Friday, May 9, 2008

In-Progress At Darlington: "NASCAR Countdown" And Nationwide Series On ESPN2


Allen Bestwick will kick-off the Nationwide Series action on ESPN2 at 7PM Eastern Time with NASCAR Countdown. The pre-race show will be thirty minutes, and Bestwick will be joined on the set by Rusty Wallace and Brad Daugherty.

Wallace will then head upstairs to the broadcast booth where he will be alongside of Dr. Jerry Punch and Andy Petree to call the racing action beginning at 7:30PM. Dale Jarrett is off this week.

Down on pit road will be the usual ESPN2 reporters. Veteran Mike Massaro, Dave Burns, Jamie Little and Shannon Spake will be covering the very loud pit road during the event.

This should be some interesting action tonight, and an opportunity to see Wallace work with Punch and Petree once again. Last time Wallace was in the booth, he had Marty Reid as the play-by-play announcer. Tim Brewer will be in the Tech Center, and Matt Kenseth will be the ESPN in-race reporter.

This post will serve to host your comments about NASCAR Countdown and the Nationwide Series race on ESPN2. To add your opinion, just click 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 join us tonight for the pre-race show and the race.

76 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but I love ESPN's coverage over FOX's. FOX is all about loving themselves, showing their Emmy's and their crew inside the production trucks. ESPN just shows interviews and racing.

Anonymous said...

Ever since AB went from pit road to studio ESPN has changed for the better. M Massaro has matured on pit road and is solid on Monday nights. J Little has also improved. Rusty going to studio made the whole broadcast better.

Your comment about Fox being about themselves is interesting. In 2001 it was accepted cause Fox reinvented the wheel, so to speak, in NASCAR broadcasting but now everybody has the same wheel. ESPN has been reinventing sports broadcasting since for quite some time and finally realized they had reinvent NASCAR TV and that is the reason, in my opinion, that ESPN can possibly overtake FOX this year.

Anonymous said...

No, I still like FOX better, but ESPN is much improved.

Daly Planet Editor said...

What a surprise turn of events with Edwards. ESPN did a good job.

After Hamlin's accident, this is going to be a wide-open race.

JD

Anonymous said...

Lots of ESPN love tonight

SusanB said...

It is definitely going to be a long night if everybody keeps wrecking. Good interview with Edwards.

Anonymous said...

so is keselowski now in hot water...after wrecking a car he was specifically told to bring back safe...

Anonymous said...

I love that ticker to break that they use

Anonymous said...

ok, is the "fans booing kyle" video, really have to be replayed over and over?

Nascar said...

track seems empty

Anonymous said...

What is the point of them playing Kyle Busch's driver introduction, not once, but twice? Heaven forbid anybody make Jr. Nation mad - it's happened before and it will happen again.

Nascar said...

totally agree about kyle. He probably gets that at every track anyways.

SusanB said...

Is it me or have they spent about 5 minutes just following Kyle Busch? Worries me if there is not much passing on the track that the broadcast is not going to be to good.

Newracefan said...

I also agree about he KB thing we all know it is going to happen I really didn't need to see it the first time let alone twice

Newracefan said...

There is passing Reut has gone from 17th to 11th. Leffler is 7th and started further back too bad we haven't seen much of the passing that is happening cause we need to see Kyle get booed

SusanB said...

I just wish they would show the passing on the track instead of just following one car going around the track. They only seem to be showing the cup regulars instead of the NW guys with the pit stops.

Nascar said...

I don't mind not seeing all the passing so much. I mean they did start in the back and I bet the car will flat line after so many passes. Doubt any of the big passers so far will finish in the top 10.

Daly Planet Editor said...

That Kyle Busch thing was weird, especially since this is the N'wide race and ESPN is not involved in the Cup tilt.

Nice touch by Mike Joy to promo ESPN2 and this race at the end of Cup qualifying. They even used the network logo on a promo page.

JD

Nascar said...

They just did Bires pit. I bet the nns only guys are staying out longer.

Newracefan said...

Is anyone else having a problem with Doc calling it the concrete when referring to the wall. I don't remember if he always has said it or if I am just more aware because it's Darlington and he will be saying it alot

Daly Planet Editor said...

Punch has a lot more energy and Rusty is having a good race. The time away from the booth has been good for him. He is on top of it.

JD

Nascar said...

I agree so far so good and some really good replays.

