Monday, October 15, 2007

"NASCAR Now" And Jayski.com


One of the most interesting aspects of this NASCAR season has been the wide variety of choices that fans have for NASCAR information. It seems that every year these choices increase as the TV, Radio, and Internet technology advances. Setting radio aside for a moment, we are going to discuss one aspect of the television vs. Internet overlap that has been fascinating.

ESPN certainly did not have DirecTV's Hot Pass in mind when they agreed on their current NASCAR TV package. Meanwhile, the guys over at NASCAR.com are actively promoting themselves as the true source of live NASCAR racing. So, fans now have access to "The Chase" races on a broadcast TV network, by direct satellite TV, and by Internet webcast.

Each of these delivery systems has its pros and cons. The NASCAR.com webcasts often provide more coverage of both pre and post-race activities and interviews than the ESPN on ABC TV broadcast.

Unfortunately, NASCAR.com continues to be a very "official" source of NASCAR information and is burdened by a tremendous overlay of commercial information and advertisements. Negotiating around their site often involves finding nothing more than updated race reviews and statistics while fighting off endless pop-ups and ads.

While the DirecTV Hot Pass offers a driver specific "mini-network," it also puts a narrow viewpoint on a long race, and makes users listen to announcers that may or may not be their favorites. The ABC telecast caters to the casual fan, and comes with all the high-tech features and multiple cameras that viewers could ever want. The down side has been a network still struggling to function as a "team" on the races.

Other than the events themselves, ESPN offers NASCAR Now as the place for fans to get their NASCAR information from a cable TV source. The one hour high-profile Monday program really gives the network an opportunity to capitalize on its TV exclusivity with interviews and features recapping the weekend.

This brings us to one of the most unique media issues of 2007, and that is the Jayski.com website. Now more than ten years old, this site originally appealed to fans as a great source of NASCAR information that could not be found on the official NASCAR site or in the mainstream media.

Fans loved the fact that the site was hand-crafted, unofficial, and also offered easy access to the other media stories nationwide about the sport. There were no chat rooms, no angry words, and the best part was that the information was constantly updated. NASCAR officials and teams suddenly found themselves responding to the news, gossip and "silly season" rumors posted on Jayski.com.

This year, ESPN bolstered their presence in NASCAR by stepping-up and buying the Jayski.com site. Along with the NASCAR Now TV series, these moves showed the commitment of ESPN as a corporation to integrate themselves into the sport as they returned to NASCAR after almost a decade.

Now, fans would have a partnership that could deliver the same in-depth NASCAR news on both TV and the Internet under the ESPN NASCAR "umbrella." But, a funny thing happened on the way to the party. The NASCAR Now production team made a conscious decision not to mention the Jayski.com website.

It is now October. How many times have you heard anyone on NASCAR Now reference a news item on Jayski.com since February? How many times has a NASCAR Now reporter used Jayski.com in a feature as the source of their information?

Finally, how many times has the NASCAR Now host closed the show by sending viewers to the ESPN-owned Jayski.com website for more information? Let me help you with the answers to those questions. That would be none.

Nothing has been more confusing in this season of ESPN confusion about NASCAR than why the on-air announcers in both the races and NASCAR Now have avoided Jayski.com like the plague. Wouldn't more site traffic on Jayski be a good thing for ESPN? Wouldn't that maybe make...sense?

Since the purchase, things on Jayksi have changed a bit, but the ease of operation and the depth of NASCAR information has remained the same. Fans can deal with the fact that the ESPN stories get listed first, and that the big promos for things like College Gameday now grace a NASCAR site.

What is most interesting to us at The Daly Planet is that Jayski hosts video from ESPN directly on his site. Although users must watch either an ESPN promo or a commercial for thirty seconds first, the videos are updated continually and have the latest in NASCAR news and highlights. Along with the stories and results, the upgraded Jayski site offers a tremendous amount of content. Much more content than the NASCAR Now TV series.

For NASCAR fans this season, Jayski has been a blessing. The ESPN.com coverage of the sport features mainstream stories mixed-in with columns from several reporters like Marty Smith and Terry Blount. Anyone who lingers on the site will eventually press the link button and go over to read the expanded content at Jayski.

