Monday, September 28, 2009

Your Turn: Sprint Cup Series From Dover on ABC

Dover was a key race in the Chase with high speeds and lots of action. The NASCAR on ESPN team covered this race which was telecast on ABC.

Allen Bestwick offered an hour of pre-race programming. He worked with Rusty Wallace and Brad Daugherty in the Infield Pit Studio. They were joined by Tim Brewer from the Tech Garage. The ESPN pit reporters also contributed. Jamie Little, Shannon Spake, Dave Burns and Vince Welch patrolled pit road.

Once the race began, Jerry Punch called the play-by-play on this fast and dangerous track. Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree joined Punch in the booth to lend their color commentary to the race.

Dover is fast-paced and requires focus and attention from the TV announcers. Pit road is dangerous in many ways and has been the scene of many lead changes and incidents over the years.

This race featured one big crash that resulted in a red flag. It made the pit reporters offer interviews from the Infield Medical Center. The race was stopped for more than twenty minutes.

Commercials continue to be full-screen in this sport and over two minutes in length. Placement of those breaks on a fast track like Dover is tough.

The issue on the Chase telecasts is often informing fans of the teams outside of the top 12 and not in the Chase. Information scrolls on a ticker, but the field should be reset after every caution flag pit stop.

The telecast started on time and did not experience any weather delays. There were no problems with the video or audio portions of the race telecast.

This Your Turn post is to allow you to offer your honest opinion of this telecast before we offer one. Now that the race is over, just take a moment to tell us what you liked, did not like and would like to see improved.

To add your opinion, just click on the comments button below. This is a family-friendly website, so please keep that in mind when posting. Thank you for taking the time to give us your opinion.


The Professor said...

Snorefest. Possibly ESPN's worst broadcast yet. All JJ, all the time, except for "50 yr old Mark Martin" ("49 yr old Mark Martin" never mentioned). And Punch's silence during Logano's crash & the failure to interview Tom Logano were inexcusable. I'm OVER ESPN.

Andrew said...

Awful. Simply awful. If I had NASCAR radio around here, I would not watch another ESPN telecast all year.

All we saw from ESPN was the very worst of what we've seen and complained about over the last year. Tight angles. Scripted coverage. Useless in-car cameras. Worthless pit stop views. Dumb questions from pit reporters. No mention of anyone outside the top 15. Live points. "50-year old Mark Martin." PxP as number, number, number. Far too many commercials.

And Jerry Punch is simply the worst play-by-play announcer in motorsports. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it. It feels at times like he's not even in the booth. At others, the race is made more exciting by using the mute button instead of listening to him drone on. ESPN, please listen to us. He was good in Happy Hour. He is a good pit reporter. He is NOT a play-by-play announcer. Want to fix the ratings? Start by fixing this position.

Anonymous said...

I'm angry that this is the Chase and this is the kind of coverage NASCAR contracts.

ABC/ESPN showed a total lack of respect to the audience by their lack of knowledge and enthusiasm for the sport. It was disgusting how lackluster Andy Petree, Dale Jarrett and Dr. Punch came across in announcing. Pit reporting was worse.

This is the most important event of the year and this is what we got.

I just don't get it and it seems neither does NASCAR.

Joe said...

Not a great race and not very good coverage. ESPN has to lay off the in car cameras, and it wouldn't hurt to show more racing through the field all day.

No one likes to watch a parade.

As for the commentary, someone throw a firecracker behind Jerry Punch and see if he jumps when it explodes. That guy has less excitement to his tone than a box of Product 19.

Anonymous said...

Between the commercials, the golf like announcers and the fact that Dover is just too long, I started to wonder which drugs I would need to take to make ABC/ESPN's coverage good.

Anonymous said...

I've been thinking that perhaps your criticism of ESPN/ABC has been a bit harsh. After today, I'm convinced I'm wrong. Whereas the coverage wasn't awful, it certainly isn't anywhere near FOX or TNT broadcasts. I like Petree and Jarrett but in combination with Punch, you've got a rather uninspired trio.

David said...

can i use curse words? ok i wont. horrible. one word answer. commercials at all the wrong time. jerry punch sounds like he is coming down from a bender the night before. the only saving grace...twitter. people like jeff gluck, mike mulhern, bob pockrass and of course Mr. Daly saved the day.

jeeez and of course ABC cuts out as quick as possible to show some crappy show or infomercial.

Thanks ABC for ruining the most exciting time of the year for NA$CAR

Vicky D said...

What a disappointing broadcast. Too much emphasis on the chasers (I think I say that every week). Guys in booth seemed to have momentary lapses and saying the same old cliches. The drivers that wrecked were asked some strange questions by the pit reporters even not asking them how they were doing until the last question? I also thought the sound was bad comparing it to the truck race last night. It's painful watching these telecasts.

Anonymous said...

I watched (on abc tv on espn or whatever) the last 22 laps only because hubby said Tony had a shot at a win. It was the most disjointed pile of hot mess I have ever seen.

Points for the chase Do Not Count During the Race. Squadouche zip nada - wait till the end of the race.

I'm now sailing into the corner, for the position of recuperating from the Worst "race coverage" I've ever seen. Ever.

How all you Planeteers watched 4 hours of it is beyond me. You have fierce determination, or are gluttons for punishment.
I'll be back to watching racing at Daytona. this was brutal.

TexasRaceLady said...

All Chasers all the time. No one else was racing today unless they had the misfortune to have a problem.

Am I under a mistaken impression that the field consists of 43 cars? Unless a car was involved in a wreck, we were never up-dated on cars out of the race.

Way too much focus on one car at a time. I want to see the race, not a single car making a q'ing lap.

As for not interviewing Tom Logano, I can totally understand why not. If he blew them off, perfectly understandable --- that was his child in that wreck.

And couldn't ESPN cut the postrace any shorter? Gee.

rich said...

Well, thanks to this site I found out about Direct tv HotPass having MRN audio so since 24 is my fav switched over and enjoyed a good end of race. The camera work is still weak. They don't use the aerial shot enough and of course not enough wide shots to be able to tell where you are. The direction from the production booth is so poor, too many closeups and in car shots. I miss the speed shots from Fox and even crank it up. My wife thinks I am crazy to have tv and radio on and the laptop working all at the same time but it is still the only way that I can enjoy my favorite sport. If I had to listen to Espn I swear I would be asleep in 10 minutes. Sad.
Once again I ask Brian France and Mike Helton ..How can you allow your loyal fans to be treated in this manner? If I treated my dog this way the ASCPA would be all over me. SAD, SAD, SAD
Again like last year I only hope for changes next year.

Anonymous said...

they sure bailed on the coverage pretty fast, could have used some more post race info. I would like to thank ABC/ESPN for making it easy for me to decide between the Philles and NASCSAR... with them the choice is easy

DebbieB said...

The only time I heard Jerry Punch's voice change was when JJ won. It was still monotone, but it was a bit louder. ESPN/ABC totally disrespect the Chase and don't deserve to cover it. I would for starters switch AB to the booth and move JP to work with Rusty & Brad.

Without Twitter and MRN I would be watching only part of the race. Hell, even the radio can make a snoozefest seem exciting.

But on a positive note to them, this Dover race was a snooze fest. This race needs to be shortened to 300 laps at the most! I am so tired of the same drivers winning the races. Between JJ, 50 yr old Mark Martin, and ESPN/ABC coverage do they really need to do research to find out why the ratings are down??!

