Saturday, August 22, 2009

Your Turn: Sprint Cup Series From Bristol, TN On ESPN

The very long night race from Bristol brought yet another new wrinkle to the TV coverage of the sport this season from ESPN. New green and yellow colors on the ticker were the tip of the iceberg as the TV focus shifted from the race to the Chase for the Championship.

ESPN ignored the festivities happening on the track during the one hour pre-race show to originate programming that contained repeats of features shown on other ESPN NASCAR shows. There were two agendas running side-by-side on this evening before the race.

Many fans emailed about the driver introductions that would contain musical selections picked by the drivers themselves. ESPN advised they could not show this portion of the festivities due to rights issues with the music.

Just like last season, ESPN described the single-lane Bristol of old during the pre-race show and talked about the bump-and-run. Other than the final lap, this is something that almost does not exist since the new track surface and configuration was revealed. The mandatory footage of old fights at Bristol was used again.

The pit reporters also struggled in the pre-race with the fact that this is the new Bristol track. Questions aimed at drivers about the old days were politely moved aside to reflect the modern reality of a two groove racetrack.

Jerry Punch called the race with Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree. This is a very different style of racing at Bristol and it gave Punch trouble last season as well. The side-by-side racing was tough to handle for the team and it became apparent quickly that the Chase and the leaders of the race were going to be Punch's focus.

The director inserted in-car cameras frequently. This removed the race perspective for the TV viewers and it was tough to get oriented. In-cars were often used when cars were running in tight quarters and fans missed a lot of the action that then had to be replayed from other camera angles.

Fans are now familiar with the announcing style of Punch. Details, stats and basic information is relayed while Jarrett and Petree try to create the excitement and often call out when something happens on the track. Punch has a measured monotone and rarely changes, except when reading an ESPN baseball promo or introducing a commercial.

Petree has been having a tough couple of races in his role as the strategy person in the booth. It started at Watkins Glen and continued through the Bristol event. His casual style and relaxed manner sometimes has a tough time fitting into the scripted world of the ESPN telecasts. He began this season as the voice of reason but has recently often become the voice of frustration.

Jarrett takes the high road in every situation because that is his style. When start-and-park car Dave Blaney caused an early incident, Jarrett said nothing about the reality of the situation. His patience and kindness has won him a lot of fans, but it might be time for Jarrett to step-up and take over when these telecasts are struggling.

Commercial breaks are always an issue at Bristol, but this telecast seemed to contain more than usual and the timing was sometimes rough. Lots of baseball promos dominated the night as there is no Cup race next weekend to promote.

This is an opportunity for you to offer an opinion on how you enjoyed the ESPN telecast of the night race from Bristol, TN. To add your TV-related opinion, just click on the comments button below.

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


Kevin said...

Something has to change with both the on air an off air talent at BSPN.

Vicky D said...

Long night and I think the broadcasters were only looking at their monitors instead of out the window. The cameras missed a lot of the action. Too much time spent on chase points and who was in and who was out of it. Bet the fans in the stands saw a better race then we did. I'd rate it a C.

OSBORNK said...

It takes a real effort to makr Bristol seem forever. How they could miss the action on a half mile track is beyond me. It did not have the Bristol feel. I want to feel like I'm there when I watch the race on my 52" TV with home theatre. It wasn't there and it won't make more NA$CAR fans and it might run off many.

Jean in Georgia said...

I hate that they had to interrupt those lovely commercials with that nasty racing...

Seriously, I realize that they need commercials to pay the bills, but they need to work with their advertising department to raise their rate per minute or something, because the number of spots they're running is just about making the racing unwatchable.

I found out about numerous significant lead changes, accidents, and pit road incidents, due to coverage from Twitter, not from the TV.

And when the 48 came from way back in the field after the (missed) pit road miscue to be in the top 10, I missed any mention of it... similarly any mention of the 88 having a great run.

Color me frustrated yet again.

Chris said...

go to commercial under green with twenty-some odd laps to go? you know they are gonna wreck! and while they scramble to say what happened, again they are truely clueless as to what is currently going on.

i think jerry punch cried during commercial when jimmie johnson had trouble on pit road and gave up the lead....

Racinallout said...

As usual it was a commercial fest. ESPN needs to get Vince out of the Pit Interview crew. As a journalist he's clueless on designing good questions.

Tonight he's lucky Clint Boyer didn't punch him after that hideous ill timed question Vince put to him. OMG a rookie would never have asked it why would he!

There are many excellent people to replace the poor interviewers & booth staff you're suffering us with at present.

Make some moves ESPN before we fans find other venues to watch our races. Clock is ticking.

SalB said...

ESPN hasn't a clue. The over use of in car and bumper cams made the race a total enigma for anyone trying to watch on TV. Why they continue to promote the 'old' beating and banging that used to be Bristol is obvious...they can't find a way to televise the 'new' track that has little or none of that old style racing. The total concentration on the chase is totally annoying, and ridiculous. It takes the old 'If the race ended now' schtick to a new low. The viewing audience was left in ignorance of 2/3 of the cars on the track. If this is what I have to look forward to for the rest of the season, anyone other than the top 15 cars might as well stay back in the shop. I'ts difficult to watch the network that used to set the standard for race coverage embarrass themselves this way.

brad said...

All I can say is that it is the same thing every week. The production is horrible and the booth is lost. Why the fans are the only ones that see this is puzzling to me. I won't drone on as anyone that reads this blog can just move the comments from week to week and they still apply. This is just sad. Again thanks JD we may not be listened to by the suits but atleast we can voice our opinions.

Debbie said...

Once again ESPN fails miserably. Pit reporters asking silly questions, more commercials that racing,and blah play by play from the booth. Once the leader in NASCAR broadcasting, they are lagging behind, even below TNT! A commercial break just as a lead change was to take place. I think a monkey could run the broadcast more efficiently. Yes I know they have to air them, but are they in that much trouble with $$ they have to sell so many?!
The new guy Vince needs his yellow rookie stripe taken from his bumper and moved to his mouth for the things that come from it. Again, think of my monkey reference. Thanks to twitter and the radio, I knew more than from the TV.

Anonymous said...

Jamie Little said Kyle Busch's last win was in May "at this track."

Only a half-truth. Yes, it was in May, but race fans know better. It was at RICHMOND.

As for Vince Welch, he made another awful move by trying to talk to Bowyer.

Which enemy will he make next among the drivers?

Anonymous said...

JD, nothing else to say.

The Track Girl said...

I think that I am beyond trying to express my frustration in any sort of family style.
It needs adult words.
I don't understand how such a miserable broadcast can be shown.
I'm going to repeat my tweet. NASCAR has been around for 60 years, the races have been broadcast for 30.
WHY can't we have a broadcast that tells us whats happening with anyone other than the first two drivers?

I feel so badly for any race fan who relies only on the television broadcast for watching the race. I can't imagine not knowing anything other than the fact that Jeff Gordon may or may not have had some damage, that the 48 was up front until he mysteriously vanished into the black hole that is THE FIELD OF RACE CARS ON THE TRACK and that Kyle Busch won.

I wish so much that someone that could do something would pay any attention to how frustrating this is. But I'm not holding my breath. I'll continue to use a combination of DirectTv's Hotpass, PitCommand and the Scanner (and the radio) to follow my race. And people say that stock car racing is simple.

Buschseries61 said...

It was a mixed night. Things started off great. Wide shots, double video boxes & we got good coverage of the race. Suddenly a switch was turned and we were drowned in tight shots & in-car cameras. Suddenly we were in the Chase & only a select 16 drivers would be covered. If you were not a chase contender, you were ignored. This may be a sign of things to come the last 10 races.

The rest of the night continued to be a compromise of race coverage vs. chase coverage. Sometimes we were stuck watching the top 3 race single file, occationally we got to see a great battle.

Rain has been an issue for all 3 TV networks. They don't want people to change the channel & ignore the rain until the caution comes out.

