Saturday, July 26, 2008

Showtime For The NASCAR On ESPN Gang


ESPN has a big day planned across three of its networks. Sunday at 10AM ET host Ryan Burr will kick things off on ESPN2 with a one hour edition of NASCAR Now.

Most of the content will come from the ESPN on-air staff at The Brickyard. There are currently over fifteen ESPN announcers and reporters on the scene and no doubt the top story will be tires. This program has been consistently good in 2008 and the pressure is on as the ESPN portion of the Sprint Cup schedule begins Sunday afternoon.

Reach-up and change the remote to SPEED at 11AM for two hours of RaceDay. Live from the SPEED Stage host John Roberts will be joined by Jimmy Spencer and Kenny Wallace. Two key live guests on the show will be Tony Stewart and Jimmie Johnson. Reporter Wendy Venturini's Real Deal segment will be with Sam Hornish who is an Indy Car veteran trying to make the transition to NASCAR.

A special feature on RaceDay will be Ken Squier offering an essay on the racing history of Indy. This will tie-in with a review of Tony Stewart's racing in several series at the track and a feature on how heartache in the big races at Indy always seems to come along at the worst possible time.

As Daly Planet readers may remember, this season RaceDay was shifted back an hour so it did not overlap with ESPN's NASCAR Countdown. This first week the Allen Bestwick led program begins at 1PM and runs for a full hour.

Bestwick has to move his chair over because ESPN has four panelists on the show from Indy. Brad Daugherty and Rusty Wallace will be joined by Ray Evernham for the pre-race show, and Daugherty and Wallace will remain as a part of the announce team during the race with Bestwick. This crew will also host the post-race programming.

At 2PM the dress rehearsal is over and ESPN takes to the air for the first Sprint Cup Series race in the network's seventeen race TV package. Dr. Jerry Punch will call the play-by-play with first year Lead Analyst Dale Jarrett and second season veteran Andy Petree. These three will handle all the ESPN and ABC Sprint Cup telecasts down the stretch.

Since Allen Bestwick has taken over Suzy Kolber's role in the Infield, it will be Shannon Spake joining the pit reporting team this season. Returning veterans Jamie Little, Dave Burns and Mike Massaro round-out the crew that will call the action on pit road. Last year, this group was roundly criticized for not following-up with drivers after accidents or when a car pulled directly into the garage. This season, they have been outstanding on the Nationwide Series races with those issues. Let's hope the focus does not shift on Sunday.

ESPN said that it is not unveiling any new gizmo's or TV tricks this season, just trying to refine the issues that bothered fans last year. Look for Jarrett to play a major role in this telecast bigger than just an analyst and for him to seek-out opinions from Wallace and Daugherty during the live race. Jarrett is a team-builder and that is exactly what this coverage lacked in 2007.

As Daly Planet readers are aware, this race last year was three hours of racing that led to ESPN only showing the winning car cross the finish line. Not one other car was shown at all. Fans got to see the winner waving, slowing down and then slowing down some more. Meanwhile, the real stories of the race were being played-out on the track. Hopefully, ESPN has learned the hard lesson that Fox did not earlier this year. Who wins may not always be the biggest story of the race in a season that is six months old.

ESPN has a great graphics package on the Nationwide Series, they have dumped the music videos and the hype completely. The network seems poised to make a big decision whether to cover the Sprint Cup racing action wherever it takes place or to just follow the leaders and the big names like last season.

After the race, ESPNEWS will kick into high gear and go live with the post-race press conference. I am told unofficially that this time there will actually be a reporter assigned for ESPNEWS and live interviews will be done. We shall see. Since the race is scheduled from 2 to 6PM, we may also see the 6PM SportsCenter focus on Indy.

SPEED is up next as they begin the Sunday night review programming. The SPEED Report will be at 7PM, Victory Lane at 8PM and Wind Tunnel at 9PM. This three hour block should have some good coverage of Indy from several different perspectives. Having John Roberts, Jimmy Spencer and Kenny Wallace sitting in Victory Lane while ESPN is still on-the-air interviewing the winner is always interesting to watch. No word on the hosts of SPEED Report or guests on Wind Tunnel.

ESPN2 returns the one hour Sunday night wrap-up edition of NASCAR Now at 10PM hosted by Ryan Burr. This should be a good opportunity to see highlights of all three series that raced at Indy along with a final word on the tire issues and any late-breaking news. This show will be on every Sunday through the final race at Homestead.

