Sunday, July 29, 2007

Only One Car Finishes Brickyard 400 On ESPN

The email started pouring in minutes after Tony Stewart crossed the finish line of The Brickyard 400. It came from many different locations around the country, and represented fans of many teams in the sport, except one. Not one email was from a Tony Stewart fan, and that was for one reason. He was the only driver who fans saw cross the finish line at Indy.

Saturday night, the final lap of the Busch Series race on ESPN featured a group of tightly-packed racers who were thundering to the line at the wonderful short track near Indy called O'Reilly Raceway Park. As the winner closed-in on the finish line, ESPN took a wide camera shot and inserted the scoring graphic to show fans the finishing order.

Then, drama and inexperience took over and ESPN only showed the winner cross the line. They showed his pit crew jumping around, the winner slowing down, and then more of the pit crew. By that time, the entire field had finished the race, and there were cars spun on the track, paybacks still in progress, and at least one car with a window net down spoiling for a fight. Announcer Marty Reid was fit to be tied, because he knew fans had missed the entire thing.

The Daly Planet wrote in a Saturday column, "if ESPN decides that fans only need to see the winner of the Brickyard 400 cross the finish line and no other cars, there is going to be a problem." Well, Houston...we have a problem.

In what may be the most colossal sports blunder since the Heidi Bowl, ESPN welcomed themselves back to NASCAR by failing to show anyone other than the winner of The Brickyard 400 finish the race. ESPN had asked fans to join them for a one hour pre-race show, and then a three hour race. Unless you were a Tony Stewart fan, the reward for your efforts was...nothing.

If your driver was fighting it out for a top ten, or struggling for a top twenty finish, it did not matter to ESPN. All the stories they had been following for three hours suddenly did not matter. The fundamental fact that race fans want to see the battle to the line by the field did not matter. Even basic knowledge that people get passed in the final straightaway could not change ESPN's idea that what fans wanted was drama and not racing.

Earlier this season, viewers went through a run of this with Fox Sports. It infuriated fans when at a short track like Bristol or Richmond, the Fox gang chose to show only the winner, and purposefully excluded the entire rest of the field. Now, on its first race back into NEXTEL Cup, ESPN does the exact same thing...and at The Brickyard of all places.

Imagine being a fan of Juan Montoya, and about to watch him finish second at The Brickyard where he has already won the Indy 500 and participated in a Formula-1 race. How frustrating to have that moment yanked away so viewers could see Stewart slowing down, hear him yell on the radio, or see his crew jump around?

As The Daly Planet has said so many times, how can NASCAR continue to permit this to happen? One reader sent in this analogy. The Kentucky Derby only happens once a year, and it only takes several minutes to run. Imagine if the TV Director chose to only show the winning horse cross the finish line and exclude the rest of the field? Even in an annual horse race, with only fifteen participants, the TV audience would be outraged. The bottom line is, it would never happen.

Here in "NASCAR land," drivers race for about three hours with no break. Millions of fans nationwide support their driver and team with great devotion every week. They gather in all kinds of settings to "pull for their guy." If the driver finishes in the top ten, or even in the top twenty, doesn't that group of fans have the right to see him finish?

In the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, SPEED puts up a scoring graphic, "takes" a camera wideshot, and lets the trucks race to the line every time. When I spoke to a TV crew member about this issue, he said "how is that so hard to do?" It only takes literally a minute to watch a screaming NASCAR field thunder across the stripe.

This year in Charlotte, Kyle Petty guided his Coca-Cola sponsored Petty Dodge to a third place finish in the Coca-Cola 600. The ovation when he crossed the finish line was overwhelming, as it was his best finish in a long time and he had earned it. On TV, however, no one saw it. The only people who saw Kyle finish the Coke 600 in the Coke car at Charlotte were the fans in the stands. The NASCAR on Fox Director chose to show TV viewers the winner...slowing down.

Sunday's Indy mistake was huge because of the high-profile drivers excluded from the coverage. Montoya, Gordon, and Kyle Busch rounded out the top five. Two of the best stories were Mark Martin finishing sixth, and Ward Burton leading his rag-tag underfunded team to a fourteenth place at Indy. If you are a NASCAR fan, you understand that these things are moments in history to be enjoyed.