On this Monday, NASCAR Now did not bring on the news reporters until almost forty-five minutes into the one hour program. They quickly updated some information, passed along some brief news, and then were quickly lost in the rest of the program as usual. This show has become a video montage of race footage, music videos, and a seemingly endless review of The Chase drivers race results.

The best thing that NASCAR Now could do is to begin to treat Jayski as a partner on-the-air. This TV series needs some serious help with NASCAR fans and viewership. Simply by creating some in-show features referencing Jayski, by telling viewers NASCAR Now videos are posted on it, and by directly sending viewers to it at the end of each show there would be a connection made that is now not in place. Unfortunately, it should have been in place in February.

This is the on-going saga of ESPN's first year back in NASCAR. Some of the pieces of their NASCAR puzzle are almost in place, while others have never even been touched. In the curious case of NASCAR Now and Jayski.com, never even acknowledged.

The Daly Planet welcomes comments from readers. Simply click on the COMMENTS button below, or email editor@thedalyplanet.tv if you wish not to be published. Thanks again for taking the time to stop-by and leave your opinion.

44 comments:

SophiaZ123 said...

I still consider Jayski must viewing but as a few others here and elsewhere have posted, he does not always GET THE SCOOP FIRST and I don't know why that is...more competition maybe?

It is pretty pathetic if you are saying NEVER, EVER has jayski been mentioned on NASCAR NOW. Not even his website on the screen?

Well, I am pretty darned sure in the past season, I HAVE HEARD JAYSKI mentioned in a couple driver interviews, either on RACEDAY, VL or maybe even INC. So drivers still know his site is the hotzone.

Too bad SPEED didn't offer jayski a deal. I am also pretty sure, besides a young new driver mentioning seeing his name on jayski, either Spencer or Kenny Wallace have mentioned Jayski this year. Can't quote chapter and verse buy maybe somebody else remembers as well.

Also tonight on INC Waltrip did say something about things online said about him driving like crap or something!!

Anyway, I found jayski hard to navigate at first but now just scan the first page and then click TWICE thru the links to get to the news link sites. Otherwise, I go in circles there and it's a pain. and sorry, I have never watched the videos on his site.

And I would NEVER, EVER give a nickel to NASCAR.com for anything. Too busy, too cluttered, too sloe and crashes too much or freezes up from what I read on a couple of big boards.

But Jayski is still important for those of us newshounds in the sport of NASCAR.

He also has nice little remembrances on the anniversary of a drivers death which is nice.

ruddrpm said...

Now I know this could be total mularky & whatnot, but I heard from a pretty reliable person that Jayski is merely exchanging ad space in this affiliation for free server hosting & some technical know-how with ESPN. But I could be completely wrong.......

Anyways, I love the site & check it on numerous occasions per day. WIth that said, yes Jayski still does post a few "I'm hearing that____" rumors on his site, but most of his news/rumor posts are from other cited sources/press releases. He is merely compiling them all in one concice location. So it would be tough to credit Jayski.com with much breaking news/rumors. He's just reporting what other people have already reported elsewhere.

During the each NNCS race ESPN.com has a link to "Follow the race live with Jayski" on their frontpage if that counts. But if I'm wrong about the whole free server space thing, then yes, its rather curious as to why there is no other cross promotion coming out of Bristol.

ruddrpm said...

Oh yeah, forgot to mention I agree that NASCAR.com is one of the worst websites to navigate on the web. As far as news goes there is never anything other than corporate dribble & positive PR in their "news" section. I have enjoyed ready some of their commentary items though such as "Track Smack" & this year's David Caraviello articles. The NASCAR.com "Power Rankings" of old were some of the funniest things I've ever read......that is until this year when Ryan Smithson left & they felt they had to make their Power Rankings just like everybody elses(boring, not funny, & stat filled). I haven't read them since. NASCAR.com is worthless unless you need stats. And for that I use www.racing-reference.info . Fyi, if you work with or just like NASCAR stats & haven't explored that website, CHECK IT OUT. You'll never go back to NASCAR.com again!

