Friday, November 28, 2008

Best NASCAR TV Booth Analyst Of 2008? - Weekend Comments

As we continue our "best of 2008" conversation, this time we are going to ask for your opinion of the TV booth analysts.

To limit the field this season, we are going to concentrate on the men who called the races for all three of NASCAR's national touring series. You can click on the picture of Andy Petree above to see it full-size.

Darrell Waltrip is the first person that many fans hear as the season begins. His style over the years has changed and 2008 saw Waltrip get very emotional when the Fox season came to a close. This year also marked Waltrip as the centerpiece of a "Let's Go Racin' Boys" song that was unveiled at Daytona to mixed reviews.

Waltrip's season was memorable for the Michael McDowell crash. "I've never seen anything like that in my life," said Waltrip at the time. There was also the very public primetime moment when Waltrip watched Kyle Busch make contact with Dale Earnhardt Jr. in Richmond. "Oh, he turned him!" yelled Waltrip.

The dichotomy of Waltrip as either an elder statesman of the sport or simply a sponsor-driven pitchman continues to haunt his every TV appearance. One minute speaking eloquently about racing issues and the next minute hawking "Digger" T-shirts on his website, Waltrip is someone fans have strong opinions about.

Waltrip's time in the booth is spent with the hardest-working man in NASCAR today, Larry McReynolds. While continuing to re-define the English language, McReynolds may be the most trusted of the booth analysts. While he plots strategy and fills-in the details for the Fox TV package, that is only the tip of McReynolds' TV iceberg.

He moved to the infield for TNT's coverage and proved to be a key to the network's summer success. In addition, he teamed with Jeff Hammond to call practice and qualifying sessions for both the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series telecasts on SPEED.

Add to that his presence on Trackside and his hosting of NASCAR Performance on SPEED and there is no doubt that to many fans McReynolds is the top NASCAR TV authority.

McReynolds shared the TNT broadcast with Kyle Petty. With his career in transition, Petty learned from his Tradin' Paint TV experience with SPEED and let his personality shine through on the TNT broadcasts. The results were fantastic.

Petty helped TNT to one of their best summers ever. Fans also got to learn more about his off-track personality and knowledge of the sport. Certainly, all race car drivers have egos, but Petty managed to create a team environment and treat all the on-air TV personalities as equals. He will return to TNT in 2009.

Wally Dallenbach Jr. needs to be mentioned, but his priorities lie elsewhere right now as TV viewers can attest. An avid outdoorsman, Dallenbach is deeply involved in TV programs about hunting, fishing and conservation. He does not attend NASCAR events or participate in any other NASCAR TV programs than the six TNT races.

Dale Jarrett became ESPN's Lead Analyst this season and stepped into Rusty Wallace's former role. Much like his father, Jarrett uses a carefully practiced and polished approach to live TV broadcasts. It is clear he has been well-trained and is always professional and well-mannered. His strong work ethic this season has been regularly called upon as ESPN struggles to find a direction for its racing coverage.

Flying under the radar once again has been Petree. After a season of being talked-over by Rusty Wallace and routinely having his opinions dismissed, Petree came to life in 2008. Jarrett and Petree were the perfect pair to deal with the wild set of issues TV viewers saw NASCAR endure this season.

These two had to watch the Indy debacle, try to inject some excitement into The Chase and call lackluster Nationwide Series races all season long. Often, it was these two who combined to provide the majority of the play-by-play descriptions for viewers of The Chase races. Jarrett eventually may be a good candidate for that position.

Phil Parsons has been the voice of the Truck Series for a very long time. With his distinct mannerisms and voice, Parsons commands respect on the air from viewers and competitors. Over the seasons, Parsons has worked with a variety of announcers and his steady demeanor has helped make all of them better broadcasters.

Parson's biggest challenge may have been Michael Waltrip. Assigned by SPEED to the Truck Series telecasts, Waltrip began by talking over-top of anyone and everyone during the races. As the excitement level rose, so did Waltrip's voice until he was overpowering the entire telecast.

This season, the patience of Parsons helped Waltrip to craft a role on the Truck Series broadcasts that actually worked. Finally, Waltrip figured out it was his knowledge and experience that viewers wanted to hear, not just his voice.

That is a snapshot of the group of people who have been in the NASCAR TV announce booth this season. Please take a moment to let us know who you enjoyed the most this year and why. If you would like to rank them in order, feel free to do so.

The Daly Planet welcomes comments from readers. Just click on the COMMENTS button below and follow the easy instructions. The rules for posting are located on the right side of the main page. Thank you again for helping us with this "best of 2008" series.


speedangel said...

I'm going with Larry Mac. Every analyst listed has their pros and cons, and I enjoy all of them about the same overall, albeit in different ways for what they offer to their broadcasts. What lifts Larry to the top of the list for me is you get the passion and the experience in the neatest package so-to-speak -- even with his unique usage of the English language. Plus, his grasp of strategy is above all other analysts in the game right now.

majorshouse said...

I would have to rate the best analyst team as a tie between Larry McReynolds and Jeff Hammond and the team of Dale Larrett and Andy Petree. These men made watching racing enjoyable, entertaining and knolowledgable all at the same time.

Sicklajoie said...

Larry Mac and DW
They both have their vices, but I like the fact that they pour their hearts and souls into what they do. And they genuinely have fun doing it.
I'll add Randy LaJoie to the list, too. Very knowledgeable and isn't politically correct at all.
Finally, I still really miss Benny Parsons.

David said...

Andy Petree: No sophomore slump for this guy! By far the most impressive because he constantly had to elevate the guy next to him (JP) and at times take play by play into his own hands. He had a great partner in DJ but I think Andy is "the franchise" of the ESPN telecasts because who honestly expected this from Andy? We knew DJ and Rusty were talkers, Brewer does well in his role, period. But putting Andy up in the booth and watching him really fit this tv role better than I ever imagined is impressive. Several times this season he even went toe-to-toe with the tech center in correcting viewers on what was happening on the track and that it had no relevance to the tech center while still being respectful to the information provided. He was alert in looking out the window much as BP was when he was with ESPN in their first go-around and on several occasions was ontop of critical moments during the race while the rest of the broadcast crew was asleep.

He had an uphill battle but in my eyes did the best. Phil Parsons and Mikey have work to do in refining their craft, though I enjoy Phil's perspective on things.

DW has gone gimmicky this season, Larry you can't say enough about this guy because he can do it ALL. He's the best all-around figure next to Jeff Hammond that any network has even with the broken-down-simplified vocabulary.

Its hard for me to choose between Larry and Andy Petree but I'd give it to Andy since he has had to rise above suspect play-by-play at best where Larry had the cast around him and maintained his status as one of the best.

Wally has impressed me though, dump Wally's World and that humilating "drafting" at Pocono thing and he could hang up there. Should be a guy to watch next year.

Sicklajoie said...

Oh BTW, I'm not related in any way to Randy LaJoie. :)

Anonymous said...

