Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sprint Cup Series Final Race On ABC From Homestead-Miami Speedway


The NASCAR on ESPN crew is at the end of a seventeen race Sprint Cup Series TV assignment. They began in July with the Brickyard in Indy and now find themselves in South Florida to crown a champion.

While there has been a relatively short string of races on the Cup side, this same ESPN crew has been working the Nationwide Series events since February. The coverage of the Nationwide race on Saturday showed a very tired Dr. Jerry Punch who could not muster even a moment of excitement during the event.

As the final three laps rolled by, it was Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree who once again jumped-in to add a description of what was actually happening on the track. It was Petree who said "two to go" as the cars flashed across the start-finish line. After the excitement of the Craftsman Trucks on Friday, this was tough to take.

That is the Sunday challenge for the NASCAR on ESPN team. Keep the energy and excitement high for this final time as two races unfold in front of the TV viewers. While drivers battle to lead and win the race, Jimmie Johnson will be battling to keep himself in the right position to win his third consecutive championship.

In the Saturday race, the long green flag runs resulted in limited exposure for Allen Bestwick and the Infield Pit Studio crew. Bestwick will start the day with NASCAR Countdown at 3PM with a 45 minute show. If long green flag runs are again the order of the day, his crew may be heard more than seen all race long.

ESPN has again expanded the infield staff by adding Ray Evernham to the mix. That puts him alongside of Rusty Wallace and Brad Daugherty. Bestwick has to manage three opinions and personalities in every segment now instead of two.

The pit road reporters were frustrated on Saturday. Only once were they allowed to do a reset of the field and it was much shorter than needed. Jamie Little, Shannon Spake, Dave Burns and Mike Massaro have lots of information and just needed some time to relay it to the audience.

ESPN has changed the racing philosophy and now interviews drivers who are out of the race even though they are not Chasers. The pit road crew has become more in-tune with speaking directly to the crew chiefs rather than relying on scanner chatter and what they observe to offer facts to the viewers.

Tim Brewer was another participant who could have just taken a nap once the Nationwide Series race started on Saturday. Fast laps and lots of action on this multi-groove track left little time for the Tech Center. Long green flag runs and few engine problems on Sunday may afford Brewer another long rest.

Just as ESPN's SportsCenter has grown from two hosts showing highlights to a seemingly endless crew of talking heads offering opinions, this network philosophy is being reflected in ESPN's NASCAR coverage. This race will have twelve announcers all trying to contribute to a fast-paced live sporting event with no scheduled time-outs or halftime. That equation is perhaps not the best.

Keys to watch will be when and how the Producer integrates the various announcers and the role that the infield plays in the overall program. Which pit reporters have Jimmie Johnson and Carl Edwards will also be important. Look for just how often ESPN offers "up to speed" segments where the field is reviewed.

On Saturday, ESPN often went to the in-race reporter or inserted a feature instead of resetting the field after a caution flag and pit stops. This left the TV viewers relying on the silently scrolling ticker at the top of the screen for any information on the vast majority of the field. It was fundamentally poor TV producing.

Pay attention to how often Punch resets the field after a caution or a commercial break. This is the final race and there are a wide variety of reasons teams are going to be racing. Driver championship, Top 35, Rookie Points, Manufacturer title and many other issues will all be playing out on the same track at the same time.

Homestead is once again making great pictures and sound. With no grandstands anywhere but the frontstretch, this track has great camera placement and offers fantastic aerial views. Tough to catch for the Director sometimes is the long pit access road. Pit road, however, is great for viewers and the race off is going to be exciting.

The final lap coverage is always tough as so many things are happening at the same time. Race winner vs. Chase winner might be a tough call. After the final lap, NASCAR has a script that the TV network follows in terms of race winner first and Chase winner second. Keep an eye out for how that shakes-out live.

This is the final in-progress race post for 2008. To add your TV-related opinion, 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 taking the time this season to stop by The Daly Planet.

544 comments:

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Karen said...

3 bud said,

Is it me or have we not seen Christy and Chevy?

It's you, sorry to say.

Anonymous said...

for once they left the good hands call to somewhere north of half way. good

Anonymous said...

