Tuesday, August 21, 2007

NEXTEL Cup At Michigan - Tuesday

NASCAR will once again try to get in the NEXTEL Cup race in Michigan today at 10AM. This thread is for posts while the race is in-progress. Please limit your posts to comments about the TV coverage following the rules located on the right side of the main page.

If this works, we will begin offering an in-progress page for the remaining NEXTEL Cup Series races. Thanks.


bevo said...

So far it's not not going to be on ESPN360.

Kevin in Indy said...

Jayski had a post saying that it will be on ESPN360, which is blocked at my office.....not that I would try to watch it or anything.

cwebs said...

Well, it looks like SPEED may have indeed departed from MIS. At 9am, an episode of "Payback" appeared as scheduled. Unless something happens at 9:30, I'm guessing there won't be any further SPEED coverage from MIS this week. While this decision is understandable, they really should have made their intentions clear either last night or this morning via TV or on their website. Their loyal fans don't deserve to be left in the dark!

Anonymous said...

I don't find it "understandable" at all.

If their job at SPEED is to cover live racing (or the events leading up to the races), then they, like news people, need to suck it up when things go long like this. It's a hazard of the job and dumping out shows a lack of commitment.

The race teams are there; why isn't the TV crew?

Matt said...

SPEED has to get all their crews and equipment to Bristol for Tomm's Truck race. I don't think you can blame them at all. Who knows how long it takes to break down and transport the Raceday set too.

cwebs said...

I think there are valid reasons for them to leave, as I mentioned in my post in yesterday's thread. Like "matt" said, they probably need to get personnel and equipment down to Bristol. Also, I think it would be hard to do a meaningful pre-race show with the scheduled 10am start time for the race. After the race is over, I'm sure the teams will be scurrying to leave MIS as well. Nobody will have the patience for an extended post-race show.

My biggest complaint is that SPEED never informed their loyal fans of their intentions. The least they could do is put a note on the main page of their website explaining the situation...

SonicAD said...

kevin in indy: it's also available for free on NASCAR.com, There should be a link on the front page.

bevo said...

Watching on HotPass. The long shots show how bad the fog is. This could end up being a mess with the spotters and the drivers going whole hog to get the half way point.

Anonymous said...

NASCAR is screwing this one up big time. No way they'd feel safe racing like this if it was Sunday. Should make absolutely no difference on a Tuesday with respect to driver saftey.

PKRWUD said...

I respect all they have to weigh when making their decisions, but why didn't they just wait an hour for the fog to lift, rather than start and stop this way?

cwebs said...

Is it me, or is Jamie Little just a little too perky at times?

I wish someone at ESPN would tell her to watch some tapes of RaceDay. Wendy Venturini could be a role model.

WV = Pleasingly Perky

JL = Cloyingly Perky

bevo said...

Don't imagine there will be any in-car camera shots with the low ceiling

Anonymous said...

They've had some in-car shots all morning...yet sometimes they aren't able to because of the ceiling. Anyone know why this is?

SophiaZ123 said...

I understand SPEED having to leave..they are not set up for multiple race coverages...would've been nice had they said something but JR and the gang can only tell us what's "allowed" from the SPEED boss.

I agree the fog is horrible and you can't see on the tv..nor spotters or NASCAR tower...um...why not just CHANGE the race time until 11? It was so soupy when I tuned in.

Just hope it's a safe race and the fog lifts soon.

Hope you folks working during the day can catch the race online or at least LISTEN.

I never heard of ESPN360? I take it that's an internet thing ?

Anonymous said...

I'll tell you what, I'm already tired of hearing Rusty say, "aero loose." He really needs to learn some new phrases.

Anonymous said...

JM strikes again

Anonymous said...

...that and "I really don't like how high that nose is riding" :)

SophiaZ123 said...

two things..yes, Jamie Little is WAY TOO PERKY (she has driven me nuts in IRL for long time) It's one thing to be pleasant as somebody else mentioned but...

