Saturday, March 10, 2007

ESPN: Busch Pre-Race Show - Las Vegas

ESPN has decided that the story of the 2007 NASCAR Busch Series is the fact that ESPN has graced NASCAR with its benevolent presence. Brent Musburger now refers to the professional drivers as "the Busch boys." Chris Fowler continues to be amused by the "antics" of the drivers. He just can't stop grinning. Apparently, NASCAR is hilarious to some Connecticut residents.

Time and time again in this show, amateurs like Musburger, Fowler, and Brad Daugherty tried to create storylines, only to be dismissed by the NASCAR pros. Tim Brewer tries to interject reality into the ESPN hype from his infield studio, but he is over-shadowed by the relentless need to create drama by the ESPN production team. Alan Bestwick, Mike Massaro, and Rusty Wallace continue to represent the voice of reason in this telecast.

It is almost like there are two groups in the pre-race show, the ESPN "Connecticut gang," and the ESPN "NASCAR gang." The first gang loves the hype, the rock music, the video of crashes, and wacky antics of this group of "Busch boys." The second group is actively following a series that has run for decades with serious storylines and personal challenges that are faced with bravery and total dedication. Two completely different perspectives in the same thirty minute show. Fascinating.

As Kevin Harvick said "you guys make a big deal out of the points thing." That is because ESPN continues to struggle to find and then bring to the surface the stories that race fans want to know. Often, the stories shown in the pre-race do not match the stories on the radio broadcast, the racing publications, or the NASCAR websites. They are out of sync, and have been since Daytona.