Saturday, August 2, 2008

Racing In the Rain Was Less Than Stellar

Less than ten laps of the Nationwide race on the road course in Montreal had been run on ESPN2 when the rain came. It was the first time NASCAR had run a points race in the wet conditions.

Teams broke-out the rain tires, the windshield wipers and the brake lights. The idea was to only allow three minutes for the change-over to wet conditions, but things did not go as planned. It was more than ten minutes before cars were circulating again and the number of cars emerging from pit road was significantly less than the 43 that started the race.

This issue was totally avoided by Marty Reid and the ESPN2 commentary team. Only twenty-five laps into the race there were ten cars parked in the garage. Surprisingly, there had been no accidents and no yellow flags other than the rain delay. The mysterious cause for this high rate of attrition was never addressed.

It was veteran reporter Jack Arute that rolled-up his sleeves and took TV viewers right into the middle of the first-ever change-over to wet tires. Arute is unafraid to get the story even as it unfolds and he filled the fans in on the specifics and issues involved in this "thrash" on pit road.

Marty Reid decided that this race was going to be historic, a term viewers heard more than fifteen times in his commentary. Randy LaJoie continued to keep his irreverent sense-of-humor throughout the entire telecast, despite the wet blanket being thrown on the entire race by the presence of Rusty Wallace.

Last season, Allen Bestwick and LaJoie had combined to call a great race in Montreal that featured lots of hot tempers, spinning cars and amazing calls by NASCAR. Putting LaJoie on this series is perfect, because the Nationwide crowd is a hybrid of Sprint Cup cross-overs, series regulars and often road course specialists just running for the win. LaJoie keeps things in perspective and does it all with a good sense of humor.

Basically, it was tough to have two former drivers in the booth talking over-top of each other for the entire race. While LaJoie was relegated to the crew chief role for the in-race reporter feature, Wallace was clearly the delegated leader and spoke over anyone when he felt strongly about an issue. Wallace was shuffling back and forth between the Cup and Nationwide Series for ESPN and was not really up-to-speed on the rain issues.

At the halfway point, 32 of the 43 cars were running. There was no full-field recap done by ESPN at this point, because the network would have to explain the small number of cars on the track despite no mechanical failures or accidents. The ESPN graphic crawl was changed as frequently as possible to avoid revealing the reality of this "start and park" festival.

The normally dependable Marty Reid was off-balance from the beginning of the rain through the end of the race. This was possibly helped by the poor TV directing which often featured tight camera shots of two cars running together, but rarely used a speed shot or a panorama to show fans any kind of overall perspective.

One of the biggest problems Reid and company had in this race was the lack of communication with NASCAR. Often, there was awkward silence as pace car lights remained on even though Reid had just said the green flag was coming out. Needless to say, it did not and NASCAR just continued to run under caution in the rain.

Because ESPN was refusing to recap the cars still running, lots of stories were lost as the network concentrated on the top four or five cars. Points leader Clint Bowyer, Joey Logano and others never had their strategies updated despite the occasional attempts to do just that from Arute on pit road.

On lap 40 of the 74, Wallace related that he had been hearing complaints from teams about the drivers not being able to see. This was not related earlier and never updated as to the reason why. Teams used Rain-X, a single windshield wiper and even squeegees inside the car to help with both rain and fog.

During the last series of pit stops, the Producer was far behind as the cars entered pit road. Often, TV viewers saw a car already parked and then getting ready to leave and without a reporter ready to describe the action. Teams were apparently having vision problems both inside and outside of the cars but ESPN just could not update this issue.

Basically, ESPN had to wait until the entire field cycled through the pits to get any kind of realistic picture of what was happening on the race track. Even with the computer scoring, the actual story of the race was simply not being told. The rain picked-up with thirty laps to go and there was no doubt the remainder of the race was going to be slow and very wet.

