Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Did You Cheat On NASCAR Last Sunday?


The results of the Dover weekend are trickling-in and the enthusiasm over the good on-track action is being tempered by lower TV ratings for the Sprint Cup Series race.

Just as NASCAR faced a while back with the Olympics, last Sunday had a bevy of sports that included baseball, football and golf match-ups. The resulting choices have sparked an on-going debate about the TV loyalty of NASCAR fans.

One unique Sunday telecast was the coverage of the final game at Yankee Stadium. The ESPN networks offered seven hours of live TV, all of that coming before the first pitch. With the Sprint Cup race on ABC, it may have been ESPN that provided the single highest-profile competition for sports viewers.

The question is simple. Did you watch the Dover race, ignore it for another TV sports offering or multi-task and wear out the remote?

One key reason NASCAR changed to The Chase format was to combat this attraction to switch channels. They created a playoff atmosphere for a sport that often limped to the finish line of the season.

In this season's Chase, Dale Earnhardt Junior has been in a tough spot and Kyle Busch fell out of the Dover race relatively early. While the racing in the final 35 laps was outstanding, Dover is a grind-it-out track where survival sometimes trumps racing. This is not perhaps the best way to combat the myriad of other sports TV offerings.

One interesting point is the fact that many NASCAR fans are already multi-tasking just to watch a Sprint Cup Series race. The clear focus of the ESPN telecasts is the Chasers and the top five cars. At Dover, the full field rundown was done once in 400 laps. For fans of those teams not in The Chase and not at the head of the pack, the only way to get information about their race is to use the Internet, DirectTV's Hot Pass or to listen to the radio call of the race.

As you take the time to comment on this topic, please make sure to tell us if you were already multi-tasking the NASCAR race before you made the decision to cheat on your old dependable TV partner.

During the Sprint Cup Series races, the ESPN on ABC gang takes the time to put the scores of other sporting events on the bottom line to keep viewers informed. It is not the constant crawl of ESPN2, but does this information help to keep you informed or just serve to tell you when an NFL game is good and it is time to change the channel?

This post is not about the ESPN/ABC announcers. If you felt they played a role in your TV selection on Sunday, then tell us. But, please abstain from getting the topic off-track with debates about personalities and performance. As veteran readers of TDP already know, that issue will certainly be with us again soon.

Thanks again for responding to this topic. It should be interesting to hear from NASCAR fans who had to deal with their hometown NFL team's game, closing day at Yankee stadium and the high-profile Ryder Cup golf tourney. Did that trigger finger on the remote get itchy after lap 100 at Dover? We look forward to your comments.

The Daly Planet welcomes comments from readers. Just click on the COMMENTS button below and follow the easy directions. There is nothing to join and we do not want your email address.

We just want your opinion on the topic of NASCAR vs. other sports at this time of the year. The rules for posting are located on the right side of the main page. Thanks again for taking the time to stop by.

109 comments:

alex said...

I'll take the blame. I've been a Nascar fan for 15 years, but I've also been a lifelong baseball fan, and I've got a fantasy football team. I spent most of the afternoon watching the Atlanta Falcons game, switching between NFL on CBS/FOX, and watching the Yankee Stadium specials on ESPN.

I flipped back and forth a few times to the race just to see who was winning, and to watch for 5 minutes or so at a time. It's too bad since I hear it was a pretty good race, I'll have to catch the Thursday replay on SPEED.

Daly Planet Editor said...

alex,

Great point I should have added in the column. The Chase races are being replayed on ESPN Classic on Mondays and on SPEED on Wednesdays.

JD

Phathead said...

I spent Sunday watching football, although I was a NASCAR fan long before I was a football fan. Actually I haven't watched a single lap since the chase started. Usually don't watch much this time of year due to the chase to be perfectly honest. Just seems as if everything is more contrived. Plus you have it being forced down your throat every 30 seconds. At least when I'm watching a NFL game between two teams I'm not reminded of two other teams with playoff potential every 30 seconds. Five years ago this was the time of the year I didn't miss a lap. Now I could hardly careless.

alex said...

It's too bad Nascar had to create the chase just for ratings. Personally, I would have watched the same number of races either way. It's a shame that Kyle Busch has had the best season since Jeff Gordon in 1998, and it's wasted because of 2 races.

Phathead said...

Actually Alex, until the last two weeks, Kyle was having the 53rd best season of the modern era but was still far far behind Gordon of last year. Also ahead of him were Bobby Labonte's 2000 season, and Dale Jarrett's 1999 season. Still he had a very good year going for him.

Village Idiot Intern said...

No, I cheated on the No Fun League, Yankee Stadium and The Daly Planet. I watched the race, lurked on TDP without posting, kept foxtrax up in another window, the Dale Jr. channel on another monitor via slingbox and played The Jerry Punch Drinking Game, young man. I barely remember the checkered flag flying. I hazily remember the technical segments with Tim "Back To You Jerry" Brewer. I feel guilty for not posting here, but the posts would not have been quality material and prolly would have been deleted. Sorry. For the fans of **** maybe we'll have better luck next week.

Trivia question. NASCAR outlawed engine changes during a race when Darrel Waltrip's crew changed an engine in 17 minutes when he was racing for Junior Johnson. Who was the crew chief when this engine change occurred? Was it Rodeo Hammond or Back To You Brewer?

Phathead said...

I do believe that was Mr Hammond

Russell said...

It's college football season - so I was in the car for a four-hour drive back home, like I am for a fair number of the Chase races. We were listening to the MRN broadcast, moving from station to station.

alex said...

phathead,
53rd? That's pretty far down there... I was just looking at wins in the season.

Adam T. Martin said...

I saw the race without multi-tasking.

I only saw some NFL games for two minutes the most. Flipping back and forth between the race.

However, near the end, there was no flipping the channels.

bevo said...

