Monday, February 25, 2008

In-Progress At Fontana: Monday Nationwide Series Race on ESPN2


Allen Bestwick and the NASCAR on ESPN gang filled three hours of on-air time Saturday afternoon and then were on stand-by all day Sunday. Now, ESPN2 will finally get their Nationwide Series race in on Monday.

Bestwick will host from the Infield Studio, with Brad Daugherty alongside. Rusty Wallace and Ray Evernham are also regular analysts from that location. In the announce booth, Jerry Punch will handle the play-by-play with Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree as analysts.

Down on pit road will be Shannon Spake, Jamie Little, Mike Massaro and Dave Burns. There should be some very interesting stories in this race, as many Cup drivers are doing double duty in the Nationwide Series.

This race will be on-the-air on ESPN2 at 4PM. That time may have to be a bit flexible as the Cup race will end, and then NASCAR will set-up the Nationwide Series race as soon as possible. This swap should take some time, as the Cup crews will have to pack-up and leave pit road, and the Nationwide crews will come in and set-up.

This page will serve to host your comments about the Nationwide Series race on ESPN2 from Fontana, CA. To add your opinion, simply click on the COMMENTS button below and follow the easy instructions. The rules for posting are on the right side of the main page. Thanks again for taking the time to stop by.

74 comments:

Anonymous said...

42 minutes to get things going. Should be possible, though Carl will have to skip Speed's VL.

Anonymous said...

And don't forget, Dale Jarret also will be in the booth for the race.

Lou
Kingston, NY

slithybill said...

ESPNEWS is showing Johnson's post-race news conference live right now!

Anonymous said...

"though Carl will have to skip Speed's VL."

I don't know. a quick interview is still possible.

JD, green flag is set for 4:00PM EST. will ESPN come on a few minutes earlier?

stricklinfan82 said...

Definitely a great job by ESPNNEWS having Boris Said in the studio breaking down the race right after the Fox broadcast went off the air, and for airing the Johnson and Gordon post-race news conferences. Excellent excellent excellent. I have always wondered why Speed Channel never chose to air post-race conferences. That's a regular part of their F1 race coverage isn't it?

On to the Nationwide race. ESPN had a very good broadcast at Daytona but all that good work was overshadowed by another last lap debacle. I'm hoping the ESPN production truck steps up and shows ALL the cars finish today.

I hope the ESPN guys realize this is a big opportunity for them. If they can provide good coverage AND show all the cars finish at the end they could very quickly pass Fox as the new fan favorite NASCAR TV network if Fox is going to continue screwing the fans over by not showing all the cars cross the line. Take advantage of that opportunity ESPN!

When two TV networks compete to out-do each other with better race broadcasts the biggest winners are the fans.

Anonymous said...

"I have always wondered why Speed Channel never chose to air post-race conferences. That's a regular part of their F1 race coverage isn't it?"

Isn't that what NASCAR Victory Lane is for? I think that is even better because we are not just listening to a group reporter interview in the media, It is a one-on-one interview with a SPEED reporter.

Anonymous said...

green flag set for 4:15. ESPN2 broadcast is on.

Basketball game is on at 7. I think they might make it. But if they don't what will happen? where will the race go? During college football we saw the end of the race end on the normal channel. will that happen again?

Anonymous said...

JD, where is AB and the pit studio?

Speaking of that, did we see Chris and Jeff in the Hollywood Hotel today during the FOX broadcast?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
green flag set for 4:15. ESPN2 broadcast is on.

Basketball game is on at 7. I think they might make it. But if they don't what will happen? where will the race go? During college football we saw the end of the race end on the normal channel. will that happen again?

February 25, 2008 4:04 PM

No Worries..Watch and enjoy

Anonymous said...

JD, Do all the TV announcers (SPEED, ESPN, FOX) work out of the same booth? I would imagine it would be interesting to see how they interact if they saw each other, especially since the races broadcasts are so close together.

stricklinfan82 said...

