Saturday, April 19, 2008

In-Progress In Mexico City: Nationwide Series on ESPN


Coverage of the weekend's NASCAR activity switches over to ESPN for the Nationwide Series race from Mexico City on Sunday afternoon.

Allen Bestwick and the NASCAR Countdown pre-race show will be on-the-air at 1:30PM Eastern Time to lead into the race coverage. Since this is a special event, we will see if Bestwick has guests in the studio.

Jerry Punch is anchoring the race telecast, and this time is joined by ESPN rookie Ray Evernham and current ESPN Infield analyst Rusty Wallace. Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree are off this week. Since this is a new combination in the broadcast booth, it should be interesting to see how things work during the race. This trio has worked a practice session on Friday and also qualifying on Saturday with no problems.

On pit road will be Vince Welch, Mike Massaro and Dave Burns. Since this is a road course, there will be different kinds of stories to tell and strategies to explain. The race will be a mix of Nationwide regulars, road course "ringers," and Hispanic drivers. Working pit road will be just a bit more of a challenge during this telecast.

This page will serve to host your comments about the race coverage. To add your opinion, just click on the COMMENTS button below and follow the directions. The rules for posting are on the right side of the main page. Thank you for taking the time to stop by The Daly Planet.

67 comments:

Anonymous said...

ESPN2 is replaying the Japan IRL/IndyCar race right now (began 11 AM Eastern) for anyone who didn't see it on Classic.

A new episode of NASCAR Confidential - the second episode, the first episode was on a month ago - premieres tonight on SPEED at 8 PM Eastern. Too bad that once again an episode premieres in an off week, meaning there was little to no promotion of it over the weekend like there would be if SPEED had its normal NASCAR coverage. It's almost like SPEED is *trying* to bury this show (like they did with The Humpy Show).

kang said...

If you folks think Foxs end of race coverage is bad, wait until you see the end of last nights IRL race. Fox has a off weekend, their guys must have went to Japan to freelance.

Anonymous said...

I find it ironic that on the same day (technically!) Danica Patrick wins on an ESPN channel, Ray Evernham is in the broadcast booth for a race for ESPN. I say that because it was Danica placing fourth in the Indy 500 in 2005 and the resultant hoopla which made NASCAR sponsors much more interested in and receptive to supporting a female driver. Erin Crocker and Ray Evernham were the direct beneficiaries later that year (Remember "Is she NASCAR's Danica?") by landing a huge sponsor funding rides in Busch and ARCA, and then a full time ride in Trucks the next season.

Now that Crocker and Evernham have completely blown the opportunity she once had, I hope that Chrissy Wallace and possibly ARCA's Gabi DiCarlo become the beneficiaries of the inevitable look this week at "Why are there no women in NASCAR and what is going to be done about it?" - which is going to happen simply because Danica is going to be everywhere. (Danica said on Sportscenter that instead of celebrating in Tokyo she was getting on a plane to come back to the US and do appearances - I'm sure she'll be on the news shows, David Letterman, and everywhere else tomorrow and Tuesday.)

I hope the ripple effect helps Chrissy get steady sponsorship, as it did with Erin in 2005. Because Ray and Erin are just going to have to watch from the sidelines (or the broadcast booth) now.

Anonymous said...

If you folks think Foxs end of race coverage is bad, wait until you see the end of last nights IRL race. Fox has a off weekend, their guys must have went to Japan to freelance.

What are you talking about? Last nights post race coverage on ESPN Classic was terriffic?

Newracefan said...

I watched the replay of the race in Japan and the end was everything we screamed about. Just showed the winner then off to Mom and the crew then back to Danica. Never showed anyone else cross the line. Was this just for the replay or did it go that way with the original airing? I guess Fox isn't the only one who can mess up the end. WOW I bet the regular Indycar fans were not happy

Kenn Fong said...

At the beginning of today’s racecast, I noticed a countdown clock in the lower left corner. I wish Fox would employ one too.

