Friday, April 11, 2008

In-Progress At Phoenix: Nationwide Series On ESPN2


The Nationwide Series takes to the air on Friday night on ESPN2 immediately after a live NBA Basketball game. Hopefully, things will go smoothly during the transition.

Here is the scoop on the race from ESPN:

"ESPN2 continues its season-long coverage of the NASCAR Nationwide Series with a live, flag-to-flag primetime telecast of the 200-mile race from Phoenix International Raceway Friday, April 5, beginning at 9:30 p.m. ET with NASCAR Countdown. The telecast is presented by Cici�s Pizza. ESPN2 is the home of the NASCAR Nationwide Series all season, with selected races on ESPN and ABC."

"Marty Reid will be the lead announcer for ESPN2�s coverage, joined in the booth for analysis by 1999 NASCAR Cup Series champion Dale Jarrett, one of the founding drivers of the NASCAR Nationwide Series, and two-time Cup Series champion crew chief Andy Petree. Jamie Little, Mike Massaro and Vince Welch will report from the pits, while two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion crew chief Tim Brewer will be in the ESPN DISH Tech Center."

"Allen Bestwick will host NASCAR Countdown with analysis by Jarrett and Brad Daugherty, a former winning team owner in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, in the ESPN pit studio."

There we go, the crew is in place and the changes are Marty Reid in for Jerry Punch and Vince Welch in for Shannon Spake. Reid is a veteran, and it should be interesting once again for him to work with Jarrett and Petree. The downside is that there are lots of brand new faces for Reid to deal with in this series.

This post will serve to host your comments as ESPN2 presents the Nationwide Series race from Phoenix International Raceway. To add your comment, simply click on the COMMENTS button below and then follow the easy instructions. The rules for posting are on the right side of the main page, and thank for stopping by.

117 comments:

T.C. said...

I always liked Marty Reid when he did the NHRA broadcasts and I think he's a good replacement for Punch. The other change I like is Dale Jarrett in the booth over Rusty. I like that Rusty is opinionated, but I think Jarrett is better as a commentator.

SonicAD said...

It's looking like the basketball game is gonna run long... remotes prepared to jump ship to Classic!

Anonymous said...

we have 15 minutes left according to my guide. lets wait and see what happens.

GS

SonicAD said...

But it looks like they put the prerace on ESPN360 only. My cable provider doesn't carry that, thanks Charter!

Anonymous said...

Finally they use ESPN360.Com for the pre-race show! I acutally have that! I dont have Classic. So this works for me.

Anonymous said...

Looks like ESPN is proceeding with the In Race Reporter and fan questions during cautions. Tonight it's Denny Hamlin.

Last week I don't think Bobby Labonte had any questions asked to him except a couple by DJ at the end (maybe because of so few cautions). I was also glad to see they went back to the "normal" camera on the "passenger" side of the car instead of the in your face driver's side camera they used with Carl Edwards.

Bobby seemed fine with that old side camera angle - he waved into it to let DJ know he could hear him and gave him a thumbs up at the end. We'll see which one they use tonight.

Newracefan said...

Just shorter prerace I think. Green Flag 945 or 10 (depending on where you look) We should be OK as long as Cleveland doesn't score a ton in the next minute

Daly Planet Editor said...

ESPN has moved the pre-race to the Internet. That is interesting given ESPN Classic is in old repeats.

JD

Newracefan said...

Isn't ESPN360 just online?

Anonymous said...

I dont have classic or 360...you cant cover all fans and those channels should NOT be the first option if very few have them.

Geez said...

Looks like you will only miss 5-10 minutes of the pre-race. Not the end of the world. ESPN will never, ever, preempt stick and ball for NASCAR.

Brett Baldeck said...

I have ESPN360 and it still says on the screen "NASCAR Nationwide ar Phoenix Coming Up Next" so you guys are not missing anything.

Newracefan said...

I actually got AB and picture of Clint Boyer when they returned from commercial then it jumped back to basketball. Took me a minute but I now realize this was an oops, someone flipped a switch they shouldn't of. I'm guessing those BB fans were not happy

Anonymous said...

Newracefan said...
Isn't ESPN360 just online?