Leslie said...

The coverage of our playoffs by ESPN/ABC is HORRIBLE. The one thing that I hate about it is that they all think that us fans are dumber then a box of rocks. They have no's like watching paint dry.

David said...

Didn't see much of ESPN's broadcast. My attention was on pit command and Montoya's radio which it probably will be for the remainder of the Chase.

I did like that they used speeds at the line intervals so that was a plus.

JP updating S&P was another plus.

Thats about where the good stops. The rest was a mess. I can't say there was a huge lack of effort by ESPN since I didnt see a ton of the race that closely, but they were attempting to find battles, but they mostly were those that involved Chase drivers.

I get that the Chase is important, but the RACE should be primary focus. Amazing Kenseth had a quiet 3rd place finish.

I dunno where we go from here...

Kansas should be interesting.

Glenn said...

I "saw" a pretty good race..... on Sirius NASCAR radio with the fine folks of MRN calling the action. I did have the tv on in case they happened to have a camera on something that I wanted to see.
I'm not going to put myself through listening to car numbers, sailing, unqualified pit reporters, prerecorded video inserted during green flag racing, bad camera choices, and much more.
I have no idea who advertised during the race.
Now for a couple of hours of post race coverage on Sirius NASCAR radio.

OSBORNK said...

The Jimmy Johnson Fan Club broadcast team made watching the race about as exciting as watching golf without Tiger. There was no excitement generated by the commentators and their bland commentary frequently was not related to what was on the screen. With this race as boring as it was, imagine what we have to look forward to.

J_Fellenbaum said...

I watched maybe 50 laps total today on the TV. I was quite content, like last week to totally miss the coverage all together. I've just grown tired of ESPN's lack of general race coverage, horrible camera shots, and Jerry Punch and the rest of the booth's lack of enthusiasm.

Today I was watching NFL coverage, but got sucked into the race when I heard on MRN radio, the exuberant, over the top call of Joey Lagano flipping end over end down the track.

So I flipped over to ESPN and no one seemed real exited. I watched the replay and flipped back to the NFL. Unfortunately, the 1:00 games I had available where pretty much one sided and the Phillies were winning 6-1 at the time. So I switched back for longer spells to watch the race while keeping MRN on.

UGH. It's like watching highlights of the race going on while there is a live race going on. Listen, I realize it's impossible to cover every single thing on TV. I realize we can't go without any commericials, but there is SOO many commercials, there is no way to get into a race coverage flow. By the time you cover everything you missed by the last 3 minute commercial break, it's time for another commercial break and it continues.

Why can't they do more alternative commercial coverage such as when MRN actually interviews Jimmy Smith from XYZ company about their latest product or promo event? While this interview is going on and you put up an XYZ company logo on the screen, you could be following the coverage on the screen. Or heck, put it in a PnP box.

How about instead of showing us a 1 minute video clip of the 48 team messing up a pit stop, then where the 2 team did an awesome pit stop, you instead use that 1 minute to have a pit reporter run down the cars he covered and what they all did on pit road.. "The 48 took 4 tires, up a round on the TB, had trouble on the RR, lost 2 spots, 43, 42, 5, 24, and 1 all took 4 tires. 9 took 2 and up 1 lb on both tires. Kurt Busch took 4 tires and beat everyone off pit road. To Shannon.."

And if your not going to cover the race and have 5000 commercials and just do race recaps for the entire event, then open up the dang camera angles. Stop getting tight, really zoom out. Keep the camera and put turn 4 and the entire front stetch in the more MPH at the line. And let the whole field go by for 5 or 6 laps.

Then, the fans of a particular driver or an astute fan can create his own coverage and figure out who the commers and goers are. They'll figure out who is fast, who isn't and how much racing is actually going on in the race.

It's just not that hard, but ESPN and to some extends all the TV coverage now a days just makes it a hell of a lot harder and more frustrating than it ever needs to be.

So I'll continue to watch football and baseball as my priorties and flip to racing on TV when it's convient to me. If there is a commerical, like it was most of the day today, then I'll flip back.

I did watch the last 20 laps or so after the Phillies game was over and it just amazes me. When I started watching racing there was no-pre race show, just the starting line ups, the command to start engines, a couple quick news items, then the green flag. But after the race, you usually got follow up on most of the stories and a bunch of interviews. Now we get 8 hours of pre race coverage and less than 5 minutes and 3 interviews with no race run down as a post race show.

Just seems bassackwards to me.

Next year, I'll start over and give all the coverage the chance to win me back over, however I doubt it will improve much.

chAMP88 said...

The coverage is horrible, horrible, horrible. Can't believe this is our "playoff" and we have the worst coverage of the year. Bring back TNT Kyle Petty & Crew - it was enjoyable &informative - felt like you were watching the race with friends.

I would give up completely on watching if it were for Twitter (thanks to you and all the Nascar media who twitter during the race). We get more information from that then we do from ABC/Espn.

Also, thanks to web/fan sites like PB - making the racing tolerable to watch.

Anonymous said...

I'm tired of complaining, I'm tired of the 48 winning he's starting to be as annoying as the intimidator or KB for stinking up the show and now the chase. I'm tired of ESPN. Wake me up when we get to Daytona in February and mike and the boys take over again.

BAndy3 said...

Coverage horrible but what else is new with ESPN/ABC? I'd much rather listen to DW all race season long. The ONLY race I look forward to the coverage is the Daytona race in July due to the 'wide open' coverage that TNT uses. The race was pretty much a snoozer too though. The Logano wreck was the highlight. One day NASCAR will get rid of ESPN for good.

Dot said...

Fifty two year old Dot says, I got back with 92 laps to go. After reading TDP I don't have to watch what I recorded.

While I appreciate the overhead shots, did they really have to show it on a split screen? I couldn't tell who was who. A little zoom would've helped.

Marcos' pit stop miscue helped him get some TV time. Sad that you have to screw up to get a mention.

Why doesn't triple Punch (I love that) get any time off? If we have to be tortured, let it only be on Sundays.

Even if the TV times do change, BSPN will still be instrumental in ratings losses. Since I can't get good radio reception for MRN/PRN, I'm stuck with the Third World Leader.

hotaru-raganbaby_6 said...

From what I overheard (didn't bother to watch this time) from another room...zzzzzz. Some of the Twitter comments seemed to back that up.

I love Dover, but what with the boring 'commentary' (and does anyone else think ESPN WANTS JJ to win a fourth c-ship in a row, or is it just me?), just didn't fufill.

They cut away here in Orlando for local news, so early cut away was excusable for us. Couldn't have come sooner, based on everyone's online complaints. They were better than that bore of a broadcast.

DrTeplisky said...

JD--I put the telecast on the office TV so I could get a nap to work on a nighttime renovation project later tonight--I was not disappointed.

@TheProfessor--the silence when Logano had his wreck woke me from the sleep.

The short post race here in the hinterlands of upstate NY yielded a local infomercial.

Tweets yielded the best and most trenchant commentary--TV went with the MOTO--Master of the Obvious-- in the last few laps.

You Planeteers Deserve Better!

Tom said...

Remember Winnie the Pooh's friend Eeyore? Even that lovable, cynical donkey of our childhood stories could have had more excitement in his voice than Jerry Punch did in that finish at Dover.

