Saturday, February 16, 2008

In-Progress At Daytona: "NASCAR Countdown" And Nationwide Race on ESPN2


ESPN begins a long season of NASCAR TV with the first Nationwide Series race on Saturday afternoon.

Again this year, NASCAR Countdown will precede the race. Saturday's version begins at Noon Eastern Time and will transition directly into the race coverage at 1:15PM. The race telecast is scheduled until 4PM, at which time the third and final pre-season episode of the outstanding Shifting Gears TV series will air. If you have not seen this series, you are missing excellent NASCAR TV.

Allen Bestwick will be hosting the telecast from the ESPN Pit Center, along with Ray Evernham and Brad Daugherty. Rusty Wallace is on-hand for the Sprint Cup coverage, and may also join the team for this telecast. In the announce booth will be Jerry Punch, Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree. Jarrett was a part-time ESPN announcer last season, and his performance basically moved him into this key position.

On pit road will be veteran Mike Massaro, Jamie Little, Shannon Spake and Dave Burns. With Bestwick moving to the infield studio full-time, Spake will become a regular pit reporter for the network. Fans may have noticed her absence on NASCAR Now this season.

So, here we go again. Kudos to ESPN for making well-meaning changes to key on-air positions. Hopefully, the result will be a return to the type of coverage and the level of commentary that put ESPN on the map originally with NASCAR.

This page will serve to host your comments about NASCAR Countdown and the Nationwide Series coverage. This is a NASCAR TV blog, so your comments must contain references to the telecasts or a response to another reader's comment. To add your opinion, just click on the COMMENTS button below and follow the instructions.

This is the second season of The Daly Planet working to allow the fans to speak directly to both NASCAR and the TV networks about the coverage. As the season begins, it is wonderful to see many of the issues discussed over the past season have been addressed. Thanks again for stopping by.

140 comments:

Sean said...

It will be interesting to see how ESPN's first race of the season goes

Sean said...

Countdown has gone well so far

Daly Planet Editor said...

That certainly was an interesting musical opening. Seems they went from Aerosmith all the way over to the other side. Anyone know what that singer was?

JD

Sean said...

Was it the same opening they used for Qualifying? If so, I have no idea JD

Newracefan said...

Sound problems here during Clint's interview but otherwise ok. Thought the opening music video was a little strange, son who thinks I'm a Nascar fanatic "what's that all about?"

Newracefan said...

I've heard of the singer (see CMT) but the choir was wehat made it strange for me

l_long said...

Didn't she mean to say Root's overcome a lot of ADversity rather than DIversity?

Daly Planet Editor said...

I will try to find out about the choir and where they shot that video. If we see this tomorrow, we can assume this might be the new theme.

If you guys know how much ESPN paid Aerosmith to get all the performance and musical rights to "Back in the Saddle Again" you would faint.

JD

Newracefan said...

Does anyone know why these reporters where firesuits? To be honest I think they look silly, it's not like they will be allowed to go the wall during a pit stop.

Newracefan said...

that's over the wall

Sean said...

I'm loving this segment inside the studio right now. What a big difference from last year

Sean said...

Evernham is a key add for the pre race show. He's calm, funny, and has tons of knowledge

Anonymous said...

Daly Planet Editor said...
That certainly was an interesting musical opening. Seems they went from Aerosmith all the way over to the other side. Anyone know what that singer was?

JD

February 16, 2008 12:17 PM

I could have warned you guys that all the complaining about the rock/hiphop music last season, plus all that "back to basics" nonsense Brian France and his cohorts were spouting, would result in something like this. Trisha Yearwood is singing the anthem tomorrow (which is GREAT, she's great) but all the pre race performance acts (Brooks and Dunn, Chubby Checker, Michael McDonald, Kool and the Gang) are age 50 and over. You wanted Kelly Clarkson gone, well she's gone.

Newracefan said...

Lots more laughs in the studio and I mean real laughs not those fake strained ones from last year

Newracefan said...

Ok lets see what Mr. Fance will say, kind of surprised to see him actually

SonicAD said...

Newracefan said...

Does anyone know why these reporters where firesuits? To be honest I think they look silly, it's not like they will be allowed to go the wall during a pit stop.

February 16, 2008 12:25 PM


I think it's half branding, half safety. Just because they're not going over the wall doesn't mean there won't be a fire or some other problem behind the wall. Better safe than sorry.

Anonymous said...

Blake Shelton I believe

Glenn in GA

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 12:29PM,

The choices in music last season were ridiculous. I was simply asking who the singer was for the opening?

NASCAR does not need theme music or music videos, as last season confirmed. Fans want content, not glitz.

Aside from the national anthem, there is no real function for featured music. Why use time in the pre-race show for musical numbers when there are tons of stories to tell?

JD

l_long said...

Haven't run a lap yet this year, and already we're hearing "talk" of limiting the Whackers.

Still just talk, of course. Wondering if and when this may ever happen......? And, of course, HOW.

Sean said...

