Saturday, April 5, 2008

In-Progress At Texas: Nationwide Series Race On ESPN2


ESPN2 returns to the Nationwide Series trail with coverage of the race from the Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday.

Allen Bestwick hosts the NASCAR Countdown show beginning at 2:30PM Eastern Time for thirty minutes. He will be joined in the Infield Pit Center by Dale Jarrett and Brad Daugherty. ESPN's Rusty Wallace has the weekend off from his TV duties.

Jarrett will then move-up into the broadcast booth and join Dr. Jerry Punch and Andy Petree for coverage of the race at 3PM. Jarrett has brought a new stability to this coverage, and both Petree and Punch have responded with a new found enthusiasm.

Reporting from pit road will be Shannon Spake, Jamie Little, Dave Burns and Mike Massaro. This high-speed and fast-paced event will be a big challenge for this team that mixes experience with enthusiasm. Often, the results are also mixed.

The Nationwide Series event will feature sixteen current Sprint Cup Series drivers and this should be the theme of the event. If any of the Nationwide "regulars" can step-up and run with the Cup guys it will go a long way toward raising both the profile of the series and the professional stock of the driver.

This page will serve to host your comments about the NASCAR Countdown pre-race show and the ESPN2 coverage of the event. To add your comment, 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.

This is a moderated forum and we greatly appreciate everyone taking the time to stop by The Daly Planet and contribute.

64 comments:

Anonymous said...

Right now, ESPN2 is showing a "new" version of Dale Jr Shifting Gears, compiling parts of the past three episodes into one hour.

I was trying to figure out what what wrong from the very beginning. They have added a narrator to fuse the parts together. And he is terrible! His voice is that "extra peppy extra cheery" voice that doesn't fit with this show. And the words/script is not much better. Also extra cheerful and peppy. If anybody remembers the narrator from NBS 24/7 that's what it sounds like. That voice worked for that show but not this one.

I'm probably not describing it well, but the other presentation was much better. It was a fairly somewhat serious show because Jr was going through a lot when moving to Hendrick and now they're trying to make it into something else.

It was so much better without this narration. I hope it's not a part of the final two episodes airing in July.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 1:58PM,

The production team tried to composite the first two programs into this final third episode before the long break in the series.

Part four does not return until the week before the Brickyard 400 in late summer.

While much of the original footage of Junior himself is compelling, the attempt to put the parts of the previous shows together and create almost a "recap" show fell a bit short of that goals.

I had a chance to talk with some members of the TV team, and they are gearing-up to finish off this unique and original project in a very positive way.

Hindsight being 20/20, I think they might have made some different choices in the episode you mentioned.

JD

Anonymous said...

The audio was a bit messed up on the Harvick interview. You could hear the tell tale signs of interference by a GSM mobile phone, a rapid beeping.

Daly Planet Editor said...

I wondered what that was, thanks for the info.

Newracefan said...

It was interesting that Jeff Burton did not know that Clint was leading the drivers points for the NW series.

Anonymous said...

Wow.

It took SEVEN MINUTES into the Countdown show before a Nationwide only driver was shown on camera, interviewed or mentioned. (Scott Wimmer in that RCR clip). Seven minutes with no NW-only driver in a NW race countdown show.

I'm sorry but that's ridiculous. Or sad, I don't know which one is worse.

Short term they might be helping this series by pretending this is a Cup race, but long term it isn't going to help.

To say something positive: Brad's joke about the Kansas mascot was pretty funny though.

stricklinfan82 said...

Shannon Spake to Jeff Burton: "Richard Childress Racing is leading the points in both series."

Jeff Burton's response: "we're not leading the Nationwide Series."

Oops.

You'd think especially with qualifying being rained out and the Kevin Harvick Inc. #33 starting on the pole because they're leading the owner's championship that a mistake like that wouldn't happen.

Maybe she meant that an RCR driver is leading the driver's points in each division but her statement that RCR is leading the points in Nationwide Series is not correct because KHI is.

Anonymous said...

She did mean RCR was leading the driver's points, since that was mentioned in the interview with Bowyer moments before.