I was at the Motorplex watching the NHRA. If I had been home it would have been HotPass, Ryder Cup on the computer with FoxTrax and of course TDP.

Ron Ripple - NASCAR Fan said...

I never miss a race and how could I? I'm NASCAR's biggest fan and know that if I watch football instead... the NASCAR gods will strike me dead!

Ron Ripple

Anonymous said...

FYI - After the past two races, Carl Edwards would be ahead of Busch by 32 points if the standings and points were never reset. Jimmie Johnson would be about 53 points behind Edwards and nipping at the heels of Kyle Busch, about 20 points back in the fight for second place.

I think fans should be more informed before blaming the lack of viewership on this particular thing.

Daly Planet Editor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Daly Planet Editor said...

They do it every year at this time of the season. It makes no sense, The Chase is not new.

Just a reminder, please focus on telling us how you watched, did not watch or channel surfed through the Sunday Cup race from Dover.

Looking for comments about your viewing experience.

JD

Gymmie said...

Bad Alex! :p

I was on the race the whole time...but I did have a few times where I thought about checking out what else was on. Not necessarily sports but other stuff.

I'm not a huge stick and ball fan...if I watch it's the last bit provided I remember to check it out. Back in the dark ages where we only had a handful of channels I would watch football & baseball. So if I see they're in a playoffs I might check them out.

JT Perry said...

A long time NASCAR fan, I think I am a victim of the 1.5 D tracks and COT. I just don't get excited anymore with the races. I still follow it very closely online and reading. However, I don't watch the races flag to flag anymore. I stop by and see how they are doing.

I still read many racing websites a couple of times a day. I am more intrigued by the "Silly Season" type stories these days then the actual racing. The analysis of the drug policy was more interesting than any California or Kansas race.

Why? The actual racing has just been boring. Painfully boring. I saw myself drifting when NASCAR moved to the cookie cutter, follow the leader, 1.5 mile tracks. The COT has just been close to the final straw for me.

The TV package is a small part of the issue for me. I just really miss the days of Bob Jenkins, Ned Jarrett, and Eli Gold. Some of that I think is nostalgia, and I have no doubt if the races where more exciting the TV would be more exciting.

To summarize, the race itself has become the least exciting part of NASCAR for me.

Phathead said...

alex,

I can show you the stats list if you're really interested

Anonymous said...

I watched the Yankees pre-game specials, NASCAR and football.

Here's the deal with the NFL and why NASCAR has such a tough problem and I don't have a solution (except moving Cup races to Saturday nights). The NFL's season is a perfect length (and it would be a huge mistake to change it to 18 games).

Every game counts.

There is no "early season" for the NFL. Or a "summer slump." NASCAR's season is so ridiculously long that parts of it become meaningless, and/or people are fatigued by the time "showtime" - the Chase- comes around. they're ready to watch something different by the fall. Like football, or baseball playoffs.

Every game counts in the NFL. Dale Jr said so in an interview, so it must be true. He made that point when asked if the NASCAR season was too long; he thought it was and pointed to the NFL for comparison on importance of every week's event.

Anonymous said...

I watched from 10AM-12:30AM, all 13 plus hours on TV. Do not have high speed, so the sites online do not worked very well. I do check TDP during commercials, as I have all season, and since the site was born. I'm older, and a slow typist so I hardly ever post a comment.
bh

Charlie said...

I recorded the race because I was watching the Ryder Cup. When I did watch the race I watched it from flag to flag.

Anonymous said...

I didn't cheat on NASCAR and watched the entire thing on ABC.

But here is a theory: The low ratings are not the result of sports competition from this weekend so much as bad racing from previous weekend.

Think about it: Dover was an excellent race, but how many bad ones have there been this year? From Indy to Atlanta to California and on and on there have been some really bad races this year because of the COT.

So, if ratings are down - I don't blame the other sports for drawing people away, I blame NASCAR for not being able to keep the ones they have. I believe that a series of bad races takes time to show up in the ratings and we're seeing it now.

Karen said...

Did tape one hour of the ESPN most memorable moments of Yankee Stadium but erased it before watching. I skip the pre-race shows but DVR them. Watched the race on TV, had the radio on the internet with no sound until commercials, constantly read TDP and that's it for me. Have an issue with my Road Runner so don't do Trackpass, etc.

Big Jr. fan and am fascinated by KyB. When either of those are out of it, I still watch b/c I'm afraid I'm going to miss something important. Now I have to focus on Da Biff. This race was very exciting.

No Tiger, no golf for me.

FF through the pre-race shows after reading input from TDP and hit the profiles and not so much the interviews of the drivers. SOS over and over. I'm warn out by then. The season is too long. I agree with Jr. I'm about OD'd on NASCAR by this time of the year but always anxiously await Speed Weeks.

Karen said...

P.S. Have to admit during the NW race, I did flip over to the TB/Twins game b/c I live so close to them and wanted to hear Mike Joy calling it. I'm only a playoff and Series watcher, so with that caveat, I thought he did a great job.

Anonymous said...

I cheated. I watched the Ryder Cup matches. I didn't surf. I didn't DVR the main race or any of the HotPass channels - I am a HP subscriber.

It's been an ongoing thing for me really. I became a fan of NASCAR around 1970...and was a rabid fan through the early 2000s. My interest has begun to wane, terribly, in these last few years. It seems like the more they do to "jazz up" the sport or broadcasts, the more turned-off I become.

I may have watched Dover if not for the golf deal, but when I see races coming up that are notoriously boring (Michigan, California, old-Vegas, New Hampshire, basically any flat track under ¾ mile) I don't even flinch at not being home at race time or even setting the DVR to record them. If I want to watch a fuel mileage race, with most passing done in the pits, I'll take up watching F1 again.

NorCalFan said...