France being insightful

Bobb said...

Fire suits - yeh kinda useless - remember back in the NBC days when Smoke called Matt Yokum a Power Ranger? - so fire suits are nothing new.

All in all ESPN doing great. some minor hiccups as stated but Dale and Ray great additions. This includes qualifying and final practice. Major improvements. But that music video has been played twice and its over-played already.

Anonymous said...

Well, NASCAR theme music is not going away whether you want it to or not or if it's needed or not. I'm just saying that because of all the complaining last year, the theme music is going to be more country and older than it was. It will still be there because the networks want it there.

I think the pre concert is stupid too (trying to imitate the Super Bowl once again), but it's equally ridiculous that every performer in the concert is over 50.

The Choir may be Blake's choir from Clash of the Choirs, a reality competition show last Christmas week where singers created choirs from people in their hometowns. I didn't get a good enough look at them to see.

Newracefan said...

Tech center was really good, thanks for the insight Ray

Daly Planet Editor said...

Pretty good interview with Brian France, he seems to have gotten the message. I know he likes Allen, but his comments were solid.

Sean said...

There I got blogger account setup again, thing wasn't working right so I had to get a new one. Anyways, Allen Bestwick is doing a masterful job in the studio

Newracefan said...

At least Marty is not in a firesuit I'm sure he is greatful also) interesting piece too

Anonymous said...

Interesting that both ESPN and Speed/Fox are putting in dollars for errors/miscues in the broadcast and apparently the money is going to the NASCAR foundation. Its so nice that all the TV partners are getting along once again. (kinda tongue in cheek on that last comment-not sure yet)

Newracefan said...

I have a feeling that Nascar told Speed/Fox/ESPN etc to play together and stop pretending each other didn't exist

Anonymous said...

This is light years ahead of last season's broadcasts. It's a great balance of being informative, without being too serious and pompous. In spite of the size of the panel, there's an excellent flow to the conversation, interviews and features.

Bestwick is a genius. Seriously, ESPN missed the boat by not putting him in this position last year.

And all the other panelists are being very respectful of each other's opinions, while adding their own insights. There seems to be some budding chemistry here.

Well done! I hope the race call goes just as smoothly.

--KarenB

bobb said...

Last year (in my opinion) ESPN - for some unknown -reason decided to produce the NASCAR telecasts for for the E in ESPN then the S - a lot of times like they were Wrestling Events. And it fell flat badly.

Final Practice/Qualifying and today so far are wonderful. Keep up the good work Bristol.

Newracefan said...

The big one handled much better this year, last time Brad acted do excited I felt like he couldn't wait for it to happen. They also seemed to have figured out we don't have to seem the guys in the booth when they talk

Sean said...

This is the best Nascar Countdown ESPN has ever done. Im still not up to Shannon Spake being a pit reporter, hopefully with experience she gets better

Anonymous said...

ALL of you say nothing about SPEED's "Be There" theme music video, but when ESPN airs a theme it is always bad. Is ESPN not allowed to have a music video theme and SPEED is allowed to have it?

Anonymous said...

Good work ESPN with COUNTDOWN! It was smooth, informative, fun. Thanks AB, you make the difference.

Makiki

Anonymous said...

I was thinking that same thing - Fox uses that stupid mucic video with the drivers doing silly things at the camera - I don't like it when they do it either. But you are right

Anonymous said...

People have been complaining about the SPEED "Be There" videos. We are all sick of it already! It's not just and ESPN bias...

BTW, ESPN really should get rid of the ticker during the National Anthem.

ken-Michigan said...

VERY solid Countdown show.
I doubt that France would have appeared if it was for Bestwick being the host.
BUT - i'd rather have Bestwick upstairs in the booth and Punch hosting pre-race.
Lets see how many times Punch says "Nationwide Series Style"
(in the past he used "Busch Series Style)

Anonymous said...

interesting comment about B France only appearing if A Best hosted as Bestwick was (or may still be) the voice on the recording on the tram ride tour at Daytona USA as in he works for NASCAR.

Anonymous said...

I don't know why all of you seem to hate the music videos. As long as they are not over used, I do not have a problem with it. I have only seem the ESPN video once during qualifying yesterday and I believe once today.

It can be a nice creative way to wrap up a weekend or it can show past events in a creative way.

GS

Daly Planet Editor said...

Going to be interesting to see how the conversation flows in the booth. After Mike Joy on the Shootout and Rick Allen on the Truck race, it will be interesting to see how Jerry Punch decides to go about his business.

Sean said...

Punch already stumbling over words, hopefully that doesnt continue

Newracefan said...

I like Speeds music video better but I do not want to see it or anyone elses overused and it will not take much for me to consider it overused

Anonymous said...

Looks like ESPN doesn't have the new GEICO commercials. How is that possible?

Anonymous said...

First commercial break

2 minutes of commercials

30 second NASCAR
15 second ESPN

Jerry Punch has a funny definition of a short break

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Looks like ESPN doesn't have the new GEICO commercials. How is that possible?