The big rain hit at 6:35PM Eastern Time with twenty-five minutes left in the show until the X Games were supposed to begin. If the race had run the full length at these slow rain speeds, it would have been about thirty minutes long. Instead, NASCAR was merciful and put out the full course caution. The reason was standing water on the race track.

The official end of any hope for this telecast was when Canadian favorite Jaques Villeneuve and youngster Joey Logano both wrecked their cars under caution in separate incidents that ESPN could not show. After seeing the severely damaged cars, ESPN both times went to commercial to search for the replay and came up empty.

At 6:45PM, NASCAR stopped the cars and the misery was almost finally over. The way that viewers found-out that the red flag was out was during a pit road interview with a crew chief. Once again, the TV crew was one step behind the reality of what was happening on the track.

It was Carl Edwards in another pit road interview who told ESPN2 that the race was over, called officially at 6:55PM. Marty Reid, by now perhaps more than a bit frustrated, told viewers that NASCAR had still not informed the TV crew that things had been called. A very chaotic end to a very chaotic telecast.

Despite the fact that nice guy and Canadian Ron Fellows was officially the winner, it was once again not a Nationwide Series regular who was victorious. Reid closed-out the show and the skateboarding and vert competitions began. ESPN2 was back to normal.

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PT said...

Last year's ESPN has returned in full force. Rusty Wallace fingerprints were all over this broadcast from start to finish. Rusty pwns ESPN. Coincidentally, ESPN broadcast their show from Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, but failed to include much of the race action on THEIR broadcast. Sad to see.

Anonymous said...

I didn't post a whole lot in the other column because of cRusty. I really want him gone & thought my dislike of him,& his personalities colored my judgement.

Good to see I wasn't the only one who thought he was an obnoxious wet blanket.

I understood many cameramen(&women) had to move to cover because of lightning, so I was mystified by NA$CAR who professes caring about driver safety let this race go as long as they did.
The fans were sitting on what looked to be metal benches. Someone correct me if I'm wrong - I've never been to this racetrack.

I don't fault Marty for being miffed he spent the day w/cRusty,then NA$CAR refusing to communicate w/ESPN ( the official TV partner) about updates on cautions, conditions and even the end of the race. Good reporting on Carl Edwards part.

No matter how hard Jack Arute ( hope I got spelling right) tried to update stories - it was not allowed. It was as if the booth crew & behind the scenes people couldn't have cared less. I love his work in other series.

This race needed AB & Randy together.
I'm very afraid we are getting the same old "screw the fans take what we give you" ESPN of last year.

Anonymous said...

Rusty has got to go!!!!!!!!

RPM said...

I caught a nice nap during the delay and missed the rest. Looks like I got the best deal out of this (cough) race.

SophiaZ123 said...

HORRIBLE coverage.

I don't know which stank direction or the booth. MISINFORMED booth but Rusty HAS GOT TO GO!! he is back to full blown ego and non stop yapping. SHEESH,

so much for PeeSPN's "improved coverage". We missed so much of the action and the wrecks it was INEXCUSABLE.

And sorry not a huge fan of Marty in the booth but he and Lajoie were fun last week.

Rusty W is INDEED a major buzzkill.

SophiaZ123 said...

oh, the F1 crew does the races for SPEED from Charlotte for races across the WORLD and gets more information than the guys in the booth go today.

And if the camera work doesn't get something, they let you know they have no control of them as opposed to just ignoring the situations.

And Marty did overuse the HISTORY comment. but he overdoes a lot of things imo in the booth.


Newracefan said...

I was OK with Marty but RW kept getting in the way of the fun. Randy and Marty would have been fine and in my opinion they would have called a great race if RW was not in the booth.

Anonymous said...
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Newracefan said...

I think the communication had to do with issues/delays between the media liason person in race control and the rest of ESPN or the ESPN control booth and the guys with the microphones. I wonder if it was due to the rain, it seemed to mess with some of the team communication too.

Dot said...

This race was just a big wet mess.

I hope that in the future, they just postpone it. Or, what was brought up earlier, start the race earlier. This should apply to all races, both NW and Cup.