Yet again, the same issues plague the coverage.

1) Jerry Punch loses his confidence & has to resort to using car numbers, stats, & repeating the same phrases "50 year old Mark Martin" "In case you have just joined our coverage".

2) Vince Welch chasing a fustrated Clint Bowyer. Everyonw knew that was only asking for trouble, yet the camera continued to follow him into the tunnel. Is ESPN here for racing or drama?

3) Why rush away from Bristol to go to Sports Center? It isn't like the race is going over another live sports event. I think people can wait and see the other 12 Sports Center replays that are coming up.

BryanGA said...

After tonight's race I know more about Golden Corral's new special than I do about the action on the track. Enough with the excessive commercials! ESPN and the media in general need to focus more on the race itself instead of the drama about who will be in or out of the fabricated Chase. The drama is about Mark and Kyle battling for the lead, Jimmie and Dale charging to the front after falling behind, among other things. ESPN can't even get their facts straight regarding first time winners at Bristol. It mentioned KYLE Busch won his first race there in the spring of 2002. I know ESPN was in between stints of covering NASCAR in 2002 but KURT Busch won the Spring 2002 race at Bristol. Kyle was still busy being rejected for junior prom dates at the time.

peggyann said...

The thing that bothered me most about the entire weekend was how pathetic the ESPN pit reporters were, with the exception of Dave Burns, the only professional in the group. What can you expect from people so ignorant of NASCAR, e.g., Vince Welch's comments about points for the pole and Jamie Little seemingly unaware of track changes at Bristol. (Jamie was pretty bad as a judge on Iron Chef America, too.) I have to give NASCAR drivers credit for not calling the reporters the dummies that they are.

Steve L. said...

"This is an opportunity for you to offer an opinion on how you enjoyed the ESPN telecast of the night race from Bristol, TN."

Sorry, but I didn't enjoy this telecast. This was a very poor excuse for a telecast of one of the most exciting NASCAR race tracks on the circuit.

Chase, chase, chase. Points, points, points. That's all we heard the entire evening. No call of the race itself, just car numbers and "if the race ended now points stuff."

Also, if fans plan on watching a 500 lap race at Bristol, we usually don't wait to start watching an hour or two AFTER the race starts. Hence the "If you're just joining us" stupid comment from Mr. Punch we get every half hour.

Cars came from the back of the field all night that we had no idea where they came from or how they got there. We also saw cars fall off the front of the field and never found out what happened to them.

I was lost from the beginning to the end of this race as to where cars were running on the track. It is up to the announcers to let us fans know where cars are running and we were again let down by the booth.

Thanks ESPN, you ruined my favorite race of the year so I'm off to to go see where my favorite driver finished in the race. Something you should let me know before leaving the air but you never do.

Just plain painful, the entire coverage of the race.

Karen said...

peggyann, still wondering how she got that gig on Iron Chef. Didn't contribute much.

James Crooks said...

I don't have anything to say much other than what I've said before here. ESPN brought us a race. They showed the start and the finish, and some of the racing in between.

I understand the fact that it's just too expensive to pay for the rights for all the music played introducing drivers. We got to see some of that at Indy, but I'm sure that was all prearranged anyway.

The camera angles from some of the in car shots were pretty wild, but didn't give me much in the way of knowing what was going on in the race, except the one car we could see in the shot. Nice try, ESPN, you deserve credit for some innovation, but as a fan, I'd rather see wide shots of more than just one or two cars.

I thought ESPN did make an effort to locate and show interesting racing back in the field tonight though. I'll give ESPN and A for effort at least.

I still get irked when I find out that cars are in the garage, and I have to go to other sources to find out why though. Thank goodness for the many folks on Twitter who take the time to keep us informed.

Personally, I think I actually prefer ESPN's coverage to what FOX provides. Digger kind of did it for me, like many people. I used to rank FOX ahead of everyone, but now I put them dead last, with ESPN being second best, and TNT's coverage being the best, especially after TNT put Ralph Sheheen in the booth with Wally and Kyle.

I wouldn't see Kyle Petty teamed up with Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree though. It won't happen, but I can dream. LOL. I don't think I'd even care if there was a play by play guy in the booth if you put those three together.

But that's just me.

Mark said...

@ anon 11:28,

And it was also on his birthday which wasn't mentioned.

anyway nothing else to say it's so bad except for the fact that highlighting in yellow Harvick, Lo gano, Jr, and Ambrose among others as "on the bubble" was rididculous. if they're going to do that it should be a 161 point(the most you can gain in a race) limit behind 12th

Anonymous said...

Things I learned, repeatedly, from Jerry Punch:

-Mark Martin is 50 years old. (I actually though his first name WAS "Fifty-year-old" for a while).

-Marcos Ambrose is NOT just a roadracer, despite the fact that he's proven this several times this season.

-Cars still "sail into the corner."

-It is important to say, "If you're just joining us," several times during a race, because, I guess, simply explaining what's happening is not enough.

-Martin Truex, Jr is in the 1 car.

-Greg Biffle is in the 16 car.

-and so on, for the rest of the field.

ESPN's clearly oversold these races, and goes to breaks whenever Jerry runs out of things to say, or, possibly, when the (apparently) 20-year-old Producer gets bored.

By the way, did you hear Punch say the Busch's last Cup win was at Vegas (which was in March)?

Finally, I know racing very well. But I can't tell who-did-what-to-whom if all you're showing me is the bumpercam shots when a wreck happens.

Anonymous said...

ESPN I think just tries to annoy people with their coverage of each race. They need to back to the archives and look at how Diamond P Sports does races. My favorite racetrack Talladega will be coming up soon (Nov.1) and I can't even imagine how ESPN will mess up this one considering this same track had the race of the year earlier this year.

Anonymous said...

I note that ESPN calls out the "start and park" cars in its coverage of the NNS, but never, ever in the Cup series.

Why is this?

philgoodstory said...

JD -- your question is, in its very nature, a paradox. Asking anyone to describe how they "enjoyed ESPN's coverage" is a proposition as impossible and mind-boggling as figuring out how a professional television network can put together such a piss-poor telecast that so horribly misses the mark on every level and yet still consider itself "the worldwide leader in sports." No criticism anyone can offer here can effectively express how awful that telecast was. No solution anyone can offer here can be nearly as reasonable and promising as ESPN just scrapping nearly everything it's doing and just starting from scratch.
If I didn't have's Trackpass, I'd be hopelessly lost on who was where and what was happening with my favorite driver. I've been a hardcore NASCAR fan virtually my entire life and being unable to see even one lap of any race drives me nuts. But things are now to the point that I'd rather miss seeing a race entirely if the alternative is just watching it on ESPN with no Trackpass. It's just that awful. And that is sad.
I mean, this crap makes me miss NBC's telecasts -- and that is saying something.
ESPN should have to forfeit the rest of its deal for "actions detrimental to stock car racing." Because in my mind, not even the much-maligned COT or the self-righteous Bill Weber make watching the racing as unbearable as an ESPN telecast.
You don't have to look it up because I already did.

Anonymous said...

Waltrip had a great run until the wreck in the last 8 laps. He ran in the top 20 all night and a lot of that time, right around 12th. That's after starting, what, 37th?

But the only time we heard about the run was when they did the through the field and got to his car.

We apparently only "give a call" now to Chase drivers when they do well, huh, Jerry?

Anonymous said...

@anon 11:43,

"If you're just joining us" works just fine on radio, but it's totally wrong for TV.

If a race is compelling enough and TV is presenting it well, fans will stick around a while.

Just my opinion...

Anonymous said...

I understand the fact that it's just too expensive to pay for the rights for all the music played introducing drivers.

Not an issue. The rights fees for the music used in this case would a be minuscule fraction of the production costs.

The problem was, ESPN would have had to show the intros for 20 minutes instead of their highly-paid talking heads.

THAT, they won't do.

Anonymous said...