@david--keep playing with us and you will!

@sophia--don't worry, we've been here the past 3 hours and we're lost too because they won't properly reset the field! As per the script, only Jimmie & Cousin Carl count tonight since we get a bubble showing what position they're in.

Dot said...

@ David, Reed in the wall, cut tire. It was a real one this time.

3bud said...

karen, I guess I have HotPass to thank for that, missing it in the top right screen.

Anonymous said...

I've seen Christie & Chevy :(..I need your TV there sir :(

Sophia said...

Jessica

Agree too many tickers...if they got rid of the cluster at the top, we could see more track racing..it happened during the NW race, too.


sigh

Steve Byrnes is a real doll!!

JD thanks for this site to vent, kvetch and praise !!

Sophia said...

thanks, gymmie, nice to know I have not missed things
...I have on my tony jacket because it's cold in this house....i did get tears in my eyes seeing him interviewed before the race on one show...hugging his team...:(

kurt in the wall again

Dot said...

Bottom ticker off?

Steve L. said...

Yes JD, thanks for a great year. Lots of fun and a great way to vent.

Anonymous said...

Do we know, if we get bumped to espn2, at whatever time?

soundsgood2me said...

Good Tune! to break!

Steve L. said...

Now we're fixin' to go racin' boys!

Andrew Glazier said...

ri88girl - I would assume 7:30 would be the cutoff again, though I doubt we're going to get there.

Newracefan said...

8p the cut off this week

David said...

Something bothers me. Maybe it is a result of the guys in the booth having amnesia, or maybe they don't watch any other races other than the ones they cover but this race has actually been fairly predictable. Jimmie has run 15th to 20th a good part of the day, similar to Benson running 8-12th most of the truck race. Isn't it only natural to assume they would pull pit strategy to seal the deal late? Bowyer I believed used some yesterday by not pitting when Edwards stayed out and that helped him close the deal as well. I hate to call a race like this predictable since no race is ever predictable and ESPN is accused of having a "scripted" format, but they have turned a blind eye to what the 48's gameplan seems to have been all along.

Like the call by the 48, track position has meant much more the world at this track all weekend in all 3 divisions. Wouldn't be shocked to see strategy win this thing.

Dunno if my little rant is directly tv relevant, but it seems ESPN didn't learn anything from the 2 races prior to this which were great previews to what we'd see today.

Long green runs early, cautions late so if you want track position, 40-50 to go is where you want to try and get it.

Just what I've observed this weekend. Wonder if they will set the stage for it.

alex said...

ri88girl,
That would be 8:00, so we should be OK.

3bud said...

88 Directv channel 5 boston has it till 8:00

Newracefan said...

46 back on track, as far as oit strategy goes, the guys that pitted are trying to stretch the fuel, Chad is "not interested" in that strategy

Anonymous said...

@David - yup thats the kind of stuff we go nuts over every week.

Newracefan said...

Sorry Marcos that was the 47

Dot said...

Why the points talk? There's a 146 point separation right now. Burn the script.

David said...

jo.

I wonder if some teams even get the memo sometimes.

If I were a Kyle Busch and wanted a win or a David Ragan who has nothing to lose and a pretty fast car...why not gamble.

Conservative calls have watered down the racing aside from that Edwards call at Texas and Johnson's at PIR (1)

I need to go be a crew chief lol

cool...cameras found the battles...

Anonymous said...

Dot said...

Why the points talk? There's a 146 point separation right now. Burn the script.

November 16, 2008 6:41 PM
--
We've been telling them to burn the script for weeks! Why would they listen now ? LOL

3bud said...

Going to try and stick with ABC ESPN till the end ,but always have the prev channel button 796 just in case.

David said...

If they burnt the scrip JP wouldn't say another word all night...

TexasRaceLady said...

Burn the script? Good heavens, then we'd just have the pics and no commentary !!!

Anyone have a match? hehehe

stricklinfan82 said...

Are any of my fellow ARCA fans wondering like I am right now if Carl has any Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in him? I wonder if ESPN has the video from Toledo queued, just in case :)

Dot said...

@ Jo, Touche.

Charlie said...