Unbelievably bad. I've been thinking about this for a while now, and it seems like the appropriate time to do it...I'll spend time tomorrow watching the DVR of the race and log the laps when the TV folks started their commercial breaks and when they came back on the air.

Everyone seems to be ranting how there are too many commercials during the broadcast, right? Well, I'm going to sit down and see how true that actually is.

Matt TSB said...

I probably watched 100 laps or so, all of the last 75. I honestly thought the goverage was good. It wasn't "all chasers all the time." Casey Mears, for example, got a fair (as in "correct" not "a little") screen time when he was running towards the front, as did Burton. They did show passing in the field, and one on one battles for position. The only "all JJ" I saw was the last few laps when there were big gaps between the top 12 or so cars and it was obvious no important passes were going to happen. They showed at least the top 15 cars finishing (and only another five were on the lead lap).

The majority of the top 15 cars were chasers, and the majority of the chasers were in the top 10, so I don't see any reason to spend significant time on cars outside the top 20. I accept that every driver has fans, but espescially at this time of year, if you want to get covered get to the front.

Dot said...

@ BAndy3, that one day will be in 2015.

slander said...

The best part of the race broadcast was the Lions finally winning a game...

SolakNC said...

Thankfully, we were having a birthday party for our soon to be 4-year-old Granddaughter, so I missed most of the ABC carnage. From what I did see on the tube, and saw posted on Twitter, it was more of the "same ol' same ol'."

This particular TWEET (MEANT to be short and concise), IMO, pretty much matches the enthusiasm displayed by the ABC broadcast crew.

" @jim_utter : Race over, 48 wins. Followed by 5, 17, 42 and 2."

Note* This IS NOT a slam against Jim --His tweets are informative via the Twitter format of 140 characters or less.

The broadcast team IS NOT Twittering, but they come across as if they are. (unless they're telling their personal 'back-in-the-day' stories).

And, of course, the Quote of the day... "We're glad the track is OK, and we're glad Martin Truex is OK."

Thanks for the great post-race coverage as well, ABC! *sarcasm*

Anonymous said...

Where do I begin....

- Andy Petree for looking out the window the first 100 laps. Thats it

- Dr. Jerry Punch: Great man, great as a reporter, horrible as a play-by-play announcer. As Joey Logano flipped 7 times he gave us silence. As the race dragged he gave us the same old stats, Jerry Punch phrases & the news of the week. We got some S&P updates and a few lucky dogs, but that was it. There were apparently some penalties/issues after the race we were never told about. There was no life in the booth. He was one of the factors that made this race impossible to sit through.
- ESPN production truck: Just didn't seem to care about the action on track. Lots of tailpipes, video packages, & single car shots. Most of the race was just an obsession for Jimmie Johnson. The script was set when they played a radio transmission from the #48 team before the green flag was waved. Just endless radio communications, single car shots, & shots of Chad K yelling at the tire changer. It was the Jimmie Johnson show. If you are not a chaser & you are not in the top 5, good luck getting coverage. There was all the hype about a tricky Dover pit road. Many drivers did have problems, ESPN only showed 1, and it was under replay because they missed it. There was a caution for fluid all over the track, which we never saw. They reached an incredible low the last 100 laps with lazy camera work, not showing the results off pit road (the $ stop too), & completely missing the last multi-car crash while they were playing with their toys. After we finally saw the cars pulling away from the wreck, Jerry Punch had to finish his promo before we could see what happened! It was a trainwreck.
- Promo overload: This was another factor that killed this race. We come from enough commercials already, just to be swamped with ABC, ESPN & sponsor promotions during the race. Attempting to cover a race between promos & commercials did not work at all. ABC overpromoted their shows. I refuse to watch any of their programs now since I am so annoyed by watching the same previews 3-5 times a race.
- Jamie Little: Jamie struggled wih her questions after the big wreck. Asking Reed Sorenson if he was ok should not be the last question, it should be #1. Joey Logano's interview was not any better.
- Points as of now overkill: We still had today's race & 8 more to follow until the champion is crowned. Drivers do not get the points until after the checkered flag. It was first shown after only 17% of the race was completed. It had to be shown at least 5 more times before the race ended, as if that was the only thing that kept the ESPN team from taking a nap. All that hype during the race for them to quickly list the point standings at the end of the race & head off to local news is quite sad & embarassing.

This race was not that exciting, but ESPN made it feel 10 times worse than it was. This type of broadcast will be squashed by the NFL.

Overall Broadcast
Overall Race:
** / *****

Anonymous said...

Reading these comments makes me even more mad about the coverage of this race.

I don't know if anyone else has mentioned this before but I refer to Rusty as the 'Paula Abdul of NASCAR'. He just slightly changes the wording of the last sentence someone else spoke.

JP: "Rusty, there's Ryan Newman running back in 14th and struggling to stay in the low groove..."

Rusty: "Yeah, guys. I've been watching Newman and he's been having problems making up positions down low. He just can't get any higher than 14th. Back to you."

Me: "Huh?"

This race actually gave me a headache.

Anonymous said...

I watched until after Michael Waltrip fell out of the race, then i had the tv on, but i was napping. I read some Twitter that leads me to believe i should stay up late enough to hear Sirius replay the race because their coverage was better. If it wasn't for Twitter, i don't know if i'd watched that much of the race. I think FOX or TNT does so much better on the coverage. I can't wait until Daytona in February. Finally get some ppl who know how to cover a race from the booth and pit road.

NorCalFan said...

Watched the #24's channel on HotPass for the first time since DirectTV eliminated the assigned pit reporters. I was pleasantly surprised to hear the radio broadcast and when the radio went to commercial a DirectTV(?) pit reporter filled in. I found myself more relaxed watching the race on HotPass than when I'm tuned into ESPN and multi-tasking everywhere to learn what is happening on the track because the announcers certainly won't or can't tell me what is going on.

ESPN needs to make changes and they know what needs to be changed. How much longer are NASCAR fans expected to put up with ESPN management's cavalier attitude and obvious resistance to change for the benefit of their viewing audience and the sport?

ESPN's broadcast of cup races are unwatchable. ESPN is single-handedly driving away the sports core fans in hordes but do the PTB really give a hoot? Their actions speak volumes.

Tom said...

As a disgruntled and disgusted Lions fan and happy NASCAR fan, I am applauding heartily at your last remark...

Sophia said...

I do NOT get your ratings system and what the *** and /// mean? Curious why you post that here each week but maybe I am missing something. never saw JD post like that or anybody else. :)

That said, I hardly watched the race except saw Joey wreck. Rest of the time multi tasked, channel surfed, did laundry, and prepped dinner. I COOKED dinner during the last few laps listening to MRN on radio. i could not take tv very much, and once the Bengals/Steelers game was on had two tv's on and did a load of laundry.

Our endless detailed griping does nothing. BSPN/ABC USELESS
(oh and Jamie pushed it over the line with her INSIPID interview with the still rattled Joey....sigh)


p.s.oh and I do NOT believe on TWITTER Jimmie had NO CLUE Logano had such a bad wreck?? what the heck did he think the red flag was from or for?????

TexasRaceLady said...

Sophia --

BuschSeries is just giving a rating

Overall Broadcast
Means only 1 star out of 5

Overall Race:
** / *****
Only 2 stars out of 5

5 stars is great.

Anonymous said...

