Friday, August 21, 2009

Play-By-Play Announcer Returns For ESPN In Bristol, TN


Last week in Michigan, ESPN experimented with a live NASCAR Nationwide Series telecast that featured four analysts in the booth and no play-by-play announcer. The reviews were mixed, but ESPN was clear that this was a one time experiment. Click here to review the TDP reader comments.

Friday night the NASCAR on ESPN telecast returns to the normal format, but not with the popular Nationwide Series team of Marty Reid, Rusty Wallace and Randy LaJoie. Instead, the network will use Jerry Punch, Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree to call the race.

Wallace will be a member of the pre-race show along with Brad Daugherty and host Allen Bestwick from the Infield Pit Studio. While this has been a good move for Wallace on the Sprint Cup Series races, he has served the network quite well up in the booth for the Nationwide Series events.

Reid and LaJoie just love to give Wallace a hard time as certain events unfold on the track. The vast majority of the time, those events involve Rusty's son Steven or teammate Brendan Gaughan who make up the RWR Nationwide Series teams. Credit goes to Rusty who has been more than tough enough to take the ribbing and keep right on going, no matter how much his wallet had just been dented.

This on-air dynamic has been fun to watch as it is pushed along by the jovial personality of LaJoie. Reid is a professional who keeps the information flowing and lets the analysts do their jobs. This irreverent mix is perfect for the Nationwide Series as it continues to search for its own TV personality.

Reid, Wallace and LaJoie did not cower to the Carl and Kyle show in this series and pointed out the efforts of all the teams on the track as the racing unfolded. Reid was also the first announcer this season to be honest with the fans where the numerous start-and-park cars were concerned.

The challenge for Punch is to ramp-up his excitement level to match the anticipated hard racing on Friday night from the drop of the green flag. The new restart rules are going to be something to see at Bristol. As Mike Joy on the Whelen Modified and Rick Allen on the Camping World Truck Series races proved, this track generates excitement for TV viewers when the play-by-play announcer is on his game.

As usual on so many Fridays, it will be SPEED starting the action with Nationwide Series practice at 10:30AM. Steve Byrnes, Larry McReynolds and Jeff Hammond will then stick around to call both sessions of Sprint Cup practice beginning at noon ET. That trio will top off the day with Nationwide Series qualifying at 4PM.

Before calling the Nationwide race, Punch and company will first handle Sprint Cup Series qualifying at 5:30PM on ESPN2. Nicole Manske will give the ESPN team a breather at 7PM as she hosts an edition of NASCAR Now from the other Bristol.

Bestwick then leads the ESPN2 team onto the air at 7:30PM with the NASCAR Countdown pre-race show and Punch takes over to call the action at 8PM. The actual green flag is scheduled for 8:13PM.

TDP will be live blogging this event and have a post up for your TV-related comments immediately after the race. In the meantime, please feel free to leave your opinion on the topics mentioned above.

This is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind when posting. Thanks for taking the time to stop by The Daly Planet.

62 comments:

glenc1 said...

I just hope the thunderstorms stay away....

It's a little early, but I hope ESPN shows driver intros...the drivers have picked the music and are introducing themselves....

I'm afraid I'll be missing Marty...

boyd said...

I thought you said that there would be a PxP guy. Sorry, but (car #34) Dr. Punch is in the wrong position. Where's Marty?

David said...

Glen I agree, the Cup intros should be something else I'd like to see them too just for the humor of it.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Lots of good names in the Nationwide Series race, skip over to Jayski to see the list.

If we can get it in, this one should be a blast. No Chase points, no Cup sponsors and no COT's.

JD

Vince said...

JD, have you heard anything from ESPN as to why Reid and LaJoie aren't doing the Nationwide race this weekend?

glenc1 said...

Did anyone see Ricky Craven's piece on the COT's? Can't say I agree, but I appreciate his opinion.

David said...

did not glen, what did he say?

thought biffle's take the other night was interesting

hotaru-raganbaby_6 said...

Oh great, the bore is back!

Three letters for tomorrow night- PRN.

That is all.

Dot said...

All I have to ask is WHY?