Bill H said...

I noticed something before on Speed and thought it was just them but Espn just did it on their countdown. When they show clips or montages of previous races, they used the MRN announcers instead of their own, in this case Espn when they just showed the hilites for the "wide" drivers from the race last at Memphis.

Are these past race hilites/montages produced outside of Espn / Speed?

Or is it bacuse the MRN announcers sound better?

BillWebz

stricklinfan82 said...

She did mean RCR was leading the driver's points, since that was mentioned in the interview with Bowyer moments before.

I'm sure she did but again when you're covering a sport that has a major differentiation between the driver's champion and the team owner's champion you have to be very careful with the terminology you use.

Clint Bowyer is leading the Nationwide Series points.

Kevin Harvick Inc.'s #33 is also leading the Nationwide points.

It's not accurate to say "Kevin Harvick, the driver, is leading the Nationwide Series" or "Richard Childress Racing, the team, is leading the Nationwide Series."

Just like last year, Carl Edwards was the driver's champion but it's not accurate at all to praise Jack Roush Racing for being the championship team, because RCR's #29 team got the big check, the big trophy, and sat at the head table at the award's banquet because Richard Childress Racing was the championship winning team in the Busch Series last year.

In a case like today when you mis-speak like that, it's going to create awkward TV like the Jeff Burton interview today. I still don't think Shannon understood Jeff's point and still tried to correct him when in fact Jeff knew exactly what he was talking about.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Bill,

Both SPEED and ESPN have broadened their use of the radio announcers calling the action on the track this season.

Often times, while the TV announcers are focused on the TV reality of dealing with three voices in the booth, the radio guys are focused and clear because they are solo on the turns.

This practice has been great, and we applaud both ESPN and SPEED for continuing this practice.

JD

Anonymous said...

"It took SEVEN MINUTES into the Countdown show before a Nationwide only driver was shown on camera, interviewed or mentioned. (Scott Wimmer in that RCR clip). Seven minutes with no NW-only driver in a NW race countdown show."

LOL - they've gotten really bad now. Usually they throw Keselowski into the intro as the token Nationwide guy. They didn't do that or show any pictures of the regulars walking along pit road mixed in with the Sprint Cup guys pictures like they usually do. They went directly to Cup guy interviews and stayed there.

Oh well, didn't Allen say fans were out to see the stars today? LOL again.

stricklinfan82 said...

I personally have no problem with opening the broadcast talking about the Cup drivers. To be fair, with the current state of the Nationwide Series, Cup drivers are THE story of this series every week.

Cup drivers have all of the top spots in the points. Cup drivers win all of the races, and usually take all of the top 5/10 finishing positions in every "companion race". And with the qualifying rainout the entire front of the field is all Cup drivers too.

And the one non-Cup driver that did win last week's stand-alone event isn't even in the field today so it would be kind of silly to open the broadcast interviewing him.

I sympathize with the non-Cup drivers in the series and wish that aspect would change, but every story of the starting lineup, the point standings, and the previous race winners in the field are ALL Cup drivers. It would seem strange to me if they opened the broadcast talking to Mike Wallace or Bobby Hamilton Jr., who are starting in the middle of the field, won't win the championship, and probably can't even finish in the top 10 today.

Exposure for those guys is a good thing, but they shouldn't open the broadcast, in my opinion.

PammH said...

Very touching story about the Regan family brothers.

stricklinfan82 said...

Great piece on David Ragan's brother. Though I suspected something like that at Nashville last year after the victory lane scene where Carl Edwards gave his guitar trophy to him, it was nice to hear the entire story and it was a fantastic and very touching piece.

Good job with that piece ESPN. They continue to do an excellent job with their "feature videos" like they did with the similar Allison and Kulwicki videos last year.

Truck Series Fan! said...

And we get to see Carl Edwards Mom once again. And I was really disappointed in the pre-race show they a full time NW driver wasn't interviewed earlier in the program. Since Kelly Bires stated that he only got on the track once this weekend but the interviewer should have done some quick counting and figured out how many times the cup drivers have been on the track!

