Saturday, November 17, 2007

In-Progress At Homestead: Happy Hour, Countdown, And Busch Series Race


ESPN2's problems with covering NASCAR action on Saturday afternoons have been well documented this fall. Once the college football season began, NASCAR took it right on the chin from the network.

The core problem has been the college football game that begins each Saturday at Noon Eastern Time. College football games take three and one half hours, but ESPN has continually scheduled live NASCAR at 3PM. Needless to say, problems followed.

Once again this Saturday, ESPN2 has UConn playing Syracuse at Noon, followed by the final NEXTEL Cup Happy Hour at 3PM. Since Happy Hour is followed by the NASCAR Countdown pre-race show and then the final Busch Series race, the on-air time of Happy Hour will be "collapsed" as the football game runs past 3PM.

This means if the football game runs at normal length, ESPN2 viewers will miss half of the final Happy Hour. If there is an on-field serious injury or overtime, NASCAR may lose live TV altogether for the final NEXTEL Cup Happy Hour of 2007.

ESPN2 will once again feature Dr. Jerry Punch, Rusty Wallace, and Andy Petree on all three Saturday programs. Allen Bestwick will host NASCAR Countdown from the Infield Studio alongside of Brad Daugherty. The pit reporters will be Mike Massaro, Jamie Little, Dave Burns, and Shannon Spake.

This page will host your comments on Happy Hour, NASCAR Countdown, and the final Busch Series race on ESPN2. Please keep your comments to the TV issues associated with these telecasts, and read the rules for posting on the right side of the main page.

To add your comment, simply click on the COMMENTS button below and follow the instructions. There is nothing to join, and we do not want your email address. What we want at The Daly Planet is your opinion, thanks for taking the time to add your thoughts to this Internet conversation.

214 comments:

1 – 200 of 214   Newer›   Newest»
Erik said...

If anyone expects ESPN to drop college football in order to give secondary non-race Cup coverage, or a minor league series a hard window on Saturday, I got some swamp land in Arizona to sell you.

Football games aren't going to start earlier than 12, that only means the races are going to have to start later.

Of course there could be an additional ESPN channel added taht nobody gets for the race coverage.

Anonymous said...

SPEED is showing the beginning of happy hour.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
stricklinfan82 said...

5 minutes until Happy Hour and ESPN2 college football has 11 minutes left, ESPN Classic college football has 12 minutes left, and ESPN college football has 8 minutes left.

Brian France, Mike Helton, other NASCAR leaders, are you paying attention? The network you sold the entire Busch Series package and the second half of the Nextel Cup package is providing no coverage of Happy Hour. Let's hope something is done about this in time for 2008.

Sure would have been nice if ESPN did the right thing for the fans and let Speed cover Happy Hour since they knew they didn't have time to air it in its entirety.

haus20 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SophiaZ123 said...

I am thrilled but why is SPEED showing happy hour? The college game is running long on ESPN2? Surprise.

What lousy scheduling...poor folks trying to tape or tivo this stuff. IMPOSSIBLE.

:-)

Please folks do not FEED the trolls here to bait us or apologize for certain stations.

We real fans know how things should be handled as does the fearless founder of this site.

Oops...looks like JR is wrapping up the show.

Wah...... JD!!! Daddy, mommy!

9 minutes left in the game.

Thanks PeeSPN P U

Billy Delyon said...

Last happy hour of the seaon. A BLOW OUT GAME, And they stay with it and screw us... Lovely..

Thanks ESPN. You guys have done a wonderful (NOT) job this season...

Daly Planet Editor said...

No mention by the football announcers. Final Happy Hour of the season. No mention of ESPN360. (3:02PM)

stricklinfan82 said...

And Speed had to leave the air because they hit ESPN's exclusive broadcast window. Just lovely.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Certainly would be nice if they could do a cut-in and at least update the Homestead Happy Hour activity and promo the Busch race.

Jo said...

I just switched over & yuppers No Happy Hour - it will be joined in progress - means we won't see it mostly- Thank God for MRN!

Anonymous said...

Billy Delyon said...
Last happy hour of the seaon. A BLOW OUT GAME, And they stay with it and screw us... Lovely..

November 17, 2007 3:02 PM

that excuse can not be used. However unlikely it may be, if someone was leading a race by 3 laps, would you want them to dump the coverage?

Also, there is no other place to put the happy hour coverage. ESPN classic has a live game right now.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Even in the 1980's, ESPN would have made an effort to do a NASCAR cut-in and replace one of the college football updates.

You would think twenty years later they could pull the same thing off between plays.

Notice the network dumped the "coming up next" ticker.

Billy Delyon said...

Abd what does ESPN new have on??? Oh yeah, highlights...

Its valid.. May not be to you, but it is to me.

stricklinfan82 said...

Shame on ESPN for buying the exclusive rights to this practice session KNOWING they wouldn't be able to air it in its entirety and shame on NASCAR for allowing this to happen.

Why is NASCAR on this network when it's constantly put on the backburner? ESPN bought the final 2/3 of Ford Championship Week (the Busch Series and Cup Series) and the only coverage they provided of any on-track action all week were the two races themselves, Cup qualifying, and maybe the last few minutes of Happy Hour. That's certainly showing dedication to this sport.

Billy Delyon said...

man, ESPN has fallen far from the old days of covering racin.... Just 7 years ago is all it was... Can they really forget that much in that time??

Anonymous said...

Here are still 7 minutes in the UConn game, and 5 time outs.

Anonymous said...

Billy Delyon said...
Abd what does ESPN new have on??? Oh yeah, highlights...

Its valid.. May not be to you, but it is to me.

November 17, 2007 3:09 PM

remember...the coverage is on ESPN 2. NOT ESPN. On ESPN 2 there is a LIVE game.