If ESPN2 stuck with the Busch race at Dover last year and moved the start of a college football game to Classic I'm sure we'll be okay with a women's college basketball game that gets MUCH lower ratings than a football game does.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Am hearing that the infield studio and the Hollywood Hotel are gone. If anyone is at the track, let us know. Both Chris Myers on Fox and Allen Bestwick on ESPN are gone.

JD

Daly Planet Editor said...

Brewer was taped from earlier this weekend, I guess the Tech Center hit the road as well.

Jo said...

Well 1st commercial break - I have learned more about Dario & Stremme than either merit. They haven't listed top 10 & the scroll is
S-l-o-w.
ESPN please ditch the bottom scroll. Thank you.

Daly Planet Editor said...

DJ is great, but Jerry is still working to get himself calling the PXP each and every lap.

Daly Planet Editor said...

We have been talking about the bottom scroll for a while now. Man, it is tough to watch two different tickers running at different speeds and with different content.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps Allen and crew are headed back to Bristol for the roundtable on NASCAR Now? I'm surprised, I assumed they would do the show from the track.

Great job by NASCAR to get the Nationwide race underway less than an hour after the Sprint Cup race. Barring a red flag (and perhaps even then) they should easily finish before the basketball game.

ESPN focus again on Brad Keselowski at his car at the program's beginning (other focus was on Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch). The focus on Brad K. is beginning to reach "focus on Carl's mom" levels of strange for ESPN.

Anonymous said...

Jo said...
ESPN please ditch the bottom scroll. Thank you.

February 25, 2008 4:34 PM

ESPN2 will never ditch the bottom scroll. It is for people who have no other source for their news, they know the ticker on ESPN2 is "always on." it is not always on during live sports and some shows on ESPN or ABC.

If the ticker becomes a problem, I sugest investing in a television with a zoom feature. You can set it to cut off the ticker.

Jo said...

Daly Planet Editor said...
We have been talking about the bottom scroll for a while now. Man, it is tough to watch two different tickers running at different speeds and with different content.

Amen JD its making me sea sick lol
I can't believe DJ raced, & now he's on the air! These guys should be whipped.

Spring said...

As for AB and Pit Studio being gone today, it has always been the policy of both ESPN and FOX that if a race gets postponed to Monday, they send their studio trucks to the next race event and let the booth guys conduct the whole broadcast.

stricklinfan82 said...

I like ESPN's scoring crawl a lot better than Fox's. The intervals constantly update in real-time and there aren't the constant clitches that the Fox crawl has (showing lead lap cars as being laps down, occasionally moving cars out of order, getting car numbers wrong in parts of the race, etc.).

I also like putting the top 5 on the top of the screen and keeping the cars on the entire screen up until the very second they go to commercial.

I also appreciate the effort to keep up with listing the field fillers that are stopping-and-parking. It's a shame that so many full-time teams are shutting down and cutting back to part time schedules and encouraging more and more field fillers to show up every week.

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

I also don't tend to notice the bottom ticker. It's on ESPN2 all the time regardless of what is on. It's not that big so I don't find it to be that big of a deal.

Okay, now ESPN is digressing into last year's bad habits. Pre-taped interview and video pacakage re-living Keselowski's crash from last year. Thankfully it was split-screened this time but I would prefer to see those types of videos saved for pre-race shows or caution flags.

Can you imagine missing or split-screening a live play in a football game while Tom Brady is voicing over highlights of a tough game he had a year ago? I can't.

Jo said...

They are mentioning alot of the N'wide only drivers today - thats a good change. Nice to Leicht with a ride today.

Daly Planet Editor said...

People who have no other source for their news...at 4PM on a Monday? I think in-progress games might be an issue, but between ESPNEWS, SportsCenter and ESPN.com there is always a source for news.

Fundamentally, it is scrolling news that you are supposed to read while you are watching the race and listening to the commentary and reading the ticker at the top of the screen.

It's not about news, its about technology.

Anonymous said...

come on, JD... that post was not even bad or worth deleting.

I think news was the original idea and reason for the ticker. whether it is or is not now, can be discussed. I am bothered by it or notice it during the race.