Just when they got a good trio in the booth with Reid, Randy & Rusty for the NW races.....

So much for the idea of JP resting up to call the CUP race. And why do DJ & AP have to do the NW race? Why not Rusty & Randy?

JD, is this permanent, or will it change for the Chase?

Richard in N.C. said...

JD, I believe JP lives in eastern Tenn. Do you think travel distance could have been a significant consideration in JP doing the N-wide race instead of Reid?

Gymmie said...

@glen--yes I'm also *hoping* they show the intros. I think it's a great idea even though I didn't recognize most of the songs :blush:

I'll miss Marty and Randy :(

Daly Planet Editor said...

I think this first season of having a different crew for the Nationwide races is a challenge.

Perhaps, it would have made a lot more sense to bring in Reid and LaJoie is ESPN was covering the practice and qualifying sessions.

As it is, the network only handles Cup quals on Fri, does the Nationwide race and then comes back on Sat for the Cup event.

It's too bad, because the Reid/Rusty/Randy team had a good thing going with the fans.

JD

Daly Planet Editor said...

I would not get my hopes up for the intros, even with only thirty seconds of the music, showing the top twenty drivers would require ten minutes of TV time and that is not going to happen.

My suggestion is that a fan who is at the race tape it, then upload it on YouTube so folks can see the whole thing.

Fun idea however!

JD

glenc1 said...

that was kind of what I was afraid of...can't cut into their precious talking heads....

well...at least I hope the fans in the stands enjoy it.

David, Ricky's article (I should have said it was written, not spoken) is at ESPN.com (I got there through Jayski's link). He thinks they're the greatest thing to bring out the best drivers. I disagree but he makes a well-thought out argument.

Midnight Dynamite said...

Well, I was going to hurry home to watch the Nationwide race after work, but, now I have no reason to. Looks like I'll go to the park and watch the grass grow.Thanks, Jerry.

GinaV24 said...

Oh brother and I was looking forward to Marty being back to do the PXP for the Nationwide race. I like DJ and Andy, but the Punch and cRusty show, sorry, but this most likely means I will opt for radio coverage for the PXP.

DL said...

That's too bad, I was hoping for Marty and Randy back to poke more fun with Rusty.
Maybe the booth could just be quiet, the action on the track will speak for itself.

Anonymous said...

JD said: "Reid was also the first announcer this season to be honest with the fans..."

Perhaps that is why he is not back this week.

Larry

GinaV24 said...

hmmm, I read Craven's article AND the track smack one on NASCAR.com and both of them, of course, were saying how wonderful the COT is and how it makes for parity in racing. Parity = single file, no passing for the lead = BORING!

And with JP in the booth "calling" the Nationwide race, that's what this race will be, too. Nap time!

Anonymous said...

Oh geez, JP is calling a night race. Reckon I'll either need coffee to stay awake to watch or else it will be early bedtime because he puts me to sleep.

Mary
Richmond, VA

glenc1 said...

to be honest, I've really enjoyed the last couple COT Bristol races, instead of the wreckfest it was before (I think someone else mentioned it here the other day.) It's always been hard to pass there. But I think it's highly dependent on the track they're on. There was plenty of passing at Dover, for example. But that doesn't mean I don't think the COT could use some tweaks. I was just kind of impressed at Ricky's ability to put that all together--he's smart, and it shows on TV.

52 cars entered for the NW race...it'll make me mad to see S&Pers send other racers home.

Anonymous said...

I just read Craven's article on the Cot. I don't agree with him. If he had to drive that car, I'd bet that he would have a different opinion. I'm looking forward to DJ in the booth.

David said...

The COT in and of itself is not bad. NASCAR just took a car designed primarily for safety and tried to "even out" some problems in the past. Namely aero-push and the plates on the big tracks.

Make the car dirty enough, you could run a larger plate, which they have, and also if you make the car dirty enough, everyone would just learn to deal with aero push. That part of the argument backfired because it made track position even more important.

Personally, getting back to a style car like we had in 2000 that was fairly symmetrical which the COT is, without the huge front rake that got introduced in 2003 would've worked in my eyes. Just my thought tho. Tried finding the Ricky article but couldn't find it so I'll look again.