Anonymous said...

Bliss is 5th in the points.
Keselowski is 6th.
Bires is 8th.
M. Wallace is 9th.
Leffler is 10th.
Hamilton Jr. is 12th.

You're telling me that none of these drivers deserved to be mentioned or shown in the first 15 minutes of a show devoted to the series they drive in? Other than a glimpse of Wimmer several minutes in and a shot of Brad Coleman waving to the crowd, it was 15 full minutes in before they got to any NW -only drivers.

I will never be convinced that's the right approach to take. It's a really bad approach, actually.

stricklinfan82 said...

Boy let's hope the "Ask the In-Race Reporter a question from home" is like Nashville where they only do that before the race.

ESPN should not under any circumstances use caution flags to ask Bobby those questions (or any questions at all to be honest). Caution flags need to be used to use up the commercial inventory to preserve more green flag racing later in the broadcast.

Save the viewer questions for ESPNEWS, NASCAR Now, or the pre-race shows. I think that would be a nice element to add to those programs. However, like I said, viewer questions have no place while the race is going on.

stricklinfan82 said...

Anonymous said...
Bliss is 5th in the points.
Keselowski is 6th.
Bires is 8th.
M. Wallace is 9th.
Leffler is 10th.
Hamilton Jr. is 12th.

You're telling me that none of these drivers deserved to be mentioned or shown in the first 15 minutes of a show devoted to the series they drive in? Other than a glimpse of Wimmer several minutes in and a shot of Brad Coleman waving to the crowd, it was 15 full minutes in before they got to any NW -only drivers.

I will never be convinced that's the right approach to take. It's a really bad approach, actually.

April 5, 2008 3:14 PM


That's a fair point and I respect your opinion, even though I happen to disagree.

I personally don't see any of these drivers winning the championship and I would be surprised if any of them even finish in the top 10 today, and if they do it wil probably be 9th or 10th at best. I hope I'm wrong though, I'd love to see a young driver stun them today, but sadly I think that's wishful thinking on my part.

stricklinfan82 said...

It sure doesn't get much more disgusting than that in my opinion. I can't imagine throwing ANYTHING onto the race track and risking the lives of these drivers running 200 mph out there.

Especially after yesterday's crash that's really uncalled for and I hope the track officials find the idiot that did that and make sure they spend signifcant time in jail.

Much like when stick-and-ball cameras turn away from idiots that run out on the field, I'm not sure sure if the NASCAR TV people there would have been off not showing that incident.

You definitely don't want to give anyone else encouragement by showing them that the precedent that NASCAR will throw a caution if you throw something out there, so next time your driver needs a yellow throw something and you'll get your wish.

Daly Planet Editor said...

I am sure that some fan is now getting a good view of the parking area as he/she is walked to their car before leaving the area permanently.

Long way to go only to get tossed on the first lap.

JD

Anonymous said...

I always have a fear one of those honorary starters gets a bit too excited waving the green flag and drops it.

stricklinfan82 said...

Back to the Cup vs. Nationwide argument, sadly of the 17 Cup drivers in the field 14 of them are in the top 15. The only exceptions are Kasey Kahne (who started last in a backup car with no laps of practice) and the "open-wheel guys" Hornish and Franchitti that don't have much stock car experience.

Again, I hate that the Nationwide Series has come to this but you can't deny that the Cup drivers are the biggest stories of this series week in and week out. The Nationwide-only guys shouldn't be ignored by any means but you can't make them one of the top stories of the broadcast every week when their on-track performance doesn't earn that, in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

I like the camera work from Harvick's garage.

Daly Planet Editor said...

First bad decision of the day, Wimmer interviewed on-camera while cars are at speed and under green.

Nice break with a debris caution, this interview does not make a lot of sense mid-race under green.

JD

TexasRaceLady said...

You beat me to it, JD.

*steps on soapbox*
You DO NOT do an interview in the studio with live racing going on!

*gets down*

spring rubber said...

Did they seriously just go to the Pit Studio under green for a Scott Wimmer interview?

