Saturday, March 8, 2008

In-Progress From Atlanta: "NASCAR Countdown" And Nationwide Series Race


After an interesting start to Saturday, ESPN2 will host the Nationwide Series race at 2PM Eastern Time. This program will be preceded by a live thirty minute version of NASCAR Countdown at 1:30PM Eastern Time.

Allen Bestwick will be joined by Dale Jarrett and Brady Daugherty in the Infield Pit Studio for NASCAR Countdown. Then, Jarrett will head upstairs to join Jerry Punch and Andy Petree in the announce booth to call the race.

Down on pit road will be Shannon Spake, Dave Burns, Mike Massaro and Jamie Little.

This page will serve to host your comments about the Nationwide Series race from Atlanta on ESPN2. Please keep your comments TV-related. You can add your opinion simply by clicking on the COMMENTS button below and following the simple instructions. Thanks once again for taking the time to stop by.

102 comments:

Daly Planet Editor said...

Sorry folks, Google having problems today once again. Appreciate your patience.

bevo said...

Testing...1,2,3

Anonymous said...

I couldn't get here for about an hour. It seems alright now. According to blogger.com, their engineers are working on the issue.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Did you guys see that all the LA-based Fox networks went down for over five minutes during the SPEED coverage?

I am working on finding out about that one. Fox News, FX, SPEED and others were gone.

JD

bevo said...

I'm watching on ESPN360 (beer and cigar on the patio) so I'll be about 4 minutes behind everyone else. Of course I've been accused of being behind much more than that before.

Anonymous said...

JD, I did not notice that. But I do know FOX news is not LA based.

Daly Planet Editor said...

MCR is in LA, right?

SophiaZ123 said...

bevo

I am jealous of being outside. We have semi blizzard condtions, 10 inches plus of snow, drifts and a level two snow emergency (can't bbe out unless you have someplace important to go!)

Could not get here for a couple hours.

I hear Harvick complaining of being cold and the spotter said he had no pity...wow. It's really cold in Atlanta too, for a race!!

Anonymous said...

I did not think FOX used a "hub" system where all their channels came out of the same facility. I know FOX News' Master control is New York and I thought SPEED's master control was in NC.

Anonymous said...

Did they talk with Jr during the caution? I heard them say they would not talk with him before start, due to the car not starting.

Daly Planet Editor said...

SPEED has an office across the street from the old Inspirational Network (Medicomm) and used to also use the NASCAR Images studio for the old INC.

They have nothing in Charlotte, and that has been the complaint. Everything is done from LA, including Master Control. Fun huh?

JD

bevo said...

sophia-

We had our snow Thursday, 6 inches is a lot for north Texas. Beautiful today though, blue skies and 60.

Anonymous said...

JD, is the SPEED report and wind tunnel done from LA?

Newracefan said...

Why do they try to show a passing situation from the in car camera. You really can NOT tell what is happening, please use a regualr camera shot not the incar. Actually I don't like the incar at all unless it gives us a good view of an incident

bevo said...

Is it just me or does it seem like ESPN spends more time than Fox with in-car cameras? Maybe part of the feeling that we don't get as much racing coverage for the rest of the field is because of the constant in-car camera work.

Anonymous said...

I have not noticed too much in-car cameras at all.

Newracefan said...

Short field start and park has started

Anonymous said...

Interesting that Allen Bestwick said on Countdown that the talk about the Edwards penalty had gotten downright nasty and would be covered in detail on Sunday and Monday on Nascar Now.

So I assume they're going to cover what the drivers like Dale Jr, Sadler, Burton, and Harvick have been saying... it'll simply be two days late.

bevo said...

newracefan-

Seems like we were posting at the same time

stricklinfan82 said...

Good broadcast so far. What a difference a year makes when we haven't had any ESPN complaints this far into the race.

anon @ 2:34, I'm glad they didn't talk to Junior during the first caution flag. I would prefer using up commercial inventory during yellow flags so we can see more green flag racing later in the telecast. That's why I absolutely hate the In-Race Reporter gimmick. Every second spent talking to their in-race reporter under yellow takes away a second of green flag racing later in the afternoon. Thank you ESPN for NOT talking to Junior.

