Thursday, April 17, 2008

In-Progress In Mexico City: Nationwide Series Practice And "NASCAR Now"

The Nationwide Series is alone in Mexico City this weekend. The practice coverage is on Friday, qualifying is on Saturday and the race is on Sunday.

ESPN2 opens the coverage with practice at 4PM Eastern Time for two hours. Jerry Punch will team with Rusty Wallace and Ray Evernham for the coverage. Reporting from the garage for practice will be Vince Welch, Dave Burns and Mike Massaro.

The dynamics of road racing and the wide variety of drivers should make for an interesting practice session. Road course "ringers" will mix with Hispanic drivers and the Nationwide regulars.

Following the practice session, there will be a thirty minute version of NASCAR Now at 6PM. The program should focus on the upcoming race, and will hopefully continue the nice blend of mixing the studio anchors with contributions from the on-site ESPN announcers and reporters.

This page will serve to host your comments about the practice session and NASCAR Now. To add your opinion, simply click on the COMMENTS button below and follow the directions. The rules for posting are on the right side of the main page. Thanks again for taking the time to stop by.


Anonymous said...

Why is tennis on ESPN2? My program guide says orignal programming, 1st and 10, should be on.

Tennis always seems to run long. Interesting to see what happens.

stricklinfan82 said...
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stricklinfan82 said...

It's definitely nice of ESPN to provide us practice coverage today and qualifying coverage tomorrow after providing us nothing but the Nationwide races themselves the last few weeks.

I do wonder if ESPN's graphical display of the qualifying format for tomorrow was correct though. I don't argue against the 'European style' format by any means, I'm sure that hasn't changed.

But I have a hard time believing that the go-or-go-homers wouldn't be grouped together like they are on an oval track, especially considering that the conditions would be even more equal for them than ever before since 5 or 6 go-or-go-homers would be on the track at the exact same time.

Then again NASCAR was stupid before in not grouping the go-or-go-homers together in Daytona 500 qualifying when equal conditions would have been even more critical since there were only 3 spots available on speed that day. So I guess it wouldn't surprise me if ESPN was correct and it is NASCAR yet again being stupid and not providing the most equal possible conditions for the go-or-go-homers.

Anonymous said...

I gotta say that ESPN has improved their practice coverage alot from last season. I can only imagine what it will be like when they have the regular crew there

stricklinfan82 said...

Very funny line by Dr. Punch about the Port-o-John getting hit in the #0 car's second crash. I'm glad ESPN didn't put up the graphic showing him being a "driving school instructor" after his second crash like they did during his nearly indentical incident earlier in the session. I had to chuckle when I saw that the first time, LOL.

Overall it was an okay practice session. I thought the combination in the booth and the pit reporters were fine. My only issue with the booth guys today was that I would like to see them stop talking for a second and interrupt their conversations when someone has an incident on the race track. Multiple times Rusty and Ray had long-winded conversations and never broke stride even when the cameras switched focus to a car running through the grass or stalled on the track.

Also, ESPN still spends way too much time with pre-taped video packages and fancy graphic explanations of things like "grille tape" for my liking during these practice sessions. Just show what's going on on the race track, please. I hate seeing these things any time, but it is especially more curious to use such 'NASCAR for newbies' things during practice or qualifying, when a more die-hard and less casual NASCAR fan audience is watching.

Among ESPN's biggest flaws in 2007 was ignoring the on-track action during practice and qualifying. Since ESPN's has done hardly any qualifying or practice shows so far this year it's hard to judge whether that aspect of their coverage has significantly changed for the better. So far after watching this practice session I still think they can make improvements on their on-track focus. Better than last year yes, but there's still room for improvement from my perspective.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

I'm glad they showed the practice session. But my gosh how much time did they waste showing someone sitting in a car in the garage and missing countless laps on the track by the other guys. That's there biggest problem in my opinion. If there are cars on the track I want to see them! Not Landon Cassell talking to that other dude. Show me the action please.

Newracefan said...

I was also glad to see they showed practice and ESPN did a decent job. They mentioned that several cars spinning, for example Reut spun 3 times we ony saw one, why was that? Rusty and Ray did well, did anyone one catch Ray giving Rusty a hard time about his temper back in the day and Rusty not "mentioning any names". He was talking about Jeff Gordon who's crew chief was Ray right?

Anonymous said...

The race has yet to start and I've already been forced to hit the mute button.Are their no quality announcers available?