February 16, 2008 1:43 PM

GEICO decides what commercial ESPN should air, NOT ESPN.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Any idea of what happened last night with the midnight version of NASCAR Now? I taped the channel and got thirty minutes of boxing with NASCAR commercials. Anyone else watch that show?

JD

Anonymous said...

Yeah - but they shouldn't be running commercials referring to the "GEICO Chevy" or the "Busch series"! I don't care whose fault it is - it's inexcusible.

SPEED/Fox have been running newer versions with the Toyota. I wasn't blaming ESPN...

Anonymous said...

Cue the Draft Tracker......Here it comes

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 1:46PM,

Chill out my friend. What we want here is your opinion, OK?

What the comment referenced is that the other NASCAR TV networks are airing an entirely different set of Geico commercials.

I dropped a line to ESPN, and we will see what they say. There is a distinct possibility that the new set is going to debut on Sunday with Fox, and then ESPN will make the switch.

The new Geico garage on the Internet is pretty interesting. Some of the videos are hilarious and some are very weird. Great exposure for Mike Wallace.

JD

bevo said...

If I remember correctly Punch and the rest of the ESPN crew did fine in the Busch races last year, which just made it all the more jarring when the Cup coverage started.

Jo said...

Lets see.. I hope they are front loading commercials. Lap 9- 13 commercials and now lap 17 commercials. Jr. is in the race - lap 13 14 discussion was all Jr & Brad. Grissom #90 went to garage lap 6 anyone know why? Lap 21 race is back.Stremme on way to garage.

Anonymous said...

"Any idea of what happened last night with the midnight version of NASCAR Now? I taped the channel and got thirty minutes of boxing with NASCAR commercials. Anyone else watch that show?"

JD


JD,
I tried watching the late night replay of NASCAR Now earlier this week and the same thing happened. It was World's Strongest Man all night instead.

Anonymous said...

Oh, c'mon ESPN. Lose the draft tracker already. Sheesh.

bevo said...

Can they please, please, please deep 6 the DraftTracker

Anonymous said...

JD

I,too, was looking forward to the 7pm,(for me) replay. Got boxing and strongest man instead.
I have found that the scheduled replay is often not shown.

Makiki

Anonymous said...

Stanton Barrett pushed 7 stalls?

I counted 4 maybe 5

c'mon Jerry -

SophiaZ123 said...

Ok. the DRAFT TRACKER was on my screen WAY TOO LONG!^%$#!

At least split screen the idiotic rubbish.

Are you listening ESPN?

Crikey

Soph

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
ALL of you say nothing about SPEED's "Be There" theme music video, but when ESPN airs a theme it is always bad. Is ESPN not allowed to have a music video theme and SPEED is allowed to have it?


That's the way it seems. I have only seen one comment here about the "Be There" theme during all of Speedweeks and it wasn't from JD. We'll see if the same criticism comes up as frequently for music played by FOX this season.

I don't know why they insist on keeping the drafttracker.

Newracefan said...

Appreciated the wider shot but they ned to do more often I do not have much of a feel for how far apart the cars are.

SophiaZ123 said...

They may as well run a cartoon over the GREEN flag racing than that stupid Daffy Tracker.

All I am gonna say on that junk.


Well, unless they use it again.

:-)

Erik said...

Anonymous said...

I know many people dislike the draft tracker, but you have to understand, they spent a lot of time and money to develop it. I don't think they want to put all of that waste. Hopefully this year, they will only use it when it is relevant and not overuse it.

GS

Newracefan said...

First wreck of the season and ESPN immediately had the camera shot as they hit the wall and stayed with the cars til the nets were down. Then replay which showed exactly what happened. Nice job

Anonymous said...

Using it at Daytona actually makes sense. You may not like it but at Super Speedways drafting is very important. You will have to live with it at Daytona and Talladega.

pbump said...

JD - there was detail on the NN replay in one of the other threads I read this morning.

I like Blake Shelton so I am ok with the intro song.

The bottom ticker is driving me crazy - wish they could get rid of it!

Bill H said...

That was a good Nap. Glad Nascar is back and ESPN is on. Since this is the 1st caution and the excitment level in the booth is non-existant, I guess I didn't miss much.

When they pulled Rusty I wish they would have pulled Dr Punch, He is just so boring.

Billwebz

bevo said...

Re: DraftTrack

Just because you can does not mean you should.

Anonymous said...

Some NASCAR fans thought Bestwick was boring (at NBC/TNT)and was replaced with Bill Weber who is obnoxious so pick your boring announcer carefully.

Newracefan said...

Hey JD they must have been listening Shannon Spake outside the Infield Care Center

Bill H said...

Is it just me or does the broadcast on Espn seem blurry in comparision to what we have been seeing all week on speed (Shootout, Duels, Trucks)? I don't havd HD, and am on Directv.

BillWebz

Anonymous said...