Ray Evernham called female drivers “girls." I wouldn’t have noticed it if it were someone else.

Kenny
Alameda, California

stricklinfan82 said...

It certainly looks like there is no Pit Studio today.

While I still think Allen Bestwick is the best thing ESPN has going, I do prefer the simpler broadcasts without the pit studio element - for at least ESPN and Fox anyway.

In TNT's case it was the man in the Pit Studio - Larry Mac - that completely carried their broadcasts, so in that one instance I do prefer the pit studio if the alternative would be no Larry Mac at all. But otherwise for Fox and ESPN I do prefer the simpler broadcasts.

Newracefan said...

As a female I don't have a problem with "girls" because we call them "guys" if we called the males men THEN I would have a big problem

Kenn Fong said...

NRF,

When I saw the Motegi race last night, all they showed was Danica and her family and crew.

Since I'm not a big IRL fan, I didn’t object at all. That was the big story, and had they followed Daly Planet readers’s preferences, I would not have been pleased.

To all those fans who called Danica "The Anna Kournikova of racing,” you”ll have to find someone else to mock. (Rhetorical comment, not for DP readers.)
Kenny
Alameda, California

Anonymous said...

This sorta has to do with todays broadcast. But Jamie Little is not at the event because she was taking part in the Toyota Celebrity race in Long Beach, and will pit report in todays Champ Car Event. Well I just read that she won the race and held off a hard charging Mike Skinner. Congrats to Jamie.

Anonymous said...

Ray Evernham called female drivers “girls." I wouldn’t have noticed it if it were someone else.

Kenny
Alameda, California

April 20, 2008 1:41 PM

I noticed that and it sounded a little odd to me (I'm female). There are certain times when it's OK to call women "girls" and more formal times when it's not. I don't see any articles out there right now (and there are almost 1,000 on GoogleNews) referring to Danica as "First Girl to Win Major Auto Race".

I thought it was funny that Rusty said he thought Danica was the best female driver he'd ever seen - Rusty raced with her at 24 Hours of Daytona - with Ray sitting right next to him as he said it.

Regarding the IRL race finish:For this particular race and its significance, the finish shot was entirely proper. Not only was Danica the first woman to win, her family - parents and husband- travel with Danica everywhere and have been waiting to see this victory for 49 previous races. In light of that, I thought the IRL race directors made a great decision on focusing on Danica (who was almost six seconds ahead) and then her mother.

Marty Reid's call of the finish was very nice, too. It's been played on TV and also quoted in articles many times today.

Anonymous said...

"WOW I bet the regular Indycar fans were not happy"

You are wrong. i watched the race with some regular Indycar fans. they didnt see these problems you screamed about, they were just shocked at the winner.

SophiaZ123 said...

I totally agree the Danica win was history making but really they could have shown a few more cars. There was SUCH a scramble at the end with leaders coming in for gasoline.

Danica appeared to just suddenly hit the front and finally got her win.

However, on the ESPN Replay, the show was cut off MID SENTENCE for live women's tennis. SHEESH. FOlks did not get to see Danica with the trophy as big as she is and the little Dinky trophies the boys got. It was pretty funny.

A great night for IRL and I hope this helps their ratings. Sorry things happen that way but it's how it goes.

I am watching Mexico now and then the IRL from Long beach.

I loved how Danica felt like a wuss crying, LOL.

Anonymous said...

Having Bestwick not be there for the Countdown show is strange, but the pre-race show has been good.

That's great news for Jamie Little, winning the Champ Carceleb race.

Dr Punch said earlier Danica Patrick would be in Long Beach this afternoon. She'll probably join them in the booth for a while, I'd bet.

Anonymous said...

"However, on the ESPN Replay, the show was cut off MID SENTENCE for live women's tennis."