Luckily one of the channels I watch via the J does HotPass so I was lucky to have MRN radio with the pictures. But reading the comments confirmed I wasn't missing anything this way.

I was away from the laptop when JoLo's accident happened. I was trying to hurry to get back as I was realizing something BIG just happened!

I was thinking that ESPN was probably doing the usual *crickets* followed by a tone as if one were talking about the weather and from the comments I was right.

As someone posted in the race thread if the silence was due to shock that would be one thing but we get the *crickets* when there's a caution for a piece of debris. So couldn't use just that excuse.

@Vicky D--yes we do :(

@Tom said:My wife thinks I am crazy to have tv and radio on and the laptop working all at the same time but it is still the only way that I can enjoy my favorite sport.

And that is a sad sentence! We shouldn't have to have 50 things going to find out what TV should be telling us! We should be able to leave the TV on and if someone came into the room be able to tell them in a second. We shouldn't have to say "hold on..." and check Twitter, Trackpass or even comments on a blog to answer that simple question!

It was nice to be ale to have the MRN gang on and do what I needed to do and be informed as to what was going on. I was being educated and informed without someone coming on "teaching" me NA$CAR 101 on what to do if a tire is rubbing or what a battery looks like.

darbar said...

I have a question for everyone, including you, JD. Does anyone think that a fourth Cup championship for Jimmie would be a good thing for Nascar, and overall a good thing for Nascar fans and viewers? Is part of the downturn in viewership caused by the fact that you really don't have to watch to know who's team is going to win? Will it be a good thing for the sport as a whole, and for viewership next season if JJ and Hendrick continues it's dominance.

I was a huge open wheel fan before I came over to Nascar, and I know I stopped watching when Penske drivers were winning everything. I think a lot of fans felt the same way. My late hubby and I went to at least 6 or 7 Cart races a year, going as far as to Laguna Seca, just to watch the racing. But once it became boring and predictable, we stopped spending the money and even stopped watching on TV.

So, will this constant dominance of Hendrick drivers drive away more fans from the TV and the track?

Sophia said...


THANKS! I get it now but before explanation, could not figure it out in a 100 yrs. :)

Gymmie & others.

We should NOT have to WORK & MULTI Task to "relax & enjoy" a race. Oxymoron having to 'multitask, sorta watch ESPN, read Twitter,'s not worth it anymore.

It's like a bad relationship where somebody uses you and you just keep smiling and take it?

Sundays or weekends are NO LONGER about this house "ENJOYING NASCAR".

Will wait until TNT next summer. FOX's booth is better but the camera DIRECTION STANK there, too, lest some of you forget.

I have not and after Mike Wells showed hoow it SHOULD be done, it's not worth getting upset anymore..negativity breeds negativity but nobody has OFFERED SOLUTION.

TNT did it but BSPN is too arrogant..much like Mr. Hill.

p.s. I think I mentioned earlier our FM station would not come in clearly during the race but THANKFULLY folks hear shared places to Listen to MRN FREE online. Thanks to all who shared or email me links. xoxo

Dot said...

@ dar, you bring up a good question.

Here's my prediction, as soon as JJ takes over the points lead, we'll really see the ratings fall. BTW, the Emperor has no idea why the ratings tanked last week. I can't wait to see the Dover numbers.

Oh guess what? I just got an email from my cable provider. We're getting BSPN360. Whoop de doo, not.

Can I ask something unrelated to the CUP race? Did they ever show the NW race @ midnight (PT)? I couldn't find it.

earl06 said...

For ESPN, this was a decent broadcast, which isn't saying much. Dr. Obvious floundered his way through yet another pathetic play-by-play call, nothing new there. How someone can watch another human being cartwheel (7 1/4 times!) down the banking and not show one shred of emotion is beyond me. Jeebus, is the guy a closet sociopath or something? So cold... Other than that, there were some interesting angles.

First of all, what's the deal with no commercials for the last third of the race? Not that I miss them, but...awfully strange.

Second, if you are going to forego advertising for an hour or so, why wouldn't you use Allen and the Pit Studio guys every once in awhile. It's like they started packing up the infield studio and the tech garage after halfway.

Third, what's the point of the score update crawl? Are they trying to get folks to click over to other sporting events? I can't imagine an upside for displaying happenings from football/baseball/golf during a race.

Face it, the chase hasn't added any "excitement", whatever that means. JJ has it in the bag as far as ESPN is concerned. They will be mailing it in for the next 8 weeks as per usual.

West Coast Diane said...

I have not read any of the posts. Here is my experience today.

@Bevo..."Just in" case you are reading this...thank you again for your email in August.

Left Sears Point early this am so decided to try the race live on laptop. MRN was awesome and following my driver while listening was great.

Got home at about lap 100 and ran to the TV to DVR HOTPASS (for some reason couldn't use DVR scheduler for HP channels).

Decided to start watching ESPN from the start for compare. Well, of course...NO comparison. Even with the laptop freezing (aircard switching cells) I had more fun and got more info than the borefest on ESPN.

So I switched to HotPass. Thank you to whoever decided to use MRN instead of ESPN at Directv. May even forgive you a smidge for yanking Versus!

Yes the race was boring in parts. However, between listening to JR & the boys at MRN I was entertained and informed.

I never found myself yelling at the TV because of some stupid comment or hearing about only Chase drivers, or 50 yr Mark Martin.

If HotPass stays this way, I am more BSPN...well accept the picture part. I can live with that.

Anonymous said...

I am a huge fan nascar. But this coverage was the wrost. Why you ask? Because ESPN/ABC do not care about any off the other chase driver's. The main focus as usual was Jimmie Johnson and Mark Martin why because they are the popular driver's in the series. ESPN/ABC could have done better with pit road, in driver's camera's, reporter's etc. They hardly showed any off the in camera's today.

They also talked about kasey kahne in a negative manner saying that he cannot win the race or the championship they are putitng him down. Really mean. That really upset me a lot since i am a kasey kahne fan.

I agree with the commerical's too many put a time limit on them. Some off them do not go with nascar. Plus with the commerical's u do not know what is happening in the race. Like cautions u just see them on the leaderboard on so it make's me wonder who was in the crash.

Anyway, what I am saying here is they can do a much better job next time. No commerical's, no talking down on driver's, no in car camera's at all. That is all for now.

sue said...

I believe the coverage was good with what they had to work with. I do admit I kept changing the channel to golf since Johnson seemed to have taken control of the race. Who cares who comes in 2nd or worse? And next week yet another track Johnson dominated at last year. Why bother?

Jim Crooks said...

I didn't get to watch most of the race live, but am watching it on tape. (Yeah, maybe one day I'll be able to afford Tivo).

It does appear that other than Logano's crash, there was not a lot of excitement on the track, and Dr. Jerry Punch's low level of imparting enthusiasm didn't help matters any.

I really like Dr. Punch, and think he is one of the best pit reporters around, but he really seems to be out of his element as a play by play announcer. I see from many of the comments here that I'm obviously not alone in that opinion.

Anonymous said...

Daly, no need to put anything else but...F-ING HORRIBLE.

Thank god that football is on.

Kenn Fong said...


Others have gone into detail about the negatives so I won't recap except to elaborate a bit.

First, the positives.

I liked the shot where the director has the camera operator focusing on a battle or a single car in the field while a story is being told, only to zoom out to show how big the lead is. That's an excellent shot and should be used more often.