What they are not, are moments to be taken away by a TV crew inexperienced in the sport or driven by an agenda of fake drama or hype. What fan would rather watch Tony Stewart slow down than see the entire field rumble across the finish line?

As The Daly Planet wrote on Saturday, "does anyone believe that there was even one fan at the track that watched the winner of the race cross the stripe and then put their hands over their eyes?"

While this may not apply to even one of the two hundred thousand plus fans at this race, TV viewers certainly know a group to whom it applies. Anyone unfortunate enough to watch The Brickyard 400 on ESPN.

The Daly Planet welcomes comments from readers. Simply click on the COMMENTS button below, or email if you wish not to be published. Thanks again for stopping by, and leaving us your opinion.


Anonymous said...

It was more important to have the dude from ABC's Housewives talk about what it was like to walk into the brickyard and then have Suzy Sunshine (I won't be saying her name anymore)ask Dale Jarrett and Brad what their experiences were (in the middle of the race no less) Where were the story lines on the "bought" rides (Terry,Bill)
and why that is important to Cup biz....just asking (they only had 4 hours)

Sophia said...

The Ky Derby analogy sent in is brilliant!!

I AM a Tony stewart fan but have MANY other drivers I ROOT for an I also felt like I was majorly GYPPED.

If NASCAR does not respond to this...we should ALL turn off our tv's for a couple of races.

Oh, and I agree....why did the ABC guy from Housewives get so much time?
He got more time than the DRIVERS over the finish line.



RichieRich said...

Doesn't anybody watch Monday Night Football? Get used to some useless actor "dropping by" the set. "Oh look who stopped by! Blah blah from Blah Blah that airs on ABC Wednesdays at 8."

If the race were a drinking game and "aero" was the drink word... none of us would have made it past lap 10.

Anonymous said...

Considering how carefully NASCAR orchestrates these races (no knocn intended there), I find it baffling that they allow their "television partners" to make such a mess of the event--and especially, how they allow ESPN to get away with ignoring the rest of the field at the finish line.

Tripp said...

I don't like making personal comments here, but this is apparently very personal to race fans. Show the winner or show the field... that's an executive decision that has to be made for each race.

If the network shows only the winning team, then the fans of every driver start to lose it. Like Dale Earnhardt Sr, I believe that second place is "first loser". The winner deserves the spotlight.

Now, if there are battles behind the leader for spots in the top ten, then the networks absolutely should show those cars on the last lap. Some networks have missed those battles, but not ESPN. Not today. No one near the front passed anyone in turns three or four of the last lap.

If you were the director of todays broadcast, would you show Tony's fist pumps and crew's high-fives and hugs, or would you show a line of cars streaming single file across the yard of bricks. The first shots are exciting to watch. The second... yawn. Racing is supposed to be exciting and everyone loves a winner. If JPM and Gordon were battling for second coming out of turn four, cameras should be trained on them as they come to the finish. But Montoya was well behind Smoke, and Gordon was about three seconds astern of Juan.

Monday morning all most fans care about is who won on Sunday, and "what happened to my favorite driver?" ESPN showed me the first, and I can always go online to find out the second.

This appears to be one of those "Coke or Pepsi" debates, with fans passionately coming down on one side or the other.

I, for one, do not want the action on my screen grinding to a halt to watch a line of cars not contending for position scream past the flag stand. Multiple boxes showing both the winner and the rest of the field will not work just yet. Once most of NASCAR Nation has HDTV the whole screen can be cut up into boxes with resolution good enough where you can read the car numbers. With standard def, they are just indecipherable little blobs.

Also, in a month who is going to remember who came in third at this year's Brickyard besides Rick Hendrick, Steve Letarte and Jeff Gordon? Nowhere near as many as remember the winner.

Anonymous said...

