Friday, August 7, 2009

Lots On The Media Menu At Watkins Glen


This weekend is the first where all the ESPN folks come together and start the run to the end of the NASCAR season. The Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series are finally side-by-side and both are being produced by the NASCAR on ESPN gang.

For the first time, Jerry Punch and Marty Reid will swap the play-by-play positions depending on what cars are on the track. Reid will handle the Nationwide action while Punch will call his third season of the Sprint Cup Series.

Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree are going to be doing double-duty this weekend and putting in some long hours covering both series. Also, the same four pit reporters will be working all the time that cars are on the track and ESPN is on the air.

The big Friday feature will be the 3PM ET Sprint Cup Series qualifying on ESPN2. There will be stories at both the front and rear of the field for very different reasons. The elite teams will be looking at the new restart rules and working very hard to put their cars as close to the front as possible. On the other hand, with 46 cars entered, there will be some folks taking the long drive home on Friday night.

ESPN has been challenged to match the outstanding Cup qualifying efforts of SPEED during the Fox and TNT portions of the season. The mix of live interviews while cars are on the track is a bit easier at this road course, but the dynamic runs of the fast cars should be featured completely. In this instance, in-car cameras are fantastic. It will be interesting to see what approach ESPN brings to this season's road course qualifying coverage.

Marty Reid will make his first appearance on Friday after qualifying at 5:30PM. Along with Jarrett and Petree, Reid will be covering the Nationwide Series practice session. This is going to be a treat as 49 cars are on the Watkins Glen entry list and many of those are special "one off" efforts featuring all types of drivers.

SPEED starts the day at 11AM with NASCAR Live. Steve Byrnes anchors coverage of early Sprint Cup practice at 11:30AM and then Nationwide Series practice at 1:30PM. Byrnes is with Jeff Hammond and Larry McReynolds as they continue their rock solid partnership that is six months down the road in presenting this type of coverage. SPEED wraps the day at 7PM with Trackside that will feature Boris Said and Max Papis as guests.

Click here for a review of the Twitter changes from ESPN. Aside from the occasional humorous Tweet, the silence from the formerly Tweet-happy NASCAR on ESPN reporters has been deafening. Now that Twitter itself has recovered from a Thursday interruption, it should be interesting to see how this new social media policy plays-out for the ESPN reporters at Watkins Glen.

This post will serve to host your comments on the Friday TV activities from Watkins Glen. This has the potential to be an outstanding day of NASCAR coverage. To add your TV/media related opinion, just click on the comments button below. TDP is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind when posting.

Thanks again for taking time out of your day to stop by The Daly Planet.

47 comments:

Anonymous said...
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Todd said...
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Bill H said...

I enjoy when they go to the road courses, as long as they show the racing and not the leaders. The length of each lap allows you to not miss too much when the go to commercials, though under caution they can squeeze in 5 minutes of commercials.

The one thing I do not like about the road courses is the stupid foot cam. Ok I know some drivers use both feet, some just one, and yes they like to show the difference, but I surely dont hope we get to watch lap after lap of someones feet.

Also last week I almost became nauseous with the helmet cam, I wish they wouldnt use it, it really doesnt show you anything you need to know.

On the qualifying coverage, do we know if ESPN will tape delay during commercials or will we just miss some runs?

Anonymous said...

Here is the answer

Bestwick to the Booth for Cup
Reid for Nationwide
Punch to the Pits for both

Simple. Just do it ESPN

Daly Planet Editor said...

Bill, we will all find that out together.

Anonymous said...

This is a heartbreaking weekend for me. We love the Glen, but this year I can't even afford the gas to get there, much less tickets. I will watch every second of coverage I can though. Pray for sun, I have to work Mondays.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anyone have the updated forecast?

TexasRaceLady said...

JD, still a 30% chance of rain on Sunday at the Glen.

Charlie said...

Are the cameras being used by Speed the same cameras that Espn will use?