I noticed a few times that Dr. Jerry tried to use a different word than "position." Good for you! Keep it up. We really do love and respect you, Dr. Jerry.

Since it was ABC not ESPN, at first I missed the bottom scroll. Then I realized I liked the extra real estate.

I also liked the side-by-side shots. Let's have more of that, especially when doing driver interviews after an accident. We should always stay in touch with the field during green flag racing.

Now here's where you can improve:

I understand that in-car cameras are revenue streams so they aren't going away. But I would like very much to have them presented side-by-side (in the smaller image too, although that's too much to ask) so we don't lose touch with the race.

While I agree with most that Dr. Jerry lacks enthusiasm, I don't need him -- or any announcer -- to get excited to tell me if something is exciting just as I don't need to watch a comedy with a crowd so I can get their permission to laugh at something funny.

I want The Good Doctor to talk about someone other than the Chasers. Tell other stories. For goodness sakes, Dr. Jerry, you were an ER physician. Play to your strength! When Logano had his wreck, you could have talked about the kind of damage his body would have suffered without the HANS device and the 4 point harness every driver wears. Talk about brain injury and whiplash.

Since I have never been under the hood of a car, I know very little about how they work. (Go ahead, flame me just because I didn't grow up with axle grease under my fingernails.) Unlike most, I like Tim Brewer in the Tech Garage. He clearly knows and loves his work because it's written all over his face.

I just wish the camera work were better. The angles sometimes don't compliment the information. "NASCAR Performance" did an excellent job showing how pre-race inspections are done, and that camera work was the gold standard.

Others have talked about the lousy work done by the pit reporters. If I were the first one to get to Joey Logano, I would have asked, "Where does it hurt?" Not "How do you feel?" I would then ask, "Do you plan to get a follow-up exam or MRI this week?" "When did you know you were in trouble?" "What did you see when you were hit on the side?"

Perhaps this isn't a big loss since the content was so sub-standard, but I thought the audio mix was awful, with the level of ambient sound overwhelming what was being said.

If I were exec. producing the racecast, I would have followed up on all the cars that were off the track to find out which teams were packing up and which were going to try to earn more points.

Brad, I know you're a great fan of NASCAR and that you own a truck team. Bring something to the table. Don't be Capt. Obvious. And don't let them give you all the light features. Don't let them turn you into Rutledge Wood!

I'm an optimist. ABC/ESPN, you have a lot of room to improve. When you do, the contrast will be great and we'll notice it right away. We want to love you, ABC/ESPN. We are on your side.

West Coast Kenny
Alameda, California

Vince said...

I've been going to and watching NASCAR races for 44 years. This is the first year I've given up watching the races live. Thanks to ESPN/ABC and FOX. I've taken to DVR'n the races and doing something else. The last few weeks it's been watching the NFL games. Being from Michigan I got to see a rarity today. The Lions won!

I tried to watch the race after the Lions game. But after Logano's wreck it became appearent it was going to be another typical ESPN/ABC broadcast. Meaning missing the action through out the pack, too many in car and bumper cam shots, pit reporters who don't have a clue and Dr. Punch's monotone putting me to sleep. Oh, and I have news for NASCAR and ESPN/ABC, it's not all about the CHASE! Anyway, I FF through the rest until the last 20 or 30 laps and I don't think I missed much.

To all you guys out there who don't have a DVR or Tivo, get one! You'll be saving yourself a lot of headaches and swearing at the tv. There is so much wrong with the broadcasts and NASCAR in general, I don't even know where to start.

I hope France, Helton and the rest of the boys are happy with the butt stomping that the NFL is giving them in the ratings. I have a feeling it's gonna get worse.

Anonymous said...

@Kenny--one reason we want him to get some excitement in his voice is that we're not always glued to the TV the entire 4-5 hours.

Sometimes nature can't wait for a commercial, someone calls (and yes some folks won't answer during the race) the kids are bored, the dog wants out etc. So we need to be made aware that SOMETHING is going on and to get back in there.

Tgro said...

Using a DVR cannot change that ESPN convinces me that I should find better ways to spend a Sunday.

Nothing came even remotely as exciting as watching the lap 31 crash of Joey Logano flipping 7 times. That was the highlight of the race. That is so totally sad to me because I can remember days when racing was nail biting and lap after lap exciting.

Today I watched on the couch & listened & closed my eyes & reopened & closed them again and nearly slipped off to sleep so many times, I began thinking if I ever have any trouble falling asleep I should just rerun an ESPN race.

This group is the most listless, drool, unlively and unentertaining group of broadcasters Ive ever heard not just for racing but any sport in my life.

When people say they want to switch Jerry Punch for Alan Bestwick I think you aint gonna solve the problems this crew has that way. This WHOLE entire crew needs to go. I might consider taking Alan Bestwick as long as you put him with 2 brand new broadcasters. But if you're going to put him with Jarrett and Petree, you'll only get slightly better play by play and thats it. This crew just suffers from overall combined sucking. They all suck! They are all boring! Jarrett seems to annoy me more every week like he gets upset if people don't respect what he says. And Petree just sounds slow. We've had country people in the booth before and they were great and fun to listen to. Petree just seems like he needs to be back at the shop talking with the good ole boys and not to fans at home watching the race.

Bestwick ain't going to change those 2. I don't even want Bestwick, I personally want 3 totally new broadcasters in the booth with a pulse and personality. Someone else said it best when they referenced Kyle Petty and the TNT crew sounding like they knew what they were talking about and having fun and making it fun for others to watch.

Im sure Jarrett and Petree know what they are talking about, but they just are not fun to listen to. And Jerry Punch just makes you want to scream. Week after week, sounds the same every race, every lap. Its almost like he is reading a script. Its almost like he is practicing his lines at home. He would make a better Miss America announcer than a racing play by play man. He is just the worst play by play man of all time. And with him at the steering wheel, it doesn't matter what you do elsewhere. The ESPN broadcast is always going to suck if he stays at the microphone.

I remember looking at this blog a few months ago when Fox had the races and the complaints were constantly about Digger and DW. Give me a break if you think seeing Digger for 5 minutes a race and hearing DW is worse than hearing ESPN broadcast a race. At least Fox keeps me interested. At least Fox sounds like they are having fun. At least Fox don't sound monotone and lifeless. I'll take Fox and TNT for the rest of my life if I just never have to listen to Jerry Punch, Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree call a race again.

Sophia said...


So true about change of voice tone GETTING our attention.

I can't remember ANY races this year that got my full attention except for the TNT ones (and I planned ahead to savor them!) I happened to STILL be watching the tv when Joey wrecked and turned sound up.

I still remember M McDowell's wreck in qualifying last year (or was that in the spring?)and D.W.'s sudden surprise/concern in his voice of "Oh my gosh" had me stop WHATEVER I was doing at the time.

So info in APPROPRIATE dulcet tones would be great/along with better cam work but meh, as earlier, i'm no longer posting details.

West Coast Diane said...

@Gymmie - I agree with you regarding being away from the TV. But I want excitement in my PxP guy even if I am watching!

Think about the stick and ball sports, which I used to watch. Do you expect a BB announcer to be monotone when some hits a walk off homer to win a game or a clutch triple to clear the bases or a double play that shuts down a rally? Or in FB, if the QB throws a hail mary pass as the clock winds down or a RB busts a 90 yard run?