Andy and DJ!! A great pair.

I say both are the best, especially since having to awaken Dr. JP so many times from his rocking chair.

Andy give the crew chief point of view, and DJ has more than enough experience behind the wheel to give the drivers POV.

delenn said...

For me it has to be Petree. With Rusty gone, this guy is gold. Forthright, knowledgeable and the voice I most like from the ESPN booth. His explanations are clear, and he even manages to simplify some of Brewer's explanations, so my other half can understand them. He is hardly flying under the radar - he has been a complete star in dealing with Punch's issues, something I might expect of Dale but would not have thought possible of Petree. And to think some were even discussing replacing him this time last year. How wrong can you get......

DJ is fast maturing. His use of "erm" is much reduced as he becomes more confident with himself. Replacing Rusty with a top quality voice was genius on ESPN's part. It takes onions to replace a famous father. Dale has done it twice, and the start of his new career is very promising.

Put Bestwick in there, and this would be the best booth in the place.

Larry Mac was always tops for me, until Petree came of age. I never get this whole mangling of the English language thing - maybe because I am not so great at it myself. Again, enthusiastic and knowledgeable, and fun on Speed and TNT too. Fox's find of the decade.

Dallenbach deserves more than a "mention" JD. Other priorities or not, this year Wally was much improved and solid, clearly the star of the TNT booth. After years in BP's shadow, he finally was allowed to grow and become the commentator he is capable of. TNT did him no favours though with the whole Wally's World "no, we're not really at Ponoco" thing.

I was expecting more of Petty in replacing BP, but it was Dallenbach that stepped up to the challenge this year. Petty was fine however, no issues.

I for one really enjoyed Randy LeJoie's few outings on Nascar commentary. He had interesting things to say, and I learned quite a bit from him. ESPN could do worse than finding him a bigger role - maybe reducing the A team's workload during the year.

I have to be honest and admit I have never liked Phil Parsons. Not sure why, so it is probably best I leave my comments to this - he was far from the most irritating thing in the Speed booth this year.

Speaking of which, I move on to two walking commercials called Waltrip. At least Mikey is improving his commentary style, in knowing when to shut up and let Rick talk. DW last year really got to me, and I started off loving him. He really needs to tone this all down, and get back to good wholesome commentary.

Yikes, that ended up being longer than I hoped. Sorry!

Anonymous said...

I have to make DW as my first choice. It's the whole package, he loves the sport, he has a real sense of historical perspective, he loves the new young drivers and make a real effort to get to know them, and he has real cred-- he is one of the most successful NASCAR drivers.

Everyone makes occasional gramatical errors, but Larry Mac murders the English language. I don't find it "cute." With all the millions he gets paid, he ought to get a tutor.

Like many fans, I like the chemistry between Jeff Hammond and DW. If I could chose someone to watch a race with, it would be those two.

I love Dale J as a driver. He's okay on the booth. I also like Andy, but there is nothing between Andy and Dale. I just imagine that after the race they each go their own way. The 2 of them and Dr Punch are just 3 people working next to each other with no connection.

I think the crew at Fox is part of the reason their ratings beat the other networks every year.

Delenn said...

OK. So after posting as an anonymous for over a year, I finally got my butt in gear and got an ID! Bit late eh?

I realised I forgot to say one thing. I miss BP. Not sure why, but I never realised until he was gone. That's why I get so annoyed with the wrong people in the booth (cough, Doc).

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 7:13PM,

Please come back and re-post, but not in all caps. Thanks.


PammH said...

Larry Mac is the best for me. But have really been impressed w/DJ & Andy-who knew??? :) DW is WAYYYY over the top w/hawking crap & obviously touting favs-no good, imo. Phil is still overshadowed by Mikey, who is horrid. Wally & KP really gelled this yr, which was fun to listen to.
So rating...
1. Larry Mac
2. Andy
3. DJ
4. Phil
5. KP
6. Wally
7. Waltrips-too in love with their own voices for me

ttc said...

This answer has to be broken into two categories.

Among the ex-drivers, DW is head and shoulders above everybody else. He is solid, smooth and most important, knows when to talk and when to shut-up. Dale Jarrett would be much better with fewer, more poignant comments rather than attempting to out-talk Petree. The others are not worth my analysis.

As an ex-crew chief, McReynolds is far better than Petree at projecting strategy but as I have protested to JD, both here and in email, his annoying habit of always giving the car number when mentioning the driver, make Larry Mac nearly unlistenable. I prefer him much better in his Tim Brewer type role on TNT.

Daly Planet Editor said...


That is the challenge! You have to pick your top guy from past and present drivers and crew chiefs.

No cutting the pie down to slices in your size!


Anonymous said...

Daly Planet editor said...
"Wally Dallenbach Jr. needs to be mentioned, but his priorities lie elsewhere right now as TV viewers can attest."

While I don't think he's necessarily "the best", I like listening to Wally a lot and I don't think his performance has suffered any due to other priorities. (I don't know what those other priorities might be - other than TNT is only on the air for six races - so obviously since I'm not aware of them, I don't think they've affected his performance for me as a viewer.)

Actually, I think Wally's not being on TV every week for NASCAR makes him a lot more objective than the other folks you've listed - and sometimes that is much appreciated in the "Say no evil about NASCAR decisions, especially if you are a NASCAR TV partner!" world. His bluntness in calling it like he sees it - and not changing his tune once NASCAR radios over and has given the booth folks a "talking to" is refreshing.

Sometimes the opinions that Larry, Darrell, Jeff have on FOX can be very honest during the race and then on SPEED the next week (or sometimes the same evening!) they will come up with some way to defend NASCAR which is totally different than what they originally said. It's disappointing.

Wally and Kyle Petty have a nice rapport as well.

Overall, I like all the current analysts listed except Mikey because his voice gets so shrill when he gets excited. If I had to choose one, I would choose Larry McReynolds first and Phil Parsons (great voice) and Wally Dallenbach tied for second.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 8:39PM,

If you had read the rest of the article you would have seen that those priorities were spelled out in detail.

I appreciate that it is your opinion that Dallenbach is someone you enjoy on the telecasts.

That does not change the fact that of all the people mentioned in this column, he has the most limited amount of interaction with the sport and is on the air for the fewest races.

Thanks for your comment,


rich said...

Well I will start with Larry Mac. I guess that he is my favorite. His bad grammar does not bother me at all because his knowledge and enthusiasiam way overshadow that.
DW is very sincere and knowledgable also but if I have to hear him say B---,B---, B-- one more time I will scream and the wife has threatened to cut the power cord off of the TV.
DJ is very well mannered but I wish that he could get a little more excited.
Andy has really surprised me, I did not like him at first but he grows on you.
I miss Wally. He understands way more about the sport than people give him credit for.
I enjoy Phil very much. Wish that he could move up a notch.

Anonymous said...

I'm going to rank my selections via the networks they work for.