So, from 10AM through 11PM Eastern Time NASCAR fans can overdose on all kinds of NASCAR shows. This post will host your comments about the "TV support shows" on Sunday. There will be an new post for in-progress comments up at Noon ET for the race itself, so please join us.

The Daly Planet welcomes comments from readers. Simply click on the COMMENTS button below and follow the easy instructions. The rules for posting are located on the right side of the main page. Thank you for taking the time to stop by.

36 comments:

Karen said...

Overdose is the operative word in your piece, JD. I'm tired of it and it's still Saturday night.

After Q'ing today, I'm afraid we're picking back up right where we left off in Homestead. I don't expect anything different other than DJ and he can only do so much for the booth team.

Adam T. Martin said...

Well, I'm on the fence to see the pre race show on ESPN right before the race. I'm afraid it is only going to be fluff.

I'll watch NASCAR Now and that will be it till the starting command.

What I hope to see and hear:

-wide camera angles
-non-repetitive announcers
-focus on the majority of the 43 drivers
-no fluff, no gimmicks, no music videos, no screen junk, etc
-good racing (well, that isn't the network's responsibility.)

I'm hoping for coverage that can put both Fox and TNT to shame.

Wisconsin Steve said...

From IMS:
The on-air IMS Radio Network team; the 15th Allstate 400 at the Brickyard: Bob Jenkins and Doug Rice, co-hosts; John Andretti, driver analyst; Donald Davidson, historian; Jerry Baker, Turn 1 reporter; Kevin Lee, Turn 2 reporter; Rob Albright, Turn 3 reporter; Chuck Carland, Turn 4 reporter; and Brett McMillan, Kevin Olson, Jake Query and Brad Gillie, pit reporters.

This should be a good race to LISTEN to with Jenkins calling the action.

Karen said...

Wisconsin Steve said ...

This should be a good race to LISTEN to with Jenkins calling the action.


Steve,

Any way to get IMS online?

Wisconsin Steve said...

According to the IMS Radio Network's website, there is no webcast of the race (at least not on their site).

Gymmie said...

I agree Karen...I'm not holding my breath for much change...

raising kahne said...

ESPN is 0 for 2 with their "breaking news" this weekend as well...

First, it was Rusty Wallace's assertion that Newman was fired, which Roger Penske himself denied this evening... then, you get the "inside sources" that David Newton cites as saying the Truex has signed an extension.. Truex's reply? something to the effect of "that's (expletive). Retractions? Follow up? NEVER.

by the way, could we possibly get a little more Brett Favre information? I'm feeling that something is lacking in their coverage of this monumental story.

stay classy ESPN.

Anonymous said...

What I tire of is the same clips shown over and over with mindless predictions. Yesterday,Earnhardt had a problem with his rear camber passing Tech. Tim Brewer explained Camber on the cutaway car. Back in the booth, Jerry Punch stated that camber caused the cars to 'crab' or 'dog track' down the straightaways! Andy Petree tactfully corrected Punch by stating that it was 'Toe' that caused the crabbing. My point is that Punch has been at the top of Motorsports reporting for 25 years. How could he not know the difference between camber and toe and that camber doesn't cause the cars to go down the straightaways crooked? Bestwick should be in Punch's chair. Petree does a great job and Jarrett brings an absolutely top notch level of professionalism to Espn/ABC Nascar coverage.Give Dale a year and he'll be the best in the business!

Phil said...

With Rusty moving to a minor role this year, maybe it's time the "no racing" clause was removed from his contract.
I would like to see him run a couple of his favorite tracks before he's the wrong side of 55.

red said...

wayyyy too much pre-race for this fan: i won't be tuning in until 2 for the actual racing. the only part i regret missing will be the ken squier piece on the history of indy. everything else, i'll pick up either by browsing various racing sites or touching base here thru out the afternoon (so please be specific with comments!!!)

for me, the internet has given me a viable alternative to suffering thru hours of pre-race with little hard information being presented or discussed. i'll be stunned if anyone raises the rusty wallace fiasco and i suspect nascar would like any talk about "the trouble with tires" to just go away.

given how espn just butchered the qualifying coverage by insisting that showing us the actual qualifying runs was not as important as fluff and random noise, i'm prepared for an absolute hot mess this afternoon with coverage. BUT, i'm ready and willing to be proven wrong and i certainly hope espn wows us all.

but i ain't holdin' my breath.