April 11, 2008 9:36 PM


yes but it is only available to certain Internet providers.


Hey the game is over. we will make it on time

GS

SonicAD said...

and finally on ESPN2.

Anonymous said...

"ESPN will never, ever, preempt stick and ball for NASCAR."

ESPN will also never push a race in progress to another channel with a stick and ball sport pending. It works both ways.

SonicAD said...

newracefan @ 9:38:

That looked intentional to me, both to let the NASCAR people who had tuned in know it was still coming up, and to try to bring along some of the NBA audience.

Anonymous said...

Newracefan said...
I actually got AB and picture of Clint Boyer when they returned from commercial then it jumped back to basketball. Took me a minute but I now realize this was an oops, someone flipped a switch they shouldn't of. I'm guessing those BB fans were not happy

April 11, 2008 9:38 PM


Um...no.

you were supposed to see that. that was a LIVE upcoming preview from AB. he said NASCAR is coming up, now back to basketball.

Newracefan said...

sonicad I couldn't tell wasn't expecting it so I really didn't hear what AB said I just looked up because I recognized his voice. If it was on purpose it was a good move by ESPN

SophiaZ123 said...

I think it STINKS the options are not more suitable for all...I have CLASSIC on two tv's in the house but no 360.

Also many got CLASSIC yanked off basic cable last year...as long as we get the race but FRANKLY, I do not think some OBSCURE internet site that one has to PAY for should be an option...but I am glad it works for some of you. :-)

But repeats on CLASSIC ?? why not 360 and CLASSIC at the same time?

oh, well, looks ok now.

SophiaZ123 said...

That was sad about Brienne Davis...I read that online earlier in the week. :(

AMS fan said...

I very much dislike the in race reporter.
There is not enough of me or they would get rid of it.

Gymmie said...

@JD--I thought the same about the 360 vs. Classic or at least both :(. I know they've done it before.

Newracefan said...

A little trouble with the inrace reporter, Denny can't hear and didn't DJ say the email was from PA and the caption says MA. Not starting out well. I also do not like this inrace reporter bit

SophiaZ123 said...

That in car question thing is not working for me.

I thought they spent the WHOLE race figuring out the set up and hoping when it handled right, it STAYED ok as track conditions changed??

I could hear the CC or somebody repeating the question to Denny since Denny could not hear it TWICE from D.J. ...goodness.

Anonymous said...

I don;t mind the concept. It could have been executed better, but you can help technical difficulties. Good show so far.

Anonymous said...

the exciting first few laps are being called well by the booth and the director.

Newracefan said...

Just to the first commercial and start and park has already begun. I wonder if Nascar is considering shortening the field. The guys seem to be on there game so far

Newracefan said...

How many pit reporters are there, I haven't heard Mike's Massaro's voice thru the top 10 but getting some good info from Jamie and Vince

Newracefan said...

There's Mike where were you, not heard from until 11th?

stricklinfan82 said...

No Aaron's on the 99 car this week Vince Welch, sorry. Nice change of pace to see an on-air mention of a sponsor, but I'm sure Best Western wishes they could have got that mention since they're actually paying the money to have their logos on that car, LOL.

newracefan,

If you think the start-and-park is bad this week just wait until next week with the long, expensive trip to Mexico and most of the Cup guys that aren't Nationwide regulars presumably taking the week off.

Anonymous said...

It has to do with his pit box assignments. maybe none of his assignments are in the top 10.

GS

Anonymous said...

A tire was rolling down the backstretch. how did that get there? I think that is worth mentioning.

GS

Newracefan said...

Why in the world did Nascar open pit lane with the crashed car (missing tire) still trying to get to the garage and on pit lane. That was a mess with the 2 tire stops and slow wrecked car I don't think the pit reporters or camer crew know what to show/say.

SophiaZ123 said...

Did they ever say where the tire came from?
Time warner cut with a commercial EARLY and cut Marty off mid sentence as they were going to break...sigh

SophiaZ123 said...

never mind...i didn't realize the wrecked car was going on three tires. Thanks NRF.

Newracefan said...

tire fell off 37 he's the car that hit wall and caused caution.

Anonymous said...

