Friday, November 28, 2008

Best NASCAR TV Play-By-Play Announcer of 2008?


Thank you for returning to The Daly Planet in the off-season. To start the look back at the ten months of NASCAR racing on TV we are going to take an opportunity to talk about "the best of 2008."

Rather than hand-out awards, this seems to be a good time to take a deep breath and remember what we all liked best about the hundreds of hours of national TV offered to NASCAR fans this year. To start-off this post-season project, we are going to ask you to pick one of four men as the best NASCAR play-by-play announcer this season.

The picture above is of a very young Ken Squier on the right hosting a post-season awards program for his Thunder Road International Speedbowl in Barre, VT. Before TV came along, the best announcers were on the Public Address system. Squier and others like Chris Economaki felt it was critically important to be the source of excitement for the fans. It kept them coming back for more.

It was sometimes said that Squier could make a wheelbarrow race sound exciting. As NASCAR migrated to TV, it was often Squier and Economaki who continued to keep the excitement level high anytime cars were at speed. To them, the thrill of racing was something everyone should experience...even from the living room. Watching the Daytona 500 live with Squier on the call brought millions of fans to the sport.

Our four TV personalities have varied backgrounds and all came to NASCAR with the same goal as Squier. That was to give their best effort to translating the reality of the racing to those fans watching on TV. Let's meet the four TV professionals.

Mike Joy kicked the season off on Fox and then Bill Weber stepped-in to handle the TNT summer schedule of the Sprint Cup Series. Both of these announcers had limited exposure, but Joy also handled the Cup series practice and qualifying sessions on SPEED during the Fox portion of the schedule.

Perhaps, the most memorable moment of Joy's season was being live in the booth for the Michael McDowell crash in Texas. Click here for a column that will refresh your memory about how the TV veteran Joy handled that moment.

Weber does not have the luxury of handling practice and qualifying. He is here and gone in six short races. This season, Kyle Petty and Larry McReynolds helped Weber have the best summer of his life on TNT. Relaxed and calm at last, Weber was able to keep his perspective and finally put his extensive knowledge of the sport to good use on the air.

Click here for a column that summed-up the TNT summer visit for 2008. One key to Weber's success was the outstanding TV directing of veteran Mike Wells. After the forced drama of Fox and Artie Kempner, Wells was a breath of fresh air who showed fans the race and aggressively followed the action from start to finish. It made a big difference for Weber.

Just like in 2007, ESPN made Dr. Jerry Punch double-up and call both the entire season of Nationwide races and the final seventeen Sprint Cup Series events. He also handled the practice and qualifying sessions for both series.

This NASCAR experience of the last two years has been rough for Punch. The veteran reporter and beloved NASCAR icon had a tough time in the role ESPN chose for him.

Click here for a column that talked about the team struggles of ESPN and the issues that happened over the 2008 season. Credit goes to Punch for hanging-in there and completing another season of the ESPN/ABC TV package.

The final person in our discussion is Rick Allen. A complete NASCAR outsider, Allen was imported from Nebraska and placed directly in the national spotlight on the third-tier Craftsman Truck Series coverage on SPEED. Needless to say, success has followed.

Click here to read about the great season the Trucks have enjoyed on SPEED and the role that Allen has played in that success. As with Joy and Punch, Allen also handles the practice and qualifying sessions for the Truck series.

There are always a variety of opinions on topics like this, but what we would ask is for you to pick the person among these four who you enjoyed most in 2008.

Feel free to tell us the reasons behind your choice and what memories you have from this year. While you may discuss the announcers other than the one you chose, please understand that derogatory speech will cause your entire comment to be deleted.

Thank you for helping us in this "best of 2008" series as we review the personalities involved in this past season. To add your comment, just click 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 stopping by.

85 comments:

Photojosh said...

I'm going to say Weber simply because I was completely surprised at how much I liked listening to the whole TNT crew in the booth. They knew their stuff and sounded like they really enjoyed being race fans as well as announcers. Big surprise for me as what I typically remember from TNT is lots of sitcom promos.

Good job Weber!

Anonymous said...

