Sunday, April 19, 2009

Phoenix Nationwide Series TV Coverage Tough To Watch


It was lap 119 of 200 scheduled for the Nationwide Series in Phoenix when ESPN's Dale Jarrett finally remarked that the race had the potential to let "some other guys" possibly win. That would be anyone in the field other than Kyle Busch or Carl Edwards.

ESPN's fascination with the Cup drivers who participate in the Nationwide Series races has never been more clearly on display than Friday night in Phoenix. Other than two brief recaps of drivers running in the top twenty, the TV coverage was squarely aimed at Edwards and Busch. The ESPN scripted style of race coverage had returned.

How and why this dynamic is unfolding this season is a mystery. In the field are great stories from veterans trying to work their way back to the Cup level to young drivers leaving everything on the track while trying to keep their NASCAR dreams alive. The decision not to tell these stories is ruining the series on TV.

Announcer Jerry Punch was giddy when Busch got a lap back to remain in contention. He was heartbroken when Edwards was forced to pull off the track with engine problems. The ESPN coverage continually showed Edwards in the garage with the hood up and the car silent.

Once again the dreaded "points now" graphic was used endlessly as if fans did not know the calendar said April. Jarrett summed up the issue at the end of the race after Punch again tried to build the fake drama as the series heads to Talladega. Jarrett remarked that Edwards can make up the points deficit in just one race.

Two cars pulled off the track before lap twenty and headed straight to the garage. Once again, ESPN did not follow-up the growing "start and park" controversy by determining what mechanical issues "forced" these cars out of the race.

Edwards and Busch are certainly the fastest drivers in many Nationwide races, but the story of the season revolves around the other teams in the field and the sponsors who continue to support the series. Has there ever been a year where this issue has been more crucial?

There was often good racing on the track, but the TV scenario was limited to Busch, Edwards or the current leader of the race. This really makes it tough to watch when a scripted TV theme dominates the telecast regardless of what is actually happening on the track.

By the end of the race it was clear that the ESPN script was not going to play-out and Punch would have to settle for trying to hype Greg Biffle and Jason Leffler battling it out during a green/white/checker finish. Biffle's win at least allowed ESPN to exit the air by interviewing a Sprint Cup Series owner.

Several times during the telecast the network flashed the TV motorsports calendar for racing fans. The glaring absence of the Saturday night Phoenix Sprint Cup Series race on Fox showed the animosity between the two TV networks and the willingness of ESPN to put NASCAR on the back burner anytime it pleases. It was almost painful to hear Allen Bestwick read the promos without the Cup race being mentioned.

As usual, the pictures and sound were outstanding and that is the shame of this telecast. Used correctly and without the bias toward Busch and Edwards, these TV tools could have brought the mix of drivers, good racing and constantly changing storylines right into homes of NASCAR fans across the country and around the world.

SPEED handled the live Nationwide Series practice and qualifying by introducing the teams and setting-up the stories of the day. Hermie Sadler and Jeff Hammond conveyed the issues confronting the teams in Phoenix and built-up the excitement of the race. Kudos to SPEED for treating all the Nationwide teams as equal.

ESPN had the goods for an outstanding telecast delivered to them on a silver platter. Instead, the network followed the script and wound-up with egg on its face once again. Talladega looms as a test of continuing this scripted approach or simply covering the events on the track as they unfold.

Did you watch the race? TDP welcomes comments from readers. Just click on the comments button below to add your opinion. This is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind when posting.

Click here for a link from our friends at Frontstretch. Brian Davis Keith has a good commentary on the TV coverage of the Nationwide Series.

Thank you for taking the time to stop by The Daly Planet.

46 comments:

Sophia said...

In the field are great stories from veterans trying to work their way back to the Cup level to young drivers leaving everything on the track while trying to keep their NASCAR dreams alive. The decision not to tell these stories is ruining the series on TV.This pretty much sums it up JD. BSPN IS RUINING NASCAR!