Daly Planet Editor said...

It's the tone, my friend. We talk about things, but we do not insult...period.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
I am bothered by it or notice it during the race.

February 25, 2008 5:01 PM

I meant "AM NOT"

Daly Planet Editor said...

Petree sure has come alive with DJ in the booth. That should be an interesting combo when the Cup action starts.

Anonymous said...

JD, how do you think Jerry is doing compared to last years cup races?

stricklinfan82 said...

Fantastic job by Dr. Punch updating us on cars falling out of the race and pit road penalties. I would normally ask ESPN to do some digging and explain to me why a driver is behind the wall but the cause is pretty obvious in all of these cases (I think Allen Bestwick termed it "Short Field Start-and-Park Disease"... still one of my favorite lines from NASCAR TV last year).

Also a very nice job by ESPN rushing to commercial right after pit stops to get back just in time for the restart. These guys are certainly learning. Last year in these situations they would have spent an extra 30 seconds showing cars pulling onto the backstretch and then showing us a meaningless replay of a pit stop from "crew cam", thus causing us to miss the ensuing restart.

Good job today guys, keep it up... also please show us all the cars cross the finish line at the end of the race!

Anonymous said...

People who have no other source for their news...at 4PM on a Monday? I think in-progress games might be an issue, but between ESPNEWS, SportsCenter and ESPN.com there is always a source for news.
--------------
Not always. Most people don't have ESPNNEWS unless they pay for an extra digital tier. Sportscenter isn't always on (Around the Horn is on right now). And I don't want to have to look at a website all the time when I'm watching TV at home. I certainly don't want to get my news from a website if I'm watching sports in an airport waiting area or a bar, among other places where I don't have PC access.

So I can understand using ESPN2 ticker for news. (I don't like the ticker, especially for races on ABC, but I understand the need for it.)

Also, many people who don't work from home are often really in a news blackout for most of the day- even if they work at PCs, outside access may be blocked to most sites or they don't have time to check news. I know people who can't listen to the radio at work (like today). Not everyone can access news at 4 PM.

am19psu said...

Out of curiosity, am I the only NASCAR fan that likes other sports? I understand the complaints on a Monday afternoon, but when the races are normally shown on Saturday or Sunday, I like being able to get baseball, football, and basketball scores during the race.

Daly Planet Editor said...

It is like night and day in the ESPN booth, but that is not a Rusty problem. Chemistry is tough to create, and the ESPN moves seem to have paid off for both DJ and Rusty.

Punch now knows that he can get a quick back-up comment on anything, and he can get help when he gets tongue-tied. He likes the shorter races, but those Cup marathons were killing him slowly.

DJ is a good straw to stir this drink.

JD

Daly Planet Editor said...

I understand your point about news, but ESPN stripes this info across more than just ESPN2.

Programs without a continual upper third ticker and additional graphics pose less of a problem, what we are talking about is the continual upper third scoring crawl going at the same time as the lower third news crawl.

Like the earlier poster said, it makes me sea sick. I really don't need last night's college hoop scores or the spring training pitching match-ups. But, there are certainly different views on this topic.

JD

stricklinfan82 said...

Am I the only person that thinks these broadcasts are actually better without the added element of an infield studio? I enjoyed the simpler Cup race broadcast and so far I have been enjoying this Nationwide race much better without the race recaps and thoughts about the race from a seperate set of announcers in the infield.

In my mind simpler is better.

Jo said...

All good points about coverage and chemistry today. Even pit reporters are doing better than last year - giving us more info & less fluff. Currently showing a split between 4th place & 19th place battles. Nice job . I really enjoy the no missed re starts.
Thanks ESPN

Jo said...

I agree Stricklin - its a much easier to follow with fewer voices. Much more clean, I'm working from home & watching the race when I can - listening has been a breeze today & when I can look up for a few - what they are talking about is on the screen.