I watched the race start to finish multi-tasking using the internet to switch back and forth from Nascar.com’s Pitcommand for leaderboard information and scanning driver radios, to TDP, to NFL.com to check on the scores of the Raiders and 49ers. Not a baseball or golf fanatic. I used the remote control to occasionally watch the ESPN coverage but the majority of time I switched channels between a couple of Direct TV Hotpass channels because their reporters provide more race information than ESPN and the race is always shown on the screen even during commercials. Hotpass has eliminated the need to listen to the radio broadcast of the race.

On a side note, I am looking forward to making the annual trek to Talladega next week. No multi-tasking necessary. All I'll need is my seat at the top of the grandstand, binoculars 'cause it's such a large track, and my radio scanner. If my driver doesn't get caught up in the big one, it will have been a good day.

Tom said...

Funny that this issue came up this week. This year I have been taping the races because there has been so little of interest and so many breaks. There was actually some good racing Sunday, but I totally forgot until the race was over- never taped it. I certainly didn't have any other sports to watch, but it seems the urgency has gone out of it. Sometimes I feel like there is too much NASCAR. Considering how glued I am to the TV from daytona through april, I think there is burnout there. I seem to have a resurgence in the dead of summer (Indy, the Glen etc.), but then I don't think much of it until the last couple of weeks in Nov., where I feel like I am going to miss it.
Truthfully, I wonder if that will happen this year. The product NASCAR gives us has not been good. My lack of excitment doesn't stem from annoying announcers (except Spencer), or commericials, or what any particular network has done. The problem lies with NASCAR itself, who act like the WWE, trying to stage excitment, but come up short. Messing with long time classics like the Busch Clash, er Manufacturer Shootout will hurt them alot more than they realize.

CaseMoney said...

I went back and forth between the race and football, as per usual during NFL season as I'm a huge NFL fan. Not a knock on the race at all (it was a good one), probably the only race I wouldn't switch away from at all would be the Daytona 500. Any race that doesn't compete head-to-head with NFL, I will generally watch wire-to-wire.

JD said...

I TiVo each race. Usually begin watching about an hour after the green flag falls. I skip thru all commercials. I fast forward thru yellow flag portions after pit stops. I usually get to the end of the race within 15 minutes of the actual finish. I also fast forward thru most driver/crewchief split screen commentary during the race. I only want to see action on the track and can do without the drivel.

I also TiVo'd the Redskins game which was on during the race. I never watched any of it after seeing the final score on the Washington Post website. TV's hype for stick and ball sports have worn me out on trying to follow any of their telecasts.

TV coverage of news is similar, all hype with little substance.

Terri said...

I watched Nascar ALL day. Golf is boring. The last baseball game I went to I fell asleep. Football games last too long and I hate to watch criminals play ball.

I started at 1000 with ESPN2, then watched Jimmy,JR, and Kenny, then the pre-race festivities and then the whole race. I skipped the post-race, though, as life does go on and I had things to do to prepare for Monday.

I LOVE Dover, Jimmie Johnson is my driver. I've been watching Nascar avidly since 1984. Watching anything else on race day would be heresy - even with the crappy car, the crappy coverage, and the crappy racing.

Anonymous said...

I watched the race,but unlike the rest of the season,I watched virtually none of the pre race stuff and turned off the TV when the race ended. The 10 race Chase is too vulnerable to other people ruining your day or freacky mechanical failures. Greg Biffle was almost never in the picture for 26 races and never won and now he may be Cup Champion???? Kyle could win eight races and run up front all season and he's in last place?They make a big deal of Bonus Points and they're meaningless after one race??? The COT is still a mess. Imagine Stewart,Gordon and Kenseth not being able to win after 28 races. Gotta be something wrong with THEM? It's obvious from numerous interviews that the Nascar heads could care less what the Owners,drivers and crew chiefs want in the form of changes. It's entertainment now,not racing.

Andrew said...

I watched the full race on Sunday, as I do every week... I just watched it a little later on Sunday afternoon on TiVo, and didn't have to watch any commercials...

And, just to comment on a comment made earlier in the post: Carl Edwards is the points leader even in the "old style" point standings. So, Chase or no Chase, Kyle has lost the points lead.

3KillerBs said...

It took some planning this week because the Nascar race and the Steelers game overlapped. But since my favorite driver, Kyle Busch, was in the garage by the time the game started I taped the rest of the race and watched that truly pathetic Steelers game with my DH.

Then I watched my race tape.

Football season is always awkward for a household with a football fan who likes Nascar too and a Nascar fan who likes football too. It should get easier when we can finally afford TIVO

Sicklajoie said...

Wow, jt perry. I could have typed that exact post word for word. My thoughts to the t.

Anonymous said...

Watched the race from start to finish, at least the parts where ESPN is not at commercial. Use FoxTrax to keep track of positions, intervals, splits, etc. Use MRN/PRN for the audio, only turning the TV volume up when the radio goes to commercial. Keep the Internet going to follow NFL games and did the same for a few MLB games and the golf tournament.

Skipped all prerace and postrace on ESPN and waited for a little bit of Victory Lane before heading to Buffalo Wild Wings for the Cowboys-Packers game.

I don't get burned out on Nascar, as it's really only a one day per week thing (not counting N'wide or Trucks). Don't like to turn away in case I miss something important.

Would prefer to attend the race so I don't have to multitask. And I'm diehard enough to take the good races with the bad ones and realize that not every race has to have 10 wrecks, 34 passes for the lead, or even more than 10 drivers on the lead lap.

Bill B said...

What's this "baseball" everyone keeps talking about?

ri88girl said...

Lets make the chase really interesting and have them all at the most popular (for racing) tracks. Bristol, Darlington, Atlanta, Richmond, Talladega, Michigan, Rockingham, Kansas, New Hampshire and Daytona. Gee, seems the left coast is SOL substitue Las Vages for Kansas then.

Anonymous said...

Ryder Cup...USA...Boo Weekley became the superstar that NASCAR used to have before they put the clamps on expression.