I couldn't believe when I watched Joey's crash on TV, after hearing it on MRN. Nothing but crickets. How that can not get you out of your seat. Remember the FOX boys with McDowell's crash at Texas?

Why do we like TNT? Or even FOX, when they do it right. It's because we feel like they are a bunch of friends watching the race with us sharing their inside information and excited as we are about racing.

Dot said...

Remember when we read that JP said that he had to tone it down? How true can that be?

After the race, Dan tuned to the motorcycle race on SPEED. I was here at the computer not paying attention. All of a sudden the booth guy was going nuts. I looked at that TV because I heard the excitement in his voice. A rider went off the track but didn't wreck.

Now tell me, why would anyone not want to get excited when something is going on?

In defense of DJ & AP, I think JP is sucking the life out of them. They are waiting on his cues. Sadly, he's not providing them.

And the Emperor wonders why more fans aren't watching.

Sophia said...

W Coast Diane

We must have been submitting our posts at the same time, we both referenced the MM crash.

West Coast Diane said...

PS...what about the SPEED boys doing F1 watching monitors thousands of miles away. They have no problem showing excitement, humor or concern.

Bottom line. There is no excuse for the ESPN booth.

Patrick said...

Yes People... I agree !

ESPN coverage was less than stellar and that Dover race was quite a snoozer... But I have to admit I wonder how much Daly's tweets influence watchers and followers... But don't get me wrong... I totally agree with what Mr Daly says.

Will these 50-something comments reach NASCAR ears (and eyes)...Hope so...

Stephen said...

Worst ESPN race yet-just everything is so wrong-JP is thw worst pXp in the world. Its just sad-the racing was actually good i the pack and it was fairly exciting-wouldnt know it from the broadcast. I want Fox and TNT back soooo bad-ESPN just kills the last half of the year-its atrocious.

David said...

As a Lions fan, that was a BEAUTIFUL win today. Brought tears to my eyes.

Honestly JD, I dont know how much more feedback or how much clearer we can be on this topic but ESPN is a complete disaster. Even IF AB was put in the booth in 2010, and even IF the 3 R's do the full Nationwide Schedule in 2010 that doesn't cure the still remaining bulk of woes from the WWL. Downright, Im PI**ED with the "product" (and I use that term VERY loosely) they have shoved down our throats since Daytona. See, ESPN is what I call gizmo drunk. From the time the checkered flag fell at Atlanta in 2000 to the time qualifying hit the air in 2006 ESPN found this vault of graphics and toys to play with. And as a result we have suffered. They lost their whole crew from the original and BEST crew and just haven't found an identity since coming back. There are so many likable personalities that ESPN brought in. Jerry Punch is a phenomenal storyteller with a massive wealth of knowledge about this sport but when ESPN brought him back to NASCAR after a 6 year hiatus he lost his touch with the new face the sport had put on. Tim Brewer just doesn't fit. Never has, doubt he ever will. Not trying to slam the guy just calling it the way I see it. AP and DJ, boy these guys are faltering quickly. They have shined for a year and ahalf but something has just gone out the window in the past 2 months.

My biggest gripe is the direction they point the broadcast before it ever even starts. What we are seeing is a DIRECT and BLATANT failure due to a screwed up vision. The article that was posted several weeks back that stated JP had to "tone it down" and that "tight shots are necessary to 'show off our toys'" are two prime examples of this flawed vision. Whoever the hell thinks that the fans WANT to see tight shot after tight shot and hear only about the top 10 drivers (I would argue even less but being generous) is clearly not in touch with the fans.

Look at it this way, take baseball. The Pirates and Nationals have sucked this year but you don't hear about ESPN's Baseball Tonight burying them under the other teams in the league. Sure, they aren't going to get talked about as much as other teams but when they play the highlights are shown and credit is given when those teams do something well. Also, those teams are reprimanded when they make huge mistakes. Why can't this logic be carried into NASCAR the way it used to be?

Today's race was a Jimmie Johnson, Kurt Busch run away so how about we talk about guys having great runs that NEED it for longer than two seconds. Matt Kenseth, where the heck did he come from!?!?!? Casey Mears and AJ Allmendinger had great runs as well but hardly a mention was made except to say Mears doesn't have a sponsor past this year and may get the boot. Paul Menard ran most of the first half of the race in and near the top 10, not a mention of it that I heard. Guys returned to the race multiple laps down after making repairs, how about alerting the fans of said drivers that their guys got back out. Its the seemingly trivial stuff like that which makes a lackluster effort into a great broadcast. The depth of the ESPN broadcast is about as deep as Kyle Busch after finishing 2nd.

I'm just tired of getting the same result. JD, I know you say some powerful folks read this place but man, it is getting tough to have faith in the process when nothing seems to change. Yeah, I guess we are all guilty of wanting some instant change and immediate satisfaction but there is no reason some of these changes ESPN NEEDS to make have to wait until the offseason. What should the Nationwide schedule up to Indy have been used for instead? We knew there were issues all season. Not much changed. Okay, the Nationwide races are somewhat more tolerable knowing MR cares and sounds about as frustrated with ESPN's directing as we do at times, but tons of the same stuff happens over and over. Go watch the ORP broadcast ESPN, then watch every other broadcast you've done and tell me there isn't some huge gap between the two.

David said...

Talk about all the drivers out there, even if its just a blurb on guys like Dave Blaney or Micheal McDowell. Its pretty sad you can qualify for a Sprint Cup race this day and age and not have more than 3 words said about you in a 3 hour broadcast.

Even PRN (the "showier" of the two radio networks) asked the fans what they wanted to hear about: Chase vs. Race and guess what we said?! The RACE!

I rest my case.

Unbelievable, one post was NOT enough. Didn't know a post could be too long. Sorry for the rant my friends, some of it just had to be said.

RobFromToronto said...

Again..for the second race in a row..the broadcast team impacted my enjoyment of the race in a negative way...espn truely does not care ..its a shame..on top of it all..the race itself was among the most boring races of the year..the C.O.T is a total failure on the raceability front..although i do applaud how much safer it is..Joey came out of his flip as a grinning shakey school kid that just rode worlds wildest the halfway point of the race..i was switching over to another station watching for the last 150-ish laps i just peeked in for updates..i did watch the last 10 laps entirely a what espn does to nascar..makes a 46 year old men watch Ratatouie

Anonymous said...

If I were in charge, I'd get rid of all the pre-race shows and substitute that with a 60-90 minute post-race show analyzing anything worth discussion. Do this by moving up the start time for the race. I'd fire just about everyone and use AB,McReynolds,DJ and Andy. Then I'd find someone in the TV industry that really knew Nascar and put them in the truck controlling what gets shown.The Espn production is embarrassing.

Kevin said...

Telling when ESPN's own SportsCenter uses the MRN call of the race for their highlight package of Logano's wreck...even THEY know Punch just can't handle the job!

Corey said...

I was very happy with Directv Hotpass making the switch to using the MRN Radio feed instead of network audio, not to mention only 6 commercials during the race. Between that and following the 17 on Raceview, I don't have to hear a word the ABC crew says.

Ghost of Curtus Turner said...

Zzzzzzz, hhgmmmm, zzzzzzz... huh wha? did this thing end yet??? zzzzzzz
Thank God for Jerry Punch and the ABC/ESPN coverage they are cheaper than buying Ambien and you get better night's sleep too.