The problem with the draft tracker is ... its WRONG. The graphics used to depict the airflow are not correct. It's nothing but TV fluff.

TexasRaceLady said...

I am pleased to see the split-screen when they go to Tim Brewer.
That's a plux.

The quick work to show what happened through the wreck was also good.

Appreciate the follow-up to Kevin's fueling problem.

bevo said...

bill h-

On the long shots there's some kind of haze look. I'm also on regular DirecTv.

Anonymous said...

not noticing any picture quality difference with ESPN vs SPEED. they look exactly the same for me with cable.


Hey look, there is the new Geico commercial!

GS

Daly Planet Editor said...

Nice follow-up on the drivers involved in the accidents.

Newracefan said...

Cut that green flag awful close, this is Daytona not Martainsville it shouldn't have been that big of a problem

Billy Delyon said...

Enjoying the booth crew so far today, and the coverage over all...

As I posted all last year, if they just replaced Crusty with DJ in the booth, it would make all the difference, and I believe it has. The comfort level between these 3 long time friends is obvious to this viewer, the years of friendship is definitely helping keep the flow in the both smooth with the energy high. Heads and tails better over last season’s booth crew IMO. What a difference a year and DJ make.
I don’t understand the 'Dr Jerry is boring' comments at all. IMO so far he has kept the energy high throughout the broadcast.
Less crusty is more.
I think ESPN listened to our complaints about last season, and changed.
JMO.

TexasRaceLady said...

Excellent camera work --- catching that flying sheet metal.

I'm loving having DJ in the booth.

PammH said...

I notice they are showing us all the debris on the cautions. They need to lose the in-car reporter tho. They don't seem to talk to them much after the opening. I love that they are talking to the drivers being caught up in wrecks.

SophiaZ123 said...

Re: D tracker

Buy a clue...

SPLIT SCREEN, folks..it's not rocket science ;-)

Otherwise cam work decent. A little hazy but that's weather or from far away..low cloud fuzz. Blue skies here, too but my room mate just took a small spin (pilot) in a plane and was shocked how hazy the air was just a few hundred feet up? ...I seem to remember this from yesterday at Daytona...or the day before.

Nice WIDE shots so far..THANK YOU ESPN

Newracefan said...

Did we see any cars cross the finish line? All I saw was the flagman

Anonymous said...

...well, i can predict the comments to come.

SophiaZ123 said...

Once again we do NOT SEE all the cars cross the FINISH LINE.

I am sick of the focus on the crews.

Blew the ending...what's new ..SPEED does it also

SIGH

Anonymous said...

Memo to ESPN: go to a wide shot at the finish line. I don't need to see the flagman. I don't need to see the winning pit crew just yet. I want to see *everyone* crossing the finish line.

*sigh*

Billy Delyon said...

They blew the ending....

Who wants to see the guy waving the checkered flag when the cars I just watched race for almost 3 hours are finishing right underneath him, OUT OF SIGHT!!???
Mercy that blew....

Anonymous said...

My grade for ESPN's broadcast: B-

Broadcast crew is much improved. Camera work was pretty good. Nice coverage of the final few laps --except the last one. Major points off for flubbing the finish.

Newracefan said...

JD Why is it so hard to let us see the cars crossing the finish line, if Fox does this tomorrow I might be throwing things. I better find something soft can't afford a new tv

Jo said...

Same old Espn at the finish - Did not get to see all the cars cross the finish line.
And I'm a Smoke fan! Only way I know Kyle B. came in 2nd, is cuz they told me- they were too busy to get to commercials!!!!!
Hey its not like the race ran over!!!!!!!!

Erik said...

I trust that JD will give as much coverage to this finish as he did to Fox completely missing Bill Elliot's wreck.

Anonymous said...

Wow, they really botched the ending today. Enough with the extended Jr. interview - what the heck, this isn't a press conference about his show? Go interview Vickers and some of those other guys. DJ was excellent in the booth and they all gelled really well - big improvement.

SophiaZ123 said...

WOW! Dale Jr APOLOGIZING for all those commercials on his show, SHIFTING GEARS...says it's necessary to get a show on ESPN2~~!!LOL

Gotta love his honesty!

:-)

Anonymous said...

After making Dave Burns stretch that Jr interview, they BETTER interview Clauson, the actual real Nationwide driver who finished sixth. (And Vickers). At least DJ mentioned him. If they don't they will be getting this series off on the wrong foot, for sure.

Anonymous said...

Please don't tell me they aren't going to interview Clauson... the only non-NationwideWacker -- and a rookie, at that -- in the top 10 and no past-race interview?

Of course, they could spend 3 minutes letting Junior pump Shifting Gears.

David said...

No drivers crossing the line, only the winner and the flagman. We could have interviewed other drivers after the race but no we had to plug Dale Jr's show. Same old bunch of junk from ESPN at the end.. It will not change from last year. All hope is lost..

Sean said...

They really messed up that ending. Jerry Punch is still very weak when coming to the end of the broadcasts

SophiaZ123 said...