I wish they would have kept the camera on the Harvick - Earnhardt battle then switch to Johnson - Edwards. It looked to me like it would have been fun to watch.

Anonymous said...

3bud you are a brave fan, ;) suffering thru it with us.
Thank you.

TexasRaceLady said...

stricklinfan, that crossed my mind, also.

*evil grin*

David said...

stricklinfan...does he have any Scott Speed in him?

lol

Andrew Glazier said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Newracefan said...

If Carl pulls an Arca I see a 5, 24, 88, 66, 70, 09, and 25 in his future. LOL

AMS fan said...

aww strick' that's baaaadd
but i bet you're right, ESPN has got it ready.
but maybe not, does ARCA exist to ESPN

Anonymous said...

And Carl would be able to say it was an accident good enough to sell it, unlike Ricky.

alex said...

stricklinfan,
I was thinking the same thing, or maybe have a teammate do it for him. With so many cars still on the track, going a few laps down could end it.

3bud said...

jojaye, we all must make sacrifices

Newracefan said...

Oh Lord it's Carl in the box in the last 30 laps. Not good

Dot said...

Bottom ticker back, dang it.

Tracy said...

Newracefan,
ROFLOL!

He dumped Kyle in Bristol...

bevo said...

Interesting, Rick Hendrick is up on Gordon's box and not Johnson's

Andrew Glazier said...

Could we please at least glimpse something other than the championship? Like actual racing? Good Lord.

Newracefan said...

Rick is prob hoping JG wins he's trying to stretch the fuel

Tracy said...

H is probably too nervous. Chad no doubt said "don't bother me," but in nicer terms.

Anonymous said...

@sophia--yes it was very sad to see :(. I hope he succeeds in his mission.

@dot--Oh I know! The "points" is USELESS! Unless Jimmie crashes real soon, he's not going to finish less than 36th. So HUSH UP! and show the race already!

David said...

no one running the top will make it on fuel.

Gordon, Truex, Riggs, and guys around 20th are running 34 second laps, the guys in front are in the 33 second bracket...those are the guys that can gamble. anyone in the top 10 probably wont make it if they try.

Dot said...

Maybe Rick was tapping Chad on the shoulder.

Andrew Glazier said...

tracy - I bet you're right. I wouldn't want The Boss in my ear right now, if I were Johnson. (Or Edwards.)

30 laps to go and we're getting a replay!?

Tracy said...

How did Tony get into 2nd? Passing on the track or on pit road?

David said...

OH!!! HERE KITTY KITTY KITTY JUST PLAYED ON SMOKES RADIO!!!!

The car is flyin, he's diggin!!!

ESPN better play the audio

bevo said...

Good points about Hendrick. Gordon's car isn't handling very well at all

Anonymous said...

Tony just did here Kitty kitty

Newracefan said...

Boss has been in his ear a few times. I don't think RIck is doing the tappin but where is the Great Kazoo

AMS fan said...

Has anyone seen GAZOO?

Anonymous said...

Great Kazoo is climbing up - takes him a long time cuz hes short LOL

Vicky D said...

Tracy, we would never learn how Tony got up so far from the broadcast team.

stricklinfan82 said...

Anyone know who's the first car that can make it on fuel? I'm only watching ABC and don't have access to that information. Any help would be appreciated.

Tracy said...

Vicky, I thought I missed it. So it's not me. Great job, ESPN.

David said...

20 restarted 5th, got a really fast car.

just drove by everyone.
bummer for jr.

Newracefan said...

SLF Larry Mac is not here so we will never know who has enough fuel

bevo said...

This is the time to have Evernham chime in on who has the fuel advantage

rich said...

24 thinks that they can make it.

JD, a big thank you for this blog and a great season.

Tracy said...

Jr behind the wall. Will there be a reporter to see what's going on?

Anonymous said...

Jrs luck is awful. behind wall broken caliper.

Sophia said...

jr caliper broke. WAH.. :(

David said...

Strick there is no sure person who can make it.

Riggs is running laps in the mid 34 second window...so I imagine they are going to go for it. The 24 might as well. The 83 might.

Mears might, Gilliland might.

Calling for 2 seconds of gas for tony when they pit.

Vicky D said...