Steve L.,
I followed the crawl on top of the screen that had the full results. It was something to divert my attention from the crap I witnessed in the post-race coverage.

bevo said...

On the plus side we had more input from the pit reporters during the race. On the negative side it was often uninformative or irrelevant. I think it is time to replace all of them with reporters who do their homework and build relationships with crew chiefs and drivers in order to provide us with insight during a race.

The direction and production are an ongoing problem. Show the racing, and no, in-car cameras don't count. Cool it with all of the graphics and color codes, it's counterproductive and annoying.

As for the announcers. DJ is trying his best to rescue the crew but it's too much for one man. AP after being a huge surprise in his debut season seems to be overwhelmed in the last couple of races. The malaise that JP exudes has infested all of the on-air talent. There is no passion, excitement or joy in the air when he comes on. It's sad that ESPN has through their unwillingness to correct the problem ensured that Dr. Punch's legacy will be as the worst play by play announcer in the history of televised motorsports and not as the best pit reporter. Todd Harris breathes a sigh of relief.

It's amazing how the powers at ESPN turned a night race at Bristol into a snoozefest. That takes real determination and a eye-of-the-tiger focus that so few of us can ever aspire to. But give them credit where credit is due - they got every ad in no matter the obstacles put up by the racing. The Ad Reps and bookkeepers at the WWL must be partying like there is no tomorrow... except there is another chance to put on an extended commercial next weekend. Take a bow folks! Never let a sporting event get in the way of a commercial.

jane said...

I'll have to admit, I was really excited to watch the night race at Bristol. Unfortunately, I fell asleep at some point. I don't know if it's because I had a long day or because the broadcast was making me sleepy.

Either way, there were a few things that were never clarified. How did the 48 end up in the back of the pack? Was it a penalty? I couldn't tell if I missed something or if it was never mentioned. At one point there was a shot of the bottom panel of the 1 car. I still have no idea what that shot was about. I believe Truex Jr. was about to pass a car, but how could anyone tell from that angle? And it wasn't a wheel shot of a glowing tire.

On another note, I'll probably be cutting cable TV sometime next year. On the one hand, I'll miss the TNT broadcast, but I doubt I'll miss the espn broadcast. There seems to be plenty of other places I can get nascar info and that's just fine with me.

Unknown said...

First thing, ESPN did explain how Johnson lost all the spots in the pits. They did show the replay of the trouble they had on the particular pit stop where he lost the positions.

Secondly, and I know that I will get attacked for this, I think that DJ called the Blaney situation correctly. I am not under the delusion that Blaney would have lasted past the first fuel run. I know what the situation is. But, he was loose, which caused him to go up high. When he was up there, the 20 got into him, in Dave's words, "like he wasn't even there." But hey, why find out what was going on since he is a S&P car?

I'm sure that Gatorade is happy that they are spending all that money to sponsor Victory Lane only to have ESPN sell the rights too.

Other that that, I used other sources for my information and only looked up to see replays when there were incidents. I do that no matter who is broadcasting and I am watching live.

Anonymous said...

Did you notice it was "Degree V12 Victory Circle?"

Talk about ridiculous!

kang said...

They could have told us the wave around cars.Other than the 14 I never heard any others.This info is as important as the lucky dog.We could have found this info on our own with the time interval.That was not to be as the interval is a sometime thing on ESPN this time of year.Here we go with another edition of "if the race ended now here are the points" nonsense.How I wish this crowd (ESPN) would just go away.

Daly Planet Editor said...


First of all, no one gets attacked here...I see to that.

We have many female fans and also a large cross-section of people from all walks of life. Tha's what makes it fun.

I appreciate your view on the Blaney incident. What we were referencing is an on-going issue about the TV networks choosing to pretend that start-and-park cars do not exist.

Punch called the S&P cars in the Nationwide race on Friday, but pretended everything was fine on Saturday with the Cup Series.

When S&P teams get up front on short tracks, things happen like this. I hate to see a good driver like Dave have to park, but I understand the economic reality the team is dealing with.

Thanks again for the comment.


Dot said...

@ SalB & Buschseries61, ditto.

The colored ticker is what irked me tonight. Before tonight's race, any driver beyond 16th would not make the Chase. Why would they show drivers back to 25th ish? Then when they showed the points at the end, they stopped at Reut in 16th. Manufactured drama.

It's really all about Weed & Vickers now getting into the Chase. I just told you next week's script.

Anonymous said...

That Vince-guy uses the term
"pit lane"'s PIT ROAD in NASCAR. This isn't the IRL...I've heard this from other
"ESpinthestoryline,nevermind the racing" reporters as well...very annoying...ok, so I'm picky.


Jonathan from the SouthSide of Chicago (Alsip,IL) said...

Well Bristol is over and well what can I say? out of 5 stars I give this race a 2. To me the pre race show started of banging with all the hype but man did we see the same ol same ol from ESPN. SOMEONE please wake these people up!!!! Why oh why isnt Andy Reid in the booth? And why do we have to hear non stop rambling of the chase, the chase, the chase???? Hey a we have A RACE in front of us please call that first. Its a shame oh well. oh yeah and whats the deal with these bumper cams? I felt a lil sick for a sec there, and wondered nah cant be all the Budweisers, has to be the bumper cam. I hate K Busch but I enjoyed his post race interview... Seemed like a breath of fresh air after hearing him whine so much the past couple of weeks. Hope everyone enyjoed the race and the rest of the weekend. i will be at Chicago for the truck race on Friday should be fun. Country music time 4 me :)

Daly Planet Editor said...

Marty Reid, but we love the enthusiasm!

Jonathan from Alsip IL said...

yeah Marty, my bad not thinking lol! Thanks for that. Btw just wanted to say thanks for such a great sight just happend to find you guys a few weeks back and loving it. Thanks I appreciate it very much. NASCAR Nation all the way!

Haus14 said...

I simply have one suggestion for the empty suits at ESPN. Go back and watch two different segments of this race and then watch the same segments with the audio from the radio instead of the tv. Compare and contrast them and I think you will see why there is so much frustration with the fans.

The first segment would be the battle between Jimmie Johnson and Mark Martin for the lead in traffic. You will notice two things about that 30 second or so clip that you have. One, the radio guys were beside themselves with excitement and two, you guys went to COMMERCIAL! Second, compare the last restart and the battle between Mark Martin and Kyle Busch. You will notice that once again the radio guys are about to lose a lung and you have the color guy doing PxP while the PxP guy just stands and stares. Those two examples are in a nutshell the problem ESPN has. Too many commercials at all the wrong times and a PxP guy that acts as if he is calling a funeral processional. There are certainly other issues that need to be fixed, but if those two were corrected, it would go a long way in improving ESPN's coverage of this sport.

Sophia said...

Same gripes. Lack of booth info stank so I turned on radio 5 minutes in due to in car cams. ENTIRE Camera work STANK.

How bad did it stink? My cats shoved their litter boxes into back rooms far out of ear shot of the tv so they didnt add to the stink from ESPN!

re: song rights, I just remembered something. A few years back when I still watched an ABC soap, a song on a SOAP OPERA during the day they played original music. Then on the SAME SOAP at night time SOAPNET, also owned by Disney, would use "generic music" for the same scenes. it was either a copyright thing between major networks or how OFTEN they could use the song. I remember this KILLED a scene where they used Judy Collins AMAZING GRACE on ABC and some cheap, generic filler on SOAPNET..this was a few years back.

I wonder if this race had been on ABC NETWORK as opposed to ESPN a cable station, if we might have seen the Drivers Intro show with the songs? This rights stuff is complicated but also ludicrous.

We read about all these drivers picking their OWN stuff KNOWING it would not be shown to us LIVE on tv. Yes songwriters deserve their fees but for 30 second snippets the laws must ease up. It really is a buzzkill.

The focus on the POINTS and the color coded crawl..are you kidding me? What's gonna happen during the LAST 10 races? I hate the Chase already. BSPN YAPS about it as soon as they take over from TNT.