I gotta say, I LOVE Jr but that PSPN promotion was a bit much..they did it last night on a show.

ESPN has indeed, NOT changed at all...draft tracker and NO FINISH at the end of the race.

&^%$#@!?

Anonymous said...

David said...
All hope is lost..

February 16, 2008 3:48 PM

with that kind of talk it will be. ESPN has made so many changes, hopefully they will continue to change for the better.

Newracefan said...

Coverage decent, booth much improved, AB handled the wreck coverage well even from the infield studio. Camera work pretty good, finally started giving wider shots which helped alot. Need to lose the inrace reporter, big waste of time. Draft tracker with limited use- hate it but can live with it in this type of race. Was going really well until the checkers and then it just fell apart! Good post race, wow even an interview with Reut and he was 14th but how about those non cup guys who finished up front and Keslowski doesn't count he's just JR light.

pbump said...

Found the reason for the network cooperation on the $1 penalty for saying Busch Series instead of Nationwide. Great idea!

From one of Jayski's article links:

Nationwide figured that could be a problem, and is stationing "Name Boxes" around the racetrack. Any time anyone refers to the series as the Busch Series, they are asked to put a dollar in the box.

At the end of the season, Nationwide will match the total collected and donate it to the NASCAR Foundation.

Truck Series Fan! said...

Brian France stumbled over some names and several words but he didn't really say anything about changing & improving the Nationwide series. Good broadcast but let's see how these guys are after 30 races. AB, RW & BD did a good job too.

David said...

How can you miss the finish? They got blasted all last year for it and still miss it. I stand by my comment ALL hope is lost..

Anonymous said...

Seriously? No interview with Clauson? I'm sorry but that is horrible not to interview him. Maybe they should have spent less time pimping out Jr and his show and more time giving Clauson some much deserved attention. Tell me I just somehow missed an interview with him.

David said...

We are not asking for the world from ESPN just a simple race broadcast that we used to see years ago. That is too hard for them I guess..

Anonymous said...

How 'bout that Bryan Clauson? Yeah, how bout that Bryan Clauson? That Bryan Clauson is an impressive young man.

Hey, ESPN, how 'bout you actually ****interview him**** instead of talking about how great he is? You skip down from 5th place to then interview the 14th and 16th place drivers: one a Cup driver who is running Nationwide full time, and the other is Brad K., who based on today and preseason, is apparently going to be the only fulltime Nationwide driver to get coverage this season because he drives for Dale Jr.

Pathetic. You've proven this series is still Cup Lite, and left a very bad taste ending to what was an improving presentation of the series today.

Again...pathetic.

SophiaZ123 said...

Blogger David said...