Right on the money, JD!
Amazing that ESPN has the time to hype their totally bogus, concocted "Draft Track"- which, by its very existance only shows that the ESPN execs know nothing about the sport OR THE FANS OF THE SPORT. If Espn thinks they're introducing a new audience to NASCAR and have to explain "drafting", then they are idiotically naive and possibly pompous. If "Draft Track" was genuine, then the yellow "downdraft airflow" would actually dissipate from the second car in the draft. Instead, out ESPN insight showed it remaining as strong as the lead car in the draft. What crap. They have time to show Musburger, Kolber, Daugherty, Desperate House Husband, the Jarret Feature kissing the bricks...TWICE!!, but they are incapable of showing cars finish!! I agree with Sophiaz, we should all organize a boycott of an ESPN cup race to prove that grassroot fans are fed up and that we can impact ratings if things don't change. Let's do it!

Anonymous said...

To Tripp
You don't get it. NASCAR fans have favorite drivers that -in spite of ESPN follow-the-leader coverage- we try to follow throughout the race. I wanted to see Terry Labonte cross the line in the 55 car. Not so you'd know from ESPN all day, but he drove a great, smart race, staying on the lead lap, missing all the wrecks, and making a run after the last yellow, that, thanks to ESPN, we never saw or subsequently saw why he fell back!! The fact is that Tony Stewart is gonna pump his fist for 2 full minutes doing victory laps, which leaves plenty of time to take take 15 seconds to show the top 15 cros and then cut back and forth from Stewart and crew to the rest of the field. and oh, contrary to your claim, everyone DOES NOT live a winner-which makes NASCAR what it is.

Unknown said...

Just as egregious an oversight as not showing the cars cross the finish line was a complete dismissal of any mention that Dave Blaney's 9th-place finish put him into the top-35 in owners points. Sure, I'm a biased Toyota fan, but there's no denying that the top-35 rule has been a MAJOR issue this season, but I guess it doesn't qualify for airtime quite like Toyn Stewart kissing and hugging family members (and I'm also a Stewart fan). This is actually an extension of the mess that was qualifying coverage, in which ESPN2 failed to show a number of top-35 cars' qualifying runs (which is, you know, only the most dramatic part of qualifying).

Sophia said...

First, no, I NEVER EVER watchi MNF but am aware of CROSS PROMOTION thanks to DISNEY/ABC/BV making it ALL about the money and not quality.

Gave up stick and balls sports over a decade ago due to (Baseball strike that canceled the series YEARS ago) ongoing steroids/drugs/beatings/out of wedlock kids/gun shooting behavior/, etc. Fed up with the spoiled brats. And the guys in NASCAR earn their keep by racing in all races...EVEN with injuries! (Gasp for baseball fans, I know!) But I shall spare you further details. :-) But I grew up in a sports family and do sometimes listen to baseball on radio for background. GREAT local commentators!!

I also was glad to hear Blaney did well but also wondered how Schrader did, how T. Labonte did etc.

It's not all about the WINNER to me but the smaller guy as well, though that is NOT popular with young fans today.....They think if you are not in the top 10 you do NOT deserve TV time.

and as mentioned, it only takes SECONDS to show the others finishing the race and posting the qualifying order.

If ESPN was capable of camera jumping between two tracks for qualifying on Saturday in Indianapolis, CERTAINLY they can show the rest of the field crossing the finish line when we have INVESTED HOURS AND HOURS of watching and listening.

p.s. I also watch golf sometimes but not against NASCAR..grew up in major golfing family tho most of my guys are now on the St. Tour!

Anonymous said...


"Does anyone believe that there was even one fan at the track that watched the winner of the race cross the stripe and then put their hands over their eyes?"

This should be typed and distributed at TV production meetings for NASCAR races.

I kept waiting for a replay of what was mentioned that Kevin Harvick did-and it was shown-but so deep into the Stewart/Home Depot lovefest that it was easy to miss. That was all I saw of the post finish action with anyone besides Stewart-and he was in that shot.

I remember the Winston telecast when Dale had the "pass in the grass" and whoever (ESPN?!) showed the post race cool down and Elliott slamming into the side of Dale-I think it was Dale. Anyway, the cool down action after races frequently has some legitimate drama.