Andy Pandy said...

I've been reading Jayski for more than 10 years now, since the days of the #47 Jayski Ford driven by Billy Standridge, and I don't know if it's just my imagination, but ever since he went all ESPN on us, the amount of rumors has slowly but steadily decreased down to a trickle. He had such good inside contacts that the joke used to be that drivers who weren't running well would wake up and check Jayski to see if they still had a job before going to the garage, but now he's become more of a compiler of links, a Drudge for the racefans.

I suppose everythng changes over time, but I liked the old, New Jersey-based, rumor-laden, not always right but fun to read Jayski better than today's.

Matt said...

Jayski himself used to be a part of ESPNEWS' "Monday Night NASCAR" which has mysteriously disappeared since ESPN got the NASCAR coverage. It seems most ESPN's outside coverage of the sport ended once they started covering the Cup races and I have no idea why that is. It seems counter-productive to me.

Daly Planet Editor said...

ruddrpm,

That was a while back, he is now wholly owned by ESPN. Nothing wrong with that.

JD

SophiaZ123 said...

Andy Pandy

well, I have only been around 3.5 years reading Jayski and following NASCAR and I think even I have noticed the rumors are not as frequent.

However, I still give him credit as many deny certain RUMORS at FIRST, only to turn up as

a. True later or

b. Variations on a theme of the first rumor that was denied but later deemed true. Like about the whole Jr going to RCR deal and then having it be DEI RCR engine being worked together or some other off beat deal. My swiss cheese brain is horrible on memory for examples, but I still enjoy his site.

but I also remember over the seasons hearing drivers MENTION him on tv shows....Fox, Speed or somebody. So he is a driving force in the sport.

No pun intended!!

SophiaZ123 said...

Ok at the END of INC tonight as they went off the air, Michael Waltrip mentioned reading about something on Jayski, a site he likes to visit or r read!

Odd, SPEED AGAINS mentions JAYSKI yet ESPN does NOT.

Go Mikey!

If INC was live I mighta thunk Mikey read this blog and gave jayski a free plug. :-)

stricklinfan82 said...

My thoughts on the topics you brought up in this article:

Jayski:
- I agree with the person that said it seems like as the years have gone on there have been less rumors on this site and that other sites have gotten a lot of scoops before him. I don't know if he's lost some of his "inside sources" or if the rest of the world has caught up with him and found better sources themselves. Maybe I'm just imagining and nothing has changed I don't know, LOL. I also agree that it's strange that ESPN seems to be doing nothing with his site other than using it for advertising ESPN programming.

NASCAR.com
- The site is just awful. The Track Smack and Power Rankings are nothing like they used to be before a lot of their writers left. It's way too hard to navigate now, the live streaming video blows my ears off every time I go there and forget to turn the volume of my speakers down, a lot of the historical results and standings have errors in them, and the worst thing of all - when you click on a story to read it, you get two paragraphs into it and then have to click a link to go to page 2 of the story or have to click a link to view the story on a single page. This is completely ridiculous. Put every story on a single page by default! It's not like every story is the length of "War and Peace" for crying out loud. I also used to love the live timing and scoring when it was FREE when ESPN used to run the site but the fine people at Turner and NASCAR decided to charge people for that previously free information once they took over.