Thank You Newracefan

GS

SophiaZ123 said...

I wish they had the pointy things so I knew where to look on that blimp wreck replay...:-)

stricklinfan82 said...

Let's hope that after Kyle's win last week we've finally seen the end of the numerous full-screen green flag airings of the "Kyle Busch bad luck in the Nationwide Series video" :)

Newracefan said...

Pointy thing wouldn't have helped here. Couldn't really see Clint's car except maybe the very front until a second before he hit Jamie. I rewound cause I missed it too but realized I didn't miss it wasn't on the screen

Anonymous said...

Great directing on that last few laps.

Anonymous said...

Say, can we have a few more extended commercial interuptions!!
Let's get that brat with the tooth pick in his mouth racing a go-kart a few more times.
That's a insurance company add too!!

kyle said...

Is DJ even in the booth? Wow talk about quiet. Mixed about Mr. Reid.... Wish they would have tossed AB up there. He did a outstanding job last year in the few he called.

stricklinfan82 said...

WOW. ESPN is still on top of their game with the Monday Night NASCAR Now. Promising us an extensive conversation on the drug testing issue and having Terry Labonte on the show to talk about it. Fantastic job.

I just got back home so I haven't watched any of Speed's Friday coverage yet, but can anyone fill me in, did the Fox guys mention the drug topic today? I noticed they didn't last night and if they didn't again today I certainly hope Fox is planning on talking about that during tomorrow's Cup race telecast.

Newracefan said...

Maybe Marty's afraid if he keeps too quite AB will take over so DJ can't get a word in edgewise

Anonymous said...

The drugs issue is an ESPN the magazine story. I think they own rights to it and anything Arron Fike said.

AMS fan said...

Storm here in the ATL. Just lost satellite. I'm very impressed with the quality of question asking this year.(so far)

stricklinfan82 said...

I still LOVE ESPN's scoring crawl. That is incredible that the positions and intervals can be that accurate up to the millisecond. Kevin Lepage restarted 3rd and fell back drastically right away, and those position changes were updated instantly as they happened.

Fox, are you watching this? Figure out what they have and copy it! Please!

Newracefan said...

caution, prob 88 he's backing up

Newracefan said...

Wow those camping world cars are dumping everyone tonight

Anonymous said...

It could be a scoring difference on the part on NASCAR between the nationwide and cup events. They use a different system in each event.

Also the ESPN ticker is unofficial. Therefor can be inaccurate. the FOX ticker is supposed to be more accurate as it is only updated ever lap.

Newracefan said...

Stirck I wonder if there are copywright/patten what ever it would be called issues with getting ESPN's technology

Anonymous said...

"They use a different system in each event."

I meant they "might".

Newracefan said...

WHY do they think we can tell what is happening during a passing situation from the incar camera???? The other shot was so much better and fun and then they go and ruin it

Anonymous said...

the FOX ticker is also supposed to be based of the positions you might see on the pylon at the track.

Newracefan said...

Three car battle for the lead and they HAVE to go to commercial. WHAT

Anonymous said...

I like the incar camera. You can see the rate of closure from the drivers view in the following car. Only when they are completely Side-by-side do I think they should use a wide angle.

stricklinfan82 said...

I know they've been following the great battle for the lead, and justifiably so, but Keselowski has been FLYING through the field since the restart so when things settle down a bit I hope they document that story.

SophiaZ123 said...

Ok, I stuck a tape in but missed about 50 some laps with a phone call from an old friend!

Stricklanfan I can't remember what was said on SPEED but MIKE JOY did mention his faux paux on Travis K car being a FORD..that he, Mike, called it a Chevrolet yesterday.

Mike said "I was reading on the internet I said Travis was driving a Chevrolet..as you can see he drives a Ford." And then said something like he needed to stop reading the internet or something...funny...but I did want to tell you that stricklFan.

:-) You commented yesterday on the blog his error, lol.

I commented on the other blog today about the incident.

stricklinfan82 said...

Halfway through and so far a very good race on the track and a very good broadcast by ESPN.

I'm afraid though the great competition for the lead will end now that Kyle Busch is back on the same pit schedule as the rest of the field but hopefully the broadcast quality will keep up even if the on-track action for the lead starts to slow down as I predict it will.