And it was missed Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. Just terrible.

I think the finish order was shown once as a hard to read crawl across the top of the screen.

I recall when ESPN used to do races and they had the finish order on the screen. They need to go over to ESPN Classic and watch some of those old telecasts.

Dgnrshnx said...

Dear John,

Is there any way we can notify ESPN and let them know that the finish to the race they showed is unacceptable?

Anonymous said...

My thoughts on ESPN's coverage:

- I thought they did a pretty good job following action throughout the field.

- Why don't they show the rest of the field cross the finish line at the end of the race? If you're not going to show battles for other positions at the end of the race they might as well never show them early in the race either. Maybe there weren't battles for positions but they did the same thing in the Busch race on Saturday when there was a wild scramble for positions to the line so I'm not going to give them the benefit of the doubt.

- The draft tracker needs to go away. What did it show us besides "air in front of a car is yellow and air behind a car is blue". I think we understand the concepts of clean air and dirty air, we don't need them color-coded for us.

- The pre-race show was a complete mess. There was no real pattern or flow to it. No real discussion of the news stories of the week, most notably the DEI-Ginn merger. Why in the world did Suzy Kolber do a seemingly live interview with Jimmie Johnson on the starting grid? Isn't that what the pit reporters are for? Then the end of the pre-race show turned into NASCAR Now, with Marty Smith coming out of nowhere to address rumors and Tim Cowlishaw and Brad Daugherty playing yet another game of "in or out of the Chase". Is it just me or did Cowlishaw say Earnhardt Jr. was going to miss the Chase on Friday's NASCAR Now and then change his mind all of a sudden on Sunday? That ranks right up there with Daugherty naming only 11 Chasers in that game a couple weeks earlier on NASCAR Now. Sigh.

- I don't understand why ESPN spends the money to have Brent Musburger there. What did he add to the broadcast and would anyone have noticed if he wasn't there?

- ESPN's qualifying coverage was AWFUL. Every driver that qualified during commercial breaks was never mentioned on TV at all (except A.J. Allmendinger, and only because he hit the wall). They occassionally updated when drivers got bumped out of the race but never mentioned when a driver was officially locked in. Then when Mayfield was the last go-or-go homer to qualify they told us the time he needed to beat, but not the position he needed to reach. The speed tracker showed us the position Mayfield was on pace to end up at but we had no way of knowing whether that was going to be good enough to beat Ward Burton. Did David Reutimann or Brian Vickers qualify for the race? They were never mentioned or shown once during the whole session, even when they were officially locked in. I can't wait until Michigan when Speed is covering qualifying again (I wonder what ESPN is doing that's so important that week, because they're doing no qualifying or practice shows at all). Speed's TiVo style broadcast that lets us see everyone's runs is great and their constant tracking of who's locked in, locked out, and on the bubble is great.

Unknown said...

From the moment Tony Stewart crossed the line and ESPN switched to a in-car shot of him, I knew there was going to be an article like this here for me to read when I got to work in the morning. I am a Tony Stewart fan but I am also a JPM fan as well, ever since he started to drive for Williams in F1. I would have liked to have seen him cross the line for his best NASCAR oval finish. Unfortunately I didn't.

Since I was watching the race live here in England, it didn't finish until around 11pm local time. I watched the post race interviews then went to bed. At no time did I see a complete finishing order for the race. I'm about to go onto Jayski's site to see what it was. How can you show over 3 hours of racing and not show the finishing order?

Anonymous said...

During the last 50+ laps of the race, I left the HDTV in the family room and came back here to the computer room and watched the race on a little TV with Sirius Radio for the commentary. I Watched the ACTION on the internet at FoxTrax...

At least, I was able to watch my drivers pass and I got the final positions of all the drivers in near real time.

During Qualifying, I always watch Jayski's near real time qual screens.

I don't really need ESPN.

ESPN is a waste of time for me.



Anonymous said...