THANK GOD somebody else is tired of Rusty's "aero loose" For years, I have heard most say a car got loose. WHY does he say aero loose.

But I TELL YOU WHAT, I do believe he is cutting back on the I TELL YOU WHAT 's. See if anybody else notices that.

Maybe his new mantra to hang onto is the aero loose. Ok, ESPN JUST CUT OFF THE RACE EARLY AS THEY WENT TO COMMERCIAL???

THEY DO THIS A LOT..but they were in MID SENTENCE&^%$#@!*!&!%#!^$^!#^%


cwebs said...

And, another restart is missed because ESPN was still running commercials. This is turning into a trend with them now! Is it that difficult to time the commercial breaks properly???

SophiaZ123 said...

Regarding the missed restarts, I notice on my TWarner that ESPN is chronically POORLY TIMED for commercials in leaving the race and coming back.

I posted this on a huge message board and others across the country had the same thing...Especially during the BUSCH race so we will see the same deal all day today.

ESPN just can NOT keep a timer for racing. This is never going to work.

bevo said...

SophiaZ123 -

There's a difference between a car being loose and aero loose. That's what the Car Of Tomorrow is designed to get rid of, aero loose.

Rusty does love the term though :)

Anonymous said...

There are clearly more fans at MIS on a Tuesday than there were on a Sunday for an IRL race. Not surprising, but just an observation!

SophiaZ123 said...


Thanks for the explanation..I am still learning about NASCAR just a few years into it...but Rusty has seemed to have claimed this term for his own.

I still have not heard "I TELL YOU WHAT"


Think somebody told him of that much overused phrase?!

Maybe that cat can learn from criticism.

Meow Hiss!! PPHHHttt. :-0

But really, that is a good thing..unless a bad habit is called to one's attention, you may not be aware...

Sophia says in a moment of graciousness.


P.S. regarding the IRL race...yes this is why they lost MIS race I guess according to Robin Miller. It's really pitiful the small crowds and the mess with IRL but from what I read, they do not make things fan friendly.

But I feel badly for the drivers when you see empty seats in IRL.

Anonymous said...

"Ohh and trouble off of turn 55!"

Cracked me up!

SophiaZ123 said...

Waahh!! Mikey had a spin and had it saved and Nemechek hit him.....bummer.

Say what you want but I was happy he qualified so well...he needed a good week.

Darn it.

Anonymous said...

That was a bad situation for two teams that couldn't afford it.

SophiaZ123 said...

Space shuttle almost on the ground

(Not to be a racing interruptus!!0


jfs-va said...

Let's see, how much time can we spend inside JR's car.

cwebs said...

Note to ESPN - Nobody cares for your draft-tracker gimmick. Really, it's not as cool as you think it is!!! Now, if you insist on continuing its use, could you at least attempt to make it reflect reality? When the second car moves around and takes the position, the air coming off the back of that car isn't clean (blue)!!!

For crying out loud, they treat this gimmick as if it's presenting real-time scientific data when it's obviously just the result of some graphics person intrpreting reality and "painting" the colors on the screen as they think it should look. If you're going to play that game, you should at least attempt to make it look right...

cwebs said...

Not trying to hog all the comments here, but I can't resist.

Why in the world does ESPN feel they need to go to commercial while the race is under green with less than 15 laps to go? Ridiculous!!!

Ari said...

i think ESPN deserves a pat on the back for the split screen at the end of the race so we could see the race for the lead and the race for 4th place at the same time. Maybe they are taking these comments to heart and are trying to respond a little bit.

jfs-va said...

I agree with cwebs about the draft tracker. It really is silly in my opinion.

On the other hand, showing the pit crew changing the carb on the 41 was nice. That's the stuff I want to see, not some cute graphics.

And as ari said, the split screen there at the end was nice.

Anonymous said...

NASCAR needs to do something about the chase format. 13th is over 160 points back of 12th. This isn't good at all.

