Sunday, April 20, 2008

ESPN's Mexican Marathon

The theory makes sense, but the reality once again left a little something to be desired. It was time for the Nationwide Series to visit Mexico City and the results were just as messy as last year.

ESPN waded into the fray and televised practice, qualifying and the race. During the Sunday telecast the TV compound lost power, the race was halted by several red flags and the final fifteen laps were absolute chaos.

It was Jerry Punch anchoring the telecast. Alongside for this event was Rusty Wallace and rookie ESPN analyst Ray Evernham. It was strange to have both analysts with specific interests in the race. It certainly affected the ability of them both to speak in plain language. In Mexico City, politically correct was suddenly all the rage.

Marcos Ambrose was knocking cars around like bowling balls and yet Punch addressed this situation with almost a monotone. Incident after incident with different drivers and cars resulted in nothing more than a brief description and then a dead silence on-the-air. Viewers knew one thing, Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree were clearly missed.

It was up to the pit reporters to contribute the vast majority of the news about strategy and problems on the track. The trio of Vince Welch, Mike Massaro and Dave Burns turned-in strong performances. They regularly recapped the field and followed-up with enthusiasm on the stories happening in the race.

This information was critical to the broadcast because the race consisted of regulars on the Nationwide trail, road course "ringers," and several Hispanic drivers added for regional flair. Despite all these new faces, the pit reporters were on-top of the game from the green flag.

Wallace was awkward with Evernham, and while they all worked very hard to talk nicely about everyone and positively about their own Nationwide interests, it was the telecast that suffered. "Dead air" is the term for a live sporting event where there is no commentary, and this race had many moments of awkward silence.

Give credit to Jerry Punch, who possibly told every story he knew about the drivers and teams in the race to fill the extended red flag time of this event. Punch also resorted to the old trick of asking questions directly to his analysts to "make" them answer and provide some additional information. Although Jerry Punch is an Emergency Room Physician, in this broadcast he was very much "pulling teeth."

Post-race interviews closed out this broadcast in style, despite the continual assertions by Punch that the Mexican crowds "loved" NASCAR. For viewers who watched the Rolex Sports Car Series race from the same track, they also witnessed the same format of Rolex regulars mixed with Hispanic "guest" drivers. Could it be that the crowds just enjoyed having a fun weekend of racing?

If NASCAR continues to return to this venue, viewers can expect the same type of hard-to-follow TV with pit stops and spins as features of the telecast. Unfortunately, passing and competition do not seem to be in the future of either NASCAR or their TV partners as they struggle to build the Hispanic market.

The Daly Planet welcomes comments from readers. 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 stopping by.


Kyle said...

What little respect I had for Ray and Rusty I lost today. That is partly ESPN's fault for having TWO car owners in the booth. That left a big load on DR P's plate. I thought the issues last season had alot to do with Dr.P, but clearly see now that it was all Rusty.

Why dont we get Rick Hendrick, Jack Roush, and Chip Ginassi to call the next Sprint race..... That way nothing on the track would be anyone's fault.

I had to walk away after lap 40 or so, couldn't take it anymore.

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Anonymous said...

"Viewers knew one thing, Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree were clearly missed."

Jarrett was playing pro-golf today so he couldnt make it. Give him a break.

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stricklinfan82 said...

Broadcast Comments

I was watching the broadcast with company for much of the day so I couldn't hear most of it, so I don't think I can fairly analyze the announcers' or pit reporters' overall days so I'll leave those comments to everyone else.

I thought ESPN did a reasonable job keeping up with showing most of the chaos. I am disappointed though that we never saw any footage of the race winning lead change, even on a replay. I wonder how exactly the Sportscenters and NASCAR Now's of the world will handle the race highlights if my assumption that all the cameras on hand missed the winning pass is correct. (If I'm wrong and there is footage of that pass then there is no excuse for never showing it on the broadcast, that's why I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt.)

The finish line camera work still left a lot to be desired. Yes I know it's a road course and the cars were spread out a lot, but regardless of the time required to do so I still think it is imperative to show all the cars finish their races for positions to the finish line. I can read the results in the newspaper or online. By tuning in to the TV broadcast I'd like to see those positions decided live with my own two eyes.

I was very disappointed by the rush to cut right to Kyle Busch idling around the track with a hand out the window and an interview with his crew chief while cars were still racing their hearts out to the finish line.