No, ESPN, don't do this! Stay on the track under green!

Anonymous said...

I wonder how long they were stringing out Wimmer in the studio waiting for a caution before finally pulling the trigger.

AMS fan said...

I just get so p****d when an interview is more important than racin'. Not yesterday, not today, and not tommorrow. If anything a split screen should be used. They cut that restart close.

Anonymous said...

Nice follow-up on Tony's tire issue. It would have been nice if they had in-car audio of Tony griping about Goodyear, and then coming back with that.

Anonymous said...

Why do you need to show interviews at all? Just carry the audio. Its just a bunch of talking heads. They can provide valuable information, but its something you don't need to see visually.

AMS fan said...

Much better interview 2nd time around

red said...

a non-media race question: i don't recall seeing before a lugnut/tire moment like the one tony had. i know crews are extremely careful to sweep those errant lugnuts away as soon as possible. first time i can recall seeing a lugnut so completely carve a track into a tire. amazed he even drove for even a lap with that having happened! very odd.

Anonymous said...

All in all a good broadcast, knock on wood. Far from perfect, but good none the less. We will see how the flub up the finish.

Anonymous said...

stricklinfan82 said...
Again, I hate that the Nationwide Series has come to this but you can't deny that the Cup drivers are the biggest stories of this series week in and week out.

Agreed. But you wonder how big a story they can really be when Nationwide ratings are down 13 percent on ESPN so far this season (9 percent down for the race on ABC.) It may be that people figure they can go out and do something else on Saturday (perhaps recording the race, perhaps not) since the same drivers will be in the race on Sunday.

red said...

uhhh, 20 laps left & we've chosen to show the "kyle busch misfortune" highlight reel? i am perplexed by that decision . . .

Daly Planet Editor said...

I had to step out for a moment, did ESPN ever ask Labonte any viewer questions in the race under caution?

red said...

anon 5:06 & stricklinfan82: so here's my question about cup drivers competing in n'wide: what would happen if cup drivers were excluded from running n'wide unless they own the car they're driving? seems to me that ratings couldn't (necessarily) get worse & you might just get folks making an effort to watch the race b/c "their cup driver" won't be visible until sunday.
that being said: it would help if the coverage focused more on the fates of the n'wide guys. there's a bunch of good stories there and you can only build interest in the series by telling those stories. i agree that the cup guys are leading the series but they aren't -- in my opinion -- even supposed to be there! cup drivers get PLENTY of coverage on sunday! let's give the n'wide guys a shot at the spotlight.
maybe if someone did an in-depth piece about the struggles of the n'wide teams competing vs the cup teams, something could change. for example, are all teams using n'wide pit teams? or are there cup pit teams working n'wide duty?

Anonymous said...

I don't recall a viewer question, just booth ones. Not enough cautions, i guess.

Daly Planet Editor said...

The scheduled off time of this telecast is 6PM Eastern.

Anonymous said...

I hope Fox was watching how ESPN showed the finish.

red said...

nice job on showing the finish: top 15 cars, ticker reflecting the finish -- sweet. and how nice to go talk to the winning crew chief right away.
good work, espn!

Seiko said...

ABSOLUTELY PERFECT way to show the ending.

Should have run the driver pictures for every car, but the lead lap cars was good enough, then run a full running order banner.

I wish they would do this for every race.

I missed most of the race so cant comment on how it went, but the end was great!

spring rubber said...

That was a beautiful new finishing rundown graphic for when the cars cross the line. It's much better with five cars displayed instead of three, and the layout in general was nice as well.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Hey gang,

I am getting a lot of email about an ESPN promo for the Nationwide Series that supposedly features Joey Logano?

Isn't he racing in the ARCA Series this season? Did any of you see this promo? I am going to go back and scan through the race once ESPN2 signs-off.

JD

Anonymous said...

red said...
anon 5:06 & stricklinfan82: so here's my question about cup drivers competing in n'wide: what would happen if cup drivers were excluded from running n'wide unless they own the car they're driving? seems to me that ratings couldn't (necessarily) get worse & you might just get folks making an effort to watch the race b/c "their cup driver" won't be visible until sunday.
That sounds like a good idea to me. Or limiting Cup drivers to 10 races per season, which I think one of the Cup drivers suggested.