I loved the idea of Double File Restarts but they are lost on the viewers at home due to the ubiquitous in car/roof cam/bumper cam that is now HALF the race. sickening.


Enigma. YES! New nick name for ESPN. Enigma Sports Programming Network. It's a mystery what track we are watching?! Can't tell by the directors from the booth and the tight shots/car cams.

I know somewhere some guy in charge of this is reading this blog GIGGLING his head off at our aggravation. :(

Cynical Sophia

peggyann said...

Anon 11:59. can't agree with you about the music costs. I'm a musician, and the Music Police have become most unreasonable.

Sophia said...

p.s. when radio went to commercial I turned ON ESPN to keep an ear out for info. of course there was nothing to be found.

Also I never did figure out why they never showed Hamlin and Jeff G bumping earlier in the race. It messed jeff up immediately and it was mentioned on PRN a good hour before I saw it being discussed on the blog (I was multi tasking at this point)

Also the Tony Stewart thing was kinda sorta explain on PRN but wasn't ever addressed on ESPN was it?

and a tiny quibble on the PRE RACE.

PLEASE show the fly over as long as possible and stop cutting short for driver hugs/kisses/drivers climbing in cars. I do enjoy the fly overs and find them camera worthy!

Haus14 said...

PxP options...Ralph Shaheen, Rick Allen, Mike Joy or one of the radio guys...basically, anyone but JP.

Unfortunately, I am not a real big fan of Marty Reid and I do not think DJ is ready any time soon either.

It is simply mind boggling to hear the obvious difference in excitement, enthusiasm and interest in the sport when you compare any of the other PxP guys to JP. As I along with others have said before, he is one of the best pit road reporters, but that doesn't necessarily translate into a good PxP guy. Put him on pit road and let him shine. He could replace both of the pit road barbies with no problem.

Jack from PA said...

I don't mean to copy some other posters on here when I do this, but I think it's hilarious. Every Tuesday I hope when NASCAR hands out penalties that they void ESPN's coverage deal due to "actions detrimental to stock car racing."

The pre-race show, while well done, hyped the race as if it was to be run on the old 36-degree banked Bristol, not this new surface with the progressive banking. With this, and knowing ESPN's constant hyping of accidents were not too surprising to me.

I don't know if it's me, but I thought the race started out pretty well, one of ESPN's best races (at least from the beginning). Double boxes were used to highlight some key battles, albeit they had to do with Chase bubble drivers and not just some good wads of cars racing for position. Nevertheless, it was enjoyable to see ESPN showing racing. A new concept?

I also felt like they were using wide shots in the first 100 or so laps. They got my hopes up. Even JP seemed to be up on the mic for this one.

But then, like every ESPN broadcast since their return, the wheels just fell off. The bumper shots were overused, JP ran out of gas, and the pit reporters did their thing, which is nothing productive.

I'm pretty anti-Kyle Busch, but I enjoyed his interview. Very genuine in my opinion. Maybe Brian Vickers' comments struck a chord with him and he will act more like his age. We can only hope.

Speaking of hope, lets hope that on Tuesday NASCAR comes out with a press release voiding their deal with ESPN and their Cup coverage.

Sophia said...


ok..due to your post, I am coming out of the closet.

I am not a big fan of Marty Reid or the CURRENT Dj either in the booth. But DJ has his hands full with the situation he is in. I say start with AB and maybe he would help DJ be need somebody with more cadence to his voice to balance DJ's quiet tone..and 3rd person...I am clueless. NO Rusty.

I am too tired to think of third person

Sophia said...


Love your dream of ESPN's contract being VOIDED.

From your words to God's ear to the late France's to reach down and smack BF for what he's allowed to happen to the sport. (Might as well dream big :) )

Unknown said...

dr. jerry punch, im pretty sure i know the bristol motor speedway is in tennessee, and not in connecticut next to ESPN headquarters. please, do not mention its in TENNESSEE every time you come back from commercial(which is alot). i wish the producers would "accidentally" mute his microphone for a whole race. or i should have a feature on my directv controller, "mute commentator" and i can highlight Punch, Jerry

Sophia said...

sorry for another post but THAT's Racin has article on Tony Stewarts' Twilight Zone night.

PRN guys got it wrong..there was a SHORT in a wire in the system. PRN led us to believe it was strictly a wrong radio frequency.

WOW. Wonder if the MRN guys would've gotten the story straight..or did That's Racin?

you can find the link at the site or on Twitter.

Tgro said...

I know stick and ball sports have time outs and a few have halftimes, but how is it that Football, Baseball, Basketball and Hockey can be shown without missing a single play the entire game while Nascar and ESPN cannot stop keeping us away from the race? I'm fairly certain we are missing at least a third of the green flag racing action at the very least if not more.

Again, I know those other sports have moments where nothing is happening. But why is it Nascar can show us cars going around the track for 5 laps under caution and go to commercial when the action gets under way under green? Why can we have an in-car reporter and crew chief tell us the obvious to the same stupid question week in and week out and then go to commercial when the drivers take another green flag?

Starting around lap 200 I was becoming so annoyed with how many commercials ESPN was showing that I began tracking how long it was before they went back. Throughout the rest of the night they typically went back to the next commercial within 17 laps, sometimes sooner! Now I know 17 laps sounds like a bit but when you remember a lap at Bristol is roughly 15 seconds long, you start noticing that ESPN had us going through commercials every 4-5 minutes!!!!

And so often, just when the action was just starting to get good. I could see a gaggle of cars racing around each other and then suddenly I had that same McDonalds Angus Burger spinning in front of me for the 15th time that night! How many times must we see the same commercials???!!!

I figured by the end they would stick with the racing and give us that last run of drama to the finish! You would think with any sport. Nope! With the drama at its peak and fresh off a restart, these tools at ESPN went to commercial with 28 laps to go!!! When you do the math, if the race stays green, thats 7 minutes left in the race! But did it stay green?? No!!!

We come back from once again seeing a spinning hamburger to seeing a car sitting on the track and the yellow out and yet another missed crash and opportunity to see it live! We then get a quick replay of what happened and its back to the spinning hamburger!!!

ESPN uses every excuse they can find to go to commercial. And instead of running off with the cars circling the track under yellow, its always just when the racing is getting good under green. I don't watch racing to see pit stops and cars circling the track under yellow. I watch to see the racing!!!

This doesn't even take into account how completely horrible ESPN is at calling the race. As bad as this season has been for them and it has been, You would think Bristol would make the excitement easy for the crew call. Bristol is typically one of the most exciting races of the season and the race would unfold the story itself! But no, they actually found ways to make Bristol just another humdrum event as the rest of their broadcasts. They made it as exciting as Pocono.

Im convinced this will not get any better for the rest of the season as long as this crew stays together. Without a major shakeup in both crew and front office, I think ESPN, Nascar and the endless stream of commercials will destroy racing just as much as Steroids has affected Baseball's Record Books.

If Nascar doesn't watch it....The impact will soon be irreversible.

Jimbacca said...

As put above the start of the race was good.
Some items that I did like
Many wide shots at the start.
Many times just the top ticker.
Back from break no ticker at all just the race.

Now the w..'s
Complete confusion in the booth when incidents happen was pretty shocking. No clue on Harvick until a few minutes later. No clue on many incidents early on even after replays.

Bumper cams are for what? Wow thats a 'toyota' sitting inches from a bumper.

Blaney was a shame. Considering they run almost no track staff how would they have fixed the damage. So calling that a SP today is kind of a stretch. Because for once he did have alot of damage.

the commercial breaks were plentiful BUT they were shorter. Usually I have to push forward 5 times to get through a break these were usually just 3.

Cutting away from a battle for the lead to go to commercial. Really? That does showcase what I have said before. They take race breaks from commercials. Because how is a commercial more important than a lead change?