Watched the last 40 laps - got my money's worth

Lisa Hogan said...

Nope, didn't cheat.

I watched the race live on ABC with no multi-tasking. :)

ri88girl said...

I am a life long Red Sox fan, and now that we have a wild card seat, if a game conflicts with a race, and its at a track I don't care for I will watch the game.

I have stopped multi tasking because it just gives me a head ache. I have realized that I just watch a race to kibbitz and occasionally see some good driving. I look to the highlights shows on Monday and the accompanynig color from people I understand and respect to understand the Chase and other points ramifications. I nolonger enjoy the sport I love and follow things because I care not because its fun. I won't go back to enjoying racing to it's fullest until Daytona next year.

Anonymous said...

I set a reminder on my TV for the drop of the green flag. No prerace stuff for me - the constant manufactured excitement drives me crazy.

I used to watch every broadcast from start to finish - my friends knew not to call or come over when my race was on. Now they're all welcome anytime - my interest drifts because of only seeing a select few cars during the race, the lack of true racing with the advent of the COT, the constant interruptions of commercials, and all the garbage that is shown on the screen which makes for a very small space to see actual racing.

I don't watch other sports during the race, but I do get on the internet and glance at the TV when I hear a rise in the excitement level - unless it's the excitement of going to commercial.

So, yes, JD, I do cheat on NASCAR on Sundays. But then NASCAR cheated on me when they created the other woman known as COT, when they manufactured a race within a race, and when they tried to feed me a long line of bs about their sport. I've been a race fan for nearly 50 years, so I'm not buying their excuses for cheating on me! And I make no excuses for cheating on them....

chase said...

I watched the first half of the race with volume down low - then switched over to one of the HBO stations and watched 'American Gangster' - since I don't do any other sports other than NASCAR, other sports were not an option. I did, however, switch back to the race periodically to see what was going on. Sorry - ESPN just does not give me what I want! Thanks John!

Anonymous said...

I cheated. I watched the start and middle on because I got my HD TV to work on ABC, then watched Ryder and watched the NFL. I went out and did some work and came back and caught the last 10 laps.

I have not watched a whole race in years. I don't know if my attention span is shorter, the races are less interesting, there is more competition for sports eyeballs, or I don't like watching Jimmie Johnson win all the races-that really turned me away-it seemed too perfect, or what makes me no longer watch a race.

I used to watch them all when ESPN first had the races when Dale Sr was running. With him, you had to watch it all, you never knew what could happen. And the drivers were real characters, not a marketing man's dream.

Anonymous said...

I have been a NASCAR fan since the days of Herb Thomas etc, when the 1/4 mile track at donaldson AFB and the Spartanburg Fairgrounds were host tracks. This year I am multi-tasking Between NFL and NASCAR with the Mute button on NASCAR. I wish we could have Ned and Eli back. No multi-tasking then.

Anonymous said...

TIVO - I cheated and watched NFL all day then the race that night. I am no fan of the chase for the same reasons mentioned above - 2 races and Kyle is nearly out of it - just doesn't sound fair. Maybe he should have run for the championship in the Nationwide series - at least they do not erase a good season and ask you to start over again.

Dan said...

I did not channel surf at all during the race. I also did not watch it live. As it typical for me, there were too many obligations that were more important than the race when it was on live. Yesterday it was family time. Generally, I'm not able to spend all afternoon on sitting on the couch watching the race (or any other sport). I recorded it and started watching it in the evening. I was able to shorten the race by FF through the commercials and the dull stretch right before things got racy at the end.

Since I very rarely watch a race live, there is little temptation for me to surf. I don't mind the occasional scroll with news and scores since it'll allow me to keep up with what going on, but I find the full time ticker to be a distraction. What bothers me the most about the scrolls (both top and bottom) is that they eat so much of the picture. On the HD feed, the blacked-out area appears to be about twice as big as necessary which really squeezes the picture.

red said...

as has been my practice on and off for much of the year but now firmly in place as a survival strategy, i didn't tune in until the pre-race was completed.

i stayed with the broadcast thru the entire race and immediately turned it off after the victory lane portion. i haven't watched anything nascar since then and won't until -- maybe -- qualifying. not only is that my espn boycott in action, but i find that very little is added to the broadcast in pre- and post-race times and what i'm personally interested in, i usually track down via various sites. i used to catch the espn news post-race presser but that's been so unreliable that i don't even bother anymore.

during the race, i have always multi-tasked, regardless of network, but i find i am doing even more as these interminable espn broadcasts wear on. i always have foxtrax up b/c it's the only way i can track lap times for the entire field and keep track of the lapped cars. i always have TDP up b/c the discussion during the race has added to my knowledge of the broadcast from the technical aspect; has consistently provided information that i can't get on my own (i.e Hotpass, etc.); and has made the long, mid-race portion of the broadcast interesting and humorous.

the difference now that espn has the broadcast is that i also open windows for a wide variety of other concerns: i touch base with the football via internet, as opposed to tv; i keep an eye on my phillies when they're playing via their website; i contribute to at least two other nascar sites during the race, sites that deal with the race itself. i also find i'm checking news via cnn.com and, this past sunday, i was doing data entry for the campaign.

and if it matters to espn? i ALWAYS mute the tv during commercials, something that has been so refreshing that i now do the same anytime i watch tv. it's oversaturation and i find i'm much less irritated about them if i simply mute them out completely. there's always that moment of black screen before the program comes back and that's when i un-mute so i don't miss any racing or the program i'm watching.

so, to the question "did you cheat on nascar last sunday?" no more than ususal but the again, nascar hasn't been providing me with compelling cup racing since the cot hit the track so i don't feel badly about my choice.

by the way: i make a concerted effort to watch the trucks each week and even manage my schedule to try and catch the n'wide. when i watch those two, the only site i have up is TDP: no need for foxtrax or other internet diversions. that says something to me about the cup series racing and broadscasts.

finally, b/c it's really ticking me off now: is there a reason why we can't have a set timeslot for nascar performance each week? i hate that i keep missing it because it's bouncing around timeslots. ideally, it would be on saturday evening or immediately before the race on sunday. jd, if you could get someone to answer WHY one of the highest-quality shows on the nascar circuit doesn't merit a set time, i'd appreciate it!