Broadcast team seems to think TS has to stop for fuel.

Newracefan said...

Tracy we never saw Marcos or Kurt but JR that might be another story

bevo said...

nrf-

Larry Mc is on the Johnson channel

David said...

4th on back have backed off laps. Tony is stuck having to pit. 99 is going to HAVE to go for it.

29 and 24 have been confirmed to make it...so they say. both have run a backed off pace so they are going to go for it.

Anonymous said...

Zip says they need fuel 2 sec worth only - no tires

Tracy said...

Bevo this is me seconding your sentiments and applauding JD.
><><><><><><>><><><

Anonymous said...

3 Mississippi worth of fuel for Tony LOL

Tracy said...

Ah, jamie has Jr.

Andrew Glazier said...

Will we get a debris caution here to make an exciting (read: green/white/checker) finish?

I hope not, but it's possible.

8 laps to go - this is NOT the time to interview Junior. Wait until after the race.

bevo said...

Thanks tracy.

Johnson channel going long after the race according to Pemberton

Daly Planet Editor said...

Thanks guys, we will have colums for you every day for the next couple of weeks.

Andrew Glazier said...

We're gonna have quite a few cars running out of fuel here.

Congrats to Carl, the race winner. Congrats to Jimmie Johnson, the champion. I guess I have to respect him now. :p

Anonymous said...

YOUPPI Cousin Carl! <3

alex said...

Thanks JD, it's been fun this year

Andrew Glazier said...

Um. Yes, championship and all that, but did BOTH Kyle Busch and David Ragan run out of fuel? Follow-up on this, please.

Charlie said...

Thanks JD for this site and all that you do!

Daly Planet Editor said...

If you remember last season, it was AB handling the champ interviews.

Let's see how it all unfolds right now in the post race.

48 minutes on the clock right now until 8PM.

stricklinfan82 said...

What happened to the 18 and 6???? Wow, ESPN totally lost it in those last two laps. I've never been so confused as to who finished where in my life. That was rough.

jasnon said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Andrew Glazier said...

Thanks for this column, JD.

See y'all around in the offseason.

bevo said...

Thank you for the forum JD!

Jessica said...

john darby just said congrats, chad says "its the first year I haven't been suspended;)"

Daly Planet Editor said...

A pleasure to be here and have fun with everyone again this season.

There will be a column up shortly about this race for your comments and new colums up all this week.

Come back and help us pick "the best" of NASCAR TV in 2008.

Thanks!

JD

Anonymous said...

WTG Carl & team on win!!!!

Congrats to Chad -JJ & team for championship.

Classy on Carls part to congrats to JJ

Newracefan said...

Darby congradulated Chad, Chad says it's the first time they won it without him getting any penalties. Tooo funny

Tracy said...

How did the 9 finish in the top 10?

Newracefan said...

Should have a good postrace lots of time left

Sophia said...

ok I was busy posting here but missed where everybody finished...I miss the DROP DOWN graph

Dot said...

Congrats to JJ & Chad.

To JD, thank you so much for your site. It kept my sanity.

To my e friends, thanks to JD, we'll still keep in touch.

stricklinfan82 said...

JD,

I know this isn't the end of this blog for the year but since it's the last race I just wanted to make sure to thank you for running such a great site and continuing to give the fans a voice.

It's been a pleasure being a very small part of this "community" again this year.

jasnon said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Newracefan said...

Cool Lowes commercial

Andrew Glazier said...

I love how we're already getting the championship merchandise commercials. :D

Newracefan said...

I don't know which I will miss more this off season, the race or posting with friends during a race. Thanks JD for keeping us all sane during this imperfect coverage

3bud said...

JD thanks again for all you do.

Andrew Glazier said...

What kind of a question is this? Can't wait for the FOX/TNT pit reporters to come back.

TexasRaceLady said...

Fantastic fun this year, JD.

Looking forward to your columns during the off-season.

(((HUGS)))

Newracefan said...

Ahhh AB with Jimmie Thank God

3bud said...

Congratulations to Jimmie Johnson and his crew and fans.

Anonymous said...

YAY! Alan!

Daly Planet Editor said...

Thanks guys, it should be interesting to see if ABC hangs until 8PM.