Again, the race doesn't end until every car crosses the finish line on the final lap. The field is not "frozen" once the winner trips the line, so I don't know why the TV coverage of the on-track competition has to cease the second the first position or two has been determined.

Response to JD's Comments About This Event

JD, I know this is a TV blog but since you brought it up I feel a need to respond to your comments about the future of this event.

If the point of this event is to expand the international appeal of NASCAR, I don't think a messy road course race like this gets the job done.

I just use the thinking "If I wanted to get a friend hooked on NASCAR after watching just one race, what race would I show them?". I think the last thing I would do is make them sit through a road course race like we saw today.

But NASCAR apparently thinks Canadian and Mexican fans will get hooked on NASCAR with racing like we see at Montreal, Mexico City, Watkins Glen, or Infineon. I have to disagree with this approach since road racing is such a small percentage of what NASCAR is, and in my opinion is the least pleasing form of NASCAR racing to the eye.

To me the solution is an international Sprint Cup points race on an oval. If you want to expose international fans to NASCAR you should present a product that represents what NASCAR is about 95% of the time: ALL of the sport's superstars - Jeff Gordon, Dale Jr., Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart, etc. - racing side-by-side, nose-to-tail on an oval.

In my opinion trying to sell NASCAR internationally by giving international fans a lower-tiered series road race with a couple race-winning Cup drivers in Busch, Edwards, and Bowyer and a bunch of non-NASCAR drivers like Pruett, Fernandez, Jourdain, Simo, Pardo, and Papis just doesn't make sense.

Again, if NASCAR trying to market an international "Look, this is what NASCAR is all about" compaign, I don't know why they're doing it in a matter that does not accurately represent what NASCAR really is all about 95% of the time.

I go back to the earlier comparison. If you, my fellow NASCAR fan, were trying to get a fan hooked on NASCAR would you have shown them today's race? I know I wouldn't.

In my opinion, in 2009 the most effective way to use the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez to get Mexican fans hooked on NASCAR would be to wait one more week on the calendar, pack the fans into the stands, and make them watch the Talladega Cup race on the "jumbotron".

I love the idea of expanding NASCAR internationally. I think it would great to create die-hard fan bases in Mexico, Canada, Japan, Europe, and everywhere else across the world. If NASCAR's going to do it though they need to do it the right way, and in my mind that is by having a Cup points race on an oval, because THAT is what NASCAR is all about.

Richard said...

I think that the people who decided not to watch this race because Ray Evernham was covering it just saved themselves four hours of their lives.

Having Ray and Rusty in the booth was a disservice to impartial commentary. Also, neither of the men has a true full understanding of road racing. After many years of watching F1, Champ Car, IRL, etc., I heard them make error after error.

Also, it was a bit creepy listening to Ray comment on Danica and "girls" in racing. He will never be separated in the public mind from the Crocker debacle.

Even though I love road racing, I do agree with other commenters that Nascar should try to run some international oval races with the Cup guys if they really want to expand the Nascar audience.

All in all, I think watching the highlites of this race on The Speed Report will be the way to go. You will see all of the action, and not waste four hours of your life listening to Ray and Rusty.

Anonymous said...
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Daly Planet Editor said...

Thank you for the comments. The Hispanic drivers have been added to this race for several years. It gives an opportunity for the fans to relate and also to root for a local hero.

The issue of events in venues like Canada and Mexico are topics for NASCAR and other blogs to debate.

ESPN chose to use Wallace and Evernham on this weekend, and they must live with the results. Two owners are an interesting choice for this race.

The Rolex race took place on Saturday and the comparison was made to point out that the weekend was a combination of sports and stock cars.


Anonymous said...


No problem with an owner being a commentator in the booth, IF (big if) they don't have a car or driver, or relative, or girlfriend in the race.

Anonymous said...

espn should eat rusty's contract and let him go. He's not good as a TV guy. Loved him as a racer, hate him as an announcer.

Newracefan said...

I felt like Ray and Rusty always had the don't let your bias show hanging over them and therefore did not speak freely about the race. Ray avoided talking about Patrick and Rusty about Steven and Max and it hampered their ability to comment and wasn't that the job. Rusty picked Patrick as the driver to watch and Ray picked Max, what? The Ambrose watch was another issue. JP must have mentioned him every 15 minutes sometimes for no good reason not to mention they avoided commenting on how rough he was driving but were quick to comment frequently on KB's history of aggressiveness.
I was thinking the race was boring, I am one who doesn't usually call a race boring, but by the end I was leaning more toward perhaps it was the guys in the booth. Then I read this blog "dead air", that was it, the only time that is appropriate is something like the McDowell crash- silence works then. IMO having both Ray and Rusty in the booth at the same time was a mistake either one or the other might have been ok. The only other question I have was how easy/hard was it for them to follow the race? I am assuming they needed to work off camera shots and not watching the track, perhaps this also threw stuff off.

