Friday, September 12, 2008

Friday TV From Loudon, NH (ESPN2 And SPEED)

The Sprint Cup and Craftsman Truck Series are in action this week in Loudon, NH. This is the first race in the Chase for the Championship on the Cup side.

Friday TV offerings include practice, qualifying, news and entertainment. It will be ESPN2 up first at Noon ET with Sprint Cup practice. Dr. Jerry Punch, Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree will be joined by pit reporters Dave Burns, Mike Massaro, Jamie Little and Shannon Spake for the coverage.

Over on SPEED at 1PM there will be taped coverage of the Camping World East Series from Mansfield as the future stars of the sport race in what has quickly become more of a development series than anyone realized.

At 1:30PM, the practice coverage on ESPN2 ends and that network will have a thirty minute preview show of the 2008 Chase for the Championship. Last season, this show was produced by The NASCAR Media Group and was simply a look at all twelve teams and drivers.

At 2:30PM it will be Steve Byrnes, John Roberts and Bob Dillner hosting the Go or Go Home show on SPEED that discusses the teams outside the Top 35 and looks at the cars competing to make the Loudon Cup race on qualifying time.

At 3PM, the ESPN2 crew will be back and joined by Allen Bestwick, Rusty Wallace and Brad Daugherty to call the Sprint Cup qualifying session.

Once qualifying is over, there will be a thirty minute version of NASCAR Now at 5PM. After Thursday's featured story on Ron Hornaday and his steroid use several years ago, it should be interesting to see what follow-up happens on Friday's version.

The day ends with Trackside at 7PM on SPEED. Byrnes is joined by Jeff Hammond, Larry McReynolds and Elliott Sadler for an hour of conversation and fun. The two guests are Kyle Busch and NCTS driver Michael Arnett. Yes, unofficially Ron Hornaday was the original guest, but after what ESPN did to him this week he quietly cancelled. Once again, it should be interesting to hear what these pros say about the issue.

Here are some interesting notes for Saturday. NASCAR VP Robin Pemberton will join McReynolds, Chad Knaus and Bootie Barker on NASCAR Performance at 7:30PM. This will be a good opportunity to see the interaction between these panelists and the top guy in the world of the COT.

Kyle Petty is not going to make Tradin' Paint this weekend. It will be SPEED favorite Carl Edwards who joins host John Roberts and writer Joe Menzer. This show continues to shy away from other veteran NASCAR media members who have opinions and would be good to see on TV. From Lee Spencer of FoxSports to Bob Margolis of Yahoo! it seems to be a closed little circle where Tradin' Paint is concerned.

Here is a quick heads-up on Sunday. Both Tony Stewart and Clint Bowyer will be live on RaceDay and Ken Squier will offer another feature on the history of the Loudon race track. Wendy Venturini's Real Deal will interview the hottest guy going into The Chase. His name is Kyle Busch.

This post will serve to host your comments about Friday's NASCAR TV offerings. To add your TV/Media-related comment, just click on the COMMENTS button below. The rules for posting are located on the right side of the main page. Thanks for stopping by.


Anonymous said...

WOW its already the JoLo show! Jamie ramblin' on & on

Anonymous said...

4 minutes into practice and nothing has been said about the actual cars on the track. Instead pit reporters talking about The Chase and the camera is on Jerry and DJ in the studio.

Anonymous said...

6 mins in & 1st full screen graphics! Yup espn out doing themselves

Anonymous said...

And Chad wrecks - now we get to see video of the backup being rolled out!
And COMM'L. !!!

Anonymous said...

Wait 30 sec of cars on track!!!
Fix that espn - its practice - we fans are unworthy to see cars on track!

stricklinfan82 said...

Well, 11 minutes in and I officially give up on ESPN's practice "coverage".