Mike Joy is God. He is the best NASCAR play-by-play announcer, and let's be honest, the next best really doesn't even come close. NASCAR should make him a full-time employee and then stipulate that he must be used on-air in every single television contract. Short of that, I'll keep counting the days until FOX is on the air again. Mike Joy is a pleasure to listen to, and is an all-time great broadcaster in any era, but especially in this one.

glenc1 said...

Mike Joy, closely followed by Rick Allen. Mike has enthusiasm, tons of knowledge and the right attitude, and working with DW can't be easy (in terms of getting a word in edgewise...) And you know he has the passion, but he also cares about the viewers and how the information is communicated to them.

Rick just always seems to know the right thing to say and when to say it, but with he & Phil it's more like a ying/yang thing, they are just better together, and for a guy who didn't grow up with it, Rick has been a quick study. Both Rick and Mike have good 'broadcaster' voices.

Weber has always irritated the heck out of me, both vocally & stylisticly, but he's oddly better at PxP than he is at interviewing. And Punch is exactly the opposite. I've sensed him *trying* to get his voice to sound excited, but somehow it just doesn't seem to work well.

Lou said...

I have to go with Mike Joy. During those race broadcasts on FOX I felt I was informed and up to date. And I was aware of what what going on during the race. I can not give a reason or race to back that up. But I was comfortable listening to him for play by play.

I realize I use Hotpass. But from the times I did listen to the network audio, that is the basis for the above opinion.

bevo said...

For his work in the CTS and his HotPass work I have to go with Rick Allen. He has the perfect balance of enthusiasm, knowledge and delivery. I hate not picking Mike Joy, I put him right up there with Ken Squier for the all-time greats.

Rick said...

Mike Joy, with Rick Allen second.

Bill Weber was much improved this last season.

red said...

my choice has be be rick allen (with mike joy a very close second.) allen called every truck race with professionalism, patience and consistency and, b/c of the way the contracts were written, we were able to listen to him every race, not just part of the season. after 30-some weeks of PxP, he was still calling every race as if he'd never seen anything more fun and exciting in all his life.

he was able to keep his "eye on the prize" of letting us, the viewers, know what was happening on the track and keeping the rest of the guys in the booth on-task. every week, he brought enthusiasm and dedication into his work and we could hear it in his voice. there was an element of "the fan" that made itself evident in his call of the race, some intangible that said to me that he was as astounded to find himself in this position as anyone and that he was so grateful to be able to be part of the sport. no jaded cynicism or fawning adoration of the drivers, just solid PxP.

i dare anyone to listen again to his call of the last 3-5 laps of the last truck race this season and then tell me that rick allen isn't among the best in the business! it was already an exciting moment but his call made it impossible to even look away.

mike joy is a veteran and a class act all the way but rick allen represents (for me) the best and the brightest of those men and women who are on their way up the ladder in this profession.

penny said...

It's a toss up , but I think I'll go with Rick Allen, with Mike Joy right behind him.

Anonymous said...

1. Rick Allen--professional and didn't have to overcome Ole DW every week...just his brother.

2. Mike Joy--extremely professional...knows his stuff. I just don't care for the Fox coverage otherwise.

3. Bill Weber--Can't believe I'm saying this, but I look forward to TNT next summer.

4. Jerry Punch--not much to say other than "And there's the XX car".

Wisconsin Steve said...

My vote goes to Bill Weber for two reasons.
1) He was the most-improved play-by-play announcer in 2008.
2) He was the most informative (This is my main reason). He constantly kept us updated with pit road penalties, lucky dog recipients, cars returning from the garage, etc. When watching TNT this summer, I never felt like I was behind on any of the race developments. That was entirely due to Bill Weber.

Sicklajoie said...

Mike Joy is in a league all his own.

Kenn Fong said...

J.D.,

Mike Joy gets my "Goldilocks" award, for life. No, that doesn't mean he likes to dress up in a blonde wig and a dress. (Well, I hope it doesn't mean that!)

It means he his work is "just right." He knows exactly how to put me next too him in the booth, watching the same race he is. He gets excited, but never over the top. His voice is distinctive and I like listening to the sound and cadence of his speech.