Anonymous said...

I too agree the booth was not good on this race at all. just a bad combination.
I think we are forgetting something else in this booth bash...tim brewer...what does that guy add? I think zero!

Anonymous said...

I've been uneasy about ESPN using current car owners in the booth since last year with Rusty. They rectified it by moving him to another role he's better in. But then ESPN makes the blunder of bringing current car owner Ray on their team and putting him in the booth, and moving Rusty back in there too.

If seeing proof of the disastrous results in terms of both chemistry and commentary will be enough to encourage ESPN to keep current car owners out of the booth, then I'll live with their poor performances today.

We did appreciate ESPN showing the "pomp" of the prerace ceremony before the race. We enjoyed it last year too. It was unfortunate to see (like NASCAR races in this country) the attendance this year was very obviously down from 2007. Lots of empty seats.

Anonymous said...

Richard said...
I think that the people who decided not to watch this race because Ray Evernham was covering it just saved themselves four hours of their lives.
Good to know. I was one of 'em.

I'm laughing at the New York Times which quickly had to change its claim that Danica Patrick was the first woman winner of a major auto race. The Times this afternoon, (when they replaced the AP story with their own) was the only news outlet to make this claim, everyone else said she was the first female IndyCar winner.

After howls of disbelief in the reader comments noting other women winners in international series, the story and front-page summary (by Dave Caldwell) were rewritten a little while ago.

And I know it's off topic, but I was embarrassed for DW on Wind Tunnel when he was trying to defend NASCAR's stance on drug testing. Dave was very respectful to let him slide on some of his claims with a quiet "Well, I've heard differently...". Especially when DW claimed that other sports only drug test to test for steroids (I suppose he hasn't heard about various players testing positive for marijuana, etc.) and since NASCAR drivers don't need steroids, they don't need to test them for drugs.

Anonymous said...

An international field of drivers, it would have been a nice touch to see the flag of each driver in the field listing at the start and the position scroll.

There where drivers from Canada, Mexico, Australia, Italy, and the U.S. The most diverse NASCAR field ever? Certainly would have been if Dario and Juan Pablo were in the field

Agreed, Ray and Rusty were weak. Rusty could use some more diction lessons.

But there was some good road racing, which I enjoy, especially in the last 15 laps. The left turn racing can get boring at times. The drivers can "rest" on an oval but not in road racing.

The director of the telecast missed the pass for the lead and every bit of the races for finishing positions. A telecast for the casual viewer, not the race fan.

In reference to Danica's win, I tuned in late, and I believe Marty Reid only mentioned her fuel situation, with the stop earlier than the rest of the field, only once. There was a lot of discussion about how everyone had to stop, but no mention of how she should have more fuel than the leaders. Congrats to her, she wants to be seen as a racer, and doesn't ask for any special treatment.

Anonymous said...


No problem with an owner being a commentator in the booth, IF (big if) they don't have a car or driver, or relative, or girlfriend in the race.

I don't believe a single owner in NASCAR would fit that description. They all have personal or business connections to someone in virtually every race and all three series. It's unfortunate with Toyota now in Nationwide and Cup that Darrell Waltrip and Jeff Hammond can comment on those races, practice, or qualifying; it was bad enough when it was limited to trucks.

Anonymous said...

After howls of disbelief in the reader comments noting other women winners in international series, the story and front-page summary (by Dave Caldwell) were rewritten a little while ago.

And winners in drag racing. I looked a minute ago and they also had to change all the headlines from earlier. Very careless error for NYT to make. Not surprised because they've completely ignored auto racing including NASCAR most of the season, leaving the Associated Press to do the articles. They wouldn't have written an article about Danica (I also say congratulations to her) except the Associated Press Danica article was #1 in their most emailed list this morning. Can't have that since it wasn't written by them.

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Anonymous said...