I can remember before the big TV contract races starting at 9:30-10:00am on the west coast. Someone needs to address this issue, weather concerns or not.

Good job by Marcos, btw.

Anonymous said...

I agree...poor Jack :(. He tried and he essentially got "that's on to some other drivel"

I agree Sophia! It's so sad that Bob and the boyz not even in the same country as the race can update and keep us informed if someone sneezes...yet people allegedly covering a race are located just feet above the track, not only can't tell us that Driver Blow is in the race to begin with but that he has been off for 20 laps because he hit the wall. And can't stop talking about nonsense long enough to even advise us that a caution has come out.

I swear I watched last year on trackpass and see the race is under caution and they're going on about some nonsense and then finally decide to let us know the race is under caution 5 minutes later. The other networks talk over one another if need be to advise of a caution. Always apologize for it but we're tuning in for a race and want to know what's happening as it happens...we'll have time for what it was like 20 years ago later on.

It definitely was shameful...I had to run an errand so missed some of it not even sure if I want to torture myself enough to watch what I missed :(.

Anonymous said...

Yup Dot! When I was in Cali, which service I went to depended upon what time the race started. Since it was just me I was flexible like that.

So if it was 9:30 or 10 I'd go to 8 o'clock service and make a mad dash out when we finished about 10:30 and if it was a later start I would do 11 o'clcok service.

Anonymous said...

This race lacked intrique because it was missing last year's main ingredient: Robby Gordon!

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 8:19PM,

What happens is the cameras are left locked down and on a wideshot.

I am working on what cams were taken down totally but that does not have anything to do with what was missed and what we were not told.

More things went unsaid on this broadcast than any other Nationwide race on ESPN since the new TV contract.


Anonymous said...

Thanks JD - we know you'll get to the bottom of it!

Anonymous said...

Rusty simply should not be allowed to call races in which a car he owns is running. I still can't believe ESPN allows this.

Can you imagine if they'd acted like this when Marge Schott was still alive? She would have loved to call a Reds game.

Vicky D said...

I think Marty & Randy would have been fine on their own for this broadcast. Randy piped up when he saw cars having trouble knowing their number and who was driving. RW had no clue and talked over both of the others. I don't fault Marty so much as ESPN for the delay in getting information to the booth. Last year AB & RL were fantastic. I think they should do more NW races this year and leave RW in the garage area with his cars.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 9:36PM,

Imagine the position that ESPN finds itself in right now.

Brad Daugherty just bought into a Cup team for 2009. Rusty is already an owner with big plans for his son. Ray Evernham is a current Cup owner with multiple cars.

While Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree have both tried their hand at ownership (DJ with Brett Favre), the network is going to have to figure something out before Daytona next season.


PT said...

Anon 9:36 said: 'Can you imagine if they'd acted like this when Marge Schott was still alive? She would have loved to call a Reds game.'

Ooh, good analogy! Too good.
Thanks anon.

Anonymous said...

How many wrecks were "called" when a camera tracking another car accidentally showed the wrecked car as the other one passed by?

Just sad. Very poor work by the guys in the booth.

Anonymous said...

Last year AB & RL were fantastic. I think they should do more NW races this year and leave RW in the garage area with his cars.

Yes! Bestwick is great and can really call a race. I remember last year, he saw somethign and said, "There's a penalty." He was right. No, "That *could be* a penalty," or "NASCAR might not like that," or any of the other wishy-washy statements we get now.

Anonymous said...

I dont think the broadcast was really as dreadful as you people make it out to be. But this is "The Daly Planet" and this is ESPN we are talking about. We all know how "The Daly Planet" has some sort of bias towards ESPN. That would be why im the only one here who thought the broadcast was nice considering it was pouring rain and the regular crew was no where in sight.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 9:56PM,

I am going to let that one stay for the pure entertainment value.

Apparently, missing almost every replay, most of the key pit stops and never knowing what NASCAR was doing at any time for hours is "nice" for you.