I like Bill Weber and Rick Allen, too.

West Coast Kenny
Alameda, California

Andrew said...

I'm going to give my vote to Mike Joy. He was great, as usual.

Rick Allen and the Speed crew are also good, but he'll take 2nd to Mike Joy.

However, like others have said, I was impressed with Bill Weber this year - very much improved over years past. He gets a close 3rd.




And, then there's Dr. Jerry Punch.

Anonymous said...

Gotta be Mike Joy.

I like my play-by-play announcers to know more about the sport than I do. Frankly, Mike Joy is the only play-by-play guy on the Cup circuit who I can say that about.

Bill H said...
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Karen said...

1: Mike Joy. He knows his stuff and then some.
1.5: Rick Allen, truly an up and comer.
3. Bill Weber, although I think RaceBuddy made it better for all of us.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Bill,

Please order off the menu. Maybe next season we can get the Hot Pass guys on the list, but right now we are trying to limit things to the four network guys. Thanks.

JD

Phathead said...

Mike Joy wins easily. He handles the sport with respect and dignity, doesn't sound bored when in fact the racing may be boring and he doesn't talk down to you.

Weber has a tendency to make you feel like he's talking down to you when he's in the booth, and we all know the problems with Punch.

Rick Allen deserves to be promoted, perhaps to the ESPN booth. He has the perfect TV voice and conveys feelings perfectly. He reminds me of the kinda guy you'd hear calling your local short track race on a Saturday night.

stricklinfan82 said...

It's like splitting hairs for me trying to pick award winners in these categories. Rick Allen certainly does a fantastic job. Bill Weber made an outstanding turnaround this year so his work certainly shouldn't go unrecognized. Dr. Punch is a fantastic broadcaster and would almost certainly in my mind be a no-brainer for 2009 Studio Host or 2009 Pit Reporter of the Year if his tremendous talents were more properly used in a role that better suited his Hall-of-Fame credentials.

But if I can only pick one....

Stricklinfan82's Best NASCAR TV Play-by-Play Announcer of 2008 Award: Mike Joy

I would however like to add an honorable mention to Steve Byrnes. He did a fantastic job calling play-by-play during Speed's abundance of post-Fox Sprint Cup and Nationwide practice/qualifying shows, particularly during qualifying shows when he was always on the ball keeping the viewers informed on the go-or-go-home drama as each car ran.

The chemistry between Steve, Larry Mac, and Jeff Hammond was tremendous, and even when it rained (which was often) I could never turn off the TV when they were on the air. Emmy worthy indeed guys :)

TexasRaceLady said...

Dang, JD, you sure know how to back someone into a corner! I'm supposed to pick between Mike Joy and Rick Allen. *sigh*

It's really a toss-up between the two as far as I'm concerned. They both make me feel as if I'm at the race. Neither one talks "down" to me. And both really know their "stuff".

But, Mike Joy is #1.
Rick is a very close 2nd.

Bill Weber surprised me this year with how much his delivery improved.

Jerry Punch surprised me when he didn't get any better.

Anonymous said...

My vote is for Mike Joy. ANYONE but Rusty Wallace, who I know is not play by play but that man needs to go from any forum he is in!

speedangel said...

My vote as best play-by-play announcer is for Mike Joy, but it's splitting hairs between he and Rick Allen.

Rick is more of a professional announcer who made his way to racing, and Mike is a car guy who made his way to announcing. I think that it's that background that makes him slightly more relatable along with his depth of knowledge, but both are great. Most improved has to go to Bill Weber.

Dot said...

My top two picks are Mike Joy (nice man out of the booth, too) and Rick Allen. Rick is the voice of the trucks. Don't let him go to ESPN.

Richard in N.C. said...

My votes have to got to:
1. Mike Joy, on his good days,
2. Mike Joy, on his few off days,
3. Rick Allen, and
4. Jerry Punch.

As a NASCAR fan and GE shareholder, I am still so angry and disappointed with Bill Weber's performance on NBC, and the damage he did to NASCAR and NBC, that I did not listen to any of the race audio on TNT.