Hotpass:
- I find it to be a great compliment to the network broadcast of the race, but the focus on a single driver isn't usually enough to give a casual fan a good overview of what's going on in the entire race by itself. I typically hook up 2 TV's and watch the network feed and Hotpass feeds side-by-side and I very much enjoy the experience. It's nice to be able to see things that TV misses and the blue button that gives you instant on-screen timing and scoring is a life saver in instances like Sonoma when TNT went off the air without showing the race results or Kansas when ABC spent an hour wasting time during a rain delay while refusing to do the most simple thing - showing us the current running order that would have turned into the final finishing results had the rain not gone away. My only complaints with Hotpass are the driver selections, which seem completely random and in some instances have chosen 5 drivers that were non-factors all day long. It would be nice to have a wider selection of drivers and some sensible decisions on which drivers are followed. Nothing against drivers like J.J. Yeley and David Stremme but when they were featured multiple times on Hotpass they added no value to the casual fan since they ran in the back all day long. When there's only 5 drivers each week I'd like the selection to feature all strong drivers. Also, WHY DO WE HAVE TO SUFFER THROUGH COMMERCIALS WHEN WE PAY FOR THIS PREMIUM PACKAGE???? Yes they still use picture-in-picture with the commercials but we still lose the announcer's audio. Plus, when the network feed goes to local breaks DirecTV takes the time to insert their own commercials, so that is not done in the spirit of the networks demanding that their commercials be seen by Hotpass subscribers as a trade for putting their network feed in one of the on-screen boxes. The Pepsi 400 broadcast on TNT that was only interrupted by local breaks should have had NO commercial interruptions on Hotpass.

haus20 said...

It is kind of ironic that Mikey mentioned that he likes to read Jayski on INC tonight...

Anonymous said...

Jays numbers remain huge but the print media and broadcasters make an effort to tag the internet as a place of idiots and children. Marty Smith noted "An Internet Report" today while speaking to the Jeff Green issue. In the end Smith stated the reports were incorrect -- giving the internet a planned shot in the fire wires. You dont hear Marty Smith telling everyone know how wrong he was about the Dale Jr. number issue though. Print media is dying and it aggravates people like Jim Hunter who wouldnt give a hard card to some of the most trusted names in NASCAR news because they operate a web based format. Jay deserves a better shake than what NASCAR Now and/or ESPN is willing to give. I was there when Jay started his site based on Hut Stricklin. Jay made it happen the hard way and the media could care less, as they stumble over their hairdoos and hard-cards -- knowing if someone in the electronic media makes a charge, all they have to say is "The Internet" and give that stupid look -- as if to suggest only broadcast television could get the story right.

Joseph Foster

Anonymous said...

To Rddrpm:

Not trying to be cocky but Jay doesnt need any technical help or advice from ESPN/ABC. I checked on the Jayski advertsing rates one time and they can run upwards of 10-15k. They are very high based on traffic. Jay Adamski did the right thing selling out, but I believe in the long run he will be starting another site.

Anonymous said...

Joseph Foster:

When was Marty Smith wrong about Junior's number? Yeah, he told us Junior would be No. 81 -- BUT SO DID THE REST OF THE WORLD! JUNIOR, HIMSELF SAID SO. Here you are questioning the integrity of the best news man in the sport, and you're wrong. Hello pot...

Anonymous said...

Joseph Foster!

We miss you on YouTube, sad to see your hard work keeping fans up to date on NASCAR all wiped away. Times are changing and NASCAR is going to have to deal with user-generated content sooner or later - every other industry has. Heck the NHL sees YouTube as free publicity. You'll be back somewhere giving us the video scoop. Thanks for your comments here.

Kevin said...

Jayski is still the number one place to find NASCAR information. If he doesn't cover as much as he used to, it's simply because there aren't as many rumors. I think people are simply imagining that he doesn't cover as much as he used to. It's still all there. As a note, I find that the best part of his site is the "Team Chart", which conveniently lists all the numbers/drivers for the next season.

Just imagine where we'd be WITHOUT Jayski. We'd be screwed! We'd have to depend on NA$CAR Now and NA$CAR.com. Yeah...

Also, remember that Jay actually does have a life. I'd venture to guess that he spends less time on the site now than he used to when he lived in Jersey, simply because he has a g/f or whatever (I'm not trying to pry). Nobody can spend 18+ hours a day working on the site over a long period of time. The guy needs breaks.

Anonymous said...

Jayski is a fine news aggreggator.

He is not so hot with his "rumors," which while intriguing, frequently turn out to be wrong (or "denied" as he puts it--he never actually comes out and says "I was wrong.").

With the advent of Google's e-mail alerts--they send you news headlines you request--I find myself spending less time there.

And will SOMEONE please tell NASCAR.com that only losers make their web video players start with the soudnd up full?