Anonymous said...

In a word, ESPN coverage is UNINSPIRED. One can only surmise that it starts in the production truck, travels through the booth and ends in the (pun intended) pits.
It simply has to be a case of lack of knowlege about the sport among the production staff. They can't relate! One of the late re-starts had Montoya in 3rd, but he faded. On the next restart, Petree or Jarrett note that Montoya almost spun on the previous re-start. So, even though the girls in the production truck missed it live, you think they could focus on Montoya the second time....or better, analyze what happened. Nope.
Back to JJ, running away.
77 spins-Replay-does his front tire hit the apron?-Not sure.
(Looking live showed one of his rears was flat. Caused by or cause of the spin?) Dunno. Hey, look, the 48 is out front!!
The girls at ESPN don't get it.
The pit "resporters" [very loose use of the term] is just Blivit headed, trite, cliched crap.

Lions beating the Skins was great, though.


MRM4 said...

I disagree with many that have said there was no coverage of the non-Chase drivers. They showed plenty of Kyle Busch, especially in the garage. For a minute there, I thought I was watching Fox.

The race coverage was not good. There's no other way to say it. While some passes were being made in the top 10, too often they were showing some battle for 15th or 20th. It was frustrating.

The Jerry Punch-is-bad theme has been beaten to death. But yesterday was the icing on the cake. He offered nothing but stats, setups for the pit reporters, or constant updates on the Chase - very little calling of race action. I've said it since it was announced he was the PxP guy they need someone else.

MRM4 said...

One more thing I forgot to add.

ESPN couldn't wait to get to their first round of commercial breaks. Lap 7 and we have break #1. Punch said the competition caution was coming on lap 25, so they go to a caution on lap 22 and almost missed the pit stops. Then after the long red flag period, more of the same. But with the race running long, there was no commercials for the longest time. I think they went continuous for at least an hour. With the red flag period running the race long, they should have done a better job of spreading out those breaks. Poor time management.

DL said...

I haven't even bothered to read any comments because I'm tired of complaints. With my bevy of toys, I only found the race boring because it was 48 Day again. Crashes DO NOT make a race exciting for me, RACING does.
I read in an article a few weeks ago that ESPN *ASKED* Jerry to tone down his commentary when he first started booth. So if you don't like it, the blame is squarely on ESPN and NOT Jerry, he's just doing what his employer wants.
From jayski France not concerned about lower TV ratings Well. That pretty much says everything else.

DL said...

OK I decided to glance at a few comments and a couple things 1) No, Joey's dad did not need to be interviewed. As a Cup driver Joey should, and did, speak for himself. His age doesn't matter, are we sticking mikes in other parents' faces when there's a wreck? and 2) I feel very strongly negative about multi year consecutive team dominance in ANY sport. More than 2 and I think it's bad for the sport. So yes I think a 4th consecutive 48 title would be as bad as the 3rd, never mind history, because there would be no reason to think there wouldn't be a 5th, then a 6th, then... IMO, and apologies to 48 fans, but the biggest thing they've demonstrated is that they run good enough to make it in and then are the best at the 10-race Chase format and tracks. Oh, except for Homestead.

GinaV24 said...

Boy, these comments make me glad that I decided to go to the race even though I was worried that it would be raining there. it turned out to be a beautiful day and at least at the track, I can see the action and not be subjected to ESPN.

Now, based on experience and reading these comments, I know what I won't be doing next weekend -- that would be "watching" the race on TV.

ESPN AND NASCAR need to seriously get a clue here.

I have to say that I'm with the person who wondered about whether Johnson winning so much turns people off -- I know I've been bored by the chase partly BECAUSE it is always run on the same 10 tracks and with a crewchief like Knaus, well, barring somebody deliberately wrecking Johnson, it's a no brainer AND boring.

Johnson was in his own zip code yesterday. The race was for 2nd.

Prof pi (Jeff Thompson) said...

The NASCAR broadcast: Punch, what can one say, not doubt there are more boring people on TV but I can't think of who it might be. By contrast the F1 broadcasts are animated, lively, informative, often sardonic, and you have the impression the announcers really care about the racing.
The sort of TV broadcasting that was on Sunday at Dover should effectively kill any remaining interest in NASCAR that the dwindling number of fans might have.

Anonymous said...

Race just seemed to drag on and on. So tired of the lackluster reporting that goes on, and sick of hearing about JJ all the time. I love NASCAR, but I can't stand much more of this hideous broadcasting.

Anonymous said...

I"ll say my peace.

1. I personally LIKE the emphasis on the chase. Those are the only drivers gunning for the championship. This is what NASCAR wants. NASCAR's opinion is if a non-chase driver wants publicity, they need to win races.

2. I watch races to watch the RACE, not the TV coverage. The vast majority of the viewers do so as well. They aren't looking to criticise or find fault with every single little detail of the production. I just can't get worked up over it. I'm having too much of a good time watching the racing that is going on.

bevo said...

@West Coast Diane- still here, glad I could help :)

ABC/ESPN. Second verse same as the first. No problem with the men and women behind the scenes who work to bring us a great show from a technical standpoint, no glitches at all. The problem lies at the top with a few individuals who obviously have no passion for the sport. Look at the difference with the very same network's NHRA coverage. Although Paul Page has his shortcomings he is genuinely a fan of drag racing and works at fitting in with that crowd. The analyst and pit reporters know their stuff and don't ask stupid questions. They focus a bit too much on John Force Racing at times but that's a minor complaint. I dare anyone to catch a repeat on ESPN during the week of a drag race and compare to a Cup race for excitement and knowledge of the announcers and pit reporters.

Tim Robinson said...

I am convinced now that whenever I need a good nap, I can simply tune into the NA$CAR race.

Absolutely horrible.

Yet, Brian France doesn't get why the TV ratings are down BIG!

He obviously does not watch his own product on TV.

yankeegranny said...

Boring, horrible coverage, simply awful from start to finish. Broadcast itself hit a new low(didn't think that was possible) The race itself was a real snooooooozefest. One driver out front and the rest playing follow the leader made a boring race worse. Thank heaven I invested in Raceview this year, it helps me keep my sanity. TV on with no sound, MRN on and switching back and forth between watching/listening to MY DRIVERS made it bearable. To me the best part of the race was listening to the drivers during the red flag was the best part of the race. Most of the were getting the football scores. Jr thought his spotter was kidding him when told that the Lions beat the Redskins. I was really surprised that there wasn't at least one caution late in the race. Guess that shuts up the people who say Jr gets preferred treatment because he would have gotten the lucky dog. All in all, I doubt that this mess can get any worse next week, but I will still watch it. I must be a masochist to watch that horrible excuse of a race and follow it with the Steelers game which was just as bad at the end.

Anonymous said...

I would have liked better coverage of the race, for sure. Tell the "stories", guys, stories within THIS race. There were stories about Almendinger, Kenseth, Biffle and others on the track that were pretty much ignored. Yes, we like the top Chasers but most of us have other favorites too - don't you get that? Stop relying on the camera to tell the story - ESPN does not know how to make that happen. Pathetic!

Anonymous said...

Oh thank god for the commercials,as I hardly missed any golf coverage. The pit reportes are terrible,especially that airhead shannon spake

Tom said...

Yankee Granny,
That Steelers game may have been bad for you, but there was genuine excitement at the finish, the absolute opposite of the boredom that was the voice of JP at the finish at Dover.

