Speed Channel's coverage of the NASCAR Sprint Cup season


, Blogger: Orry's Orations
Speed Channel has roared into full gear for the start of the latest NASCAR Sprint Cup season. Beginning on Friday, the network aired the first two practices for the Sprint Unlimited, a race veteran Darrell Waltrip called, "the fanfare" of NASCAR. This year, for the first time, it is the fans deciding how this first race of the year is run. They get to select the race format, including number of laps, number of cars eliminated at various points, how pit stops will factor in, and even what outfit Miss Sprint Cup will wear in Victory Lane. Naturally, all of the Speed announcers are touting this new way of giving fans more say in what happens at the track.

The Speed presenters have been around for a long time. Many were part of racing before turning to the world of announcing, like Jeff Hammond who was once crew chief to Waltrip. Others are reporters who love the sport and oftentimes get to promote their own children as they enter the ranks of racing athletes. Bob Dillner is one of those.

Dillner is for Speed what Marty Smith is to ESPN. He gets the scoops and puts forth the rumors as accurately as possible. A couple of years back, he reported some detrimental news about Childress Racing, including driver Kevin Harvick. It never panned out, but he's stuck behind his story. For a full season, Harvick apparently refused to be interviewed by Dillner for Speed; it was quite conspicuous while helping to add to a colorful season.

Speed Channel is only part of the NASCAR system, sharing the racing news with other networks like FOX. However, Speed is the one with the most complete coverage, carrying a multitude of practices, auto news programs, and pre and post racing coverage. Anchors and reporters include both men and women, many of who have been involved in the sport in one way or another before.

While the Sprint Unlimited is a special pre-season event, the Daytona 500 kicks things up officially on February 24.