How can you miss the finish? They got blasted all last year for it and still miss it. I stand by my comment ALL hope is lost..

~~~~

YEP! And if FOX/SPEED continues the same crap, I will voice the same complaint as I think many others will, too.

But you said it there in a nutshell . What good is investing HOURS of time to get ripped off at the finish line?

*sigh*

Anonymous said...

No Clauson. Inexcusable.

The next non-Cup finisher was Bires who came in 12th. They skipped him. Shameful.

The third non-Cup finisher was Keselowski, who came in 16th. I bet the only reason they talked to him was so they could ask him about Junior.

Pathetic.

Daly Planet Editor said...

So, if you were rooting for anyone but the winner, you lose again.

I just am having a hard time wrapping my brain around that decision to not show the lead lap field finish.

With all the effort that ESPN put in this season so far, what a bittersweet ending.

JD

Anonymous said...

"I will try to find out about the choir and where they shot that video. If we see this tomorrow, we can assume this might be the new theme."

I missed this earlier, but I don't think people really care about the details of or a critique of the making of the ESPN music video. It's just a sports broadcast theme and a tiny part of the broadcast, no need for investigation IMO. They have larger issues to work on. I haven't seen an investigation of "Be There! Be There!" on Speed Channel and don't need one of those either.

TexasRaceLady said...

Overall the production was excellent. However, as many have pointed out, ESPN blew it with the poor work at the finish.

I don't need to see the flagman or the crew --- I want to see cars crossing the line.

stricklinfan82 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Better Booth team but same ole crap when it comes to the finish. I waited for three hours just to see the flagman! Not even a ticker as the cars came across the line either. What happened to the numbers listing the cars as they cross the line?
I guess we see where this year is going.

Steve L.

stricklinfan82 said...

My review of the race (I didn't see the Countdown show so I can't comment on that):

LIKES

Following up on cars that fell out of the race
- ESPN did a very good job documenting the drivers that fell out of the race. Dr. Punch mentioned Steve Grissom parking. They showed Stremme pulling behind the wall and interviewed him. They interviewed Mark Green and told us David Gilliland was okay (I still would have liked to have heard from him though), and even squeezed in a Kasey Kahne interview after a crash with less than 10 laps to go.

The announcers and pit reporters
- The booth chemistry is a lot better, and the reports from the Pit Studio are much better with Allen and Rusty added to the mix. The Race Recaps were also a million times better than last year, because they kept the cameras focused on the track instead of on the talking heads in the Pit Studio and highlights of "what we missed". The pit reporters all did a good job as well, except for Jamie Little's blunder of thinking that Dave Blaney was driving the #32 car that ran in the top 5 all day long.

No missed restarts

DISLIKES

The awful, pathetic, terrible, disgusting, horrible camera work at the finish line

- We only got to see ONE car cross the finish line. ONE! They used that awful cable cam / infield cam (whatever you want to call it) AGAIN just like Fox/Speed did last night and last Saturday, except they made things a million times worse today by tilting the camera up and zooming in on the FLAGMAN the second Stewart crossed the line. What a joke. This was terrible, the worst last lap camera work EVER!

Lucky Dogs Ignored
- 3 cautions resulted in Lucky Dogs and the only one ESPN mentioned when it happened was when their beloved ESPN In-Race Reporter was the recipient. When "their car" wasn't the Lucky Dog it wasn't worth mentioning in ESPN's eyes. By the way, how many times did we hear from Harvick and his crew chief after the race started? That's right, NONE!... So what's the point of the in-race reporter again? I'm not complaining that they didn't talk to them by any means, I'm glad they didn't. It just seems ridiculous to spend the time hyping that they have an in-race reporter and then never use him. Get rid of that gimmick.

Draft Tracks / "Draft Lock"
- Again Draft Tracks is completely ridiculous, and this stupid term "Draft Lock" is an insult to race fans everywhere. No fan, driver, crew chief, or other human being walking the face of this earth uses this ridiculous term except the guy(s) at ESPN that decided to invent it. I loved it when Michael Waltrip poked fun at that term on Inside Nextel Cup after Talladega last fall and I really hope he does it again because it certainly deserves all the ridicule that anyone can possibly give it.

Too much following the leaders running strung-out, single file.
- During the long green flag run at the start of the race they spent WAY too much time keeping the cameras focused on the 4 or 5 leaders that were strung out running single file lap after lap after lap. I kept saying to myself "based on the scoring crawl there must be racing somewhere on this track that ESPN could show us". My thought was confirmed when ESPN missed the crash that occurred in a pack of top 20 positioned cars that were running... you guessed it... side-by-side. When there's absolutely nothing going on at the front of the pack PLEASE find a race on the track to show us!

Ignoring Bryan Clauson after the race
- This young driver did a great job finishing in the top 6. We didn't get to see him finish because of the lousy camera work at the finish, and despite Dale Jarrett's best efforts to get someone in the ESPN truck to notice his great finish, they completely ignored him and interviewed guys like David Reutimann and Brad Keselowski instead, despite the fact that they finished behind Clauson. What a shame, what else does a young driver like this have to do to get some attention from the network covering this series?

Anonymous said...

"They used that awful cable cam / infield cam"

I just thought I should point out, that was not the cable cam, but indeed a camera in the infield. The cable cam is closer to the Start/finish line and usually can see more cars cross the finish.

In just about every race the infield camera does that same motion (catch 1st place then zoom in to the flag) The decision then would be, do we take that camera for the finish?