Anonymous said...

I have the TV on but it's on mute most of the time. I listen to Dale Jr on Trackpass, follow his progress on Fox Traxx and chat with fellow Jr fans on a popular message board! I DVR the pre-race and race but unless Jr wins I usually delete it right after! The talking heads in the booth keep me from unmuting! Interesting poll JD!

ken said...

I did the same multitasking I have done all year. The last 35 laps do not make a season. I catch up on my sleep while the race is on. I record every race in case I fall asleep and miss something exciting. I have not needed to go back and review something exciting I missed while sheeping all year.

Anonymous said...

I have been a NA$CAR fan for 40 years. I don't have any interest in any other sports. Been a NA$CAR fan since I was a kid.

Thanks to the DVR, I never, ever, watch commercials. Therefore, I don't multi-task because I'm not in real time with the live race. I usually time it to where I finish watching the race at about the same time it ends live. I can watch a 4 hour race in about 2 hours and 45 minutes with this method. When I attend a race I record it and watch it when I get home in case I missed anything while at the track.

I will watch an IRL and/or ARCA race if it does not interfear with my NA$CAR races.

For as long as I can remember, I have watched EVERY Truck, Nationwide, and Cup race on TV. I watch every minute of the races, IOW, I don't zoom through ANY of the races, hanging on every word by the announcers. I watch all pre-race shows.

I do not watch NN, they lost me early on and I don't like it being shown at all the different times. I DO watch TWIN and 'Wind Bag', I mean Wind Tunnel. Maybe it's because they have a specific day and time they're on. I try to watch most of the trackside shows and Tradin' Paint.

So to answer your question, no I did not cheat on NA$CAR last Sunday or for the last 40 years, ever!

Steve L.

Geez said...

I watched the race on TV, but I had The Ryder Cup on the laptop.

3bud said...

I basically switch between the race "coverage" and Directv HotPass while scanning trackpass and checking out TDP. The guys on hotpass are just excited about what they are doing.Being a fan most of my life it reminds me somewhat of the coverage of the 80's-90's. But as far as switching to other programing they haven't chased me away,yet.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 9:10AM,

That might be the first Herb Thomas mention on TDP....ever!

JD

Anonymous said...

I tune in to Cup races but I do multi-task--I have the tv set outside and check in while doing outside chores. That's because I don't like the way NASCAR has become so "vanilla". That is, all the cars, engines, etc. are exactly the same. How boring. I do like having the scores of the games running at the bottom of the screen.

Tracy said...

Had the TV on the race, but muted. Listed on MRN until the end, when it got really exciting and DJ and AP were really into it. Last week, we didn't turn on the TV, just had MRN going as we multi-tasked. I've given up watching any prerace shows except Tradin' Paint and Performance.

I'm a baseball fan, but not of the Yankees.

TexasRaceLady said...

Yes, I did the "multi-tasking" thing --- but not quite the same way most others have confessed.

My TV never left the race, and I wasn't sitting at the computer.

I did laundry, vacuumed the house, mopped the kitchen, and dusted. LOL

Anonymous said...

I went to homecoming at the Church I went to as a child and it is a 1 hour drive,so I missed it,listened to some of it.Nascar is not much watch tv to me as it used to be.

Terry

haus20 said...

I think NASCAR has been cheating on us with ESPN. They don't care about those who have been faithful to them for years, they have now left us for ESPN's money.

Vince said...

Long time fan since the 60's. I haven't watched a Chase race yet this season. Two weeks ago the storm formerly called Ike came through where I live and knocked out the power for the last 3/4 of the Loudon race (always a snoozer for me anyway). The power came back on just in time for the VL celebration. And last week I DVR'd the race and watched football. Later that night I FF through the whole race until the last 30 laps, when if finally got exciting. I'll probably be doing the DVR and FF thing for the rest of the Chase.

On a side note JD, I finally changed my cable package with Charter and have ESPN Classic now. So you won't hear me bitching about them switching anything over to Classic now! :-0

Daly Planet Editor said...

Vince,

Just a heads-up, ESPN Classic is repeating the Cup races on Monday mornings.

Haus,

What about how you watched the race buddy?

JD

haus20 said...

Just out of curiousity, JD, how does HotPass Subscriptions compare with the other DirectTV sports subscriptions as far as number of subscriptions purchased? I would assume Sunday Ticket is #1, but how does everyone else stack up?

haus20 said...

JD is that in reference to my post or to something that I posted during TNT's coverage?

Patrick Gaffney said...

I admit, I'm a switch. Back and forth between my Sunday sports. Good times.

Anonymous said...

West coast Diane said:

Do what we usually do. TIVO all race related stuff and watch race in the evening. Usually end up deleting Sunday am NN without watching (unless TDP points out interesting piece). FF thru RD looking for Real Deal or anything that looks interesting.

Was an avid baseball, football, and baseball fan. Stopped attending, watching 10 years ago.

This past weekend we watched race a little earlier because we TIVO'd the Ryder Cup. Our intention was to watch until our normal bedtime, finish next evening. Ended up staying up until midnight to finish watching because it was so exciting.

Note to ESPN announcers...the Golf guys show more excitement calling a slow paced game than you do calling a sport that is going 200 MPH and has crashes.

So, do we cheat? Yes, from the standpoint we don't watch the commercials, boring parts of the racing or when specific announcers/commentators are on. We don't do that with Fox (well, except commercials :-)).