Did anyone watch "NASCAR Confidential" tonight on the Speed Channel? They totally changed the format from the first episode!!! No more behind the scenes people during one race (Daytona). It was basically an extended Beyond the Wheel, covering the highlights of seven races (Cali to Phoenix) instead of covering one race like Beyond the Wheel would do. I didn't like the format change. If Speed Channel is going to have Beyond the Wheel, do it as a weekly program and make this program closer to what it was the first time. Very strange to see such a radical redo of a program from one episode to the next.

Anonymous said...

Things started off badly when Rusty "picked" Carpentier and Ray "picked" Papis before the race - an absolutely disgusting quid pro quo start to the day for ESPN.

It was unfortunate for ESPN to have Ray in the booth for the weekend when Danica won her first race but it's certainly not a grave they knew they hadn't already dug.

A horrible race with a horrible cast and crew. ESPN gets stuck with their own "talent" (Said) blatantly dropping a huge BS bomb over the air. What else needs to be said...

Punch did well with all said and done. I wish ESPN would quit shuffling talent. I know it's a long season but they knew what they were biting off. Even with the whole Shannon Spank thing. If you're a pit reporter for ESPN and you are getting married can't you schedule your wedding in December or Janurary?

It's too bad ESPN will get some of the blame for a real crap race but they did the best they could.

Anonymous said...
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Vicky D said...

Having two owners in the broadcast booth wasn't a good idea for ESPN, I believe. Like I posted this past weekend, I think JP is already tired and Ray & Rusty have their own agendas regarding their own teams. I still feel they should have given more time to the bottom drivers. I never heard Rusty mention Mike or Kenny I think it wouldn't have hurt to hear their names at least once during the telecast. I think Nascar should stay in the bottom 48.

Anonymous said...

Granted I watched on tape (was attending a live sports event), and got to fast forward the commercials but I thought I was seeing an exciting race with lots of storylines to follow and perhaps a little too much action.

But its really inexcusable to miss the pass for the win that way. Haven't they ever watched Kyle Busch race before?

Yes, there were some other things in the field that required updating, but that's what split screen is for. Taking the cameras off the lead battle in those circumstances was so far beyond stupid that I don't have a word for it.

Speedcouch said...

We only saw the last hour or so of the Busch race yesterday on ESPN. They were busy covering Clint Bowyer running alone and completely missed the final pass for the lead! After many laps of Busch racing Pruett hard for the lead, they just calming say "oh he finally got past him..." or something like that. Then there was absolutely no replay of what ended up being the pass for the win. With all the cameras these networks have, they didn't have one on the leaders at all times?

I had no problem with Rusty and Ray, but then I didn't watch but the last hour of the broadcast.

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Ritchie said...


A quick question. I noticed during the Mexico City race that they had a video clip of Kyle Busch talking about his hobby of driving "Sand Cars", those off-road vehicles that people race on sand dunes. While he was talking during that video clip, images of a sand car was shown, implying that it was Kyles car and he was driving.

Later Sunday evening on SPEED, NASCAR Confidential was showing a video clip of Jimmie Johnson driving Casey Mears' sand car in the California desert. The thing is that it looked like the same car. Same paint scheme, same wheelies, same jumps and everything!

Do you know if ESPN was borrowing footage from SPEED and playing it off like it was Kyle's car? Just curious.

Anonymous said...

Started watching the race from the beginning and then I was able to walk away from it and come back and check in, it didn't hold my interest until the last 25 laps, curious to see who managed their gas and tires and wanted to see where my favorite driver David Reutiman finished, since really the only drivers featured were Karl, Kyle, Clint or some international driver. Road races are really really really really boring, like others said, this is not the type of race to catch new fans. It did have to be hard for Rusty not to be able to talk about his son who had a nice top ten finish, hard race to cover in the first place, so not going to be too hard on Ray and Rusty, was annoyed though at missing the winning lead change.

Daly Planet Editor said...


It was from the same shoot that NASCAR Media Group did a while back. There were several drivers in attendance.


torner said...

I believe its important to separate
the coverage of the race from the race itself. Only NASCAR can control the race. As for the coverage, I had three issues. Rusty and Ray in the announce booth are one and two. The third issue is with the coverage of the Pruett/Busch battle for the lead.

Let's work backwards from issue three: The ESPN director spent A LOT of time following Busch trying to get around Pruett. A LOT of time. I can appreciate the on-screen action being somewhere else at the exact moment Busch finally got around Pruett. What I don't understand is how the director could miss the actual pass. Or, in the absence of a replay, at least acknowledge that they missed the pass. Even Dr. Jerry had an "oh, the way..." tone when the video finally caught up with Busch in the lead.