Anonymous said...

Why in the world was pit road open if the clean up crew was partially bocking the exit. That was odd. Glad the cars all stopped!

Anonymous said...

Was the light red? Surprised they weren't able to get to the bottom of that to see when it turned from red to green.

SusanB said...

Glad to see that there was some good camera footage with Kyle's accident to see what happened.

Anonymous said...

I wasn't paying attention. Who was the lapped car Kyle was trying to pass?

Anonymous said...

nice analysis from Greg Biffle and the pit studio

red said...

anon 9:05 -- i believe it was the #88 car. i wonder if anything busch ever does is his error? wallace called it "a classic mistake" but then again, he may be less than objective about busch.

Nascar said...

I like it. Especially since he can compare the current track to the old track.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Very nice touch to have Biffle.

SusanB said...

Really enjoyed Biffle in the studio.

Nascar said...

I think it has really been good coverage so far. Let's keep our fingers crossed.

red said...

"the biff" did a great job. he seems to get better every time i see him. may be the next generation of driver/analyst in the booth?

red said...

an aside: i thought i heard busch say something about his brakes right after his wreck, as he headed to garage. can anyone confirm or correct? thanks

bevo said...

newracefan=

I agree about the concrete remark, kind of difficult to have the safer barrier and concrete at the same time.

Wish ESPN had the new Fox ticker style, difficult to see this one clearly.

SusanB said...

Wow, that was a hard hit for Kenseth. A lot of the Sprint guys are having problems tonite.

Newracefan said...

I wonder if Trackside will start on time if NW race runs over. Guess I'd better set my DVR

SusanB said...

red, I thought Busch said something about his brakes too, but I did not catch everything he had said.

bevo said...

JD-

Any chance you could get the ratings info for tonight's race vs. NHL and NBA playoffs?

Daly Planet Editor said...

bevo,

I will try when they come out. I have generally avoided ratings becuase they are an endless saga that so few folks understand.

JD

red said...

susanb, thanks. it was brief, to be sure, but i was pretty sure he said "brakes." just wondering if anyone will followup on that or if the "lap down idiot racing a leader" will stand?
again, it's not the wreck, it's the statements afterward. props to jamie who had busch post-wreck quote coverage for not letting him toss his threats out & then walk away.

Mike said...

Didn't the ESPN guys see the ambulance across from the track from where Kenseth got out of his car? He was waiting for the cars to go by so he could cross the track. They were trying to create tension when there was none.

Nascar said...

I thought he seemed pretty pissed in the car though.

Nascar said...

Tony 1st Martin 2nd. This is going to be GREAT racing!

SusanB said...

red, jamie did do a great job of interviewing Busch. I agree with you about his "statements." I don't think anything will ever be his fault. Oh well. Wow, another hard hit for regan. The end of this race should be interesting.

Nascar said...

Tony killed it on the last restart. I wonder if he can do it again.

Newracefan said...

When I saw Jamie stop Kyle from walking away to ask another question I was worried but she asked a great question and turned it back in an interview about the race/track. Great job Jamie

Vicky D said...

Pretty good broadcast and I believe JP is a little more animated - the vacation has helped. I think Rusty is trying to be objective with the broadcast even with the wreck with Stephen David Ragan. Again, at least one restart missed tonight too.

red said...

a thought: altho i still contend the cot is the ugliest damn race car ever -- could it have handled the busch or reagan hits and recovered w/o wrecking? every time i watch n'wide racing, i'm reminded of the different that rear spoiler may be making . . .

SusanB said...

Interesting. Doing a top 10 about nationwide series drivers with 5 laps to go. Better late then never I guess.

Nascar said...

WOW!!!!!!

Vicky D said...

SusanB I was thinking the same thing! Lucky they had a red flag earlier otherwise they wouldn't have had time.

Anonymous said...

I hate it that this happened to the 5 car.

SusanB said...

There are definitely alot of wrecked cars tonite.

Nascar said...

Tough night for JR Motorsports.

SusanB said...

I agree. Wrecked cars for both Roush & Jr Motorsports.

Newracefan said...

What a mess, I was wondering if those car's that pitted earlier would have a problem. Shouldn't someone in the booth have been asking the same question? It wasn't brought up at all for anyone until Leffler appeared to have an issue. how about now with extra caution laps and GWc finish

red said...

at this point, the action at the finish may not be who crosses first. i suspect the action that we should be watching is what happens behind the winner . . .

well, jrm/hendrick have had one expensive night. hate that restart for mark martin.

is there some reason jamie got infield care center tonight? she's really good at asking the right question and the letting the driver talk.