If you want to email me, I will send you a link to all the great ESPN stories about NASCAR Now, Dale Jarrett, Allen Bestwick and the other outstanding things going-on with that network this season where NASCAR is concerned.

Sometimes, you just have to stand and take your lumps. IMHO, Montreal was one of those telecasts.


SophiaZ123 said...

Marge Schott!!! Oh, my. She often got her St. Bernard Schottzie, on the field though to leave a 'present' behind for somebody to clean up before a she often got her two cents in, honey.(Marge, called everybody honey in between her chain smoking) I miss her "calls from heaven to Gary Burbank" as she took a smoke outside the pearly gates, but I digress to quote Mr. G -N- A -R- L- E- Y.

But you guys are right...ESPN is FULL of conflict of interest. It's out of control. and somewhere earlier this season, I though Rusty Wallace was OUT of the booth during the race and the coverage was better. Unless I dreamed that. Suddenly, Rusty Wallace is everywhere in the media besides the race, and honking people off.

But yea, today was a washout of a broadcast, totally. :)

Dmo said...

I was amazed at how clueless the booth was about the change-over to rain equipment in the cars. One noteworthy example was Rusty Wallace going on about how they can't race in the rain because "the windows will steam up - you need a defroster in there". About 2-mins later, an interview with a driver revealed that, indeed they had installed a defroster. I also didn't hear mention of the installed brake-lights until later in the race.

On a positive note - the footage from the old rain-tire tests was pretty neat.

As others have stated here: Rusty has to go...

bevo said...

I agree with vicky_d - Marty and Randy would have been fine. Putting two people together who don't work together very often would have been difficult enough but making it three is just asking for problems.

The camera work was bad as I mentioned in the in-progress entry. Don't know how much of that was due to weather concerns and how much was the director. The F1 race there doesn't have any problems showing wider shots and larger course shots.

The lack of communication between race control and the tv crew needs to be addressed. I listened to the last part on MRN and they had no issues like that at all.

Jack Arute tried his best and I give him credit for getting as much information as he could.

Overall not ESPN's best day. I feel for the folks doing the grunt work who tried their best in less than ideal circumstances but the guys in charge dropped the ball big time.

Kyle said...

I'm still kind of confused, maybe one of you guys can help me out.

Rusty came out with a story last week. Saying that Newman was fired from his job. Now Newman comes out and says Rusty's full of it. Then Mr. Penske comes out and says that Rusty's full of it.

How does the ESPN, most respected sports news network tolerate one of their lead NASCAR team in outright lying? Not only tolerate it, but give him prime placement the very next race.

I think this reflects very poorly on ESPN's trustworthiness. How are we to believe anything that they report?

SophiaZ123 said...

Oh, yea, I also missed this:

Why did only SOME of the cars have windshield wipers but not all?

Jacques crashed because he did not have one, thus could not see. So many unanswered questions.

Yes, sympathy to those doing grunt work but the behind the scenes direction/communication was horrible. My gripes about the camera work is never about the 'individual cameramen/women' but the ones in charge. Maybe "Charles was in Charge" ;-)

If there is a problem, tell us from the booth.

Photojosh said...


I am so very tired of Rusty's crap. I've grown to love the nationwide series over the past few years, but he kills anything that he is involved with. His jokes aren't funny, his commentary is pointless, he is rude and clueless. In short, he brings absolutely nothing to the table.

He's a far cry from the other drivers that work in TV. In fact, his only real job seems to be to make us all thankful for Dale Jarret's presence.

Kyle Petty being in the booth makes me want to have a beer with him and talk racing. Rusty being in the booth makes me want to bust his teeth and steal his wallet.

SophiaZ123 said...


around sports radio in these here parts, ESPN has a horrible reputation !! When news broke of Ken Griffey Jr being traded, at least TWO broadcasters said when they read or heard it on ESPN they did not believe it as "half their stuff is made up or turns out to be wrong". OUCH.