Cars were already on the track when they came on the air but ESPN didn't care. They spent the first 10 or so minutes following a tight script:

1.) video package
2.) pit reporters telling non-practice related stories about one driver each as "lead in" to this event
3.) Andy Petree in Kevin Harvick's garage stall as part of ESPN's brand new "innovation" of turning practice into the "Chaser of the Week Show - We Will Spend 60 Minutes Following one Chaser and one Chaser Only"
4.) full-screen Tech Center
5.) more Petree from Harvick's garage

The worst part about all this is that you could hear the background engine noise on the track stop and then even see the cars stopped on the track during a full-screen stat display as part of the 'open'. I figured it was a debris caution and ESPN would eventually get to it. Much to my shock after the scripted open was finally finished, they showed us a quick glimpse of a crashed car limping into the pits - several minutes after the incident occurred - before immediately rushing to their scripted first commercial, with no replay.

The final straw that broke the camel's back was staying on the Harvick "story" instead of returning to the green flag action in practice. Inevitably another crash happened, and we missed it again.

This is a complete joke. And if JD is right that they are adding the pit studio and 3 more announcers to qualifying coverage that without a doubt confirms that someone at ESPN needs to lose their job. That only opens the door for more TV time for talking heads and studio guests, and less time for on-track qualifying. I don't know who it is, but whoever the individual or individuals are that decided to add EVEN MORE distractions to practice and qualifying coverage have got to go.

This is beyond unacceptable. I'm gone from ESPN for the rest of the day, and in fact for the rest of the weekend until Sunday. And if Sunday starts bad I'll be sticking to Hotpass. What a colossal failure this ESPN weekend is already shaping up to be.

haus20 said...

Hey, did you guys know there are only 12 cars racing this weekend?

Anonymous said...

OK I give up TV is off -ESPN you have accomplished your goal. ESPN refuses to give fans what we want,& casual fans do not watch practice.

Between the script, full screen graphics, TB in techno,and ANYTHING else 4letter can find to NOT SHOW the practice session ( FALSE ADVERT)
and 12 cars being spoken about & JoLO I AM DONE. I'll try again w/Quals - not holding out much hope. & PRN has radio coverage.

HAVE A GREAT "practice" CASUAL FANS & 4letters

Anonymous said...

OH BTW I am following practice times on FoxTrax & Nascar

Sean said...

Yeah this hasn't been good so far, we need SPEED.

Anonymous said...

What is with the obsession with Petree and Harvick today?

bevo said...

Are there any cars on the track???

I've had enough, don't need the 19345th explanation of track bar adjustments.

Think I'll watch the hurricane coverage.

Sophia said...


Thanks for telling me what I missed...i turned of Young and the Restless at 12.50 to hear Punch talking about the PHENOM Logano..and Jamie is blathering on.

I am so depressed I have a HOME DEPOT JACKET of the 20 car....I hope it says Stewart on it somewhere...I am going back to my soap.

I don't like ESPN's soap opera.

Thanks for the breakdown JD but I shall be skiping ALL ESPN shows.

Nan S said...

I guess the sponsors won't mind that so many of us aren't watching the coverage. Honestly, other than taping the Cup races that Ambrose is in (and fast forwarding to look for action), I probably won't watch anything related to Cup other than the highlites on Speed Report.

Anonymous said...

It was funny when Jamie asked Vickers how the car would be after he put it into the wall. He was like, umm, we have to go to a backup car.

I have this running joke with my son about the good Doctor. In the most calm monotone possible I say things like "all 43 cars have just burst into flames on the track". Then in my most enthusiastic voice I throw it to a commercial.

majorshouse said...

Well it looks like the four letter network is back to their crappy coverage again. When will NASCAR get the hint that we fans think that their package absolutely sucks. Give me Speed TV anyday of the week. At least I know it will be not only entertaining, but will give me all of the information that I am looking for and not all of the crappy fluff that we get otherwise.
Are they trying to kill the sport like what basically happened to the IRL?

Anonymous said...

As has been said before, the current producer of ESPN's pratice/qualifying coverage needs to be replaced with one who does NOT think the actual event is boring and thus will not feel a need to ignore it.

Anonymous said...

The best way to totally destroy ESPN's coverage of the enxt 10 races would be for a non-Chase driver to dominate and win each one.

The ESPN Producers' heads would explode.

red said...

for those who are turning espn off in frustation and anger, i can tell you that there is light at the end of that tunnel! i have stayed away from all-things espn for 3 weeks now and i still feel that i'm informed as to what's going on in our sport. the folks who have commented on this site have repeatedly and clearly stated multiple objections to the way espn handles broadcasts of nascar events. clearly, today in loudon is more of the same.