Did you know there's some thing called a chase coming up? Wonder what that thing is because there are some people trying to get in it and it must be super important because they got alot of coverage.

I was trying to stay positive about the race. Some of the early comments I read were feeding into the stealth anon posters talking about how everyone is negative. But in reality the posters don't dictate the car crash that has become the espn race coverage.

Even with the highly questionable coverage I would still take it over fox. TnT just ruins it for everyone else.

End of the day its simple
It's a short track really people it is.

Charlie said...

Espn was able to make Bristol boring.

Glenn said...

Here is a post from Febuary. It was how I felt about ESPN then, and it is how I feel about them now. I have tried to listen to them but most of them don't have a clue, and all they seem to do is try to stir the pot and see who they can upset.

AMS fan said...
The only time I've turned my tv to ESPN was for last weeks race and now this week. Thanks to my daughter's Christmas present to me I don't have to listen to ESPN anymore. Those people will not make me mad this year. Even if they don't even show a race I'll still be ok, I'll just have to listen on radio.
Thanks again for posting JD. Even if no one pays attention it's great to have an outlet for our frustrations.

February 21, 2009 7:30 PM

JD was kind enough to respond to me with:
Daly Planet Editor said...

I like a lot of the things ESPN changed over the off-season.

This race is interesting to me because it is the first real in-season race test for Jerry Punch.

This is not Daytona, does not have the hype and is not going to have a big crowd.

How Punch leads the team will help to show fans is change has come to that position.

When you look around at almost all the other announcers, ESPN has a very promising season on tap.


The only conclusion I can come to is someone at ESPN has promised to make this another season of frustration for the fans and do what they can to ruin NASCAR.

Anonymous said...

Ditto to all the criticisms above! Every week it's lather, rinse, repeat. Sadly as mentioned we could use the same comments every week, just change the name of the track.

The same complaints are said every week! I don't get why TPTB can't see this!

It's truly a shame that we have to multi-task to find out what's going on.

Why do some people have to be mentioned by age? Why can't Mark just be Mark why does he have to be 50 year old Mark Martin EVERY.SINGLE.MENTION!

He's never "I'm 56 year old Dr. Jerry Punch here with 53 year old Dale Jarrett and 51 year old Andy Petree..."

Very disappointing

Anonymous said...

I always enjoy the racing at Bristol. The Espn coverage was predictable with the truck incapable of finding the action on the track in a timely manner. DJ excelled as usual. AP is occaisonally very good but too often is politically correct when it involves blacing blame. Dave Burns is the unsung hero in the pits. Shannon and Jamie I'm sure are just wonderful people, but the consistent gaffes never fail to amuse. But that seems to be OK with Espn. My jaw dropped when I saw that Manske got the nod to interview the President! Kyle and Mark were two class acts last night with Junior also having a much needed good night. I don't expect anything to change for the rest of the season.

Bobby said...

The break with 20 to go was the dreaded local cable systems' "hard break" that was there. As soon as ESPN broke away, the local TWC-Midlands (SC) went to local commercials.

The "hard break" would have been a disaster if it struck in the final four minutes (16 laps at Bristol, ten laps at most intermediates), as ITV (UK, the network that gave us Millionaire and Idols) learned in 2005 at the Gran Premio Foster's di San Marino (Imola, Italy) F1 race where M. Schumacher and Alonso were in a spirited battle. They cut to a break with three laps to go on the 3.065 mile track (which takes about 82 seconds to make a lap). Coverage resumed in the middle of the final lap, and complaints flew.

With just one more cable race (Atlanta) on the schedule, what would happen if a "hard break" took place during the final laps?

Billie Jo said...

Please, someone make my day and tell me we don't have to endure ESPN's coverage much longer? And can someone please tell me why Junior went from 3rd to 9th on the last lap -- never saw anyone other than KB and MM finishing the race. If I were a casual fan ESPN's coverage or non-coverage would turn me away --- too boring.

Cooter said...

Count me in the multitude who dislike "Digger" in a big way. His counterpart on Speed is Rutledge Wood, supposed to be funny but isn't. Racing doesn't need "comic relief." Which brings me to Jerry "if you're just joining our coverage" Punch. Maybe ESPN should be sending Rolaids to viewers. We certainly need some relief!

Anonymous said...

some assorted comments

JP saying about halfway that Boywer was out of the chase and Jarrett jumping in and reminding that there are still two races.

The "If you are just joining us" comment - and then NOTHING of substance.

The 14 yellow light coming on. I batched last 50 laps Sun AM and knew about the problems before I went to sleep. re-watching the coverage the in-car from 14 showed the yellow lights coming on and off. Why couln't ESPN showed and have Brewer explain that one?

The 14 radio problem. All you got from network was they thre a radio at him and told him to hook it up. No mention of a short.

The 48 left rear tire issue. TV had Chad clearly telling Jimmy to come in and we will give you a new tire buy yet booth was surprised. Brad really calling out 48 team which actually wasnt so bad.

Pit reporters are useless and ask such dumb questions. may have this wrong but S Spake and believe J Little asking crew chiefs what will they do to get the win. Is this a sport or WWF or bull riding. ITS A SPORT ALREADY.

another one from Punch - Full contact racing. Another scripted comment?

watching replay of SC after race and SC making fun of M Martin and his jockey remark. Would they say this about a real jockey?

It just seems that ESPN does not treat NASCAR as a sport but an entertainment programming like bowling or poker.

Does ESPN have ANY pit producers?
4 pit reporters have either 10 or 11 drivers to cover and I hope they have a staff t5hat passes info to them. How difficult can it be for the staffers to get info to pit reporter to booth. With ESPN apparently it is very difficult. Maybe drivers do not cooperate but there are other ways. Did we see any interviews from the infield care center.

Did we ever get an interview with T Stewart or an explanation of why not?

Seems like booth was watching monitors more than actual racing even though they can see whole race from booth. Exception was Jarrett who sometimes called wrecks off monitor.

A very dismal production on Sat night. JD still laughing about the Kenny Mayne whats a yellow flag for comment.

more later

50 yr. fan. said...

Na$car should dictate that the
networks show the last 5% of the
race without commercials unless there is a caution.

I think BSPN shoud get a blind man
to direct. The odds would be
better on getting some good high &
wide shots, in lieu of the in-car/
bumper ads.

Anonymous said...

went back and read twitts from race. Did anyone else know it was raining moderately during the red flag?

Do not remember booth mentioning other that light rain falling.

3KillerBs said...

The root cause of ESPN's lousy race broadcasts is that their people simply do not know how to watch a race.

Marcos Ambrose suddenly appeared in the top 5, challenging for a possible win. Where did he come from? He must have made some terrific passes along the way but we never saw them. The appearance of a driver coming from behind should never be a surprise because his charge forward should be covered.

We saw every wreck and contact incident in retrospect on replay. While I would absolutely love to slug digger with a sledgehammer, Fox provides superior race coverage because their people know racing well enough to know where action is going to happen and thus they catch it live.

And come off it on the "bump the leader" nonsense. You were talking about Mark Martin, not Robby Gordon. He and Kyle Busch have a well-established history -- a history of profound respect for each other. Remember Mark hugging Kyle after the race in Dover during Kyle's rookie year?

When are ESPN's people going learn to watch the RACE and anticipate the action so that they can reveal it as it happens instead of either reacting after the fact or trying to manufacture it in the wrong place?

Adam said...

Sounds like I did not miss much except for another ESPN train wreck of coverage.

I don't get the constant commercials and 20 to go with a commercial break on green. Unacceptable.

Anonymous said...

I disliked the bubble divers listed in yellow.The only way jr.could be one of them is if everybody ahead of him become start and park drivers.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Awesome comments. Keep them coming.

GreenMeansGo said...

NASCAR called a townhall meeting with the drivers and owners. It's time for the NASCAR
TV audience to call it's own townhall meeting.

