Sunday, August 3, 2008

Pocono Lets ESPN Get Back On-Track


The big sigh of relief you heard on the first lap of the Sprint Cup race from Pocono was both NASCAR and ESPN finally exhaling. It had been a very long week.

NASCAR was trying to shake the Indy tire fiasco and ESPN was getting thumped by angry drivers over reporting practices. What both groups needed was a break. The wide track and sunny skies of Pocono let NASCAR fans get their minds back on racing.

Allen Betwick hosted the pre-race show, which swung through a wide variety of topics and included an Indy follow-up and some highlights of the Montreal Nationwide Series race that was run in the rain. Rusty Wallace and Brad Daugherty joined Bestwick in some high-spirited discussions of these issues. Wallace arrived from the Montreal race with his volume level set on high and never turned it down.

Sunday's Red Cross race sponsorship was part of a program (redcrossracing.com) that educates fans about the need to donate blood and helps them understand that process. Unfortunately, that did not translate to the ESPN airwaves. Amid the endless promos for the X Games, SportsCenter and future ESPN NASCAR races there was no mention of this worthwhile effort.

On SPEED's RaceDay it was NASCAR President Mike Helton who introduced this charity and promoted the cause. He explained that organizations like the Red Cross were the reason the NASCAR Foundation was created. It was a good choice by SPEED to showcase this effort and a big miss by ESPN to avoid it.

Jerry Punch does not appear during the pre-race show and when he begins his portion of the telecast things change substantially. Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree are now well-practiced at jumping-in and helping Punch when the racing on the track does nothing more than elicit a yawn from the good doctor.

Luckily, the drivers were working hard to put on a good show on a nice big track. NASCAR spiced things up with the competition cautions once again, but tire issues never materialized and things began to work out for the teams. Racing had returned to NASCAR and just in the nick of time.

ESPN was trying some new things and expanded the integration of the three announcers located in the infield. Fans heard a lot of Rusty Wallace interacting with Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree in the booth. Wallace was in Jarrett's position last season, so the dynamic between these two was interesting to hear.

Wallace was eager to offer his opinion, only to have former TV partner Andy Petree often completely disagree. Alongside of Wallace in the infield was Brad Daugherty, who also had very different opinions on a variety of subjects than Wallace. Both Allen Bestwick and Jerry Punch sometimes found themselves navigating through a sea of diverse opinions and a whole lot of talking.

It was clear that Jarrett and Bestwick were actively involved in "team building" on the TV crew and were the professional voices of the broadcast. Punch continues to boost his volume for things like going to commercial and reading promos. This only became worse as Wallace cranked his volume up to the highest level in the rain delay.

One shining spot in this telecast was Andy Petree. He felt comfortable from the start of the race and interacted effectively with all of members of the broadcast team. Having Jarrett in the booth instead of Wallace has resulted in Petree having a very good year. His Nationwide Series telecasts have been fun and these longer Sprint Cup races are proving to be right up his alley.

ESPN had great pictures and sound, but several things happened while the network was in commercial and Punch failed to follow-up on race issues. The Michael Waltrip story was never updated, ESPN did not have video access to weather radar and was slow to use the blimp to show viewers what was going on with the rain.

Last season, Pocono was a race that resulted in this column on TDP. This season, ESPN has made substantive changes to a significant amount of the network's production elements and practices. Fans did not see Draft Track, music videos leading to commercial or celebrity interviews under green flag conditions.

Since Indy was not a true test of ESPN's NASCAR efforts, this Pocono race helped to show fans that ESPN is serious about putting the emphasis on race analysis. Jarrett, Petree and Wallace were featured in this telecast while Tim Brewer, Daugherty and the pit reporters played less of a role than normal.

ESPN worked well in the rain delay and picked-up the frenzy of the race in full stride to the finish when it resumed. This stretch was the best TV production of the race and the hard work of the pit reporters to update the final stops worked well. It was a nice way to finish the first "real" full race of the ESPN/ABC Sprint Cup package.