Kevin in Indy said...

I am am in utter disbelief! A football game that doesn't end in exactly 3 hours. Hey ESPN, this is another reason everyone, except that erik poster-dude HATES your pathetic coverage. I am glad that the season is almost over so I don't have to put up with this crap every weekend. Here's a score update.......UConn 30 Syracuse 7. UConn, that sounds like what the suits at ESPN did to NASCAR. UConn'ed us all.

Billy Delyon said...

As far as I know, ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPN news, ESPN Classic are all apart of the ESPN family.
Again, ESPN news is showing highlights at the moment..
Time and time again racing as taken 2nd slot to what ever else they've got going on that day....

It blows.. NASCAR should be livid...

Anonymous said...

It's even more prounounced today since SPEED has been live from the track all day...

ESPN just doesn't care.

It makes me sick to my stomach I even have my TV on ESPN2 right now since I don't want to miss a second of Happy (Half) Hour.

stricklinfan82 said...

And I'm sure rather than immediately updating the fans on what we've missed during the session, ESPN will start the Happy Hour broadcast with "One Race Ago", 10 minutes of hype, a commercial break, and then maybe we'll finally get to see some on-track action after the commercial. Let's see if my prediction holds up.

Oh, and what do you suppose this week's 5 minute waste of time video package will be? They've already used the Pit Studio, Tech Center, and ESPN prodcution truck in the last 3 weeks. What could be left to further distract viewers from actual on-track action?

Erik said...

I fired up espn360.com, no happy hour there either.

Snafam said...

And sadly, ESPN2 will probably have several of their football games with increased viewer-ship ratings for the last quarter of several of their football games. They will forget that it was because of NASCAR fans tuning in, and that will justify their doing it the same way next year.

Daly Planet Editor said...

As you have seen in this game, ESPN is entirely capable of cutting-in between plays to update college football highlights.

It would have helped if they cut-in just once to update the NASCAR action and promote the coverage.

That is the real shame here.

Anonymous said...

The game should end soon. we will see more than "a few minutes" of happy hour. I believe we will see more than last week.

Anonymous said...

Hey since college footbal has a rule that networks cant dump coverage. Why doesn't NASCAR do the same?

SonicAD said...

Remember that ESPN2 has a re-air of Happy Hour scheduled for 2AM, so set your DVRs.

Anonymous said...

Of course, I don't know why I'm even looking forward to Happy Hour on ESPN. It's not like they show the cars on the track or anything...

SPEED's coverage of practice this morning was awesome. A good mix of garage interviews and cars on the track, etc.

Anonymous said...

Daly Planet Editor said...
As you have seen in this game, ESPN is entirely capable of cutting-in between plays to update college football highlights.

It would have helped if they cut-in just once to update the NASCAR action and promote the coverage.

That is the real shame here.

November 17, 2007 3:20 PM

JD, I believe you and others here have not like ESPN promoting NASCAR like they have done the past week. why is this any difference?

jmb said...

Screwed yet again by espn and still never been kissed. sigh.

Brett said...

At least they left the game quickly.......its the least they could do.

Erik said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jo said...

3:23 finally its on

Anonymous said...

No Happy Hour on ESPN360.com ...


I warned people last year when the tv contract was announced (and Disney had a BIG portion of the overall contract) that people should NOT get their hopes up thinking that the tv coverage would return to the good old days ... Disney has proven me right so many times over that I have lost count ...

Though, I have to think that maybe some people's memories of ESPN is somewhat colored as absence makes the heart grow fonder ... And people were just hoping that Disney would do a really good job ... How many of those people remember the Craftsman Truck races being broadcasted at 2am pacific??



Disney should've done the right thing and let News Corp air any & all on-track activity that Disney didn't have the room for ... especially at times when there are issues with the scheduling because of college football ...

Brett said...

I was not aware Jimmie Johnson is the only one practicing today,

Tabula Rasa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Daly Planet Editor said...

Let's talk about the program now that it is on. This is the final Happy Hour for the year.

Erik, knock it off. One of my best friends is an ESPN VP in Media Relations, if I need a company opinion, I will call and get it.

Daly Planet Editor said...

tab,

I think they just had a routing error. I got the same thing.

Jo said...

4 mins in and the draft trak is on!!!! No update of early happy hour - no info or update!!!!

Billy Delyon said...

OH JEEZZZUS..

Come into happy hour, and show us HOW DRAFT TRACK WORKS????

Are you kidding me...

nope. they're not.....

PammH said...

Now they have HH & they're showing us how they invented the hated Draft Track...This coverage is NOT good for my BP...

elena said...

Well, here's the draft track AGAIN!

They are NOT showing the cars practicing!!!! WHY???

Daly Planet Editor said...

Kind of tough to swallow a taped feature with cars on the track twenty minutes late into the session.

Anonymous said...

OMG!!! Draft track instead of practice. I've had it. They just said DT tells the story of the race. Now we know why coverage is so bad if that's what they think.

stricklinfan82 said...

stricklinfan82 said...

Oh, and what do you suppose this week's 5 minute waste of time video package will be? They've already used the Pit Studio, Tech Center, and ESPN prodcution truck in the last 3 weeks. What could be left to further distract viewers from actual on-track action?

November 17, 2007 3:18 PM


And the winner is.... Draft Tracks! We had to wait 23 minutes to finally get some kind of coverage and ESPN still won't show us what is happening ON THE TRACK!!!

We don't give a damn about your technical gizmos ESPN, we tuned in to see the live on-track activity. Save that crap for NASCAR Now.

bevo said...

Hey! We get to meet the *wizards* behind the DraftTrack!

Please go back to video game development

elena said...