Vicky D said...

Good interview with Carl and I like Allen doing the championship interview.

Andrew Glazier said...

Nice interviews with JJ and Jeff Gordon.

3bud said...

Congradulations To Chad, first 3pete crew cheif.

Sophia said...

There is an old Marx brothers joke about a contract having a "sanity clause" and Chico saying there is no "santa claus".

JD

THANK YOU for being our "Sanity Clause" in this NASCAR partners contract !! :)

xoxoxo

Soph

Andrew Glazier said...

Uh, JP...Hendrick did not win the race today. You just made it sound like they did.

Anonymous said...

AB did a great interview with JJ & nice interview with Jeff G.

3bud said...

Or i guess that's 3peat

alex said...

Speaking of the Marx brothers, how's this for a strange coincidence:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4LUIl86yrcQ

Anonymous said...

& now JD's favorite comm'l ;D

Newracefan said...

Well look who it is Brian France, color me surprised

Nan S said...

Poor Brian, he doesn't understand that most fans view a Johnson Dynasty as a negative.

Anonymous said...

that looked awkward..looked like Jimmie was going for the hug & Baby Brian the hand shake

alex said...

$7 mil! Wow, drinks are on him tonight.

Anonymous said...

7 Mil - sweet payday

Jessica said...

this has been fun, i hope espn goes to school in the off season, they did last year and it did show. they have gone from a d- to a c but fans deserve better. Thanks for the forum JD!

TexasRaceLady said...

Newracefan said...
Well look who it is Brian France, color me surprised

November 16, 2008 7:32 PM

And looking like the proverbial unmade bed.

Anonymous said...

TRL - between you and JD I'm gonna have the cleanest keyboard in America LOL

Sophia said...

Alex

TOO FUNNY 'John Daly' interviewing Harpo !!!

In one movie "Animal Crackers" groucho had a "strange interlude" so your post had me giggling before I went to you tube. lol

strange coincidence indeed..you are quick!!

jasnon said...

anyway well get an interview from stewart n harvick(2nd place)

Dot said...

New NASCAR buzzword.....Dynasty.

Sophia said...

dot Dynasty also Die Nasty

that's what my ex used to call that tv show "Dynasty"....excuse the pun! couldn't resist ;-)

PammH said...

gymmie-the same thoughts went thru my head....very awkward between JJ & King Brian

Andrew Glazier said...

Does anyone hear a rather loud whine in the background of the broadcast? It's gotten very noticeable in the past half-hour or so.

Karen said...

Alex,

Thanks for that. What a hoot!!

Daly Planet Editor said...

Got to give credit to ABC for hanging in there tonight with the long post-race.

Bestwick was key to this success tonight. Jimmie's dad was a nice touch.

Karen said...

Jr. got his wish. He won't have to go to NY.

3bud said...

sophia Die Nasty was what I called that show back then too. Funny.

AMS fan said...

Other than mentioning Ryan Newman when he wasn't running well, did ESPN even talk about his last race with Penske?

Newracefan said...

Would be nice if they do the top 35 before leavig the air, I know the 47 is out but still

Andrew Glazier said...

That's the NASCAR season for 2008; there are 90 days until the 2009 Daytona 500.

Good night and good luck.

(Thanks again, JD!)

Daly Planet Editor said...

Same feature we saw on SPEED to close-out the season. How weird is that?

Daly Planet Editor said...

There is a new post up for your comments on the ABC race and the NASCAR on ESPN coverage of the 17 final events.

Thanks again for stopping by, keep coming back in the off-season for new columns and topics.

JD

Anonymous said...

You have to respect JJ and what he and Chad have accomplished. Congrats to them and to Cousin Carl on the win.

Thanks JD for this wonderful site.

Thanks to all the posters for the fun, and everyone have a safe and happy off season.

Steve L. said...

Please ESPN/ABC, go back and watch YOUR tapes of this season and see where you can improve your telecasts. We fans deserve better than what we got all season long.

Please make the changes we've suggested on this Blog or at least consider some of them.

Thanks JD!

3bud said...

Wizard Of Oz on TBS . I'm a little kid for a couple hours.

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