ESPN is following the Fox lead in not showing anyone after the winner. Could it be that NASCAR TV folks dictate this? They try to control everything else.
I've stopped watching. I DVR the race and listen on the radio. If there is something I want to see, I find it and watch it.
Note to sponsors: I don't support inept coverage. I'll buy from a competitor just to be contrary.

Anonymous said...

Are we EVER going to hear from the folks who make these decisions? I would just like to know what their thinking on the subject is exactly. If you are "good" enough to carry NASCAR, then you should be good enough to know what fans want out of race coverage!

Anonymous said...

to tripp,,,
obviously because espn did not want to show all the cars finish the race you think there were no passes in the last 2 turns before the start finish line. you should know that mark martin passed 2 cars in those turns and finished sixth. i know that because i am a big jeff burton fan and he was about to pass harvick on the last lap for 6th and next thing i know they show a finishing order list and he ends up 8th with martin already ahead of him by 2 spots. would have really been nice to see why he got passed but instead i got to see tony taking off his gloves and sipping soda out of a straw. that was sooooooo much better i think.31burtonfan

Anonymous said...

Glad I spent raceday at a movie and dinner with my wife ;-)

guess you could say that Tony's inappropriate word in his postrace interview sums up ESPN's coverage rather nicely...

I watched the first 30 crazy laps of the race before taking off and all I have to say is ESPN has too many talking heads vying for air time.

-Mustyberger is a joke.

-Suzy was fine, though I hate hate hate the "hollyweird hotel" format the networks have gone too. Not her fault.

-the booth team effort was weak. odds are that they'll come into their own as they grow into their jobs....I hope.

-that wind tracker thing was as silly as expected. someone on this site mentioned that it may end up like the Fox Glowing puck for the NHL from years back. DING DING DING

Jayhawk said...

I used to watch MNF, modman75, but I do not watch it any more, and the "guess who dropped by to chat with us and help us ignore the football game" feature is part of the reason I don't.

The "you tuned in to watch us and not the game/race" attitude of the broadcast crew is the other reason. Why should their race production be any different than their football show?

Unknown said...

Sunday I was going to give ESPN a chance. It's looking like they blew it. Too much hype and fluff. The action is on the track. ESPN had higher priorities than showing green flag racing. ESPN needs to forget about competing with Fox and focus on beating out TNT's coverage honestly. Something's telling me that this is going to be a very bumpy ride to Homestead. My Sirius radio already got way to much play on Sunday and I'm not afraid to use it again. MRN/PRN works well because of the great staff that knows the story and focus is on the track. Keep it simple stupid. My priority will continue be focused on the radio broadcast. ESPN will supplement that along with everything else on the internet, cable and satellite. Jon, we really do need to start blogging about all these other options on race day. Quite soon I might need your help in picking cable PPV or satellite Direct TV.

Anonymous said...

As a fan of many sports, I know the value of a winner. NASCAR presents an interesting scenario in that I want to see the winner, because he earned the win, but I also want to see everyone else and where they finish. NASCAR is obviously unique to other sports in that position matters for points. So I'm torn in wanting to see the winner celebrate, and wanting to see how everyone else finishes up.

I think there's a rather simple solution to this. As the race completes, ESPN should run an effect showing Tony Stewart in a box on the top right of the screen while they show the rest of the field crossing or anything else going on. You could cut cameras inside that box to show pit celebration and Tony pumping his fist, all the while seeing the other cars cross the finish line. It's not a difficult effect to run and the race is on in HD. The widescreen format screams to allow networks to do stuff like this. I don't understand why they don't. I know the TV would get a little crammed for people who don't have HD, but hey, the networks need to cater to the HD audience. I think this would've been the best solution to the problem.

Uncle Dan said...

Will the folks that control the cameras in the control room realize that some of us actually have an attention span and can follow one camera angle for more than the 3 to 4 seconds that is currently being used. It looked like a music video with the speed at which the camera angles changed. When they change cameras so often you cannot follow what is going on, who is catching up to whom. At least sometimes they need to put the camera on the top ten cars or so and follow them for a few laps. Once again the radio broadcast is WAY more fun than TV.

Commish said...