Now we're watching video of Biffle's career at Homestead!!! Now commercial. NO CAMERAS ON THE TRACK AND WHO'S PRACTICING11

Erik said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Tabula Rasa said...
Bay Area - ESPN2 SD is showing Happy Hour. ESPN2HD is showing the same programming as ESPNHD. WTF...

November 17, 2007 3:27 PM

No problem with ESPN2 HD in California.

bevo said...

Note to self...

If I ever run into Rusty be sure to tell him how much we LOVE draft track...

(sarcasm)

Jo said...

How any shots of JJ alone on the track do we need?

stricklinfan82 said...

Sure would be nice to see practice speeds on the crawl on the top of the screen instead of the starting lineup.

AnnOminous said...

Sheesh!! 23 or so minutes of Happy Hour coverage gone to a blowout football game.

Then 10 minutes into what coverage we do get, we get a behind the scenes look at how they make the dreaded draft tracker instead of cars out on the track.

AAAARRRRRRGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH!!!

I have a college degree in mathematics. I understand vector math. Granted I have forgotten a lot of it, but that draft tracker is still a bunch of meaningless color to me.

And no, I don't think a detailed explanation of all the equations used to compute it would help either.

bevo said...

Note to self...

Research the collected wisdom of Mr. Iverson...

Carl In Alaska said...

Should have know we would be screwed again. I woke up late into Happy Hour secure in the thought that my DVR was recording Happy Hour. Lo and behold, college football and no ticker sayiing anything about where was Happy Hour. With the game over coverage began with 1: No Appology, 2: The Jeff & Jimmie Show and 3: That G*& Blasted Draft Tracker being hyped with everyone requesting it. NASCAR get this through your corporate money grubbing minds, we want better than coverage from a stick and ball network that treats you like a red headed step cousin.

Frustrated in North Pole,
Carl

Jo said...

Now a taped interview w/JJ - wow just what I haven't seen an interview w/JJ. Could we add draft tak to this - its been a long time ...
(dripping sarcasm)

Brian said...

I gave up on ESPN along time ago, this is ridiculous. Hats off to you guys for not giving up, just have to wait until February when things are right again the way they should be, with FOX and SPEED leading the way.

Sad part is we still have ESPN the full way around for Busch, maybe I just won't watch the "Nation Wide" Series then.

Can't wait to see FOX and SPEED back in Feb. ESPN can take a hike, and never come back.

elena said...

This is a preview of tomorrow. Only JJ is racing. And now a taped interview.

stricklinfan82 said...

Another video package.

JD,

I'm not an experienced TV veteran like you so correct me if I'm wrong, but if you are at a location to provide TV coverage of an event of some sort, shouldn't the most fundamental rule of covering that event be to... put the cameras on the event you're there to televise?

Billy Delyon said...

erik.. You just don't have a clue when it come's to NASCAR...

We don't CARE if its just practice, Car's are on the track, we want to see them.

I bet you more than half of us would watch feb testing at Daytona if they televised it...

NASCAR fan's have been getting every practice for the past 7 years.
Practice matters to us.

Anonymous said...

ESPN joins Happy Hour late and goes into a Draft Track feature with Rusty saying how many fans tell him how much they love it. I'm beginning to believe ESPN does pay attention to fans' criticisms, then purposely shoves it in our faces by doing the very things we hate about their coverage.

Makiki

bevo said...

Who is this Jimmie Johnson fella? I assume he's a NASCAR driver???

(yes, sarcasm again)

PammH said...

erik, you are just a pot-stirrer.

Daly Planet Editor said...

What I have tried to direct your attention to this season was the "wall" between the departments at ESPN.

They continued to update college football highlights instead of NASCAR after 3PM. Jerry Punch offered no "scene set" or explanation of why they were late.

Its like there are rival frats at ESPN, and each will not acknowledge the other. It would have been nice if the football announcers would have talked about being late to the final NASCAR Happy Hour and mentioned Jerry, Rusty, and Andy.

These are very fundamental TV issues that ESPN has done for years. Going to be interesting to see how these things work next season.

Newracefan said...

Well at least we got the 07 spinning I can not think of anything else positive so I'll stop here

stricklinfan82 said...

Nice of the 07 to spin to divert ESPN's minimal on-track coverage away from the 48... Ok, enough of that, back to Jimmie! Now a Jef Gordon video package! You've gotta be kidding me.

bevo said...

JD,

Isn't there something like a producer who coordinates ESPN2 coverages between the different events?

Anonymous said...

Hi folks,
I cut ESPN on but have been listening to Press pass on Sirius because of the announcers, I figured I could check in on the TV and catch up with what's going on.
BOY WAS I WRONG!!!. Ever time I have looked at the TV I see: Jimmy Johnson, Jeff Gordon, the hated DRAFT CRAP, Jimmy Johnson, commercial,Jimmy Johnson ETC. Is this really Nascar Cup Happy Hour or the Jeff and Jimmy show. The race hasen't even started and i'm already fed up with coverage. Oops they showed Clint Boyer.

Glenn in GA

AnnOminous said...

Actually Erik, I always watch the field goal kicker's warm up kicks.

One time I wasn't watching and one went into the stands and hit me in the side of the head. I swear I felt my brain move inside my skull.

Maybe I got brain damage from that kick, because I actually like to see the cars out on the track doing practice laps. And that is carS plural. I want to see as many cars as possible, not just the 48.

Anonymous said...

I understand Jimmie Johnson is a great driver and Chad Knaus is a great crew chief, but I am really getting sick of the non-stop coverage of everything they do and how detailed they are, etc.

All of the good drivers/teams are thorough!

It's really a shame I can't even enjoy a great show like NASCAR Performance anymore since Chad Knaus is constantly shoved down my throat on every single NASCAR program...

Of course, he should sail to an easy win tomorrow since he appears to be the only car in the field based on the Happy Hour coverage.