This is the TV network that shows all the cars cross the finish line as I recall so hopefully that won't change tonight either :)

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

Soph,

Thanks for the info on Mike Joy today, I haven't gotten a chance to watch the Cup practices yet. I don't know if he specifically mentioned this site or me as being the person that pointed that out to him but if he did that's pretty cool :)

And if Mike Joy is reading this I hope he understands that I was joking around and laughing about it (and even made sure to mention I know he didn't mean it and I know it was an honest mistake, just a funny one to make). If he took that the wrong way I hope he knows now that I wasn't being critical and I still think he's the best in the business :)

SophiaZ123 said...

why are there so many commercials on this break??

Anonymous said...

it could be your cable co inserting more. I did not notice it.

Newracefan said...

Short race same number of commercials, better now than at end of race

SophiaZ123 said...

He did not mention this site by NAME...just said the "internet" but I KNEW he was talking about this site.

He is such a nice guy and class act and doesn't take himself too seriously..his voice is just one of those comfortable tv voices I always enjoy hearing, too.

Another commercial break...what is the deal? all of a sudden a major cluster of commercials..has it been like this all night while I was on the phone???

Goodness. and I am sorry, Marty Reid does not do it for me. I wish I enjoyed him on the Indy races but we have yet to see an established team of announcers from year to year with the Indy cars but I digress.

T.C. said...

I'm really disappointed that they (ESPN) don't have the 47 car getting spun on pit road on video. They showed it going to commercial, then didn't say anymore about it until like 20 mins later. I feel like they miss alot...

Newracefan said...

I think Marty is doing well tonight. And cudos to ESPN finding some passing somewhere even if it's 20 something. Jamie Mac was right it is really hard to pass anywhere except right up front

AMS fan said...

I guess primetime in Phoenix is the reason for all the commercial breaks

stricklinfan82 said...

Shocker! The ESPN obsession with Carl Edwards's mother continues......

Some things just won't change. He's not the only driver with a mother, father, wife, or girlfriend in the pit area ya know, LOL.

SophiaZ123 said...

Ok...long green flag and suddenly, a debris caution.

They showed the debris..what is it....?

SophiaZ123 said...

ok...what are they 25 laps to go? wonder how many we will miss with this break.

GOODNESS.

Newracefan said...

I'll give ESPN a pass on Carl's mother they are really loving that camera angle that shows the 18 and 60 crew chiefs. I think it's PK their obsessed with

stricklinfan82 said...

Who'da thunk it huh? Restart with 17 laps to go and 2 lapped cars restarting in front of the leaders and there's a crash right away.

Oh, I know who, me and probably everyone reading this blog.

It's a shame that whoever made the call to go "Full Throttle" on that restart couldn't see the same thing coming.

Terrible terrible terrible decision there ESPN.

SophiaZ123 said...

who is PK?

I am tired...

SophiaZ123 said...

&^%$#!!^@%!^#% ANOTHER COMMERCIAL??

WHat the heck's the deal??

stricklinfan82 said...

SophiaZ123 said...
who is PK?

I am tired...

April 11, 2008 11:53 PM


Carl's Nationwide crew chief.

Anonymous said...

the #60 crew chief.

GS

Anonymous said...

its under caution!! why do you care if there is a commercial...this means more camercial free post race.

Newracefan said...

PK=Carl's crew chief. See there he is again. They should have thought out that zoom shot, nothing like a closeup of Carl's mom's butt.

SophiaZ123 said...

Thanks StrickF!!

ALmost time for my soap on SOAPNET darn it....two minutes.

:-) This race should've been over by now tho I know it's scheduled until half past the hour.

SophiaZ123 said...

ZZZzzzzzz

Anonymous said...

good race coverage all day.

Newracefan said...

ESPN great camera shot of the finish. FOX DID YOU SEE THAT

SophiaZ123 said...

GREAT SHOT OF THE FINISH LINE!!

The way things ought to be for ALL NASCAR races.

FOX needs to take notes. GREAT JOB ESPN on camera work.

THANK YOU!

SophiaZ123 said...

Guess he's getting his group hug, I thought he was kidding.

