Thursday, November 15, 2007

NASCAR Fans...Make Your TV Demands

It was February of this racing season when The Daly Planet published the first column about the performance of the NASCAR TV partners. This was the first year of a new NASCAR TV contract that welcomed ESPN back to the fold, and moved NBC Sports back to the stick-and-ball world.

Now, we find ourselves with only one more opportunity to watch a weekend trio of NASCAR races in 2008. Somehow, there has to be a way to communicate to the TV networks involved exactly what the millions of fans nationwide expect to see. So, NASCAR fans, its time to make your demands.

You have braved some absolutely awful television this season to continue to this point. NASCAR announcers who had never been to a NASCAR race, ending four hour races by showing only the winning car and of course...Draft Tracker.

This experience of watching every race since February has empowered you to be the best judge of what the TV networks should show this weekend in Homestead. You have written your thoughts about the races, what you wanted to see in the pre-race shows and how much post-race activity should be on TV.

You have listened to various talking heads tell you about the racing action, the cars on pit road, the gossip in the garage, and the NASCAR news. They have hosted you, analyzed you, and told you their opinions....endlessly.

Who are the people that you want to hear from in these Homestead broadcasts? Which announcers from the three races do you trust and which ones have you learned to take with a grain of salt at tough as the COT splitter?

No one paid a lot of attention to this little site when we first started. But, that changed for one reason and one reason only. That reason was you. The NASCAR media laughed at us, the ESPN guys got angry, and my former friends in the TV business thought I was absolutely crazy.

But, one group did not laugh. It was you, the NASCAR fans. You kept showing up, kept reading my columns, and kept coming back and adding your opinions. The best part was, you told me that if I kept going you would keep coming back. And, you did.

Now, we can look back on hundreds of columns, thousands of comments, and hundreds of thousands of users who viewed this site since February. We can also look back on the one thing we both wanted to do this season. We made them pay attention.

Now, I get all the ESPN press releases and they respond to my emails inside of an hour. Now, the SPEED PR folks email me almost every day and tell me what is going-on in their world. Now, I get emails from journalists all over the country telling me that they like this site. Then, they tell me that they use your comments to create and reference their story material.

We have a high-school teacher who uses your comments as topics for his TV classes. We even have young TV announcers who read your comments as tips on what to do as they chase their dreams of being in the big time.

The best part is the quiet emails with the hotmail addresses that tell me things that stop me in my tracks. The Daly Planet is on the laptop computers of the reporters in the Infield Media Center at Charlotte...Texas...Daytona. The Daly Planet is on the laptop computers in the ESPN office trailer inside the TV compound in California...Kansas.

The best one of the season was from a certain driver of a certain car who told me he was feeling down and then he found this site and spent all night reading your comments. Now, things have changed for the better for him. Just maybe, your comments helped him understand that there were people who wanted the racing back and the hype and "TV junk" gone forever. You might already own his souvenirs.

So, here we are at the end of the line. SPEED is about to roll-out their final Truck Series race under the lights on Friday night. What do you want to see them do? ESPN is going to present the struggling Busch Series on Saturday. What can they do to bring you back when Nationwide steps into the sport?

Finally, the first season of ESPN on ABC concludes their NASCAR coverage with the final race in the Chase for the Championship. You talked about the announcers, talked about the music videos, talked about the pit reporters, the updates and the countless other "things" you dealt with this season.

Now, take a minute on this Friday to tell them very clearly and squarely what you want and do not want to see in this critical final broadcast. This power is the result of your relentless energy in expressing your love for this sport. You ideas aimed to make this sport better, to build for the future, and to cherish the past.

We invite you one last time to leave a comment that will be read by the networks, the reporters, and your fellow fans. Tell us what you want this weekend, what will leave you happy, and what you will not tolerate the networks missing. Let it fly... because you earned it.

The Daly Planet welcomes all comments. Simply click on the COMMENTS button below and follow the instructions. There is nothing to join, and we do not want your email address. We just want your opinion. This would be a good time to take a moment and leave us a comment.


SophiaZ123 said...

Well, my FAVORITE race will be Friday.


No DRAFT TRACKER and idiot announcers.


No constant tickers at the top and the bottom.

NO BLACK ABC Logo "bug" on the race track.

No lack of follow up information.

Just the racin'.

Sunday, for the FINAL Cup Race?? I EXPECT to see the END of the race and (less of the gunk mentioned above) and

A POST RACE WRAP UP more than 10 minutes long. To give us ANY LESS will be an insult to the fans. It will ALSO be an insult from THE POWERS THAT BE at NASCAR for choosing DOLLARS over fans enjoyment and PROVING they did that do us. And will do to us next season

IF ABC/ESPN can NOT do that for NASCAR, time to rethink this 7 year package of putrid coverage. :(

Thanks for this site for saving our sanity.

Thanks JD for allowing us to fuss, rant, kvetch about the coverage, and to try our bestest not to snipe and be snarky at each other (But a few soreheads have worked in here)

For any announcer or driver who's feelings I hurt, do NOT take it personally.

It was just a racin' thing (criticizing your driving OR your announcing skills!) Not a reflection on you as a human being.
Think of the critiques as something on your learning curve from some cranky school teachers who later in life, you finally appreciated. :)

May ABC come to their senses and start the race EARLIER than stated.

Rick said...

I want the networks to show (all series and networks):

The racing on the track. Not just the leaders, but everywhere. Every driver has fans.

The pit stops. And while they're at it, reset the field after the stops. Who stayed out, who got 4 tires, 2 tires, and fuel only.

Who got the free pass, or lucky dog, whatever you want to call it.

Interviews with the drivers that fell out of the race, for whatever reason.

A decent amount of post race interviews. It doesn't have to be 30 minutes worth, but the top 5 would be nice. And those involved in the championship races.

What I don't want to see:

Interviews while there are cars on the track during the race, practice, and qualifying.

Draft Tracker.

Reporters asking silly questions or badgering the drivers and crews.

Draft Tracker.

Tech Center.

Musberger, Kolber, and Daugherty.

The dumbing down of explanations. Just give it to us in straight language. We can figure it out. And if we can't figure it out ourselves, we can ask someone else or look it up on the internet.

Tech Center.

Draft Tracker.

Aerosmith. I admit I kind of liked that video the first time I saw it, but after 1000 airings of it...I now mute the sound or change the channel.

It's really pretty simple, show us the RACE, not gadgets and videos.

Richard in N.C. said...

JD- I have been a racing and an ESPN fan for more years than I want to count. As with most of my friends, I am also a big fan of the NFL and of NCAA basketball.

All I feel I can ask of Turner and ESPN is that they give NASCAR racing the same respect and effort they would give baseball or basketball. I am convinced that this year's NASCAR coverage by TNT, in particular, and by ESPN fell far short of the effort and the quality of which they have demonstrated they are capable.

It is clear to me that a meaningful part of the ratings decline suffered by TNT and by ESPN is self-inflicted.

Anonymous said...

"We invite you one last time to leave a comment..."

one last time? does this mean this site will not return?

Also, JD have you found out if NASCAR Now will continue through the winter? If so, I would like Allan B., Marty R., or Mike M. to host the show. They know their racing and can present the facts on TV.

stricklinfan82 said...

Speed Cup/Truck/Busch practice and qualifying coverage:

- Keep up the good work and don't pre-empt any live on-track action for any racing talk shows or press conferences.

ESPN2 Happy Hour and Qualifying Coverage:

- No pre-emptions, network shifts, or tape-delays

- Show every car's entire qualifying run and talk about it

- No pit studio guests, just talk about what is happening on the track

- During Happy Hour, please just show what is going on ON THE TRACK. No video packages, and for God's sake no more 5 minute videos hyping your own ESPN Pit Studio or your own ESPN production truck while the cars are on the track. Just show what is going on ON THE TRACK.

Speed Truck Race:

- No demands, just for Speed to keep up the good work

ESPN2 Busch Race:

- I'd like to see the entire broadcast take place on ESPN2 all day long and actually get to see at least a winner's interview after the race ends. Other than that and no missed restarts, keep up the usually solid job of covering the Busch Series races.

ABC Cup race:

- No football announcers on my TV screen during the broadcast and no celebrity guests in the pit studio or on pit road

- keep the entire race on ABC no matter how late the race takes to run (this is the championship deciding race after all, so it is a pretty big deal)

- no draft tracks

- no Aerosmith

- mention every Lucky Dog recipient

- mention every car that falls out of the race or makes an unscheduled pit stop

- at every caution flag, do not show just the 24 and 48 cars on pit road, show the race leaders as well

- don't leave the air without at a minimum interviewing the race winner, Jeff Gordon, and Jimmie Johnson

- show all the cars cross the finish line on the last lap, do not repeat the Texas Busch race debacle where you even missed the race winner taking the checkered flag while salivating over Carl Edwards officially winning the championship he had already clinched some 50 laps earlier

- no Sportscenter minutes, full-screen promos, or race recaps under green

- no missed restarts and no missed lead changes on the last lap while keeping the cameras focused solely on the 48 and/or 24 car

Charlie said...

During the Nextel Race on Sunday I would like to see the whole field. Show all the drivers and maybe even mention their sponsors. ABC/ESPN people, do you know what a racing fan is? Did you know that a lot of racing fans have a favorite driver? Did you know that a racing fan that has a favorite driver has a hat or a t-shirt or a jacket or something he or she wears that shows the world that they like this driver? Did you know that the day of a Nextel Cup race this fan will be wearing their driver’s colors as they watch your broadcast? Did you know that not every fan is a Jeff Gordon or Jimmie Johnson fan? Did you know that there are race fans out there that may see their driver starting last or get taken out early in a race and they care? Did you know that a race fan supports sponsors that have their company name on a car?
When you broadcast a race to race fans you have to remember that every driver out there has someone watching them. This fan is hoping that his driver will win or get a top 5 or top 10 or make a great pit stop or just finish the race. Take a walk around the track and look at the fans and you will see every driver represented. What you see at the track is just a sample of what kind of fans you have watching your telecast. Keep us updated on what happens in the pits to as many drivers as you can. Each time a driver moves ahead in the race it matters to someone. Keep your cameras moving. Show and talk about all the drivers.

slithybill said...

As far as SPEED goes, don't change a thing. You guys have done a great job all season. I've enjoyed watching the trucks this year, and I'm really looking forward to the race Friday night!

As far as ESPN goes, I want the racing to be taken seriously. I want the preshow to update me on the news of the week - not just on the track but off it as well. I want to know who didn't make the race and who had to use their Owner's Points to qualify.

I don't want the announcers to make it obvious which drivers they like and which drivers they hate. Just call the race and be objective. Keep one eye on the track and one eye on the monitor. The race broadcasters are my eyes, and since I'm not at the track and don't have access to the live feed from every camera, I want to know what's happening on the track - the whole track. I don't want 267 laps of Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon. Yes, they're the main story, but they're not the only story. Let me know how the drivers that are vying for the top 35 in Owner's Points are doing.

Try to mention every driver and every car number at least twice during the race, and show the car. This is the last chance I'll have to see them until February.

When you show a pre-taped interview during the race with Jimmie or Jeff, please do it under caution. But if you show it under green, and I have a strong feeling you will, then please keep the racing on the screen and make the racing bigger than the talking head. And you don't have to focus on Jimmie or Jeff's car when their interview is running, either.

Drop out of the commercial when a caution comes out. Let me know who got the "lucky dog" each time. Reset the field before the race goes back to green.

When a car goes behind the wall, let me know. When a car leaves the race please interview the driver or let me know he declined to be interviewed.

Please don't overuse "The points as they're running now". And don't use a separate Chase ticker. If you insist on letting us know the current points standings, then please put it at the beginning of the Race ticker. You don't need two separate lines.

Don't be afraid to interrupt a pit reporter if something happens on the track. Go with the flow.

During qualifying, please put the "go-or-go-home" cars in a different color. If a driver doesn't make the race, please put him in red. I know which twelve drivers are in the Chase. I don't know all the drivers that are outside the top 35 and trying to make the race.

I shouldn't have to worry about the post-race coverage this Sunday. I think I already know who you'll interview: The race winner, Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Chad Knaus, Rick Hendrick, Dale Earnhardt Jr, Tony Stewart, and maybe even Clint Bowyer and Kyle Busch. How about also talking to any driver who advanced into the top 35 in Owner's Points?

ESPN, after calling 50 races this season, surely you can get the last two right. I really want to enjoy Sunday's race. I'm tired of getting upset and frustrated during your race coverage. Make me eat my words from my previous posts. Make me look forward to the Brickyard 400 and the Nationwide Series next year!

Kevin Hillstrom said...

Trucks on Speed ... not a whole lot to improve upon.

Busch on ESPN2 ... tell me what is happening to non-Cup drivers.

Cup on ABC ... I think the pictures are beautiful, ESPN does a nice job of providing a fabulous HD image. I want to learn about what is happening to every driver. What is keeping Joe Nemecheck from moving from 31st to 27th? How does Andy Petree approach the final race of the season when you're 29th in points? How is Johnny Sauter doing as he fights for his ride/career? What's up with Ricky Rudd in his final event? How is Kasey Kahne's setup different, are they doing anything to plan for 2008? How is J.J. Yeley approaching his final day in the 18 car? Or Tony Raines in the 96? Or David Stremme?

Less hype, less drama, less Chad Knaus. ESPN might look back to how they handled their last race at Atlanta back in 2000, won by Jerry Nadeau. Compare notes between that event, and what broadcasts have become.

Matt said...

I want to hear excitement in the announcers voices. I want them to convince me that something big happening this weekend, don't just tell me it is. Act like it is. Sound like it is.

Do not show us ONLY Johnson and Gordon. The championship is all but over, so show us the race. That means the cars, racing each other.

Give me so much information about the race, that I can't keep up. Tell me so much, that I don't need this site, the SPEED boards,, FOXTRAX, and MRN to tell me what is actually happening in the race.

Finally, come to the realization that MOST people watching KNOW NASCAR. We know tight, loose, drafting, tires, etc. No need to show or tell any of that, especially during any green flag racing or after pit stops.

Sandie said...

Yes the Pick 'em Ups on SPEED will be the best as always! They should watch and take note!

Agree with Rick and stricklinfan!