More than cheating with other sports (granted that does happen), I think many people are just unhappy with the coverage,first and boring racing second, and have lost enthusiasm for it.

Shawnna said...

I didn't cheat this week with another sport. I always DVR the pre-race programs as well as the race so I can start watching about an hour late and skip thru all the commercials. Plus if there's something else I want to watch, I can.

I must admit, however, I've fallen asleep during the middle of several races this year. Jeff Gordon was leading when I must have fallen asleep this week and when I woke up, he was struggling. I don't think it's completely NASCAR's fault that I've been napping, but the boring races have certainly played a part.

A shame-faced Shawnna in OKC...

allisong said...

@ TexasRaceLady - LOL, you just described my pre-race routine! Gotta have a clean house if I'm going to devote the rest of the day/evening to NASCAR.

I watched the race on Sunday, as always, with the sound down low and Sirius Radio on. If my driver is on one of the crew channels, I'm listening there, if not, just the MRN/PRN broadcast. When commercials come on TV the sound is muted. The mute also stays on during those times when the entire screen is filled with one car making laps, because I'm not interested in what that driver did last week.

Anonymous said...

I would not cal it cheating, if I watch the football games, I get to watch the whole game. If I watch the race, I get to watch some racing and a bunch of commercials. funny that most of the time i switch back, during a football commercial, the race is also on a commercial. When there are two sports I want to watch, I am going to watcht the one I can see the most of and read about the other later

Daly Planet Editor said...

haus,

DirecTV does not release official numbers, but the guess is that around 300 thousand of the 17 million DirecTV subscribers are Hot Pass viewers.

DirecTV's goal is to get this number up substantially for 2009. The fact that the three TV networks covering the Sprint Cup Series present such an uneven approach to the sport is DirecTV's best weapon.

It should be interesting to see how it works out for next season.

JD

Anonymous said...

I watched my Sunday Ticket DirectTV SuperFan package in the living room while having the race on the TV in the bedroom. I checked the race about once a 1/2 hour. I did record it on my DVR, but deleted it later without watching it.

I've been watching NASCAR for over 30 years, but my interest has decreased with the new COT. While the Chase makes the competition for the championship more exciting, the Chase venues are mostly boring to me. I enjoy football much more this time of year.

bowlalpo said...

By hours (noon-6), I watched 80% Ryder Cup, 10% NFL and 10% NASCAR. The parts of the race I saw (laps 20-40, last 70 laps) were OK.

Being a joint golf fan, the Ryder Cup was as compelling as any past Cups, and since it's only once every two years, I wouldn't be too disturbed with low ratings. It's a blip.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

On a normal race afternoon we do 'flip' back and forth checking up on the NFL. However, Sunday afternoon we were in Dover DE and had the opportunity to witness all the action, not just what some dummy director thinks we should watch.

My favorite driver is Kasey Kahne and my husband roots for Bobby Labonte, so if we had been home, we wouldn't have seen much of our guys. But being at the track we could watch them all afternoon.

There is nothing like attending a race in person. Two more to go this year: Charlotte (not Lowes) and Phoenix.

Can't wait.
NJ Susan

St Paul Gino said...

I did cheat,sort of. I went to an outdoor festival with the wife and we got home in time for the last 100 laps. With 2 different replays on during the week i dont feel the sense of urgency to watch every lap like i have in years past. Add in the fact that the first Dover race was kind of a snoozer,and it just wasnt high on my priority list to watch all the race.

Smoke Fan said...

Thank the lord for a cable splitter. I watched the race and football on two separate tv's with my buddies. Although I will admit the race was on the smaller one, mainly because we can't stand Punch. But I won't get off topic, go out and get a splitter people, it pays off on Sundays!

David said...

I watched the Dolphins Game and Bucs game and didn't even worry about the race until 50 to go.. It was Dover it is horrible no matter what..I will continue to watch Football this year and keep up with the Race on Pitcommmand.. That is it, ESPN is unwatchable for Racing..

glenc1 said...

I couldn't cheat cause I was at the race, lol. I recorded it anyways. But had I been home, I'd have had the PIP on for the football game. I used to use 2 TVs...low tech...sometimes I turn on the radio too, and just turn it up if something happens.

I watch a little golf but it wouldn't have interested me more than NASCAR or football. Baseball bores me to tears. But I think many sports fans love multiple sports and that's never going to stop. If someone put a gun to my head to make me choose, I'd have to go with my NFL team, but only if they were in direct conflict.

Joe said...

I spent most of Sunday watching football and the Ryder Cup. Watched the race during the commercials for the other two, but I did catch the last 50 laps. Good racing, and it's been a while since I've seen that.

But I am like many. I used to hang on every lap, but now my interest is a little more spread out (and away from NASCAR).

JHD said...

I'm with Texas Race Lady - the race was on TV (with the sound lowered so I can listen to Trackpass - my driver hasn't been shown on TV all year unless he gets caught up in a wreck), and I did everything else but sit down and watch the race - cleaning, laundry, read the paper, etc. I think the only laps I actually watched and did nothing else were the final 10-15.

It has to do with what I consider one of the major questions of the universe - how a sport that is so exciting to watch in person at the track can be made to look incredibly boring on TV. (BTW, there are days I have this same problem with hockey or football, which also drives me insane.)

Some of it is the networks' fault by how they choose to broadcast races, but there is this intangible that can never be captured.

And this doesn't mean that networks should stop trying though, or use it as an excuse for their poor coverage!

Anonymous said...

Got to watch the last 50 laps. Go Ford those were the best laps of the season. Was out with the family doing birthday lunch for the wife. Likely would have watched most of the race since the Packers played that night. Have only watched 2 races green to checker and even those had some channel surfing due to the quantity and duration of the commercial breaks. Alternate thought however, As we were driving back finally got in range of the station that doe sthe mrnprn broadcasts and the commercial breaks on the radio were jsut as frequent as TV I thought.