The problem is even if it didn't hurt the TV ratings the tracks wouldn't go for it b/c they feel the only reason they get people in the stands for Busch races and can pay the purses is b/c of the Cup drivers. And they have a point: the people who benefit from the Cup drivers being in the races are the fans attending the race. They either get to see them twice or can see them at a reasonable price if they can't get or afford Cup tickets.

But the ratings are going down (just like they did in 2007 -it's been a steady progression down from there) so they can't say the Cup drivers are packing in the viewers.

Anonymous said...

I've seen the Logano promo, but I dont recall it as an ESPN one. I think it was by NASAR. ESPN wasn't mentioned or displayed on the screen.

spring rubber said...

I haven't seen the Logano ads, JD, but than again I haven't been watching the commercials today.

red said...

jd: though logano was going to run n'wide once he turns 18 . . .

Anonymous said...

JD, the Logano promos were mentioned by me and someone else in the Martinsville race on FOX thread last week. They had been airing on ESPN since the season began, but last week was the first time I saw them also on SPEED or FOX.

He is not racing ARCA. He is waiting to race until his Nationwide debut in two months because he doesn't have any good equipment to race in those other series.

Here are the comments (mine first, another anon second):
__________________________
Anonymous said...
Did anybody else notice the Joey Logano commericial has been on SPEED and on FOX, incuding today? I had always thought it was an ESPN commericial for the Nationwide Series, but it's a NASCAR created commercial for the Nationwide series, saying you might have missed Logano's triumphs before but you can be there to see his triumphs when he goes to the NW series.

That's pretty big for NASCAR to make an ad about a driver who's never driven a lap in the three big series. Even Chrissy Wallace didn't ge that!

Interesting motto on the ad "Fan Up". Wonder if that is a Nationwide motto or a NASCAR one.

March 30, 2008 1:57 PM
_______________________________
Anonymous said...
I noticed Logano's commercial. I think it's weird. Sets a bad precedent. Drivers are not draft picks. Too much pressure from NASCAR to put on that kid, unless he really is Tiger Woods in a racecar (or the new Jeff Gordon) like some people say he is.

If he is, sponsors must not be too impressed; IIRC JGR is having trouble finding a fulltime sponsor for him.

Looking around a second ago, there's a Motorsports Authentics merchandise site that has a clock counting down to Logano's first race. 62 days, 2 hours and 20 minutes from now.

You can buy Digger shirts at that site too LOL.

March 30, 2008 2:25 PM

Anonymous said...

Great way to show the finish.Another top notch job with the time interval. As bad as Espn was last year,they are now aces.Only hope QVC eh.....Fox can take notes.

Anonymous said...

The race is now being shown tape delayed on ESPN Deportes.

red said...

anon 5:24 -- you're right, there's no easy solution. tracks and fans will both be . . . irritated, i suppose. but if n'wide is intended to be a "feeder series", then it has to be run as such.
and to bring this full circle to a media discussion -- if tv would cover the n'wide teams instead of the cup teams on saturdays, fans might just come to like the n'wide drivers and appreciate that level of racing as well.
as you note: doesn't seem as if the cup guys are making THAT much of a difference in attendance on saturdays, now does it? and as a race fan, you can bet i'd go see n'wide guys on saturday & then return to see cup guys on sunday -- IF i could afford to do so, both in terms of $$$ and time.

in the meantime, it seems that the real feeder series are the levels below n'wide.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Thanks for the Logano update, now it "kind of" makes sense.

Nice finish line coverage by ESPN, the upper logos revealing the finishers as they crossed the line was nice.

Doesn't ESPN's triple split coverage on pit stops blow Fox away with that bad 4-box? I thought they did a killer job this race on pit road.

JD

spring rubber said...

Is it me or are they not using sound effects for the lower thirds used during interviews much like NN stopped using that "wobbling" sound effect for when the sidebar graphic animates in.