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE remember there are 43 cars out there NOT 2! I DON'T want the debacle like we had last week with showing Chad and Steve and Jimmie and Jeffie in 4 boxes on my FULL screen! I was like "uhm...did no one else pit? Is no one else racing today?" I want to hear about the other guys out there.

I don't want a "hey, where'd HE come from?" reaction! It's like if you'd been paying attention to the other 41 cars you'd know that so and so had been running in the top 10 all.freakin'.day!

Anonymous said...

Everything I want can be summed up in one word: respect.

For the fans, respect means broadcasters pay attention to all the drivers. Every driver on the track are someone's favourite. We want to know where they're running, how they're running, and why they're running where they are. This includes providing information on pit stops, penalties, lucky dogs, mechanical difficulties and prompt attention to on-track problems. We also want to know the finishing order, and we'd like to see at least a few of the drivers interviewed after the race.

Fan respect also means providing competent, informed and experienced on-camera crews, each conveying their passion and joy at being involved in racing. These are rare talents. You can't pluck a driver or crew chief off the track and expect them to excel. You also can't reassign people from other sports and expect them to have any credibility. Expertise in one sport does not confer the same in another.

Respect for the fans does not include loud rock videos, draft trackers, missed restarts and the constant pimping other sports. And note there's a fine line between information and condescension. The dumbing-down of broadcasts may help a few new viewers, but it mostly just offends the base of fans who feel they are being treated like uninformed morons.

The drivers should be respected too. This means they are interviewed professionally (without sensationalism, badgering or moronic questions), their names are correctly pronounced, and any biases for or against them are not in evidence. They deserve the best on-air talent that can be provided. They are, after all, using their skills to provide us with an afternoon or evening of entertainment. To treat them with anything but respect is ill-mannered and offensive. Conversely, some reporters have managed to build relationships with the drivers that allows a little bit of on-air goofing around too. Bravo to the reporters who have cultivated this level of trust with the drivers. It's evident that each has earned the other's respect.

Unfortunately, ESPN doesn't seem to have grasped the concept that their broadcast decisions seem so very disrespectful to the fans and drivers of NASCAR. We're informed, passionate, and protective of our sport, and we're turning off our TVs in droves because we can't tolerate the inadequacies any more. It's regrettable for the fans, the drivers, and for NASCAR.


SophiaZ123 said...

ok. somebody mentioned Jr.

The only GOOD thing that could come from a short post race show is not interviewing Jr if he has a bad race.

jr has said in several interviews, this last few laps at HOMESTEAD are going to be the most emotional for him and he is dreading that. Leaving DEI and the guys he knows a likes, leaving his Daddy's business...even though he knows it's the right thing to do...he knows the emotions are going to hit him the last race.

I have agonized how ESPN will harp on that and 'attack jr" afterwards. ESPN LOVES to hammer a guy when he is down and they have been relentless on Jr.

I can only hope for ONCE Jr will DECLINE to be interviewed if he sees fit.

I for one will be rooting for Jr to just get THIS season behind him and to enjoy his time off.

I get an ache in my stomach just writing about this knowing how ESPN pit folks can be sharks or ask PAINFUL questions..Massaro AND Jamie Little.


Please show some empathy for this man and allow him space. Focus on the winner at HOMESTEAD, and the OTHER CARS that CROSS THE FINISH LINE.



p.s. I will be listening to MRN.

Anonymous said...

excellent, excellent post. You put it all into perspective. Thank you.


Ritchie said...

Dear Santa,

Here is my racing TV wishlilst:

1. Absolutely no sermons by drivers telling the fans what they should like and dislike.

2. Absolutely no mocking of racing by any employee of ESPN. In fact, how about giving them an unpaid leave of absence if they do it. And I don't care if they host Monday night football or not.
3. Never miss a green flag start again.
4. Objectivity by race announcers.
5. For racing to be held up as equal to other sports in the world of sports entertainment.
6. A more stripped down version of the race each week. I know some get upset about this, but I do think ESPN's heart was in the right place on this item. I appreciate the effort, but race fans like minimalism.
8. That being said, I do like the qualifying graphics. They may could be tweaked some, but race fans also like technology and gadgets. Lots of gadgets.

Here is my final wish. We are getting good at measuring the acceleration, rpms, and braking. How about hanging a thermocouple in the car and transmit what the inside ambient temperature is? That can't be that difficult.

Thanks Santa, I will be waiting with cookies and milk!

Sal said...

Where to begin? The truck races are generally the best racing, and presented the best...but I could do with less of Michael Waltrip and his non stop babble. The Busch series might be even more interesting of there was coverage of the actual Busch series drivers, and less emphasis on the Cup drivers invasion. Both ESPN and FOX have suffered from an over use of gimmicks. The draft tracker is ridiculous. I'm already dreading hearing DW and his grating "BBB" at the start of each race. Please assume that fans watching can pick up knowlege without having to be told every week. A simple "loose means you back into the wall, tight means you see it coming" worked for years. Understand that going 'through the field' means talking about every car, not just the top 10 or the 'chasers'. We want to know when a car parks, or has some sort of trouble. If you're not going to cover all 43 cars, at least give us useful stats on the intervals between cars, since it may be the only way we can keep up with a driver you have decided not to bother with. Please let the racing speak for itself. I don't want 'storylines' predetermined before the race ever starts. If you just let it happen, it's much more dramatic. And finally, please don't tell me what i should find exciting. I'm capable of determining that all by myself. If you give me the relevant information, I can figure it out all by myself.

Rob from Toronto said...

my main request is to the viewers/fans of nascar...STOP watching and attending until such time as the corporate wingdings get upset at the empty seats...bottom dweller ratings and they finally are forced to actually listen to fans instead of treating us like wallets with legs for the broadcasts..lose the annoying aerosmith song..lose rusty..lose suzy...lose brad...NO commercials during green flag runs..put alan in the booth to host..he makes the broadcast seem more him with race people..we dont need.."voice of the fans"..or football gal slumming...sighh..this isnt thr grammys or oscars..we just want racing and voices that say racing..rusty might be racing..but he is a mumble mouth mispronouncer who dosnt seem to actually know anything about racing half the time

Anonymous said...

I would like to see the announcers mute their headsets and just tell us what's going on. If in doubt, just listen to MRN and try to repeat whatever they say.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes coverage will return from a commercial break to find the race under the yellow flag. When this happens, the very first words spoken should be, "We're back and under yellow BECAUSE ... " There is absolutely no excuse for not immediately identifying the reason for the caution. ESPN / ABC has been particularly bad about this, sometime neglecting to impart this information for several minutes; occasionally forgetting it entirely.

On the positive side, ESPN has done a good job with alerting viewers to leader changes during a green flag pit cycle. It can be difficult to follow who's in the lead during green flag pits. For those of us involved in fantasy racing, the five points means almost as much to us as to the teams. ESPN's alerts just underneath the top position "crawl" is very effective and should be emulated by other networks.

Draft Tracker is pointless. Too much time is spent focused on one or two cars that are good models for the graphic but may not be involved in close racing. It should be put in the category of, "It seemed like a good idea at the time." Fox's "video game" gimmick should join it. I assume this was an attempt to appeal to young male viewers who play a lot of video games, but why show computer generated graphics when you have the actual replays?

I don't know whether start times are scheduled by the tracks, NASCAR, or the networks, but a lot of scheduling problems would be eliminated if afternoon races started earlier in the day. I understand not everything can start at 1:00 Eastern Time, but why late afternoon for a race in Florida?

This will probably upset some people, but I'm a retired veteran and feel I have earned the privilege or saying this. Put the drivers in the cars before the prayer and anthem, schedule the prayer and anthem during the pre-race show, start all races at :05 or :35 past the hour, then start the races at the scheduled time. No other major sport start a competition at :15 or :50 past the hour, and all of them start at the scheduled, published time.

Drop all hosts, "Hollywood Hotels", infield studios, etc. Three people in the booth and four in the pits is plenty, and maybe one guy with a cutaway car. The hosts can't see the track; they're watching the same broadcast I am. Compared to the booth crew, they're usually less knowledgeable and rarely bring any new insights. The Fox booth crew sets the standards. TNT and Speed do an acceptable job, but a little bit of Micheal Waltrip goes a long way. I know it's their first year, but there's no chemistry in the ESPN booth.

On-track action should be the last thing we see before a commercial break, and the first thing shown when returning. No music videos, ever; especially not the same one all season. None of those edited segments of drivers standing around the car in a variety of poses like a fashion model. No segments of goofy fans tailgating before the race or live shots of fans in the stands. Yeah, I know some breaks require sponsor announcements when returning but other than that, no excuses.

Am I the only one creeped out by that "giant rotating monitor" graphic ESPN has been injecting over grandstands to show promos? Even if it didn't look like it was about to crush the fans, it's trying to hard for that edgy, industrial look. Who designed that, one of Star Trek's Borg? It's a race track, not a chemical refinery. Look at a modern NASCAR team garage; we're into clean and streamlined now, not greasy exposed plumbing.

Enough. Somebody else can get up on this soap box. John, thanks for the opinions and for giving the rest of us a place to rant this year. Will you be updating this log during the off season?

Anonymous said...

Oh, and lose the "in race reporters" bit. The drivers and crew chief rarely say anything worth listening to, simply because they have more important things to think about. In particular, lose the interviews while showing the starting line-up. Read the entire starting grid, and remember to mention who's going to the back, who's starting on owner's points, who's substituting or new in the car, and who didn't make the field. Use the time and resources to find interesting driver-to-chief conversations on the radio.

Scott said...

If ESPM/ABC would simply cover the race as it happens--all of it, not just their chosen drivers--and get rid of the gimmicks, music videos, and assorted other distractions, they'd be miles ahead of where they have been this season.

Add NASCAR-savvy on-air talent,--not the network's "stars" of other sports, who, this season, have uniformly proven to be ignorant of stock car racing--that would be another major step forward.

Things to remember:

-Every driver on that track is somebody's favorite. In fact, they're all LOTS of somebody's favorites. Cover them all.

-If I have to listen to the radio to follow the action on the track, you are failing.

-Racing is exciting. You don't need to hype it up, show file video of past wrecks, do segments showing wifes sounding worried, and the like. Just cover what's happening today.

-Show all the practice sessions and qualifying live, or cede the rights to SPEED. We want to see these events, and when they happen, not hours later.

-If I am watching a race, it is because I want to see a race. Not football. Not updates of other sports. Don't treat green flag laps as boring stuff that goes on while you wait for a wreck.

-Stop treating viewers as if they are stupid. Draft tracker? Come on, that's just dumb. (I don't see a graphic during MNF that shows the way a wind affected a kicked football's flight.) Tech center? We saw one animation, that danged valve breaking, all season. I swaer that, if the hood came off, Brewer would justify it with that graphic.

All these problems are symptomatic of a network (and a producing staff) that does not "get" NASCAR, and thinks it needs to be made more interesting.

It doesn't.

When your EP understands that, or you bring in one that does, most of the complaints will go away.

Anonymous said...

SPEED: Michael Waltrip is a great asset to truck races. He's excited about the race and knows what the drivers are thinking. You must keep him.

Anonymous said...

I expressed my opinion about the ESPN coverage at length here:

In short, lose the pre-prepared script and focus on the race that is actually occurring in front of you.

Additionally, if you aren't going to broadcast practice let Speed do it. And when you do actually broadcast practice focus on what is happening in front of you instead of on those pre-prepared "storylines".

ESPN should be embarrassed that Speed's Nascar Live often does a better job of covering the stories developing during practice without any footage of how cars are handling then ESPN does during the practice coverage.

Speed's practice, qualifying, and truck series coverages is as near to perfect as the human condition permits.

Recent episodes of Nascar Performance have been particularly excellent in teaching people who aren't car people how a race car works. Please, Speed, re-run this stuff during the off-season instead of those stupid car makeover shows.

Fox is good. Even very good. Maybe they could ease back on the Nascar for Beginners stuff. No more than once per race on the tight/loose stuff -- as it naturally arises when a tight car pushes into the wall and when Greg Biffle or Kyle Busch take a corner sideways.

For the most part Mike Joy does a good job of keeping DW's stories relevant to the race -- just make sure he doesn't get off on a complete tangent.

I would like to see both Fox and ESPN add a systematic "Through the Field" segment -- TNT's best feature. We need to know how the different cars are handling and what strategies are planned. A car should never appear at the front "out of nowhere" -- we should have been shown all race how the driver was working his way to the front or should have been told that a radical adjustment was coming that was likely to make a significant difference in the car's performance.

If all the broadcast teams were to focus on the fundamentals of presenting the race that is unfolding in front of them we fans would be a lot happier.

The post-race should include interviews with the winner, the top 3-5 finishers, anyone who had a notable performance -- good or bad -- and, later in the season, the points contenders.

One final note to all 3 companies: You are not competing against each other in your Nascar broadcasts. No race is being covered by more than one network simultaneously so that fans have to choose which to watch. So there is no reason not to co-operate to create a uniform and effective format so that fans can make a seamless transition from channel to channel during the season.

I realize that this is a radical way of thinking, but we are not Fox fans, TNT fans, or ESPN fans who will watch only the programing on one, beloved network. We are Nascar fans and we want to watch the race. Your network agendas are irrelevant to us. When those agendas become obtrusive they create not loyalty but annoyance.

Anonymous said...

Those of you who say nothing needs to be changed in the SPEED truck broadcasts must be immune to the frenzied tones of Michael Waltrip! He's about driven me away from these broadcasts the last two years. Michael is a knowledgeable and compentent speaker, but why does he feel he has to rachet up his voice on the broadcasts? Then Phil rachets his voice up to keep up with him and it results in me having to mute the TV. The truck broadcasts would be just fine without him IMHO.

On ESPN Busch broadcasts, they need to stop trying to merge all the stats, such as wins with the Cup races. Yes, there are 50% or more Cup drivers in the races, but this is suppose to be Busch coverage. They need to stop reinforcing the mini-cup aspect of the races.

On ABC/ESPN coverage, get rid of the infield studio and it's inhabitants! Get rid of all the glitzy graphics and pointers.