Anonymous said...

anonymous said...
ESPN focus again on Brad Keselowski at his car at the program's beginning (other focus was on Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch). The focus on Brad K. is beginning to reach "focus on Carl's mom" levels of strange for ESPN.

Good comparison! But did you see the Joey Logano Nationwide ad presence this afternoon? He's not even running the series yet. If you think Keslowski PR mania is out of control, wait until Logano turns 18.

There will probably be a ticker counting down to his birthday added to the NW broadcasts soon.
(Oops, I shouldn't give ESPN any ideas.) :-)

stricklinfan82 said...

I hate the fuel remaining bar graph ESPN uses. There is no quantifiable information on that graphic. Tony Stewart is yellow on fuel and Kyle Busch is green. What does that mean other than a simple "Kyle has more fuel"? How much more fuel does he have and how much further can he go before his next stop?

If you want to compare fuel remaining on board different cars with a graphic I would like to see them use NUMBERS.

I was just about to comment that Mike Wallace is having a good run and should be shown on TV but ESPN beat me to it. Great job again. The difference between this year and last year is like night and day.

Anonymous said...

stricklinfan82 said...
Fantastic job by Dr. Punch updating us on cars falling out of the race and pit road penalties. I would normally ask ESPN to do some digging and explain to me why a driver is behind the wall but the cause is pretty obvious in all of these cases (I think Allen Bestwick termed it "Short Field Start-and-Park Disease"... still one of my favorite lines from NASCAR TV last year).

????? PARK
On lap 91 NASCAR shows 41 of 42 still running????

stricklinfan82 said...

The ESPN graphics show 35th on back as OUT and Dr. Punch mentioned that those cars pulled behind the wall and are out of the race.

Live Leaderboard on NASCAR.com says:

Gunselman - ran 3 laps
Lynch - 5
Harmon - 9
Baker - 9
Leik - 13
Shepherd - 25

If all of those guys are still running they must be running VERY slowly LOL. I have no idea where the 41 cars are still running thought comes from.

Anonymous said...

One hour left to run 50 laps and have a decent post-race show. Keep it up.

Anonymous said...

Flag: Laps:
99
of 150 Time Elapsed:
01:27:56 Cautions/Laps:
4
15 Leaders:
4 Lead Changes:
5
Cars: Started: 42 | Running: 41 | Lead Lap: 23 Average Speed: 136.192 mph

Anonymous said...

Nascar.com live leader started and running numbers are wrong

stricklinfan82 said...

Apparently NASCAR.com made a mistake then. Trust me, the usual cast of characters that start the race and park within a few laps are no longer around (90, 91, 84, 52, 01, 89, 05). Not sure about the 37, that was a legit full-team last year so I don't know if that was actually a case of start-and-park or if they had a legitimate problem.

Newracefan said...

How has the commercial load been, just got home and have seen alot of commercials. oops they are in caution, do we know why?

SophiaZ123 said...

Re: the bottom ticker...I have been nauseated before the race started and I must confess, I put a piece of painters tape across my tv here in the bedroom..and I just see a hint of 'ghost lettering' on the bottom of my screen. HELPS a lot!

I wish the kitchen TV were bigger..it zooms out the bottom ticker but we are nt going to throw out all good tv's due to one obnoxious station...ok all the stations with bottom tickers during the race. It is annoying JD.

I didn't have a piece of cardboard but the painters tape work and is NOT touching the screen. Now I am waiting on the ginger ale to help.

I may put a piece at the top ticker with the way I am feeling, lol.

stricklinfan82 said...

The caution is for debris. I haven't noticed a major commercial overload, but then again I don't watch the clock and time every break so I could be wrong.

stricklinfan82 said...

Alright ESPN has had a very good broadcast to this point. Now we're getting down to the most important part of the telecast so it's time for ESPN to make a choice. Will they FINISH THE DEAL and show all the cars finish at the end of the race or will they fall flat on their faces and completely ruin and overshadow 2 1/2 hours of great work and stop covering the race the second the winner takes the checkered flag? I certainly hope for the former.

I would love to praise them at the end of the day for a fantastic overall broadcast instead of having to criticize them for blowing it at the end and screwing the fans over.

