The view from my couch
Broadcast Odds & Ends, Nashville Trucks and Watkins Glen Qualifying
by Cheryl Lauer
August 10, 2003
I just wanted to make some quick comments about a couple of miscellaneous things I found enjoyable or interesting from racing on TV this past weekend, during the Truck Race from Nashville Speedway and the Winston Cup qualifying show for Watkins Glen.
Craftsman Truck Series from Nashville Superspeedway
I absolutely have to acknowledge the great pre-race skit the people on the Speed broadcast team came up with for the truck race on Friday night. I usually give this broadcast team a lot of grief, but I also believe in giving credit where credit is due. This skit had me laughing my head off on Friday night! A few of the broadcast crew and the drivers from Bobby Hamilton Racing exchanged positions for a hilarious bit from the half mile Nashville Fairgrounds Track. Drivers, Bobby Hamilton and Chad Chaffin, played the announcers in the press box, with driver, Bill Lester as the pit road reporter. Announcer, Rick Allen, drove a truck and pit reporter, Ray Dunlap, drove a car in what was called the Speed Channel 5 Race, as in only five laps. Lester explained that "qualifying was rained out, so the drivers are starting according to height." Ray's pre-race interview included a parody of Jeff Gordon where Ray interrupted his interview to take swig of water and told us that he owed everything to his sponsor Deer Park Water. Once they got on the track, Bobby and Chad explained that Rick looked to be doing a good job driving because "he's got a lot of experience watching a lot of races." Then Lester interviewed their crew chiefs on pit road: Barry Dodson for Rick and Phil Parsons for Ray. Phil offered the comments that Ray was just playing with Rick before he "stomped him" This has got to be the best pre-race skit I've ever seen and whoever thought of it gets a lot of credit as well as those those who participated in it and made it enjoyable for the viewers at home. It was great! (Too bad someone decided that the guys in the booth needed the addition of Darrell Waltrip to make their broadcast more exciting. Four people announcing a race is simply overkill.)
Qualifying Show from Watkins Glen
Most people probably missed one of the first interviews by the pit reporters of the day during the original broadcast of qualifying, and I'm certain this was probably bleeped during subsequent replays. Scott Pruett, sometime Winston Cup driver, didn't hesitate when he told one of the pit reporters "We are trying to turn chicken shit into chicken salad" when asked how his car was running. Trust me, anyone who knows me well will know that I'm anything but a prude. But this even raised my eyebrow a bit. I think anything a driver says in a heated moment has to be taken in context, but it almost seemed like Pruett purposely chose his words for shock value during this interview. I only hope his car owner, Chip Ganassi, has a sense of humor. But I have to give kudos to the Speed team for following up smoothly after these comments. I'm sorry I can't remember which pit reporter it was (either Dave Burns or Matt Yocum I believe), but he smoothly segued out of the interview by saying something to the effect of "Scott Pruett trying to get noticed this week at Watkins Glen..." To which, Mike Joy continued with "And I think he has." Great line, Mike, and quick thinking on the pit reporter's part as well! :-)
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