Anonymous said...

Interesting that Marty Smith referenced an "Internet report" -maybe he just didn't want to say Sports Illustrated.com (Tim Tuttle at SI was the source of that rumor) since they are a direct competitor and it would be a no-no to put them on air?

Still "Internet report" does carry somewhat negative connotations. He could have just said "a news report" or "there have been reports" like he usually does.

Anonymous said...

Y'all do realize NASCAR.com is not owned or operated by NASCAR, right?

Andy Pandy said...

I first saw Marty Smith as one of the guys from NASCAR.com. Hmm, that would make him an Internet reporter. Maybe I should take his addvice and not pay much attention to what he's saying these days. Or does has he become more credible now that we can see his lips move?

Andy Pandy said...

PS - "Or does has he become..."

I hope the new version of this site has an edit function so I don't make myself look so stupid.

Vince said...

A few comments in response to the items John brought up in the blog today.

Jayski:
I started reading Jay's site about 10 years ago and back then it was a "must read" for the inside scoop on all things Nascar. I agree with several posters here, that now he has become a compiler of news from other sources. I very rarely see him come up with a real scoop anymore. Actually come to think about it, since he sold the site to ESPN. I still read the site once or twice a week, but not several times a day like I used to. I use other Internet sources now to find most of my Nascar news. Remember Google is your friend.

Nascar.com:
As someone that has been in the IT field for 30 years and has designed a few web pages himself, I find this site almost totally useless. It was bad from day one and has gotten progressively worse over the years. It is WAY too cluttered. Hard to navigate and the number of ads on it are getting ridiculous. I use the Firefox browser with Adblock and thankfully that filters out most of the popups and ads.

HotPass:
Never seen it, can't get it. Unless Charter cable decides to come up with something like HotPass I can't comment on this one. I'm envious of those of you that have it. It sounds great.

As for NascarNotNow, I gave up on that show about a month ago and don't even watch it or DVR it anymore. It has been a major disappointment. And don't get me started about Mikey's show (INC). Sorry I don't care for Mikey and his endless plugs for his sponsors. I haven't watched this show since AB and Johnny were unceremoniously dumped off of it.

ruddrpm said...

If anyone ever gets bored go to Jayski & sift through some of his archived news/rumor pages. I think its great to read about the rumors of old now that we know how everything turned out! The late-90's were his hay-day as far as his "I'm hearing that____" rumors go. No they weren't always accurate(ok probably not even 50% of the time), but that was half the fun. Its still a must read on a daily basis, but there are a lot more nothing press releases to sift through these days.

Anonymous said...

Hotpass early in the year tried to get many drivers involed. Those from lower end teams or teammates to the big dogs. Since the chase started it's been all chase drivers. I hear next year will strickly be guys running in the top ten during the season (plus jr of course). It is nice to see action on the track even when there are commercials. For less than 3 bucks a weekend, I'm all over it.

Anonymous said...

I too agree with a couple of previous posters that Jayski.com is not updated quite as frequently as it used to be. I don't know if the ESPN thing took away some of his freedom to link to articles or what. A bunch of people I work with rely totally on Nascar.com, and I used to be able to "scoop" them by reading Jayski instead. It's not so much that way anymore. Just another much loved site gone corporate, I guess.

Deborah said...

How can Nascar Now cite Jayski when many his items come from other media outlets who are competitors to ESPN/Nascar Now? Many of the other items are press releases that Nascar Now probably gets themselves. As for the "I heard" items it seems to me that Nascar Now has to do their own reporting on those kinds of items to ensure their accuracy and once the story becomes their own, there's not really much reason to cite Jayski.

As for Jayski the site, I think it's a great place to find a lot of news, articles and information, past and present, all in one place.

Anonymous said...

Jayski's site is still the best all-around place to get the latest goings on in NASCAR, as far as I'm concerned.

I've been a reader of his site since BEFORE it was www.jayski.com, and at one time he and I talked about starting a e-zine/newsletter together. I should have tried harder :)

Just as an FYI to some of the previous comments. Jayski did get married earlier this year, and that might also have an effect on frequency of posting updates.