I do believe Rick Allen deserves special commendation since he did not have the benefit of coming up thru the MRN system like Ken Squier, Mike Joy, and Allen Bestwick.

PammH said...

Mike Joy has no equal, imo. Rick Allen is also wonderful in making me feel like I'm right next to him in the booth. Bill Weber was much improved this year, not as angry, but he comes off as pompous at times & he seems to be a HUGE drama king. Doc...I can't say anything about him as a PxP announcer, because he isn't one. And I was sooo hoping for more from him.

Anonymous said...
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ttc said...

Have to agree with some of the above that Mike Joy has no peer in this category.

Sorry, but I'm not a big fan of Rick ("Eight laps of racing to go," "Seven laps of racing to go," etc.) Allen.

rich said...

My vote goes to Mike Joy. His knowledge of the sport and consummate professionalism can not be matched.
It helps him tremendously to work with a crew that all really enjoy their work. Their passion is unmatched in Sprint Cup broadcasting.
Rick Allen easily gets runner up for his pxp of the truck series. He is getting better each race. It can't be easy to work with Mikey.

Jojaye said...

Mike Joy was the best this year.
Next is Bill W. give him the "Most Improved" award - but listening to Mike Joy call races is wonderful. When he's working all I need is the TV & this blog.
Soon he'll return and life will be good until the late summer. Fox, TNT & Speed - why have anything else? Except RaceBuddy. I really missed RB.

Vicky D said...

I personally prefer Rick Allen over Mike Joy, although maybe it's because the truck races are better racing than Nationwide or cup races. Plus Rick had to do many more broadcasts than Mike and kept the excitement up til the last race at Homestead.

Anonymous said...
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SallyB said...

I have to give top honors to Mike Joy. His knowlege and professionalism are simply outstanding, and his love of cars and racing shine through everything he does. Rick Allen does a great job with the truck races, and if not for the distraction of Mikey I could appreciate him a lot more. Bill Weber toned dowm the drama wonderfully, but I still find him condescending. I hope ESPN puts Jerry Punch in a position where he can utilize his knowlege to best effect.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 8:26PM,

Just expand your earlier post into a complete comment and you will have no problems in this thread.

Thanks,

JD

Anonymous said...

Rick Allen gets my vote. Besides Dr. Punch he's the only one that works a full season from February to November and it doesn't show by the end of the season. He was as good at Homestead as he was at Daytona. Rick's also gotten better as the years pass. But most important, he's a Husker! Go Big Red! :-)

Bill H said...

Daly Planet Editor said...
Bill,

Please order off the menu. Maybe next season we can get the Hot Pass guys on the list, but right now we are trying to limit things to the four network guys. Thanks.

JD


Well 2 of the personalaties, Weber and Punch are why I plunked down the $100 for Hotpass.

As for Rick Allen, he is good with the truck broadcast but he seems, in my opinion, to get too overwhelmed when the race gets hectic and is at a lose for words.

Mike Joy, not sure what to say. It is hard to recall how he handled the race, all recollections are overshadowed by the Waltrip & Hammond show.

Bill H

Anthony said...

My announcers, in order:
1.) Mike Joy
2.) Rick Allen

a distant third: Weber
a very distant fourth: Punch

Enough said.

Steve L. said...

Mike Joy gets my vote. I've met and talked to him in person a couple times. A very pleasant person. On air he is one of the best.

Rick Allen is my very close second place PXP announcer. He doesn't have the forced excitement in his voice like Phil Parsons does at times. Phil sounds like he's grunting out his words during exciting times of the race. Mikey just goes up an octave or two with his voice.

Weber was better this year, but with only calling six races, he should have been. He had lots of time to watch the others to see what was good or bad with them before going on his short few races.

Dr. Punch, well, he only made the list because he was on it. There's just so much I don't like about his style. I started calling him Mr. Haney earlier this year with the way his voice yodels at times. (Remember the junk man on Green Acres TV show?) It's usually when he sounds tired or whatever. (which is most of the time) His calling car numbers instead of names bothers me as well. We know who the drivers are and what car their driving, no need in calling them each time.