Newracefan said...

JD, John Robert's is the king of tying things together, his summary of what we missed (usually because ESPN was suppose to show us) is great. We get the highlights, who's fast, who's slow and did anything significant happen. PS I'll take Ray and Randy's demonstration of why JR dropped his transmission in the earlier practice over draft track any day. What to bet we get the spots on JJ and JG tomorrow during prerace or possibly the actual race. it's now 3:48 and I think I've seen a total of 5 minutes of actual cars on the track- JJ, JG and Clint

Anonymous said...

Man I feel sorry for all of you non-48/24 fans out there.

At least I got 10 seconds of my driver! (Smoke)

At least the 07 got some air time by spinning out!

elena said...

Between the commercials and the vidoes, this is NOT HAPPY HOUR

Jo said...

>Daly Planet Editor said...
What I have tried to direct your attention to this season was the "wall" between the departments at ESPN.

They continued to update college football highlights instead of NASCAR after 3PM. Jerry Punch offered no "scene set" or explanation of why they were late.

Its like there are rival frats at ESPN, and each will not acknowledge the other. It would have been nice if the football announcers would have talked about being late to the final NASCAR Happy Hour and mentioned Jerry, Rusty, and Andy.

These are very fundamental TV issues that ESPN has done for years. Going to be interesting to see how these things work next season.
>
Is there no one at espn who can get them all pulling in the same direction? I know nothing of tv except whay I see - & I ain't thrilled to see a Jeff interview instead of HH.
Who is the "project manager" for this? Shouldn't they be co ordinating coverage?
Where is NASCAR - why are they (Brian) not getting this fixed!!!?? the NFL would never tolerate this lack of coverage.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Great observations,

ESPN has a Coor Prod in charge, but he is a football guy who is integrating coverage. The NASCAR stuff is a stand-alone event, and treated like tennis or golf.

This approach certainly makes SPEED and both John Roberts and Steve Byrnes work today stand out.

Now that HH is over, it would be a good time to show that Draft Tracker feature. That was a big mistake earlier.

PammH said...

I actually had to mute the tv because I just cannot handle the JJ show any longer.

Anonymous said...

I really wish I DVRed this show so I could put a stopwatch on how much on-track coverage ESPN2 provided.

So the 07 got some time for his spin and the 1 got some time for hitting the wall but other than that I seriously doubt there was much more than 60 seconds of cars on the track other than the 48/24?

On a one hour (well, 40 minute) program?

Inexcusible. Pathetic.

stricklinfan82 said...

Are you ready for some staggering numbers?

ESPN was on the air for 28 minutes of practice until the red & black flags came out, and we saw exactly 6 cars on camera during that time. SIX!!!!!!!

I'm not making this up, I just re-wounding my TiVo and counted. Obviously the 24 and 48. They also briefly showed the 20, 17, and 16, and also showed the 07 but only because he spun.

Also, ESPN notably ommitted any mention of Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s transmission problems in the earlier practice session that Speed was all over.

Are they trying to do as terrible of a job as possible "covering practice" (if that's what you call it)?

elena said...

I wonder if ESPN2 was contractually obligated to show commercials that were scheduled during the 1/2 they were at the football game?? I wish I had clocked them, but it's got to be 3 minutes on 5 minutes off.

Newracefan said...

This is crazy, JJ is my driver but even I can not stand this coverage. I care about a lot of other cars and I have no clue how HH went for them. Off to FOXsports on MSN for the important information.

Billy Delyon said...

In my opinion all the taped stuff thats been put up during happy hour should have waited for another time.

They already missed missed more than half of Happy Hour, and then they show us 3 taped pieces in the 25 minutes left?

mercy.

bevo said...

If Happy Hour was brought to us by Bank of America they really need to see about getting a refund

Anonymous said...

Be thankful you're getting at least some coverage of Happy Hour. Here in Canada, TSN (ESPN's Canadian broadcasting partner) is showing the semifinal tennis game from the Master's tournament in Shanghai. Since it's just finished (at 12:55 Pacific), I assume the Busch countdown will start on time. No NASCAR, even in an abbreviated form, though.

--KB

PammH said...

billy-what you bet they show most of those clips on the pre-race Sunday??

stricklinfan82 said...

Daly Planet Editor said...
Great observations,

ESPN has a Coor Prod in charge, but he is a football guy who is integrating coverage. The NASCAR stuff is a stand-alone event, and treated like tennis or golf.

This approach certainly makes SPEED and both John Roberts and Steve Byrnes work today stand out.

Now that HH is over, it would be a good time to show that Draft Tracker feature. That was a big mistake earlier.

November 17, 2007 3:51 PM


JD,

It's not like this is unprecendented. They showed similar taped videos showing a behind the scenes look at ESPN's Pit Studio and production truck during Happy Hour at Texas and Atlanta. I didn't see Phoenix Happy Hour but I did watch the Busch race and they aired a similar video of the Dish Tech Center.

They seem to know what they're doing. To them it seems practice is boring and they are obviously making a conscious effort to show other things instead of the on-track action to fill their 60 minute Happy Hour broadcasts. This is terribly terribly wrong.

bevo said...

anonymous 3:59 -

We might as well be in Canada, trust me you missed nothing. There MIGHT have been 2 minutes of actual coverage, and I'm being optimistic about that.

Anonymous said...

I like the Draft Tracker ... Partly because it annoys the cheese out of some people ... LOL


SPEED fell into the same drone of the two battling for the championship last night in the truck race ... There were times when it sounded like only Hornaday and Skinner were in the race ... especially since there were only FOUR cautions and two were completely UNnecessary ...



I have absolutely NO expectations for Disney for next year ... So, anything they do good, will up their worth ... LOL ... IF you set the bar on the floor, the only way they can go is UP ...