Mike Irwin
www.MotorSportsNews.Net
Home of the Stock Car Gazette E-zine

Anonymous said...

Nice promo on someone else's site there!

Barry said...

First let me say that I found your columns through a link from Jayski. I have read his site for many years. As I recall, Michael mentioned it on IWC and that started me reading the JAYSKI site on a daily basis.

I had NASCAR.com as my homepage for many years. Then they went commercial and I lost interest.

I go to several races each year, difficult to do when you live in CA and don't go to Fontana.

I wouldn't miss the pre-race show on ABC because, as another poster stated, I am watching SPEED. Not because of the on-air personalities, I suffer through them to get the tasty morsels from the pits or from guests, etc.

I have really enjoyed your articles on INC and as a regular watcher, I think they have gotten your point. Recent shows with and without Mikey have been much better.

Thanks for staying on top of the coverage for us, I think you are making a difference.

Anonymous said...

I check Jay's site nearly every day as the easiest way to check all the news sites from one location (I've been viewing for about 10 years). I suspect that at least some of Jay's sources purposefully leak information to make people notice and to keep their publicity machine going...just like celebrities and their press people do. Nothing wrong with that. Whenever the info is wrong, some people want to make a big deal out of it, but they don't often want to admit how often the info given to him is correct...that said, I have found it curious myself as to what kind of cooperative relationship they (ESPN) really want and how they could use it.

NASCAR.com--anything I could say would be superfluous--others have already said it all. Worse than awful. But as to the comment that NASCAR doesn't own it--that may be true, but I presume they lease the rights to the name (I'm sure for a hefty sum...), and I'm sure it's not a lifetime agreement--in other words, if they don't like how it's done, they would be able to pull the plug (eventually) no? I would not pay extra for any of the services offered there. I'm only 'sort of' obsessed, lol. I draw the line at giving the NASCAR-driven machine any more money than I already do for tickets, merchandise, etc.

Anonymous said...

Jayski is my number one 'go-to' site for all kinds of stuff. Mostly the race weekend schedule including t.v. coverage and I'll click on the 'other articles' link regularly and read ones that interest me. It's also good for paint scheme photos and I like to read the entry list for the Busch races.

I have also noticed a slow down in rumors and whatnot but it seems like it has been a slower silly season, too.

The NASCAR.com website is a piece of junk since they redid it. The only things I use it for now are TrackPass Pit Command during the race and I read the 'Inside the Halls of Petty' article on Tuesday. Other than that, it's a complete waste of time. I have never encountered a website that is as difficult to navigate as this one.

Another thing they did that pissed me off is that they totally effed up the Live Leaderboard last week. It used to be a simple box that would show the driver positions, lap speeds and a few other tidbits. It was nice because I could tile it with Pit Command during the Cup race and keep track of various things on one screen. Now if I want to utilize the LL at all, I have to click on the page and scroll all the way down the page to see where everyone is. It doesn't even update lap by lap unless I hit the refresh tab. (I discovered that this weekend during the race.) I can still get the same info from Pit Command but it requires switching from tab to tab there.

Thank you ruddrpm for the www.racing-reference.info website. I've bookmarked it and will check it out later on today.

slithybill said...

I no longer watch NASCAR Now regularly, but on Monday I turned it on at 5:05pm Central time, thinking I had missed only the first five minutes of the hour-long show. Eric Kuselias was giving a rundown of the Chasers, wrapping up with a graphic on the standings. He then brought back Stacy Compton and Boris Said, so I realized I must be in the second half hour. Sure enough, the Monday show runs from 4:30 - 5:30 CT. I was going to turn it off, but then Mr. Said caught my attention.

Boris Said: "I agree (with Compton), I mean the Chase has made the racing so exciting but there's one negative thing about it. Since the Chase started we've forgotten about all the other guys. If you're outside the Chase we never talked about them anymore. I mean this past weekend Dave Blaney finishes 6th, David Stremme, fighting for a job, finishes 9th, and Michael Waltrip finished 10th. We didn't even mention those guys. We even forgot about Ricky Rudd, his first race back since his injury, finished 11th. So I think as broadcasters that's the only bad thing. We forget about everybody else once the Chase starts because it's so exciting."