1. TNT--Kyle Petty and Wally Dallenbach work very well together. I wish they had more than 6 races. They are both drivers and know mostly of what they speak. I DO like Larry McReynolds role with them.

2. ESPN--The best thing going for ESPN is Andy and Dale. As they work together they will gel and end up much like Benny and Ned used to be about 15-20 years ago.

3. Speed--Phil Parsons is very solid and one thing I like about him is if he mentions someone or they show a truck he takes the time to throw in the sponsor most of the time.

4 Fox--I respect what DW's done on the track and have in fact met him, but his TV skills and obvious falling in love with certain drivers and hawking stupid beavers and gophers doesn't do a thing for me. I agree when he puts his mind to it on certain shows like Wind Tunnel he's a great spokesmen for the sport. But a lot of what he says on TV during a race is horrible. Very determined to mention Toyotas, etc. Larry McReynolds. He yells too much, has the worst grasp of the English language of possibly any one on TV. Especially with Fox. Notice he tones it down with TNT and actually doesn't hatch the language so much on TNT.

Sorry this was so long.

stricklinfan82 said...

As I said before, choosing these award winners is like splitting hairs for me. There's not a single booth analyst I dislike, so choosing one over the others is in no way intended to be an insult to anyone.

Let me first say that in my mind the premier booth analyst in NASCAR today is Larry McReynolds. No one is better at analyzing race strategy, and his knowledge of the sport is second to none, in my opinion.

However, taking into consideration what happened on the air this year I am going to recognize another analyst with my award for 2008 instead:

Stricklinfan82's Best NASCAR TV Booth Analyst of 2008 Award: Dale Jarrett

I tip my cap in this direction because of the outstanding work Dale Jarrett did leading the ESPN booth from his analyst position, despite the fact that this was just his rookie year behind the microphone. DJ simply did it all, and did his very best to try to steer the ESPN ship in the right direction when the play-by-play man and production truck were veering the broadcasts all over the place:

- He did a great job analyzing when necessary, first and foremost.

- When the play-by-play man was either asking questions or reading stats while live lead changes were going on, DJ was always the one to take the reigns, refocus the talk to the racetrack, and call the action.

- It was often DJ who had to step in and take the jobs of resetting the field during caution flags and noting things like Lucky Dogs.

- Quite noticably he was the driving force behind trying to break the ESPN production truck's scripts. He was the one who gave shout-outs to non-Chasers or young drivers that had great runs, and he was the one looking out the window to notice on-track incidents, passing, and pit stops that weren't being seen on camera.

The biggest disappointment throughout ESPN's "coverage" was that ESPN's production truck constantly blew off DJ and never followed his lead, and instead chose to stick to "the script". Almost always when DJ gave a shout-out to a Michael Waltrip, David Reutimann, or Kurt Busch for running in the top 5/10, the truck never responded by putting them on camera. When DJ noticed non-Chasers pitting, the truck almost always found something else to put on camera (like Jimmie Johnson's team taping a crack in the pit wall most recently). And even when DJ would kindly point out there was 4-wide racing going on deep in the pack that the fans at home would probably love to see on their TV screens, the truck almost always kept the focus on their pre-determined storyline.

It's a shame that the ESPN truck never followed DJ's lead, but DJ's efforts certainly did not go unnoticed to this fan. I greatly appreciated him knowing what was best for the fans and trying his hardest to move the production truck in that direction.

I can only imagine how frustrating this year was to DJ. I would imagine he's too much of a class act to ever call out his co-workers, but I would imagine he would greatly appreciate being able to work with a production truck that would follow his lead and not constantly leave egg on his face by blowing him off and leaving him hanging to dry on the air over and over and over again.

Just like Larry Mac did for TNT in 2007, Dale Jarrett emerged in 2008 as the person that stepped up and became a shining star for his network, despite that network's colossal overall struggles. He didn't let his "pre-defined role" hold him down and was just absolutely outstanding. And it can't be said enough in my opinion, his work is that much more impressive when you consider that this was just his first year working full-time in the booth.

Andrew said...

Michael and Darrell Waltrip - I thoroughly enjoy both of them.

Michael is hilarious, and you can't beat Boogity, Boogity, Boogity!!

Dot said...

@ Strick, A big DITTO from Dot. I think he did a great job for being a rookie. I can't wait to see him next year. Hopefully w/AB & AP, aka The Dream Team.

When Larry Mac started off, I thought "good grief, how did he get this job?" He has improved and I don't notice his grammar mistakes as much. He offers alot of insight.

Whether you like DW or not, he is a very smart man. You just have to listen between the lines.

I also enjoy Phil, Mikey, Wally, Kyle and Jeff H. I think all the booth analysts fit well with each other on their respective networks.

allisong said...

I have to go with the originator of the term "Lucky Dog"...Wally Dallenbach. I appreciate his sense of humor and I think he brings a sense of fun that is not quite as "corn pone" as the FOX guys.

My runner-up (the Carl Edwards role) would be Larry Mac. Although I do like him better in his other roles outside of the FOX race day booth. On Trackside, he gives the impression that he has done his homework and comes prepared.

Someone mentioned Larry's habit of always mentioning the car number when talking about the driver. If you notice on NASCAR Performance, he always refers to a team and their crew chief. Never the driver. What's funny is when discussing the Chase standings, SPEED will put up their usual graphic with driver head shots, and below the driver's face will be the name of their crew chief. Kinda funny when you look at it.

Anonymous said...

Larry Mac.

Despite some peoples' complaints about his grammar, his demonstrated knowledge of NASCAR and stock cars in general is unsurpassed. He always has something substantive to say, and it is not always the most obvious comment, either. His commentary adds something to the coverage, and that is the ultimate goal.

Honorable Mention: Dallenbach, DW.

Most overrated: DJ. He's fine. But nothing special. He's not objectionable, but that isn't really the goal, is it?

David said...


Would you maybe agree that AP deserves an assist with DJ this year? I honestly feel those 2 guys have overcome a tremendous amount of hurdles this year between the non-existent play-by-play and scripted production.

They could probably put on a great broadcast with just those 2 in the booth and the SPEED production crew lol.

DJ did an amazing job, did all the driver interviews with the in-race reporter, and was good at setting the scenes from a driver's perspective as well.

Anonymous said...

I'm also going with Larry Mac.

And, yes, my #2 is DW. I don't care how annoying he can be at times. His love of the sport and passion are contagious. I loved it when ABC did a highlight reel of the full season and we heard some of DW's calls (especially Busch turning Junior). DW is the ultimate combination of information and entertainment.

Anonymous said...

PS A lot of people are mentioning Larry Mac's butchering of English grammar... but am I the only one who finds it endearing and thinks it is a major part of his folksy Southern appeal? This is a man who was educated in a garage, not on the campus of Harvard. And I, for one, appreciate that.

Larry Mac without Larry Mac-isms isn't Larry Mac!!

Adam T. Martin said...

Andy Petree and Dale Jarrett.

They keep up with the race and don't go overboard with any theatrics.

Anonymous said...