They need to immediatly put 5 points between 11-14 and have a three race chase to get into the chase!

They've always made up rules as they went along. This will be no different.

Even if I wasn't a red blooded Jr. fan, I'd still want this to happen.

darbar said...

The announcers on ESPN are morons. All during the race they kept messing up the Busch brother's names. Guys, Kurt is the one in the 2 Miller car and Kyle is in the 5 Kellogs car. I cannot believe they can't get them straight.

They missed a lot of stuff because of their cameras and they never showed the debris that causes so many cautions. AND, Dave Blaney had a great race, but he's ignored altogether. They're so in love with Jr, who probably won't make the chase, that they forget there are 42 other guys with interesting and worthwhile stories.

Anonymous said...

ok..different computer so I, SOPHIA, am anon again.

Many good comments here.


STill lousy camera work and they SWITCH TOO FAST even tho you can clearly spot a car getting lose or ready to wreck.

I also enjoyed seeing the carb change and the split screen, so kudos for that.

I AM A FAN of many drivers including JR. BUT LAY OFF OF JR, please. Nobody feels the pressure on the boy more than HE does and he can NOT blow his nose without it becoming a MAJOR NEWS story.

I also enjoyed the after race time and the show with Boris and Burr. Showed a great detailed replay of the Waltrip wreck..GREAT DRIVING to avoid him by Happy and Ryan....though I am still confused why Nemecheck did not have a better heads up to avoid it...to my eyes, it appeared he had room to navigate. Maybe he was changing the radio station?! :-)

I was half listening as I fussed around the house but I swear Rusty IS cutting back on the "I tell you what"....Did anybody here him say that?


Anonymous said...

During the on-board camera replay of Waltrip's spin, did anyone else hear the spotter telling him to "hold the brake, now go!" and then get crushed by the #08?

Jimmy Spencer would've caught that!

matt said...

There's one big problem with the ESPN announce crew-They just talk. And talk. And talk. And talk. They are so busy talking they miss 90% of what is actually going on in the race. And no one ever interupts someone else to say something, either to correct him or describe action. They just let him talk. And once again, just like at Indy, ESPN and Rusty were so obsessed with DraftTrack that everytime a driver got loose, it was because of air. No one can just have a loose a car. The air must cause the car to be loose. And how bout Rusty saying Brian Vickers can't drive a car so loose and should get it fixed? Why does Rusty feel that the way he drove a car should be the way everyone drives a car? I'm sorry, but I'm sick of Rusty and we still have 13 races to go.

Ryan said...

Is anyone else here annoyed by how obsessed ESPN is with John Paul Montoya, TNT and FOX never mentioned him every 5 seconds like ESPN does.

Anonymous said...

I remember Fox talking about Juan Pablo and TNT because it annoyed my brother.

And he rarely gets annoyed by things and is just GRATEFUL the race is free and not 30 minutes a week like it used to be before he started watching it (never was shown live in the 60's and 70's)

He is not like his sister, the critic.


Anonymous said...

The boys in the booth for ESPN are no better at this than three race fans sitting at home and watching one TV would be. They routinely miss what's going on until it's replayed for them, at which time they suddenly take note; they never seem to know what caused a wreck unless it was on the air when it happened; and, good Lord, you would NEVER know Rusty had even driven a Cup car if all you knew about him was what he says during the broadcast.

stricklinfan82 said...

good ESPN:

- They showed us every car cross the finish line at the end of the race.

- They got rid of the infield studio. Yes I know it was only because of the postponement of the race but is it just me or was the broadcast actually better without Suzy and Brad adding their two cents multiple times throughout the afternoon? Without the studio Dr. Punch showed the highlights and then the announcers got right back to calling the action. Simpler and a lot easier on the ears.

- Not leaving the air immediately after the checkered flag. I'm glad they stuck around until the top of the hour and took the time to provide several post-race interviews.


- They missed a restart, just like they did several times at Watkins Glen.