Billy Delyon said...

pammh-bet your TOTALLY right!

Anonymous said...

To be fair, I think they actually showed 8 cars (the 1 and 88 got some time).

But, the 24 and 48 had a reason to be on, the 07 and 1 had incidents, the 16 led into a package on his three consecutive wins, and they only showed the 88 to highlight Rudd's last race.

So, the only car they showed on the track for any unpredetermined reason was the 20 - which is kind of funny since he doesn't really talk to ESPN...

It's actually shocking they didn't spend 10 minutes on Junior's problems from the morning practice.

stricklinfan82 said...

To be fair, I think they actually showed 8 cars (the 1 and 88 got some time).

Yep, that's my fault. I rewound the TiVo to count as soon as the red and black flags were displayed. It wasn't until practice was over that ESPN documented the 1's problems and showed Ricky Rudd on camera so missed that on my earlier post.

8 out of 43 is still a complete and utter joke though.

Richard in N.C. said...

JD- Is it a fantasy to wonder for next year whether ESPN might agree with SPEED during football season for SPEED to carry the first half hour of HH and for ESPN2 to pick up the 2nd half? I would assume that any such agreement would require SPEED to direct viewers to ESPN2 for the 2nd half of HH. From the past several weeks it seems clear that a 3 hour football game is the exception, rather than the rule.

Daly Planet Editor said...

I think its amazing how interesting and intelligent Allen Bestwick can make Brad Daugherty.

Brad seems to come alive with Allen, and absolutely falls flat with Suzy Kolber.

Daly Planet Editor said...

richard,

I am told that the support programming is going to be one of the topics on the NASCAR and ESPN post-season meetings.

Busch Series Fan! said...

I thought they would have had the former Busch Series champs at the track and done some features on each of the drivers instead of little snippets that we could hardly see who it was.

Anonymous said...

JD:re Bestwick and Suzy.Class will tell. Not to mention years of NASCAR experience vs ....whatever. (can't think of anything positive to say about her).

Makiki

Newracefan said...

AB can even make Rusty sound good, every time I hear his voice I pray he is calling the race so far I've been disappointed

Brett said...

I think todays NASCAR Countdown is excellent. They are actually talking about the BUSCH SERIES on BUSCH COUNTDOWN. Allen is doign excellent. They reviewed the season, just reviewed the track, interviewing drivers, and are talking about news topics. Like Busch leaveing and nationwide coming in. Excellent so far.

This just proves Allen Bestwick needs a promotion from pit road to pre-race or even head commentator.

Billy Delyon said...

JD,
I agree AB seems to bring the best out of Brad, I think the same thing happens to Dr Jerry when ever its someone besides Rusty in the booth with him.

Put a good mix of people who are comfortable with each other (Dr Jerry, Andy, DJ, 40+ years of friendship) together, and you'll probably get great fan reaction.

stricklinfan82 said...

I agree that this pre-race show is excellent so far. Lots of interviews, and most importantlya follow-up on news items that have constantly lacked from the Cup pre-race shows - the end of the Busch sponsorship, the swap of the 5 and 24 Busch teams, the 29 team winning the owner's championship, the Rookie of the Year battle, the battle for top 10 in driver's points, and the 17 team's penalties for violations in last week's Busch race.

Allen Bestwick is certainly the star of ESPN's NASCAR team. If he's not the play-by-play man next year he should at a minimum be the host for the Cup race broadcasts in 2008.

Anonymous said...

I have never really noticed this (or thought about it) but shouldn't they get rid of the score ticker during the prayer and National Anthem?

elena said...

I think it would have been nice to watch driver introductions since this is the last race of the year and the last Busch.

Anonymous said...

The flyover sequence was AWESOME!

Jo said...

I hope the Cup pre race show is as good as the one today was! It was relavent to todays race, well "scripted" good interviews & it "flowed" ( not sure what the tech term is) Brad sounded good & AB is awesome! espn really did good today. please do the good job tomorrow too.

elena said...

JD, how does ESPN doing a video feed online affect their ratings. If it doesn't hurt the ratings, I don't know why they don't do that for practices and or Happy Hour too.

Carl in Alaska said...

WOW! Trying to listen to MRN with TV muted for a change. The annoucers actually talk about "ALL" the drivers and track conditions. Go MRN, bah hum bug on ESPN.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Jerry is certainly "up on the mic" today and working it hard and loud. Let's see if he can keep his focus all race long.

Jo said...

elena said...
JD, how does ESPN doing a video feed online affect their ratings. If it doesn't hurt the ratings, I don't know why they don't do that for practices and or Happy Hour too.

November 17, 2007 4:49 PM

Good idea for the online feed
So far the coverage in the first 3 laps has been good, some great camera work esp. at the start, the shots of the cars going past, the sun & overhead shots were all good. Wide shotsof multiple cars racing & got the spin of Bobby LaBonte - so far good stuff and no draft track! And back for green flag!

Newracefan said...

Coverage is good so far, your right JD Punch is on it today. Did they tell us who pitted under that first caution?

Daly Planet Editor said...

Boy, if we had enjoyed this kind of coverage all season from this team, the ratings would have been a bit different.

Jo said...

The coverage seems to be coming from many more cameras. Lots of racing being shown - facts about smaller teams being mentioned. Even pit coverage! Race off pit road got shown. WOW

Anonymous said...

Yeah. I have to agree. Really good coverage so far.

Interviews with drivers out of the race - they are even showing the cars going into the garage...

No frilly extras either yet.

Of course, they've done this to us before with a good Busch race and a disaster on Sunday. I won't hold my breath.

One thing ESPN is really great at is getting the number graphics to match the cars. They even have an updated 29 to match the new paint scheme on Burton's car.

Anonymous said...