In a season, where, INDEED, all teams have a STORY that needs to be told and SEEN, BSPN writes their own "fake reality show."

It's MADDENING.

I am so livid. I can't imagine how fans of the sport for decades watch this dreck?

Then again, I know of some fans that have backed off their watching including this one.

So part of me wonders why I keep watching and griping??

Sad to watch a sport you love get the life of it stomped out by a network that only cares about the cash it got from NASCAR.

Brian France needs to sign up for the spine donor's list and demand CHANGES TO THE BROADCAST across the board. Fox could pick it up better, too.

majorshouse said...

I am so sick and tired of the Spring Cup drivers ruining ther nationwide series. You don't hear about players in other sports going back intentionally to the minor league series and the same thing should hold true in NASCAR. I got really tired of the scripted coverage like it has always been and think that the Spring Cup drivers should not be allowed to ruin things for the up and coming drivers in the sport.

Dot said...

JD, they don't have to cover the S&Ps. NASCAR has already said that they are a non issue. I think it's their cowardly way out of a volatile topic. NASCAR gets to keep the entry fees whether these guys race 1 lap or X00.

Is Balash still the head guy of the NW series? What's his take on the TV coverage? What about the car sponsors? Don't they have any input? Does BSPN really have all this power to show what they want?

As all of you know, I am not a KyB fan. After tonight, Carl is right up there with him. It was tortuous for me to watch the Carl & Kyle show. Come on BSPN, there were 41 other cars on the track. Some with sponsors even.

stricklinfan82 said...

Wow, just wow. From my outsider's perspective it seemed like ESPN made a decision to make this Nationwide race their first big 'rehearsal' for their Cup coverage later in the year. The script was back and the happenings on the track did not matter to the ESPN folks.

The 18 and the 60 were the show today, no one else mattered. They spent the first half of the race following Carl running around in the lead by himself and following Kyle Busch running around 1-2 laps down. Only during the one brief 1-10 Through the Field were other stories like Justin Allgaier's run from 43rd-9th even acknowledged. Then live radio eavesdropping caught Carl reporting engine trouble over the radio. Somehow in their nonstop coverage of Carl, no one at ESPN noticed that script-breaking audio and just kept following him and his "100+ point gain on Kyle since the start of the race" storyline (even though last I checked points aren't awarded until after the race).

So Carl goes to the garage and all we see on TV is him sitting behind the wall, followed by a full-screen Tech Center speculating about his problems, followed by a full-screen inaudible interview with Carl sitting in the car. All during green flag racing.

After that it was the Kyle Busch show. For a brief moment the Biffle-Harvick battle for the lead with 30 laps to go gave us a break from the Kyle show, but unfortunately that racing for the lead had to share the screen with a Justin Allgaier pre-taped video and a live interview with Harvick's wife on pit road.

Then a caution came out, most of the field pitted, and all we saw was Kyle Busch. We saw a brief glimpse of the 33 on the jack, then a full-screen shot of Kyle's pit stop. When Kyle's pit stop ended the shot stayed on his celebrating pit crew, changed to Biffle's face cam, and then ESPN moved on. The outcome of the battle off pit road on that crucial last round of pit stops was completely ignored!

Even after the checkered flag, before Greg Biffle was allowed to exit his car and celebrate in victory lane, we needed that one last 'dramatic' shot of Carl walking away from his 20+ lap down car.

Major major disappointment.

Sophia said...

Stricklanfan

Can you even BELIEVE the very dark video of Carl? that was FORCED on us?? I forgot to include that in my rant.

You can call this dreadful coverage many things but it's smelling more like sabotage.

Y'all think BSPN is over their being banned from the sport some years back? Methinks not and they know they can direct this sport any way they want..including right down the sewer. They got the money. They don't need no stinking ratings.