Two observations:

During the pre-race, ESPN plugged its "live" interview with Junior. During this "live" interview, there were problems (pauses, freezes, noise) that would indicate that this "live" interview was pre-recorded. Not that this would surprise anyone who knows about ESPN.

Second, about Suzy Sunshine, Brad Daugherty, and Brent Musberger: do you think that ESPN would dare let anchors and reporters with NASCAR expertise anchor its NBA or NFL broadcasts. To me, it shows a complete lack of respect. But if ESPN was forced to find real NASCAR people, it might have to look for talent outside of New York City and the East Coast in general.

Anonymous said...

stricklinfan wrote:

Why don't they show the rest of the field cross the finish line at the end of the race? If you're not going to show battles for other positions at the end of the race they might as well never show them early in the race either.

Oh, don't worry, you'll soon be getting your wish. That was what surprised me w/ ESPN's coverage. That they showed anybody but the leader.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a lot of people are hot and mad about the ESPN coverage. The only thing I know about NASCAR is that it's good to finish first, so I can't comment with any legit knowledge on how good or bad the coverage was. But I will say this: no one should be surprised.

Sports in general is becoming more and more entertainment based and the only way to draw in viewers is to be gimmicky. Let's be honest NASCAR diehards, you'd watch the races if you were the only person in the stands, much like I would watch a baseball game if I was the only person there. If you're diehard, you'll love the sport no matter what. Unfortunately that's not true for everyone else.

Take the drafting thing, for instance. Hey, some people have no clue how it works and that draft tracker may actually be a cool thing. Or the celebrity drop ins (I know, I hate them too). I don't think someone will tune in because they know a celebrity will around, but see where NASCAR is coming from.

Let's say a guy is watching the race and his girlfriend is just in the room, disinterested in what's going on. All of a sudden, boom, someone from Desperate Housewives or Grey's Anatomy comes on the air. Now the girl's interest is piqued and she may sit around and watch for awhile. Down the road, the race becomes something two viewers can enjoy instead of one viewer and a pissed off significant other (and it's not just female casual fans, but male ones too, who must drag themselves to watch the race with a girlfriend or wife).

Sports on TV now is all about getting the casual viewer. That's where the money is. While I understand the argument that just showing the winner is lame, the casual viewer doesn't see any excitement from a line of cars zooming past the finish line. (Not that Tony Stewart syaing bullsh** on live television is much better).

But yes, ESPN's sports coverage is getting lamer and watching games with the mute button is becoming a more common occurance with me.

Tripp said...

Anonymous said...

"I wanted to see Terry Labonte cross the line in the 55 car."

Sorry... he finished 30th and blew his engine with 10 to go. This was reported on the radio broadcast.

31burtonfan said...

"you should know that mark martin passed 2 cars in those turns and finished sixth... jeff burton ... was about to pass harvick on the last lap for 6th...would have really been nice to see why he got passed..."

I did not know that. The radio did not cover that move either.

It is clear that no race broadcast, radio or television, can possibly please all the NASCAR fans because every fan's interests in the race are unique. It's a no-win situation for some fans.

I have to agree with Dave Despain's comment on getting camera time. If you want to be on TV, race up front.

Anonymous said...

Weren't there 43 cars that started the race? Isn't the broadcast supposed to be about racing? Between NASCAR dictating policies regarding the broadcasts and the poor coverage given to it, it's not racing anymore, but the WWE on Wheels.

Commish said...

"If you want to be on TV, race up front."

Then why does Junior get more coverage than anyone? Or does winning one race a year and struggling to make the Chase (or not making it at all) dictate wall-to-wall coverage?

Anonymous said...

i have stopped watching sunday night baseball altogether, i'd rather listen to Shulman/Campbell.

i don't think i can take another year of tirico/kornheiser, so i'll switch to WW1 (albert/esiason).

i don't know what i'm going to do if i'm going to keep following nascar.

Anonymous said...

My thoughts on ESPN's coverage:

1. I blew a gasket when only Tony Stewart was shown crossing the line...Others (and Mr. Daly) have already vented the same feelings I have.