Still, be curious how the Newman thing turns out..but to turn this back on the race, somebody listed earlier the overused phrases Rusty that drives me crazy is "driving his brains out".

sigh...The more I watch ESPN, the more I wonder whose Wheaties AB whizzed in..yea, I know he has his "duties" assigned for pre-race but. . .

SophiaZ123 said...


Let us know how you really feel, lol.

Obviously, to many of us, Rusty is like gum on the bottom of your shoe. Just when you think you scraped it off, you take a few steps and realize, it's still there...he always seems to be hovering.

glenc1 said...

Call me crazy, going against the tide. I've complained about Rusty in the past, but I have to say a couple of things. First, I think most cars did NOT have defrosters, and as we saw/heard, visibility (or lack thereof) was an issue...why else did they give Carl that thingy to clean the inside windshield? Rusty would know, his own cars would have or not have them and he'd have to pay for it (and we all know that matters to him). Perhaps it was a choice from NASCAR.

Secondly--quite honestly, I think people are making an awfully big deal of the ownership issue. I have looked for Rusty's bias when reporting, and other than giving info outsiders wouldn't know, I really don't see the cheerleading--often, it's the *other* guys. Not saying I'm completely comfortable with it, but if you haven't realized, there is often potential bias in reporting. Bob Griese broadcast a Michigan game in which his son played QB. There were some naysayers, but not much was said because it was done professionally....There are plenty of former players who broadcast on their former teams' games (Phil Simms, Troy Aikman, I could go on.) Most of the time it's not an issue (and I'm paying attention.) I do think Stephen Wallace has had reckless moments, but so have a lot of other drivers whose name wasn't Wallace, and they don't get that kind of attention because it isn't, if you follow me. I remember Rusty saying last year that Steve was responsible for a wreck. My problems with Rusty are more his repetitive 'colloquialisms' already documented and his kind of excited silliness, not his bias.

In defense of ESPN, I can tell you that if the visibility was that bad, a lot of the cameras were probably useless. I was at the foggy BGN North race at Watkins Glen back in...'99, 2000?, and you could barely see pit road from the grandstands 50 yards away...I would just give them the benefit of the doubt that they *may* have had shots that were just unusable. Perhaps we'll hear more about that one way or the other.

BTW, nice insight by Rusty on remembering Ron Fellows former wins being with Joe Nemechek as owner. No one else brought it up until he did, and I think it was relevant as Joe is a current Cup driver.

And no, I'm not related to Rusty, lol, and I was never a big fan in his racing days. But I just can't see that he was as bad as all that other than the 'I tell you whats'. I honestly like LaJoie better, I think he's funny and interesting. But I don't want to 'pile on'. This was not unlike last week, a race in which odd circumstances effected everything--not sure we can hold ESPN completely accountable. I will agree, it was odd that ESPN didn't seem to have race control, but apparently, Frankie Stoddard didn't know the rules either, so someone messed up.

Daly Planet Editor said...


What do you mean most cars don't have defrosters? ESPN never showed us that info. Aren't all NASCAR cars alike in the same race?

What the cars do not have is side windows, which is why the front windshield always gets foggy. I was very confused and no one showed us anything other than Arute.

If you take a stroll back through this season, Rusty has been set free from his troubles since DJ came along. Then, a couple of weeks ago, all heck started breaking loose.

He spoke up in an ESPN press conference about Ryan Newman in a statement that was denied by Newman and Penske. The press conference was to introduce DJ as the new Lead Analyst for the Cup telecasts this season...replacing Rusty. ESPN brass = not happy.

Now, he goes to Montreal, talks all over Randy LaJoie and does not even know why his own Nationwide car does not have a windshield wiper.

I agree that Rusty was doing great this season with AB in the infield and even on selected races when he was the only driver.

It just seems like he functions best when he is the sole person in his role and not when others are there to disagree or offer other points of view.

LaJoie tried over-and-over again to tease him about his driving days, but all Rusty did was cut him off and change the subject.