You are wrong. the show was cut after an interview. The post race show was too long to fit in before LIVE tennis. You have to remember, ESPN did not originally need to re-air the race today. they were going to re-air it yesterday, but the race was delayed. Because of that ESPN had to fit the ENTIRE race in the only spot they had. So they did, but had to time it so at least the driver interview was completed before LIVE tennis.

Anonymous said...

To all those fans who called Danica "The Anna Kournikova of racing,” you”ll have to find someone else to mock.

The comments of those fans were perfectly justified. She's been in the league three full seasons without a win, and openly said she was using her looks to gain endorsements and attention; she said there wasn't anything wrong with it. She also said people were too hard on Kournikova and it didn't matter if she won a lot of tournaments because she was pretty. Danica will find out today that winning means a lot more to a lot more people than she thought. (Sports marketers were saying late last year that Danica's marketing value was finally starting to go down because she hadn't won.) So she's lucky she won and won early in the season. People will be all over her and Helio come Indy 500 time.

Vicky said...

I cringed when Ray said "girls" today.

Newracefan said...

Was it the word girls or the man who used it?

Anonymous said...

This page will serve to host your comments about the race coverage. To add your opinion, just click on the COMMENTS button below and follow the directions. The rules for posting are on the right side of the main page

Anonymous said...

Who cares about the scramble at the end of the IRL race? This win was historic. Get some perspective.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Who cares about the scramble at the end of the IRL race? This win was historic. Get some perspective.

April 20, 2008 2:39 PM

Thank You, I agree.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:35: We are discussing the ESPN race coverage. Jerry Punch and Co brought up Danica Patrick, showed footage and discussed her about four minutes into the Mexico City Nationwide race coverage. Obviously they thought it was part of their coverage since they talked about it before mostly anything else, so it's valid here.

I would have cringed if ANY of the announcers referenced 'girls' in a dicussion about a newly crowned race winner who just made history. Having it be Evernham made it more awkward.

Anon 2:27 said:
"People will be all over her and Helio come Indy 500 time."

NASCAR has got to be a tiny bit concerned about the possiblity you mentioned. For the past few years, the Coca-Coca 600 has stomped the Indy 500 in the TV ratings. Even though they air at different times in the day, NASCAR wants to win that ratings race. I think they'll still win it, but with Danica AND Helio having gotten so famous plus unification, the Indy 500 might gain on the Coca-Cola 600 some this year.

stricklinfan82 said...

Marcos Ambrose just gave up a top 5 spot to pit on lap 7. Based on the ESPN pit window that certainly seems unscheduled. I sure hope they notice this situation and update us.

stricklinfan82 said...

Thanks a lot for the update ESPN. I didn't even know Ambrose started in the rear. Now it certainly makes sense why a top 5 qualifier would be pitting so soon.

Perhaps ESPN will consider adopting a Fox-type graphic that tells us who has to fall to the rear during the pace laps from here on out.

Anonymous said...

Add my name to the list of people who cringed when Ray went to speak about female drivers. This is one reason he has no business being in the booth.wopjw

Newracefan said...

oops went black in mid word then commercials. Hopefully it's a temporary problem

Anonymous said...

oh dear big problem.

Anonymous said...

Jerry says there is a Power Outage at the track. Whaa a mess.

Mike said...

ESPN must've been the only one affected. MRN didn't ever go off the air.

stricklinfan82 said...

This was definitely a very frustrating moment as a fan but if this was an issue with the track losing power there was certainly nothing ESPN could do about it.

I think they did the best they could considering the circumstances. They used up a ton of commercial time to preserve green flag racing later and did their best to update us on what we missed.

Newracefan said...

They are back but quite a few pit stops missed aothough this could have been a whole lot worse. Do the ESPN trucks have their own generators (as a back up) or do they always use the tracks electric

Anonymous said...

I saw this earlier but just got back to my computer.

In relation to conserving fuel, did Tim Brewer actually say "the guy who gets around the last corner out in front and gets to the start finsih line is gonna win this race"????????
Man oh man oh man. Thank you professor obvious

Anonymous said...