2. Dave Burns is a funny guy and is great on humorous stories. Overall, I like him - just not as the guy picked to interview the race winner. Where was Allen Bestwick? No way Stewart swears on TV with Bestwick at the mic.

3. No faces from those talking at the end...The race coverage is wrapping up and suddenly, Suzy "I've talked all day" Colber is smacking her gums with a one-sentence "oh, I'm live" wrap, "6 times the winner goes on the win the championship." Why wasn't there a professional, on-screen wrap from the booth with Dr. Punch & Company, sending things to the infield with Kolber & Crew, then finally to Musburger telling us "next, you will be looking live on Bristol, CT and SportsCenter. Good day from Indy."

4. The Draft-Tracker wore Rusty Wallace out. How many times did Rusty refer to Aero during the race?

5. The broadcast boooth was dry...No chemistry until Dale Jarrett was allowed to talk directly with Rusty and Andy Petree...Jarrett should've been in the booth the entire time with Dr. Punch being the conductor...No Suzy Colber until cautions.

I thought ESPN was very professional with their coverage, including a nice post-race wrap, coupled with a nice long feature on Sportscenter immediately following the telecast that other sporting events televised on ESPN receive. But will Pocono receive the same treatment as Indy? Probably not...

Anonymous said...

NASCAR doesn't care if we see the end of the race or not, the are somewhere counting the money they just made on the television deal. Fans mean nothing to NASCAR. another thing when TNT put the commericals on split screen everyone liked it but NASCAR don't care, how much can we make is the big question at their board meetings.

Anonymous said...

Did anybody else notice about 20 black blanks screens for about 1 second often when the went from in-car cameras elsewhere?

Kolber and Daugherty suck it bad and they made Dale look bad too. Musburger needs a gold watch and a prime rib luncheon goodbye.

The aero drack tracker was pointless.

In addition ESPN seemed to have insufficient cameras to cover the track well. Most of the spins where only caught with long angle camera shots.

PRN & MRN are awesome. I would KILL to have them broadcast and have guys like Mike Joy and Waltrip to the pre/post race and bumpers.

Anonymous said...

As much as I didn't like their coverage, only showing Stewart crossing the line probably wasn't an ESPN thing. All races I've ever watched from IMS do the quick pan to the flagman after the race winner crosses the finish line.

Go back and watch previous Brickyard 400 and Indy 500 finishes and I bet you'll see the same thing. It is just the way it is at the ol' Brickyard.

Anonymous said...

This mistake was inexcusable. TNT had an excuse - they are not a sports network. Not so for ESPN. They have been broadcasting races for almost 30 years and they still haven't figured out that there are 43 drivers on the track who each have a fan base? Not to mention everyone who plays fantasy NASCAR where several drivers are selected and awarded points for their finish - the league I play in has over 250,000 participants!

dave said...


WHY on earth do producers think that the more "stuff" ( I'm being polite ) they cram into a broadcast, improves the broadcast ?

This all started with the dumbing down of the sport when FOX first started with their coverage. So now, naturally, ESPN feels the need to "one-up" everyone else and add to the mix. Could you please just focus on the race? The WHOLE race? Put the bells and whistles in a big box and bring them out for Monday Night Football. ( it's been in a decline for so long, it can't hurt )

And PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE... Could someone at ESPN please let Brent Musburger know that it's OVER ! Time to settle down out in the Hamptons and talk to your neighbors about the good old days. Don't misunderstand me, I like Brent. As a kid, I used to watch his CBS pregame show all the time. But I'm 50 friggin' years old now! Time to take a bow. Whoever decided it would be a good idea to assign him to NASCAR should go back to screening NCAA Division 3 badminton.

With all the respect due a television icon, Brent resembled a Pygmy looking at a microwave oven, standing out there at the Brickyard ! He could not have been more out of place.

I am hopeful that ESPN's coverage will improve. I can't imagine that it won't. They've only been out of it for 7 years. Someone needs to stand up and decide that this will be ESPN's coverage, not just MORE of the FOX, NBC, TBS effort.