I also want to give ESPN credit for their fantastic scoring crawl on the top of the screen. It is a million times better than Fox and Speed's, because the intervals constantly update in real-time and there are never the constant glitches of showing lead lap cars as being a lap down, screwing up car numbers, mis-spelling names, using the annoying "(R)" for rookies, and overlapping names. Whatever ESPN is doing with their tracker I want Fox and Speed to copy it because it's fantastic.

bevo said...

DJ doing a great job, great delivery and he gets his points across quickly.

Daly Planet Editor said...

DJ gives Andy a lot of room to operate. That must be a switch for Petree.

This group is having a great race.

bevo said...

stricklinfan-

I second that about the crawl, very easy to read. Thumbs up to the graphics guys

Anonymous said...

Note to Dave Burns, who thinks Junior is "new to these cars":

Dale Earnhardt, Jr., is a two-time Nationwide [Busch] Series champion. He is FAR from "new" to these cars.

bevo said...

One problem with watching on ESPN360 - commercial breaks are nothing but ESPN promos, and the same ones to boot.

Newracefan said...

I wonder what happened to Reut he was in the top 5 for a while and now he's dropping like a rock.

Daly Planet Editor said...

The SPEED studios are in Charlotte, the programs are sent to LA where the commercials and promos are inserted. All the pre-recorded programs come from LA.

When SPEED is live at the track, the uplink goes directly to LA. Only Formula 1 routes through Charlotte.

JD

Anonymous said...

Just saw on the "bottom line" that the Nationwide race at Bristol next week is on ABC. Topic for the week ahead may be if they truncate the broadcast since they are "over the air"

Daly Planet Editor said...

Nice to see ESPN having a good race and all working together. What a difference a year makes.

JD

Newracefan said...

I wish the thru the field would go beyond the top ten, It doesn't seem like enough cars to me

bevo said...

JD-

I know that Varsha and his crew do the F1 commentary from Charlotte and they have another connection to be able to have Windsor do the starting grid interviews.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 2:43 PM -

SPEED Report and Wind Tunnel are done at the studios in Charlotte ...

Despain flies in from Atlanta to do his show ...

Newracefan said...

Thanks ESPN- not good news but at least I know why 99 in the back

Anonymous said...

Why did they say Vicker's stop was unscheduled?

Newracefan said...

Shannon needs to talk a little faster during the pit stops and she doesn't need to say down and away if she still has something else to tell us. Like KB had a really slow pit stop and how about a why

Anonymous said...

ESPN2 missed a lot of good racing for 9th to 13th while on commercial ... and more when they were doing their through the field ...

At least it sure sounded that way on PRN ...

stricklinfan82 said...

The only difference I expect to see in next Saturday's ABC broadcast is no post-race coverage. Last year we lost the Carl Edwards backflip and victory lane interview at Bristol because ABC rushed off the air.

ESPN has clearly shown that their broadcasts have drastically improved. The issues we need to watch for once their Cup coverage starts are the horrible, awful, terrible, disgusting, bad Sportscenter Minutes, Brent Musburger, no TV coverage of Friday and Saturday morning practice sesions, and tape-delayed Happy Hour coverage. These unnecessary elements need to be removed from the Cup broadcasts and we need to have LIVE coverage of EVERY Cup practice session, whether it be on ESPN2, ESPN Classic, or preferably Speed Channel.

I know we're still several months away but if we don't start bringing up these issues now it will be too late once July rolls around.

stricklinfan82 said...

I very much prefer Fox's Cup method of broadcasting green flag pit stops. I love seeing the leader on the track in one box and the pit stops in another. I don't think the entire screen should ever be filled with a pit stop or an interview during green flag racing.

I also find it interesting that no one in the booth immediately knew that touching the commitment cone is a violation. Just like Fox's debacle with the qualifying rule rainouts a few weeks ago at California, I find it amazing that I, as a fan sitting at home, know these rules yet the guys that get paid to cover this sport every week don't.

stricklinfan82 said...

I also think ESPN's usage of the Infield Studio is a lot better than Fox's. I like the fact that they use the infield announcers to comment on things going on right now, instead of just using them to reflect back on things that happened earlier or make predictions on what might happen later.