SPEEDtv.com says Danica will be interviewed on Wind Tunnel tonight.

Anonymous said...

NASCAR should never go back to Mexico after this mess. Those people don't know how to put on a race.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Hey all,

Thought that pit reporter recap was outstanding. Vince Welch even did a good job on a series he does not see too often.

JD

Vicky said...

Wow 2 red flags already today. I think the tv crew is ok, however the pit reporters are doing a terrific job giving us info from the crew chiefs.

Newracefan said...

Pit reporters are doing a great job, Doc's off a little bit (Brad Pruett?). Aside from the "girls" issue Ray hasn't been too bad and I'm not minding Rusty which is unusual for me. Now the race on the other hand :( 2 red flags and it's just past half way oh my

Newracefan said...

That was :(

Daly Planet Editor said...

The good doctor is working very hard to get Rusty and Ray to get excited and talkative.

Ray is much lower key than he is on the other ESPN shows.

Anyone care to guess where Tim Brewer and the Infield Tech Center is?

JD

Newracefan said...

JD can you say Bristol CN

Anonymous said...

I think taking such a long break from calling races with vacation,etc. has had an effect on Jerry Punch. I didn't watch qualifying, but I watched practice and he was mangling names and stumbling over words quite a bit, much like he is doing today in race and the preshow. Just doesn't seem quite up to speed yet.

Anonymous said...

I don't like having commentators who have drivers in the race.

Anonymous said...

Ray is much lower key than he is on the other ESPN shows.
He comes across much better on NASCAR Now than today. Perhaps(I'm being very serious, not trying to trash him) he's preoccupied about "what could have been" per Danica Patrick, especially if Erin is in Mexico City with him, which is quite likely. Both of them know and Erin has said the first female to win a IRL, F1, or NASCAR race would be a cash cow, so to speak, for their teams and for themselves. If Erin had continued on path and won before Danica, her fame and sponsor money might have helped keep the team as Evernham Motorsports, not Gillette-Evernham with Ray as minority owner. If you recall, he was initially looking for a partner (like MWaltrip and Childress have) where Evernham would still maintain control and the race team name of EMS. Not the situation he ended up with, for a number of reasons (including a divorce settlement).

stricklinfan82 said...

Great call by the ESPN truck to hold off on that commercial when it became evident Boris Said was about to do something to Marcos Ambrose as the field drove by.

Daly Planet Editor said...

OK guys, enough of Erin for this post. Back to the race.

One of my friends calls this racing taxicabs on golf cart paths. Nowhere to pass and nothing to do but get mad and spin someone out.

Could be a long last twenty laps.

JD

Anonymous said...

The last laps are starting to heat up, good stuff.

My guess is Ray being quieter than usual may be because Carpentier has a chance to win this race! He's probably in crew chief mode right now. So I have to agree with the above poster about commentators with cars in the race. Having Rusty in there is bad, but Steven Wallace is rarely in contention. Evernham's Nationwide car usually runs well most races so it would be interesting to see how he reacts with a win, or if Carpentier gets spun.

Alex said...

Jerry Punch has no inflection in his voice at all. If there's anyone painful to listen to, it's him.

Anonymous said...

Ohh!!!. Boris just said "bullsh*t"

stricklinfan82 said...

One of my friends calls this racing taxicabs on golf cart paths. Nowhere to pass and nothing to do but get mad and spin someone out.

Could be a long last twenty laps.


JD,

Yes I agree this race has been a mess. I think NASCAR just stopped throwing yellows because they don't want another baseball-NASCAR conflict at 8:00 :)

This sure makes me wonder, if the point of this race is to expand NASCAR's international popularity... is this type of racing accomplishing this goal?

I sure wouldn't call up a friend and tell him to "watch this race and you'll get hooked on NASCAR".

Perhaps one of the many ovals in Mexico Ray Evernham spoke of during the pre-race show would be a better location for the next Mexico NASCAR race.