I sure wish we knew what was going on, but whatever it is had him off-kilter from what he was earlier this season.


Richard in N.C. said...

JD- Who really is supposed to be in control of the booth - the PBP announcer or the director or producer? How much impact do you think there could have been from having what I presume was a split crew - part in Montreal and part back in Long Pond? Would it be a fair assumption that the 2nd team was in Montreal?

IF it were to appear that Kyle Petty MIGHT not have a car for 2009, do you think ESPN might want to "make" a place for him? ESPN seems to like to stockpile experts in other sports - like NFL.

Anonymous said...

Rusty is horrible and is simply not cut out for this line of work. Randy is pretty good at being a Busch commentator (oops Nationwide) and in my opinion should do it full time. Reid isn't bad I don't think. But I do think the rain threw off ESPN and heck that's to be expected. It's never been done before. They did OK. I'm sure they had some equipment failure.

But again why Rusty Wallace has any type of job as a analyst on TV is way beyond me. He just makes stuff up. He's arrogant, he's rude and his English skills aren't that well honed.

Dot said...

I think ESPN should put all the car owners out to pasture next year. That way they can't be accused of favoritism.

Don't get me wrong, I like Brad and Ray. Rusty, not so much. There are other informative people that can do the job just as well. DJ is one of them and so is Randy LaJoie, among others you guys will think of. We have previously discussed our dream team of AB, AP & DJ.

NASCAR is two for two now. Let's hope Pocono makes up for it. lol

Anonymous said...

@anon 9:56--there is another forum I frequent for chat during the week and during the race broadcast. Regardless of *who* is the "broadcast partner" the same praise/complaints that are mentioned here are also mentioned there. As well as my Yahoo groups. I see a few of my buddies from those forums are here and some may be posting under anonymous or other nicks but across the board from what I see, everyone watching the *same* broadcasts are saying the *same* things.

And it's not just the races, it's the shows as well...if anyone on NRD, VL, or TWIN says or does something that a poster doesn't like, a thread goes up. Sometimes multiple threads go up because people aren't paying attention or just don't care. So the mods lock as necessary. And again, it's much of the same things that posters say here. Even though there's an "anything and everything NA$CAR section I don't see a whole lot NN probably since it's on a different network.

Brian said...

I thought Marty Reid did a good job, I really thought it was pretty cool today. Oh well maybe I'm messed up, tomorrow will probably be boring and everyone will love it for some reason.

wickedj said...

broadcast sucked like a shopvac. no idea what happen to Mad Max, Marcos, JV or hell half of the wrecks that happened.

racing was pretty freakin cool though, im always a fan of wet really shuffles F1 fields and shows a little more car control then we would see in a snoozefest dry race (Monaco was crazy awesome)..grand am puts on a good show in the wet too

NASCAR seemed absolutly LOST when the rain came, it took a few laps to get the cars to pit road meanwhile the Barrett family kept us amused atleast..atleast the interview with the goodyear guy helped some people understand the wet tire thing

oh and Randy LaJoie needs Rusty's job..

wickedj said...

btw next week can someone PLEASE ask Dorsey to stick around after the Grand Am race and enlighten ESPN's booth boys as to how to road offense to DJ or Andy

Anonymous said...

How does the ESPN, most respected sports news network tolerate one of their lead NASCAR team in outright lying? Not only tolerate it, but give him prime placement the very next race.

That is a very good question!

ESPN's only answer can be that it doesn't care, which tells you something about ESPN.

Ken in Virginia said...

I tried to watch the "broadcast" of the fiasco "race" but I couldn't take it and turned it off. When you watch the worst Cup race (both the race and the broadcast) immediately followed by the worst Nationwide race (both the race and broadcast)in history, I wonder how many fans and sponsors will continue to support the sport. If I were a sponsor, I sure wouldn't want to be associated with the stuff I have seen lately that pretends to be racing.

Keeping Rusty and letting him speak makes one wonder about the judgement of ESPN and the mouse network.