Brad always seems well-informed on issues and seems to have spoken to all the drivers/team members during the week and does a great job of adding information when necessary. And Allen is on top of his game as always.

The difference between Fox and ESPN's Pit Studios, in my opinion, is that the Fox guys seem to distract the attention away from what is going on NOW, whereas the ESPN guys add to what is going on NOW.

Newracefan said...

I got distracted (work again) did they reset the field after the green flags stops or did the caution happen. Do we know if anyone pitted with the caution. I'm confused but not sure if it's from the distractions or lack of follow up

Anonymous said...

I really do not like Brad Daugherty ... He just does NOT add anything to the broadcasts ... In fact, he's a bad distraction ...

Same with Jamie & Shannon ...

SophiaZ123 said...

I was surprised by two comments...Dave B saying "Jr was new to nationwide cars" ??????

And nobody in the booth knew knocking over the commitment cone was a violation?? Heck, I thought EVERYBODY knew that....strange the talking heads missed that one.

I think the FOX/SPEED guys would've known that.

also the LESS they use the IN CAR CAMS, the happier I am.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Just saw on the "bottom line" that the Nationwide race at Bristol next week is on ABC. Topic for the week ahead may be if they truncate the broadcast since they are "over the air"

March 8, 2008 3:10 PM

It should be fine. Three hours alloted for the race/post race (and half hour for the prerace).

If something happens where they couldn't fit the race in that time frame, the program scheduled after it is "Race to March Madness" which is a news/highlight update show on all the tournaments going on next weekend. I assume it's an ESPN show also and can likely be interrupted for a few minutes.

Thankfully it's not the NCAA Tournament Selection show (airing at 6PM Sunday March 16 on CBS) because yeah, NASCAR would be going bye-bye if that was the case.

bevo said...

Andy and DJ make a great combo. Plenty of information and you don't feel like you're watching an audition for a comedy duo.

Anonymous said...

The two things that impress me the most about DJ:

- While commenting on action, he can complete a point very quickly and naturally throw it to the pits when the director is obviously telling him to go to a pit reporter

- When Dr. Punch asks him a question that has nothing to do with what is going on in the race at the moment, DJ answers the question and immediately directs the focus back on the track

There was a point earlier in the race where I swear Punch didn't say anything for close to three minutes. DJ and Andy Petree went back and forth, threw it to the pits, took them back from the pits, and continued their discussion.

DJ is going to be a good one.

Anonymous said...

SophiaZ123 said...
"I was surprised by two comments...Dave B saying "Jr was new to nationwide cars" ??????"

Well in the past few years he only did 1 or 2 nationwide races each year. If you think about like that, he has not regularly competed in a nationwide car in a long time.

Erik said...

I see the same thing in other sports. The guys in the booth can be clueless when it comes to the rules.

Mike said...

I agree. AB (Bestwick) is definitely the quarterback for the entire broadcast, but DJ seems to quarterback the booth and keeps the focus on the track admirably.

Anonymous said...

Whoa!!! anyone notice this? The ticker has been off and seems to only turn on periodically for updates. I wonder what that is about?

Anonymous said...

Perhaps there is an issue with it.

Perhaps JD can look into this to see if it s permanent thing with no ticker?

Anonymous said...

I thought ESPN had a rule to never have the ticker off on ESPN2 so people who don't always internet or other options can have a place to turn to for updates that is "always on."

Daly Planet Editor said...

shhhhh...about the ticker!

Anonymous said...

The idea of having the "quarterback" in the infield and on the pre-race show matches the style ESPN employs in a wide array of sports.

Most of their play-by-play folks are somewhat non-descript. But then they have the Chris Berman's of the world on supplemental programming and at halftime.

brett baldeck said...

That was the rule I was told when asked about the ticker. So maybe the ticker is broken?

Anonymous said...

I hate the tickers on the bottom ...

We lose valuable viewing space ...

Erik said...

I"m watching on ESPN2 HD and the ticker has been always on for me, no issue.

Anonymous said...

ESPN needs to research the bit about Harvick / Hornaday / Kyle and the transmissions ...

Yes, Hornaday DID teach Harvick how to finesse his tranny on the restarts ...

