SPEED Sets NCTS Broadcast Team SPEED today revealed its broadcast plans for the 2007 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season – including the permanent addition of the popular pre-race show hosted by series insider and FOX NASCAR pit reporter Krista Voda.
The pre-race show will get ‘behind-the-scenes’ with the drivers, crews and race teams prior to each LIVE NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race on SPEED, beginning with the 2007 season opener from Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 16 at 7:30 p.m. ET.
"We have had great success since we expanded our NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series pre-race show last year,” said Frank Wilson, SPEED VP of Studio Productions. “It is our objective to bring out the personalities and stories in the Truck Series, and having an extended pre-race allows us to tell those stories."
Long-time SPEED play-by-play announcer Rick Allen will once again lead each NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series broadcast, as former NASCAR standout Phil Parsons and current NASCAR Nextel Cup Series driver Michael Waltrip will provide color commentary. Every angle on pit road will also be covered as Truck Series expert Ray Dunlap and veteran Motor Racing Network (MRN) NASCAR voice Adam Alexander will offer their unique insights.
Allen, 37, joined SPEED as lead NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series play-by-play announcer in 2003, talked about what the SPEED crew will bring to the table this year.
“I think the Craftsman Truck Series audience is really going to benefit from the experience our SPEED announce team brings to the table,” Allen said. “Everyone has been intimately involved with the Truck Series at some level, so we’ll be able to relay important or interesting stories, angles or tidbits that really personalize these great racers to the fans. It’s the personal touch that will really bring these great personalities closer to the fans.”
From a competition standpoint, Allen thinks there are interesting storylines already developing for 2007.
“The battle for this year’s championship is going to be an intense one,” Allen commented. “We have multiple past champions entered in this year’s Truck Series; including Ted Musgrave, Travis Kvapil, Ron Hornaday, Jack Sprague and Mike Skinner. These drivers are intense and make up one of the most competitive fields of entrants in any form of motor sport.
“Many racers are attracted to the Truck Series because of the competitiveness – the bumping and banging – and how it reminds them of the type of tough-nosed racing these guys grew up on and are used to,” Allen added.
But one of the most significant stories of this year might be the emerging dominance of a single manufacturer. According to Allen, it could be a story that unfolds at many levels of the sport.
“One thing we saw last year was Toyota’s ability to take charge and never relinquish control of the championship,” Allen said. “Their domination, except for the races Mark Martin ran in last year, will be something to keep an eye on for 2007.
“It was amazing to see the amount of time and effort Toyota put into their Truck Series program over the last two years,” Allen continued. “It took them a couple of years to get going, but they sure have put things together in a big way. I can see a similar learning curve for Toyota in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series.”
In the first four years it has been live on SPEED, the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series has experienced year-over-year growth in ratings.