Still a pretty good broadcast regardless of the style of racing and the conditions out there though.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Rusty is certainly trying his best, but the difference between this trio and having DJ and Andy Petree along for the ride is huge.

Jerry just cannot get those guys excited and energetic.

JD

Newracefan said...

WOW Boris is pretty mad, to bad they didn't get the beginning of that conversation with Ambrose's crew chief. The thing is Boris saying "it's going to cost you a car" on TV gets you in trouble when you dump him later.

Newracefan said...

Perhaps Rusty and Ray are trying not to let their bias for their teams show and it's putting a crimp in everything. We prob could get away with 1 of the 3 but not 2

stricklinfan82 said...

Interesting that there is apparently no video of that lead change. It's one thing to miss it live but to have no cameras watching the leader, even on a road course, is definitely a rare occurence. I have to assume they would have shown a replay of it if one exists.

Anonymous said...

Why is Punch talking about Ambrose like he's the winner? It's like they don't want to focus on Kyle.

Newracefan said...

Ambrose is the driver of this race they have been talking about him all day. It's usually Carl or Kyle. I don't know if it's ESPN who decides this is the guy to talk up or Doc just does it. It happens just about every race.

Anonymous said...

what was scott pruett talking about not having any fenders off the car did he forget he had one flapping in the air for 10 laps

Newracefan said...

It was still connected, not by much but still connected

Kenn Fong said...

With his painted helmet, Kyle Busch looks just like a luchadoré. Fitting for Mexico City.

Kenny
Alameda, California

stricklinfan82 said...

Terrible last lap camera work. I don't quite understand why the 6th place finisher on back matter any less on a road course than they do on an oval.

I don't care how long it takes to show the pack finish, to me seeing live racing to the line for positions is far more important TV than watching Kyle Busch coast around with his hand out the window.

If I wanted to see only a graphical display of who finishes where I'd watch the timing and scoring on the Internet. If I wanted to only hear the announcers call the finishing order as they trip the line I'd listen to the radio broadcast.

I choose to watch the TV broadcast because I want to SEE the cars as they cross the finish line to determine those finishing positions. Apparently I wasted 4 1/2 hours of my time choosing TV as my source for the race coverage today. Thanks for not giving me a return on my investment ESPN.

Vicky said...

I'm happy that ESPN is listening to us viewers and showing most of the top 10 finishers crossing the start/finish line. Finally!

Anonymous said...

It wasn't a FENDER off Pruitt's car guy's it was the rear bumper cover. Somebody tell Punch that their ISN'T a longest line,that he repeatly referred to,their is only ONE line in Mexico.The cars that got penalized only had to go to the end of the lead cars.He really isn't very bright!

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

anon at 6:08 PM,
that is un called for

Kenn Fong said...

Did anyone hear a mention on the racecast today about some teams scrambling for spotters? SceneDaily ran a story today saying that teams were recruiting just about anyone who spoke English with some racing know-how.

J.D., do the TV crews have similar problems finding casual workers in situ?

It was also interesting to hear about the crew members and drivers who caught Montezuma's Revenge. With so much on the line, it's interesting that they weren't more cautious.

Indy/Champ Car note: Jack Arute is reporting in Long Beach, so it appears as if he and the ESPN crew had a long flight last night.

Kenny
Alameda, California

Kenn Fong said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Come on. There was no reason to show anybody but Busch/Ambrose/Pruett/Edwars/Carpentier at the finish. The rest didn't matter...

Anonymous said...

just a word about the "never-seen" lead change for those checking back late.

On the back side of the Autodromos Hermanos, you have places where only 1 camera can see the action. That was the case on Sunday on the part of the track just before the esses. ESPN chose at that time to focus on Clint Bowyer. Unfortunately, when the cars appeared in the esses on the next camera shot, the pass had happened. Unfortunate luck.
I'll bet if they would have stayed with the lead battle, which had calmed down for a lap, your bloggers would have complained that ESPN was just following the leaders.