Anonymous said...

That was a total screw-up on ESPN part. This from a network that has no problem blasting NASCAR or drivers when they think they deserve it but NO MENTION of cars parked. HORRIBLE JOB by ESPN.

They knew. I am sure they knew. Although to this minute I don't know exactly what happened (cause they never told us except that it was HISTORIC). All we know is that ten cars were parked. Guess they all were driving aggressively in the rain. Only explanation that can be taken from the broadcast. Oh wait - maybe there was something else that happened - or didn't happen - hmmm - interesting thought. Were ten cars sharing pit crews or never planning to pit at all?

AGAIN crap poor job by the "WORLDWIDE LEADER" in sports - apparently not NASCAR.

Anonymous said...

It was entertaining to run the race in the rain but I agree on the analysis of Rusty and the Director at ESPN...both did a horrible job. Bestwick would be a better choice for play-by-play for ALL ESPN NASCAR races in my opinion.

Dennis Michelsen

Anonymous said...

Two consecutive black eyes for NASCAR&ESPN

How the mighty have fallen!

Anonymous said...

The "start and park" issue in the NNS would be a great investigative story for some intrepid reporter. I'd like to know who is really paying back marker teams to tow up from Charlotte to expensive places like Montreal just to fill the field.

The soggy, Montreal NNS race was entertaining in the same way that some of ABC's new game shows, like "I Survived A Japanese Game Show" are. I watched just to see how bad things would get.

The ESPN crew covering Montreal was obviously their "B Team" for NASCAR coverage, and it showed.

As for Rusty, he has already been demoted from ESPN's NSC lead analyst position. Look for ESPN not to renew his contract when it comes up for renewal.

Anonymous said...

Another Indy to me, what a croc! RW uses the bully pulpit for his own veiws such as rule changes to benefit his team hp and starting rumors about Ryan Newman and Penske departure. Sorry ESPN i am cancelling the subscription to your over zealous sports channel.

Anonymous said...

the comment in the aricle about 10 cars staying in the garage on the restart.. Those are the same cars that start the race and dropout every week... These are FIELD FILLERS to me.
Running on a wet a wet rainy track was interesting. I was glad to see the drivers useing common sense staying on he track.. I got to give them credit .

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Anonymous said...

I think the start and park is one of those "ugly little truths" that NASCAR would rather keep the casual fan in the dark about. In a way, it has kind of been going on for ages, from JD McDuffie to Dave Marcis, Dick Trickle, and now the Morgan Shepherd's and Carl Long's. I doubt you'll get any info on it, unless NASCAR goes to a only giving points to the top 30 drivers and standard purse to those 31 and back, save the incentive programs. I do remember some comments during the qualifying about some teams using practice tires for qualifying and I wonder if those teams that dropped out didn't want to or couldn't foot the bill for the rain tires and thus had "mechanical issues."

Rusty, unfortunately is not working out. He's got charisma apparently but just can't convey it to the viewing audience. He seems to have a superiority complex which showed yesterday where he treated LaJoie like he was a Triple A ball player. Rusty seems to be trying to emulate DW minus the hokey sayings, but he doesn't have that DW panache' if you will. I think ESPN might do well to perhaps use some PRN personnel to cover races like the Montreal one where the Sprint Series is in a different location. Hell, do a radio simulcast and put all the effort into the pre race show. ESPN does it for soccer where they have their people calling the action from a control room in Bristol, CT when the action is going on in Munich, Barcelona, or London. Poor Randy just gave up trying to talk yesterday as he kept getting undercut by Rusty.

I don't tune in for a specific announcer, but I will tune out for certain announcers and Rusty is quickly becoming one I tune out for.

billy delyon said...

Bad day for ESPN2/NASCAR up in Canada. The weather, Ambrose loosing the lead after dominating the race because of a Pit Road speeding penalty, probably because he couldn't hardly see anything. (Ambrose commented in his post race interview that he thinks he missed the line by only 20 yards, ouch for Marcos, he impressed the heck out of me with that 8+ second lead in the rain!)