Every member of the NASCAR team (NASCAR officials, team owners, sponsors, reporters, etc.)
should be forced to watch a complete replay of the race immediately after. Let them compare
what they saw just at the track to what we saw in front of our TV's. Then I dare them to tell
me that the TV coverage was acceptable!

I haven't been to many races, but when I have, I've gone home and watched the same race on
DVR - and I swear it's like watching a completely different race.

If NASCAR wants to gain new viewers and keep long time fans, something needs to be done
to the TV coverage.

Unfortunately, I was without internet access yesterday so I was left with only TV coverage
for the Bristol race and I fell asleep! Imagine that, it's "BRISTOL BABY" and I fell

James Crooks said...

Compared to the F1 race I just watched, Bristol ruled.

TV coverage for the F1 race was probably better though, but it was covered by SPEED, not ESPN. Bob Varsha, David Hobbs and the others do a good job on SPEED's coverage of the F1 races.

Too bad there's not much real racing in F1.

GinaV24 said...

The race itself might actually have been exciting, but who could tell from that broadcast. Same problems that have been going on for ESPN since last season have carried over into this one, too. Jerry Punch is NOT a PXP guy, all the fans know it, ESPN just "knows best". DJ is a nice guy and I like him, but he's going to have to step up and state the facts, not just be "polite" and ignore issues that the fans already know just because they make ESPN and NASCAR uncomfortable.

How in the world can ESPN have people as pit reporters who are obviously unaware of what the heck is going on -- actually I would have liked to see Clint give Vince a slap up the side of his head for asking idiot questions.

Yes, the track is different so the "bristol style" no longer applies and ESPN needs to get over it and stop using replays from irrelevant things.

I started out watching the race and then quickly lost interest because of the bad camera work, commercials every 30 seconds and the booth being "lost" so much. I went to following the race via computer, twitter for heavens sakes, this blog, and the radio (even though I don't particularly like PRN, my preference is MRN) instead, so I was flipping back and forth. Ratings, well, I don't know what they will be this week, but I know that I can't possibly sit through an entire broadcast with ESPN at the controls.

rich said...

The blame for this highly disappointing broadcast (even if all that I saw was the video portion, my doctor has advised that prolonged exposure to monotone PXP will cause brain damage) starts at the top. Someone in charge of this mess has no idea what good race coverage should look like. Maybe their ego is so big that they think they are doing it better. Hello...Earth to ain't working.
Brian France needs to convene an emergency meeting of the minds.

Anonymous said...

Had to laugh at the one bumper-cam shot last night that showed nothing but empty track. Pretty indictative of the lack of good direction on the race coverage.

I am wondering if the announcers ever look at the track itself or just at the monitors. Is this different from the broadcasters on TNT or SPEED or Fox? Sometimes the ESPN folks seem to be clueless as to what has happened on track. How does SPEED do such a good job and ESPN get it so wrong?

philgoodstory said...

I'm going to have to have a second go at commenting after watching this morning's F1 race. In my opinion, the best commentary team in the business is SPEED's four-man F1 team -- and three of them are watching the racing on monitors from Charlotte half a world away from the racing, with no control over the pictures we see! And yet, they always do a better job keeping viewers updated on race strategy, racing action and what happens in the paddock.
Sure, the racing isn't always all that exciting -- but Bob, Steve, David and Peter do a tremendous job building up what suspense they can. And they all have such a deep and rich knowledge of the sport and do such a great job conveying that to viewers and educating fans -- and they do it all without an infield tech center or talking down to viewers. Hell, you NEVER even see Bob, David and Steve on camera.

And that's what separates SPEED's F1 coverage from any of the NASCAR networks -- particularly ESPN. SPEED takes a backseat to the racing. The racing IS the show. They show us the racing, they let us hear the racing and they inform us on the ins and outs of what's going on.

On ESPN, FOX and TNT (in descending order), the network is the show and the racing is just what gives them an excuse to get on the air and show off their graphics and gizmos that do nothing to add to or compliment the racing.

ESPN will sometimes have a dozen or so on-air "talent" (used loosely) working one race. Completely unnecessary. Too many cooks in the kitchen. All it does is bog down the pacing of the telecast whilst making sure everyone gets their face time (even as half of them blather about things they don't understand).

Let's get back to basics -- much like the ESPN of old or the FOX NASCAR booth and SPEED F1 booth of present day.

The racing is what we care about and that's what we want to see -- if the networks can get out of the way and let us see it.

dara2K said...

This Bristol night race is usually my favorite race of the year even surpassing Daytona, Talladega or any other. However, the racing at Bristol was extremely pathetic. The track "enhancements" and the COT HAVE RUINED BRISTOL!!! The lousy racing was secondary only to ESPN NOT COVERING THE DRIVER INTRODUCTIONS! What was ESPN thinking?? ESPN makes enough off the EXCLUSIVE rights to this programming to spring for some 30-second music clips from years ago! If ESPN and Nascar want to know why ratings are sinking, read this post over and over!!! I am a very sad fan today...disappointed...very disappointed

Anonymous said...

Best broadcast of the year so far, I think. Far better than the spring Bristol race. I'm happy to have professionals in the booth, rather than that loudmouth DW. This even surpasses the truck race on wednesday.

dara2K said...

...And another thing...If I hear ESPN "pit Reporter" Jamie Little ask one more "How did that make you feel?..." question, I'm gonna puke! ESPN, GET A CLUE! Pathetic coverage of a pathetic race! Man up and ask Jeff Gordon about his back...Let's shake it up a little! PLEASE!!

brad said...

Anon 11:56
Could you give us a few details as to why you think this was the broadcast of the year. Not arguing just curious!

The Loose Wheel said...

A quality Bristol race, muddied up by ESPN of course.

I have not been a fan of the starts the last two days. Mainly because the energy level was so down that I actually about missed both green flag drops. Though credit where due they were better Saturday then they were Friday.

I can say this repeatedly about JP but clearly it's fallen on deaf ears at ESPN. He just is not a play by play guy. Don't know what else to day about it. Its dragging DJ and AP down now too.

Production was hit and miss. The cuts early were rough and disjointed but improved through segments of the race. Saw some great stuff happening at times and even got a double split of action which beat what happened Friday. However, action and cars were ignored. Gilliland spent most of the first half of the race in the top 15: Never got a mention. Terry Labonte ran the entire first half of the race before a rear axle failure: never got a mention. Mikey had an a terrific race going in that #55 and ESPN completely blew it off except for a mention or two when they had pretty much thrown the race away by trying to stay out.

Disagree with someone's call of Dave Blaney causing that deal with Joey. Dave was up as high as he could be and Joey ran out of room. However, a discussion before they got going that the #66 had no sponsorship and would probably be an unlikely candidate to run the entire race and should probably be an eventful car to pass early should have been given. Never seen such little attention given to a car that qualified 4th in my lifetime. Even Scott Speed got blown off. Blaney's qualifying effort and early exit even warranted an interview after they dropped out too, but far be it from ESPN to do what is necessary and get the work done. A two-time champion Terry Labonte falls out, not a mention or an interview. Shame on ESPN. They are NOT a start-and-park team.

Back to when the cameras found action, was it just me or did the commentary not really match the action at times?

Brewer = useless.

Commercials = overkill.

Jamie Little = find a new line of work. She had probably her WORST weekend of the season.

Aside from Dave Burns at this point I would probably revamp their entire pit road reporting staff. It was a mess all weekend.

Just another wash-rinse-repeat day.

There were small steps made by the production truck from Friday including a finish line camera, but that gets thrown away at a track like Bristol which has several lapped cars when you fail to go through final finishing order after the race (i never heard or saw JP or anyone go through the final finishing order. The ticker does NOT cut it in my book.)

Worst weekend of post-race interviews ever.

I am so close to just being done with ESPN for the season its not even funny. May just throw the TV on at Atlanta, put it on mute, have PRN turned up with some trackpass going and call it a season. I'll take PBP that is great and 20 seconds behind over anything that is live and a complete joke.

peggyann said...