Man oh man,I just need to stay off this blog for 24 hrs. The more I think about that &^@#^?! coverage, the madder I get for all the other 41 teams on the track. Yes, it's always bad on tv but tonight was mind-boggling in it's treatment of the FULL TIME NW guys.

:(

bevo said...

I didn't watch but I did listen to the MRN call on Sirius as I drove around tonight. It's a shame that ESPN ruined the race for everyone because the radio call was very good, sounded like a fun race. They did cover Kyle's progress through the field but also said he probably wouldn't be a factor at the end because he was using up the car. They gave plenty of coverage to the other teams.

By the way once again Barney Hall didn't call the race. Does anybody know if there's anything wrong with him?

stricklinfan82 said...

Dot,

I think now that NASCAR has publicly done a complete 180 on the start-and-park issue (just weeks ago at Atlanta Robin Pemberton said it wouldn't be tolerated in Cup and they would be inspecting cars like that to make sure their problems were legit, now all of a sudden it's not an issue) I think it's the perfect opportunity for the TV networks to take their heads out of the sand and finally acknowledge this 'dirty little secret' on the air.

If NASCAR doesn't see a problem with real, fully sponsored race teams being replaced in starting lineups by start-and-park cars (and possibly being driven out of the sport as a result), why not shoot straight with the fans and tell them exactly what's going on when a team like MSRP retires early in a race? What are they trying to hide? Something that NASCAR doesn't think is an issue anyway?

I would imagine that every real race fan that was watching Nationwide qualifying on Speed knew exactly what was going to happen when the #26 car was on the bubble with only the #96 left to run in qualifying. We all know (and Brian Keselowski even said so on ESPN last week) that the 26 is that team's real racecar that's battling to be in the top 30 in points and their 96 car is their start-and-park "money maker". Why the team went through that laughable charade on pit road and why the Speed announcers acted as if they were buying into that car having a legit problem when NASCAR's public stance is there is nothing wrong with "start-and-park" anyway is beyond me.

Gymmie said...

I agree with what Sophia highlighted. It's so sad. The "up and comers" are being ignored *unless* BSPN has no choice but to talk about them.

I think Mr. Alligator is one of the rare stories they've attempted to tell this season but still somehow ends up overshadowed by the "big boys".

If I were one of these mysterious "new race fans" I would give up especially in the last part when BSPN takes over. Hearing the *same* stories on Sunday I just heard on Saturday that I also heard on Friday during what *my* guide said would be practice or qualifying but BSPN seemed to think was "time to show prepackaged videos and interview people in a BIG BOX and put the alleged action aka annoying noise in an itty bitty box or show studio interviews with whoever was walking by in between showing someone's mom, wife, dog, baby, 3rd cousin, some random stranger, etc.

Mike said...

Bevo,

For the last few years, Barney Hall has skipped the early season west coast races that MRN does (California & Phoenix). He'll probably be on hand for the races at those 2 tracks later in the season. You can most likely expect to hear him against next weekend at Talladega.

Dot said...

Well said about your first comment, Strick. From now on, I'm going to wait until after you post. Then I can just type "ditto".

Thanks for the follow up S&P comment, too.

Dot said...

The S&P issue would have been a real good topic for Tradin' Paint.

@ Strick, do you think the TV partners would have the ba!!s to bring up the subject? I think BF would fine them for actions detrimental to Stock Car racing. This would be the only time NASCAR would care how their sport is covered.

Mike said...

What we saw tonight seems to be a result of ESPN not covering anything but the race itself. It's as if the crew showed up at 8:30p.m. Eastern for a 9:30 green flag (Eastern time).....and didn't pay any attention to any storylines that may have developed during practice and qualifying. Even though this is ESPN's series, by not doing anything but covering the race itself, I don't feel like ESPN has developed any sort of relationship with the series and the personalities that make up the series.

They also seem to have taken this attitude that if it's not a Cup driver they have no interest in the driver, and in turn, feel that if they have no interest in those drivers, the viewer doesn't either.