We all know what needs to be done at ESPN/ABC. Maybe, just maybe it will happen next year.

Matt said...

I think Mike Joy is the best. He's had so much experience, and does it very well. I think Rick Allen will only get better as time goes on, but he's also great to listen to.

I agree about Weber improving. I could actually tolerate him this season, and absolutely loved TNT's coverage.

However, I still feel like AB is the best hands down, even though he didn't do pxp this year.

Newracefan said...

Mike Joy is the voice of Nascar for me, the first year I watched Nascar I only watched the Fox races by year two I was hooked, which was a good thing because of the rest of the season. I actually watch Barrett Jackson during the off season just to hear his voice. Rick Allen comes in second, listen to the last truck race if you need proof. Weber didn't annoy me this time and most likely because of the excellent camera work and Racebuddy but I wasn't screaming about PXP which is what happened when ESPN took over. JP did well in some of his other roles on ESPN but the PXP wasn't one of them.

Adam T. Martin said...

Mike Joy earns my approval.

He is almost up there with Bob Jenkins, Eli Gold, Ken Squier and Allen Bestwick. Mike Joy is easy to listen to and injects the right amount of excitement.

Rick Allen comes in second, Dr. Punch, and Bill Weber round it out.

kbaskins said...

Wow. Tough call. Today, I'd put them in this order:

1A. Mike Joy
1B. RIck Allen
3. Bill Weber
4. Dr. Punch

Tomorrow, the top two could very well change positions. They're both excellent play-by-play announcers. Hey, can I vote twice? :-)

--KarenB

NorCalFan said...

Mike Joy gets my vote if for no other reason than he can do PxP so well that I'm able to actually sit back and watch a race without needing to wear myself out multi-tasking. I'm looking forward to February with Mike.

Anonymous said...

1. mike joy - no question the best
2. rick allen - still has a long way to go, but his voice and excitement are right on track
3. bill weber - great pit guy, host guy, but play by play is not his thing.
4. jerry punch - falls into the same category as bill weber. not a good fit up in the booth

Anonymous said...

Mike Joy, hands down.

Anonymous said...

Mike Joy first.

The ABC/ESPN circus dead last.

Tom said...

Mike Joy, Hands down. That is in spite of who and what he has to work with. As informative as he is, Larry Mac does butcher the language too much. The production on FOX visually is terrible. Rick Allen is also excellent, but working with Phil (and lesser degree Mikey) gives him an advantage of having informative, professional sounding partners in the booth. Weber much improved this year. DR., not so much. Imagine if Mike Joy got to work with a booth like Allen does--there would be no question at all who #1 is!

Tom
Inverness, FL

3KillerBs said...

Mike Joy without question. When I'm watching races with the Fox guys I feel as though I had a Nascar insider friend taking me to a race and helping me enjoy it.

Rick Allen could, in due time, grow into Mike Joy.

Weber was better than previously, but still too much drama queen stuff and too much "nose in the air".

Punch is a play-by-play announcer? You could have fooled me. ESPN doesn't do play-by-play -- it might interfere with their script. Once they take over it seems that races take twice as long and go boring.

Lisa Hogan said...

1. Mike Joy
2. Rick Allen

GinaV24 said...

Mike Joy, hands down! Rick Allen would be 2nd on my list. I just plain like listening to Mike -- he's just great.

Rosemary said...

1. Mike Joy - experience and knowledge. Good balance between excitement and calming effect. Teamwork on the air. TDP's McDowell column was a good memory-jogger for me.
2. Rick Allen - a very close second. The truck races are fun to watch, and he's right there watching it with you so you don't miss anything.

Anonymous said...

You know - honestly - none of the 4 get my vote. Webber, Allen and Joy are the best of the ones we're allowed to vote for, but Alan Bestwick is hands down the best PXP announcer there is. I know he's not one of our choices, but I can't not put in my two cents for him.