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

About the radio broadcast:
Jayski says the IMS radio broadcast will be available at NASCAR.com today. Hope that helps.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Rusty Wallace on NASCAR Now: "Indy is the biggest race of the year in my mind."

JD

Newracefan said...

I guess since Rusty wasn't part of calling Daytona it doesn't count.

Renata said...

Newracefan~ That's exactly what I thought when I Rusty say that too.

Jo said...

Newracefan said...
I guess since Rusty wasn't part of calling Daytona it doesn't count.

July 27, 2008 10:53 AM

If it doesn't involve cRusty it does not matter - in his mind.


Now on to all this pre race - did anyone else notice NA$CAR weekly have as much or more pre coverage than the Super Bowl? Way too much, I wish Raceday were head to head w/ NN. I'm gonna watch Raceday, then get stuff done till green flag.

JD you are so polite overdose is an understatement.

Adam T. Martin said...
What I hope to see and hear:

-wide camera angles
-non-repetitive announcers
-focus on the majority of the 43 drivers
-no fluff, no gimmicks, no music videos, no screen junk, etc
-good racing (well, that isn't the network's responsibility.)

I'm hoping for coverage that can put both Fox and TNT to shame.

July 27, 2008 12:28 AM

Adam the only small point I beg to differ with you about is the last one. Last night the guys made what could have been a snoozer into an interesting race by covering mid pack racing, telling us about who was working his way back from 3 laps down to finish on the lead lap, and giving us the story of the race ON the Track.

And solid camera shot selection.

The rest of it you are dead on the money. Now lets see if they listened.

Daly Planet Editor said...

This tire drama is going to overshadow the ESPN debut, but it may be a break for Dr. Punch if the race is continually interrupted by NASCAR cautions.

There will be a storyline that he can keep going back to during the event rather than being forced to follow the action and create excitement.

Newracefan said...

I know this is an ESPN thread but did anyone catch JR's comments on Raceday when doing the promo for TWIN "backwards to todays race", I cracked up.

Jo said...

Daly Planet Editor said...
This tire drama is going to overshadow the ESPN debut, but it may be a break for Dr. Punch if the race is continually interrupted by NASCAR cautions.

There will be a storyline that he can keep going back to during the event rather than being forced to follow the action and create excitement.

July 27, 2008 11:20 AM

OMG - I forgot about the ESPN habit of having pre- conceived "story lines" that they force fed us.
Please racing gods none of those this year.

Newracefan said...

I don't think DJ and AP ever really bought into the story line thing but I can't say the same for the rest of ESPN. Hopefully they don't make it THE story because it could be a non-issue by less than halfway (I seem to remember the same thing happening somewhere else before, with the dust on the back of the cars etc and that problem when away)

SophiaZ123 said...

July 27, 2008 10:00 AM
Blogger Daly Planet Editor said...

Rusty Wallace on NASCAR Now: "Indy is the biggest race of the year in my mind."