Chris said...

I can't say it any better than JTPerry said it. It's 100% how I feel.

glenc1 said...

anon 3:18--I had the same thought on MRN--at the race listening by scanner, during the commercial time there is silence or chatting...I sure heard an awful lot of silence toward the end. Not sure why that was but it did seem worse than usual. Maybe a lack of cautions...seems like MRN usually does a better job of spreading them out. Seemed odd for them, especially with the race being fairly exciting at the end.

jhd--I guess they can never be as good as being there--but it sure can run the gamut, can't it? Hockey has tried everything from colored pucks to lighted goal posts. Yet *at times*, TV really brings us there.

diane said...

Had the Foxtrack up to see if it looked interesting. Went back and forth between football and the race and reading the Sunday paper.

Jayhawk said...

I used to absolutely live for stock car racing. No more.

The racing is boring, the announcers and personalities are irritating, and ESPN is the worst network in the world. I did not watch one single minute. If it had been on another network, given the same racing, I would have watched about 10% (at most) of the race.

Daly Planet Editor said...

It seems that NASCAR has gone from something that mixed excitement and danger to a TV buffet that viewers just sample when they are ready.

Guys like Ken Squier, Eli Gold and Mike Joy could bring viewers running back to the TV from the fridge with just the inflection in their voice.

Now, I think the times have changed. Technology-driven broadcasts offered on TV, satellite, Internet and radio at the same time have splintered what the sport used to be.

Interesting comments so far for sure.

JD

pat1938 said...

I was at the race - DVR'ed both the cup race and football - when I came back to New York, I watched the race - deleted the football without watching.

The TV broadcast didn't come near showing the excitment that we felt at the track - those last 35 laps were heart stopping.

Mel said...

I was at work so I listened to the whole race on my cell phone, while watching the leaderboard on nascar.com. Sprint has a free application. I wish I could still listen to MRN via nascar.com. It was a lot easier.

Dot said...

Yes, I did cheat on Sunday. I was here with my e friends while watching the race. I then decided to go to the pool, so I taped the second half. I watched it when I got home. I can't even remember the last time I did not watch an entire race flag to flag.

Is it the racing (COT)?, the coverage?, the same drivers shown all the time? It may be all these things. NASCAR needs to wake up or there won't be any live viewers left.

I agree with some posters who say that the season may be too long. Back in the day when Winston took over, they shortened the amount of races. That seemed to work to make the races special. Keep the fans wanting more. Do they really need to go to tracks twice a year? Fontana and Pocono come to my mind.
One and done or maybe rotate tracks from year to year so they have two.

One more thing, isn't it ironic that consistency still rules over winning? I thought the Chase was supposed to change that. Obviously, the Chase isn't doing anything to gain viewers since others are watching other sports on Sundays. All the Chase is doing is upsetting fans unless their driver is in it.

Vicky D said...

We had the race on and I was also "watching" nascar.com live leaderboard. We keep up with the Texans & Astros later in the evening.

Newracefan said...

No cheating here although I like the concept of DVR and watch later so I can actually do something productive on Sunday (like paint the shutters). I find the race is not as enjoyable without my multi-tasking of racetrax, pit command scanner and this blog. To be honest I'll DVR the NW or trucks because the make it or break it for me is the scanner and there isn't one for those races. As one poster said I'm afraid of missing something, if race buddy was offered for all races that would be another gigantic reason to watch live. Another big reason I don't cheat is I wouldn't be watching other sports anyway, stopped paying attention to hockey when the Broad Street Bullies faded away and I never really paid attention to any other sports until I started being a Nascar fanatic a few years back.

Jo said...

Guys & to all the fans of..., back to you Jerry,Where Did He Come From??? & now to Shannon, Jamie or Mike on pit road....
Can't ya tell I watched ( tried anyway) I was multi-tasking just to watch the race. I tried just to watch the race - soon realizing I needed to have PitCommand on ( since RaceView was having problems again) Also we used MRN, this blog,& Fox Tracks.
We taped then burned to disk the espn coverage of the finale of Yankee Stadium. I watched the Sunday night line up on Speed,in the morning since espnnews does not give postrace show.
Since my Cowboys were on as the night game no need to cheat on the race.

berarducci said...

I NEVER CHEAT! (I just DVR the whole shootin' match and then watch when I get home, minus all the prerace, commercials, commentary and most of the pit stops and replays (too much!) I DO appreciate the score crawl at the bottom, wish ABC would do it like ESPN. Bills fans need love, too!

glenc1 said...

JD, you say "Now, I think the times have changed. Technology-driven broadcasts offered on TV, satellite, Internet and radio at the same time have splintered what the sport used to be." But aren't the people with the trackpass and all those extras sort of contributing to the networks thinking they *need* all that stuff? Just thinking aloud. The 'techies' are feeding this trend, while those of us who don't watch our computers and the race at the same time are just wishing for the simpler life...? The most bizarre thing to me is seeing people rent those things AT the track--you pay $100 a ticket to spend half your time looking at Fanscan (or whatever its called) instead of a race? Crazy.


To be honest, all Squier and Gold made me run for was cover...but I was became a fan when Squier was in his decline (couldn't keep the cars/drivers straight.) Gold's voice is like fingernails on a chalkboard to me, but I miss Buddy Baker like anything...but I get what you mean about the analysts being largely responsible for the excitement level.

Anonymous said...

I am guilty of multi-tasking. Like many fans, I listen to my driver and his team during the race via TrackPass. While doing this, I'm also active on a message board with fellow fans during the race where we chat and post updates for those who do not have TrackPass. The t.v. may be tuned to the race but the volume is down and I only turn it up if there's a wreck or my driver is on camera. The race does get DVR'd and, again, like many others out there, I fast-forward through it later in the week.

The ideal t.v. would have up to six or more PIP options. Of course, it'd have to be a big t.v. so you could see each screen but it'd still be cool.