Kyle also learned ... not from personal one-on-one tutoring from Hornaday ... But, from watching & learning ...

Anonymous said...

This just got a lot more interesting. No mention of the (I presume) 2 tires for the 6 and 59 before the commercial though?

Anonymous said...

Guess it was NO tires.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Nice tie-in by Andy, he has come a long way this season already.

kbaskins said...

JD, maybe you can explain something to me. Why is it that the internet stream of the race is about two laps behind? I'm watching the FoxTrax leaderboard while viewing the stream, and there's always a discrepancy.

Is it a technical issue, or is it deliberate throttling of the stream? I'm just curious...

--KarenB

Anonymous said...

The internet TV race stream is behind by a few laps because it takes that long to encode and compress the broadcast for internet and then send it to your computer. You will see this with almost any live video feed of anything.

bevo said...

Part of the lag is your computer buffering the stream

Anonymous said...

"You will see this with almost any live video feed of anything."

Just a clarification: I meant anything on the internet.

Although you might see a delay with satellite transmissions, that is usually for a few seconds and happens for a completely different reason.

kbaskins said...

That's what I figured, anon. Thanks for the explanation.

It doesn't really bother me, I've just always been curious. I'm grateful to be able to see the race darn-near live. Stupid TSN here in Canada showed a boxing match instead. They put the race on a secondary feed that I don't receive.

--KarenB

Anonymous said...

Again I like the horizontal finish ticker. While the camera might be framed for the vertical one, the horizontal one allows the director to show other parts of the finish with other cameras that are not framed for the vertical ticker. This allows for better coverage of the finish with more screen space.

Daly Planet Editor said...

You know, it just does not work for me when the pop-up graphics are not there as the cars cross the line. I wonder why they were removed?

It really helped to see who was in the big pack as they finished.

JD

Anonymous said...

"Mike and Larry and Darrell bring you all the action here on Sunday afternoon"

That's almost beyond recognizing the other network exists . . .

Erik said...

Looks like it'll be Arby's for lunch on Monday.

bevo said...

How about that! Got the cars crossing the finish line.

Good job ESPN

Newracefan said...

I like the camera angle but it is a little far away for me to totally tell which cars are which. I would also like a small popup graphic of at least the car number to go along with the shot. Overall a well done race

Daly Planet Editor said...

Hey all,

Just a reminder. I do not know who the media guest was, but Tradin Paint is on SPEED tonight at 9:30PM.

It should be interesting to see what Kyle Petty has to say about the Edwards team penalty.

JD

Daly Planet Editor said...

Did they ever say if we get free fries again this season?

kbaskins said...

JD: Matt mentioned it.

--KarenB

Anonymous said...

I don't know, I guess it's better that they recognize the other network, but you never see the NFL on CBS crew saying "the NFL on FOX guys will have the game next week".

bevo said...

Yep, free fries.

Don't forget Daylight Savings Time tonight

Newracefan said...

Yes it free fries this week with a copy from the newspaper or internet or maybe Arby's site with the win (I guess they use it like a coupon). I don't think you can just ask for free fries

Anonymous said...

JD -

Yes, on the free curly fries on Monday ...

Arby's is only on the car for 3 races ...

But, the promotion runs for the whole season ...


If you register at Arbys.com ... They'll send you an email with the coupon to print out ...


They also send you a coupon for a free sandwich for your birthday ...

bevo said...

I think we're finally seeing a truce between Fox and ESPN after the stupid stuff when Fox started covering NASCAR

Anonymous said...

I heard you need a copy of the finishing order from NASCAR.com(I'm not sure about other sites.) to get your free fries.

Anonymous said...

Why oh Why oh Why won't espn put bestwick in the booth instead of Paunch

AB is so much better...relaxed and CONCISE! He doesn't try to oversell every happening on the track.....and also doesn't portray himself as the closest friend and cofidant of every driver, crew chief and wife/girlfriend in nascar

bevo said...

I too would like to see AB in the booth (it would also dramatically improve the pit reporting) but Dr. Punch does have a unique relationship with many of the drivers, family and crew people.

Patrick said...