Lastly, as has been pointed out, you'd have thought this was the November Phoenix race for the Nationwide series and it was getting down to crunch-time for the season with the way they were obsessed with who was leading the point standings. Yes, the points earned in April are just as important as the points earned in November....but please, there's no reason to create fake drama over a championship that won't be decided for another 7 months.

Anonymous said...

Here's another drinking game but you had better be a practicing alcoholic...drink every time Jerry Punch says "points"

stricklinfan82 said...
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Anonymous said...

I guess I have a different philosophy here.
Carl was leading the points when the race started. Kyle was in second. If in were Bliss and Leffler it would still be a story, so what does it matter that it's "cup guys". They are full season competitors in the NW series.

Edwards spins Waltrip. ESPN talked to Waltrip. So far, just covering the race.

Punch did mention 2 cars behind the wall. If ESPN went and talked to every driver out of the race, you'd probably get the same muffled audio you heard from Edwards and miss something during green flag racing.

Kyle has problems, well maybe. Big story for second in points. If it were Kesolowski it would be a big story, why not for Kyle?

I went back and listened to the Edwards radio and that was heard as ESPN was going to commercial. They came back from the commercial and talked about it.

Edwards has engine trouble. Point leader will lose lead. Big story if it's a NW regular. Oh, wait. Edwards is a NW regular. He just happens to drive on Cup days too. BTW ESPN audio guy, maybe you could invent a mic that would go up under the helmet so Strick could hear the interview. Never mind the car is right next to the track...

All the wrecks were covered well. They showed all the cars finish. The Allgair sound box at least had the lead in it and not a shot of the 12 by itself while the lead battle was going on. I wish Clint Bowyer would have been used a little more.

I guess I watched from a different viewpoint. I thought the story of the race was covered well.

Lesley said...

Hey..I just wanted to see If Carl or Joey could take down Kyle..Thats intresting enough for me..Great Job Biff!!Thank God Nascar has there head up there ;;;

Anonymous said...

I thought they did a good job of covering the race. They regularly followed Algaiers progress as well as the 3-wide stuff behind the leaders. Without naming names,the pit reporting was a little rough. The start and parkers don't bother me as long as they don't cause problems for the rest of the competitors. I'm bothered much more by the guys at the back of the field with evil handling cars,wrecking and then causing more cautions as parts fall off their cars or they wreck again. Now thats something to talk about!

Anonymous said...
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Tom said...

I really have come to think that perhaps the TV partners are trying to make these broadcasts poor. They paid a great deal in rights fees, far more than the would if they were doing the negotiating right now. Declining ratings, poor racing, loss of some key teams in cup---what is there to stop ANY of the partners from saying "we are not getting what we paid for-lets renegotiate" ?? I mean come on, this SHOULD be a time when the ratings are going up because far fewer people are going to the track, but instead (unlike most other televised sports) we see sinking ratings. Are these networks trying to tell somebody something??

Tom
Inverness, FL

Mary said...

Oh well both our channels decided to show baseball instead despite saying the guide saying it was Nascar but from the comments it's probably a good thing I missed the race. In addition the owner of the local tv station that broadcasts ABC and CBS has fallen out with the Union and shut the station down so TV wise I'm not having much luck.

yankeegranny said...

Amazing. Kyle gets the front of the line and we get a "debris" caution. Presto, now he is one lap down. Again, he gets to the front of the line and we have another "debris" caution. Now he is on the lead lap. Truly amazing.What a bunch of bovine fecal matter indeed. What ticked me off the most about the whole thing is that for the SECOND week in a row, Brad Keselowsky came in 3rd and was not interviewed by the pitroad talking heads. Guess Jr is not paying off the right people or something. Maybe if Brad wins a race, they will be forced to interview him. It kills me that some of the best racing in NASCAR is in the Nationwide series and the announcers/network are so bad that they are turning off even the most loyal fans.