Hope the Troll Anon 11:56 doesn't get seasick...

Daly Planet Editor said...

brad, we have a rule here that translates as "don't feed the trolls."

Some folks can't comment on the topic, so they try to disrupt the conversation.

One read of these comments from NASCAR fans all over the nation tell the tail.

The only question left to discuss is...what can fans do about this?


The Loose Wheel said...

I dont think the COT has anything to do with the racing at Bristol. The NW race looked exactly the same. Love the new configuration personally. Single groove racetrack = no thanks.

Anonymous said...

those that thought it was the best broadcast of the year - perhaps some specifics on why you thought so.

Anonymous said...

btw - saying you DISLIKE DW doesn't make it a great broadcast. Tell us what you LIKED about ESPN's broadcast. Some positives cause we're all missing it.

Anonymous said...

Agree w/ the general consensus above.

ESPN Bristol night race coverage = Utterly Pathetic, yet Totally Expected with their p-poor 'track' record.

Speed's coverage of Wednesday's Modified race at the same track easily set the mark for racing coverage seen all year on ANY of the networks.

Production: Mike Joy given the slack to do real PxP, what he does best; add Dick Berggren and Bob Dillner. THREE commentators raised on the Modified series. Not twelve - THREE. And they 'only' started 39 cars!

Direction: The cameras showed us the Modified RACE, and a great one it was. Front-views (!), and the in-car was Spectacular given the design of the Modifieds.

The Modified race s/b must-see to show the ESPN asleep-at-the-wheel crew how to televise a race.

Last night's Cup race was yet another failure. Simply Awful.

ESPN = Every Sport Pathetic Network.

Tgro said...

I am curious as well what CAN we do to change this? I would be happy to complain to both ESPN and Nascar over and over if I felt it would help (I don't). But I'm still willing to do it anyway. Anyone have links where we can complain?

I feel madder today about how ESPN kept us away from the race and the coverage they provided when they actually was there than I did last night. Think about it....They destroyed the night race at Bristol! How can that EVER be acceptable? Is there any possibility that they'll do BETTER at lesser race tracks??? I seriously doubt it.

I hate feeling like I don't want to watch my favorite sport. But I'm getting there.

Lesley said...

Jamie Little? Vince Welch? Why are they even in the pits? Talk about not knowing what your talking about!!These two dont have a clue!!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, anyone who dares to disagree must be a troll, real classy. I liked the work of the pit reporters. I liked the infield studio. I liked how the commentators play off each other much better than any other networks team. Because of this, I must be a troll? So much for free thought.

Plus, ESPN even managed to cut away from a commercial for a restart. Overall, good job.

I don't see how anyone can complain about commercials. Would you like the alternative of PPV only races? Somebody has to pay for it.

The Loose Wheel said...

the pit reporters did a good job? jamie little said kyle's last win was at bristol in may?!

after addington corrected her the first time when she said the exact same thing on pit road!!!

Daly Planet Editor said...

It's got nothing to do with agreeing or disagreeing.

Trolls come and say things that make no sense and leave. They hope to move the comments over to their topic. That is their power.

I don't know the people who post here, everyone has a right to say what they want.

Even an entry-level NASCAR fan could see that ESPN completely shredded the TV on both the Friday and Saturday night races.

If this was baseball or football it would be all over the Internet, in the papers and on other TV networks.

Not NASCAR. Not a peep from what is left of the mainstream NASCAR media...all five of them.

Bob Margolis, Jerry Bonkowski and others would have been writing about this from the end of the broadcast.

Now, it's seems that it is just one "citizen journalist" and some fans who care.

Oh, and one troll. Nice work.


The Loose Wheel said...

JD, I miss David Poole even more now.

Pit Bull would have been all over this. Shame SPEED killed that show.

Anonymous said...

It's all been said many times -- it only continues to get worse. ESPN couldn't care less what gets posted to this and other boards. They don't respect the sport or knowlegable race fans. Went out with friends last night. Watched the worthwhile parts of the race in less than 90 minutes --mostly with the sound muted.

Anonymous said...

In addition to the normal foul ups in the booth, production truck, and the pits, one other incident really burned me. The post race interview Dave Burns had with Mark Martin when Burns asked why he(Mark) didn't bump Kyle out of the way since this was, after all, Bristol. You could just see the look in Mark's face. In my opinion, Dave is the best on pit road (compared to the bobble-heads) and handles the interviews professionally. This dumb question came right at the end of the interview and it was painfully obvious that it came through the headphones from the production tuck.

Anonymous said...

I strongly disagree. When I talk to my buddies about the races, already chatted with my brother, the subject of the broadcast itself hardly ever comes up. If it was as bad as you make it out to be, that would be the first thing mentioned. The fact is, its not. The race dominates as it should. There never is a word about the broadcast, with the glaring exception of digger in the Fox races.

The fact of the matter is the vast majority of NASCAR fans, and sports fans in general watch the race to see the race itself, they're not looking to see if DJP mispronounces a word, or the director switched to a different camera shot a moment before a wreck happened.

The Loose Wheel said...

In sports, you don't miss action 90% of the time occuring because all the players for the mostpart fit in a single shot. However, with NASCAR there are 43 cars and not everyone fits in a single shot. When you focus on moments of single file racing up front instead of finding a battle for positions throughout the (whether that be for 15th, 22nd, or 28th) you portray a race that is more "boring" than what is actually happening. So these people that go off and call the COT a junk race car and call the races boring are subjected to the images they see. Which, if are chosen poorly, reflect boring single file racing when that is more often not the case.

People talk about NASCAR naps, doing other things during the race, maybe they haven't reached the conclusion that the broadcast itself is to blame and not the race because that's what they are used to seeing. I'm not. I remember ESPN in 1998, 1999, and 2000. And I see it now. HUGE change in how they present a race and to me, its not for the better.

tom in dayton said...

"what can fans do about this...?"

Well, here is what this fan is doing over the balance of this season.

The TV is on but the sound is muted, as my feeds from MRN and PRN are giving me the information I want during the race and both before and after the race. Using at least two computers, I follow other details on two websites and monitor TDP.

Advertisers, take notice! You aren't reaching me on TV. I only see that they went to commercials but my attention span returns me to the computer screens and the radio audio, so if you're going to reach me, advertise on MRN or PRN!

FOX doesn't really bother me as there seems to be a meeting of the minds between production, direction and talent. TNT seems to have it down pat (which is remarkable after the 2007 season) - plus I loved the short animation of Racebuddy securing the manhole cover over the rodent's hole!
But ESPN...! Long past the time for name-calling or offering suggestions - been doing that for two and a half seasons now and that's enough! I sadly echo and second the comments of Makiki from Honolulu cited in a column here most recently.

On a lighter note, JD, it's "tale" not "tail"...methinks you Floridians are up in arms about the "Lake Worth muck monster"...just sayin..

dara2K said...

I would PAY to watch the race if the broadcast showed all coverage pre-race (Bristol driver intro's and all the festivities at the track) to post-race (NOT ESPN SportsCenter show!) with synched audio from radio! I already pay high cable prices to get ESPN and please don't let me reiterate that mess from last night. You know, ESPN and Nascar did the same thing with the Nascar at the White House this past week. ESPN and both indicated the White House Nascar event "show" would start at 4:30pm EST. THE LIVE EVENT WHERE THE DRIVERS LINED UP, THE PRESIDENT SPOKE AND JIMMIE JOHNSON HONORED HAD ALREADY OCCURRED BY THEN!! No one else covered it fully LIVe that I know of or could determine. ESPN just wanted everyone to tune in for an hour and watch those ninnies talk to themselves for an hour! Something's gotta give...I am a huge Nascar fan and I am sad today!

Anonymous said...