The car is not bad and is not the problem with the racing in my eyes. It needs tweeks though and NASCAR should be open to that and have said they will take stuff off the NW version and translate it over if they find something that works.

JD, thats a bummer. If I have to tune in to a 90 minute pre-race and hear the same garbage I've heard all weekend (since 90% of the ESPN pre-race will get shown throughout quals and the NW pre-race) then doing the driver intros would be neat. Didn't ESPN have a fluffer mid-race filler in the NW series last year asking what songs the drivers would have played if they could pick music for intros? Figures.

Solid effort by SPEED in the 10 minutes I've had them on. Good to hear from Regan. Hope the rains hold off.

Anonymous said...

If I have to tune in to a 90 minute pre-race

I don't get this.

NO ONE "has to" watch the pre-race show.

You're allowed to just watch the race. Honest.

ESPN (and SPEED) will not come to your home and turn your TV channel over to the show.

All these complaints about too much pre-race are just silly. Don't watch the pre-race shows if you don't like them.

glenc1 said...

you have a point, but I think the frustration is, they *could* show something better but choose not to...

David said...

Annon, if you go to NASCAR.com, they have the race time listed as the start of the pre-race. In the rare event we have a hurry-up start, or for some unbeknownst reason they have a shorter pre-race (as FOX did a few times this season) I wind up preparing to blow X amount of time off and wind up missing the start of the race.

If the actual schedule green flag time was more readily available on NASCAR.com I would blow pre-race off completely. However, still have to watch close to 30 mins or so as a just-in-case situation. Im still used to rolling out of bed on the west coast and flipping the race on at 9 or 10 am. Thats the gear I am in. Not to listen to a bunch of talking heads repeat themselves 40 or 50 times and hear stories that really have no direct relevance to the race at hand or sport as a whole.

Don't post the race on your site as being at a certain time if its not for another 90 minutes is what I say...

glenc1 said...

Scheduled Green Flag (approx): 7:43pm/et

Jayski has this under 'next race' every week. But I get that it won't help if there's a hurry up. But I do usually look for it because I, too, would rather skip the other stuff. Generally though, I just do other things while it's on.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 10:46AM,

Dave Despain tried to make the same argument on Wind Tunnel. "Just don't watch" was his line.

I really think that is running from the real issue. There is plenty of good NASCAR content hanging around each week.

RaceDay used to chase it and have fun with it. Now, other than Wendy and Hermie it has become a freak show.

Remember when we used to actuallly listen to Jimmy and Kenny before they started their silly little act?

Between Spencer forgetting his past and Wallace talking to the camera like a diva, RaceDay has totally changed.

We never used to hear complaints from the fans before, but now...

JD

David said...

Yup.

You have real stories every week but some never get told.

Mayfield, that will be a blurb. Regan gets a full-time deal next year, that will be a blurb if it gets mentioned at all.

Ray Evernham and Rusty Wallace went OFF on start and park last week on NASCAR.com, yet put them in front of an ESPN camera and not a word gets said.

TNT had a long pre-race too which I would prefer wasn't the case but at least theirs had some meat to it instead of a bunch of fat content. If it weren't for Wendy and Hermie and the driver interviews, RD would be on but just background noise too like the ESPN pre-race is.

Anonymous said...

Coule of things - I found on the scenedaily.com site the actual green flag time of the races - tonight it is 8:13. And Randy Pemberton interviewed Regan Smith on NASCAR Live about him going racing full time next year.

Anonymous said...

So, I guess we can expect that espn auto genius "everything is just Fine-berg" will look at the Bristol ratings and conclude that the answer to his problem is that all the races should be on short tracks......yup, that'll solve evrything! The problem ain't with Punch or the poor productions, its the tracks,dammit!
Please pass the kool-aid

David said...

I heard the Regan Smith interview, mentioned it earlier.

Just saying will the ESPN nationwide pre-race for the Sprint Cup Series interview Regan or give it due mention? Probably not.

Speed is always very solid in talking about everyone's stories on NASCAR Live and in practice sessions. I just wish that same approach was taken by ESPN during their coverage and during their pre-race shows since SPEED is not a channel everyone gets, ESPN is more readily available.