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54 comments:

Anonymous said...

That was a sickening excuse of a post-race show ... they only interviewed the winner. Seemed like they just wanted to end the broadcast as soon as possible.

Anonymous said...

What was with ESPN going to Sportscenter at 6:52pm eastern??? They shorted everyone of a post-race show, and they do an hour long baseball tonight before the Sunday Night Baseball game at 8pm. Did we really need a Brett Favre update that bad??? Why not just let the race crew do some post race interviews and vamp for 8 minutes about the race before tossing to Baseball Tonight??? Even the anchors referred to it as the "shortest Sportscenter ever." Seems like a programming snafu to me.

Adam T. Martin said...

^^^Unfortunately, time constraints prevented that.

Overall:

Pros: Good commentary from Petree and Jarrett. Great interactions between the booth and pit road. Nice handling of the red flag. Good pictures and audio.

Cons: Dr. Punch still lacks the fire for play by play. A few ill timed commercials (those lame SportsCenter ones are cringe inducing). Short post race, long prerace.

I do agree we need a longer post race.

Alex said...

And yet still, Jerry Punch is just not fit to be a play-by-play announcer. I realize the marathon that is Pocono can be a tough task to call a race with - believe me, I've been there. Yet at the same time, never seeming to have the energy from the start is tough to overcome.

Daly Planet Editor said...

That certainly was a tough call. Maybe in the future the network might use ESPN Classic to handle the post-race. This event certainly deserved some more coverage, but the clock on the wall said the race was 22 minutes longer than scheduled.

Just wait until we have college football, NFL football, MLB and the Olympics in progress. Should be even more fun from Watkins Glen.

JD

Vicky D said...

I think AP & DJ work well together now if they only had a different person doing the play by play ESPN's broadcasts would be super. I wonder what the weather is forecast for Watkin's Glen next week.

Anonymous said...

The post race was a bit brief. But the race did run over the alotted time and ESPN kept promising those tuneing in that SportsCenter was next.

Plus It was near 7:00 so SPEED Channel was coming on anyways with their post-race, and they said to tune into NASCAR Now at 10:00.

Anonymous said...
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Karen said...

I've been an Andy Petree fan since he started and I really, really like him now. He's got a great sense of humor and plays off DJ well. One didn't hesitate to disagree with the other. What else is there to say about JP that hasn't been said?

Anonymous said...
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Newracefan said...

Wasn't bad but needs work.

DJ and AP did an excellent job unfortunately they were having to correct JP on several occasions and after they corrected him we never got an update. Tony Raines missed pit stall is a perfect example.
AB from the infield studio was always welcome but keep Rusty and Brad out of it, IMO they added nothing and I glad to see it stop toward the end of the race. The lack of follow up of the cars in the top 20 at any point was annoying but more so at the end of the race. Reut was 11th going for the white he finished as the last car on the lead lap with BV right in front of him and he was picked early on as a possible winner. Did we ever hear where KB finished. Don't even get me started on MW and what about RObby Gordon he was 2 laps down- why?

Newracefan said...

Since when does Speed Report affect ESPN- your kidding right

Newracefan said...

OOPS I forget again no top 35

Brett said...

Karen! I agree with you 100%. I love Andy Petree. He seems like a real down to earth guy. He and Dale Jarret have great chemistry. ESPN Could have the best booth crew, but we all know who is holding that back.

Geez said...

Just tune into Victory Lane on Speed at 8:00pm eastern. Better post race anyway.

Newracefan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jo said...

No post race of the top 3 finishers, no update of the 35, aPbP man who can't, green flag full screen graphics and Brett updates during the race, the espn commercials w/ dude in bumpercar & gf Ashley, Darkmain,& cRusty w/ volume control on 11 - then stir well serve alongside a long race,
ummm not a great day.
solid C.
And that is only because of ( in no order) AB,DJ, AP and good camera shots - some wide shots (more please) and a great lack of contrived stories, a lack of celebs, and gizmos plus good use of TB & tech center that they get the C. As long as cRusty is on & in a speaking role would some one lower his volume & teach him manners, cutting people off is rude.