Rusty is just not made for the booth. His ego shines through, and not in a good way. And he could just not stop flapping his jaws the entire broadcast. Marty was off all night as JD mentioned in this article, which is unusual because he usually shows up prepared and ready to go. Him and LaJoie work well together, its to bad they had Crusty in the booth stinking up the whole race. .

Randy LaJoie was the only positive of the broadcast in the booth for this fan. He's hilarious and really knows what he's talking about, having been around NASCAR for a long time, he brings a lot to the table being a past Busch series champ IMO. Its just to bad he had to share the booth with Crusty. LaJoie has never been one to back down, but Crusty was just talking over everyone last night.
Jack Arute was a definite positive in the pits, he gets the "Working my tail off Award" of the race, down there in the rain running around covering a lot of stories. I've always enjoyed him in the pits. He's a pit road pro and a true vet with lots of racing history in his head.
With the weather, ESPN got thrown for a serious loop and never recovered.
For me, first bad broadcast of the season for ESPN.

The way they've been handling the Nationwide series, I don't see to many days like yesterday occurring to often this season.

glenc1 said...

I was wrong about the defrosters--I think it was an impression I got from something I read a while back, but apparently they do all have them. (But I might add, cars are not identical in every race--there is certain equipment that's optional.) I would agree that ESPN (and Rusty) seemed very confused about all that (as was I) but they ought to have had better researchers; and perhaps NASCAR needs to do a better job communicating it (to the teams as well as ESPN, apparently). I hope everyone gets used to it, because they may be putting the rain tires on again next Saturday (and they've said they're sending them). Frankly, many of the drivers said they were pretty good--I think the issue is, the *degree* of rain--it's one thing to run in a moderate shower, quite another to run in a torrential downpour with no visibility and no where for the rain to go (a street course.) Hopefully I'm wrong but there is weather in the forecast.

As for Rusty--I guess the point I was trying to make it, if I was going to trash on his broadcasting (which I have), it wouldn't be because of favoritism of his own team. I think that's exaggerated. When it was Ned & Dale apparently no one cared, in fact, it was celebrated. I do agree it's potentially an issue, but if the parties involved tread carefully I don't think it will be a huge problem. I think Rusty's issues are broadcasting in general, the overused phrases and lack of useful analysis.

What happened with Ryan had nothing to do with his broadcasting in this race (though I get the context in which you mention it). I would like to see other broadcasters in the booth instead and obviously that's what's gonna happen. As far as the Ryan/Rusty thing--there is a lot we don't know about that happened at Penske--last night on WT their guy said they were 3 teams operating separately. Don't assume that was all one team's doing. These drivers/cc's came from backgrounds as different as day & night, and I don't think Roger did anything to help them close the gap (which I've heard him admit.) Just saying there are two sides to every story (and I do like Ryan as well.) But has anyone asked what would have happened if Ryan wanted to stay and Roger didn't want that? Anyways, overall, I think ESPN did 'okay', though not great, with what they had to work with.

Anonymous said...

I liked the idea of using rain tires, if it isn't raining to hard. When drivers can't see who is in front them and wrecking, this gets dangerous. Maybe the more road racing in the rain, the drivers will get better, Remember this was the first rain race. Also a comment on broadcasting. It doesn't matter what sstation is on everyone complains about who is broadcasting and the job they are doing. If you don't like the job they are doing, turn it off.

Anonymous said...

I was surprised with how well the race actually turned out given the conditions. I think that in future rain situations on road courses rain tires should continue to be used. One can only imagine when they would have run the Nationwide race otherwise. My guess would be early Sunday morning on ESPN2 or ESPN Classic to avoid the Sprint Cup prerace show or sometime on Monday. I really wish ESPN would make Jack Arute a regular fixture on their NASCAR broadcasts. I enjoy his work on the IndyCar series and College Football.