That's kinda cute.

:-)

stricklinfan82 said...

Thank you ESPN for another FANTASTIC finish line camera shot.

Hey Fox stick-and-ball production truck members, HOW DIFFICULT WOULD IT BE FOR YOU TO DO THE SAME THING??????? Every position matters in NASCAR and thankfully the professionals in the ESPN production truck understand that!

SophiaZ123 said...

That's funny flubbing up the make of car, LOL!

I don't like this guy but he can be funny.

Anonymous said...

"Hey Fox stick-and-ball production truck members"

I think that is uncalled for. While the director may do some NFL games at the most, He and most of the rest of the crew have been doing NASCAR races since 2001. That is experience in NASCAR and not just stick-and-ball sports.

SophiaZ123 said...

Anon

I don't want to butt in or seem like I am ganging up on you but let's be honest..>FOX has gypped us of the finish line all season but for what, one or two races? They know how to do it but CHOOSE NOT TO.

ESPN we griped last year and they listened?

We appreciate it.

Most all are flummoxed as to WHY the FOX DIRECTOR continues to do things HIS WAY...that's all.

ESPN did a GREAT CAMERA SHOT at the FINISH LINE. Fox deserves the gripe.

simple as that.
:-)

stricklinfan82 said...

Well I know I'm about to hurt my own one-man crusade to get ESPN to put Allen Bestwick in the booth on Dr. Punch's off weekends but I always give credit where credit is due......

Marty Reid did a much better job in the booth today and didn't seem out of place at all. For the record I still think Allen would have been better, but Marty definitely redeemed himself after a questionable Nashville outing.

Vince Welch also did a much better job on pit road today and with the victory lane interview.

I don't know if these IRL broadcasters actually took the time to read this NASCAR blog after Nashville but if they did and used that as motivation to have a much better broadcast today I admire them greatly for it. It certainly didn't seem to be a coincidence that they were much better this time around.

As usual another very good broadcast by ESPN. No major complaints on my part other than missing the craziness on the lap 184 restart by going "Full Throttle" and using speed shots and in-car camera shots that missed all the chaos going on.

stricklinfan82 said...

I think that is uncalled for. While the director may do some NFL games at the most, He and most of the rest of the crew have been doing NASCAR races since 2001. That is experience in NASCAR and not just stick-and-ball sports.

If you'd like to read my comments in JD's blog entry on the Fox finish line issues please follow the link that follows and perhaps you will better understand my analogy to the Fox production truck using the "stick-and-ball" mentality of there being 1 winner and 42 losers on the final laps of these races:

http://dalyplanet.blogspot.com/2008/04/finish-line-problems-plague-nascar-on.html

SophiaZ123 said...

Rats, I go out of the room to clean up hair balls from cat (sorry) and come back and they are mid stream with a list of drivers banned for drugs.

KUDOS for ESPN taking this on and I look forward to the Monday show. As they said, FIKE was caught by police...NOT NASCAR. DJ even said the policy isn't that good.

Anonymous said...

SophiaZ123, Thanks for your response. I think it is good the everyone can express their opinions and the reasons why. On some points I agree with you.

I just feel that the Anons sometimes get ignored here or just skipped over due to the anon title. It is great the everyone can now have an open ended discussion.

Great post race BTW. many interviews, now I see why they put all those commercials during caution flags.

Newracefan said...

It will be interesting to see how Fox handles this Fyke/Drug testing issue tomorrow. With the exception of a few articles I found on Jayski it seems only ESPN is running with this ball. I'm not sure how I feel about the media coverage of it but I do think Nascar needs to do random testing.

Anonymous said...

I think the media coverage is the way it is because this has been an ESPN story all along. I don't know how much information ESPN has released to the rest of the media.

Newracefan said...

OK I have a racetrack and no audio did someone pull a plug or what

stricklinfan82 said...

FANTASTIC decision to discuss the NASCAR drug policy (or lack thereof) during the post-race show.