(in the interest of full disclosure, i have finally had to click to the espn website so i could read the hornaday article. but the entirety of the article isn't likely to show up anywhere BUT espn so i'm stuck.)

there are a series of significant issues with how espn presents nascar to the fan base and public at large. they aren't going to go away if dr punch is moved to another job or if rusty is gagged and brad tossed. the attitude that comes across the screen --either tv or computer -- is one of disdain and arrogance and i can live without espn in my sports life going forward.

nascar: are YOU listening? do you care? the cot has already caused me to cancel going to dover next week, now espn has me turning off the tv. mike helton et al: what are YOU going to do about this for next season? more of the same? or actually look carefully and seriously at what fans are saying and think about how to provide a much better "product" to the consuming fan.

remember at the very beginning of this season, jd asked a simple question: are you going to watch nascar on tv this season? i wonder what answers that question would bring forth today.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

The best way to totally destroy ESPN's coverage of the enxt 10 races would be for a non-Chase driver to dominate and win each one.

The ESPN Producers' heads would explode.

September 12, 2008 1:33 PM
We can only hope!!

Vicky D said...

I've been watching quite awhile and they are concentrating on the chasers but I think the storyline this weekend will be Harvick. They seem to have been on him all practice.

Sophia said...

I have often prayed a non chase driver would win all the races during the "Chase"!!


A girl can still dream.

Rick said...

Well, I just got home and watched the recored practice, skipping thru anything that wasn't live on track action and finished in 30 minutes.

One third of the 90 minute practice telecast was actual practice, the other two thirds was crap.

haus20 said...

Well, the rain shouldn't make much of a difference to the ESPN programming, they don't show much of the action on the track anyway.

Rick said...

LOL Haus, I was just thinking that they covered so little of the actual practice that they were probably wishing they hadn't used all their canned "features" during the practice telecast. Now all those are reruns.

Well, those that weren't reruns already. ;)

Anonymous said...

Well its raining, hopefully quals get run. Not because I want to see JoLo make the race just so the others get a chance to race Sunday.

TV is on, FoxTrax is waiting, PRN net is good to go! At the 1st sign of usual 4letter non coverage of action on the track, off goes the TV.

Vicky D said...

Hopefully we'll have electricity after early tomorrow morning. We'll probably lose our satellite but might be able to watch local channels on our battery operated tv. Yep ESPN is having a lovefest with Harvick today.

Anonymous said...

Someone should tell Shannon qualifying isn't cancelled yet. That was embarassing to have Joey Lagano answer questions about how it feels to know he's in the race and how it will be starting in the back. It doesn't look good but it's still very bad reporting to already assume it's a rashout and congratulate a guy that's not in yet.

Anonymous said...

quals cancelled - so TV is off till later. Have a great day!

Anonymous said...

Shannone and Jamie both continue to ask questions that make me embarrassed for them. They come across as clueless the majority of the time.

ri88girl said...

I can see I didn't miss nothin'

I agree with Red, are you listening NASCAR? Remember the word of the week, LEADERSHIP from someone, anyone, please!

stricklinfan82 said...

ESPN's laughable weekend continues....

ESPNEWS's handling of the reporting of Cup qualifying being rained out (4:40 PM Eastern, long after the rain-out announcement and with plenty of time available to gather all the facts):

"Qualifying for the first race of the Chase has been rained out.... this means for a third straight week Joey Logano will not be able to make his Sprint Cup debut. He needs to qualify for a position and since there was no qualifying, no newcomers are allowed."

That's it. No mention of Kyle Busch getting the pole based on points or the 12 Chasers starting in the top 12 spots. They only made sure to let everyone know the "major news story" that Joey Logano will not race and moved on.

The biggest blunder of course is that Joey Logano is in fact in the race because he's driving the #96 car this week. And of course this is his second Cup attempt, not his third. Seriously, did some intern just throw darts and randomly guess the facts when putting together that 'report'? How hard would it be to check with some ESPN worker on-site in Loudon or even make a simple check with to confirm the "Logano misses the field!" story? I now definitely worry about the accuracy of the information this network gives me about sports I don't follow as closely as this one when I watch stuff like this reach the air.