JD
!
~~~
Rusty should have added in his "alleged mind"...:)

NRF

I missed the backwards look at the race comment...I wanted to catch the opening of RD JUST to miss it and see the talk about tire concern and Mr. Hunter saying something about offering Pocono tires...so something must have been said to get NASCAR's attention about the tires thank goodness.

I am with Red..if anybody wants to make comments about the pre race shows, please comment here in DETAIL. I don't have the energy to watch 4 hrs of pre race and then the race.

I will watch the SPEED REPORT tonight and WT...maybe VL since it's the brickyard..but VL needs to be 30 minutes imo.

Looks like a nice day...glad the dewpoints are down as yesterday and last night it was very MUGGY.

Anonymous said...

Re: Rusty's Newman comments and the Truex "story"--in today's media world, you never admit it if you made a mistake, you just keep going and hope people will forget it.

Sadly, they usually do.

Bill H said...

JD

Who chooses the camera placement at the tracks? Nascar, track owner or broadcaster?

I have noticed over the past year or two they always seem to have a camera about 10 feet ahead of where cars slide up into the walls coming out of the turns. I think with proper camera placement and cutting from one to another they could make even the boringest follow the leader race interesting, but it always seems that they want to use the camera up on a crane to just keep following the same driver.

And, was the digger cam a fox camera or is that just a camera that who ever is in charge of camera placement has always had?

Also on camera placement, is DirecTv bringing their own cameras to the track for the hotpass drivers or are they cameras that are being controlled by the broadcaster?

As you can see, I am interested in who owns the cameras at the track and controls their placement.

BillWebz

Bill H said...

And an additional question on camera's. Do they video tape (or dvr) ever camera or only the stream that is going out on the air? Could someone "repackage" the camera shots from a race to show it in a different light (say Speed)? Or are all the other shots lost if they don't use them then?

BillWebz

Daly Planet Editor said...

bill,

Normally it is a cooperative effort. Most of the older tracks have longtime facilities and positions for cameras.

At Indy, the track has its own production company and permanent locations for most cameras.

Digger was just a track-level cam that is available to any broadcaster. Some tracks like Iowa have them permanently mounted in the track.

DirecTV takes the race feed along with the various in-car camera angles that are provided by the in-car camera company BST.

Bill, there is a wide assortment of cameras that are recorded at the Sprint Cup races, here at Indy almost everything that moves is recorded.

Re-packaging the race does not have a big TV audience. The thrill of the race is the live aspect. The highlights and features that you see on Monday's TWIN and NASCAR Now are usually footage not seen and audio not heard during the live telecast. That is what makes it interesting.

JD

Jo said...

For those not watching pre race - Goodyear has brought in Pocono tires for backup. If 1 team uses all 10 sets NASCAR will stop the race and ALL teams will have to switch over to Pocono tires. Mr. Zucker of Goodyear doubts it will be needed but he even admitted he doesn't know., since the track is not holding the rubber like last year. He also mentioned that this is the 1st race at Indy w/ COT so no one knows why the rubber isn't filling in the racing grooves. Should be interesting

Daly Planet Editor said...

There is now a new post up for your comments on NASCAR Countdown and The Brickyard 400 on ESPN.

Thanks,

JD

Lou, from NY said...

What a wonderful segment on the racing history of Indy. Very well spoken. Thank you Ken Squier

Vicky D said...

We seem to think that ESPN has volulme issues. When they break to commercials it seems like the volume is twice as loud and we scramble to turn it down. So much type and the big story is tires which might become a non-story at the end of the day.

Jo said...

For those not watching Raceday If you recorded it - watch the last 10 mins. Ken Squires IMS history is a must watch. I got goose bumps. Just awesome.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Just refresh your browser or click on The Daly Planet header to see the new posts. Thanks.

JD

Newracefan said...

I agree Ken's piece was fantastic and I also had goose bumps.

Anonymous said...

Why...WHY does ESPN/ABC or any other broadcasting organization choose to use a person who, at last count said..."and uh yah know" not one, not two but three times -- back to back -- prior to stringing together enogh words to form a complete sentence. Jenna Fryer, go back to school, learn to speak, write wonderfully as you are capable and stay away from radio and TV.

Stagger Lee said...

I aways see folks post on here that AB should be in the booth instead of Dr. Jerry Punch.
There was a reason NBC pulled AB from the booth, he got LOTS of complaints also.
I personally didn't care for him at all in the both, way to square. I love him in the positions he's in this season, he's the perfect host, and he does a great job on the Monday nights Nascar Now.
Dr. Jerry is good enough that he deserves prop's instead of the constant complaints.

Daly Planet Editor said...

stagger lee,

There are a variety of views on both talent. Punch had problems last season and even admitted he was struggling in the play-by-play role.

The reason Bestwick is a logical choice is he already works for ESPN, already is at the NASCAR races and could simply switch places with Punch and see how it goes.

I don't think you are going to hear a bad word about Jerry Punch personally or professionally on this blog. Just a guy in maybe the wrong role.

JD

Anonymous said...

I couldn't find a column regarding the broadcast for the Nationwide race at ORP, so I'm posting here. It was one of the most poorly called races I've ever watched/heard. Whomever was partnered with Randy Lajoie sounded like he had the three-martini dinner a few times. Combining a syllable from two words to make up an nonexistent word, mismatching drivers and car manufacturers. I didn't know whether to laugh or feel sorry for the guy.

Mary
Richmond, VA