Wow - they even cover the lucky dog and why Hornish was put to the back of the field.

Why can't they do this every race?

Newracefan said...

Punch is starting to slip 00 is McDowell (a rookie in a 3 wide situation, it makes a difference) not Reutimann, I don't mind he made the mistake but someone should have corrected it or didn't they notice. Otherwise coverage is sooo much better.

Anonymous said...

Newracefan said...
Punch is starting to slip 00 is McDowell (a rookie in a 3 wide situation, it makes a difference) not Reutimann, I don't mind he made the mistake but someone should have corrected it or didn't they notice. Otherwise coverage is sooo much better.

November 17, 2007 5:23 PM

I wouldn't blame dr. punch for that. those cars look so much alike.

Billy Delyon said...

"They've got action all over the track"

And they are showing the action all over for once!

Strong broadcast so far today for sure..

Brett said...

John. Is there any new people or changes made in the production truck for this race? I mean this seems like a totally different ESPN.

Daly Planet Editor said...

No clue, I am asking about changes now. Other than the on-air announcers, almost everything else is different...and no draft tracker or SC updates or garbage either...

Sandie said...

@anon 3:47--I agree about JR! He's great at doing his best to keep us informed! You might want to skip NP, from what Larry Mac said it's going to be a Chad love fest!

@new race fan--I loved it! It was great getting the visual of what happened because even IF ESPN did their job and showed us HH we wouldn't have gotten that story because it didn't involved the precious Wonder Twins.

@anon 4:06--but there are 43 cars out there! Do none of them count? They have fans too!

@brett--he never should have been 'demoted' to begin with. IF he hadn't broken his leg playing hockey he would have STILL been in the booth with TNT/NBC and I bet ESPN would have let him have the booth job as well! Allen totally rocks! I hope they let him host NN next year, PLEASE ESPN for ONCE do something smart!

@anon 4:41--Yes I LOVED the flyover! That was awesome!

Illpolo said...

Can it get any worse than Rusty Wallace using the Draft Track feature to talk about Stephen Wallace on the racetrack? Yikes.

Otherwise, I agree with most of the other comments above.

Billy Delyon said...

whoopsy, we give our props, and it turns into the Steven Wallace show and draft tracks...


Dr. Punch getting us off crustys son finally. With Brad K.

stricklinfan82 said...

Well at least they lasted 67 laps before deciding to screw up the broadcast by bringing Draft Tracks back. I guess the guys in the production truck with the Daly Planet on their laptops couldn't stand being praised instead of criticized.

Anonymous said...

I think they believe new fans can benefit from draft track. If you really think about it from a new fans perspective, wouldn't it be helpful?

Newracefan said...

I am a realtively new fan and all that green just confuses and distracts me. I was able to understand it and figure it out just from the explainations by the FOx guys without all the smoke and mirrors

Anonymous said...

anon-5:50
no

elena said...

I want to see all the cars. Even if they did not talk about the other drivers, if they would park the cameras and just let us see the cars as they drive by, instead of following certain cars. Some of the wide shots are worthless, you cannot see the car numbers, so what's the point?

Billy Delyon said...

Finally the split screen with Tim B in the tech center!

Anonymous said...

The in race reporter has a bad day.
The curse of ESPN.

Anonymous said...

elena said...
if they would park the cameras and just let us see the cars as they drive by...
November 17, 2007 5:54 PM

I disagree. you would barley see the cars if the whole broadcast was done with cameras that could not move. then how would you catch anything?

Billy Delyon said...

Wow great shot of the jack man.. that was classic!

Billy Delyon said...

love how crusty gets all quiet when Steve wrecks..

At least we won't have to hear about him the rest of the race hopefully.

I have to say, it would be rough to have Rusty as your dad and owner. Bet he's tough on both counts.

Billy Delyon said...

I'd say the most classic line of the season came during a Busch race and Steven Wallace wrecking.

Randy LaJoie "Write another check rusty"

I bought cried I laughed so hard...

stricklinfan82 said...

That was actually Marty Reid and not LaJoie but I agree that was one of the funnier moments of this TV season.

Kevin in Indy said...

The LaJoie line was hilarious. But I am starting to feel sorry for Rusty. It seems like this happens every race. Dang, he just brought out another!!!

Newracefan said...

Lucky Dog sponsership, that's what the cup race needs and then we'll always know who it is

Billy Delyon said...

Are you sure?

I'm pretty sure it was Rany.

Billy Delyon said...

I meant Randy.. with a 'd'.. lol

Billy Delyon said...

The lucky dog's not sponsored in this series?

I always thought it was the "Aarons Lucky Dog Pass".

SophiaZ123 said...

Speed NASCAR live was only scheduled for 30 minutes on my tv guide...I happened to walk into the room to see the show STILL on talking about the Harvick and Jr collision at the garage and Jr's car needing a NEW transmission.

Had I note caught that, I would have not a clue.

JD

Isn't it time for EVERYBODY to be hissed off at NASCAR over this ESPN time slot/channel roulette/horrible coverage?

It is VERY RARE for the iron fisted NASCAR to remain INVISIBLE and SILENT.

Also, I am SICK of the Aerosmith song and I am GREATLY weary of the overuse of FULL THROTTLE.....so much for improved coverage...the camera work seems better.

But I must say, I wish my MRN affiliate covered Busch races. Gotta wait until tomorrow for those guys.

But I feel we can gripe about ESPN until the cows come home but as long as NASCAR remains happy and silent...nothing will change.

And canceling HAPPY HOUR today ?? Well, practically...so much for NASCARS call last Friday to ESPN. :(

Also, SPEED SHOULD REGAIN ALL RIGHTS to practice and qualifying since ESPN does not care one WHIT about SHOWING US THE ACTION...even when they 'air' such shows.