That's exactly what is needed in this sport, having people like Andy Petree and Dale Jarrett saying point-blank on national TV that NASCAR's current drug policy is not good enough and needs to be changed. It was also fantastic of them to show the graphic of how many drivers have been suspended under this policy, and for Marty Reid to point out that it wasn't NASCAR that "busted" Aaron Fike, it was the police. That was a fantastic point that was even overlooked by me. Hell, Fike might still be on the track today racing "under the influence" if that alert cop hadn't have caught him on that fateful day.

I definitely can't wait for Monday Night's NASCAR Now.

Alright Fox, the challenge has been issued. Let's see how you respond during tomorrow's Cup broadcast. Especially considering the fact that Fike's former owner will be sitting next to Chris Myers and DW in the Hollywood Hotel, I certainly expect this issue to receive major attention tomorrow and not be "swept under the rug".

Newracefan said...

catch everyone tomorrow I'm out of here it's way past my bedtime here on the east coast

Anonymous said...

Newracefan, no one pulled a plug. It just looked like ESPN master control in Bristol took the race feed a few seconds early. A you could see the broadcast continued normally once AB got the cue to begin.

stricklinfan82 said...

JD,

Can you add some clarification on the anonymous posters' comments of the Fike story being an "ESPN exclusive story"?

Since Fike's comments are there for the world to see in ESPN The Magazine and on ESPN.com am I correct to assume that Fox has the right to comment on them on their airwaves if they wish to do so?

SophiaZ123 said...

That was a great point Marty brought up about Fike.

But that was my gripe about NASCAR's drug policy...that it took a police bust in an amusement park parking lot for Fike to get busted. It took place in our area and got lots of play on local media.

I will be out tomorrow night but will tape the race but no room for pre race stuff.

should be interesting to read here tomorrow night and get the scoop here.

:)

I wonder if JD is ever going to open a message board?

Anonymous said...

stricklinfan82, Again the has been and will continue to be a ESPN story. we don't know how much leeway and information ESPN has given other media outlets to cover this story. I'm sure JD can clarify this some more.

kang said...

Great job Espn. Time Interval up all race.The lead lap cars on screen at the finish. I think they had all restarts to. Except for the "drama" they attempted to create with 25 to go. I.E. Carls mom And Buschs c.c. It was about as good as one could hope for.

Anonymous said...

stricklinfan82 said...
" Alright Fox, the challenge has been issued. Let's see how you respond during tomorrow's Cup broadcast. Especially considering the fact that Fike's former owner will be sitting next to Chris Myers and DW in the Hollywood Hotel, I certainly expect this issue to receive major attention tomorrow and not be "swept under the rug".

April 12, 2008 12:29 AM

Well, on Trackside when they discussed it, Hammond did not even open his mouth 1 inch during the talk...only DW gave his thoughts.I thoght it was very lame for SPEED/FOX not to direct a question to Fike's former truck owner, who was sitting 2 chairs away!!!!!

Daly Planet Editor said...

The Aaron Fike story was developed and reported by ESPN writer Ryan McGee for ESPN the Magazine.

The NASCAR Now crew was not involved and seemed to be informed only when the magazine was ready for publication.

McGee was the former Managing Editor at NASCAR Images last season and dealt with The Daly Planet on a wide variety of issues.

The story is a bombshell, and most of the mainstream NASCAR Media are still figuring out how to deal with it. This includes both SPEED and Fox.

RaceDay and the Hollywood Hotel pre-race show should be fascinating to see as Jeff Hammond is in total denial about the situation and has said nothing in the media.

JD

Lou from NY said...

Yes, this should be interesting and very telling. I also wait to see how Jeff H handles this or comments on this. Was he an involved owner or only by name.

Lou from NY said...

Was he an involved owner or only by name.

Meant that as a question

Newracefan said...

I'm not sure how hands on Jeff Hammond is with the team, he does not talk much about the team at any time. I just watched Trackside this am and thought it was interesting that DW said he knows there were alot of people tested. I also agree it should be an outside agency, some people can be on prescribed medication which they use properly that come up in a drug test. An outside agency will only report to Nascar the drugs that pop up that are illegal or unsafe or unprescribed or prescribed but being used inapprorpiately

Anonymous said...

I think he sold his part of the team after this happened. At the time he was very involved in the day to day operations of the team. He also did not have a problem talking the tean up, while on the air.