Anonymous said...

I used to not miss a lap but NASCAR has bored me out of the sport. No manufacturer battle or feuds to watch. NASCAR has been tamed and is nothing exciting to watch. I'm an NFL fan again and NASCAR is an afterthought. I really miss the late 90's type NASCAR that Brian France chased away. Change the car, let the rough side of the sport air on tv, and lose the cartoonish broadcasts and I'll come back.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Let me tell ya folks, you sure got some people's attention with your comments.

Did you notice how incredibly small the number of people were who said they watched the Dover race live from start-to-finish?

We have been trying to make a case for NASCAR offering a video service free like Racebuddy as a companion and I think your multi-tasking comments really helped.

I really appreciate everyone taking the time to stop by and leave some great comments. Thanks.

JD

Anonymous said...

Great article. I cheated on Nascar last week, and it is getting easier and easier to do. Parody is killing the sport. There is no room for ingenuity anymore. and I was literally raised at a Nascar track. I remember David Pearson on dirt. I remember 3 Petty blue 1961 Plymouths, Lee drove #41, Maurece, Richards brother drove #42 and Richard drove#43. You couldn't have come up with a decent looking car from all 3. Of coursr George Barris couldn't make a decent looking car from a 1961 Plymouth. What wins on Sunday will sell on Monday, but only if it resembles something on the lot. The way forward for Nascar is to go back to stock appearing race cars. This will slow them down, eliminate restrictor plates, and kill toe car of tomorrow.Parody is killing nascar.

PammH said...

The TV is on, but I'm listening to M/PRN-can't handle JP anymore this yr! I'm here & at a very popular racers website & also listening to his scanner (when it works, which it didn't much Sun). I'm on dial-up, so I can't do FoxTrack or any of the stuff from Nascar.com. I would, if I could. I missed RB-sounded like that worked out well. I am on during the race...ONLY because I can listen to my driver's scanner. Otherwise, I would just tape it & watch later.

Anonymous said...

What is really helping Nascar, is the fact that most fans are too young to have expierenced racing as it used to be, so they really don't know that they are missing anything. It is sad, but it won't last if these millions of young fans start going to local tracks and in particular dirt tracks.

Nan S said...

Anon said:
"Parody is killing nascar"

I think the word you are looking for is parity. However, there are many of us who think that modern Nascar is a parody of what it once was.

Rick said...

Did I cheat on NASCAR? No.

Did I cheat on ESPN? Certainly. You can't follow the race without cheating on them due to their poor presentation. FoxTrax, TDP, five or six fantasy league live scoring sites, etc. No MRN/PRN in my area this year or I would have that on too.

haus20 said...

Rick you said it best!

haus20 said...

How interesting would an NFL game be if the only camera shot you had was an iso shot of the guy with the ball - all of the time? No perspective of the coverage no idea where the nearest defenders are no idea who else is even on the field or who has gone out with an injury. The announcer simply said "there is number 12 with the ball" or "for all of you number 4 fans." Maybe the announcer would even throw in an occasional "wow where did he come from?", when a suprise tackle took place. At any rate, people would be "cheating" on their favorite team in an instant. Who could blame them? No one in there right mind would expect anyone to watch a football game with coverage like that, yet that is exactly the kind of NASCAR coverage ESPN is giving us. As Rick said, we aren't cheating on NASCAR, we are simply trying to accomplish one thing - find coverage of the entire race - not just coverage of the lucky 12.

Anonymous said...

Parody is killing nascar.
Is there some kind of Saturday Night Live show based on NASCAR?

Then again, ESPN's coverage could be considered a parody of an actual race broadcast!

Anonymous said...

John
I did not watch Dover for any significant duration for the following reasons.
1- Jerry Punch doing play by play.
2- The total lack of coverage of the field of competitors other than "chasers".
Here's a note to NASCAR and ESPN. Believe it or not, there are many fans , like myself, of drivers such as Bobby Labonte and Ken Schrader. Petty Enterprises is searching for a sponsor for the 43 car. NASCAR and its "so called" partners are killing the sport by slowly starving the teams of financing by limiting exposure.
I have ZERO interest in watching a race series between Gibbs, Roush and Hendrick.
If I want to watch a couple of rich teams dominate racing, I'll watch Formula One.

Bray Kroter

Anonymous said...

ESPN does not udnerstand that, unlike baseball or football, NASCAR fans don't switch allegiances if their drievr doesn't make the "playoffs."

When they concentrate on the top 12to the exclusion of everyone else, al they do is alienate the rest of the drivers' fans, who want to see what their guy is doing in the same race.

Just another way ESPN shows the it does not "get" NASCAR at all.

Anonymous said...

The announcer simply said "there is number 12 with the ball" or "for all of you number 4 fans." Maybe the announcer would even throw in an occasional "wow where did he come from?", when a suprise tackle took place. At any rate, people would be "cheating" on their favorite team in an instant.

Darned right.

And when they stopped to explain the rules every few minutes, it would only drive more people away from the game.

Every touchdown would be a surprise, and the announcer would say, "Looks like someone scored there; let's see if we can look at the replay and find out who it was."

When a player was injured, they'd show the tackle and then, half the time, we'd never find out what became of him if he failed to finish the game. He'd just disappear.

Don't forget the "PassTracker," which would show, graphically, the effects of wind on the path the ball takes when it is thrown, or its close relative, the "KickTracker," which would do the same for field goals and kickoffs!

Jo said...

@Anons 903am & 848pm

If I could figure out how to get this blog type to put your post in a scroll that flashes I would!
AMEN & AMEN!!
Nascar is killing itself slowly, espn is just helping.

Anonymous said...

didn't even watch..nfl

Marcus said...

I was totally wrapped up in the Ryder Cup - was following golf years before I became devoted to NASCAR. I ended up recording the race on my DVR and watching it later that evening...