I have NEVER been HAPPY to see the season come to an end.

I have lost so much RESPECT to TPTB at NASCAR for ALLOWING THE FANS to be screwed.

It can really depress a person....

Anonymous said...

SophiaZ123,
you know the race coverage is good today, right?

Billy Delyon said...

Besides giving Little Wallace to much coverage there for a bit, I give the booth and A- so far today.

Anonymous said...

SophiaZ123: I am listening to MRN via the interwebz. Nascar.com has a link on the Live Leaderboard page under tomorrow's links (it works).

Patrick

Newracefan said...

Todd just got hit in the drivers side door and they are worried about Hornish??

Anonymous said...

Newracefan said...
Todd just got hit in the drivers side door and they are worried about Hornish??

November 17, 2007 6:25 PM

I think they are going by the visual damage.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Well, no reason for a caution at a critical time in the final Busch race? Not good.

SophiaZ123 said...

coverage is imporved today but tomorrow will stink to high heavens.

And the cutting off of practice/happy hour..I was including that.

One good Busch race do not a good ESPN make.

KnowhwatImean? ;-)

But too much has been allowed OVER the bridge for ME to believe NASCAR is upset with the actual COVERAGE on ESPN. That was my point.

We are yapping at the messenger.

Billy Delyon said...

So far this has been one of the better race's by the booth crew. As well as lots of good coverage of the racin. Dr Jerry seems to be staying 'up on the mic' and not sounding tired as the laps wind down here..

Newracefan said...

I guess better late than never with reason for caution. They were doing so well, hopefully it was a temporary lapse

Newracefan said...

I realize there have been a lot of cautions but they need to do a thru the field

Busch Series Fan! said...

And why aren't we getting an interview with Todd???? And why all the hoopla with the possibility of Kenseth overtaking Mike Wallace for 10th placebl in BUSCH SERIES points?

Daly Planet Editor said...

Agree totally. We really need a full field rundown from the pit reporters with the updates by team.

Anonymous said...

football kick-off at 7:45. the race broadcast is scheduled to end at 7:30.

SophiaZ123 said...

There is not FREE MRN online for the Busch race..when I tried to LISTEN to the race it said to LOG in for trial membership.

No thanks

Busch Series Fan! said...

Finally they are talking about Reut.

Daly Planet Editor said...

I watched the free video of the race at NASCAR.com and also checked out their chat room. The video was sixteen seconds behind the ESPN2 signal, and the chatroom was unusable and disorganized.

Luckily, the picture was good and the audio was clear. I am going to talk to those guys about their plans for 2008 and follow-up with a future column.

Newracefan said...

Thru the field... this blog to ESPN's ears

Newracefan said...

OH Doc you really have it in for Reutimann. First saying he was in the 00 and then forgetting about his win in Memphis, he was the second Toyota win. Guess that's because they didn't do a post race

stricklinfan82 said...

It would be nice if the "Fuel Left on Board" Graphic would have something quantifiable on it, such as numbers on the bar graph to indicate how many laps of fuel are left.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry SophiaZ123. I forgot that some Nascar.com things are free with Time Warner as my broadband service provider. Time Warner is owned by Turner who runs the website. I was able to click "MRN Radio" and it worked for me. I don't pay specifically for it, but now I see its address includes "premium". Last year, even the PitCommand was free, but not this year.
I did not mean to mislead you. Patrick.

Busch Series Fan! said...

I guess according to the Dr. if ESPN/ABC doesn't do an ON AIR victory lane interview then Toyota didn't really win a race.

Anonymous said...

Newracefan said...
OH Doc you really have it in for Reutimann. First saying he was in the 00 and then forgetting about his win in Memphis, he was the second Toyota win. Guess that's because they didn't do a post race

November 17, 2007 6:59 PM

you have to take into account the fact that Dr. Punch did not attend that race.

stricklinfan82 said...

Alright ESPN, help us out and tell us who got trapped a lap down and who didn't. How many cars are on the lead lap? Did Burton, Martin, or Harvick get trapped? Who's the lucky dog?

Busch Series Fan! said...

I could be mistaken but didn't Dave Blaney also win a BUSCH race this year?

SophiaZ123 said...

That's ok Patrick..NASCAR.com overwhelms me and I rarely venture there..I did go back and see a click here to watch the BUSCH race in the center of the page (Was NOT there before) and it was a TINY LITTLE BOX of video???

Who wants to watch a race on a 2 inch screen? There was NO thingie to enlarge video..and when I clicked on some things, my Firefox locked up and messed up my computer....had to reboot to get Firefox to OPEN again??? Weird.

There ain't no freebies in NASCAR.

;-)

stricklinfan82 said...

Went to commercial without resetting the field. In situations like this it's critical to keep the viewers informed as to the updated running order and ESPN only told us Martin didn't get trapped and Harvick did. We need more information than that. Are there 5, 10, 15 cars on the lead lap? And who are those cars? Who else got trapped besides Harvick?

Newracefan said...

Blaney won last year.

Anonymous said...

Busch Series Fan! said...
I could be mistaken but didn't Dave Blaney also win a BUSCH race this year?

November 17, 2007 7:09 PM

only 2 Toyotas won. Jason L. and David R.

Billy Delyon said...

Sofia if you click on the little screen, it should go to full-screen. (thats how I enlarge it on mine) I believe the race coverage is free.

I also think the reason they didn't go through the field before commercial was because they had no clue!

Anonymous said...

I am really happy with how hard ESPN has tried to encorporate the ideas adressed here in such a short time. I think the coverage today is very solid. Re Dr Punch. He is really trying and I remember now why I enjoyed him so much. Re Rusty and Steven did anyone catch Stevens comment about if he 'had a gun he'd blow his head off about now'? I think that sums it up from the perspective of both father and son.