- The in-race reporter needs to go away. They can only do it during caution flags, so instead of using up their commercial time under yellow they spend the yellow flag laps talking to the featured driver and crew chief and force us to miss green flag racing later in the broadcast when they finally do have to fit in those commercial breaks.

- Enough of the draft tracks already! It's the same exact illustration every time, just with different cars. The car behind drafts the dirty air, pulls out into clean air, and makes the pass. We get it already! We don't need the air to be color-coded and we don't need the same point repeated over and over again every time a pass takes place.

- The last commercial break. Okay, I get the idea that ESPN has a certain amount of commercial time they need to get in before the race ends. How about doing a better job of fulfilling those obligations in plenty of time to show the end of the race without commercial interruption. I could not believe ESPN went to commercial with 13 or 14 to go as a wild battle for positions was going on right after a restart. Sure enough they missed the Gordon-Kenseth incident. Had the race stayed green they would have returned from the break with what, only 7 laps to go? That's unacceptable. As I said, get rid of the in-race reporter and use up that commercial time during the yellow flag laps!

cwebs said...

OK, here's my take on ESPN's performance today. I'll try to keep it as breif as possible:


Other than the overbearingly perky nature of Jamie Little, the early coverage during the green/yellow laps and during the red flag was pretty good. They made use of the time by snagging some decent interviews.

Rusty's don't-laugh-at-a-hearse line about Harvick's JPM comments was actually pretty funny.

The "in-race reporter" gimmick is usually totally useless, but Biffle was pretty good in the role this time. They never went back to him later in the race, though.

Rusty's overall performance was reasonably tolerable. There was a noticeable and welcome lack of "Tell-You-What's".

No Kolber/Daugherty foolishness.

They managed to show a nicely framed shot of most of the field crossing the finish line at the end.


Came back from commercial too late and missed restart on lap 34.

Very little discussion of any cars that either weren’t in the top five, or weren’t displaying the number eight.

I didn’t catch any mention of who got the lucky dog on any of the cautions.

Strange dearth of coverage from the garage area. What ever happened to Mark Martin? Why no interview with Joe Nemechek after his wreck with Waltrip? What happened to Paul Menard?


I already talked about the dreaded Draft-Track earlier. Suffice it to say - it’s useless!!!

There was debris caution with about 25 laps to go, and each team had to make a critical decision on whether to pit, and how many tires to take. Sadly, the announcers never set this up properly for the viewers before the cars started coming down pit road. Then, after the pitstops were finished, they couldn’t even be bothered to give us a rundown on which cars pitted, which stayed out, and why those decisions were made. What did they do instead of giving us this critical information? You guessed it, they forced us to watch the Draft-Track nonsense again! This was almost an exact repeat of a similar situation that transpired at the Brickyard, except that the “Good Hands Moment” took the place of Draft-Track in that earlier fiasco. This is really unbelievable negligence on the part of ESPN. Larry Mac would never let something like this happen.

They inexplicably went to commercial with less than 15 laps to go, just after the announcers stated that the race was finally heating up. Of course, they ended up missing the J. Gordon spin. Amazingly, they then proceeded to again neglect to fully cover the pitstop decisions that were made during the resulting caution. The race restarted with 8 laps to go, and there was no real effort to let us know who in the top 10 had fresh tires and who didn’t. This was absolutely ridiculous!

After the race was over, we finally learned from a post-race interview that Martin Truex was having clutch problems for the last part of the race. ESPN should have been on top of this, but they seemed to have no idea. No wonder Kurt Busch kept getting away on those restarts! It was also nice of Jimmie Johnson to let us know that he was the highest finishing car that changed tires on either of the last two pitstops. We certainly never would have known this from what the announcers told us during the race.

While not as bad as TNT’s meltdown at Sears Point/Infineon, ESPN seemed to be almost completely out of the loop at the end of this race. Sadly, I’m not reall

cwebs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
cwebs said...