JD, you clearly edited the Wally Dallenbach section to add more detail about why you thought he had other priorities. That wasn't there when I posted.

Tsk, tsk. I thought you were better than that, especially when you say "If you had read the rest of the article you would have seen that those priorities were spelled out in detail."


Anonymous said...

I'm going to go with DJ first because he made the ESPN coverage almost bearable and he's definitely easy to listen to. Would love to see him on SPEED or FOX instead!

As for the rest of them, each has his own attributes and I wouldn't change a thing (or thang) about most of them! (Like others, I hope DW doesn't support just one favorite driver this next season - it got old in a hurry. He's good as an announcer, tells some great stories about the "good ol' days", and his enthusiasm is contagious.)

JD, any chance you can give us an easier subject to make choices on? These are hard!!!

alex said...

1. Larry Mac - He has forgotten more about Nascar than I will ever know. He takes the term "analyst" to a whole new level.

2. DW - I prefer the emotional DW, as JD mentioned about Richmond. I also appreciate the fact that he has strong opinions about the sport and isn't afraid to let them be known. Darrell and Larry Mac are great together in the booth, as as long as DW doesn't get too sponsor driven, he deserves to be right at the top of this list.

3. Dale Jarrett - We didn't know what to expect with DJ since he's a rookie at this, but I was pleasantly surprised. He appears set to follow in his fathers footsteps as an analyst and possibly PBP man. Another couple years of practice and DJ could be up there with Larry Mac.

4. Andy Petree - I enjoyed the conversation in the booth between Andy and DJ this year, and AP's crew chief experience was a nice complement to the booth. I would rate Andy as the "MVP" of the ESPN group this year, as he is a good analyst and also dabbles in PBP, basically doing whatever is needed at that time from the booth.

alex said...

I echo those who miss BP. Excuse me while I watch a tape of an early 2000s NBC race.

alex said...

Anon 10:43--

Not trying to stir the pot, but my email is set up for RSS updates to this website. At 5:01 pm this article was posted, with the following about WD:

"Wally Dallenbach Jr. needs to be mentioned, but his priorities lie elsewhere right now as TV viewers can attest. An avid outdoorsman, Dallenbach is deeply involved in TV programs about hunting, fishing and conservation. He does not attend NASCAR events or participate in any other NASCAR TV programs than the six TNT races."

That seems to be the same thing as what's written on the front page right now, so I seriously doubt JD changed anything.

That said, I think Wally does a good job for only being there 6 weeks of the season, and he has a good bit to do with TNT improvement over 2007. I like the duo of Wally and Kyle Petty, and they complement each other the same way Dale and Andy Petree do. It's a shame they can't work later in the season.

bevo said...

I have to go with Larry Mc, he's the one analyst who can convey the strategies involved in a race as well as the technical aspects. While I enjoy the jobs that DJ, AP and Parsons do I find that the one thing lacking in race coverage is the strategy. NASCAR has evolved to a point where that is the major difference in winning and losing a race.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 10:43PM,

The page has not been edited since it was posted because no changes or clarifications were needed.

Thanks for your comment,


SallyB said...

My favorite is Andy Petrie. He and DJ make the perfect team to me. They both have a wealth of experience, and can intelligently and clearly tell us what's happening on the track. Personally, I appreciate their more low key approach to race coverage, and their willingness to talk about the 'real' action, not the script. As much as I appreciate Larry Mac's knowlege, the entire Fox approach of over hyping everything wears on me. When DW isn't in the booth, he is a fantastic spokesman for the sport, with excellent perspective on racing. His tendency to always support Nascar on the air and hype his own agenda grows old fast. He is also the reason I mute the first lap of every race in the Fox portion of the season. TNT, with their limited coverage, was outstanding. Wally and KP are a good team.

Anonymous said...

PS A lot of people are mentioning Larry Mac's butchering of English grammar... but am I the only one who finds it endearing and thinks it is a major part of his folksy Southern appeal? This is a man who was educated in a garage, not on the campus of Harvard. And I, for one, appreciate that.

Exactly so.

This ain't the NBC Nightly News from New York, it's racing!

Lisa Hogan said...

1. Larry McReynolds

Tom said...

I agree with Strick that DJ probably went above and beyond anyone in bringing some of the elements of the race to fans that we were missing before. He has gotten smoother and he seems intent on improving, so I'll give him #1, with kudos to Petree,as I think they do have the potential to become the Benny/Ned pairing we so want.
Honorable mention goes to Wally. Ya know what?, You don't need to be in the middle of everything to give good commentary. It is nice to hear someone who HASN'T drank the KoolAid and that pespective makes him a valuable iof underused asset.

3KillerBs said...

Larry Mac!!!!

I even enjoy his language because I think it would be a sad day when regionalisms and legitimate geographic language differences get all homogenized into a bland and formless unity.

Nobody does a better job of conveying information in a clear and easy to understand well. And Larry Mac does it with good humor and a personal touch -- as if your uncle or cousin was giving you a personal tour behind the scenes.

I'd put Dale Jarrett's polished professionalism next. Unlike the manic Rusty, who seems to still carry all his old racing grudges and DW, who comes next, DJ is wonderfully focused on the here and now of the current race in progress (the only ESPN person with that focus). He has the gift of objectivity where past rivals are concerned and the right touch of humor to leaven the serious business of presenting a race.

I like DW. And there is no one better, not even Larry Mac, at spotting trouble that is about to happen. He's the only one in any of the broadcasts who seems to be watching the race instead of the cameras. I don't even mind his "back in the day" wanderings because they are sparked by and relevant to the race at hand (Mike Joy keeps the leash short and stops him when he gets too far off-topic). But DW's inner need to shill products for sponsors and his ventures into cutsieness move him down the list.

I'm not going to rank the rest. They're competent at their jobs and I don't think any of them stand out from the crowd in a notably good or notably bad way.

glenc1 said...

I'm going to have to go with Dale Jarrett...very closely followed by Andy Petree because they're a team that works well together. They've known each other forever, and I think that helps them to come across very down to earth, & they bring us detailed info with both the driver and crew chief perspective, because that's what they did in their respective careers. They also did well at trying to make up for...well, the other things lacking in their booth. I list Dale first mainly because he's so good for being at it a short time. And guess what? Dale grew up 'in the garage' too and yet he manages to speak the English language very well, thank you. Ditto on Jeff Hammond, and most of the other broadcasters.