West Coast Diane said...

As usual, right on, JD.

Regarding prerace shows, I DVR, sometimes watch using FF a lot. Or I read your blog first to see if anything interesting was shown.

Total agreement about Jimmy and Kenny. I thought I might be in the minority. It used to be a must watch and I liked Jimmy & Kenny. Have they really changed? Or was it different in the beginning and now we are just tired of them? Still like JR, Wendy and now Hermie (still new), so I think it is the former rather than the latter.

glenc1 said...

I too have gotten tired of the Jimmy/Kenny show. I couldn't decide if it had become worse or I was just tired of the schtick...but it must be worse. I do like to see Wendy & Hermie, so it's hard to avoid the other. I wonder how many e-mails they got about the male dog in heat business, lol. And Kenny has started talking down to the fans...that's just inexcusable. Both of them, really, like because they're 'drivers' they know better than we do, even though neither has raced in Cup regularly in years. And as if we're not capable of thinking intelligently by ourselves over what kind of racing we want to see. Sad.

Anonymous said...

SPEED has a perception problem when it comes to Jimmy.

I believe they don't mind when he spouts off because they think he falls into the Howard Stern mold--you know, "They watch even though they hate him to see what he'll say next."

But that's not what happen when it comes to Spencer. The things he says aren't evocative--they're just idiotic. And no one tunes back in to listen to an idiot spout off.

SPEED, get this right--we watch in spite of Jimmy, not because of him. If the rest of the show's not good enough for us to tolerate his stupidity, we won't keep watching.

Anonymous said...

If the actual schedule green flag time was more readily available on NASCAR.com I would blow pre-race off completely.

Jayski lists the green flag drop time every week.

David said...

At least it doesn't look like the 71 will be a start and park this weekend. Taxslayers is on the car, fully painted. May be their Glen car though. MV, know anything on that front?

Weather holding off but looks like there is certainly some ugly stuff coming.

JD, maybe JP needs some of that 5 Hour Energy instead of Rusty and RWI

Daly Planet Editor said...

I have also been listing the green flag times both in columns and on the TV listings on the right side of the page. Lots of fans are asking for those and that means they are not watching until that point. Sad...

Gymmie said...

@JD--that's what I was afraid of :( That it would take "too long" I mean they have some irrelevant videos from 1000 years ago and the same interviews we saw 100 times already, that's more important to show :(. I was also wondering if playing it on TV makes ESPN have to pay royalties to the musicians/estates if the songs chosen are by folks who have passed? I know CBS yells at the Houseguests to "stop singing" if they're singing a song on BBAD. I haven't subscribed to the feeds so I don't know if they do the same thing during the other hours. But I recall when it's someone's birthday and they're celebrating during the BBAD show they go to the fish tank until they're finished singing Happy Birthday.

Anonymous said...

I generally FF or mute when Jimmy or Kenny start running their yaps. I used to enjoy them, but they are now loud-mouthed aggravations.

Hermie and Wendy are true professionals and I look forward to hearing what they have to say.

Mary
Richmond, VA

glenc1 said...

Gymmie, Happy Birthday is in the public domain; there must be another reason for that one. I'm not a lawyer, but it's something like this; networks pay a general fee to be able to play music from the major publishing companies (ASCAP, etc.) That's why they can play them at the All Star race, for example, so I'm thinking they'd be covered for most songs. But if an individual wants to sing a song, like American Idol, that's a special use. Figure skaters, gymnastics, that would be another example, they need permission/to pay.

Andrew said...

@Anon 11:29 - Why would that be a bad thing? Short tracks are a heckuva lot more interesting than most of the 1.5 and 2 mile tracks!

I agree with the RaceDay comments. Props to Wendy and Hermie for putting up with this.

Andrew said...

glen - That's actually rather disputed; Warner Music Group claims it's under copyright until 2030, though many people and papers, including a dissenting Supreme Court opinion, dispute their claim.

glenc1 said...

thanks for that correction Andrew. I guess we'll have to wait til 2030, lol. If the network has an agreement with WB, though, I'm assuming it would cover that? The whole music rights thing is complicated. I work with a not for profit that has to deal with this stuff. If you sell DVD's with the music on it...that's what we got involved with. If they don't get an okay, it goes out silent.