ALL of the others have problems. Joy is good, but I'm SO annoyed with Waltrip, Hammond and Reynolds that I'm afraid that he is painted with their brush. They seem to try and manufacture excitement when there really is none. I've always liked Webber - mostly in his pre-race host mode - but I do like his intelligence and he is the most informative on actual race happenings of the bunch. I'm afraid I don't watch enough truck racing to really comment on Allen. I like what I hear, but again he has that "Waltrip curse" like the FOX guys. Punch wouldn't recognize excitement on track if it was coming at him at 200 mph. Just the opposite of FOX. He adds nothing to the broadcast. His commercial break information is delivered with more energy and animation than his PXP.

So, bottom line....Alan Bestwick!

Anonymous said...

Mike Joy.

Listen to him call a Chili Bowl race to see what he says when he's off the Fox leash!

chase said...

Ok - here goes:

1. Mike Joy, hands down with his complete control of each race and he never let's us down - his excitement and devotion to the sport is so obvious with every word he utters.
2. Rick Allen is a close second in my opinion - I found the truck races this season incredibly exciting and thus did not miss a single one - Rick let's his enthusiasm for the sport shine through.
3. I never cared for Bill Weber in the past because I thought he seemed 'too-removed' from the race but this year he surprised me totally.

I don't have a 4th place inasmuch as Punch is a non-entity in my opinion and if ESPN does not remove him from the booth their problems will continue. As I've said before, too bad one cannot mute just him and keep the sound for Andy and DJ who absolutely carry each race.

Thanks John - interesting reads all!

Anonymous said...

I give my vote to Rick Allen - love his style, his enthusiasm, and his ability to stay up with all that's going on during the race.

An aside note, JD: You had me laughing out loud as I read your 4 picks. You know and we know that there were really only 3 to choose from. And you put a fourth one in there, why? Having a little fun with us, are you? LOL

majorshouse said...

For me it has to be Mike Joy hands down. His total knowledge of not only the sport of NASCAR but for cars in general puts him far and away above anyone else in this category. I too would say that Rick Allen is second but in a different league and Jerry Punch is by far the worst of the bunch because he cannot get excited about anything and needs to be back in the pits where he does his best work.

AMS fan said...
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AMS fan said...

It's hard for me to pick one overall so; Both men are #1 in their respective series
Mike Joy
Rick Allen

Anonymous said...

I take the guy at the back of the bus. Never could figure out why Bob Jenkins was not in someone's booth. Ah the days of Bob n' Benny, and Mr. Ned.

Anonymous said...

I had the chance to watch a Nationwide Race with Mike Joy in Richmond this Spring. Just a regular guy who was kicking back and enjoying the evening. One of the conversations during a caution was who was paying for Morgan Shepard's tires. I seem to remember it was Tony Stewart & Dale Jarrett.

Anonymous said...
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Keith B said...

My vote is for Mike Joy. As many have said, he's in a class all to his own. My number two would be Rick Allen followed by a very distant third of Weber and an even more distant fourth to Punch. Back in the day, Punch was the man to do the winners circle interview. But not today.

Anonymous said...

Mike Joy is good, very good. I would like to include Barney Hall somewhere as he was great on the radio. Rick Allen is good. Jerry Punch was better as a Pit reporter some time back. And for what it is worth, I enjoyed seeing Tim Brewer explain the car parts on ABC; he was a good chew chief for DW and Cale.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 11:17AM,

You are welcome to re-post. The rules for posting are located on the right side of the main page.

Thanks,

JD

Anonymous said...

I would have to say its a close one between Mike Joy and Rick Allen. But as much as I love Nascar on FOX I gotta give my vote to Rick Allen. He does a great job during the truck races and along with Phil Parsons and Michael Waltrip make you feel like your actually at the track and not at home. I wish Rick Allen could do more Nascar Coverage than just the truck series. Rick Allen gets my vote.

Anonymous said...

Mike Joy is the best in the business. Always a pleasure to hear his voice, he even did a good job with the Rays game this year.

Bill Weber was much improved this year,he runs a distant second to Mike.

Phil said...

