most dedicated and loyal fans in the world, and we are constantly trying to enhance how those fans consume this great sport,” said Paul Brooks, president of NASCAR Media Group. “ESPN’s ‘NonStop’ format will ensure our fans maximize their viewing experience during the most intense and thrilling time of the season – the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.” The final 17 races of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule will be televised on ESPN Networks, with 14 airing on ESPN and three Saturday night races airing on ABC. ESPN’s NASCAR Sprint Cup coverage begins with the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday, July 31, at 1 p.m.
A correction by the Nielsen Company has raised the TV ratings for the NASCAR Nationwide Series race held on Saturday, May 14, at Dover International Speedway. The race aired live on ESPN. The correction raises the national household coverage rating to a 1.7 (1.5 U.S. rating), higher than the 1.3 U.S. rating originally announced. The 1.5 U.S. rating is higher than the 1.3 rating for last year’s race that aired on ABC. The ratings were corrected due to the rain delay that occurred during the race. That’s some good news on the ratings front for a change.
With the 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500 running on Sunday, May 29, star drivers Dario Franchitti and Marco Andretti are featured on two of ESPN’s media platforms later this week. “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” will air on ABC for the 47th consecutive year, with coverage beginning at 11 a.m. In addition, the three drivers composing the front row for the race are scheduled to be at ESPN’s headquarters in Bristol, Conn., on Tuesday, May 24. The drivers will appear on various ESPN television, radio and digital outlets. The starting field will be determined in time trials this weekend.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Racing on Fox posted a 3.8/9 on that Sunday for the race from Dover. That’s up +6 percent over last year’s 3.6/9 for the same race, and is FOX’s best NASCAR rating in a month. Greensboro led all markets with an 11.4/23, followed by Knoxville (9.9/18), Dayton, (9.0/16), and Charlotte (8.7/20). Through eleven races, NASCAR Sprint Cup Racing on FOX is averaging a 4.5/10 in the meters, flat with last year’s average of a 4.5/9 through nine races. On a total ratings points basis NASCAR is up +22 percent over last year in the overnights (49.7 vs. 40.7). That’s also good news for NASCAR.
The Stock Car Gazette e-zine is quoting an AP story that the August NASCAR Sprint Cup ticket sales at Indy are lagging behind by about 50 percent. Considering all that, we’ll bet that the fans that attend this year’s Indy 500 are going to get major sales pitches, with the possibility of incentives, to buy those tickets. The same report talked about the possibility of IMS losing its only NASCAR Cup race because of the lack of sponsorship! We’re sure that item got the attention of Bruton Smith of Speedway Motorsports, Inc., because he’d like to get another NASCAR Sprint Cup date for his Las Vegas track. On losing the IMS Sprint Cup race, we doubt it.
In its inaugural year, NASCAR Day Car Wash for Kids rallied more than 40 locations across the country on NASCAR’s largest charitable holiday – NASCAR Day. With the help of fans, tracks, sponsor locations and more, NASCAR Unites was able to make an impact on local communities across the country.
Each participating location selected a local children’s charity as beneficiary. Funds raised will help children across the country as well as benefit The NASCAR Foundation in its mission to help children live happier, healthier lives. NASCAR Day Car Wash for Kids proceeds and volunteer hours will assist the NASCAR Unites mission of garnering one million volunteer hours and $1 million for children’s charities.
The Indian Formula One Grand Prix could be shifted to a season-ending December slot if Bahrain is reinstated on the 2011 calendar, according to the Championship’s rights holder, Bernie Ecclestone. Bahrain had been slated to open the season on March 13, but the race was postponed due to civil unrest in the country. However, the Gulf kingdom’s ruler said earlier this month that a state of emergency imposed in March would be lifted on June 1, two days before a decision is due on rescheduling the race.
India’s Grand Prix is due to take place in New Delhi on October 30, but Ecclestone told Reuters: “Yes, we are having a look at it (moving the race to December 4).” He added: “Everything’s possible. We could do (move the Delhi race to the end of the season), yeah. I’m not sure at the moment what I’m going to do. Everything’s up in the air. I haven’t decided about it. We’ll see if we have to go to Bahrain.”
However, Mercedes GP boss Ross Brawn told Autosport that he is against disrupting the calendar further and highlighted the possible impact of an extended campaign on the teams’ officials. “I think we have to think about it very carefully because we are reaching a limit on what we can subject our people to,” he said. “They have been going at it since the end of January as previously winter testing was handled by the test team…so to tell them to carry on through to December and then they can have a few weeks off over Christmas and it starts again is not going to be sustainable,” Brawn added. We read that in an earlier report that if the Bahrain race didn’t go off, it was going to cost F1 $100 million. If that’s correct that would be unsustainable!
The big Memorial Day weekend for motorsports is here. Check www.racefantv.com for all of the details from Indy, Charlotte and everywhere else. (END)
NOTE: INFORMATION FOR THIS COLUMN CAME FROM VARIOUS REFERENCED SOURCES AND PRESS RELEASES.
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