I think Rusty Wallace does a fine job, but the director needs to stop trying to force him to talk about his son and brothers. And stop trying to to "play" driver and crew chief with him and Andy. That has been annoying since the beginning on Fox.

Show more of the field and cut WAY back on the coverage of Earnhardt. He may have a lot of fans, but the rest of drivers have fans as well.

Show the traditional three-way split and overview of pit road, not that stupid Brady Bunch graphic that came from Fox.

Neil Goldberg needs to stop copying everything from Fox. They are not that great.

Get back to basics and show racing, and stop trying to make anaologies with football and other sports.

Put Allen Bestwick in the booth as anchor. He's totally wasted on pit road.

DJ is almost as annoying as Michael Waltrip, so don't even consider replacing Rusty with him next season.

Start the races at the traditional 1:00 time and stop wasting an entire hour on pre-race stuff! This way, they'd be over in plenty of time not to infringe on ABC's primetime or nightly news.

Kevin said...

Thanks for great coverage all season, John.

What I want is simple:

No drama. I hate how the tv stations try to over-dramatize everything, as if every race is the Super Bowl or something. TNT was the worst at doing that, especially last year.

No draft tracker. It's the worst thing ever.

Please fire Brent Musburger and Suzy Colber. They have no place calling any part of a NASCAR race.

Stop updating us with the point standings every 20 laps, and right after a wreck occurs. Everybody knows that if JJ or JG has a problem that they will drop behind the other. We don't need constant 'as they run' points. Just wait till the end, please!

Better post-race coverage. 1 interview at the end of a race is pathetic.

Push the start times back up. I think this is one of the biggest reason NASCAR ratings are falling. Nobody wants to wait around until 4 PM EST in the afternoon to watch a race. You really think people are going to continue watching the race straight through dinnertime? Forget about it. I know the times are to help west coast viewers, but it's just not working.

Anonymous said...

I was always taught to say something positive - so ABC/ESPN has great High Def and Suzy has a sexy, that's it, that's all I can think of..

Please show the race, this isn't football where they play for 10 seconds and stand around for 2 minutes, please show the race, not Tech Center, not Draft Tracker, the race.

Thank God for HotPass, at least there we can see the race. Have I been clear enough, show the race.


And JD you do a great job, keep it up.

Anonymous said...

I too want to see more than just the leaders but . . .

Please do not put your cameras on a driver who is not passing or racing anyone just to talk about him. Can't you talk about him when he is actually racing someone rather manufacturing a discussion? (6 laps discussing Kyle Busch last weekend as we watched him drive around the track by himself = boring)

When you do a "through the field" please include ANYONE in the top 10 or 15 not just the chase drivers.

I know that you think its wonderful to be "informative" from the booth, but can't you show some excitement? Dr Jerry is the best there is at showing pathos, but he needs to learn how to show some excitement, too. Oh, what I wouldn't give to hear Bob Jenkins' voice rising higher and higher with excitement. It may have been acting, but it sure felt real!

When you show "interviews" with drivers during the race, one can't help but think the racing must be completely boring.

Please no "techsplanations" from the state of the art tech center unless something so totally unusual happens that we NEED some information. We aren't stupid and we are tired of it.

Please show some long shots, some wide shots of the actual racing on the track. Blimp shots are good, but if you could just show a duel from one camera instead of switching from camera to camera every once in a while, that would be cool and very old school.

chris in bama said...

I would expect a tribute to Ricky Rudd. It's sad to see another "old-school" racer leave the series. Hopefully, ESPN can take a moment from praising Juan Pablo to give Rooster the respect he most certainly deserves.

William said...

SHOW US THE RACE, tell the story of it and let it play out.

I go to several races a year and am alway surprised to hear the a race I went to was boring. Other than that strange stretch at Fall Dega, races are never boring. It's the announcers that make it boring by following boring storylines and not showing the racing on the track.

King Brian better hide from me this weekend, He's getting heckled bad. I just wish I could be there Saturday too. His Father and Grandfather would never let their sport be covered so poorly.

We should have adequate interviews after the race to get an understanding of what happened.

The race is why a hundred thousand people show up most weeks. The people announcing should understand why and be able to explain their enthusiasm to newer folks.

Everyone in the race has a story and that story is important. My wife is a Scott Wimmer/Brian Vickers fan. She deserves interviews of her drivers when she sits through several hours of commercials and her driver does well.

NASCAR was ripe for contraction last year. It's only going to accelerate if the coverage stays so bad.

Kevin in Indy said...

I'm looking forward to the truck race tonight and I wouldn't change a thing about the broadcast team or the presentation.

The Busch Series staying on one channel from start to finish would be nice. In the broadcast I would keep the input from the people who have little to no knowledge of NASCAR (we all know who they are)as minimal as possible or better yet OFF the broadcast. There are many teams struggling for funding in that series. Teams that are run from tiny shops with crews that volunteer their time on weekends to help these drivers, all of them chasing a dream. Many times these cars run a few laps then retire from the race for issues like "handling" or "brakes". When the real problem is that they only have 1 engine and they need it healthy so they can try to make the next race. I'd like to see ESPN talk to these guys after they're out. I've met some of these racers and they're really great guys, just like you and me. A little bit of TV exposure of these men could mean a little more sponsorship so they can get another engine and sow what they can do. People love the underdog.
On the Cup side, again I would prefer that people with no NASCAR backgrounds be kept off the broadcasts. They have ZERO credibility with the fans and their continued presence is seen as an affront to all die-hard NASCAR fans. We are passionate about this sport and want to see it presented by people who are as passionate about it as we are. Also, when you have a nightly show devoted to NASCAR news, the same issues apply to this show as the race broacast. We want someone who knows what they're talking about, not someone who reads from a script and has no clue as to what is being discussed (yes, that means you Eri(k).
My final advice to ESPN would be to watch the Craftsman Truck Series race tonight on SPEED to see what fans want in action.

Kevin in Indy said...

I should have typed "see what they can do" not "sow what they can do". There was a very evil and mean (honestly, evil and mean) 500 lb. woman walking by me when I was typing and it was a Freudian slip that will never happen again.

Anonymous said...

An incredible group of posts. Evry point, complaint, change or addition/subtraction that I would have written about has already been said with greater eloquence.

I would rather focus on Sunday, and let ESPN take these other suggestions and work over the winter on Charlotte.

1 Please put Alan Bestwick in the booth to call the race.

2 Please do not leave a wreck until the driver(s) is OUT OF THE CAR and please make sure to up date and even talk to the driver when they are out of the infield care center.

3 Please have a through the field by the pit reporters with real information at least every fifty laps or so. AND THAT MEANS THROUGH THE FIELD NOT THE TOP TEN

4 please cut from commercial when there is a caution unless it is debrise and then say that right when you come back from the break.

5 Please stop treating me like I have never seen a race before. I actually look to the booth to tell me things I don't already know about the car or track or how to race etc.


With that said, I am looking forward to a great truck race, I love SPEEDs coverage and even Mikey because when he talks trucks he actually seems to care. The problems with the Busch races go far beyond ESPN and if they can get their act together in CUP next year I'm confident they will have the new Nationwide series well in hand too.

What I want to know is who is going to do coverage of the new Retierd drivers league? Personally I can not wait to see Harry Gant back on the track again; some one HAS TO cover these ten races next year.

JD thank you very much for giving us a place to express our views on a wide range of topics that are so very dear to all of us. I hope that we can make a difference and you KNOW you have. Happy off season

Anonymous said...

Good blog. Your regular commenters have pretty much hit the mark, so I won't rehash. Here's my suggestions to the networks covering NASCAR.
Review the race coverage provided by ESPN in the early 90s. It is that coverage that got me interested in the sport. Nothing fancy, just good, knowledgeable, reporters. Start there and keep the technology limited to extending the coverage. Special effects should be left to the movies.
No one should considered a regular on the set or in the booth unless they have worked pit road for one season.
All Cup practices and qualifying should be aired live. NASCAR should make that mandatory in any TV package. Busch and Truck Qualifying should also be mandatory.
Speed is doing pretty well (darn good compared to ESPN).

Midweek shows: INC is a can't miss for me. I'd take AB over DD any day of the week. I love Kenny and would probably stop watching if he left the show. I hope it returns.
ESPN should review the old RPM tonight. I won't watch NASCAR Now with EK hosting.

Thanks for all your efforts.

Anonymous said...

Please get rid of Bret and the other announcers who know nothing about Nascar. Alan Bestwick is a waste in the pits put him as the main announcer. I love Nascar but aren't there more than three drivers: Jimmy, Jeff and Jr.

Anonymous said...

I won't bother with too many commercials or the post race show isn't long enough. I will keep my comment simple. The networks need to remember that to a race fan nothing is better than seeing green flag racing - no matter how boring it looks to a non-fan. We don't want to see draft track, or race recaps, or replays of wrecks that happened an hour ago when the flag is green. Save that crap for the cautions. The networks would still be critiqued for other issues but the single change with the biggest bang would be for them to maximize the amount of green flag laps we see. ESPN should look back to their coverage from the mid/late 90's and try to come as close as possible to duplicating that.
Thanks for having a great site Mr. Daly.

Anonymous said...

ESPN produces every broadcast with a pre-determined storyline in mind. Anything that doesn't fit with that agenda is ignored or covered superficially at best.

This is an arrogant, selfish and stupid way of producing a program, which is why the race coverage comes off as exactly that.

Many times during a race, the on-air personalities seem misinformed or oblivious to what is happening on the track. If one switches back and forth between the radio and TV broacasts, it sounds like they are not even at the same track. The radio broadcast seems to deal more with what is actually happening, while the TV folks give a 4-hour stream-of-consciousness based on opinion rather than fact.

What the TV partners need to do is reprioritze what is shown and discussed during the race. For example:

1) When the green flag is out, describe the action on the track. There is plenty to talk about when the cars are at speed. Fans want to be informed on the running order and intervals by more than just the ticker.

2) Save the technical explanations and opinionated guesswork for caution periods.

3) Use off-track interviews and lifestyle stories sparingly during the race, and never during green flag racing.

And finally, lose the ESPN attitude. One reason NASCAR became so popular was because the races were like spending Sunday afternoon with old friends. With a few exceptions, I wouldn't want to sip lemonade on the back porch with the current TV team.

Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Overall coverage grades:

Fox Cup races: A-
ESPN/ABC Cup races: D+

ESPN Busch races: C+

SPEED Quals: A+
ESPN Quals: C-

SPEED Practices: A
ESPN Practices: Incomplete




Fox Pre-Race: B+
SPEED RaceDay, etc.: B+
ESPN/ABC Pre-Race: C

Fox Post-Race: A
ESPN Post-Race: D

TexasRaceLady said...

JD, first, thank you for this wonderful place you've created. I just wish I'd found it sooner.

Second, after reading the myriad comments, I find that my ideas have been stated most succinctly.

Third, to ESPN, it's the RACING we want to see.

F Howard
Palestine, TX

Anonymous said...

(Oh, I blanked TNT out while making that list. That that for what it is and assume a grade!)

Daly Planet Editor said...

We will have some information about events over the coming weeks shortly. I think you will all be happy with the results.

Thanks again for the kind words, now keep those comments coming.

BTW...DW is on Trackside tonight.


Anonymous said...

My wish list for the Homestead race and beyond:

*The Truck series on Speed is fine as is. The crew just needs to remember to not focus only on the championship battle but the other battles in the point standings and on the track.

*The Busch series needs much more focus on the non-Cup drivers and the new young stars-to-be. Most fans do not care about the owner's points championship but we do like to hear about new drivers doing well and racing competitively. Since Carl Edwards has won the driver's championship, it is no longer a valid story so no time needs to be spent on it. Find other story lines and make them compelling to your viewers.

*The Cup race needs a lot of work. Technically, its fantastic. But on air talent, chemistry, and focus are sorely lacking. Unfortunately ESPN/ABC has chosen to augment these problems with far too many gimmicks (e.g. draft tracker), far too many distractions (e.g. SportsCenter minute) and far too much focus on a few drivers instead of the whole field. I guarantee you there are enough story lines in the 43 car field to keep the on air talent busy the entire race.

Like some of the other folks here I want to see or not see the following:

1. No more draft tracker
2. More use of Allen Bestwick and other NASCAR "insiders" who understand the sport.
3. Less use of NASCAR neophytes like Suzy Kolber, Brad Daugherty and Brent Musberger.
4. Use the ESPN Tech Center better. Have Tim Brewer spent most of his day on pit road, talking to people he knows like engine builders and crew chiefs. When he gets some insight to a problem or on-track issue, he can go back to the Tech Center and show us something truly informative. Up to this point I've learned very little from Brewer in the Center. That needs to change or just get rid of it forever.

5. Do not miss a restart under any circumstances! ESPN/ABC would NEVER miss a punt or kickoff in the NFL, so treat NASCAR restarts with the same respect.

6. Follow up ALL the stories on pit road, not just the championship combatants. Plenty of teams are slugging it out for good finishes and maybe a jump in points. Tell me what JJ Yeley, Tony Raines and Johnny Sauter are doing as they try to have one last strong finish to the season. What is going on with Ricky Rudd's career ending race? Who is going to finish in the top 35 in points and how are they doing? Pay attention to the whole sport, not just a couple drivers.

7. Like everyone else, I'm tired of the Aerosmith video. Play it ONCE at the beginning of the broadcast and that's it.

Always remember, your mission is to bring the entire event into millions of homes. You need to make us feel like we're there. You need to give us insights, news and observations as if we are in the garage area and in the pits. You need to make us feel like we want to be there, but if we can't, this is the next best thing. So far ESPN/ABC has not done a good job of connecting viewers to the event. That needs to change and there is no time like the present. Good luck, we'll be watching.

Cliff said...

I pretty much agree with everything everyone else says.

In basic, simple language that ESPN/ABC can understand, it's called K.I.S.S. ---- Keep it Simple Stupid! Most NASCAR fans are people who shoot from the hip, tell it like it is type people, who can't stand all this nonsense we get from NASCAR or the TV networks.

I would prefer that Fox had the entire NASCAR season, but they have the NFL contract, so that won't happen. It would be nice that once ABC/ESPN got the races for the Sprint Cup series they would be all aired on ABC, my folks don't have cable and I pretty much have to tell them what happened in all those races that were on cable.