Busch Series Fan! said...

Anon at 7:12 thanks for the info. I just wanted another Toyota win!

Billy Delyon said...

Whooooooo, great racing! MERCY!

stricklinfan82 said...

Billy Delyon said...
Sofia if you click on the little screen, it should go to full-screen. (thats how I enlarge it on mine) I believe the race coverage is free.

I also think the reason they didn't go through the field before commercial was because they had no clue!

November 17, 2007 7:16 PM


All they have to do is the read the scoring monitor in front of them. When something like this happens and the ESPN scoring crawl is taken down, the viewers at thome have to rely solely on the booth guys to help us know criticial running order information.

Busch Series Fan! said...

I do have nascar.com live leaderboard up and running as I find it is necessary to keep track of the running order.

Newracefan said...

The Mark Martin show is starting to get a little excessive. Isn't anyone else racing?

SophiaZ123 said...

All I can say is regarding time line for the tv race TOMORROW..this really makes me nervous how they are close to using up overtime already tonight.

Tomorrow's race is longer.

They really should have started Sunday's race earlier.

Billy Delyon said...

I used to use the nascar.com leaderboard, but I find FOX.com's to be better.

Anonymous said...

2 minutes until the football scoreboard show.

elena said...

Well, I guess if we can watch Mark for 30 laps, we'll watch Jimmie tomorrow.

I like fox.com better too. They give more information.

Busch Series Fan! said...

Newracefan the point to make is are there any BUSCH SERIES regular drivers racing today? They aren't getting any respect!!!!! It just drives me nuts!

SophiaZ123 said...

well, I like Burton ok but silly me was hoping a busch guy would win.

time to go make a gluten free pizza crust.

Wonder how much post race tonight?

PammH said...

no cars crossing the finish line=BAD!

Billy Delyon said...

Well, depending on how the post race coverage goes, I'd say this was one of the best ESPN efforts all season.

Keep up the good work tomorrow ESPN.

Maybe jimmy will have trouble and make it interesting!

SophiaZ123 said...

I agree all the yapping about the CUP guys is insulting to the busch REGULARS....shame

Daly Planet Editor said...

Good race, but:

Needed a big full field rundown when the final gas run begins.

Really needed to see all the cars on the lead lap cross the finish line in the last race of the season.

Let's see how much post-race we get.

Busch Series Fan! said...

Next year after the wins in the Nationwide series, they'll have insurance policies floating down from the blimp!

stricklinfan82 said...

You can't really fault ESPN for talking about the Cup drivers when they're taking up all of the top 15 running positions all day.

I don't know how much post-race coverage we'll get but it would be nice to see TV interview Brian Keselowski. He's driving an under-funded car for an independent team and he's finished 10th and 11th in his last 2 starts.

Anonymous said...

PammH said...
no cars crossing the finish line=BAD!

November 17, 2007 7:31 PM

um... really?....you must have been watching a different broadcast. I saw about 10 cars. that is far from none.

Newracefan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Busch Series Fan! said...

Yes I did see about 10 or so cars crossing the start/finish line and ESPN also showed the field summary but I know it was only about 10 of them but that was it!

stricklinfan82 said...

What's the deal with spending the rest of the on-air time to do ANOTHER championship ceremony for Carl Edwards? Didn't we see this same exact thing at Texas 2 weeks ago?

Newracefan said...

Coverage- better but... Didn't cover enough of the "other" cars. No complete field reset or thru the field. What happened to Todd Bodine. Few mistakes that the other guys in the booth or the mistakee didn't correct. That said if they cover the cup race like this tomorrow I won't be screaming at the TV.
Post race- good so far but hopefully we'll hear from other drivers

Anonymous said...

2 minutes until kick-off.

Brett said...

IF Allen is the telecast host tonight and he is presenting the trophies. Does this mean that Brent Musberger or Suzy Kolber will present the trohpies tomorrow? Since they are the ones hosting the telecast. OH boooooy. I hope not.

PammH said...

I'm impressed that they stayed w/the post-race coverage, but I bet it was under the threat of Death!!

Newracefan said...

Brett...please be wrong. JJ fan or not I might have to turn the TV off

stricklinfan82 said...

It would have been nice to see more post-race coverage but it makes sense to get to the football game in time for kickoff, as long as we at a minimum got a victory lane interview.

Had it not been for the 2nd Carl Edwards championship ceremony in 2 weeks we would have heard from many more drivers so I didn't like that decision.

It's a shame that Brian Keselowski didn't get any love on TV though. What that guy has done in his last two starts with next-to-nothing equipment-wise has been nothing short of miraculous. I've seen him run short tracks in ARCA in person and he's a tremendous talent, certainly worthy of a full-time ride with a good NASCAR team.

Charlie said...

Wish they would have said who the Rookie of the Year for the Busch Series was.

elena said...

The did not interview David as the possible rookie of the year.

Did not put the standings for the entire field, only the top 10.

Post race lasted longer than I thought. This is not ESPN fault or domain, but what a lousy presentation of the owner's trophy!!

And can't they have a wireless mike!

Jo said...

My race coverage grade is a solid
B+
Did Todd Bodine fly away? refuse to talk? Tell me!! Also the not re setting the field was cheezy, Mark Martin overload,the Carl thing.
It was nice to hear Doc sounding interested, we got some post race, not to much draft track, way better camera work (give them an A)
crusty was well ...crusty. Many more pit reports, all in all much better.
Hope we get at least as good for the Cup - maybe better?

Matt said...

I think the fact that Allen was taken out of the Countdown booth to interview Edwards tells us how little confidence ESPN and/or NASCAR has in ESPN's other reporters to do a respectable job. I'm sure A;;en will do the interview tommorrow as well.

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