Wednesday, February 28, 2007

NASCAR Now: Attack of the COT's

"I saw the Reutimann crash, it looked pretty safe to me...that car." These words came out of NASCAR Now host Erik Kuselias' mouth on Wednesday, as the program tackled the issue of the "Car of Tomorrow." This type of baiting tells the background of Kuselias in sports radio, where everything has to be a debate and talk is cheap.

Shannon Spake filed a nice report on COT testing at Bristol, only to be followed by poor Brad Daugherty, who Kuselias is now referring to as "The Professor." Also on the panel was a pit crew member from Dale Jr.'s team and a sports journalist. This is the threesome that ESPN selected to comment on the first test of the biggest thing to hit NASCAR since the HANS device.

The network employs Stacy Compton, Rusty Wallace, Tim Brewer, Alan Bestwick, Marty Smith, and Andy Petree. But, the best they could do for the COT debut was a basketball player, a front tire changer, and a journalist. Who is making the decisions up in Bristol and did he go to an ACC school?

The entire half hour had no technical breakdown of the COT, never showed inside the car, and didn't detail why the changes needed to happen. ESPN does not know NASCAR, and it is showing on NASCAR Now. While this boggles the mind, it is clear that no matter what happens, there is a huge learning curve that the Bristol-based production team has to go through.

Thankfully, Brian Vickers stopped by from Bristol, TN to speak clearly about the driver and team issues with the COT, and fill-in the blanks that ESPN did not. Kuselias is best when he is chasing a news story, and not when he is leading a discussion about a topic he does not truly understand. He may be loud, but he needs to tread lightly where NASCAR fans are concerned, because it is clear that his enthusiasm far outweighs his current racing knowledge.

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