David said...

Charlie, this year FOX/TNT/ESPN have shared camera crews all season long. The difference is in the production and who cues what up, when and how.

Anonymous said...

Speed won't use all of the ESPN cameras. The track cameras are shared the ones with the pit reporters are different.

Anonymous said...

So, what have the SPEED commentators been talking about/looking at for the past almost 2 hours to just notice where a few cars landed on the speed chart?

Charlie said...

I want Racebuddy. It works so well at road courses.

GinaV24 said...

I usually tape the speed qualifying sessions so I can watch when I get home. With ESPN, I don't expect to actually see the qualifying runs so i don't waste the effort.

ESPN has had, what, 3 races, and I'm already pretty much done with planning to watch their version of the race.

I like road course races a lot. I second the motion -- boy, do I wish there was racebuddy this weekend!

Charlie said...

Since I will be watching a rebroadcast of Tiger Woods and golf this evening I have two choices with Espn now doing qualifying. Either put a piece of tape over the bottom ticker or not watch.
I decided not to watch.

Todd Crane said...

in memory of JD McDuffie. killed at "the Glen" Aug. 11th, 1991.

Daly Planet Editor said...

The other JD was a great guy. Thanks for the weather update Fran.

Dot said...

This is the first time I'm watching BSPN qual. It looks like they're a driver and a half behind. They're actually showing the cars on the track.

TexasRaceLady said...

Well, the weather guessers just upped the rain chances on Sunday to 40%. *sigh*

TexasRaceLady said...

I think I just found a commercial more obnoxious than Ex.....

Aspray --- so help me. It's advertised to help with embarrassing butt odor, foot odor ---even spray it on the privates.

Oh, dear Lord.

Karen said...

I heard about 5:15 at the end of Q'ing the chance of rain for Sunday is 10%.

Karen said...

Wow, Leffler crash tough. Too bad they didn't have a better camera angle of it.

David said...

Gotta love those tire barriers. Always make things more spectacular.

Thank you Marty Reid for NOT being lazy and saying The Glen has 11 turns! Not 7 or 8 plus the interloop like SOME folks...

Really enjoy listening to Marty, I'm alot less tense when he is on.

Martin Vincent said...

@Karen - What turn did Leffler crash in? No Nationwide practice here in Canada, unfortunately, when it's not on Speed most of the time.

Vicky D said...

TRL - tell me about it!!! Simply awful.

David said...

MV, Leff got loose off 9 and slid off course into the tire barrier. Car got some hang time and spun somewhat airborne across the track.

Looked pretty spectacular but thats the joy of road courses

Vicky D said...

Yes, Leffler's car went airborne and crashed really hard, but got out of the car fast. Too bad there are so many cup guys in this race too.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Not exactly the level of excitement I thought it would be.

David said...

Jerry did well on NASCAR Now. Just reinforces the idea that he is a reporter and not really a PBP analyst

Vicky D said...

After watching the NW practice it looks like the full time drivers of that series ought to just go home and fill their seats with cup guys. There aren't any NW guys in the top 10 quickest lap. Very disappointing.

Anonymous said...

Is there any real reason for the panel on Trackside to have their backs to the crowd? I watch to hear what the guest have to say not a bunch of yahoos waving signs.

Frank in Sebring

Daly Planet Editor said...

LOVED seeing Jerry in the Infield Pit Studio with DJ and Marty Reid.

Trackside: SPEED decided to position the talent like this because they could not get the logistics of putting the cameras out in the crowd to work at the tracks.

Instead, they put the camera on the front of the stage and then shoot the crowd behing the panel.

Not my fav, but that's the deal.

JD

Anonymous said...

Trackside is pretty much unwatchable ... the chanting, noisy crowd completely distracts from the talk ...we tried again tonight, but the Said Heads pretty much put the nail in that coffin (thank God I PVR'd qualifying at midday)... it may be fun out there at the track for the couple hundred yahoos who go nuts when they see themselves on a TV monitor, but they are making the show worthless for thousands (tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, even more?) of TV viewers. One would think that such differences of scale would matter to TV execs. It's too bad, because the talking talent on Trackside is among the best in the sport.