The 48 went to the back after is had to make a second pit stop. The right rear tire got hung up sideways on the stud and couldn't be tightened fully. Johnson did a lap and came back in to get a new right rear.
ESPN showed a replay of the original pit stop with the "wobbly" right tire, and explained that was why Johnson had to come back in. It isn't ESPN's fault if you're not paying attention when they show something.

Terri said...

...and the reason the 48's tire was "wobbly" was that a lugnut bounced and got caught between the wheel and the hub. It was said once by JP, but then never repeated. This was after all three pronounced it a "bad tire" before they actually found out what the problem was.

Anonymous said...

J.D what did you think of the countdown show i thought it was very informative.Also really entertaining.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 4:28PM,

What did you think of it? Should it have included the race festivities or continued to re-air features seen earlier in the week?


Anonymous said...

with FOX you either like or dislike DW

with TNT you either like or dislike K Petty.

SPEED Trucks you either like or dislike M Waltrip

Its funny about ESPN in that the like/dislike list can be stretched from the booth to pit road and could be anyone. Seems to me that J Punch is the root cause but the producer is up there too.

Jerry was a great pit reporter in the day and he still loves to tell stories about incidents on pit road and these stories are as interesting as anything DW tells. The truth is that he brings no excitement to the race broadcast, get lost and quickly falls back to his old ways.

Pit reporters are horrible. They ask inappropriate questions, have drivers mad ta them. Even Dave Burns is horrible and hes the best. Why isn't Mike Massaro still on pit road?

GinaV24 said...

JD, you asked "what can the fans do about it?" Unfortunately, other than having a good place like this to vent AND/OR simply turning off the TV and stop attending races, I'm afraid the answer is nothing.

I respond to NASCAR's surveys. I used to write physical letters to them at the Daytona address telling them how unhappy I was with specific things and of course, even sent electronic notes to their site, but since the only response I ever got was the canned one of "your comments are important to us. thanks for your interest" I pretty much gave up on that path. I have sent e-mails to ESPN, Fox, etc. detailing the things that we've talked about here, but as I said above, IMO, the only real thing to do to effect change is to stop supporting the sport and I just hate to do that. I like racing! I have a favorite driver and well, as long as he's out there in a car every week, I'm going to make the effort required to follow what's going on, even when it takes the combined methods of computer, radio and hoping that he will be mentioned on TV. And that's where NASCAR and the broadcast parners have me. I like watching MY guy on TV, so I tune in, even when the coverage is lousy and ticks me off. I do a lot more of my TV watching with the sound muted since I'm following the PXP on radio. That kind of defeats the purpose of the advertisers, I assume, but in the words of David Hill, "tough". Oh yeah, that's one other thing I did a few years ago - I contacted some of the big sponsors since I was rather incensed over a penalty that NASCAR imposed in VL -- remember Bottlegate - I contacted the VL sponsor and told them specifically that I would NOT buy or use their products, ANY of their products and I planned to ask everyone I knew todo the same. They told me that they didn't control things, NASCAR did. My response was, well, the last time I looked,he who controls the gold, controls things and that it was their choice, as was my decision to buy their products. Funny thing, I'm guessing I'm not the only one who did that because things did change some. And yes, I have given up eating M&M's in protest of the way that Busch acts. LOL

I hate that there wasn't any rundown other than through the ticker. good thing I had trackpass up.

Anonymous said...


I admire your efforts.
With the continuing non-response from NASCAR and ESPN to the terrible ESPN coverage, I'm thinking "follow the money" is the only hope left. I've found changing from race and car sponsor brands painful but, not as painful watching ESPN coverage.


Anonymous said...

I would like to include this: "■ 23 AUGUST 2009 | 1:29 AM
Kyle wins at Bristol but there's something else brewing ...
Dustin Long
It's a shame ESPN couldn't show the driver introductions before the race. Bristol Motor Speedway had the drivers pick their own theme music to come out to before grabbing a mic and introducing themself or saying something else. There were a few good ones.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. came out to AC/DC's "Thunderstruck'' and told fans: "Let's raise some (heck)!''
Clint Bowyer came out to Elvis' "CC Rider'' and said to fans: "Elvis is in the house! Let's go!''
Jimmie Johnson also came out to AC/DC's "Thunderstruck'' and as fans booed him said: "I know you love me.''
Marcos Ambrose came out to Men at Work's "Land Down Under" and told fans: "I hope I finish.''"

Anonymous said...

Fellow orbiters This morning (sunday) on SPIT-Center,ESPN proved that it's "clueless-ness" when it comes to NASCAR goes beyond remote productions. Following their highlight package on the Bristol race, the co-host announced that with the win, Kyle Bush was now 13th in points. At the same time, they put a bright red graphic at the bottom of the point standings saying "Currently 13th-Bryan Vickers"

Enough idiocy to go around in Bristol, I guess.


Daly Planet Editor said...

There is a new column up for your comments. After the last few races, we are taking a look at what ESPN is delivering to the NASCAR fan.

Thanks for the great comments on this topic.


Smiff_99 said...


I was just plain dumbfounded at the amount of comercials, especially from lap 270 to the finish. I was recording the race on a VCR (yeah, a little old school) and cutting out nothing but the commercials, I managed to fit 230 laps and all the post race stuff into 44 mins of tape.


And going to a 2 1/2 minute commercial with 27 laps to go when it takes just 1 min for 4 laps to pass...UNFORGIVABLE.

I apologize for the excessive use of the caps lock key, JD.

I just really, really wanted to make sure that my frustration showed.

Daly Planet Editor said...


I am feeling you on that one. We have discussed for three years how side by side commercials would change the sport on TV forever.

Between the knuckleheads at NASCAR and the three Sprint Cup TV networks who will not work together on anything, I would say the chance of change right now is slim.

Watching the action from the IRL race during break made me sit still for every commercial. In a NASCAR race, I flee or fast forward just like every other fan.

It's old technology affecting a sport that tries to pretend it is on the cutting edge. Pretend being the key word.


NorCalFan said...

Here's an example of ESPN's manufactured drama apparently for the "folks if you're just joining us" crowd. The driver ticker scroll showed Mears, McMurray, and Harvick (among others) as "on the bubble" for making the chase. Can't say that I've read or heard about any of these drivers as a threat for making the chase. I'll bet Harvick didn't know it either and I would have loved to have seen one of the twins ask him how he feels about being on the bubble.

In addition to seeing more of the race than normal from the front or rear bumper of Jimmy Johnson's car, the coverage was pathetic as usual.

MRM4 said...

If the coverage was a bad as everyone says it was, I'm glad I was at the race.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have any info as to why ESPN calls the race "NSCS at Bristol" instead of the race's actual name of "Sharpie 500". They do this with every race. I have been asking around and nobody seems to know. Any info on this would be great. Thanks

The race: dreadful to watch. Commercials during lead changes and the last 20 laps of the race is unacceptable, especially when they had a red flag and had no commericals during that.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 11:15AM,

In order to continue the sponsorship of the race to TV, the company must buy TV commercials.

The Burger King 500 at the track could be the McDonalds 500 on TV.

You may have noticed in the Bristol race that ESPN actually sponsored Victory Lane and the company was not Gatorade.

Welcome to TV land!


The Loose Wheel said...

Annon I had mentioned this at Indy since ESPN called it the Brickyard 400 when it is actually the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard. Ironically, Allstate pulled sponsorship after the race this year.

I think the network is obligated to mention the real sponsor's name a certain number of times in a broadcast because I did hear it called the Sharpie 500 at times, but like JD said the networks paid out so much money under the last 2 tv contracts for NASCAR that they are scraping to make the money up in commercials.

Funny how with the NFL there are not nearly as many commercials despite being an even higher demand product (at least it doesn't feel as such) but I know, apples to oranges comparison!

MRM4 said...

Sharpie is leaving as the sponsor anyway. Irwin Tools is taking their place.

The Loose Wheel said...

Same company MRM4. Its all under the same corporate umbrella. The title sponsor won't get a mention much next year anyways.