Two: Ray in the announce booth. There is no doubt Ray had his eyes squarely on the "I'm an owner with a dog in this fight so I must take extra extra care to be objective" ball. So much so that he was very very flat. One of my favorite days of the week is when Ray joins Dave Moody and crew on Sirius Speedway. He is animated, opinionated, and comfortable. I have seen Ray in that same comfort zone on other media outlets as well so its not just his friendship with Moody. I sincerely hope ESPN (and Ray) doesn't put him in that uncomfortable position again.

One: Rusty in the announce booth. Last year we were subjected to an entire season watching Rusty struggle, painfully, in the announce booth. The combination of his personality vs. the other guys' personalities AND the double challenge of being a Busch team owner AND driver's father was doomed from the start. I was SO relieved when ESPN moved Rusty OUT of the announce booth and INTO the infield studio this season. I feel Rusty has found his niche with Allan Bestwick.'s the $64,000 question: Why put Rusty back into the announce booth? Does ESPN think he's actually going to improve? ESPN's casting of this race reminds me of the definition of insanity: Doing the same exact thing over and over and over, expecting a different outcome.

torner said...
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Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 8;28AM,

Come back and re-post without the B-word, your comment was a good one.


Anonymous said...

Fox and ESPN should review the
ARCA race coverage from Saturday.
High wide shots of the racing and
no in-car, aesthetics, or gophers.
Put that director in charge of
Cup programs.

Anonymous said...

How ironic that after your recent olive branch pictorial feature on the "inner workings of the ESPN production trucks" we find that, in spite of all of those eyeballs looking at all of those tv screens, ESPN can't manage to show the final pass for the lead at the end of their marathon telecast-not even a replay??!!!
Thought they belw a terrific opportunity with Boris Said- who was blowing off steam about Marcus Ambrose spinning him. Why they didn't grab him and show him (or at least TELL him) that the video replay appeared to show Boris losing control long before he got hit, but instead they let him rant at Ambrose's crew chief and storm off.
Poor performance all around

Telecast C
Booth announce C-

fairfax said...

Did anyone watch "NASCAR Confidential" tonight on the Speed Channel? They totally changed the format from the first episode!!!
I watched it and boy, what a disappointment. Just a boring recap with sound bites from the drivers, crew chiefs, and owners. Nothing we haven't heard before, I hope they go back to the old format or it's not worth watching.
And regarding the Nationwide race, I also cringed with any mention of Danica or female drivers while having Ray in the booth. Just a very unpleasant situation.

SrRaceFan said...

Good article, JD! Right on the money, as usual.

I read through all the comments and didn't notice a single mention of the problems Punch had with names. It was unbelievable! He continually corrected himself - to the point where I wondered if he was speed-reading through a script. "Scott Parrot" was leading the race????

To me, it appeared that the whole announcer team was at the wrong function. The suits seemed ridiculously out of place. They talked as though they were thrown in as substitutes and had no idea of what an announcer was supposed to do. Totally unprofessional and certainly won't help the Nationwide cause at all.

chase said...

I was amazed that ESPN would put Rusty back in the booth - where he clearly DOES NOT belong along with Ray Evernham - what was ESPN thinking? Was no one else available? The lack of coverage of the last few laps was an incredibly stupid decision - was everyone behind and in front of the cameras suffering from Montezuma's Revenge? I had high hopes for ESPN this season - guess I should not have bothered. Thanks John!

Anonymous said...

I'm another viewer who didn't like the new "NASCAR Confidential". I was looking forward to seeing what driver(s) and "behind-the-curtain" NASCAR folks would be on the show this time. I was really disappointed that they scrapped the style of the first show. At most, I thought the biggest change from the previous episode would be reducing the number of people they followed in an episode from six to four.

I agree that I wouldn't go out of my way to watch this show again in its current state. The only thing I found remotely interesting in the hour was the two audio communications between Carl Edwards and Robbie Reiser, who either have a love-hate or hate-hate relationship - hard to tell.

I looked up the show description from when it was announced and it says: "Instead of focusing on at-track competition, teams or drivers, the program will tell a unique and untold story on a variety of subjects through the eyes of several participants. It will be a one-hour, highly-produced narrative covering a 24-hour period. "

A tip for SPEED/NASCAR Media Group: Don't promise viewers one TV show and give them another - that's not a good business practice.