Lou from NY said...

nercefn,
I agree, but I still fell he has to let us know honestly what he knew. And if he did not, then work needs to be done on drug policies in the sport. I wished this would not open a can of worms, but if it has to for the sake of safety then it must be

red said...

newracefan 9:23 AM -- didn't catch DW's comment on trackside about him knowing that "alot of people" having been tested but . . . my understanding is that somewhere around 40-45 tests have been done across all racing series in the past two years. that figure doesn't even cover the cup series in one race in one year. did he give any more info? i'm asking b/c part of the whole story are these vague sort of statements being made to support the testing policy. but when i dig into them, they tend to fall apart and not have substance.

for example, nascar says it tests a driver when there's a "reasonable" assumption that there's a problem. ok, i get that. and i like tony stewart, kevin harvick and kasey kahne a whole lot! but, when tony was pushing a photog around and generally struggling with anger, how was that not a reasonable moment? when harvick got into it on pit road with biffle? when kahne was wrecking every car he sat in his first year? and yet, tony, harvick and kahne all say they have never been tested. ever. in their entire careers. nascar says it knows what to look for and i say that's crap. a dedicated addict can hide a whole lotta of behaviors! and nascar's record hasn't been stellar in uncovering abuse: 4 of the last 7 suspensions came about b/c of police response, not nascar. fike's case alone -- addiction to painkillers BEFORE the heroin -- gives lie to their ability to "see" it happening!

bottom line: various nascar folks seem to have vested interests in making this story just go away quietly, up to and including mike helton. fans and drivers, fortunately, are not among that group and i hope they keep nascar on track about this.

Anonymous said...

I thought ESPN did a great job last night! There's something about Phoenix and the camera angles at the corners, that make it an excellent place to watch a race of TV (if you can't be there, of course). Excellent, excellent finish line shot! Bravo ESPN!!! Kudos to Vince for not skipping a beat when he got drenched by the 18 team! Overall, a great broadcast!

PS - What was up with the stands being so empty???!!!! I was shocked at lack of attendance! Phoenix is a great place to see a race and I thought they would probably sell out....

Anonymous said...

Red,

You are not insinuating that Stewart, Harvick and Kahne may have been under the influence, are you? I think it was just an example, but just want to verify before anyone gets bent out of shape!

All 3 of them were very outspoken on this issue and their comments were very supportive of more testing. I would bet the house (Harvick's huge one even) that their biggest vice may be one beer too many every now and again on non-race days (such as when one might get their back waxed or watch in pure enjoyment at the pain!).

Just wanted to clarify. However, point well taken that there is no definition of reasonable assumption to prompt testing. A very subjective assessment that should be revised. Dario said he was tested last year mid-season in IRL at a standard random test. Nothing wrong with knowing everyone will be tested at least once a year randomly.

red said...

anon 10:30 -- thanks for making me clarify that one! i most certainly do not believe those 3 drivers have ever abused drugs as racers. however, those 3 were the first 3 drivers to state they have never been tested. so, given that information, i was attempting to make the connection between their sometimes "suspect" behavior & the lack of testing.

if nascar doesn't have specific guidelines and a random, constant testing process, then we arrive at a place where we are currently. what constitutes suspicious behavior? i could argue -- although i don't think it's the case! -- that anger, aggression and failure to have good car control should be reasons to test. nascar apparently disagrees.

arguments about cost and individuals rights all cloud the issue. if nascar finds the courage to step up and make the changes needed, the money will be found to cover the cost. as for individual rights? courts have held that, as long as it's random & is applied across "the company", there is no violation. in fact, one could argue that nascar's current policy violates individual rights!

thanks again, anon, for keeping me honest!

SophiaZ123 said...

I like both Harvick and Stewart, a couple of hotheads but the fact that in TEN YEARS neither has been tested bothers me and obviously, bothers them.

DW's comment he knows many that have been tested did not fly with me, either.

Should be interesting if NASCAR continues to put out canned PR responses to this, especially since it took police actions to bring many drivers issues to light.

I also agree finding out Fike had a LONG TIME pain killer addiction is most disturbing. Right under the noses of all in the garage and somehow flew under the radar of reasonable suspicion of ANYBODY?