I love Larry Mac for his insight & enthusiasm and sense of humor (I'm a big fan of NASCAR Performance) but he could easily be number one if he stopped using double negatives, etc. It's not that hard; Dale Jarrett himself went to a Dale Carnegie course that his father recommended to him to learn to present himself better (I remember him mentioning it on Beyond the Wheel or whatever that old FSN series was called.) Some grammar lessons and a little practice are all Larry needs. Once you make a choice to become a professional broadcaster you should be making an attempt to speak proper English. As far as the others go, I have mostly good things to say about all of them, and it's funny because in other sports, many former players turn out to be so bad at television. DW is good *most* of the time (I loved the 'he turned him' call...) But sometimes he's just too big for the booth. I love Phil Parsons--I miss Benny, but frankly I always thought Phil was better than he was. Speaks clearly but yet with excitement, and nearly always has insight. And another shout out from me for Wally Dallenbach. This should be about his time in the booth, however brief--and while I used to find him annoying, I think he is much improved the last couple seasons; I agree on liking his 'bluntness' at times. Kyle Petty I would also say I enjoy even if I don't always agree with him, and sometimes his comments just leave me scratching my head. At least he's not afraid to express himself, and he does have the knowledge of a current driver. Michael Waltrip gets a mixed review from me also--the walking billboard and biggest suck-up to NASCAR--and yet in spite of that, I enjoy his sly sense of humor and his passion for the sport.

red said...

still pondering this "best of" but . . .

if you enlarge the photo of petree, look at the desk, beneath his pen. is that the highly classified "script" we talked about each week?

(sorry! i couldn't resist!)

jamie in nc said...

wow...a forum where waltrip bashing...oops waltrip criticisms are allowed. in short, i choose dallenbach.

Anonymous said...

Okay, Red, you made me go back and look! Yeah, me thinks you're right! YOU get my vote for sure - Best Observationist!

Anonymous said...

In my mind DJ gets the rookie of the year award and the Best Analyst award. He is just like his dad was in the booth. A true pro.

Larry Mac a close second, I love his mangled grammar.

All the rest are enjoyable, like many others I miss Benny a lot.

kbaskins said...

Definitely Larry Mac. In spite of the fact that he takes liberties with the English language, he still provides some of the clearest and most accurate analysis during the races, practices and qualifying.

Most of the others on the list are all also very competent and passionate people. DJ and Andy were a pleasant surprise, given that they both had to expand their roles to include PxP.

I can't stand Michael Waltrip as an announcer. His constant shilling for his sponsors when he's supposed to be an analyst drives me crazy and is very, very unprofessional. He was the one fly in the ointment during the CTS races.


GinaV24 said...

I'm going with Larry Mac, followed by Jeff Hammond as my picks for best analyst. I thought Andy Petree also did a very nice job.

I can't watch the truck races because of Michael Waltrip. I've started to watch and thought Phil Parsons did a good job and then Mikey would chime in and I'd have to exit stage left. DW makes me crazy as well. Sometimes he is really good but the sales pitch crap is just over the top. Rusty Wallace needs to figure out how to be impartial and professional before I can even pay attention to any words that come out of his mouth. He's too involved with the Nationwide series and his son for me to function as a broadcaster.

Penny said...

I have to agree with PammH.The Waltrips are way out of bounds.
1. Larry Mac
2. Andy Petrie

Anonymous said...

I love them all. I can't really pick a favorite. It's hard to compare sometimes because of the gaps between when we see announcers.

My 4-year-old loves DW. He watches the race rewind on NASCAR's website so he can "Boogity - Boogity - Boogity" all season long!

Did you ever notice that the FOX guys never use the term "Lucky Dog" - they call it the free pass?

phil said...

1. Darrell Waltrip - ol' DW has the best NASCAR resume of all the analysts and is usually spot-on with his comments. I sorely wish he would retire/replace the B-B-B line, though. As much as I liked hearing it the 1st season he used it, the phrase is simply wore slap out (the "Let's Go Racin' Boys" tune was the last straw).

2. Dale Jarrett - like his father Ned, he'll be a double hall-of-fame member for racing and race analysis. A few more seasons in the booth and he will ascend to #1 regardless of the other analysts.

3. Phil Parsons - very knowledgeable & can keep the excitement level up without getting hysterical (spelled MW). Food for thought: will Phil ever get a (well-deserved) shot at a seat in the Cup booth during his career with all the other talent apparently secure in their seats?

4. Tie between Wally Dallenbach, Larry McReynolds, Andy Petree & Kyle Petty. All are fine analysts, but IMO the top three are all better at it.

5. Michael Waltrip - I'm a fan of MW the driver, but MW the analyst tends to invoke the use of the Mute button rather often.

Anonymous said...

I can understand how many folks like Larry Mac. But let's get something straight--my family is from the south, none of us went to Harvard, but we still manage to speak correct English. Besides, Petree, DW, and many others are also southerners.

Tony said...

The team of Wally Dallenbach and Kyle Petty cannot be beat. They are the best at getting to the meat of an issue and going right for it. They don't hesitate to criticize NASCAR or other drivers, which gives them credibility. At the same time, they play off each other really well when its time to have some fun too.

I really enjoyed the team of Andy Petree and Dale Jarrett, as well. Andy is a pro and DJ is miles above Rusty. He relies on a few verbal crutches sometimes though, such as saying "at this point in time" a hundred times within one broadcast. Nonetheless, they're a close 2nd to Kyle & Wally.

The FOX coverage is fun and laid back, but its a little too overdone sometimes for my taste. Their gimmicks need to take a back seat to commentary, not the other way around. I really like how Chris Myers has loosened up over the years.

SPEED's coverage is atrocious. I refuse to watch any Truck races because of their awfulness. Phil is weak, Michael (who I like - outside the TV booth) isn't as good as DW, and the main announcer (whose name I can't remember) is a disaster. They really need to step it up.

Richard in N.C. said...

Among the really good ones - DW, Larry Mac, DJ, and Andy P - I have to give the nod to DW just by a hair for 2 reasons. (1) he comes across as genuine and (2) most of the time he is right when he makes a prediction. I find it hard to choose among the good analysts because they all seem to have their own unique talents.

Anonymous said...

SPEED's coverage is atrocious.Congrats, you're the first and only person to post such a sentiment.

Delenn said...

Just to add on review of these comments. I used to like DW. I still don't mind Boogity Boogity Boogity.

But, both Waltrips are walking billboards. For Napa, Gophers or dwstore. Come on. They are like the ESPN production truck. ESPN concentrate on their story. The Waltrips concentrate on their products. They have the same problem. JUST CALL THE RACE. Then, you might get near Wally and Andy.

TexasRaceLady said...

JD, you're determined to wear out my thinking cap, aren't you?

As a 30-year veteran of the English classroom, I cringe when Larry Mac butchers the language.

However, as a race fan, I LOVE the passion, experience and insight he brings to the broadcast.

Andy Petree is a very close second. While not as excitable as Larry, he still manages to get across to the viewer his love and knowledge of the sport.

Anonymous said...

Wally and Kyle are excellent, DJ and Andy are also very good. Then you have the Waltrips, Larry Mac and Hammond way behind the first two. Obvious things like screaming all the time, trying to create more excitement than really exists.DW and his many agendas, DW store, Toyota, his brother, etc, etc.Larry and Hammond both stumble a lot with language and explanations. Larry belongs in the slot TNT put him in.Someone like DJ Kopp should replace Hammond.

Anonymous said...