Nascar said...

And she has gotten the interviews pretty quick too. I love when they talk to the crew chiefs in red flag. One of my favs.

bevo said...

Kyle Busch ---- Mark Martin

The two extremes on class and admitting a mistake.

Karen said...

Trackside's on.

Nascar said...

Great job with the finish. Perfect.

bevo said...

Great job at the finish line! Thank you ESPN!

red said...

wow! every single damn car on the track was shown at the finish! every single car! GREAT job and many thanks, guys!

Newracefan said...

Fantanstic finish even pointing out battle for third at the line. FOX TAKE NOTES

Charlie said...

The camera work on the finish was one of the best I have seen. Nice job ESPN and the guys in the truck.

SusanB said...

That was a great finish. Glad ESPN should all the cars cross the finish line. That was not too bad of a broadcast. Congrats to Tony!

bevo said...

Job well done ESPN

Nascar said...

All in all I say it was a great race coverage and on track. Well done.

SusanB said...

Showed not should. Sorry.

Newracefan said...

Now off to Trackside, Thanks to that DVR, don't know how I did without it last season.

Anonymous said...

Rusty's been better this season at trying to incorporate Petree into the discussions ...

He'll throw leading questions at Petree ... to get him to explain the technical & mechanical aspects of things ...

This also helps to bring in Tim Brewer into the act too ... with the cut-away car ...



All in all , this thread is NOT as negative as some of the race threads on this site have been lately ...

TexasRaceLady said...

Better late than never, I guess. Google kept telling me that I was blocked because it detected spamming. Guess the site was overloaded.

Really enjoyed the coverage tonight. The right questions were asked by the right people.

Loved the camera work at the finish.

SophiaZ123 said...

FANTASTIC CAMERA WORK SHOWING THE FINISH LINE!!

Thank you ESPN!!

Only a few more races of Fox's rubbish of "Gypping us of the end!!"

now if ESPN would only lose the ticker for the race. I watched part of the race in Kitchen on the love seat but tv only 20 inch that loses the ticker. My room has 31 inch tv...but it won't lose the ticker.

Still, great show on ESPN.

I thought the guys in the booth were better, too.

But does anybody know what happened to DJ? Just curious.

Not many gripes on the show tonight.

stricklinfan82 said...

I thought ESPN had a tremendous night.

The booth chemistry was great tonight. Dr. Punch had a renewed level of energy throughout the race (especially at the finish) and even called out incidents happening before they appeared on camera. Andy Petree was solid as always. And I really thought Rusty Wallace had a spectacular night.

You hear it about drivers all the time that it's like someone hits a switch and all of a sudden they 'get it'. I think Rusty had that happen tonight. He was on top of everything tonight. He led many discussions in the booth, carried most of the replays and explanations about what we were seeing, and was the first to jump on things like instantly relating the 59's wall bumping to the 60's earlier in the race and relating the 32's crash to the 88's earlier in the race. From my point of view he was the star of the show tonight.

I also thought Jamie Little did an outstanding job with the interviews. She seemed to ask all the right questions to all of the disappointed drivers from where I sat.

Finally, the last lap camera work was OUTSTANDING. I absolutely loved the handling of showing the field coming off turn 4 with the wide shot and holding that camera at the line to show the rest of the field race to the line. Fans that wanted to see the winner saw him cross the line, while at the same time fans of other drivers further back got to follow their driver's battle to the line all the way from turn 4 to the checkered flag.

I certainly hope Fox does the exact same thing tomorrow night. I certainly hope we don't see another case of either focusing on the winner alone and never showing anyone else finish, or the more recent approach of zooming in on the winner and after seeing him cross the line finally cutting back to the wide shot and catching just the back-half of the top 10 finishing the race.

Staying with one wide camera shot the entire time is absolutely the best approach to this. We saw every car finish live. Not just a winner. Not just the winner and the 6th place finisher on back. We saw everyone, which was PERFECT.

Daly Planet Editor said...

There is a new post up about the Nationwide Series race on ESPN2.

There will not be a Trackside post tonight. Please feel free to use the earlier Trackside post to comment on that show. Thanks.

JD