AMS fan said...

Overall a good broadcast. They get an "A" from me. It reminded me that ESPN does know how to do it. They did it on occasion last year. We couldn't say enough good about the "Busch" race(s).
Then Sunday would come and I would wonder if an untrained or unskilled set of production people took over. The two days broadcast were night and day.
Excellent race finish.
Post race interviews went well also. I don't recall any question asked that could have been answered "Well Duh". Much-improved phrasing of the questions.
Enjoyable afternoon.

Anonymous said...

The ESPN Deportes guys are pretty good. I can only pick up a word here and there, but the race sounds exciting.

Daly Planet Editor said...

spring,

I think you are right. It sounds like they bagged that effect...another good decision.

JD

SophiaZ123 said...

LESS SOUND EFFECTS and graphics, the better. I am still grateful NN dropped that crazy 'space ship landing/warbly noise' when they displayed graphics next to interviewees.

Speaking of graphics, Now we have SPEED promoting DIGGER T shirts, though sadly...sign. I wondered if that wasn't the rolled up t shirt on the track!!??

Less is more ESPN and also, YES, YES thank you for the FINISH LINE CAMERA!!

If ONLY FOX CARED!!!!!!!!!!!!

stricklinfan82 said...

Sorry for the delayed comments again, I can't always watch every lap of these races live.....

I loved the coverage of the finish of the race. It was nice to see all of the battles to the line. I still think the vertical drop-down of finishing results as they trip the line would be better. The current horizontal graphic shows a delayed 1-5 then really quickly they're gone, then 6-10 and they're gone, etc. The vertical would keep all the finishers on the screen the whole time AND update the results in real-time the second the cars cross the finish line.

The finish was good but there were two major flaws:

- Interviewing Scott Wimmer in the pit studio AND putting his face on the entire screen UNDER GREEN. Mercifully a caution came out and stopped this nonesense or Lord knows how long that full-screen interview would have lasted. The "studio guests" should be limited to the pre-race show. If they absolutely positively must be used under green, WE DON'T NEED THEIR FACE ON THE ENTIRE SCREEN TO HEAR THEM.

- With under 20 laps to go we do not need full-screen video packages of any sort, especially the same Kyle Busch bad-luck hype video we've seen over and over and over again.

Also, ESPN has the perfect scoring crawl technology but I would like them to adopt Fox's green flag pit stop method of always keeping the leader on the race track in another box on the screen. Had they done that today we would have seen the incident where McMurray was coming into the pits and alertly darted back on the track because of the caution.

Maybe Fox and ESPN can get together and merge ESPN's scoring crawl and Fox's green flag pit stop "leader box" so we can see both features on both networks.

stricklinfan82 said...

red said...
anon 5:06 & stricklinfan82: so here's my question about cup drivers competing in n'wide: what would happen if cup drivers were excluded from running n'wide unless they own the car they're driving? seems to me that ratings couldn't (necessarily) get worse & you might just get folks making an effort to watch the race b/c "their cup driver" won't be visible until sunday.
that being said: it would help if the coverage focused more on the fates of the n'wide guys. there's a bunch of good stories there and you can only build interest in the series by telling those stories. i agree that the cup guys are leading the series but they aren't -- in my opinion -- even supposed to be there! cup drivers get PLENTY of coverage on sunday! let's give the n'wide guys a shot at the spotlight.
maybe if someone did an in-depth piece about the struggles of the n'wide teams competing vs the cup teams, something could change. for example, are all teams using n'wide pit teams? or are there cup pit teams working n'wide duty?

April 5, 2008 5:15 PM


red,

My solution the Nationwide problem would be to go back to the way things used to be and only have a limited number of these races as "companion races". That way stand-alone Nationwide teams could win races and championships and attract enough sponsorship money to at least be respectable compared to the Cup teams.

Cup drivers winning races has been nothing new. The first 12 Busch races at Daytona were all won by Cup drivers (and Dale Earnhardt won that race 5 years in a row). Guys like Harry Gant, Mark Martin, Darrell Waltrip, and Geoff Bodine used to win almost every Busch race at Cup tracks like Michigan, Darlington, and Rockingham.