Kyle is such a little beeyatch. Shannon's question was legitimate and non-confrontational. Maybe if he'd realize his aggressive driving has consequences on the wear of the tires, he might finish the race where he was running.
ESPN did a decent job today. I was not paying attention as close as I normally would, but besides a few late returns from commercial when its clear there is a caution and a couple of late returns for the restarts, the booth dynamic is so much more palatable. I say good job and keep up the improvements.

Daly Planet Editor said...

We worked very hard on the NASCAR TV partners last season to rise above their own network agendas and grasp the concept that it was hard for fans to follow the races on all the different networks.

They have responded this season by doing exactly that and even more. NASCAR Now promotes the Cup races on Fox with their logo and the Truck races on SPEED with that network's logo.

SPEED and Fox speak about the Nationwide races often, and the announcers refer to each other often by name. DJ started the day today by talking about the Truck Series race on
SPEED last night.

This has been an outstanding season of change and cooperation from the TV partners, and if all we have to moan about is no graphics on the finish line, I will certainly take it.

Last year at this time, NASCAR TV was a train wreck and about to get worse with TNT on the horizon.

It should be interesting to see how that network responds to all the great chances that ESPN2, SPEED and Fox have made so far this year.

JD

Daly Planet Editor said...

patrick,

I am going to let that hang for now, but we do not use that type of language in this forum, no matter how creative the spelling.

JD

Richard in N.C. said...

JD- This morning or early PM on SPEED Mike Joy made a comment about Ken Squier being in the "booth next door." Would Ken Squier have just been hanging out, or is he doing some broadcast work?

Daly Planet Editor said...

I heard that as well, and can only assume he was working for someone in a radio role because that is the next booth over. The other way is the ESPN booth, and I do not think he would be in there.

Squier and ESPN have a long history. But, you never know in TV land.

JD

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 5PM,

I would suggest that you never say never. This is a long season, and last year when Jerry Punch went on vacation, they used Marty Reid as the host because he was ABC friendly.

This season, when Jerry is away, it should be interesting to see if they put Allen up top and bring Mike Massaro or Nicole Manske down into the Infield Pit studio role.

Say what you will, Manske has been holding her own while she learns the ropes.

JD

stricklinfan82 said...

Good job today by the ESPN guys and gals. Other than forgetting the Lucky Dogs I didn't notice any glaring issues with the coverage.

I'm not going to bash Kyle Busch for the interview with Shannon Spake. He was obviously very upset - as I would be - with Goodyear ruining this sport and his chances specifically these last few weeks. If the rock hard tires that don't promote side-by-side racing are intended to prevent tire failures and we're seen a rash of tires problems anyway, then something is definitely very wrong here as Tony Stewart mentioned in an interview he did with Speed earlier today. I hope Fox and ESPN follow up on these tire issues on the pre-race show tomorrow and NASCAR Now during the week because this is clearly one of the biggest stories going on right now in NASCAR.

Kyle was angry and short with his answers but he wasn't rude to Shannon and Shannon didn't go over the edge and try to prod him into snapping as another reporter did last week in a similar situation.

JD, I also hope that Allen Bestwick gets the play-by-play assignments when Dr. Punch gets some time off. Nothing against Marty Reid but I would prefer using the #2 NASCAR announcer (who arguably should be #1 anyhow) than the #1 IndyCar announcer.

Anonymous said...

Why do we have a crew calling the race who has to ask--on the air--whether running over the commitment-line cone is a penalty?

This is basic, NASCAR 101. If the guys in the booth don't know the rules, it is time to give them the heave-ho.

Anonymous said...

Goodyear ruining this sport and his chances specifically these last few weeks.
Odd, I saw lots of other drivers finish the race without having blown tires.

Perhaps Kyle's driving style is the problem here?

stricklinfan82 said...

Odd, I saw lots of other drivers finish the race without having blown tires.

Perhaps Kyle's driving style is the problem here?


Based on your logic, then at California when only Casey Mears and Denny Hamlin lost control when the water seepage problem started, that was a case of their driving styles being different and not an indication that there was a problem with the track then right?

Many drivers have voiced concerns over these tires over these last few weeks, and after seeing so many cars blow tires I'm going to have to believe the drivers when they say there's a problem.