Newracefan said...

I'm still annoyed even after sleeping on it. While I don't really care about the S & P reasons for exiting the race follow up with what happened to Kenny Wallace would have been nice. Yes he is a mid pack team but come on behind the wall in the first 10 laps it's obvious that BSPN had no clue he was a real team and thought he was a S&P car, he did get back in the race and we never heard that either. I was OK with the Carl Kyle coverage at the beginning they were up front but once the front settled down show us the racing where ever it is. We know BSPN knows how they did it last week. It was as if the NW only drivers were not even there unless they caused a caution. The coverage of the Casey Atwood crash was horrible. It was obvious to me the he was not OK, we all know the window net down signal and it was not down, it seemed like BSPN didn't know how to handle it. Showed the crash 4 different times, back to the car where he still wasn't out and more crash discussion. Hey ESPN go watch the coverage of the McDowell crash or Jeff Gordons slam into the inside wall last year for some pointers.

Ken said...

I suspect I was like many other folks on the east coast. After watching Carl lead the race and Kyle running 2 laps down for a while, it was time for bed and I turned off the 2 driver show and went to bed. The faked drama of "loose lug nuts, something wrong with Carl's car, etc" was not interesting enough to keep me watching.

I suspect the race was a preview for what is to come in the Cup series.

glenc1 said...

I totally forgot about the race. Completely missed it--just not used to the night schedule, plus with it starting so late.... But it sounds like I didn't miss much. I do agree with anon 4:29 that if a guy is full time Nationwide, he should be covered as a regular, but that doesn't mean you should ignore the other 42 guys in the race, any more than they should in Cup.

Dot & Stricklynfan, I agree on the S&P issue. NASCAR is being cowardly, perhaps because they can't figure out how to police it. My feeling on it is, not only is it about the risk of losing actual full time teams, it's depriving the fans of actual racing that might be done by guys who could actually finish a race; but didn't qualify because of someone's 'money' car.

Anonymous said...

JD, you said it much kinder than I would have. It was the S&P, KyB/Edwards race, and I have never been so disappointed at the gentle coverage the Cup cars get when they "screw" up. Last week, the Official covering Edwards pit stall officially didn't tell the crew to bring him back in for missed lugnuts. The CC and Edwards had a discussion about it until a caution came out so he could come in under a yellow. Then last night, Edwards just ran over Waltrip. These hi-jinks show the contempt the Cup guys have for the NW regulars.

If this is going to be the Edwards/KyBusch show every weekend, it will be without me watching.

stricklinfan82 said...
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stricklinfan82 said...
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stricklinfan82 said...

Dot said...
The S&P issue would have been a real good topic for Tradin' Paint.

@ Strick, do you think the TV partners would have the ba!!s to bring up the subject? I think BF would fine them for actions detrimental to Stock Car racing. This would be the only time NASCAR would care how their sport is covered.

April 18, 2009 2:27 AM


Dot, I'm not asking for the TV networks to bash start-and-park (though in an honest moment I would love it if they did, because I think it's an awful thing that's ruining the image and future health of the sport). I'm just asking for them to explain the practice for what it is when it occurs and let the fans draw their own conclusions.

Now that NASCAR has publicly stated they don't see anything wrong with start-and-park, I think it's time for everyone involved in the sport (drivers, owners, NASCAR, and TV) to be adults and stop trying to cover up this "perfectly acceptable practice" when it occurs.

It's time to stop with the charades like the 96 car "not being able to start" in Nationwide qualifying at Phoenix and the TV announcers pretending to buy into the act, Dave Blaney making multiple pit stops in the first 100 miles of Cup races feigning ongoing legitimate problems before finally parking, and NASCAR forcing all Cup teams to have pit crews to be allowed to start a race (the "Joe Ruttman rule" adopted after Rockingham in the spring of '04).