I couldn't believe I was hearing this on ESPN. So I kept watching, but Mr. Kuselias threw it to a commercial.

Eric Kuselias: "Boris, you're walking into my wheelhouse 'cuz we're going to talk about just about every guy that you mentioned when our Insiders join us coming up in a few minutes. Also up ahead, the Busch race - very interesting. We have the pictures to prove it and we'll have your full report. And Boris Said is a prophet, because if you look now, Michael Waltrip and Toyota has pieced together some very positive weekends back-to-back and our Insiders have the details for you. We'll be back next, this is NASCAR NOW."

I wanted to hear what Marty Smith had to say about Michael Waltrip and Toyota, so I DVR'ed the rest of the show. I just finished watching it this afternoon, and guess what? Mr. Kuselias' tease was patently untrue. Michael Waltrip's positive weekends and the Busch race were not seen. Coming back from commercial (with 20 minutes left in the show), Mr. Kuselias gave us "News and Notes", starting with Dale Jarrett's retirement announcement, then the 8 car's Army paint-scheme unveiling, Gateway testing, and an ARCA mention. Then he brought in Angelique Chengelis and Marty Smith, the NASCAR NOW Insiders who are supposed to give us the details of Michael Waltrip's positive back-to-back weekends. They talked about Greg Biffle, Jeff Green, Best Buy, David Stremme, Ricky Rudd, Sam Hornish Jr., and Richie Gilmore. No Waltrip. No Toyota.

Another commercial break. Now there are 10 minutes left in the show.

Eric Kuselias: "Welcome back to NASCAR Now. For your (Direct TV) Hot Pass, Busch race ran on Friday night in Charlotte, and with Jeff Burton's win Richard Childress extended his points lead to over 100 points in the owner's standings. Denny Hamlin's 5th place, combined with Carl Edwards' DNF, enough to catapult Joe Gibbs ahead of Jack Roush. Carl Edwards now failed to finish back-to-back races for the first time this season." All of this was voiced-over against a graphic showing the top 5 "OWNER STANDINGS 2007 NASCAR BUSCH SERIES". No highlights, no video, despite being told earlier by Mr. Kuselias that "We have the pictures to prove it" that the Busch race was "very interesting".

Mr. Kuselias then took us "back Cupside" and brought in Shannon Spake, NASCAR NOW Reporter, to do a feature on Jeff Gordon's improbable victory at Charlotte. The last segment of the show was a recap of Charlotte and a preview of Martinsville. Oh, yeah. There was one more thing. Mr. Kuselias: "On behalf of everybody here at NASCAR NOW, I'm Eric Kuselias, thank you very much for watching. And here's the deal. As always, as always we do on Monday, we end it with one of the great rock-n-roll bands of all time. We're bringing in Aerosmith to recap the weekend that was at Charlotte. Jeff Gordon on top, Clint Bowyer lurking, Jimmie Johnson in second place. Thanks for watching. Good night." Cut to Aerosmith and race highlights.

So despite having been told, with a preloaded clip and not just in response to Boris Said's comments, that the Insiders were going to talk about Michael Waltrip and Toyota, they didn't. They had two perfect segues, the first following the "News and Notes" story about Dale Jarrett's plans for 2008, the second following the listing of the Busch Owner points (Waltrip is 5th).

Despite being told "we have the pictures to prove it", they didn't show any Busch race highlights. How can they get that wrong? They have a script, don't they? This show is taped. Why didn't they go back and fix it? Change the "still to come" tease and throw in Aerosmith instead of Waltrip and Toyota. I would understand if there was some breaking news that interrupted the show, but nothing like that happened. They still had 20 minutes left after they previewed the segments, so I don't think they ran out of time.

This is not the first time I've noticed them preview something that they never actually show. I no longer record the show, only turning it on if I think about it. But usually I don't think about it until it's already aired. Oh well. If ESPN can't get a taped news show about NASCAR right, no wonder they're having so much trouble with the actual race broadcasts.