I have to vote for Darrell Waltrip. BUt I also like Larry Mac and Jef Hammond

Richard in N.C. said...

Since Larry Mac is so intense and had a few years' head start, I believe Andy Petree does not get nearly enough credit. I see Andy P as ESPN's real find since I fully expected DJ to be good.

Anonymous said...

anon 1:52, that's because Wally (at the other network) invented the lucky dog phrase. Fox has always refused to use it. Funny though, the drivers and everyone else use it all the time.

Tony--some years back at the NASCAR banquet, Dale Jarrett wore out the phrase 'week in and week out'...and he still uses's just less obnoxious than Rusty's 'I tell you what'...

Anonymous said...

My father taught me a long time ago, if you don't have anything nice to say about someone, don't say anything at all. So with that in mind, I won't give my opinion of ESPN's TV race coverage. Now, how many of you folks out there can remember the guy who did the drag racing radio spots back in the sixties that started out with the guy yelling SUNDAY,SUNDAY...I swear if I didn't know better, that guy was related to Phil Parsons!! He can't go a whole broadcast without hollering....mellow out a little Phil.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Brian H said...

I'll go with Larry Mac then Petree, along with their teammates, and an Honorable Mention to Kyle Petty. Not only were his stories and insight fantastic, but his sense of humor is brilliant.

Newracefan said...

Larry Mac hands down then it gets hard. If it wasn't for the digger/ push this season DW would be second. I think everyone else has their good and bad points. DJ and AP stepped up for ESPN and are the only reason I continued to watch the races. I love Mikey and Phil so I am going to have then be in a tie with AP and DJ. Sorry Wally your last only because your not around any other time and can't give me all the inside scoop.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 6:53PM,

We are looking for your opinion in response to the topic at hand. Each of us has a perspective uniquely our own on the NASCAR coverage and that is what we come here to discuss. We certainly would appreciate you adding yours.



Anonymous said...

Typical Daly and his normal DW-bashing. It must have killed you when your beloved ESPN/ABC failed in the ratings again.

Remember how you raved how TNT was going to set the bar so high for all the other networks to follow? Did it happen? Of course not.

You couldn't wait for FOX to get off the air and then TNT ratings went down like the Titanic.....followed closely in a bombing run by ESPN and then ABC.

Let's see.....what could the common denominator be? Oh yeah, they don't have DW but they do have you backing them. Come to think of it, you probably threw your all powerful endorsement to Dukakis, Gore, Kerry and McCain!

Petree's a goober and everyone knows it. Larry McReynold's is a great guy but he is so over-exposed. His ego drives saying yes to every opportunity to be on TV or Radio because he knows he will never measure up in popularity to DW. I mean come on, Larry just doesn't know when to shut up.

And don't even start about Wally. Its funny when he talks about what it was like running up front. When was that? The TWO 2nd place finishes in his entire career? Both of those were on road courses anyway. There's a reason his nickname in the garage is Rollback.

It sure would be nice if for once you would just admit your bias against DW and get over it already.

I mean, we are all sorry that you don't have a real job and have to blog for a living. Being on the outside and looking in while Speed and FOX succeed must eat away at you but hey, buck up little buddy you still have those 12 dedicated blog viewers.


Steve L. said...

Larry Mac is number one for me. DW & Hammond are on top of the list as well.

I really thought DJ would have been better this year but I was disappointed in him. He has a jerky, stuttering way of speaking I don't care for.

Andy is growing on me in the booth. I guess it's the non-excitement in any of the ESPN/ABC voices that make the over all coverage boring to me.

They all have their own styles, with pros and cons, but I give my overall vote to the FOX team.

Anonymous said...

Typical Daly and his normal DW-bashing. It must have killed you when your beloved ESPN/ABC failed in the ratings again.

You must not actually read this blog, because if you did, you'd see that JD has been anything but a fan of ESPN--he's been at least as critical of ESPn as he was of Fox.

Go away, troll.

Anonymous said...

Larry Mac - with Phil coming in a close ,very close second.
Both are like hanging out with a friend who really knows racing. Larry gets the nod for the weather & fuel info. Especially the weather.

He gets so involved with the race, his "everyday" way of speaking. No airs, no phoniness, no talking down to us fans.

And the Bear Bryant hat, and the goat herder hat, &.....

Matt said...

I honestly like all of the choices. I don't really have a problem with any.

My favorite has always been Wally though. I love his sense of humor, and appreciate him not drinking the Kool-Aid.. like with the Montoya fire at Pocono. He and Kyle did not hesitate to call out the safety workers. As for how much success he's had in the series, that doesn't bother me at all. I find most of his comments pretty much dead on.

I also really like Andy and DJ. Add AB to the booth and this really is the dream team.

Anonymous said...

If they would remove Dr. Jerry Punch and put him back as a pit reporter, where he was great, I might add, and put Alan Bestwick in the booth, I think would be great. I will vote for DJ and Petree since those are the choices,

ri88girl said...

Larry Mac, Andy Petree, DW, Phil Parsons. Period BP was the best loving memory.

Vicky D said...

All of the analysts have done a great job I think. For the last race AP had to step it up because I felt DJ wasn't putting his 100% that particular race and we know what JP wasn't doing either. I also think Larry Mac knows so much about the cars that how could I not select him either. Someone mentioned Randy LaJoie for the Nationwide races and he came up with some comments from teams that I wouldn't expect him to find out like Hendrick/JR. Motorsports if Nationwide goes to COT then they'll leave the series. Every race he has come up with a good tidbit or two. He just needs more time in the booth, but I think at the end of the season everyone is tired and they need some relief players to fill in every once in awhile.

ri88girl said...

@ Strick
@ Delenn
Fantastic comments. Really exspressed some insights that reached much deeper than we usually do on this blog during the race weeks themselves. I enjoyed reading your posts, thanks.

I already listed my picks, but I really wanted to say that I feel over all, the combo of Burnes, Larry Mac and Hammond are the best total 'booth crew' even without a driver analyst on any network. They all can do a little pxp, first rate and diverse analyhsis, lots of color, good insight and chemestry between them as well. I wouldn't think they would need anyone else other than say maybe Kyle Petty to handle a full cup race alone.

OR, Maybe, ESPN will give Nationwide races back to BF, and NASCAR can give them to SPEED. Then, we can have TWO series to enjoy! I can dream can't I? Notice I didn't suggest ESPN might also put AB in the booth, I said dream not miraculous devine intervention!

Daly Planet Editor said...


Since it is the end of the season, I am going to leave the Anon 7:28PM comment up just so you can see the type of post that would normally get deleted.

There are just people in society who are unable to appreciate the opportunity to comment here and cannot add anything to the conversation.

I appreciate the time that most of you have spent in considering your comments and then posting them.

Happy to say that this season we are averaging right around ten thousand pageviews a day and are on track to top three million pageviews for the 2008 year.

None of this would be possible without your help. I appreciate you taking the time to pitch-in on the NASCAR conversation that is making the NASCAR TV partners aware that someone is holding them accountable for their performance.