I didn't bother with the last 80 minutes of Cup practice or the Cup qualifying show but based on the reports I'm reading I didn't miss anything but garbage. No surprise there. Completely typical of an ESPN NASCAR production. Good luck to those of you that try to tough things out and find tape-delayed Happy Hour coverage some time tomorrow night. Maybe you'll get lucky and it will fit perfectly in-between football games and you won't have to wait until 1 or 2 AM to see if the miracle happens and ESPN actually covers the on-track session they are there to televise.

NASCAR. Please buy out this waste of a TV network.

ri88girl said...

I've wanted to point this out for a while and now seems like as good a time as any.

Ask yourself if you have honestly EVER heard Doc, Shannon, Jamie, Mike Messero, Dave Burns, Nicole Manskey or Ryan Burr say the phrase 'our sport' when discussing something within NASCAR?

Every other on air personality from every network from SPEED to the late NBC; from booth guys to pit reporters to regular journalists all use this phrase in reference to our sport. As do the on air personalities at ESPN who were a part of our sport before they were a part of ESPN. It is not my contention that they all SHOULD do this, I just find it very telling and relevent that they don't.

Perhaps ESPN does not have the capacity as a network to fully participate in our sport. NASCAR are you listening?

Richard in N.C. said...

JD- I cannot imagine what Lee Spencer could add to Tradin' Paint since objectivity is not in her vocabulary. I can imagine that she might not want to have to publicly defend some of what she has written since moving to FOX Sports website from Sporting News. Now I would really love to see Bob Margolis on TP as he is one of about 3 writers I check for daily. At the same time, I wonder whether ESPN would blackball from appearing on ESPN any writer who appears on TP. Jenna Fryer is the only writer I can recall being on TP after appearing on NASCAR Now.

Anonymous said...

I slept on the couch and due to SP settings it flipped over to ESPN so I'm glad I was sleeping through it. I woke up on and off but sadly it seems that I wasn't dreaming that each time I woke up they were yammering on with interviews.

@anon 1:13--sadly that's how it would be :(

@vicky--if you see this stay safe! We might get the remnants of it depending on the direction and final category it hits down there at.

@stricklan--that's funny, sad and embarrassing all a the same time! No they don't have to be "experts" but at least get the information right! When I went to Sears Point a few years ago the guys on the PA system were "arguing" how OP worked for the last few spots for the "ringers". They didn't know how it worked. I was in line waiting for Herman to show up when some folks brought it up and how embarrassing it was.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 6:15PM,

The original point of Tradin' Paint was to bring up subjects that often put the reporter on the spot as well as the driver panelist.

It resulted in a good variety of reporters trying to dig their way out of all kinds of topics.

Every top national reporter should appear on this show, which is often the only place they will every be seen and not just read.


majorshouse said...

I started to watch qualifying, but when I saw that it was raining, I turned it off and went to NASCAR Now at 5:00, but it was such a bore I turned on MASH instead. NASCAR are you listening to your fans, you are letting ESPN ruin racing for us and I too would not mind seeing someone like David Reagan win at least one race during the chase to show you all up.

Dot said...

I am so glad that I had to work later than usual today. I didn't miss a thing on ESPN. Thank you all for commenting.

I liked the exploding head comment. That is my hope, too. That, and JoLo taking out a chaser.

Sadly, NASCAR will not fire ESPN.

I have a question. Who at Gibbs knew qual was going to be rained out to put JoLo in the 96?

Anonymous said...

@dot--What I heard was that the weather forecast stated that there may be rain this weekend. So they did the number switchero to be on the safe side.

Dot said...

Thanks Gymmie. The only weather I've heard about all week is Ike.

Karen said...

majorshouse said...

and I too would not mind seeing someone like David Reagan win at least one race during the chase to show you all up.

Me and you both. I like him and happy that UPS does, too. I was afraid he might be one of the five drivers to go when Roush has to downsize.

Adam T. Martin said...

ESPN has the worst practice coverage.

Anonymous said...

LEE Spencer on Paint!!!!!!!!!! Boring..........