Anonymous said...

Twice DJ had to mention that the green flag was dropping for a restart. Maybe it was Andy once..I don't recall. Anyway, isn't this normally something Punch would do in his role?
And then late in the race Punch repeated something that was deemed incorrect earlier. He said Mark Martin would be praying for a caution, even though that wouldn't change the fact that he would have to pit for fuel under a caution while several other wouldn't. I believe it was Andy that gently corrected him.

Anyway, the casual race fan wouldn't notice this type of thing, but for those of us that pay close attention its annoying.

stricklinfan82 said...

Very solid effort by ESPN today. The pre-race show was the best I've seen all year. I was glad to see them kick off the show logically by starting with a qualifying review and then diving right into driver interviews. The Jimmie Johnson victory obligation piece from Indy was excellent and they hit every other key point that needed to be covered - the Indy debacle (with comments from Goodyear, NASCAR, and the ESPN analysts), the Chase bubble, and the heat issues that arose at Pocono in June. No goofiness. No production assistant stuffing his face on the air from the grandstands every 15 minutes. No chefs cooking for the hosts. No Photoshop nonsense. No guitar-playing analysts singing about the Boogeyman. Just solid reporting, solid pieces, and solid discussions. I could have done without the celebrity interview that included Mr. Sutherland commenting about how "great" the Indy race was, but at least they used him during the pre-race show and not during the actual race like they did last year.

The race production itself was solid as well. A lot of full-field coverage and good camera angles. I was disappointed at the finish when they cut to Jimmie Johnson getting out of his car on pit road after finishing and Carl Edwards waving out the window a little bit too early while top 15 cars were still racing to the line, but they certainly did much better than the Fox Phoenix approach of ignoring everyone but the winner in a race with almost the identical conclusion - a large margin of victory in a fuel mileage race.

Allen Bestwick was great as usual, and the analysts in the booth were very good as well. Andy Petree is doing a fine job and it will be a very sad day if ESPN decides to replace him with Ray Evernham next year. And I know I might be getting ahead of myself, but despite his limited experience in the booth I think Dale Jarrett has already established himself as the premier booth anaylst in the sport today. His performances so far have been nothing short of spectacular in my opinion.

I would still like to see Dr. Punch improve on keeping the viewers informed about what we can't see on TV. Bill Weber's greatest strength was always being on his toes and instantly keeping viewers informed about what was going on off camera - who's the lucky dog on each caution, who pitted under yellow during the commercial break when the leaders stayed out and where the first car that pitted will restart, who stayed out to lead a lap during the last commercial break, who had the hood up on pit road during the last commercial, etc. Timely updates on items like Montoya's plug wire problem were only done by Petree and Jarrett, and the only times Punch ever mentioned things like Waltrip going behind the wall or Bowyer leading under caution were many many laps after the fact. Punch also seemed to get lost on the late-race fuel strategy situation, saying on the air that Kahne and Martin ended up benefitting the most the way things shook out near the end of the race, and that a caution would help them even more. Both points couldn't have been more wrong however, and thankfully DJ, Andy, and Allen Bestwick all jumped in to correct him and make sure the fans were correctly informed as to what was actually going on - that Carl Edwards was actually the driver that benefitted the most from the way the strategy was unfolding and was going to end up winning the race.

The post-race coverage was disappointing but I can at least understand the lack of interviews since they were running very late because of the red flag for rain and this isn't a highly significant Cup race like the Brickyard was or Richmond and Homestead will be for ESPN/ABC. In a rare situation like this where they were very far over their scheduled off-time and it was a "normal" race I can grudgingly accept limited post-race coverage as long as they at least do a winner's interview, which they did do today. No matter how late you are running a victory lane interview is an absolute must. If this identical situation arises at Homestead or Richmond however, there needs to be a higher standard for the acceptable amount of post-race coverage, regardless of how late ESPN/ABC is running.