1. Mike Joy - but he would only be runner-up if the great Ken Squier were still on the job.
2. Bill Weber - solely due to being the most improved.
3. Rick Allen - on his way to the top, but needs a few more seasons in the lead PxP role.
4. Dr. Jerry Punch - one of my all-time favorite reporters in NASCAR (and also does a great job w/ football IMHO), but I feel like his true talents are wasted as the lead PxP guy.

SonicAD said...

Definitely #1 is Mike Joy. If Allen Bestwick did p-b-p even once this year, I'd probably put him #1, but alas no. Mike is right up there beside him though.

#2 is Rick Allen. Explains things well, easy to listen to.

The surprise #3 is Bill Weber. In previous years, I have stated how much I hate Bill Weber. This year was a huge improvement, he seemed much less grouchy and easier to listen to; more focused on the race.

#4 will go to Marty Reid. He did a pretty good job just as a fill-in, he tells the viewers what we need to know, and he can be exciting when the situation calls for it.

And falling in last is Jerry Punch. I don't even think I need to say why, this ground has been covered numerous times this year. Great pit reporter, bad p-b-p man.

Anonymous said...

Bill Webber would have to get my vote. Not because Bill is best on his own, but because he doesn't have a millstone around his neck. Or in this case a Waltrip, or a Wallace.
It's a little disconcerning listening to Larry Mac fracture the language, but his knowlage, & garage contacts make this easy to overlook.

dawg

Andrew S. said...

The voice I kept hearing week after week when I watched the races on telly (as the Brits like to say) was Barney Hall and the rest of the MRN crew. There were occasional weeks with PRN and the Brickyard with the IMS crew. I hardly listened to any of the others unless I had no alternative. TV with no audio, Sirius NASCAR Radio 128 with Barney Hall and the MRN crew is the way to go.

David said...

Rick Allen simply because he did alot on a network not everyone has. He had to manage Michael Waltrip and company and generate exciting play by play week in and week out.

Mike Joy is the man, but I think Allen deserves credit for what he had to work with.

Kudos to Marty Reid for a great call at Memphis though, I hope they experiment with that in 2009.

delenn said...

I have been thinking about this for a few hours, because it is hard not to let myself be coloured by the rest of the occupants of the booth.

So, PxP only:
1. Mike Joy. He is just one of the voices of Nascar. He is so smooth, so easy to listen to, and so natural. It is a shame he does so little Nascar.

2. Allen Bestwick. Sorry, JD, but there it is. He is a close second to Joy, and the other voice of Nascar. Same again, he carries you along and makes the PxP feel like part of the race, not an intrusive add-on.

3. Rick Allen. Now, I never really liked Rick, but this year, I saw every truck race, and I believe he has improved enormously. He makes Phil be quiet at times, something I used to feel he did not do enough. A very good performance, and if he carries on building on his performances, he may well become number one.

4. Bill Weber. I really wanted to put Weber higher, but the three above are really good. But, I wanted to really note how much I enjoyed Weber this year, compared to previous years when I was throwing things at the screen. Good job Weber.

5 - 9. Anybody else.

8796. Jerry Punch. Sorry, but he really can't do play by play. He really should not be an option.

JD, I hope we do the same for all the other positions in the booth and pre-race one by one, and then combined. Could be some interesting results.

Anonymous said...

I vote for Mike Joy, as he does his job well. But he also deals with DW and his many shortcomings and deals with the very well meaning Larry Mac, who is a nice guy, but belongs in the role TNT gave him, not in the booth.

Geeze said...

Mike Joy hands down. He gives me the impression that he really likes to be there.

Prospector said...

#1- Mike Joy, does a great job inspite of DW and Hammond

#2 - Bill Weber, This year showed what a good job can be done with the right supporting cast.

#3 - Pass on this one, don't watch the truck races because of MW so can't evaluate Rick.

#36 - Jerry Punch - nough said!!

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Anonymous said...

The best play by play announcers are the ones that know when just to let the action on the track do the talking. I don't need a constant stream of shouting trying to manufacture excitement. This isn't a radio broadcast, its TV! I can see the pictures.

Joe Buck didn't say a word during the last pitch of the World Series. He didn't need to. The camera did all the talking.