Anonymous said...

Ya know what would be really awesome on the race broadcast? For anyone who has ever been to the race track, they have the scoring pylon. On top of the pylon they report who the fastest car on the track was, and their speed. I would like to see that on tv, maybe put it with the lap ticker and call it "hot lap."

Vicky D said...

JD - I don't think AP is very good as a pit reporter.

David said...

I agree Vicky. He seemed out of place.

Since ESPN put Petty and company on the spot last week I think we are owed an explanation from Finch asto why Bliss has been fired twice this year for seemingly no reason...

All in all I think ESPN was pretty solid today.

Gotta agree on Trackside. I LOVE the show for the interviews because they are pretty relaxed and you can get a ton of info out of them. However, the crowd gets to be too much sometimes and the hour long promo for various products/sponsors just spoils it.

Awesome concept, loved this show in its infancy, but now it has gotten grown up and is turning into a television version of Micheal Waltrip.

OT: Really LIKE Max Papis. Would love to see him here full time. Actually really like alot of the open wheel guys that have come over, thought it was a shame Dario didn't get a better shake at this last year.

Spaw said...

I'd still like to know who it was that Bestwick offended. A blind turnip can see he's a better choice in the booth than almost anyone else and yet.......Seriously, he's very professional and has become "seasoned" over these years to the point where he controls groups well and gets the best out of his on-air groupings.

ALSO----Can we put out a contract out on anyone with any network that uses the phrase, "Shootout Style?" Geeze.....Enough already!

Spaw

David said...

Spaw, "Shootout Style" is mandated by NASCAR. Thats what they want it called so networks are calling it such.

Im with you though, take em all out!

Anonymous said...
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Daly Planet Editor said...

I got the NASCAR memo. They wanted to try and figure out a way to remind journalists that NASCAR has double file restarts right up until the final laps of a race.

Shooutout style was a poor choice of words, I have been using "new restart rules" since all this happened.

Hey, at least the concept is working!

Spaw said...

Well, okay then.......****sigh****...............but how about we off just the ones who insist on sounding like Kenny Wallace when they say it?

Spaw

Sophia said...

thanks for the warnings about Trackside. I also think the weird camera/waving signs/loud crowd ruins what could be a great show. SPEEDS reasoning does not hold muster in my book. Just my two pennies.

Saved me time tuning in reading the updates.:)

I do like Watkins Glen. Hope we get to "see" the race.

PammH said...

OT abit, so delete if needed, but my goodness, what EXCITEMENT I'm hearing from the Rolex announcers!I'm multi-tasking as usual, bu I can tell when to ck out the TV from the calling of the race..what a concept!!!!! :)

Anonymous said...

Watching the Rolex race. Don't know or really care about Rolex series. Just wanted to see the track and got hooked by the ENTHUSIASM of the announcers.
Is there a way to make Punch watch this coverage? Hint, hint.....

Makiki
Honolulu

Vicky D said...

We love the Rolex races and especially tonight as our team won!

Anonymous said...

After seeing the repetitive nature of the ESPN build-up to Watkins Glen, let me just right now say that I am DREADING the pre-show race.

I bet you anything it is a complete re-run of everything we've seen this week, from the Brad Daughtery-led roundtable to the endless clips of Jeff Gordon celebrating at Watkins Glen (he won there a bunch of times, why do they keep showing the same climb out of the car every...single... time).

Oh, we'll also see Marty Smith looking like a moron in his Guns N Roses T-shirt. They'll re-run that endlessly (PS - the guy spends an entire road trip and concert with the driver and gets like two half-decent quotes? Yikes!)

Daly Planet Editor said...

That was a lot of driving for a little content. I understand the intent, but agree with you.