I did miss the first half hour of the show. Did they run the Waltrip/Toyota piece then? But that would mean they were "previewing" something they had already shown. That would never happen. Maybe they merely ran the segments out of order?

By the way, does anyone know the difference between a "NASCAR Now Insider" and a "NASCAR Now Reporter"?

Ann_Ominous said...

@ stricklinfan82,

Yes, HotPass does show the commercials in side by side, but if you go to alternate audio track #3 you will hear the in-car audio instead of the commercial. Of course, sometimes they aren't saying much!, but it's still better than hearing the commercial!

Dot said...

I have been having lunch with Jayski for years while at work. If not for him, I wouldn't know about The Daly Planet. TDP is a must read everyday. Re: NASCAR.com, you're right about the volume on that site. Just about blasts you out of your chair. How many people at work have been busted surfing that site forgetting to turn the volume off?

Anonymous said...

Jasyki (I like the compiled information he has there and think he's great) has a rumor today --- and it's about ESPN!

"New Dale Jr. show on ESPN? hearing that Dale Earnhardt Jr. is working on a deal with ESPN to telecast a mini-series following Dale Jr as he makes the transition to Hendrick Motorsports from now up to the Daytona 500, which Jr's people have already started taping meetings, all kinds of behind the scenes situations. No word on an air date.(10-16-2007)"

This would normally be great news. But like its other shows, ESPN will probably air it at some odd time (either afternoon or 10 PM), once a week, with no repeats.

R. H. said...

JD,
I'm surprised that Jayski has continued to link your articles. You have been so critical, and rightfully so, about ESPN's work, that I thought the suits at ESPN would have put a stop to it.

Anonymous said...

In my opinion, the Jayski site is still the best "first option" news source in the world of NASCAR. I love the simple format. Its like a pair of broken in loafers. Jayski was a fan's best friend for years, and ESPN has not ruined the site, to their credit. I can live with the promo banners, no bid deal. I especially love following the qualifying session on the Jayski site. If I sound like a Jayski fan, well that would be true.

Anonymous said...

it seems like it has been a slower silly season, too.


You're kidding, right?

Busch Series Fan! said...

I don't think Jayski posts as many rumors since they joined up with ESPN but that's just my opinion. I find getting around their website is getting easier though.

Anonymous said...

Not for nothing, but if you're going to use these pictures at the top of your posts and claim "fair use," the least you could do is make the Jayski.com picture a link to Jayski.com. It's only fair. Instead, when you click the picture, you just get the picture on a separate page.

Anonymous said...

Do you guys realize that Jays "sources" are actually team members? They are wrong when they overhear or misinterpret, but when Jayski is right 50% of the time, heck that says a lot! My local news station isn't 100% correct on all content that often!
ps: I know many don't but I LOVE Dave Dispain (and Mikey and Kenny and Biffle, but who ever started calling Greg "the Biff" should be shot).
(from, Coffee)

Anonymous said...

Would it be too much to ask if ABC/ESPN could hire MRN to do their broadcasts. The only thing better than MRN radio would be MRN TV!

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

slithybill -

You are exactly right about Klulesas's tease on NN Monday night. This kind of foolishness goes on all the time with that program. I get the feeling that it's put together by a team of interns who know nothing about NASCAR, or even racing in general. In fact, I believe Klulesas himself is nothing but a glorified intern, just logging hours on TV to fulfill some requirement of his college education!

What a joke!

Anonymous said...

Fox, TNT and ABC/ESPN get a ratings bump through Directv's coverage.

Directv's "cuss button" is manned by local hires. So some weeks more audio sneaks by than others. The delay can be bypassed, it's the producers call.

If you could look around the NASCAR TV compound at the ESPN/ABC production people, you would probably think that these "kids" were there to attend some other event. Say a tennis match or maybe a baseball game. You could safely bet that most of these young production workers wouldn't know the difference between Bill or Ernie Elliott, Cale Yarborough or David Pearson, or understand anything about Dale, Jr.'s namesake.