Anonymous said...

OR, Maybe, ESPN will give Nationwide races back to BF, and NASCAR can give them to SPEED..

There will be no "giving" of any series, considering what was paid for the rights to them.

Anonymous said...

i gotta go with larry mac. the guy is knowledgeable, factual, informative, and a great listen. yes, he has trouble with pronunciation, but a lot of people do. i actually take joy in listening to him talk with all of his interesting ways to say words - that's half the fun. anyway, he and DW are my favorite 1-2 punch (no pun intended), but DW has tried to commercialize his presentation a little too much over the years.

TNT's production was much better than last year's. of course, they brought in larry mac, and that helped tremendously. TNT's and FOX's use of the infield cutaway car far and away outdoes ESPN's tech center. i enjoyed petty's contribution this year, and he is my favorite part of TNT's booth team.

i was extremely pleased that ESPN replaced rusty with jarrett this year, a huge upgrade in the booth. he and petree work good together. if they could get a better play-by-play man, this booth team would excel even more and give FOX's team run for their money.

i can't comment too much on SPEED's analysts as i didn't get to watch too much of the truck races. a bummer too, because when i did watch a little of them they were good. i have noticed that mikey's development has come a long ways, but he can still be a little too much for me as an analyst.

Anonymous said...

1. Larry Mac
2. Darrell Waltrip
3. Phil Parsons
4. Wally Dallenbach
5. Hollywood Hammond-even though he is a studio analyst on FOX, his coverage of the events TNT and ESPN didn't show were pretty good.
6. Andy Petree
7. Dale Jarrett
8. Kyle Petty

red said...

"best booth analyst", huh? well, IF dj and andy had actually been able to consistently do analysis instead of PxP, i might be torn between the two of them. as it stands, they get props from me for trying to stick analysis in while still carrying the PxP duty as well. because they weren't able to do what they were hired to do, their actual analysis suffered. here's hoping that can be fixed in '09 by espn.

but as far as knowledge, insight and actually talking about the race all race long, i give the nod to larry mac. he gave us solid information, right down to weather forecast and the implications of it on the on-track decision making. once we were on other networks, when i found myself wondering about gas mileage, i missed larry mac and his calculator. i can live with his malpropisms because what he gives us is solid, actionable information and analysis and i can watch whether the active crew chiefs can take his info and run with it successfully.

(i also have to give a shout out to his work on nascar performance: the geek in me is loving that show and it deserves a set time-slot! but i digress.)

larry mac is, for me, the closest to the ultimate analyst we need in the booth -- and we miss you terribly, bp.

Zieke said...

Dale Jarrett is a real class guy with the dedication to do well in everything he tries. He is #1 with Larry Mac a close #2. Andy is getting better, probably because he is relaxing more. The rest seem to be about the same, except for the self-promoting, loud-mouthed Waltrips. Both of them are tied for the "need new jobs" catagory!! And I don't mean as drivers.

Tracy said...

I'm a huge Andy Petree fan after this year. He stood out as someone to listen to, and for the life of me, I can't remember him in the booth last year. With Petree working in combo with DJ, I don't feel totally cheated by ESPN. DJ and he work well together, and their comments complement each other.

Love Larry Mac. He and Hammond do it right. When they're doing qualifying, it's as good as sitting at the track beside them.

I like DW - as someone else said, he's dead-on when trouble's brewing on the track. And you can't fault his enthusiasm and genuine love for the sport, none of which he tries to hide.

Lou said...

Sounds like I may be in the minority here. But I did enjoy Wally D and Kyle P during the TNT portion of the race season.

And Wally Dallenbach Jr gets my vote as "Best NASCAR TV Booth Analyst of 2008".

Josh said...

You aren't totally alone, as I have said before, I really liked the TNT crew this year. They made me feel like I was watching the race with fans.

That having been said, unlike the PxP crew, I actually like every one of the guys on this list. I'm not sure who I would give my "number one" to.

Anonymous said...

Best team ever-

Bob Jenkins play by play
Benny Parsons expert
Ned Jarrett expert
Jerry Punch pit reporter
John Kernan pit reporter

Honorable mention to Eli Gold

nuf said

Ed in Michigan said...

It absolutely shocks me that there has little (if anything) mentioned about the Truck series SpeedTV booth guy Rick Allen. This guy is great in the booth, and could easily replace Punch in lead role. Bestwick is one of the best and is sorely missed doing the play by play. Petree is always solid and spot on with his commentary. Larry Mac is the one of the best. Mike Joy is the BEST, and is THE voice of NASCAR. DW is great, he has humor, knowledge and passion for the sport and it comes through in every braodcast.

Now the other end of the spectrum:

Rusty's gotta go. Period.

Punch needs to be back in pit row.

Jarrett will need another year or two to fine tune his booth personality.

Evernham does NOT belong in broadcasting at all.

Mikey Waltrip should be removed from the booth, and the track for that matter.

My dream team in the booth:
1. Mike Joy
2. Larry Mac
3. Alan Bestwick
4. Darryl Waltrip
5. Rick Allen
6. Wally Dallenbach

(Any combination of the above)

Pit Road:
1. Jerry Punch
2. Bob Jenkins
3. Bill Webber

Man, I miss Benny Parsons.

Anonymous said...

Ed, you need to click on the best TV play by play blog--that's where you'll find our Rick Allen comments.

Bryan said...

Larry Mac and DW is a great duo. Mike Joy, Hammond, I mean the whole FOX crew is outstanding. Throw someone in with Petree and Jarrett and that has potential too...BRING BACK BUDDY BAKER!! He is awesome on Sirius!

Anonymous said...

Hey Daly - two questions -

First, what is your problem with DW? You like to bash him every chance you get. Guess you kind of want to overlook that he has received an Emmy nod for his work? Has Wally, Kyle, Andy, Dale and the rest of those B-listers that the other networks were stuck with? NOPE!

I mean come on, you just go on Sirius this afternoon and bash him again but I bet he appreciated your free plug of Did he not sign your hat when you were a kid or something?

Second, what are your credentials? Must be the old "those who can't - bash?" And don't trot out the old song and dance about how many people you know in the industry. If you really knew them as well as you say, then you would really know they think you are a joke. No seriously,thats not a cheap shot. We all talk about it in the TV compound every week. It's the truth.

- and you know what they say- truth hurts!

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 4:13PM,

Not quite sure what you are talking about. Dave Moody asked me about the "Digger cam" issue.

I responded by saying that Fox having DW promote T-shirt sales inside the race while it was in-progress on his own website was not a good practice. I have maintained this stance since the start of the "digger" branding campaign.

As I also said and Dave agree, there is no one who has been a better statesman for the sport than DW. Long before ESPN returned to the sport, it was FOX that picked up the slack and really delivered a TV package that put NASCAR back on the map.

Perhaps, we spent different times in the TV compound. Mine was before HD, digital switchers and a shared resource truck.