Gymmie said...

@glen & Andrew--thanks I thought HB was OK but it was odd they did it. Very interesting about all this music issues.

David said...

Have I mentioned how much I dislike ESPN's qualifying graphics?

Sophia said...

Happy birthday is not the public domain..somebody spoke of this on a talk show the other day.

That's why SO many tv shows will sing "for he/she's a jolly good fellow".

I think you have to pay $1000 for Happy birthday depending on the circumsstance. $10,000 for movies and I think amusement parks used it for $5000. It's why restaurant chains have to make up their own versions as well.


In 1998 the song rights were enforced more due to buy outs or some law passed.

USUALLY very old songs are in the Public Domain unless a person specifically bought the rights from somebody.

Convoluted...I just did a quick google on this but also know because a band I help promote was able to sing old Cajun or NOLA Jazz based tunes on their CD...stuff in the public Domain (Tin Roof Blues for one, allegedly had one writer then 7 more put their names on it so small royalties were given and nobody got rich of that great tune) which led lax of the rights to that tune.


Also in the last 10 years or so, Tv rights have been argued over song rights and that's why many tv shows on DVD are ruined due to copyright infringements, fights or greed. (WKRC in Cincinnati was ruined over songs substitute from original show)

Sorry JD...kind of on topic but just wanted to give my two cents on why the Drivers intros could maybe not be show "Over the air" so to speak.


Way more info than you folks needed, feel free to delete JD.:)

wickedj said...

BACKFLIP! its a freaking backflip not a sommersault(spell check me on this)

Sophia said...

P.S. I turned OFF ESPN due to excess graphics and the cars being in a 4 inch box on our old fashioned 21 inch tv.

HA! Priest is the word veri.
These things are getting crazier but often form real words these days.

Gymmie said...

TY Sophia! That does make sense :)

Sophia said...

@Gymmie

HBirth rights currently run out in 2030. So save your pennies and buy them. :) The private company that's held these rights does quite well.

I always wondered years ago why some chains do stupid birthday tunes and found out that was why.

David said...

Thats so silly. Seriously. About as silly as ESPN's treatment of it's NASCAR coverage.

Gymmie said...

I'll have to! That could be my retirement fund :D

:( for Mad Max and Mike :(

YAY for Marky Mark another pole!

Dot said...

Let's see if BSPN picks up on the fact that Weed and Vickers are starting side by side tomorrow night. I want to see if they stir the pot.

Vicky D said...

JP is really going to be tired tonight after calling (I'm using the term loosely) the cup qualifying. ESPN needs Reid, Randy & Rusty back for the NW broadcasts. I have been complaining about Spencer & Wallace for a couple of years plus the fans screaming and holding up signs in the background I just have had enough of that.

Dot said...

Oops, wrong Busch. Weed one back.

Patrick said...

Boy, NASCAR really had some difficulties with their timing feed. PitCommand and ESPN didn't have the graphics/speeds/times for several cars/drivers at a couple of separate instances.

MikeC said...

Guarantee we'll see some back of the pack racing tomorrow night, at least in the beginning, with Hamlin, Gordon and Edwards trying to make their way to the front.

David said...

So Keselowski to Penske. Awfully interesting.

MikeC said...

Since they're focused so much on the Chase, could have an interesting start of the race tomorrow night. I would say 7th through 16th in points are still what I would consider bubble drivers on making the Chase. Those drivers are spread all over in the starting line up. You have Martin starting on the pole, Biffle 2nd, Kenseth 5th, Bowyer 6th, Newman 9th, Montoya 11th, Vickers 14th, Kyle Busch 15th, Reutimann 18th and Kahne 29th. Should be fun.

Daly Planet Editor said...

There is a new post up for comments on the live coverage of the Nationwide Series from Bristol, TN on ESPN2.

JD

Anonymous said...

I saw recently that last weeks race was a little bit better in ratings(compared to 2008) so we'll probably never see J.P. taken out of the booth.