If NASCAR endorses the start-and-park what are these people afraid of? What are they trying to hide? Why did the Keselowski team need to put on an act like that? Why did the TV network have to follow along with the act? Why does the #66 Cup team see the need to pretend they're not there to park? And why does NASCAR force start-and-park teams to put together a pit crew if they're not going to use it anyway?

Either allow the practice to be "an accepted part of the game" and openly embrace and acknowledge it or get rid of it if you think it's embarrassing and unhealthy for the sport. This current middle-ground that everyone involed in NASCAR dances on with this subject is completely laughable, in my opinion.

Village Idiot Intern said...

ESPN has a show to televise and the dang cars on the track are getting all in the way. The drivers don't cooperate very well, it is almost as if they are ignoring the script the director has given them. There is talk around that perhaps ESPN will broadcast their races from Bristol, CT to avoid the interruptions to their show from the activities on the track. The practice of only showing the top two contenders regardless of the amount of real racing for positions back in the pack is for one reason, both in the Nationwide series and the Cup series. It is a serious problem.
The largest part of the problem, as I see it, is the broadcasters of the race do their dead level best to minimize sponsor exposure except for the leader and, by accident, any entrant whose car happens to be passed or lapped by the leader. If said broadcasters could avoid airing a wrecked car sponsor logo, they would. If the broadcasters could blur the logos of all the sponsors who had not paid tribute in advance of the broadcast-Google Street View comes to mind here-they would. In fact, the broadcasters no longer refer to the cars by their sponsors names unless payment in advance has been made. So after a multi-year sponsorship agreement has been reached with a team and a sponsor views a race or two on the television, the sponsor realizes his only exposure is actually at the location of the event. Does anyone here fail to understand why sponsors have increasingly been hard to obtain? I don't, and if you really watch the broadcasts on television you wouldn't either. In decades past, before the last one, every entrant's car merited a mention or three throughout the broadcast regardless of how they performed. In that scenario a company could justify an investment because of the exposure both to the attendants at the event and to those at home. Those days are over for the sponsors and they are voting with their feet. Unless the broadcasters reverse field on this subject, look for more sponsors to bail out. Unless of course your team can run in the top five every week and what are the odds of that happening? Ask Roush, Childress, Hendrick, Petty et al. So, I lay all the blame at the feet of all the broadcasters for making NASCAR racing a place where you don't want to spend your money because some extortionist in Los Angeles, Bristol, CT or elsewhere can't get the financial tribute from the golden geese they feel they deserve. Adios NASCAR, it was nice knowing you while it lasted.

drkevdc said...

I loved Waltrip's interview when he said, I know that Carl is sorry, he is always sorry, I guess I have that going for me."

Pure Gold

Jimbacca said...

I watched the coverage. Do they save money by just picking 2 and pounding it into the ground? We got a lap by lap breakdown of how carl is doing in the garage. Those other cars on the track were just extras to fill in the screen for Kyle and Carl. Hopefully those two can be the show when there are no other sponsors from the lack of coverage. They probably don't do the recaps as much so you don't wonder why every week the 90 and 91 are 42 and 43. The 09 wrecked then was fixed. You wouldnt have known it was back on the track until the yellow he caused.
In the GWC they just made it seem like the gods looked upon the top two and they lucked into the spots. But wait here's kyle coming but will he have time!

The motorsports calendar updates were a head scratcher. No Cup. They list the ALMS but not the indy car. I can see where if you don't own the rights you don't cover. But don't act like that's the only racing then.

Ken-Michigan said...

Not impressed with the ESPN coverage.

My main "beef", and it's also with FOX....they refuse to cover the race with any journalistic integrity.

The cars leaving the race early, should be covered....at the very least the booth should acknowledge the fact that they are going to the garage.

The Phoenix race was being covered as if it was the LAST race of the season and the battle was only between Kyle and Carl, just plain stupid coverage.