I would still like to see the Top 35 in owner's points battle be included with the finishing the results and the driver's point standings as "must include elements" at the end of every Cup broadcast, like Fox did. But again, since ESPN completely slaps every NASCAR fan in the face and screams loudly that qualifying doesn't matter on qualifying day itself, I can't say that I'm even remotely surprised.

ESPN has greatly improved NASCAR Now and their race production is very good now. Now it's time for the people at ESPN to lock down and re-vamp their qualifying and practice coverage and actually cover them as meaningful events. Simply covering those sessions they are contracted to cover should be a lot easier than handling a 500-mile Cup race with 43 cars spread around a 2.5 mile track. How the same ESPN behind-the-scenes people can successfully handle the difficult task of covering a Cup race and at the same time fail so miersably at showing 46 different cars making one or two timed laps around a track, one after another, is an absolute head-scratcher.

Anonymous said...

stricklinfan82, um...can you please make your comments a little shorter?

PT said...

Anonymous said...
stricklinfan82, um...can you please make your comments a little shorter?

Why, are you running out of ink?

Anonymous said...

just about, lol. im sorry, but that is just way too long for me.

AMS fan said...

Strick' just keep up the good comments. Most times your right on so I don't have to type as much.
An honest opinion is always a good read.
Overall I'll give a B-.
JP just cannot seem to keep up. That's why I need good people broadcasting, so I can have what's happening explained to me. I'm not there.

Daly Planet Editor said...

"Comments can be any length and must address the topic being discussed."

The rules for posting are located on the right side of the main page.

Thanks,

JD

Anonymous said...

I think the issue of Indy only served to distract from the single-file, no-passing "racing" we saw this weekend.

I thought the ESPN coverage was excellent, and the commentary top-notch (well, except when Dale Jarret talked about "Dirty Air" vs "Clean Air" - that was funny)...

... just imagine how good this ESPN team could be with a REAL RACE.

Dan said...

I was away from home this afternoon and wasn't able to see the majority of the broadcast. I picked up the race at lap 68 on the radio and listened to it until I got home. When I turned on the TV, there were nine laps left. All I can say is: WOW, the difference between MRN/PRN (I forget which) and ESPN is tremendous. The radio broadcast was pushing the various pit strategies, following multiple cars and really building the excitement as who was going to make it on fuel. I was hyped to know how things were going to play out and thrilled to be home in time to catch the end on TV. Turning on the TV was a huge let-down simply because the energy levels and apparent interest were so different. It really brought JD's points into sharp focus.

We've seen it mentioned here time and again: it seems like the TV and radio broadcasts are covering different events. Switching from radio to TV for the final race pay-off of certainly puts that in perspective. As I said, WOW.

kang said...

ESPN did a good job today.Some flaws however.They didn't have the interval up until about lap 30. With 89 to go the interval disappeared.The interval didn't return until around 65 to go, and then did stay to the finish.I wish ESPN would realize that some veiwers want to watch them (ESPN), but require quality information.It is also sad to note that the same stupidity exhibited last year shows signs of returning.I.E."if the race ended now here are the points" nonsense.I hope they save that garbage for the last lap at Miami,but the indications today were not good.

Anonymous said...

Really good coverage by ESPN today considering it was Pocono...
Rusty might have been on the Red Bull after the Montreal race, a long flight and short rest. I do agree he was a bit hyped up today.

I think JP is a numbers and stats junkie. That's his love and thats what he talks about. We may just have to get used to a new dynamic that the PxP guy is now 3 guys having a conversation about the race and not necessarily describing the action. We might also consider that Doctor JP doesnt get excited about wrecks because he has seen the down side of them a few too many times. Take him for who he is and let Andy and DJ talk as much as they want. In an odd way is seems to work.

I didn't watch the post shows but I did notice that ESPN didn't have time to recap the top 35 because of the late off. Yes a longer post race would have been nice, but I am sure that SC had some sponsor obligation as did Baseball tonight.