REMEMBER, THE RACE IS NOT OVER UNTIL ALL THE CARS CROSS THE FINISH LINE!

SophiaZ123 said...

Stricklanfan

You are a man after my own NASCAR viewing heart because I am like you..no matter HOW GREAT the guys in the booth are, the camera work or race coverage in general, it's all moot if the ending is RUINED.

When is the last time we saw a ballgame end when somebody got a HOME RUN and we never saw guys rouding the bases heading for home, or catching a ball to make an out? In other words...we always show the team on their way in after EVERYTHING is finished on the field for baseball

Why not for NASCAR?


That is the question of the day...or Apparently of the YEAR(s) since Mr. Daly addressed this last year as did fans.

stricklinfan82 said...

Sadly there's not much of a race for the win but it does look like there are battles for position all over the race track. This should make for a great last lap of TV viewing as these guys race for position all the way to the line.

Sandie said...

@stricklinfan82--they used to. When FOX had it not every race but many races you could after about 5 minutes or so flip over to SPEED and watch the press conferences, I don't know why they stopped doing it. And then the guys would do a recap :)

Anonymous said...

happy? They showed the top 5 on one shot, then showed races for other spots with different angles. I like the new finishing graphic that adds the drivers as they cross the line on the top and not down the side

SophiaZ123 said...

Well ESPN TRIED to show the finish line..kept the camera there but cars were SPREAD OUT! :-)

So overall, ESPN CAMERA ATTEMPT to show the winners better than Fox.

NO CUTTING to the flag man or the crew folks.

YAY, ESPN.

But I DID NOTE the camera stay fixed a few seconds (and a few seconds is a LONG TIME on tv time) so I give them credit for trying to catch all the cars. then they showed the rest of the cars around the track. :)

On another note, sorry to see so many CUP drivers in the top 10. Would like to see the NT series guys get some attention for their OWN teams.

SophiaZ123 said...

anon 6.32

I for one am happy with the camera at the end!!

stricklinfan82 said...

Excellent last lap coverage. I would be more than happy to sacrifice missing a car or two crossing the line by himself if I can watch a close-up shot of a side-by-side race to the line. We still missed a big cluster of cars finish in between the 5-29 and 64-36 battles but overall this was still a million times better than anything Fox has done for us. Thanks ESPN!

If I can make one critique of the finish I think a vertical bar showing the finishing positions as they cross the line would be much better. You can fit 20+ cars on a vertical scoreboard whereas you can only fit 3 on a horizontal.

Other than those minor critiques it was a fantastic day for ESPN today. Everyone in front of the microphone worked really hard and did a great job on the air. And the production truck did a fantastic job with restarts, following racing throughout the pack, and most importantly the finish.

I never thought I'd hear myself say this after last year, but if Fox is going to continue to screw us with these last lap debacles of only showing the winner I may actually start counting down the days until the ESPN portion of the Cup schedule starts and dread looking ahead to Fox coming back.

All I have to say is WOW. What a difference from last year.

Anonymous said...

Keeping the camera fixed on the finish line for the amount of time to ensure all cars are shown would take up way too much time. You're looking at about 45 seconds for this track. That would look rather odd. The compelling image is still the winner.

Maybe a split screen would work, but you just can't keep the camera on the finish line for that length of time.

SophiaZ123 said...

Yep...today was better than fox because we got to see the ending at the FINISH LINE.

I never, ever thought I would be giving props to ESPN over Fox but I call it like I see it.

ESPN has made changes and their MONDAY night NN show with AB just adds to the jewel in their crown.

Thanks for the camera work at the end, ESPN.

stricklinfan82 said...

Great job interviewing Stephen Leicht. That's what this series needs - full-time non-Cup drivers driving good equipment and running with the Cup drivers. I really hope some sponsor steps up and gives this guy a chance to run the rest of the schedule. He won a race last year for crying out loud so it's certainly not a good sign for this series when someone like him is left out in the cold.