You don't see MLB players commentating NFL games do you? What about MLS players talking NBA? Get some drivers(not Rusty!) on the air who are very knowledgable about NASCAR and its history, how about hiring DW and Larry Mac to replace Rusty and Petree? Heck, just retain the entire Fox crew, including Krista Voda and Wendy Venturinni for the whole season.

Interview all top 10 drivers. Fox used to do it. During a rain delays, give a camera to one of the drivers(like Fox did a few times) and let him go hog wild. Kenny Wallace and Micheal Waltrip did that, and it was entertaining and informative. They got stuff out of drivers that you're pit reporters never could get out of the drivers.

One last thing, leave Junior alone this last race! Don't badger him with stupid questions or try to psychoanalyze him. He may be a quiet guy, and if he's anything like me, someone could push the wrong button and set him off. So, leave the guy alone!

Anonymous said...

ABC must find a way to keep local afilliates from cutting out of race broadcasts, delaying the broadcast, or, worse yet, failing to carry them at all.

Twice this season, that happened in market #2, Los Angeles, home of lots of meters and diaries. That hurts ratings.

It also happened, in various forms, in other markets aroudn the country.

This is unacceptable. Other networks do not allow it--and I know, because I have worked at them--and ABC must not allow it, either.

Anonymous said...

I absolutely agree with most of the comments made above. One thing that twists my knickers is when ABCESPN goes to a split screen with the crew chief (or wife) in a small window and the racing in a slightly larger window. Most of the rest of my screen looks like it was colored in with crayons by a first grader. I didn't invest all this money on HD so you could obscure THE RACING!!!!!!

and to the editor of this site:
Your well thought out, fair, and much needed critical comments mirror the thinking of a lot of us average joes.

racingphan from NNY

Anonymous said...

Okay here we go.

1) 30 minutes pre-race
2) 30 minutes post race
3) Show the finish all top ten drivers cross the finish line. It is so frustrating to figure out who finished were.
3) Better coverage of the racing on the trac. Knowledgeable announcers who knows how to cover racing...sorry Rusty you are not it.
4) Someone who is able to pronounce the drivers names their fans would like to hear that and I am sure their sponsors also.
5) Get rid of that Arrowsmith song. Better choice of music and a variety.
6) Can we see the restart that is where a lot of the action happens?
7)More coverage in the pits. What happened when someone was off the pace. Why are they in the garage.
8)Better camera shots of the overall racing..and less bumper cams.
9)Love the long shots that included more of the field.
10)For the Busch races some continuity. Practice is sometimes covered on Speed, then on ESPN. ESPN needs to dedicate a channel to the practice, qualifying and the race so that the NationWide audience can grow. How are you going to get new viewership if you cann find when the coverage will be on with any regularity.

I love the Craftman Truck Series, they need to cover more of the field instead of the usual suspects. Can we have someone else besides Michael Waltrip his voice just grates on my last nerve. How about Kenny Wallace or move an announcer from MRN or PRN with excitement.

This is for can we have TrackPass for the Craftman Truck Race Please.

Anonymous said...

I love your opinions, but am driven crazy by your use of hyphens. High school isn't hyphenated, friend. It is two distinct words. You write so well, but have no clue as to when to use a hyphen. "Pulling-out"? Only 2 words combined to form a NOUN are hyphenated, not verbs, It's just "pulling out", plain an simple. No hyphen. However, a "pull-out" (2 words combined to form one NOUN) is, in fact, hypenated."Stop-by"? Nope. Just "stop by".

I acknowledge that there is much inconsistency among writers as to when to use a hyphen, so it's to your discretion. But the kicker is when you even alter the name of the show "NCTS Setup" to "NCTS Set-up". Funny stuff.

Anonymous said...

Truck series, Speed please put someone else in the booth besides Waltrip. He's only there to sell pizza, Napa and Toyota. Other than that Speed does a very good job with their truck coverage.

Busch Series--One channel please ESPN. Stop treating the series like it's the plague.

Cup--Not much I can add to what's already been said other than Fox, TNT and ESPN...try to emulate what MRN does. Describe what's going on the race track as best you can with your announcers and cameras. I don't care about what your former drivers used to do, what they would do, or the stupid graphics. When cars are on the track SHOW them. Not cheesy graphics or some talking head.

Watch a ARCA race on Speed. You can learn a bunch from watching how Speed handles that series.

Anonymous said...

He's only there to sell pizza, Napa and Toyota.

That's your perception. It is not supported by reality, though.

Make a list tonight and get back to us. Make sure you also list EVERY OTHER brand name and manufacturer he mentions.

Then do the same for Parsons and Allen.

You'll be surprised.

JHD said...

Sometime before Daytona, I would like it if ESPN and FOX and whoever else broadcasting Cup races could sit down every employee that will be associated with televising NASCAR in 2008, and make them watch the race telecasts that are shown every now and then on ESPN Classic. Or one of the old CBS broadcasts. Point these out of examples of what to do.

Then show them a race these networks broadcasted THIS year. IF they don't see a difference, or can't articulate the differences between the two broadcasts, remove them from the NASCAR coverage assignment immediately.

Even if there were problems with older broadcasts, they still do one thing. They tell the story of the race as it unfolds on the track.
The networks have gotten so caught up in their technical wizardry and abilities, that they've forgotten there's a race happening.

We don't need made up controversies or dramas from guys wearing business suits or holding microphones. All we need is the ability to see 43 guys in 3400 pound cars fighting over the same limited piece of asphalt over the course of 36 weeks. Everything else will take care of itself on its own.

There's a reason many of us watch the pictures the networks sometimes provide and we listen exclusively to driver's scanners or MRN instead. Perhaps the networks should try that, then try listening to their own inane commentary to see what it is the fans want and don't want.

In addition:
Personally, I don't need 2 hours of pre-race coverage, and 0 minutes of post-race. I'd rather see maybe an hour of pre-race coverage for the setting of the scene and the human interest stories, if it means that we viewers are guaranteed seeing a 30 minute post race show immediately after the race, with interviews from the top 10 drivers (no exceptions there) and then anyone else they want to interview that didn't make the top 10.

RBEAN said...

Lots of good comments. Hope "they" listen. For me it just boils down to more complete racing coverage and less of the "other stuff". ESPN/ABC needs to look the hardest at their "people", all the way from the producers, directors and especially the on-air personnel. Rusty W. and Jerry P. have really got to go. We can live with the others, don't want to but can. Here's my wish list for on-air, Alan Bestwick, Kyle Petty and Andy Petree with Booty Barker in the Tech Center.

Garry said...

It's simple ,people. SHOW ME THE DAMN RACE! No draft tracker, no feel-good stories of how Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon have been friends "forever", when 6 years is not "forever". No Matt Kensess, no David Gillyan, no Six Degrees of Rusty Wallace, no liniage between racing and football, and how they are the same. No "Folks, let's show you what you missed, because we were away at another damn commercial." No "Driving their brains out". No Jeff and Jimmie show.
Please,Please show the other 31 cars and talk a little bit about them, as they show up to race too. No "How much of the impact did your body absorb?" NO CHAD KNAUS TELETHON!!!!
And did I mention, SHOW ME THE RACING!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Fox has done a good job there is nothing I can really say other than maybe DW could settle down with the Boogity ..... and maybe they could limit the commercials. Mike Joy is the best at what he does...period.

TNT just needs to go,away. They would be best off by getting rid of Bill Webber. He is terrible. Dallenbach and Petty will be fine with another play by play guy. Webber really insults my intelligence for some reason.

As for ESPN, what is there to say that hasn't already been said. First off Dr. Punch needs to be immediately removed from the booth. He literally puts me to sleep, I'm not joking either. Replacing Punch should be either Bestwick or Marty Reid I think they both do a great job when given the opportunity. Punch would be a perfect person to have host the prereace show with some insightful interviews and what have you. He would also be good at hosting Nascar Now. Along with Punch for the prerace I think, if they are going to keep him around, Rusty Wallace could do a good job setting up the race. He could add insightful details about the track and the racing particular to that track. Get rid of Kolber, Musberger, and yes get rid of Daugherty. Maybe Daugherty could be a pit road reporter? It must be said that the only glue keeping this broadcast together has been Andy Petree. He's done about as good as can be expected with the partners he has. Replacing Rusty in the booth should absolutely be Dale Jarrett. He is great when he is guest announcing. He is imformative and very charsimatic in the booth similar to his father. That leaves us with a prerace cast of Punch and Wallace, and a booth of Bestwick or Reid, Jarrett and Petree. That would be a dramatic improvement from what we have now.

Oh by the way ESPN, get rid of the draft crapper, rap music, music videos, and fabricated story lines. Stay with the real racing action of ALL 43 drivers and you'll be fine.

Anonymous said...

I don't get this problem people have with DW's "Boogity" phrase.

He says it exactly ONCE each race, and it takes three seconds to complete the whole phrase.

That's it.

If three seconds' worth of announcing frustrates you that much, turn off the sound for that duration. (And you know when he will say it, so that ain't hard to do.)

Then turn it back on and listen to Fox's superior crew in the booth.

elena said...

sknpcqmwJD, thanks for the chance to add my 2 cent's worth.

I had this marvelous and articulatly written list and my computer went black! I just cannot write it all again!

I will say that I agree with all the voices saying to please show us the race. Limit the gadgets, videos, and increse the camera shots of the not-in-the-chase drivers.

I hope you (ESPN) avoid the talk of Barry Bonds.

Find time on Sunday to talk a little of the pioneers we lost this year. I was a Benny Parson's fan. As much as NASCAR wants to copy the ball and stick sports, I wish they would establish an award after Benny. Like a CY Young.

Again, thanks to JD.

Anonymous said...

Just saw a promo for Chase coverage on ABC.

"Miss a little and you miss a lot," it said, ripping off the Jerry Lewis Telethon's old slogan.

Someone ought to inform the crew in the production truck of that concept. Maybe we'd miss fewer restarts, pit stops, and overall action.

NBC used to dump out of commercials (not local breaks, I know) when something big happened on the track. Yes, they had to do makegood, but y'know what?

I sat through the commercials...just in case.

Dan said...

I'll echo the comments of most everyone here - cover the race. The whole race and the whole field. All day long, there are plenty of good stories throughout the field, but more times than not we hear very little about them because the majority of the coverage goes to the leader and a handful of fan favorites.

Jayhawk said...

I will not watch anything on ESPN ever again. Ever. Not football, not racing, not panel shows. Nothing. Ever.

I do not watch NASCAR racing any more either, except once in a while a trucks race.

So it doesn't really matter what they do, as they have already lost me.

Garry said...

Response to the person who doesn't have a problem with DW's Boogity phrase. It was cute the first three times, but when it's canned and written like a stale joke, it comes off as such. Imagine seeing the comedien Gallagher now, and he smashes the watermelon? Boooring!Spontanaity,people. Not canned humor or made up drama. I cringe everytime he utters that stupid, third grade phrase. Get a new line already.
It just hit me- perhaps that person that sent the response in is YOU Dw???

Shawnna said...

My needs on Sunday are fairly simple:

-- Show more of the race and less of the bazillion announcers on ABC and all the gizmos

-- Show ALL restarts

-- Show the racing/place intervals on the ticker (note: I do NOT want to see the points on the ticker AT ALL -- show me the intervals!)

-- Reset the field after pit stops (don't just show me the top 10 leaving the pits -- tell me why someone gained/lost major spots)

-- Tell me who got the lucky dog

-- Don't limit the commentating to just the leaders or chase contenders; mention/discuss all 43 drivers

-- Talk about more drivers when doing "through the field"

-- I would love a longer post-race, but at the very least, interview the Top 3-5

-- Don't skip the non-chaser interviews, especially if they place in the Top Ten

-- Follow-up on the drivers after wrecks

Guess I had a little more pent up inside me than I thought. :-)

Anonymous said...

If I had a wish list minimum standard for racing broadcasts, I would advise the major networks to watch a NCTS race on SPEED. From top to bottom, that is how a race should be presented.

I loved the NCTS programs. They get it. The Set Up's Krista Voda is focused, energetic and effective while leading the transition into the actual race broadcast. The team in the booth is great. Rick Allen and Phil Parsons are just the right blend. Mike Waltrip adds energy. Viewers are kept informed and the compelling stories are followed up throughout the race. Ray Dunlop in the pits is excellent.

With no overwhelming "look what I can do" graphics, no intrusive musical moments, no cast of thousands and very little hype, the NCTS on SPEED has set the NASCAR broadcast standard.

w17scott said...

Mr. Editor -
I'll take this time to give thanks for -
[1] this column to give a true 'voice' to the fans
[2] 6 mos rest from DW (it's genetic - see Mikey)
[3] seeing something positive in each provider's broadcast efforts
[4] bringing to light new voices, new perspectives across the NASCAR community
[5] bringing out those 'anonymous' posts that no doubt come from the broadcast booth, corporate desks and 'whoa' a driver?
[6] you Editor - and for sharing your depth of knowledge, encouragement and opportunity to take the NASCAR community to a deserved 'next level'
- Walter

Anonymous said...

Rusty Wallace and Andy Petree seem to be trying too hard and its annoying.After 18 races ,I thought they might loosen up and be real.Jerry Punch carries the broadcast and is ace.Musberger and Kolber are out of their comfort zone covering motorsports and should stay in "stick and ball" sports.Brad Daughtery comes across as credible and well informed.He should abandon ship to Fox/Speed ASAP. I watch Eric K. the same way you watch a bug under a glass jar.He doesn't even come across as a fan of the sport....ABC should hire DW,Larry Mac,and Mike Joy for the last race.At least they have fun and are relaxed.

Anonymous said...

Brad Daughtery comes across as credible and well informed.

Does he call basketball games?

That must be what you mean, because he's barely become serviceable during the last couple of races he's covered.

Ken said...

There are many things I would like to see but there are a couple that would make a great difference to me.

1. Start all day races at the same time (sugggest 1:00PM Eastern time) and start all night races at the same time (suggest 7)00PM Eastern time).

2. Get rid of all the Waltrips everywhere.

dondol said...