Anonymous said...

Applause for ESPN for replaying Danica Patrick's win on ESPN Classic this morning. They replayed it on ESPN2 yesterday, but the postrace podium ceremony was not shown (understandably) because a scheduled live event was about to begin.

Today they condensed part of the race and showed the entire post-race. Very nice job. The Champ Car finale replay is on now.

Anonymous said...

Even though most people dont like Rusty in the booth,he was at one time,one of the best road racers on the cup circuit.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
"Very careless error for NYT to make. Not surprised because they've completely ignored auto racing including NASCAR most of the season, leaving the Associated Press to do the articles. "
April 20, 2008 11:51 PM

Re: The New York Times. They're about to reduce their newsroom staff by 100 people. They asked for volunteers for buyouts but didn't get enough. So those remaining slots not taken by buyouts will be reduced by layoffs -very soon. So NASCAR coverage will probably be coming mostly from sources like AP or Reuters, etc, from now on.

Lisa Hogan said...

Just my opinion:
I did not watch every minute of the race coverage; however, I did see most of it. We all watch the same race and come away with different viewpoints on the coverage. That is what is so interesting about our little community here that JD has created.

Since I am not perfect, I don’t expect perfection from the TV folks. Some things did stand out to me though. Jerry Punch mumbled and fumbled his way through three broadcasts. I fear for him when ESPN gets to their Cup coverage. Ray Evernham was never a favorite of mine even before he started living in tabloid land. I just don’t pay much attention when he speaks. I like Rusty Wallace. I just don’t understand the ESPN decision to put him in the booth. Rusty owns a NW team with two of his cars entered in this race. Rusty had a son and two brothers entered in this race. He did a lot better than I would have.

Since I was multi-tasking during the red flags, I missed some of Punch’s comments. Whenever I heard him mention Ambrose, I was just glad that a NW regular was getting some attention instead of Carl, Carl, Carl. What I did notice was the over-kill of the Punch coverage of a driver who wasn’t even in the race, Montoya!

And then we have the drama of “It is never my fault” Boris Said. Funny, I saw Boris causing more problems than Ambrose. I hope that Boris is prepared for his meeting in the NASCAR hauler when he next appears at a race. On-camera ranting about payback is not a smart thing to do.

Anonymous said...

Never mind who was in the booth, this was the poorest showing of a race I was ever forced to turn off. NASCAR should forget about going to Mexico next year or ever, and they could give the rest of the sprint drivers two more weeks off by dropping the two road races from the schedule not many people would miss them, another thing - where did all the "ringers" finish? Ha Ha

RICHnCA said...

Personaly. I like the road races. As for the announcing,I tuned out and just watched what was happening on the track/ I don't need to hear Rusty or Dr Punch telling me what is only obvious. The only thing that got me was the camera being on Bowyer and ESPN totaly missing Kyle passing Pruet. I thought they would at least go back and show it on tape, But no such luck.

Ken said...

I thought it was a poor race that was made even worse by the commentators and camera work. If I was a casual fan and this was my introduction to NA$CAR, I would never watch another NA$CAR race.

Hopefully, we won't have to endure the Mexico fiasco again.

Mike said...

I liked that this was some what of a quiet race from the announcers. I don't need someone talking non stop, its not radio if someone can call the cameras well and I can see the race thats better than digger, endless simpleton explanations about how the cars work or overused in car shots. This being in Mexico, I'm sure it was a nightmare and expensive for ESPN to bring everyone and everything so we got a less frills version of coverage. This race looked more like an old race on ESPN classic and I would like to see more like this.

Anonymous said...

Simply put, Rusty Wallace is garbage as an announcer. He was horrendous last year, and they needed him to fill in for DJ. This is not a permanent thing, thankfully.

Rusty needs glasses or he's living in outer space while races are going on. He seems clueless when he's on the job announcing.

Ray Evernham is a novice in the booth, so I'm willing to give him a pass. He is smart enough as an owner, crew chief and car builder that he could have added more to the telecast. He did not know his place. Was he conflicted? Definitely. But DW is always conflicted with Toyota and/or Mikey and nobody complains about that.

One last thing. How in the world do you miss the race winning pass? That is inexcusable in racing, period.

Anonymous said...

Ray, Jerry and stevens dad..another disaster ...why not Phil and Rick ?