Oops, sorry stricklinfan, I didn't mean to copy your format. I honestly didn't see your post before I put mine up! Sounds like we agreed on some things, though!

From some reason, the end of the last sentence in my post got sliced off. It was supposed to read "Sadly, I’m not really surprised."

Anonymous said...



Glad you added what was cut off.

Liked your "brevity" :-)

You and the others have GREAT MEMORY for details! Unless I would've taken notes, I could not have provided such details.

But I TOTALLY forgot about Suzy Q and Brad. So, no, I did NOT miss them one iota.

You would think the draft thing is CRAP. NOTE TO ESPN PRODUCERS: If it takes away from the RACE, it's rubbbish.

ALSO if you would keep your cameras on different cars for more than 4 seconds, you could show us more action, LIVE.

Pay attention to what is happening on the TV PICTURE PLEASE.

Also I forgot to mention it WAS GREAT to see the finish but they needed to leave the finishing order up a big LONGER, please. I am a quick reader but did not get everybody.

I so missed VLane...and now, no INC to give us the SCOOP on what happened.

But I have YET to see a person that likes the draft animation...or if they liked it once, they are SICK OF IT NOW.

Too many toys, too many gimmicks.

How many times have we said, ESPN, if you want to REMEMBER HOW IT SHOULD BE DONE, look at how you did it on ESPN CLASSICS. No flash, no grapics...and talking heads who PAID ATTENTION to the race.

cwebs said...

Sophia -

Thanks for reading my comments. I put a significant amount of effort into them! Yes, I was taking notes during the race. I don't usually do that, but I was home all day today with nothing better to do! Sorry they were so verbose, but I really was trying to be brief!

I agree with you on the issue of showing the finishing order. If I'm not mistaken, they never showed a full recap of the results, except on the crawl at the top of the screen.

I also wish Victory Lane was there to fill in the gaps for us. Too bad SPEED had to sneak away from MIS like they did. It reminds of how the Colts left Baltimore - in the dead of night under the cover of darkness!


Sean said...


We finally got to see the race!

Pit Reporters were good like usual except for Jamie Little.

Andy Petree shined again with his analysis.

They showed the cars crossing the finish.

No Kolber/Daugherty/Musburger/Brewer


Dave Blaney finished in 6th place, but not one word about him, or at least I didn't hear any.

Missed a couple restarts, nothing new here from ESPN.

Talked about the 8 way too much. JR is my favorite driver, but I don't need to know about him every second.

The In-Race Reporter feature is still not being used to its full capacity. I heard Dale Jr talk to Matt Yocum for over 5 minutes about Elvis on Scanner. But ESPN doesn't have these friendly relationships with drivers? hmm.


DRAFT TRACK. This technology is totally useless, and ESPN keeps thinking we're causual viewers. Like they have the whole year.

AERO LOOSE. We don't need Rusty saying "AERO LOOSE" every second.

MISSING WRECKS or NOT UPDATING THEM. They missed the Gordon spin. What happened to Mark Martin? Any Menard Update? Nope.

LACK OF KNOWLEDGE. ESPN continues to think that only the Drivers and Crew Chiefs are important. Rusty Wallace didn't know who Dale Earnhardt Jr's crew chief was last week. Then today didn't know who Jr's spotter was. Everyone knows that it is Steve Hmiel. FOX knows everybody, and it really shows when they're not broadcasting.

ON AIR-CHEMISTRY. The biggest one of all. These guys just don't feed off of each other, and the problem could be Dr. Jerry Punch. Now Punch knows about Nascar, but he's an OK Play-by-Play man. He doesn't get excited much, and doesn't set up the final moments of the race well. Sometimes it sounds like they're speaking in monotone. Sorry but I'm used to DW yelling, or Bill Weber being dramatic. He really doesn't add any real knowledge either like Mike Joy or Allen Bestwick. He just asks questions to Rusty and Andy. At the race in St.Louis with AB, Rusty, and Petree in the booth you could hear, and feel the difference. Why he is not already in the booth confuses me. Dr. Punch is/was much more comfortable on pit road.