JD, do you have enough funding available to put "The Daly Planet" on the side of that car? :)

Newracefan said...

Perhaps if we all kick in 25 dollars we can get one of those little stickers like the Kurt Busch Sports Center commercial

Jo said...

The last lap coverage was good THANKS ESPN good job
Post race interviews are good - liked the Leicht interview he finished 10th & they gave him air time & discussed the hard time of getting sponsor.
Whoever interviewed Leffler said he finished 10th - he was 11th so I guess thats me picking nits but she should have known where someone finished.
Not bad considering my list from last year

Newracefan said...

Marty is going to be part of the round table discussion this should be fun

Daly Planet Editor said...

Wow, what can you say about this move? NASCAR Now crew from the Bristol studio after a cross-country flight?

With the ESPNEWS coverage earlier, we might have a new leader in the NASCAR TV news race.....

JD

Anonymous said...

John, you keep saying you don't insult, but you let people make fun of last year's Nascar Now host, Erik Kuselias, while another user still calls ESPN, "ESPU." How is that allowed? I still think there's a massive double standard here.

That being said, while the ticker is not very useful on a Monday afternoon, for weekend races it's great. While I can turn to ESPNews or Sportscenter to get scores, I don't want to turn off the race. You can switch in a commercial, but there's no guarantee that the score you're looking for will come across during the break. I guess picture-in-picture is another option, but I don't have that. Bottom line is, I'm interested in NBA and NHL scores, but I'm ultimately glued to the NASCAR race. The ticker allows me to watch the race in its entirety while also getting some scores. It's even more useful during the NFL season when there's a race and NFL games at the same time.

Daly Planet Editor said...

stricklinfan,

I happen to have good relations with the JR Motorsports folks, but they are not THAT good yet. I will hold a good thought.

JD

stricklinfan82 said...

That's a shame that ESPN2 had that audio glitch at the end but Allen Bestwick did a fantastic job picking up the slack and wrapping up the end of the broadcast and making it look easy with absolutely zero time to prepare. I guess he really can do it all.

Anonymous said...

WOW...I just have to say. The ESPN field crew was having audio difficulties and was able to go right back to the studio. That shows amazing coordination between field and studio departments. JD, What do you think?

Daly Planet Editor said...

Since we were hearing the natural sound from the track, I think the primary audio patch was pulled. It happens.

Nice catch by Bestwick and company to close out the program and tease tonight's 9PM special one hour NASCAR Now.

Is Bestwick the man or what?

JD

SophiaZ123 said...

I missed the glitch at the end but have always found AB unflappable. Guess tonight proved it. :-)


Can't wait for the 9pm show.

ESPN has CERTAINLY improved...and folks are noticing.

Daly Planet Editor said...

There is a new post up for tonight's special "Victory Lane" (SPEED) and "NASCAR Now" shows.

Thanks, JD

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 6:54PM,

There is a big difference between lamenting the fact that NASCAR Now was saddled with a racing-illiterate host and personal insults.

In every column where Erk K. was mentioned, we repeatedly said he was a good radio announcer who had a strong grasp of stick-and-ball sports. Now, he has been returned to the radio side of ESPN, where he should have remained.

In terms of the lower third sports ticker, I think you are still missing the point that the fans are making. There are almost no other sports on ESPN where there is an upper third full-size ticker running constantly through the entire show.

Removing the ticker for the two hours of a Nationwide race would leave absolutely no one without sports information, and would let NASCAR fans see the race without being constantly drawn to both an upper and a lower moving ticker designed specifically to catch their eyes.

JD

Anonymous said...

One thing I noticed this weekend since it was my first weekend to be able to watch the races in HD -
the ticker on ESPN2 HD is much more intrusive than the one on the regular ESPN2. They have a bit of dark gray space at the bottom and then put the ticker on top of it, so it takes up a pretty decent amount of the real estate on the screen. I find the added dark gray space at the bottom totally unacceptable.

Anonymous said...

I watch races on ESPN2 HD and I do not notice that AT ALL. I have no problem with it.