I was really excited to hear that espn was coming back to nascar, what a letdown. 1st get ride of Brad Dority and that girl, they remind me of fingernails running down a chaulkboard. Get rid of the HYPE, just show us the race (you don't have to show us how to put on a lug nut every week). From one of the premier broadcasters to this, I am disappointed. Remember, we can turn off the sound and listen to PRN!

Anonymous said...

Please get rid of the draft tracker. It is insulting to all race fans.

Show all the drivers at some point in the race. Every driver in the race has fans and the fans should be allowed to see their favorite at some point in the race.

ESPN used to be the best in covering NASCAR. They are now near the bottom of the barrel.

We do not need the race coverage interrupted by other sports updates. When you come back from commercial show us the race instead of more advertising.

Anonymous said...

If I can add one more item to my wish list: ESPN, please respect your viewers.

As an ESPN viewer/listener, there was one disturbing network wide element. As soon as NASCAR was mentioned, we got snickering Bubba and Billy Bob references. The on air "body language" and snide remarks reflected a basic level of contempt for the sport and, especially, NASCAR's fan base. One of the early teething problems for NASCAR Now was that the subtle contempt for NASCAR in Bristol CT seemed to be an underlying layer of the show. In my opinion, that destroyed NN's credibility at the starting gate.

AndyPandy said...

I don't want to repeat all of the good things posted here, but I'll sum up much of my comments in a couple of short phrases in the form of a Wish List:

1. Far less graphics and high tech garbage

2. Less of the announcers treating me like it's my first race

3. More info about what is going on in the race for all 43 drivers

4. Every lucky dog, every unscheduled stop, every car to the garage, every driver released from infield care center

5. Every single green flag lap that they can possibly show

6. A description of the cause of each caution as soon as humanly possible

7. A little more genuine excitement from the booth

BTW, everything stops in my house when they're coming to take the green on FOX until I hear DW tell me that the race is underway with his BBB, like the ump yelling 'Play ball' at the start of a baseball game. And I am not DW.

Anonymous said...

quote: Anonymous said...

I love your opinions, but am driven crazy by your use of hyphens. High school isn't hyphenated, friend. It is two distinct words. You write so well, but have no clue as to when to use a hyphen. "Pulling-out"? Only 2 words combined to form a NOUN are hyphenated, not verbs, It's just "pulling out", plain an simple. No hyphen. However, a "pull-out" (2 words combined to form one NOUN) is, in fact, hypenated."Stop-by"? Nope. Just "stop by".

I acknowledge that there is much inconsistency among writers as to when to use a hyphen, so it's to your discretion. But the kicker is when you even alter the name of the show "NCTS Setup" to "NCTS Set-up". Funny stuff.


Nice. Critiquing a guy on his own site. Classy. Are you an employee of ESPN?

John Park said...

For the sake of the sanity of ALL NASCAR FANS, send ESPNothing back to the NBA and the PGA!!!!! When it comes to NASCAR, SPEED Channel is the BEST !! FOX isn't bad. But, PLEASE GET RID of ESPNothing NASCAR coverage, totally and completely !!!!!

jmb said...

Speed TV - I love all of your racing coverage, in all series. I could do with less Michael Waltrip, but he's not a giant issue with me. The practice and qualifying I watch every week (whenever ESPN allows it). ESPN, if you're not going to broadcast them, then let someone else do it.

FOX - I like their coverage. DW's BBB only lasts a few seconds, so that's ok. Mike Joy is the best.

TNT - Better than ESPN, but not by much. Don't care for their announcers, but at least we see the race.

ESPN Busch -I didn't get to see a lot of them because sometimes I couldn't find them, but for next year, show us the RACE. Show us all the drivers. Don't pre-empt and bounce around your various stations (some of which I don't get). Interview the winner. What you did when Reutiman won his first race was inexcusable. Get rid of that Aerosmith video and song. If you feel you must do music & video - check out some of Speed's Race Day openers. I love them.

Sunday's race from ESPN on ABC - In the pre-race, tell us the news, and this week I'd love to see a piece on Ricky Rudd. PLEASE no Brent Musberger. Show us the racing. All the drivers, from front to back. Give us shots that have more than just one car in them. Don't do "fluff stories" during green flag racing. Reset the field after pit stops. Tell us the "lucky dogs". Let us know the outcome of a driver being sent to the care center. Announcers, pronouce driver's names correctly. No "driving their brains out" or "driving their wheels off" or "sailing away". If I had a dollar for every time I've heard that your broadcasts, I could have gone to every race, and ended my frustration with your coverage. Don't show your personal prejudices for or against anyone while on air. No draft tracker. See above for Aerosmith video. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES CUT AWAY FROM OR MOVE THIS RACE TO ANOTHER CHANNEL BEFORE IT IS OVER. It is our version of the Super Bowl, we want to see it all, including the post-race celebrations. Dump the "points as they run". At this stage of the game we know who #1 and #2 are and we can (hopefully) see where they are on the track. Show us someone besides Jeff & Jimmie (and I'm a Jeff fan, but I'm sick of the hype arounds this).

JD - thanks so much for giving us a place to express ourselves about the coverage we get. I probably write to ESPN every week, but it's like spitting in the ocean. No one ever notices.

hawkeye said...


Don’t change a thing, because we know that NASCAR races are too long and too boring. Because of these facts, do everything to divert our attention away from the race and promote your programs, your technology, your advertisers, your local affiliates, and of course your outstanding personnel describing every second of J.J.’s perilous, yet stupendous efforts to win the championship. Let’s make sure to:
1. Use the Draft Tracker several times, and each time use a different color to show us how the air hovers over the hood and deck lid of the #48.
2. Turn off Jerry Punch’s and Andy Petree’s microphones, and allow Rust Wallace to talk non-stop. Make sure that Rusty has at least one new term to keep us curious all winter long. “Draft-lock” has now become common knowledge to us dedicated ESPN watchers.
3. When the yellow flag comes out, immediately cut to commercials, while you scramble to create a thirty second video recap for us to marvel at. When the cars enter pit road, show us the back of Chad Knaus, Follow that with ten seconds of J.G. video, so that we will know that he’s still battling J.J.
4. During green flag segments, play several interview segments of J.J. and J.G. answering the same questions that were asked during the pre-race show, but need to be seen again. Be sure to plug the upcoming episodes of Desperate Housewives, Cavemen, and Dirty Sexy Money.
5. If one of those “other” drivers has an engine problem, immediately jump to cut-away car and show us that video of the valve breaking, while you tell us how terrible this is. If the problem is with the #8, recap all of his previous engine problems.
6. PLEASE have a minimum of six Sports Center one-minute updates, and show us all of yesterday’s college football scores.
7. During the final five laps, only show us the in-car video of the #48, so we can experience J.J.’s emotions from behind his tinted helmet – ignore the rest of the field, no matter what happens.

All of ESPN fans will be recording this broadcast, so we can watch it over and over, during the long cold winter

Desmond said...

All three networks are in need of major improvement. Here's a breakdown:

*No more Hollywood Hotel! And get rid of Chris Myers, too. Even after seven years, he sounds clueless on the air at times. What's worst, he paved the way for much of what we see at ESPN (see below).
*Say goodbye to "boogity boogity boogity." Not only does it get on my nerves, it was plagiarized. DW took it from a Chubby Checker song, then had the gall to go on (I think in late 2005) and took credit for it himself. Huh?
*Break out the exact times for the pre-race show and the race so I know when to start taping if I can't watch the race live.

*Move Larry McReynolds into the booth and kick Wally Dallenbach out.
*Get rid of the rotating set (and sell it to a disco.:)) Bill Weber should be the only pre-race host.
*If you have time left, fill it! Don't bail out in time for a movie.
*Continue the "wide open" coverage in 2008. It was very fascinating.

*Do major surgery on the broadcast lineup. Tell Chris Fowler, Brent Musburger, and Suzy Kolber goodbye! Make Dr. Jerry Punch the pre-race host and Allen Bestwick the new lap-by-lap announcer. Give Rusty Wallace only one more year to prove himself, or otherwise he is gone.
*Change the use of the Tech Center to yellow- and red-flag periods only.
*Move NASCAR Now to the Charlotte area and replace Erik Kuselias. I don't care with who, because just about anyone else would be better.
*Most importantly, treat NASCAR racing as an event and not as a profit center on which to promote everything else.

*Add a new nightly racing show (whether NASCAR-only or otherwise). It would be nice to give ESPN some competition.
*Give Monday night back to NASCAR fans. Remove some of those lifestyle shows which serve only to sell ads to the "desired demographic."

*Make every effort possible to update the entire field. Perhaps an extra reporter can be hired to spotlight other drivers not among the stars, the race leaders, or the point leaders. Ever since I became a fan, I have been blown away by the loyal support of all the drivers by the NASCAR fan base.
*Please alter the commercial breaks for both passes for the lead and for caution flags. Not easy to do, but at least try.
*Learn from what SPEED Channel does for the truck series and smaller stock-car racing divisions. The action should be focused on the track, not dispersed in a million different directions.
*Improve pre-race show content and make sure that the post-race show covers at least all the top drivers as well as a full-screen, full-field rundown. What happened at the Memphis and Bristol (March) Busch Series races was inexcusable.

Desmond said...

Oh, and Hawkeye, you are really funny.:)

Anonymous said...

The previous comments have for the most part summed up my issues with the TV coverage, so I won't say much. A lot of my gripes stem from respect (or perceived lack of it), and the fact every driver that shows up at the racetrack has fans, not just a few. But here's my short list:

For all networks:
- Show, or at least update, every car during qualifying.

- When you do an interview with a driver, say "thank you for your time" or something of that nature instead of acting like "I'm done with you, you can go now" after the interview is over.

- If a car falls out of the race, tell us that car is in the garage or has retired from the race.

- Reset the field before a restart.

To Rusty in particular:

-Please don't use the word "dead" in every other phrase you say. Also, your saying "He's driving his brains out" is way overused.

You pegged my curiosity. Can you give a hint on the driver you alluded to in your blog. And once again, thanks for the site and you efforts this season. They've been very much appreciated.

Anonymous said...

I would like to see ESPN integrate their coverage with other networks and other ESPN shows to provide race fans continuity throughout the racing season. There are a finite number of drivers and teams out there, and if ESPN insists on keeping the hub in Bristol, CT, there are plenty of talented people out there to provide new stories and updates to existing stories. If a variety of sources were used, perhaps fans would receive a more rounded view of the race week. As a start, just take a peek at - his site is hosted by ESPN, but he doesn't limit his coverage to ESPN only reporters. I've noticed ESPN has used Speed footage and Speed has used ESPN footage, but ESPN has provided their own commentary. Please remember, if Speed showed fans the footage first, they also told us the story behind the footage. Please continue that story. Continuity from week to week is very important to the fan no matter which network "broke" the story, all networks have the obligation to the fan to follow the story through to the end.

I get the impression that most of ESPN's on air personalties "show up" for the taping or live broadcast of their shows and have not taken the time to do their homework. This could be as simple as watching the races on the weekend so on Monday the fans get a complete recap of all Nascar races. Or, utilize the ESPN personnel that attended the races to provide coverage on Monday. Much of the enjoyment I get from the FOX/Speed broadcasters is that I know they have been in the pits, garages, and driver's parking lot - basically everywhere - talking to the participants so they have fresh information to pass on to the fans during the race. On Monday's INC, I know the panelists have been at the track and they provide fans with more information of an incident than fans received during the race. I do not get that impression from ESPN's group. EK allows the studio to script his shows, and I get the impression Rusty Wallace flies in for the Busch race, does his announcing chores in between being Busch owner, and then heads out to fulfill his sponsor duties. I do not get the impression that either announcer's heart is in their on air Nascar assignments and I think ESPN needs to make some changes in that area.

I feel AB is being used as a conduit between the drivers and ESPN because the drivers trust AB to ask appropriate questions and be respectful of the sport. I also believe drivers trust Dr. Punch. ESPN has not been able to put driver's at ease with the "new" pit reporters and it shows by the quality of their interviews. Perhaps if Dr. Punch and AB were switched, AB can be the conduit between the fans and ESPN, which we desperately crave, and Dr. Punch can be the conduit between the drivers and ESPN for next year.

I also agree with other posters on demands for improvement, but since we've been harping on these same issues since ESPN took over the broadcasting duties, I seriously wonder if ESPN is simply placating fans instead of sincerely wanting to effect change.

The final demand I have for Sunday: I have seen every race since 1993 except three (had to attend two funerals and a wedding) until this season. I have never even considered muting the television, utilizing the internet, or listening to the radio until ESPN took over the broadcasts. Please don't force me to do so on Sunday.

elena said...

I consider myself a hardcore NASCAR fan. Of course I'm a sport's fan too. I read that soome do not like the ribbon on the bottom that updates scores in other sports. Well, I like it. I follow basketball, college football, NFL, tennis, etc. When they do the updates, it keeps me from channel surfing to find all my scores. I don't want to fight anyone who does not like it, but just to say that to some of us, it fits a nice purpose.

I was watching the Federer match a few minutes ago, and thankfully they were showing all the NCAA scores, some of which I had missed.

As far as DW, I can see how his BBB gets on people's nerves. But I gotta tell you, there's nothing more fun than to be with someone who loves the sport and enjoys the race. No one at ESPN is a cheer leader for racing. Not one. My dad is gone, but I got to tell you, watching a race on tv with DW, is like watching it with my dad.

For those who love SPEED, that's great, but remember there are thousands of us who cannot get it, so we are stuck with ESPN.

I'm sorry the season is over.

Anonymous said...

Ditto to most of what has been said.

Regarding Mikey, I'd rather have someone with enthusiam that you have to tone down than try and get a Dr. Punch to show excitement.

Regarding Rusty: If you insist on bringing him back send him to a Dale Carnegie seminar in the off season. Not sure they teach you to have an original thought, but with a little polish you might be bearable in the booth (wishful thinking).

To ESPN: Qualifying has become more important because of the GOGHer's. Please identify them in the ticker. Are you afraid you would be copying Speed? It's ok. Don't think they have a patent on red for going home, green for locked in.

Future: Everyone, consider side by side during commericials. Read somewhere it was the sponsors not wanting to do it. Sponsors: We have a DVR. During IRL races we "watch" the commercials to see the racing. No side by right thru em (unless we see a driver in a new commercial)!