Overall, I loved the pre-race recaps of Indy, was great to see the race recap after the red flag, and thanks for the long checkered flag shot.

Naysayers beware! I think ESPN's second season is going to be a good one. Keep up the good work!

Kenn Fong said...

Anon 8:03 & 8:09;

We love Strick. This is J.D.'s house and we are the guests.

Kenny - Alameda, California

Charlie said...

Today just like last week the announcers way of phasing lap counts and what you see on the Tv screen stopped matching after the halfway point in the race. An announcer will say "on lap 185 the cars should be pitting." but the Tv screen shows 39 laps to go. I wish both would match. Either add the laps run to the Tv screen or try to get the announcers to use the laps to go phrase. Since these announcers are veterans of the sport I would think it would be easier to change the Tv screen then the announcers

AndyPandy said...

I tell you what, Rusty forgot everything they taught him, lemme tell ya, about not repeating a certain meaningless phrase throughout the race when he's talking about those hot rods, I tell you what.

Anonymous said...

It was a LONG Nascar weekend. I thought Jarrett and Petree did an outstanding job. Bestwick needs to replace Punch and Rusty needs to go fix his kid's car on a permanent basis. Brad is better this year,but has a long way to go. 500 Miles at Pocono is just insane.

Anonymous said...

Jerry simply doesn't belong in his current role.

He is easily confused, which leads to his famous "listing routine," where he just says what cars are on the screen at the moment ("the 26 of Greg Biffle, the 26 of Jamie McMurray, the 88 of Dale Earnhardt, Junior...), says things that make no sense, and missed critical action.

Several times yesterday, the veiwer could see cars doing something odd in a wide shot (like heading for the apron, or being way off the pace), but they were never mentioned.

I use Raceview, but come on, I can't keep track of every car myself...nor should I have to!

Anonymous said...

Type, of course, he does (usually) know Biffle is the 16, not the 26.

Anonymous said...

I had to sort of chuckle when Kiefer Sutherland was being interviewed as the grand marshall, when he was fawning over the race last week, and the SPEED guys were in total agreement, and when he got to ESPN he made the same comment and I think it was AP or DJ who said, "yeah the last restart" or something to that effect. All in all, these three have been through many many Pocono's. They had to know the opportunity was going to arise for airtime filler. The vignette of Pocon crashes was a nice trip in the way back machine, thankfully they didn't show Bobby Allison's wreck, but when they were talking about dominant Pocono drivers, a nice Tim Richmond vignette would have fit perfectly, in my opinion.

All in all, they're getting better, but it still seems like Dr. Punch is way out of his element. I give him credit, he's not a quitter and he's not trying to "Hollywood" it up and turn into a total buffoon, but how much longer can DJ and Petree keep throwing him liferings?

GinaV24 said...

Jerry Punch should go back to being a pit reporter, he was better at that and let AB do the play by play. Turn cRusty's volume down -- don't let him have the controls -- boy, he was annoying last year and after being put on the defensive after his Ryan Newman comments, he's back to being out of control again. Love AB, DJ and AP - they're doing a great job.
I agree the contrast between the radio broadcast of the race and what you get from TV is huge. When I listen to the radio, I can see the track in my mind (having been there) and listening to them talk about the strategy for each team is great. ESPN dropped the ball on that aspect of things. I think the camera work is better than last year and certainly much better than hype it all Fox coverage. I would like ESPN to get away from their agenda style story telling and yes, I know they were over on time because of the red flag, but geez, SC can be seen multiple times and they weren't Favre wasn't even in GB yet.

Hugh said...

Why such high marks for DJ? Does anyone really listen to him? SLOW DOWN DJ. His dad was AAA as an analyst, DJ is a B because he tries to fill every millisecond with his voice. Slow down DJ the race is on the track NOT IN THE BOOTH.

red said...

morning, all. since i was at the race and so won't comment on the broadcast, i've dropped my input on pocono on the race thread itself.
short version? hardly any racing along that very big track. sad.

speedangel said...