Grade = C-

cwebs said...

sean -

You make some great points. I hope the Good/Bad/Ugly thing catches on!


Sicklajoie said...

A couple Rusty-isms
-He called the driver of the #17 Matt Kenseth and Matt Kenthis in the same sentence.
-Instead of saying that Vickers should get on the gas in the "center" or "middle" of the corner, we heard "cendle"
-When they mentioned that NASCAR would not black flag the 24 and 12 for their loose shark fins, Rusty said we should 'condemn NASCAR" (instead of commend, I'm sure ;) )
Rusty just seems like he's trying way too hard.

cwebs said...

sicklajoie -

Ha! I was wondering if anyone else caught that condemn/commend thing! I hit rewind a couple of times and tried to hear it clearly. I almost think he said something like "condmend"...


SophiaZ123 said...


Ah, you took notes! Now I understand the detail but ALL GOOD POINTS and Lord knows, NASCAR ain't takin' notes? I NEVER mind verbosity when it's written well and is informative. :-)

The Good the Bad and the Ugly.
hmm...I gotta say one more thing that needs added.



WONDERFUL to show in pre-school.

INSULTING to shove it down our throat. If they MUST PAY for the USELESS WASTE OF TIME GRAPHIC, PUT it in the PRE Race show.

And one last note, on the camera work.

Is it just me, or does the producer seem to have Attention Deficit Disorder? They change the cameras too quickly so it's hard to keep a PERSPECTIVE On whats going on AROUND the cars?

More long wide angle shots. More group shots and KEEP THE CARS IN OUR VISION FOR AT LEAST 8 seconds. Seriously. If you were catching all the ACTION by swifly changing, that's one thing. But when you are showing DEBRIS in DE ROADWAY like in Busch's race and we missed a blown tire=wall hit, LIVE, due to debris shown from spun car, that is idiotic. How DO these folks keep their jobs?

P.S. I realize this site has had hiccups lately but SUDDENLY, I am re-logged in as SOPHIA.

= : - 0

cwebs said...


I do agree that the camera work isn't perfect. I'm not convinced that it's necessarily always because of quick cuts, but they do seem to have a problem staying in-synch with the announcers.

Also, on the restarts, I wish they'd start showing the leaders as they come off turn 4 (so we can see if the leader or the second place car is "laying back" or "jumping", and stay with them for a while so we can see how it's sorting out. Showing the leaders crossing the start/finish line for two seconds and then cutting to a trackside shot of the field blowing by a fixed camera just isn't a useful way to convey information...


projectpappy09 said...

Kudos to ESPN2 for adding a mini-NASCAR Now with Ryan Burr and Boris Said inside First Take following the race coverage. Burr again showed why he should be the main host of the show, with the segments turning into more of a conversation than a Q+A, with both adding their insights.

BTW, Erik Kuselias was on ESPN Radio today, in place of the now-departed Dan Patrick, reportedly heading to NBC.

Anonymous said...

Don't know if this is has been addressed, but there's an easy answer about why ESPN hypes Juan Pablo: That ABC NASCAR show. I guess they figure that all those people who watched him on that show Wednesday night were tuning in to see him this week. I love synergy.

When ESPNews showed the results tonight on its bottom line, it showed the top 12 finishers, instead of the usual top 10. I wonder why. It's probably similar to why ESPN's list of finishers in the IndyCar series always ends with where Danica Patrick finished.

stricklinfan82 said...

ESPNEWS has shown the top 12 qualifiers and finishers in every rundown they've done for NASCAR all year so there's no "Earnhardt Jr. finished 12th" conspiracy involved at all.

Desmond said...

The reason ESPN picked the number 12 is to correspond to the number of drivers that will make the Chase. Remember that "ESPN on ABC" has the broadcast rights to all the races in the championship.