As stated by the RACING!! Get rid of the superfluous, you will have the time to cover all of the drivers, or at least updates when someone has a problem, drops out or is performing better than usual.

Last. Although I check this site "daily":), I was getting very tired of the tirades and some of the nitpicking and nastiness. However, I am so impressed with all the comments on today's topic. NASCAR/ESPN are you listening? We care because we love our racing. Don't make us go away!!

Thanks JD for giving us this forum.

Diane B.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Daly:
Most of the posters so far have given detailed critques of TV coverage by each of the broadcast networks in 2007. As i read them, I get the impression as follows:
SPEED (fine),
FOX (good),
TNT (bad),
ESPN (awful, but it might be because they are the last segment of this season).
But I'd like to throw out another thought.
Throughout this season, I've seen postings where the writer writes that they've sought out different mediums to follow the races, whether it be radio, Hotpass, Sirius or the internet and only use their TV's for the visual aspect of the event. Some others have stated that they've sworn off TV broadcasts entirely. Clearly, the percieved thinking is that the TV broadcasts, their production and their on-air staffing has declined and will continue to do so.
I bring this up after reading an excellent article in the "New York Times" online site today concerning the effect of the Writers Guild strike and how it could affect longtermsegments of the television industry such as late-night, awards and series programming. A related story states that a recent poll suggests that at least 32% of current TV viewers will use the internet over TV for their entertainment if the strike is prolonged.
How does this bode for the TV industry in the future year(s)?
FOX had better come surging out of the box in February with the best damn NASCAR TV broadcasting we've seen in decades or else, combined with the current writers strike, declining viewership may begin to send TV broadcasting to the scrapyard of history, in favor of internet broadcasting. How American media giants react and morph to that is anyone's good guess at this time!
Also, thanks for this very excellent site!
Just my thoughts...
Tom in Dayton.

Richard in N.C. said...

Santa- 4 specific requests:

1.Keep the Daly Planet,

2. For SPEED & ESPN - please note that racing fans do not hibernate between Thanksgiving and the end of January,

3. For TNT & ESPN - have qualified people handling the race and related broadcasts in front and behind the cameras, and please quit wasting Allen Bestwick's talents, and

4. A Nobel prize for the Daly Planet.

Anonymous said...

When the cars exit pit road after a caution I would like to see how every one of them comes out of the pits, not just the first three or four, also I would like to see the split screen on the commericals so we don't miss any on track action. and most of all I would like to not see any more sports minutes or draft tracker. Nothing so important is happening in football or any other sport that we must see it during a race, keep it till the news.

Anonymous said...

All of these posts are good. One problem is that everybody has different levels of acceptance and the challenge for the networks is to hit the balance. Therefore, all the "fluff" is not going to go away (even though I am one that would like to see it go). Individual personalities will be liked by some and not by others - it's a fact of life (so not all of the Punchs, DWs, Mikeys, and Daughertys will go). The networks will not satisfy everybody with the personalities, but they better have people that know what's going on without a telepromper or monitor

Following are examples of why MRN and FoxTrax are on during the race at my house.

1.) When Kahne bounced off the wall at Phoenix and put Raines behind the wall for 20 laps - Raines was not covered at all.
2.) Contrary to the announcer, it was not Aric Almirola's first Cup race at Phoenix. He maybe should have gotten out of Kenseth and JJ's way, but it wasn't his first race.
3.) When Blaney spun, he wasn't trying to get into the top 35 as mentioned, he was in the top 35 with a cushion over the 21 car (Elliott). A DNF by the 22 and a good finish by the 21 would have made it interesting for these two guys, but not what occured on the track at that time.

These examples, repeated week after week, are unacceptable and show what the theme of all of today's posts say. The network doesn't understand or respect the sport. I am a race fan - show me the race and have somebody that knows the sport tell me about it as it's happening. I think if they take this approach, they'll hit a majority of the comments covered throughout these posts.

Daly Planet, I look forward to your columns and, more than you know, appreciate the forum you have created.

Jo said...

Stay with the races after the finish line--let us see where everyone finishes. If you have to go to other programming on ABC, tell us you're going to ESPN or ESPN2, but don't abandon us!
SHUT RUSTY UP. Put DJ in the booth in his place!
If you have to run a ridiculous stat, don't run POINTS NOW; run OVER/UNDER TILL STEVEN WALLACE CRASHES or LAPS SINCE WE'VE TALKED ABOUT DALE JR--at least have some mordant postmodern humor about it...

Anonymous said...

First of all I would like to thank J.D. for this site. I would also like to thank him for the time he has put in to watching some very bad television and for allowing us that don't have his patience to know when the shows were getting better. I also would like to thank him for letting us vent, complain, and criticise, I think it has saved some sanity among us.

As for what I want to see, well this is going to be the first time watching the Championship weekend on t.v. for me, I am usually at the race. So I would like to see THE RACE, THE WHOLE RACE AND NOTHING BUT THE RACE.

I want Speed to continue what they have been doing all year. Their coverage of the truck series has been good all year. They talk about every truck in the race and the races are always competitive.

I want ESPN to NOT have guests that are trying to promote something in the studio at anytime this weekend. I want them to show the entire field from the green flag to the checkered flag. I want information on why people are falling back in the field and why others are moving up. I want to here relevant scanner talk. I actually do like that considering that when I am at the races I listen to the scanner the entire race. If Johnson and/or Gordon are not racing for position with anyone I don't want to see them. There are 43 cars in the race, somewhere on the track someone is racing someone else for position, show that. If you are going to say the rest of the race is going to be commercial free, MEAN IT. Put as many commercials as you want in during the yellow flag, but do it after pitstops and resetting the field. Most of all, I want the announcers to have fun! Loosen the ties and act like your at home with your friends.

I know alot of what I said has already been mentioned but maybe the more that people say it the more likely ESPN will listen.

Just my 2 cents, probably all it's worth too.

Anonymous said...

1. Quit missing the restarts!!!
2. Dump the ex basketball player, the ex basketball commentator and the ugly chick.
3. Pay Kyle Petty enough so he can retire and become your color commentator.
4. If you want to use non Nascar people for commentary…get Al Michaels and John Madden.
5. Lose half of the boring pre-race nonsense and give us 15 minutes of post race coverage.
6. Tell Rusty he sound dumb when he talks about Draft Tracker.
7. Tell Andy he sound dumber when adds to Rusty’s Draft Tracker explanation.
8. ….uuhhhh this is making me tired just thinking about everything that is bad… just give ESPN’s races to Fox and be done with it!

Dot said...

I don't want to be redundant so I will just say that I agree with almost everything said.
One thing I would like to mention since I'm on the West side of the country, Start The Races Earlier. It's a bunch of cr*p that they start so late for our benefit. I remember when racing started around 10:00am.(PT) I could still get to the pool in the early afternoon.

Anonymous said...


Phil Lee said...

These comments are aimed at the ESPN coverage.

1. Like many other I hate the draft tracker. Please get rid of it.

2. Don't pretend that the green flag has just dropped when you have missed the restart whilst away on commercials.

3. Get rid of Erik Kuselias

4. Reduce the number of commercials. It must be hell watching the coverage in the US. At least here in the UK we see in car footage during most of the breaks.

elena said...

I live in the California desert, and there is no reason not to start at 10 PST. You go for a round of golf and get home in time to relax and watch the race.

MelissaAnne said...

I totally agree with Dot and Garry- and of course everyone here. I think that what we desperately want is to -just watch a race-.
That's it. I don't want the draft tracker, I don't want to see the broken piston explanation. And you know what, I don't need racing explained in football metaphors.
That irks me so very much. I am race fan. I know what is happening in my own sport.

Please, give us the split screen. It worked fine for TBS.
And if not. Please. Let us watch the race. Get rid of Suzy (please) and get rid of Punch. Get some people who know racing- some one who respects us and respects NASCAR.
And I'm from California too. Fix the race times.

Anonymous said...

A suggestion to ESPN.

1. Have Nascar announcers/personalities cover stick and ball sports.

2. Create a scripted soap opera plot for all coverage of other sports. Please stick to the plot instead of the action.

3. Apologize when field action interrupts your above script.

4. Focus your cameras on players not involved in the play at the moment. Keep them there as the ball is caught, the basket is made, etc. Be sure to tell us all all about frivolous info while focusing only on him and not on the action.

5. Break away from the action as it is happening and return during time outs.

6. Show the back of the coaches head instead of the playing field. Once in awhile show his face instead of the action on the field. Those fans will know by his reaction what is really happening.

7. Have studio clips of all athletes basically doing nothing but posing to show for several seconds before going to commercial break.

8. Be sure to have plenty of non-sports clips of athletes families, friends, dogs, enemies etc. to show while there is action going on.

Please do this for all coverage, not just Nascar. See how long it takes for a total uprising of any and all your viewers, not just the Nascar fans.

The problems faced by the Nascar fan on the TV coverage have been eloquently covered here on this site. The opinions are varied but the message is the same.

Thank you JD for giving us this opportunity. I just hope somebody is really listening. In the meantime I think it is time to find a new pasttime.

ArriveThursdayLeaveMonday said...

I, for one, absolutely loved TNT's one-time "experiment" with lower-right boxed-in commercials during GF runs. It can't rightly be called side-by-side split screen ala open-wheel racing... it was unique, and it worked.

Because the sponsors got mega-exposure while fans didn't miss laps. And it became brilliant with the use of long-form DRIVER commentary to plug the sponsors... while we got the enviable bonus of having the announcers shut up while it was happening.

So I would love to see that return during '08. And even if you didn't personally like it all that much, it helped massively with addressing the common concerns posted here -- concerns I tend to share. It completely alleviated such things as missed restarts.

That said, any network (except Speed, which already gets it) can reap immediate and lasting rewards by remembering that the only people who tune out in disgust are true fans who know when they being treated like children-- idiot children.

The new fans (of which I was one not all that many years ago) can either pick up the nuances of the sport while enjoying the racing or decide that this left-turn stuff just ain't something they're ever gonna get.

That's what happened to me when I honestly tried to give hockey and soccer a chance. No matter how dumbed-down it was made for me by the on-air production teams, I just couldn't see the point.

But I learned the NFL, college basketball, the extremely esoteric nuances of MLB, and other sports just fine by being shown the ACTION and picking up finer points as I went along. As a child in most cases.

Look. I have many stick-and-ball friends who haven't yet joined the NASCAR nation. (Once I get them to actually attend a race, they're hooked, but those opportunities are few and far between.)

These friends, since they like my company, are often willing to put up with the fact that if we spend time together on a Saturday night when they're running at Richmond, they WILL be watching the race.

Even these complete newbies are disgusted at the average Cup television coverage.

So the production teams aren't even reaching the potential new fan they are targeting, while at the same times making knowledgable fans cringe. If I break through to one these stick-and-ballers (and it does happen), it's because I fight over the top of the promos/inappropriate "he told me earlier today" pit reporter fluff, stupid draft track, etc, and CALL THE RACE for them!


There's one little comparison I love to use when watching a race with my football friends. Bear with me on this, please, because it has to play out to make my point.

These hardcore NFL fans know, usually before all but the best booth teams can spit it out, that if the linebackers blitz on third and five, the tight end will be open on a slant over the middle if he releases in a timely fashion. Jay Novachek made an all-pro career doing basically that for years in Dallas.

Now, booth analysis of that route (on replay while the chains are moved) is how people LEARN the nuances and become knowlegable fans who can be counted on as broadcast watchers in the future -- and the same analysis makes the true fan appreciate that the guys in the booth are calling the game with that same knowledge base.

But, I tell my friends, if the replay supports a pre-determined script (the Great Linebacker is isolated as he almost gets to the quarterback), it is an insult to the true fan -- who knows that a lineman did his job and held up Mr. Superstar just long enough for the drive to continue. And continuing the drive was the goal of the play, after all.

It's the same in racing, I tell them. The 3rd down play was exciting in and of itself, and so was the pass after 10 laps under green to take sixth position during a guy's "drive" through the field.

But if the booth buffoons are showing Mr. Superstar log laps so they can get in that "he told me earlier" pit reporter comment, they aren't calling the race and are insulting the hardcore base -- while doing nothing to convert my buddies into dependable, future viewers.

Everyone is riveted when a wreck occurs, just like everyone is riveted when a punt returner breaks one. It's part of the inherent excitement of the respective sports. But it is NOT what getting a top-ten finish or winning a football game is about (except when it happens with little time/laps remaining).

The true football fan would rather have a great offensive line and a journeyman running back than a poor line and a hall-of-famer back, anyday.

The true race fan likewise knows that the driver is only the most visible part of a team sport.

So why don't those who broadcast races understand these simple concepts? If trashing the "fundamentals" of the sport in favor of Mr. Superstar storylines were done in a succeful strategy to retain core viewers while sucking newbies in -- and thus bringing in more advertiser dollars -- I could certainly understand that.

But it's simply not working. And I'm a perfect test case, having been lured into the sport less than a decade ago, during the golden age of fan expansion.

And for years I have been able to identify tight cars with nothing more to go on than which entry lines the drivers take into given turns and how well they hold those lines. I know that a tiny loose-off wiggle early on in a fast car driven by Kyle Bush (not a fan of his) spells trouble -- for his competitors in losing the race, not getting wrecked. He's just testing the limits and he likes 'em looser than most.

Now, THAT would be a good nugget for the broadcast crew to pass along... but no, it's just another, TOTALLY WRONG opportunity for our second of ten Rusty Wallace depictions of "aero-loose" this particular Sunday.

Since that broadcast team tends to think in terms of stick-and-ball, let's use what they know to drive the point home:

Jumping on Kyle Bush as aero-loose when he's just testing how soon he can get back in the throttle off of 4 is like proclaiming loudly that a roll-out passer has been "flushed" from the pocket. Simply wrong.

So, to tie this back together: just call the danged race! The race is the story, and in no other sport is a team's game plan so incredibly malleable during the event.

Treat the "introduction to NASCAR" stuff as osmosis to be absorbed over time -- don't interrupt what's playing out on the track to "teach us"... especially with overkill on graphics to fit your pre-determined storylines.

That's like using a Flash intro on a website dedicated to providing timely content -- we all skip those things, if we are given the opportunity, so why provide it just to show off the fact that you can?