That camera and angle is nice for a highlight, but maybe not for the finish live.

GS

SophiaZ123 said...

JD I hope you can FIND OUT why so many NETWORKS have myopic thinking about what THEY want to show at the finish line.

NO EXCUSE for gypping the fans out of the finish.

HELL I like Stewart but was rooting for MANY OTHERS, too,

And the lack of focus on the NATIONWIDE guys is an INSULT to them as well.

Well, I said talk was cheap when ESPN Director or whoever that twerp was said they would 'improve the broadcast'.

Well, we don't need Draft tracker OVER GREEN FLAG

And we dont' need jacked up, ripped off race finishes where there is NOBODY ON THE TRACK at the end but the winner.

JD, you better raise cain about this deal. YOU TRIED last year but it fell on deaf ears.

* big sigh*

I want to hear WHAT's the ANSWER to WHY they ignore everybody else but I know they will not have the guts to answer or just (obviously) plain dont' care. :(

l_long said...

Re: "which camera shot to use for the finish" -- aren't ALL cameras actually recording the action?

If that one shot is great for highlights, then save it for highlights and show more people at the end of the race!

Anonymous said...

How 'bout that Bryan Clauson? Yeah, how bout that Bryan Clauson? That Bryan Clauson is an impressive young man.

Hey, ESPN, how 'bout you actually ****interview him**** instead of talking about how great he is?

---------------------------
Amen! I don't even know what this kid looks like or who his sponsor is, just that he drives for Ganassi. He should have gotten that airtime for finishing so well at Daytona. Watch ESPN 2 try to "make it up to him" by interviewing him during Fontana pratice or qualifying next week, when no one is watching. Whatever!

Anonymous said...

l_long said...
Re: "which camera shot to use for the finish" -- aren't ALL cameras actually recording the action?

If that one shot is great for highlights, then save it for highlights and show more people at the end of the race!

February 16, 2008 4:21 PM

That is what I mean. Sometimes I think a producer might want to get creative with a finish and ask for the infield camera for the live finish. Just don't blame the cameraman for that.

GS

boyd said...

Good Broadcast overall. I was impressed by the coverage that was about the racing.
The 'new' announce team is much better.
I had a friend that was watching his first race and really liked the draft tracker, so I can see a need for the newbies.
But, I think I almost saw Tony take the checkered, but was the finish not close enough to warrant a wide shot and seeing more than the flagmans head?
Just a raw deal at the finish.

red said...

ahh well, we'd hoped for much better and just got . . . well, i guess it was ok.
dale's my driver but it was unforgiveable to not interview clauson. no excuse for that. i know the dale fans enjoyed the extended commercial -- hell! i loved hearing him say once again that shifting gears is a present to his fans! -- but missing an interview with clauson, the only real busch driver in the pack? just flat out wrong.
that came on top of the usual espn screw-up of not showing all the cars finish. how hard can this actually be anyway?
so, just . . .ok. disappointing but just ok.

Brett Baldeck said...

The broadcast was put together well. But I have to agree with everyone that they blew it at the finish. I knew when I saw them use that camera that people weren't going to be happy.

As for not interviewing Bryan Clauson the only think I can think of was he was not available for an interview. Since he did not finish in the top five he was not obligated to talk to the media. Like many drivers he could have just run to her motorcoach right after he exited his car.

Anonymous said...

boyd said...
I had a friend that was watching his first race and really liked the draft tracker, so I can see a need for the newbies.
Just a raw deal at the finish.

February 16, 2008 4:31 PM

exactly. the draft track is not for most fans, but only for new ones. I think it is okay if used on that limited basis to help the new fans. I believe that was its purpose since the beginning.

GS

Brett Baldeck said...

*I ment to say "His motorcoach", Serious typo on my part.

Anonymous said...

When the race has ended early in the past, they've tracked down drivers in the motorhome lot or on their way to helicopters before for interviews. Jamie was doing the Keselowski interview from a crowded area, looked like, not him standing by his car.

There's simply no excuse. They blew it.

Jo said...

I agree w/ all the posts about the Nationwide only drivers getting verylittle/no - on air mentions. The only ones who got consistent mentions were Mike Wallace & Brad Keselowski (hope I spelledit correct). How was it Jr. gets more time interview post race than 1st or 2nd? Cuz he's pushing shiftin gears ! Why not an interview with Ambrose (worst luck of the day) or any other N'wide only drivers? Brian says he wants this series to stand on its own - well it never will if the cup guys get all the air time.

Also - please!!!! ATTN All Networks
at the very least show the Top 10 cross the finish line!!! Yes today I got to see "my" driver- not usually tho' & ALL Drivers Have Fans!

OK Thanks for better cam work ( mostly) wide shots were awesome - lets see more! If you lose the 2
scrolls we would get to see more - hint hint!

It was a joy to here the guys
( Jerry, DJ & Andy) in the booth. What a difference!

BTW a nice moment about soundman/innovator Ron Scalese
( sorry if its spelled wrong) and nice we got to hear the sounds w/ no talking for a moment

Pit reporting was better & some drivers were interviewed leaving the care center.

All in all a pretty good showing for ESPN, much better than Cup coverage. We'll see how it goes tho'

Busch coverage was better than Cup last year w/Espn - so we'll see!

Anonymous said...

And they could have caught Clauson on pit road had they not spent an extended period of time with Dale Jr.

Anonymous said...

"lets see more! If you lose the 2
scrolls we would get to see more - hint hint!"

you want both the bottom and the top scrolls gone?? w/o the top one how will we know what place anyone is in? how will we know how many laps are left?

Brett Baldeck said...

The ESPN NASCAR Crew has not control over the bottom ticker. Its not just with NASCAR but with any sporting event on ESPN2 they have the bottom line.

The reasoning I got from ESPN last year is that not all households have ESPNNews. So if fans want sporting news and scores they tune into ESPN2 because the ticker is always on.