If you would like to voice your opinion on the topic at hand in this post, perhaps you could tell us about your favorite TV booth analyst of 2008?


Jessica said...

JD, I just heard you on Sirius, nice job. I did not get the impression that you were bashing DW, far from it.

As to the topic at hand, its really hard to have a favorite. I think it all comes down to chemistry. I really like DW but without Larry Mac and Jeff as a foil he would be a bit much (same goes for his brother whenever he appears). Likewise, Larry seems to have an extra sparkle when he is in the booth with DW. The whole FOX crew makes me smile and I feel like I watching the race with people who earnestly care about the sport and all of the drivers. I usually feel like between everyone in that booth I get the right balance of 'color' and hard facts.

The opposite is true for the ESPN booth. The chemistry in that booth is all wrong. Andy and DJ are great when they have a minute or two to shine, but the huge cloud of fail that is the ESPN broadcast really hampers those guys. The role of booth analyst is like oil in a machine. Even the best oil can't fix a broken engine. Its almost not even fair to compare them to the FOX crew when their broadcast has so many other problems. The sad part is that ESPN has all these top quality folks like Bestwick and Andy and DJ and Doc but they put them together all wrong and everyone comes out looking like a dog's breakfast.

So, I guess I am choosing the FOX booth, you can't make me choose just one, it’s the group that makes it work;)

Richard in N.C. said...

If ESPN or SPEED really cared about the sport and its fans, this would be the perfect time of the year, for NASCAR fans, to replay some of the old races so old and new fans could enjoy the work of Ken Squier, Ned Jarrett, and Benny Parsons - and, of course, that special NASCAR analyst David Hobbs.

Benny Parsons was not only a wonderful analyst and special person, but also a wonderful story teller. No matter how many times I'd heard him tell them, I always loved listening to Benny tell stories about the old days - like the ice cream and the lead radio stories.

Anonymous said...

Second, what are your credentials? Must be the old "those who can't - bash?"

Of course, this phrase completely negates everthing you chose to bash JD over, doesn't it?

Anonymous said...

- and you know what they say- truth hurts!

...which explains why you and your friends in the "TV compound" are so annoyed with this blog and the people who dislike your work so much, then.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Thanks, but let's get back on track with the Booth Analyst comments. There are a ton of great opinions on this thread so far...let's keep it going!

Thanks all,


Anonymous said...

you know, in their day the 'old timers' were very good. But let's not forget that they weren't perfect. Benny was as big a defender of NASCAR as Michael Waltrip is now. Ken Squier was having a really hard time remembering the names and numbers toward the end (which is why the scripted format works well for him now.) Ned hardly ever said a critical word about anyone, which made him beloved but not necessarily the greatest 'analyst'. Some of that was probably dictated by NASCAR--I think *all* of the booth guys now seem to have more freedom to say what they think than they did back in the day. As much as we wonder if they're afraid of a 'hard card' removal, it's certainly better than it used to be. NASCAR needs to get over the fear of criticism and just let the guys do what they do.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 7:45PM,

Thanks for the comment but you did not pick your favorite Booth Analyst of 2008 and tell us what you liked best about his season!


AMS fan said...

*Larry Mac is #1 for me. I love his excitement and knowledge.
*Andy Petree has been doing a great job with the handcuffs (I mean a mouth gag) that ESPN has on the announcers.
*Phil Parsons does a great job considering who he has to compete with.
*I enjoy DW up until he starts his selling spree.
* Mikey has gotten better this year, he does allow others to talk and not correcting them.
*Jeff Hammond
*Dale Jarrett- It would be nice to have him on another network. I think he has a lot more he could share if he had liberty to do so.
*Wally Dallenbach Jr.
*Kyle Petty- He, as some of us, really needs to decide what he wants to do when he grows up. He is good at being an analyst, but if he could dedicate the time necessary, I think he could be a lot better.
If I missed any I guess they weren't worth speaking of.
JD, you may want to think about a New Year resoulotion to quit bashing DW every time you get the chance. I have read so much of it this year, when I search next year I may be able to find a whole sentence. (LOL)

Anonymous said...


Can we assume "Best Pit Road Reporter" is next?

And will you tally all these and put them in one post later?

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 8:18AM,

I will be posting the new complete list of "best of" topics shortly. Once we all get done, there will be a post with the overall results.

So far, it sure is interesting that there is a general agreement on the play-by-play but a lot of diverse opinions on the booth analyst.

This is the first year that we are doing this and I greatly appreciate all the comments.


glenc1 said...

about DW--seems like he creates a good deal of controversy whatever he does. But I think people have missed something in English class--giving an argument with specific examples to back you up is not 'bashing'. In JD's case, it's constructive criticism; that's what the blog is for.

Personally, I like DW--his book is a good read for those interested. He was my first favorite driver, although I can certainly understand why 'Jaws' was disliked by many as a driver. As a broadcaster, however, I have issues. For me, the 'boogity' thing is annoying. The 'digger' stuff is annoying, but he was aided and abetting by FOX in that one (I'm assuming they have a piece of that). I do think he has improved, though, in letting the others get a word in edgewise...though sometimes he still gets carried away. It's probably the same passion that makes him so good at times, so it goes both ways.

Anonymous said...

Put me down as another who likes Wally Dallenbach. As others have said he seems to be less influenced by the Nascar line. I find he does a good job of explaining things. (Have you noticed in sports how often the best performers are not good at explainging stuff - possibly because they did it so naturally)

I'd put DJ second. I appreciate his calm demeanor and the fact he's watching the track.

Larry Mac is very good. I just wish he didn't say 'awl' when he means 'oil'.

Bill Weber I'd put next, then Larry Joy.

I'd put all of the not mentioned, non-Waltrips next. Mikey occasionally seems to understand the job, but then all of the shilling, etc. starts again. DW, despite his great knowledge, is largely muted here due to his preference to talk about non-racing topics.


Andrew S. said...

I guess DW and LarryMac are 1 and 1a. DW would be much better if he stuck to telling the story of the race and not trying to entertain us all the time. As for LarryMac, absence makes the heart grow fonder. He is everywhere, all year round. I guess his wife approves but he could throttle back on his schedule a little.

Honourable mention to Ken Schrader when he is in the booth for the ARCA races on Speed. He'd be great covering the big boys in Cup if someone could pull him out of a race car and make him put a tie on. :)

Zieke said...

You gotta like Kyle Petty. He is honest and forthright in his opinions. Does'nt try to tell all that he is right, just "here it is, take it for what it's worth". I thought his Tradin' Paint show was very good, altho it's not the same as critiquing a race. If he ever becomes a booth guy, he will get very good at it.

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Cranky Girl said...

1. Dale Jarret
2. Phil Parsons
3. Kyle Petty

Anonymous said...

I want to second Richard's request for SPEED or ESPN to air some OLD races to get us all to Daytona. It would be great, especially now when things are so rocky in general, to be able to spend a few hours just enjoyin' the race.