And please, bring back in-race green flag commercials! I might actually listen to drivers talk about sponsors rather than announcers talk about aero-loose while watching this next pass!

sparxmoore said...

1. I want to see as many pitstops as possible
2. I want to Hear as little out of RUSTY and BRAD as possible
3. I want to see action on the track no matter where JIMMIE & JEFF are !
4. I want to hear SOME SORT of post race other than the 2 minute victory lane ( interview somebody outside 1st )
5. No DUMB questions ! (and ya wonder why they swear in the answers)
MOST IMPORTANTLY : Don't tell me the points picture EVERY 5 LAPS ! bonus points are important but i dont need the standings

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the forum JD. It has been a great read and tool throughout the season.

I have only two suggestions.

1. ESPN needs to realize that the NASCAR race paradigm is nothing like the paradigm for stick and ball sports. Most stick and ball sports have natural breakpoints that can be used for commercials and promos. NASCAR races don't! Any promo takes screen time from the racing. There is always racing on the track. Race fans typically want to see racing action throughout the field and not spend time on special features and promos that hide the action. Why does it take 10 seconds to lead into or return from commercials along with the attendent promos emblazoned on the screen????? Is it so hard for Jerry Punch to say, "We've gotta pay some bills," and fade to commercial.

2. While 'The Chase' is a feature to be covered, the real element to be covered each week is the RACE, the action on the track throughout the field...not just contenders in 'The Chase'. No one wants to see a closeup of a single car going around the track at Homestead for multiple laps. Racing coverage should focus on the change in relationship between multiple cars on the track. It should also show the competitive action whether it's for the top 5 cars or for cars in the middle of the pack. The least exciting thing in televised NASCAR coverage is a lengthy closeup of Jimmie Johnson or Carl Edwards in the lead with the announcers relaying a story about them for 5 laps. What a bore... Just show the on-track ACTION, not cruising by a single competitor. Closeups are neat, but they shouldn't be overused.

Thanks for the forum to vent,
JD (a different one)

PS - The current ESPN culture is basically out of its element in attempting to televise NASCAR racing. They just don't produce an acceptable product for the knowledgeable fan. If it weren't for TiVo, I'd probably vomit each week after 30 minutes.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Many times this season I have stressed that the most experienced voices in NASCAR do not come from the drivers, the owners, or the TV announcers.

The most experienced voices that care for this sport live all across the country and many of them may have never actually attended a race.

They can talk about Rockingham and North Wilkesboro. They remember Handsome Harry and The King. They still take a deep breath when someone mentions Dale Sr.

These posts represent the sport of NASCAR in a way that no reporter, no TV commentator, and no single driver or owner every could.

These are the voices of the fans. Listen to them. Learn from them. Respect them. They are truly the most experienced voices in NASCAR.

Thank you all for speaking up.


zakia103 said...

Speed TV does an AWESOME job at all levels of their race coverage and I can't think of much that needs to be changed. What is on my 2008 TV coverage wish list when we're stuck with ABC/ESPN is:

1. Show all the drivers and mention all the drivers. All of them, please.

2. Don't talk about or show any other sports scores, not football, basketball, hockey-none of it. Get rid of that stupid ticker at the bottom showing me the latest scores. I am watching NASCAR because that's what I am tuning in for. Nothing else!

3. Give me reporters and announcers that are actually excited about the race. ABC/ESPN's are so incredibly dull and boring, it's almost painful to listen to.

4. Show a caution when it happens and make sure you show us the drivers are safe. Break in from a commercial when a caution occurs, it's okay. You can show the commercial again later.

5. Get rid of that stupid Aerosmith music. Switch up the tunes for each race.

6. Teach the commentators how to pronunce drivers names correctly. Get rid of some of that silly "technical" stuff.

7. On Busch races, do not EVER again cut off a Victory Lane celebration because it's overlapping an upcoming football game. Poor David Reutimann didn't even get to Victory Lane when you cut off the program. That was DISGUSTING and an insult to him and the Busch series.

I could on and on, but as a whole, I agree with most what everyone else is hoping for. ABC/ESPN and NASCAR, you must read what we want. It's not rocket science, it's very simple. Just give us great TV coverage of the most exciting sport as it deserves. Is that too much to ask?

Vince said...

First off, I'd like to thank all my fellow posters on here. You have consistently had great comments and ideas in your posts. Secondly I'd like to thank JD for this site which allows all of us to vent and post our comments. JD you probably saved a few tv's from getting smashed this year over the sorry coverage. At least we can come on here and rant a little.

To the broadcast networks, it's simple. Just show us the action on the track. Show us the racing.

Knock off the football and basketball hosts. In fact, we don't need "hosts".

Get some people in the booth that both know the sport and can verbalize what they are seeing on the track coherently to us. And get some chemistry in the booth. You're our eyes and ears. Your announcers don't have to be former racers or crew chiefs. As long as they can tell us what is going on.

Get rid of the stupid graphics all ready! Limit it to ONE scrolling bar on the screen with the current positions on the track. A lot of us have 27" tv's or smaller. Don't clutter up our screens with your useless graphics.

Do not interview or show canned segments while the live green flag racing is going on. I don't care if Joe Blow just came out with a movie or what ever. If I want to see celebrities I'll watch Entertainment Tonight and that will happen when hell freezes over. We are race fans. Show us the racing.

Enough with your endless promos for your series or shows. We don't really care about your other shows. Really.

Give us an informed 30 minute prerace show. No talking heads, no football or other sport personalities. No celebrities. Just interview the drivers. Period.

During the race:
We all have our favorite drivers and they might have dropped out early and finished 43. Go through the whole field with a rundown occasionally. Tell us about the drivers that drop out and do follow ups with the drivers after a crash. Show us the pit stops of the front runners. Reset the field after pit stops. Tell us who got the Lucky Dog. Tell us who had problems during their pit stops, who took two tires, etc. Quit feeding your pit reporters stupid questions to ask the drivers after they have wrecked or dropped out.

Speaking of pit reporters, not to mention any names, but we don't need a former model with implants as a pit reporter. She doesn't have a clue. And we all know it.

Give us a 30 minute post race show. Interview the top 5 finishers plus any others that are important. Wrap up any story lines from the race.

When the race finishes, show the cars crossing the finish line. A long shot looking down the straightaway. And list the top 20 on the side of the screen AND leave it up there long enough for the average person to read it.

Quit showing the winning pit crew jumping around like a bunch of children. We don't care!

Do NOT interview wives, girlfriends or Mom's. Frankly we don't give a damn.

I know Jimmy and Jeffy are winning all the races and Jr is popular, but we are all getting tired of seeing and hearing from them every time they scratch their butt.

From a technical point of view on your production. Get directors and producers that have done this before. Some directors instinctively know when a pack of cars in a shot are getting ready to wreck, some don't. Quit with all the tight shots. A tight shot of a car going 190mph doesn't show us much. Pull the camera back and show us the racing. If the leaders are going single file, back off and show us some of the racing further back in the pack. There is always racing going on somewhere. Stay with a shot a little longer. Your directors are jumping from one shot of the action to another to quickly.

To summarize, SHOW US THE RACING STUPID!! :)

Thanks again JD for this site and for allowing us to participate.


Tripp said...

Just show the best racing on the track. Not just Jimmie or Jeff.

Show the battles.

Show the passes.

Show the Lucky Dogs.

Go "thru the field"

That's it. Stick to that and you'll be good. OK.

Newracefan said...

Many posts on this blog have expressed my opinion even better then I could. There are some points I would like to repeat. Respect- respect for the fans, the drivers, and the race. Talk about all 43 cars, go through the field; all the way through. Tell us who is off the track and why even the start and park cars, and tell us if a car comes back onto the track. We need to know who stayed out, who pitted and what they took (gas only, 2 or 4 tires). Tell us who got a penalty and what it was. Tell us who got the lucky dog. Stop showing just the top 3 cars unless they are passing each other; find racing where ever it is even if it's for 30th place. Tell us how a driver who wrecked out is and interview him if he agrees but don't abuse him during the interview. Reset the field after each caution. Tell us if cars are tail end of the lead lap and in front of the leaders on restart this is very important. Review the bottom end of the top 35th in points after each race especially Sunday this will be hugh for next year. Ditto to what everyone else said unless it was anti-Waltrip.

Anonymous said...

Everyone else has pretty much covered what a lot of us feel, but I want to also vote to get rid of the "Let's go Full Throttle and listen in as we go back to green flag racing" You can't tell who's saying what to who! At least pick a driver, and then focus on him during the re-start so the audio and video are of the same thing. And, get rid of that ridiculous Draft Tracker!

Anonymous said...

This will be a great weekend for 43 drivers. I hope ESPN does a good job for all of them. There are some drivers that are still looking for a ride, some are changing teams, some still battle qualifying, etc.

But it's also the championship race. I hope that they treat it as such. The winner should be given his due, (assuming it isn't Jimmie). I remember the Busch race. Terrible. Let the winner get the camera, show the pit crew celebration, allow them to have the limelight. It will be a long time til the next race.

Anonymous said...

No reason to repeat all the great comments but one. Please leave the drivers alone when they get in the race. All networks do it and it drives "me" crazy. Enough questions are asked and interviews given before and after the races. There is no need for an "IN CAR REPORTER". I'm a fan but just let the guys "work". The media should be able to get enough info elsewhere.

Glenn in GA

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to post again to take up for Rusty a little bit. When I found out he would be in the booth for this season I nearly cried and that is not a joke. I have found him annoying on and off the track for the entire time I've been able to see him race on TV starting near the end of his big, big hair days. When he took the booth for the fist time I was VERY PLEASENTLY SURPRISED by how well he did. Over the season I have come to enjoy him in the same way you get to love DW or Mikey (I can't quite bring myself to put him in Benny's league) They are real. As the one poster said, it's like watching a race with your dad or some crotchety old uncle. I think Rusty and Andy Petree do well together and with a different play by play person it might become as familier, reasuring and respected as the FOX team.

I would sincerely like to see ESPN move Rusty to the new Busch series because he has a vested interest in several areas of that series success. Plus, I really admire his objective cratique of Steven's driving even if you can just hear the tightness in his voice as an owner. I think that's great and in a way parallel to watching Ned Jarret call Dale's Daytona win. Rusty is able to maintain that fine balance between DAD and TV guy and it's a credit to him.

Ok, lastly, What is up with Hammond's gote?

Jo said...

To Editor Daly - Thank you for this site. I thought I was the only one who HATED the ESPN coverage.
I never want to see the DRAFT TRACKER, ERIK or KOLBER again. I want reporters who aren't killing time till she gets to MNF gig. I don't want to see clean or dirty air every 5 mins. I want more racing on the air than comercials.
I want this SPORT treated like a SPORT - not like an after thought!
Show the Quals on time in order - period. or let SPEED do it.
And whichever racer is the target of your ire next year ( this year it was Stewart) show him when he races, or during practice- in other words be a PRO act.
No more of the Rusty , Musty and clueless show.
If every lap counts - show the re starts!
Do not take the race into a small portion of the screen to "update" other sports - ditch the constant tickers - there are a few other guys on the track other than just Jeff,JJ, Jr., and the newest fad driver of the week.
Get some pit reporters - Jamie is not a reporter, watch her "interviews" drivers and crew chief the eye roll - amused looks and listen to the answers.
And lastly an apology for the garbage you passed off as coverage would be nice.
To Speed TV - thank you for your shows all of them. You cared enough to get reports and interviews with non Chasers, follow ups to the stories and issues- for explaining with facts not just opinions. THANK YOU for Kenny & Co for laughter, and good racing coverage from the booth crew ( or whatever the tech name is)
ESPN take note.
Thanks Daly, you're aces!

Chris in Austin, Texas said...

WOW! What some incredible comments by everyone on here. I didn't read all of them but quite a few of you echoed my thoughts. Here's my two cents....

For all Truck, Busch and Cup races-

Pre-race coverage:
Show the new, unique paint schemes, especially those for charity like Toys for Tots or Victory Junction Gang Camp.

Show the prayer, national anthem and flyover as it happens, not ten minutes after the fact. To me, when you don't show the flyover, you insult all of our military members, past and present. I also feel it's an insult to those in the racing business and the fans.

Interview other drivers besides Carl Edwards, Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon and Dale Junior. As one person said, every driver has fans and we care about them regardless of where they are in the point standings or how they qualify.

Stop the over-indulgent self promoting and show tidbits about the drivers and their personal lives. What do they like to do in their personal time? Did they do a charity event the day before the race? Make it real, personal and don't just regurgitate old footage from last season.

During the race:

I'd like to hear more technical details about the trucks. Actually, I'd like to hear more technical information period. How does a wedge or air pressure adjustment in a truck differ from a Busch or Cup car? How are the trucks weighted compared to the Busch and Cup cars?

Show the entire field. Split the screen four different ways if you have to. Show the top ten or twelve in one, the next ten or fifteen in another, so on and so forth. It doesn't matter if my favorite driver is running 1st, 16th or 34th, I want to SEE him on t.v.

When someone wrecks or gets wrecked, show it immediately and find out why. Then tell us what happened and interview the driver afterwards (split the screen, though with the race in one and the interview in the other), providing he's up to it, of course. If he's upset, ask if you can come back and talk to him in a few minutes. If an interview is declined altogether, tell us.

Show the cautions and pit stops. Completely. Put some variety into it and show different cars each time. Maybe show the 43, 29, 2 and 41 car one time. Then show the 88, 24, 45 and 11 car. Don't just fixate on the top five or six drivers during the entire race on every single pit stop. It gets real old real fast when you do this. Or split the screen horizontally and show several pit stops at once in each screen.

If a caution comes out while a commercial is running, for Pete's sake, GO BACK TO THE RACE! Missing a caution because of a commercial is incredibly frustrating for us fans.

Show the audience, too. I don't know about anyone else but I kinda like to see how full the stands are prior to the race and then towards the end.

Get rid of those ding-dongs who are doing the commentating on ESPN. They are horrible. I have yet to hear one intelligent question from any of them. Who does a good job? Krista Voda, Jeff Hammond, Wendy Venturini, Dale Jarrett and Kyle Petty. Get people who KNOW the sport and are passionate about it. Suzy Kolber doesn't belong in racing-put her back on the sidelines at the NFL games. Or the Olympics. Neither does Daugherty. He is out of his element in a serious way. Get people with some knowledge about racing.