And for cryin out loud..... NEVER... and i mean NEVER have a pit reporter try to interview a driver, in the car, with race still going...WITH HELMET ON !!

It never works !!

I've only seen 2 ESPN Nationwide races in 2009, since their '08 coverage was so bad. I'll find it hard to watch anymore in 2009 until the production quality improves.

GinaV24 said...

This style of covering a race is one of the reasons I don't think that the Cup drivers should be able to compete for the championship in the Nationwide series. The coverage was all about Edwards, Busch and Biffle and it was such a surprise that darn, the announcers were going to have to talk about someone else because of the problems they had. I happened to watch the race tonight but it will probably be the last Nationwide race I watch on TV -- I'm just sick of it being treated as a nothing deal - it's a big deal for the guys who aren't cup drivers. NASCAR has let this happen and ESPN just drools over it. And yes, the fact that ESPN continues to pretend that the NASCAR season will start when they take over the coverage is really stupid. I think its one of the reason that I can't be bothered watching ESPN's shows and coverage.

Anonymous said...

I watched last night's race twice to verify if I was right in being upset with how Nascar handled the end of the race. That race was exciting and would have ended with 6-8 drivers having a shot at a win----IF they redflagged the race at the very end instead of just clicking off the laps. Was it network time pressures? All I know is that it sucked the life out of the race by just idling around for ten minutes.

Anonymous said...

The problem is Jerry Punch. He is quite simply not up to the job. That fact becomes clear after one broadcast, but especially clear after watching this man struggle race after race, season after season.

Let's face it - as good as a pit reporter as Punch was --- that is how bad of a play-by-play announcer that he is. Hey, I love Dick Bergren - Love Him! - but I wouldn't want him to take over for Mike Joy. Same thing with Punch -- wrong man for the job. He is single-handedly messing up NASCAR ratings. After all, if you fell asleep during a race that he called last year, what makes you want to tune in this year?

glenc1 said...

I just watched the rerun broadcast--it was a shame, because the race coverage wasn't that bad--if they simply had covered *all* of it instead of tiny pieces, focusing on the few guys from start to finish.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 1PM,

I think both Kevin and Delana Harvick are asking NASCAR that question right now.

JD

Gymmie said...

YUP Viliage Idiot Intern that's been part of the conspiracy theory since day 1 of the "new" TV contract. Rumors swarmed from the gate that if you wanted FOX to mention your sponsor name unless they were somehow "forced" to you had to pony up the Benjamins. And of course it was shot down by TPTB. But it's so obvious.

It's so sad that it becomes the Driver 1 and Driver 2 (or if we're lucky we might get up to 5) show. With the other cars "being in the way". And when they have problems and are either no longer in contention or fall out completely they're at a loss of how to continue.

How many times have we seen a "name" or two in an accident with a poor soul who was one of those who were "in the way" and they spend 30 minutes interviewing the "name(s)" showing the accident every way from Wednesday, perhaps throwing in some video game graphics or cut away car/garage analysis as well. And the poor "in the way" fellas are just standing there smiling, patiently waiting, being 2 seconds away from crafting a sign and waving in the background saying "I'm OK Mom/Dad/wife/kids. I'll be home soon." only to be ignored.

Geeze said...

Would not reporting in depth on the start and parker's be considered manufacturing drama, much like the Carl/Kyle story? Who cares if a few people you have never heard of parked? It's not a big part of the race, it's not even a little part.

I can't buy the theory that they are keeping full time sponsored team's from making the race. They need to go faster if a S&P is out qualifying them. This isn't T-ball.

I also can't buy the theory that the S&P cars are beating them due to showing up setup for qualifying only. They are out qualifying car's out of the top 35. If I owned a car out of the top 35 and they didn't show up with qualifying the only thing on their mind, I'd park them.

JMO of course.

Lisa Hogan said...