I don't see what the big deal is. Back in the 1990s when NASCAR Was on ESPN they had the bottom line ticker up, and it was bigger back then. Just look at some omd youtube vidoes are races on ESPN2.

David said...

Speed had the same problem last night on the truck race taking up to much of the real estate of my HDTV for graphics. If I want to see graphics I will play XBOX. Otherwise show me the race. Thing about today on, how many times did they all say Bryan Clausen, praise him and congratulate him?? Everyone was saying what a great job. ESPN explain to us how you don't interview him. I don't want to watch NASCAR NOW to see the interview. They own the Nationwide Series rights and aren't pimping the drivers. They are only building up for the second half of the season with NASCAR S CUP.

Jo said...

David said...
Speed had the same problem last night on the truck race taking up to much of the real estate of my HDTV for graphics. If I want to see graphics I will play XBOX. Otherwise show me the race. Thing about today on, how many times did they all say Bryan Clausen, praise him and congratulate him?? Everyone was saying what a great job. ESPN explain to us how you don't interview him. I don't want to watch NASCAR NOW to see the interview. They own the Nationwide Series rights and aren't pimping the drivers. They are only building up for the second half of the season with NASCAR S CUP.

February 16, 2008 5:01 PM

Amen & amen! very well put!

Anonymous said...

Swap Bestwick and Punch.

Eliminate the silly "Draft Track."

Those two changes would make a big difference.

BTW, Blake Shelton, the singer from the opening montage, is a well-known country artist.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Hey all,

There is a new post up about the Nationwide race. Also, thanks for the info about Blake Shelton and the history of that video.

I have an article that will go up about that shortly.

JD

Richard in N.C. said...

JD- I got to watch the bulk of the pre-race show and some of the first part of the race. I thought the pre-race show was very, very good and a huge improvement over last year - but I'm not sure whether ESPN might have too many people on the panel, as they seem inclined to do across the board for many sports like the NFL.

I really think Allen B. would be better calling the race than Jerry Punch, but - being a fan of Punch - I do have to applaud ESPN for being loyal to him. I believe Dr. Punch is/was an emergency room doctor and, thus, being calm under pressure has been ingrained in him, which might explain why some people find him boring. I did think there seemed to be a more relaxed tone in the booth this year with DJ.

I really do enjoy the blimp shots of racing action and wish they'd do more.

I believe the pit reporters have been required to wear fire suits of some sort for some time.

Being over 50, I fail to see the problem with the performers being over 50. I believe the highest grossing music act in the world is the Rolling Stones - and I'm not sure any of them can remember 50. In any event, except maybe for Chubby Checker, all of the acts are still quite accomplished without regard to age.

Anonymous said...

In an interview with Reutimann after the Nationwide race, the girl said, "this time last year David was not in the Daytona 500."

Umm....He WAS in the 500. Shouldn't they know stuff like that when interviewing the drivers?

Brrrn Rubber said...

Daly Planet Editor said...
Hey all,

There is a new post up about the Nationwide race. Also, thanks for the info about Blake Shelton and the history of that video.

I have an article that will go up about that shortly.

JD

February 16, 2008 5:40 PM

Why write an article about a music video?

No one cares. You're just trying to stir the pot. Why don't you concentrate on something of importance, like Nationwide ignoring its series drivers?

SophiaZ123 said...

Sorry, I missed the song of Shelton at the pre race but googled it and found it at youtube.

You gotta be kidding me?

We go from Aeorsmith to this? Indeed, why does NASCAR need a theme for EVERY FREAKING race and bumper music.

Sorry, choir or not, I am tired of this song already and never made it thru the youtube video.

*sigh*

ESPN


Pssss...it's about THE CARS.



Racing.



In packs.



Wide shots



and


,


,


SHOWING THE CARS AT THE FINISH LINE.


JD, I am not impressed with the money espn throws around for music rights...imagine if they saved their coins to show us more cameras at the finish line.

Can't wait to read your column on this 'NASCAR's new song" nonsense. Ugh.

Oh, and I am over 50 and all for older musicians but they coulda found more common ground than this piece.

Last thing I think of is NASCAR when I watch this..maybe it should be for baseball since the goal of that game is to "go home."

:-)

Unlike NASCAR where the goal is to NOT be a go homer.

Anonymous said...

Sophia, I don't understand blaming ESPN, as many people have pointed out, SPEED, TNT (remember born to be wild)and FOX also have music. It's silly to point fingers at ESPN.

SophiaZ123 said...

FOX or SPEED may use music stuff but it must be generic that all sounds a like..as I thought SPEED often rotates the songs for opening their shows.

:-)

But ESPN DOES over do stuff (EDIT SO does, SPEED...remember the MElani commercials??) and that Aero song....ugh.

And sorry blake fans, this CHOIR song just seems weird and not appropriate.

jmo, I don't run this joint.

JD invites opines.

:-0

Anonymous said...

SophiaZ123,

You are out of line with your criticisms. SPEED showed their "be there" theme song about 5 times during commercials and during the duels. And I have heard it countless other times during the course of Speedweeks. ESPN has only aired this video TWICE!!! I don't see what is so wrong or weird about it. Is it just because of the bad coverage of the finish that you seem to be lasing out at everything ESPN?

Anonymous said...

In an interview with Reutimann after the Nationwide race, the girl said, "this time last year David was not in the Daytona 500."

True, and fair comment.

It would have been more effective if you named the reporter instead of calling her "the girl."

Anonymous said...

WOW, JD
Comment number 139 on this blog. Have not read them all. But I can tell you what a great time I had w/Allen Bestwick and DJ on the show. It was so refreshing. Do the folks at ESPN really read this blog? It seems like they did. And if so, please do not stop.

Lou
Kingston, NY