Keep the ticker at the top. I like it since it tells me where my favorite driver(s) are at all times.

Have more time for the post-race celebration and interviews.


Don't cut off practice, qualifying or the race because of tennis or basketball going over. IF you must move it to another channel, give plenty of notice and then stick to that plan. Don't go to one channel and then switch to another one fifteen minutes later.

SPEED Channel-find a permanent, regular time for Tradin' Paint and Trackside Live. Rerun NASCAR Race Day. What would be really nice is if you could tone down the audience. Sometimes they are so loud and obnoxious while Jimmy, Kenny and the guys are talking I can't hear what they're saying.

Have more information at your website. Tell us who's going to be on Race Day or Trackside. Tell us WHERE at the track they will be airing from. I tried to find Tradin' Paint at TMS a couple of weeks ago but had no luck.


Give us information on all of the crew members. There are so many people who make it possible for our drivers to race each weekend and they are very important to us fans, too. What do they like to do when they're not at the track? Are they married? How many kids do they have?

J.D.-thank you SO MUCH for this blogsite. I have enjoyed reading your blogs a lot and greatly appreciate that I can add my comments. I look forward to your blogs next season, too. I'd really like to know which driver read comments on here and found inspiration from them. Thank you for letting us know that we were able to boost his spirits-whoever he may be.

*any typos are not the complete fault of the poster as it is Friday night in Austin, Texas so some bourbon and Coke was in order on this fine evening. :-)

Anonymous said...

Plus, I really admire his objective cratique of Steven's driving even if you can just hear the tightness in his voice as an owner.

You're being sarcastic, I hope.

Maybe you haven't noticed that, as far as he's concerned, no incident is ever Steve's fault and the penalties levied against him by NASCAR are always unreasonable.

NO owner should be allowed to call a race his own team's running in. Rusty's not allowed to do that in Cup (he can't run a car in the series while calling it for ESPN); why is Busch treated differently?

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

Please keep in mind that up until, what, two years ago (?), it was the Winston Cup Series-NOT Nextel/Sprint Cup. Any championships that were won, any races that were won happened under the Winston Cup banner, not Nextel's. Please keep to the historical facts and give credit where it's due. If Winston Tobacco hadn't stepped down as the primary sponsor of the series, Nextel/Sprint wouldn't be here at all.

prof pi Jeff T said...

Racing, for a driver and their fans, means catching the car in front of you and not getting passed by the one behind you. It is an ebb and flow process and takes place all through the field at various times and places, to recognize it requires a program director who knows enough about racing to see when and where it is taking place: hire such a director.
Draft tracker should be fascinating, it's technically brillaint, it's utilization is worse than makes an 8th grade math class seem like a wild day in an amusement park.
The technology of racing is second only to rockets to the moon and building a nuclear submarine, hire someone who is enthralled by what makes a car fast and can explain it. There's a good reason why Hendrick cars dominate the series, hire someone who is able to dig into the story and then articulate it.
The current TV coverage is what is killing NASCAR numbers, you're driving viewers away in droves.
As an ex-race car driver, life long engineer, major techno-geek, and avid race fan, when I stop watching races, and I have for more than 24 or the 36 races this year,.. you have a REALLY BIG problem.

Anonymous said...

I just wander what ABC is going to do if the race runs a little long on Sunday. I hear that there is an Awards Show scheduled for 8pm live. I can see it happening now. Light rain delays the drop of the green flag for 1/2 an hour,and there is a late crash setting up for a green white checkered finish........I can see it now, Rickey Rudd makes a last lap turn 4 pass of Dale Jr for the win, Jeff beats Jimmy for the championship by 3 points, but due to the race ending at 7:57.....All we get to see is Robert Yates jumping up and down, Jeff Gordons wife crying, and Brent Mushburger comming on and saying see ya next year..............I can see that happening and wouldn't that be a shame...

Anonymous said...

My concerns about changes that NEED TO BE MADE mirror those of everyone else that left a post on this site, so I will just say:


What other motivation do you need!!

Anonymous said...

Sunday, at the end of the race we better see the whole thing.....The Champion prsentation and all the interviews. This is NOT all about JJ & JG. I will be very disappointed if we also don't see an interview with Dale E. Jr.

ABC better not go off the air...they should do their very best, this is their last shot. Would I be surprised if they do? NOT but for the last races, I hope they do the right thing which could be almost a first.

Also, they should know this is our NASCAR......we don't care about any other sports up-dates....we want NASCAR and NASCAR ONLY!!!
GET IT?????

May the best man win and everyone stay safe.

Thanks John.

Bill H said...

I was discussing this with my wife a few days ago, no amount of moving commercials around, split screen, commercials at certain times or even less commercials will ever truly satisfy the Nascar, the Broadcaster, the advertiser or the Nascar fan. So, maybe the race should be changed. (Before you lose it, continue reading).

A simple change to the race format could satisfy all parties:

Nascar gets a more exciting race
The broadcasters get a chance to make more money
The advertisers get more air time
The fan gets more in race coverage and a better finish.

And this change is, have a half-time. Half way through the race, Nascar throws a Modified Red Flag. All cars on the track pit for 15 minutes. The crews can then work on adjusting their cars during this 15 minutes. Once the half-time is over, the race restarts double file, lap down cars behind the lead lap.

Not only would this give the broadcasters more time to sellf their commercials, but it would take an otherwise follow the leader race and make it more competitive.


Anonymous said...

We can do without Rusty,Draft Track,missing restarts,commercial breaks when the camera is showing the beginning of a wreck or major pass for position.I still think FOX has the best coverage and at least DW knows what he's talking about,unlike Rusty,who seems to know less about racing every week.

Rick said...


The Truck series used to have a halftime, and it was not accepted as "real racing" by the fans or the racing industry because of it.

Racing is a non-stop (or as few stops as possible) sport. TV just has to accept that fact and work with it.

As far as adding an extra caution lap goes, NASCAR was derided just a few years ago for having too many caution laps. Whether they were trying to appease the TV networks or not, it made for a boring race.

Anonymous said...

Go ahead and cut your losses by moving it over to ESPN Classic, or, especially if it will bump up against another live event.

Many viewers don't get the ESPN Classic channel.

And very, very few (relatively speaking) get live in a large media market, and I don't/can't get it.

That's a really bad suggestion.

Anonymous said...

For any and all networks that may show practice sessions and the races....stop obsessing and fixating on one car for twenty laps while the commentators drone on about him. Talk about the driver, show him for a couple of laps and then switch to the rest of the field. I really think the commentators could continue to talk about that specific driver while the t.v. shows the fans the rest of the field.

Stop chopping off the end of the races because of programming 'commitments'. For any other sport that runs longer than the allotted time, networks have seemingly always allowed them to go over. Stop treating NASCAR like a red-headed stepchild and give it and the fans the same respect you give the other sports.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lynne in Texas said...

Good reporters/on-air personalities:

Larry McReynolds
Jeff Hammond
Krista Voda
John Roberts
Wendy Venturini
Steve Byrnes
Jimmy Spencer
Kenny Wallace
Dale Jarrett
Kyle Petty
Dr. Andy Petree

So-so reporters/on-air personalities:
Rusty Wallace
Bob Dilner

Bad reporters/on-air personalities:
Everyone else

Robbie in Atlanta said...

SPEED channel does most everything better than the others. Trackside is consistantly the best Nascar show of the entire week. They work hard and they play hard. It's obvious to see that they have a real passion for the sport and know what they are talking about. Of the other networks, Allen Bestwick is the only one worth keeping. ABC/ESPN, please lose Musberger. He's not a Nascar guy and adds nothing whatsoever.

However, my biggest complaint is the start times of the races. Just as many people have already said, a "standard" time (such as 1pm Eastern) for the green flag to drop would be great. The primary reason isn't just for TV watchers. There are 2 very practical reasons why this needs to happen: 1) any type of weather/rain delay for an already late start time pushes the end of the race into darkness. Having just enough time to run the full race in perfect weather cheats the fans out of a full-length race if a drop or two of rain falls. 2) For the real fans who attend races in person. When the race doesn't end until 6 or 7pm, the fans can't get back home at a reasonable time to be able to go to work the next day. Most of the Nascar fan base have normal jobs that require us to get up early and go to work on Mondays. By the time we fight the post-race traffic jams, you can barely get home before midnight even if you live in the same city that the race was held in. If you live more than an hour or two away, you can forget getting home before the next A.M. This is why I no longer attend the races held at my hometown track in Atlanta. Give us time to get home, get some rest and be able to get back to our lives.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Richard in N.C. said...

I happen to enjoy Allen Bestwick, Jerry Punch, and Mike Massaro - BUT I really would like to see them used in a way that will allow their talents shine.

Anonymous said...

Well, after not seeing HH once again, I must say all the complaints to that 4letter word network doesn't amount to a hill of beans. We want to see the practice, not ALL the same pieces that will be shown on NN and pre race. Also, did I miss coverage of the problems that Jr had from this mornings practice and what has transpired?? Tranny change? To the back tomorrow? Guess that isn't a story that matters!
I can see what will happen tomorrow night....something causes long delays, the race runs into what will be the start of another live show....Music Awards or some such program. Guess what will happen?!?! Nascar will be pushed off air and once again, even with the championship and all the side stories occuring, we will be deprived!
ESPN doesn't give a frig about NASCAR is just a filler!

Anonymous said...

Thanks John for this great place to get your read on things. I've learned a lot from you. I only hope ESPN/ABC & TNT have learned somethings too.

ESPN: you "were" the worldwide leader but your 2007 NASCAR coverage, including NASCAR Now is showing how vulnerable you are. If you can't do MUCH better next year, maybe I'll take up bowling on race days.

SPEED: Thank God for your great race broadcasts. The Truck, F1 and Daytona Prototype races are very well done. And let's not forget Wind Tunnel. Dave Dispain is THE man!

Emerald Chickpea said...

Dear Santa;

Please listen to these good and knowledgeable folks and bring us quality race broadcasting in the years to come.

And Santa, if you're not the right person to make that happen, please pass the word along to the person who CAN.

Anonymous said...

NASCAR has had a consolidated national TV contract for several years now, at both the Busch and Cup level. When this first started, I could understand the need to explain terms like 'loose', 'tight', 'inner liner', etc. In theory, a new national broadcast brought the races to new fans unfamiliar with the sport.

This has gone on long enough. When I watch a football game, the announcers assume I have a basic knowledge of the game. They don't explain zone vs. man-to-man defenses, offsides vs. false start, or why it's okay to knock a running back on his can but a quarterback is allowed to slide. It's similar during broadcasts of other 'ball and stick' sports.

Auto racing in all it's forms is supposedly the second most attended sport in the country, and one of the most watched on television. Would the networks please treat their coverage the same as other sports? When was the last time you watched a baseball game and they explained stealing a base, or a basketball game with a definition of traveling?

Ian said...

Ever seen an ARCA race on SPEED? That's what a race is. They usually focus on the leaders if there's a battle for the lead, and it's Rick Allen and Phil Parsons announcing. Both of whom, I may add, are fantastic.

I wish they would talk more about guys like Ward Burton, and for ESPN to actually show a list of who missed the field.

How many people that don't read or Jayski knew that Burney Lamar attempted the race? Right.

There are probably a few oblivious Burney fans out there disappointed that their driver has no coverage.

What about those Kertus Davis fans in the Busch series? Why don't they talk about him? Is it because he has no big-name sponsor that ESPN's inbred monkeys can't promote for fifteen minutes? Is it because he isn't a Jimmie Johnson clone?

My god, they always focus on the most BORING drivers. I don't give a crap about the damn Buschwhackers/Nationwide Illegals. I hate them and I constantly chant "CRASH CRASH CRASH" whenever one enters the screen.

Which pretty much means I recorded myself saying "CRASH CRASH CRASH", burned it onto a CD, and set it on infinite loop until the race is over.

Rusty, I loved you (in the most heterosexual way) as a driver. You were my favorite. But could you please go back to the days of Exhibit A?

Exhibit A:

When you (Rusty) didn't BS around topics, knew what you were talking about, and sounded that you gave a crap about everyone, instead of catering to the 24, 48, and the 8 (will be 88).

My god. ESPN is pathetic, DW is just as biased as ESPN is (Notice how much he loves Tony the Phony Stewart and Mikey?) and just as annoying.

Attention ESPN.

Put Bestwick in the booth. You waste his talents on pit road. Jerry Punch needs to be PUNCHED in the FACE.
Put Randy LaJoie in the booth with Bestwick.
Want a former crew chief that's also a driver, and can give you a perspective on what it's like to be the poor man in Nascar? Then give Kirk Shelmerdine a chance. Probably better then Petree!!

What I loved is that not even FOX would give guys like Kirk Shelmerdine, Morgan Shepherd, Kevin Lepage, or the little guys coverage. Thank you SPEED for giving the little guys attention before the race even starts.

For anyone who downgrades Kirk Shelmerdine or anyone like him...

"If you haven't won in four or five years, you're a field filler anyway. You're just spending more money then we are." -- Kirk Shelmerdine

That's all.

-- Ian

Delenn said...

Thanks for this blog. I found it because I was starching for somewhere to rant - I never did it as you guys are much more eloquent than I am.

What I would like to see done to ESPN (on the assumption the Fox and TNT guys are not available to ESPN) is this:

Booth: Bestwick, Jarrett, Petree (+ Ned Jarrett any time he likes!)

Pits: Punch, Burns, Massaro, Yocum (I know, but he was on every race last year! - if they really will not have anyone Fox on, how about Jack Arute - he used to know how to work a pit lane a few years ago.)

Pre-race/Caution Inserts: Punch, Rusty, Compton/Said.
If Krista was available, make that Voda, Rusty, Compton/Said.

Roving reporter/Infield care centre reporter: Spake (she would be very good at this, and it is role ESPN badly need - see Homestead for proof)

Under no circumstances should Musberger, Kolber or Daugherty be allowed within 10 miles of a Nascar track. Ever. Even in December.