• UNCONVENTIONAL WISDOM:

Monday, April 20, 2009

OF DATELINES and DEADLINES

The law of unintended consequences played out last Friday as NASCAR visited Phoenix International Raceway.

NASCAR, in full cost-cutting mode, sliced one day from the traditional three-day PIR schedule. That meant all Sprint Cup practice and qualifying and every lap of Nationwide Series competition -- practice, qualifying and the race -- was jammed into one hectic day. No less than 11 Cup drivers -- including the likes of Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch, Jeff Burton and Kevin Harvick -- were doing double duty.

And that meant driver media availabilities were, for the most part, shoved into mid-afternoon. Pity those journos facing East Coast deadlines. Especially when, for example, Jeff Gordon's 15-minute avail was at 3 p.m. at the back of his No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet hauler. Meanwhile, at 3:05, Kurt Busch was in the media center.

It was great for team budgets to make it a two-day show. I have no problem with that -- as long as everyone involved understands the downside from a media publicity standpoint. Plus PDT night races made for impossible newspaper deadlines. As far as I could tell, the only out-of-state daily to staff the race was the Charlotte Observer (Jim Utter).
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Here are links to some of last week's Arizona Republic stories:

Wednesday: The NASCAR Economy:
http://www.azcentral.com/sports/speed/articles/2009/04/15/20090415spt-nascar.html

Thursday: Notebook (Bobby Labonte): http://www.azcentral.com/sports/speed/articles/2009/04/15/20090415nascarnb0416.html

Friday: Notebook (No No. 8, No IRL at PIR, etc.):
http://www.azcentral.com/sports/speed/articles/2009/04/16/20090416pirnb0417.html

Saturday: Jeff Gordon Q&A and notebook:
http://www.azcentral.com/sports/speed/articles/2009/04/17/20090417spt-gordon.html


http://www.azcentral.com/sports/speed/articles/2009/04/17/20090417nascarnb0418.html

Sunday: Notebook (Richard Petty, Steve Hallam, race items):
http://www.azcentral.com/sports/speed/articles/2009/04/18/20090418spt-nascarnb.html

I'll admit: I'm pretty proud of the Jeff Q&A and would politely urge you to take a look.

Thank you to Jon Edwards, Jesse Essex, Sarah Wooley, Drew Brown, Judy Kouba Dominick, Nancy Wager, Dan Zacharias, Andrew Giangola, Catie Axup, Tom O'Connor, Christine Brownlow, Mike Arning, Jennifer Chapple, Steve Shunk, Paul Corliss and Griffin Hickman for their assistance with PIR coverage.

Thanks to Steve Post and Buddy Baker for a fun conversation last Friday on their SiriusXM show.
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FAST LINES: One small problem with the VICI Racing Porsche ALMS GT2 class team's sponsor news announcement pre-Long Beach. The release failed to name the DRIVERS . . . Racing Roundup Arizona has a new station: KFNN 1510 . . . Kurt Busch's outreach to press is to come to the media center for his avails, rather than having reporters go to his No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge hauler . . . The IRL is using technology to personalize pre-race media reports . . . Mark Armijo wrote a great piece on the closing of Manzanita Speedway for Racin Today.com. Here's a link: http://www.racintoday.com/archives/1690 .

USA Today had a story last week on how shrinking newsrooms have cut into baseball coverage:
http://www.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/2009-04-14-Baseball_writers_N.htm

[ more next Tuesday . . . ]