Withh that being said, I prefer Jerry Punch's minimalist style over everyone else.

Anonymous said...

In my opinion, Rick Allen edges Mike Joy (barely). He is consistently and clearly informative. He also makes those around him look good. He rarely misses the important points that maintain viewer interest. He does not condescend to fans or his colleagues. Nebraska's loss is our gain.

fbu1

Anonymous said...

without a doubt Mike Joy is the most knowledgeable, easiest to listen too and like the name says biggest JOY to spend a few hours on a lazy Sun afternoon with. Weber's voice is like nails on a blackboard to me and as much as I enjoyed Dr. Punch as a pit reporter he is not a great color guy. Plus Mike Joy is a good ol' Connecticut boy whom I've met many a time up @ Limerock. Nicest Guy I talked with and yes he will stop and chat with a smile on his face and never "a what does this guy want" attitude.

Anonymous said...

Withh that being said, I prefer Jerry Punch's minimalist style over everyone else.

Interesting way to put it.

Most of us call it "not knowing what to say."

alex said...

I'm a little late to the party on this one, but my vote goes to Mike Joy. I may be a bit biased, because he was on some of the first Nascar races I can remember watching. When Chris Economacki and Ken Squier handled the PBP for CBS, Mike Joy was the pit reporter. He was good at his job then, and made a good transition to the booth. Once again this year, he was the glue that held together the FOX broadcast. I may not have liked all of the drama or gimmicks of the FOX races, but Joy's constant professionalism worked perfectly to make FOX the best broadcast team of the season, IMO.

A close second would be Rick Allen. I really didn't know about his non-Nascar background, but I like how he calls the races as if the Trucks are the most important series in Nascar, because on those nights, they are. He seems to be getting better every year, and it wouldn't surprise me if he gets plucked up by one of the big networks.

CaseMoney said...

Mike Joy wins my vote, largely by default. But he does do an excellent job, and continued to do so in 2008. I would only rate Bob Jenkins higher, in the ranks of auto-racing PBP men.

Jerry Punch is dull and inattentive. He does however, know which driver is in which numbered car, and never ceases to demonstrate this knowledge.

Bill Weber, I just don't know how he ascended to the position at all. He is nails on a chalkboard.

I haven't heard Rick Allen.

ri88girl said...

MIKE JOY. Hands down. the best.
Weber is a close second, and if Rick Allen keeps up this great work he will surpass him. PXP has never been a real problem until you get to ESPN. Anyone at ESPN. Each of the other networks that carry NASCAR races have at least one other dependable, compantent back-up PXP guy, ESPN can't even manage a primary let alone a back up.

Richard in N.C. said...

CaseMoney- BEST description of Weber I've heard & spot on.

At only 80+, Chris Economaki is still writing, and well, weekly in "National Speed Sport News."

znimrod said...

mike joy is king right now in the 3 Cup telecasts (apologies to rick allen, who i haven't had the opportunity to listen to very much to give a knowledgeable opinion). to me, he's by far superior to weber and punch. i thought i couldn't dislike an play-by-play man more than weber, but then punch came along, and he has gotten progressively worse with each telecast. thankfully ESPN put jarrett in the booth to take out the grating rusty wallace, and give the entire booth team a huge boost and upgrade. his presence definitely allowed petree to shine more than last year, and it also made up for punch's lack of skills.

but back to joy...maybe because i've enjoyed the FOX booth team so much (big props go to larry mac for that) that joy has become the standard to whom the others have failed to live up to. he knows what he's talking about, he doesn't have annoying catch phrases he uses on every telecast, and he comes across as an ordinary guy.

bill weber's call of the action doesn't annoy me as much as punch's does at this time, but his overall presence just seems to grate on me for some reason. perhaps it's his "countdown to green" sessions for so long that would tick off every single viewer cell in my body that has done him in. the whole "i looked it up so you wouldn't have to" garbage that was so infuriating has forever left a scar when in it comes to him on the tv. i used to be annoyed when he was in the pits and bestwick was in the booth for NBC. now i would gladly take that swap back - the less of his voice the better. alright, i'm done rambling.

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