ESPN's coverage has improved vastly over last season, but there are still some things that need to be worked on.

One is dropping storylines at the end of the race that were developed (or tried to be) during the day. It might be a function of no post-race show, so I'll wait until a race finishes with enough time left in their timeslot.

Another item is Jerry Punch. I have fondness for him, but he's driving me to MRN for my audio of the race.

The last of the big items is the infrequency of the "Up to Speed" segments, and that they rarely go past 10th position.

But in ESPN's defense they don't start off their season with the best few races on the schedule.

ri88girl said...

I would like ESPN to please move Jerry Punch to pit road where he shines, so that he can whip the other pit reporters into shape.

I would like ESPN to put Allen in the booth as pxp.

These two changes would aleviate 99% of the viewr complaints.

I would like a million dollars, but I don't think ESPN will give me that either. Oh well.

Anonymous said...

Petree and Jarrett were doing such a good job yesterday that I didn't even notice Dr. Punch.

BTW: When I donated blood Saturday morning, I became the fourth member of my household in the past two weeks to donate.
If you are a healthy adult, there is no reason for you not to spend one hour every two months to donate blood.

Matt said...

JD,

One thing that I thought was interesting was when ESPN showed the NASCAR calendar for the upcoming week. They actually included the NCTS race (Satuday in Nashville), which is on SPEED, in that graphic. I was impressed by this and a bit surprised. Just me?

Lisa Hogan said...

Not mentioning a sponsor of a particular race has happened on all the networks. Isn’t this because the Red Cross didn’t pay ESPN directly to be mentioned? Cheetos was mentioned plenty of times in what was clearly “paid” ads.

I think that ESPN did a good job on the visuals yesterday. I also think that the booth and the infield studio staff were enjoyable most of the time. The pit reporting was below average.

Just my opinion:
I paid closer attention to Jerry Punch during the race yesterday. It has really concerned me that he is so far “off” during the broadcasts.

I have come to the conclusion that he is reading text on his PC monitor during the race. Someone somewhere is typing and he is reading. When there is no text, he looks at the TV monitor and starts reading off car numbers that he sees on the screen. When that fails he goes to that huge notebook and starts reading stats. He is usually a few seconds behind in calling a pass. This would explain everything.

This would also explain how Dale and Andy can tell right away that he is in trouble and jump right in to cover.

Dale and Andy do a great job; but, I think it adds to the pressure that they are also having to cover for Punch during the race.

If Jerry Punch didn’t have so much respect from the fans, they would be calling for his head. As it is, most are sincerely concerned for his health.

Daly Planet Editor said...

matt,

I found it strange that while they included the event (Trucks) they did not promote the fact that SPEED has picked-up practice sessions live for ESPN's very own Sprint Cup races.

Isn't TV fun?

JD

Richard in N.C. said...

I really do not think it is fair at this point to compare DJ in his first year to memories of Ned after he had honed his craft for many, many years. DJ may never be quite as good as Ned, but DJ is already very good and gee whiz it is just his 1st full year. As I recall, Ned started out as a pit reporter and DJ has been thrown right into the fire.

Anonymous said...

I don't know why everyone is banging on Keifer. He not only narrated the awesome NASCAR IMAX film from a few years back, but I've actually seen him at a race in Fontana - when he wasn't the grand marshall. Yes, he was there to watch. I guess that's not a real enough fan.

Lots of celebrities like NASCAR and go to the races when they come out here to California. I always was under the impression that KS was one of the more well-known ones. But I guess that isn't good enough.

Back to the broadcast, this Pocono race could have used the FOX team. I know that a lot of the folks here aren't fans of the FOX broadcast, but one thing I think they do great is they make every race they broadcast feel like a big event - like a SuperBowl weekend. This is one area where ESPN/ABC is lacking. Their approach is more staid and newsy and really lacks the enthusiasm the FOX guys bring. I mean, when FOX is on the air you get the feeling that every announcer on camera (okay, except Myers) is so excited to be there, can't wait for the race to start, that they get you excited. And I think they tell a better in-race story, even if many here think the story is biased.