But the difference was the Busch-only teams would still win several races once they branched off and raced at tracks like Nazareth, Hickory, Myrtle Beach, and Milwaukee. And occasionally guys like Rob Moroso, Jeff Green, and Jason Keller were able to beat the Cup guys at the companion races. And it was always the Busch-only teams and drivers that won the championships.

Nowadays with almost every race being a companion races and Cup drivers and teams running the entire schedules, they win all but about 1-2 races a year, and take all of the top spots in the championship.

With the current "mini-Cup" schedule, teams like BACE Motorsports, PPC Racing, James Finch, Brewco, and Rensi Motorsports lost "their piece of pie" that they used to get from being the champions every year and winning multiple races when the Cup guys weren't in town. Now with Cup teams winning every race, filling up the top 10 spots in the points and in each week's race... there's little interest in companies sponsoring a Nationwide-only team that runs 15th every week behind 14 Cup guys and never wins a race or shows up in the top 10 in points.

That's one man's opinion anyway.

red said...

hey stricklinfan82! i guess for me the biggest issue that would need to be addressed by nascar is "what is the role of the busch series?" the answer to that question will drive the economics that concern the track owners, the viability of small, 1-car teams who only compete in busch, the ability of drivers to progress thru the various regional series and end up with a ride in busch/cup and probably 1000 other concerns.
the fuzziness of the purpose of busch -- aside from providing more racing -- is what's making it impossible to figure out how to present the series to the tv viewer. if it's "just another race" and is heavily populated by cup drivers, then focusing on whoever's at the top of the points for busch makes sense. but if it's intended to feed talent into cup, then changes must be made.
i like the idea of more busch stand-alone races: spreads the racing across more (generally smaller) venues and give busch teams the opportunity to prove themselves. not clear, tho', if the economics of such a plan are viable in this day and age. plus, quite a few of those smaller tracks have simply disappeared and it doesn't seem likely that busch stand-alone races could fill the mammoth tracks that cup racing requires.

ah well. if it were up to me? i'd split the 2 series completely, focus some media and $$ on the busch teams and revitalize the smaller, regional tracks to handle the racing. of course, i still go to my local dirt rack as much as i can so what do i know?

Anonymous said...

Great finish. I counted 28 cars in view until they cut away. Yes, on the Wimmer interview. He isn't exactly an exciting personality, with no disrepect to him. But never on green flag run even if it's a favorite driver of mine. I hit the fast forward through the whole thing. It seems I may be the only poster with some criticism of the announcing. Andy is doing great. DJ needs some practice...too many words, too fast. I'm sure he will improve. Dr. Punch is such a nice man, but just doesn't add anything and I think he is trying to infuse some excitement (since he was criticized last year) but it doesn't sound real. The ESPN crew sound like announcers. The Fox crew sounds like 3 guys watching a race and we are listening in...IMO.

Diane

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry, maybe it was the pomegranate martini after my 13 hour work day, but I think ESPN is trying to give me a stroke. The constant chit chat that has nothing to do with the battle on the track I found very irritating. The fact that they showed car about to battle for position and then dropped the ball about the out come. Again irritating. The fact that cars were out of the race by lap 12 with no news as to why. Yep you got it irritating. Then the ESPN goes for the kill with the Wimmer interview. Yes Nashville was a great race, yes there are more cup drivers in the race today vs 2 weeks ago, so MAYBE that means more people are watching today. BUT that is no excuse to use the last 20 laps to do this interview. To add insult to injury you could see cars racing in the background!!!!! (before the caution). Then just to make sure they finished you off we get the "Rowdy" recap. Couldn't that have waited for the checkered flag. I am sorry if I had been off work today I would have listened to this race on Sirius. I want to hear about the action ALL over the track. If ESPN tries this when they take over the cup race I will watch the race on my lap top, or listen to radio. I will not support their ratings this year with this kind of crap. They have improved in so many areas why not this?
Sorry to vent, that just burnt my toast.
Kendria