Anonymous said...

Many drivers have voiced concerns over these tires over these last few weeks,

They complain about tires EVERY week. They have for YEARS.

I have never heard them speak well about tires.

Anonymous said...

When Casey & Denny had problems at Fontana it was because there is NO grooved tread on the tires and they hit the water ... which means hydroplaning ...

It had nothing to do with the tires being soft or hard ... It has everything to do with them having no grooved tread ...


Some teams also are well known for pushing the limits when it comes to camber settings ... causing irregular wear and blow outs ...


They all complain about the tires ... But, certain drivers complain more than others ...

IF they hate the tires so much, they can go run in some other series with a different sanctioning body and tire suppliers ...

stricklinfan82 said...

When Casey & Denny had problems at Fontana it was because there is NO grooved tread on the tires and they hit the water ... which means hydroplaning ...

I understand that, I didn't mean to imply the tires caused those wrecks at California. Another user said there wasn't a tire problem because plenty of others cars didn't blow tires. My point is that under that questionable logic, since 41 cars didn't crash running over the water at California, there was no safety hazard with the water then right? Under almost any conditions you're not going to have all 43 cars suffer from a problem. Even in the 2001 All-Star race when they waved the green flag under a massive rainstorm, Gordon, Waltrip, Harvick, and Burton crashed in the rain and 17 or so others didn't... that didn't mean the wet track wasn't a hazard, that just meant some drivers were luckier than others.

So to say that there is no tire problem because "I saw plenty of drivers finish without blowing tires" seems silly to me, that's the point I was trying to get across.

SophiaZ123 said...

Thanks ESPN for showing the FINISH LINE!!!!

Good job.

Course, we would like the other camera that lets the cars look bigger but hey, it's a huge step forward compared to some Network finishes..the pre determined "WWF Style" I call it....which was remedied last week as that network ALSO allowed us to see half the cars finish.

It is GREATLY APPRECIATED to allow us to see the "rest of the story" after investing HOURS into a broadcasts, CHOCK full of commercials, often ill timed! :-)

Thanks again ESPN.

Anonymous said...

why are we talking tires and not TV?

Anonymous said...

Anonymouse @ 7:53 PM -

The tires have been a tv issue ...

When certain drivers had a problem with their tires last week, they were written off as having rookie mistakes ...

Others had tv reporters try to bait them with a particular type of questions in an attempt to get an explosive reaction that could be played to the hilt on tv ...

The same thing happened this week ... by the same tv reporters ...

It's all about the 6 second soundbite ... and lately, tires have been creating those soundbites ...

Anonymous said...

Just a heads up: ESPN 2 is re-airing today's race on ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD if anyone missed anything.

Anonymous said...

re: pit road cone

I do not know if it illegal to touch or knock the cone. What everyone knows and what they seem to be referring to is it is illegal to go around the cone. Don't bash the crew for that. I think the confusion is touch vs. go around it. And I do not think everyone know the rules about that.

Bear Racing Inc. said...

Anonymous said...
I really do not like Brad Daugherty ... He just does NOT add anything to the broadcasts ... In fact, he's a bad distraction ...
March 8, 2008 3:40 PM



I disagree wholeheartedly , I think Brad D. is awesome @ what he does. He does great work and knows what he is talking about, bringing an enthusiasm that is needed.

Anonymous said...

I understand why EPSN2 focused on Keselowski some in following up on that race last week, because two cars from the same shop wrecking is always news.

But this dude has a bad attitude. He shouldn't be interviewed on TV in a "woe as me" stance a week after the race because he's not going to win a PR battle against Mark Martin.

Now I read that Mark Martin called him and left a message apologizing but Keselowski didn't call him back because he says Mark can't fix it with words. Maybe they said that during the discussion about it on the broadcast and I glossed over it.

I'm glad I missed him saying that on ESPN if he did because kid has me steamed. No respect at all. Mark Martin calls to apologize and you blow him off? Not going to help me root for a Nationwide only guy when I see that, especially when ESPN seems to be making him the star of their coverage every week -even before this- that I'm supposed to root for. (In the spring, it appears I'm supposed to root for Logano, based on the ESPN ads.)