I miss FOX. There, I said it. I think the Chase would be more exciting with them covering the end of the season and letting ESPN/ABC do the beginning.

happymommy said...

I watch FOX and feel like those guys are actually wataching the real race. I watch ESPN and feel like they are watching on a slightly tape delayed screen. Iswear one of the commentators actually made a quick remark yesterday about actually looking up and out the window once!

Karen said...

Anonymous said...

I don't know why everyone is banging on Keifer. He not only narrated the awesome NASCAR IMAX film from a few years back, but I've actually seen him at a race in Fontana - when he wasn't the grand marshall. Yes, he was there to watch. I guess that's not a real enough fan.


KS told Wendy V at the end of Raceday that he had never attended a race live before yesterday.

Richard in N.C. said...

I've never been in the booth, but the picture up top does make it appear that the ESPN announcers can only see the track if they do stand up.

I wonder whether Mike Joy's background with MRN makes it natural ( a habit ?) for him to stand a good deal of the time while announcing, so DW & Larry Mc end up standing a good deal of the time too - while Dr. P's background is TV, so he's used to referring to a screen and, thus, is used to sitting?

Bluster said...

Geez said...Just tune into Victory Lane on Speed at 8:00pm eastern. Better post race anyway.

Unfortunately there are a lot of people who don't get Speed. I have DirecTV but if I had to rely on my local cable provider I'd be out of luck unless I wanted to pay for digital. Some people can't afford to do that.

Plus even if Speed has better post race coverage (and I agree they do) that doesn't mean that ESPN shouldn't be giving their viewers post race coverage at least until the top of the hour.

Anonymous said...

I miss FOX. There, I said it. I think the Chase would be more exciting with them covering the end of the season and letting ESPN/ABC do the beginning.

If we're gonna start wishing, let's wish Fox did the entire season.

Or let's wish for the "old" NBC, before they knew they were getting out and gave up on the broadcast.

Ken-Michigan said...

Until these races are held INDOORS....Weather should always be part of the producers rundown.

Sunday was just another example of the TV Network NOT PAYING ATTENTION to the weather.

It's as if they are scared to even bring up RAIN !! Someone in the truck should always have an eye to the sky.

Some of us here in TDP, brought up the weather issue 30 minutes BEFORE ESPN ever mentioned it.

Even if the radar shows the "possibility" of rain, they ( the network) should give us a glimpse of the radar. It only entices the viewer to "stay tuned" longer to the broadcast, because IT MIGHT RAIN. The weather simply adds more drama to the event they are covering.... racing especially.

Message to the networks:

Dont be afraid to show the radar to the viewers. The teams are watching the radar. Some of US are watching the radar.... SHOW THE RADAR !!

chase said...

Yes, this is JD's house and Strick's comments are always most welcome and usually right on the money! I really think Punch has got to go -- his voice invokes boredom, there is no pizzazz in it and it translates to me, at least, that he wishes he were anywhere else but at a racetrack. Rusty sounded like he was on speed and, like petulent little children, he should be seen and not heard. There are very good reasons why he is no longer in the booth and he should be relegated to only opening his mouth at short intervals or, better yet, ESPN should jettison him. I dream of Bestwick, Petree and Jarrett - what a great triumvirate and a definite winning combination! And could we perhaps cut some of the pre-race to add more time to the post-race segment? Regardless of which network is broadcasting, post-race is never enough. Thanks John!

Richard in N.C. said...

With all the Hoo-Rah and big names, I don't think ESPN and Andy P. get enough credit for Andy Petree. I find him much more laid back, but in his own way I think Andy is just as good as Larry Mc - but I don't know whether Andy can draw as well. In the last 2 years of NASCAR broadcasting in my mind Andy P. is THE big find, and I wish he were on N-Now more often.