The coverage of this race was just terrible. No way to sugar coat this one. How dare those drivers not stick to the pre-planned script that ESPN loves so much.

Since last week’s race had good coverage, I have to assume that the B team was in the production truck. Seems that if you are good at covering the race for the fans, ESPN puts you on the B team.

I read all the in-race comments this morning after I had watched the race and enjoyed them.

Hope everyone enjoys the race tonight. Don’t forget about the ARCA race tomorrow on SPEED.

Michael Huff said...

I have to agree with you JD, along with most of the comments posted. Why not do a little follow up on Joe Nemechek, why not follow up on the problems Austin Dillon was having,why just talk about Kyle and Carl all the time. ESPN's coverage might just as well be called " The Kyle And Carl Show, Along With A few Other Drivers-All Front Running Coverage-All The Time".

Vicky D said...

JD, most of us posters were upset with ESPN's broadcast last night like your column stated. It was disrespectful of all the full time Nationwide drivers who didn't get a mention or sideways glance on tv. You hit the nail on the head. One of our talk radio personalities here in Houston talked about this very thing yesterday morning except it had to do with the Wedndesday protests. He said many news channels have an angle days before the event so that is what they report whether it is accurate or not. I'm thinking ESPN has production meetings days before the race and chooses their story and goes with it whether the driver is 2 laps down or behind pit wall. I thought Marty did a much better job last week at Nashville too. We need him as a dedicated NW PXP guy. And what happened to DJ I hardly heard him either and I think he needs to speak up. Very unhappy ESPN viewer.

Richard in N.C. said...

Being wholly unbiased, any race that doesn't have at least some coverage of Morgan Shepherd is deficient.

Stricklinfan - super comments.

What I find most amazing about the focus of EESPN's coverage is that it seems to me to be in EESPN's long term benefit to give almost every car some attention in order to encourage sponsors for cars in the series AND to encourage them to want to buy commercials. But then focusing on short-term benefits and worrying about tomorrow later is what has torpedoed the US economy and companies like Bear Stearns and Lehman Bros.

Anonymous said...

Could anyone understand Edwards speaking to Massaro from the car? Sheesh. I watched, I dozed, I was BORED,and I love this series normally.

I have the feeling there are some really interesting stories going on out there - Burney Lamar, Danny O'Quinn (How I like that guy!) Mike Bliss clawing and fighting for every spot.

What a bummer. I was so ready for a great show with super commentary.

Ann_Ominous said...

I couldn't believe that NASCAR did not red flag the race. Here's a bad crash with a very smushed up car, including the front end, and the driver has not put the window net down to indicate he's allright. Of course it's going to take a long time to clean up - there's bound to be liquids, and the driver is going to need special attention.

I actually fell asleep while they paraded around for all those caution laps. When I woke up from Dr. Punch's comments I thought that there had been a restart and another wreck! I enjoy the races where the B team is in without Dr. Punch so much more.

I could hardly wait for the race to be over so I could go crawl into bed. I did not have any trouble falling asleep either, something that doesn't often happen. Maybe I need to record a race with Dr Punch for help with my insomnia!

I really am loosing interest in NASCAR. HotPass is the only thing that is keeping me from switching from DirecTV to AT&T Uverise. And now HotPass is free, but about all it is good for is seeing the side by side action during the commercials. But they blast the commercial volumne so much louder than the network coverage! And on a day like today with heavy rain interfering with the satellite reception, I wonder how much longer it will be before I switch providers and quit caring about NASCAR race coverage on TV!

Anonymous said...

No wonder so many people are sick & tired of watching the "Kyle & Carl Show." It's bad enough we had to endure it last night. Now we'll have to watch & hear, incessantly, all about them tonight. Great, if you're a Carl &/or Kyle fan. I can't stand it anymore. I'm going to tape the Nationwide races from now on & fast forward thru the boring parts. There are many, many of those.I'm getting very close to taping all the Nascar races also.