My condolences for the Steelers' loss...

Anonymous said...

I hear a lot of people complaining that the camera work sucks in so far as the shots are so tight that the viewer has no context of the larger race. Is it possible that the reason for all those tight shots is so that all the empty seats in the stands aren't so obvious?

saltsburgtrojanfan said...

I watched only a few minutes of the race and saw replays of the Logano flip but that was it.

I will not watch another NA$CAR race until ESPN and NA$CAR get their crap together.

Jimmie Johnson won the race in a runaway.

NA$CAR is not what it used to be. Instead of caring about only money you should be trying to keep the fans you already have because your fans will leave one by one.

Brian France is the man of 1000 excuses, he finds every reason in the world to say why NASCAR is declining in popularity,Hmmmmmmmmmmmm.....Wonder Why.

NASCAR and ESPN does not care about the viewers or fans.

Only the $$$$$$

It is such a shame how a sport so good become so bad so quickly.

50 yr. fan said...

Thank goodness for DirectTV and
their inclusion of MRN. I moved
through all 4 drivers. Barney Hall
and the guys at MRN were describing
racing while the BSPN picture
was fixed on individual racecars.
They showed the 42 once for about
5 laps while the 5 and 24 were dueling for position. Maybe the
BSPN director should listen to MRN
in lieu of his suits in the TV booth.

chase said...

I can't for the life of me understand ESPN/ABC and NASCAR for allowing this travesty to continue from year to year. It's obvious that ESPN does not care about racing and NASCAR's 'invention' of the Chase made it a 'given' that we would only see and/or hear about the drivers who made the Chase - a poster above wondered what happened to the rest of the field - I, too, wonder.Perhaps it would be a smart move for ESPN to admit their blunder and 'eat' the rest of their contract. And since when does 'age' have anything to do with anything? Punch is a waste of money and an embarrassment to any fan. I guarantee you that if you remove Punch,DJ and Petree and Alan B. could carry the day and make watching racing on TV enjoyable again - I personally am through. Thank you everyone and John!!

Newracefan said...

Let me start out by saying that I was at the race and am watching it now on DVR. I've gotten to the part where Joey wrecked. OMG MRN was losing a lung saying what was happening and I was screaming myself because it was right in front of me. JP sounded like the ER physician keeping the room calm during a code. Not what I want in a PXP guy. Later if the driver is hurt or we don't know his status the tone was fine but not for this.

Overall MRN made sure everyone knew that JJ was stomping the field and then found something else to talk about. My only complaint with MRN is that they need to tell you who is 1 lap down and who is more than that since I don't have intervals to look at. It makes a difference when trying to see who is racing who for the lucky dog or other positions within their lap.

I still saw a much better race in person then what was apparently shown on TV. By the way no dumb questions were asked of the drivers except when we had to share the MRN feed.

Anonymous said...

Good grief! What do you people want??? I thought ESPN did a very good job of covering a lot of the field, not just the chasers. How can they not talk about Johnson at least some when he dominated the race? Try separating your driver likes/dislikes from the actual facts.

Speedcouch said...

As to ESPN not interviewing Tom Logano, I heard on XM that the Gibbs PR person scooped him up and said there would be no interviews to ESPN. How exactly is that ESPN's fault?

Rich said...

I was happy for once to have missed the first 200 laps. Boring race, with even worse coverage.

Ratings are down which shouldn't be a shock to anyone who watches or has to listen to the telecast. I don't care what the points are 58 laps into the race. Tell me at the end, the only time it matters we shouldn't have to listen to those idiots play pretend all day. It's almost like the Cubs winning on opening day and the guys saying well if the season ended now they'd be in first place.

I guess it's just going to be part of the deal that not all of the chase tracks are going to be even remotely exciting. The stands were not even close to full so it's obvious that people don't see Dover as an exciting "playoff" race.


Daly Planet Editor said...


ESPN has two teams at the track. The first team of the pit reporters handle the live interviews. In this case, that was Jamie Little who was pushed away by the team PR rep.

The other ESPN team at Dover was Nicole Manske and Angelique Chengelis. These were the two reporters for NASCAR Now, ESPNEWS and SportsCenter.

Manske and Chengelis has plenty of time to arrange an interview with dad once he knew everything was fine.

That is the point made earlier.


Richard in N.C. said...

It seems to me that EESPN's target audience is the video game generation. Thus, eye-catching pictures and sound bytes trump quality and credibility. Also, the NASCAR race broadcasts are premised upon a misrepresentation - that the guys in the booth are up there so they can watch and describe the race, whereas apparently they hunch down over monitors to describe what the folks in the truck deem significant.

From the way it operates, EESPN has given me no reason to expect any significant improvement in the way in which it handles race broadcasts, and I am beginning to wonder if the EESPN strategy is to depress ratings now to try to justify lower rights fees when the contract is up for renewal.

Adam Wood said...

We all criticize ESPN/ABC, but let's look at NASCAR's options. CBS and FOX both have football, so they are out for the chase, leaving only NBC left. If NBC were to take NASCAR back, then all the race start times would have to be moved up to absolutely no later than 1 ET so that races do not conflict with Sunday Night Football. In addition, you are looking at conflicts with Notre Dame games when it comes to the night races in the chase. West coast races at Phoenix and California would have to be moved to Saturday night, and then we are still competing with college football.

Let's look at the Good and the Bad of ESPN/ABC:

Good) 65 minutes of commercial-free racing at the end of the race, less male-enhancement ads, tech garage, sports ticker to keep us updated on other sports, daily NASCAR show, constant points updates

Bad and how to improve:
1) Too many commercials early in the race. Wait 30 minutes or until the first caution at the very least.
2) Dr. Jerry Punch. Sorry, but you've convinced me never to get a doctorate in communications. Switch Punch and Bestwick. Bestwick was an excellent booth reporter before he was moved to pit road on NBC. I see the concept here: FOX used a pit reporter, former crew chief, and champion driver, so it will work with us, right? Wrong.
3)College Football vs. Nationwide races. If the Indiana-Michigan game had gone into OT, then fans in the Midwest would have missed the start of the race and several laps at the beginning, unless you had ESPN Classic.
4) Too many races on ESPN/ESPN2. Not everyone has ESPN/ESPN2 or ESPN/ESPN2 access, and people just can't afford it, especially in this economy. Sponsors don't like how races are broadcast on cable from June to September.
5) The races in the chase. Fans have figured out that the only "exciting" chase race is Talladega. The other tracks don't see very much passing, and the 5 intermediate tracks in the chase get boring after a while. We need the chase races rotated each year. Every track could get a chase race at least once every 3 years if this was done.
6) Photography. For all the cameras and HD techonlogy ESPN has at their disposal, they need to focus on multiple cars and the entire field. Focusing on only one or two cars is annoying, and simply not fan friendly.
7) Race titles being "NASCAR Sprint Cup Series presented by Company" This is just wrong. These companies pay good money for title sponsorship of these races, and it needs to be written into the next contract that races be presented as "Chevy Rock & Roll 400" instead of "NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Presented by Toyo Tries"
8) Commercial time. Not only are the commercials too often, but they are too long. Since side-by-side is out of the window, new arrangements need to be made. You don't have to satisfy every company that wants to advertise on TV, that's called capitalism.

If ESPN made these improvements, they could get through the rest of their contract. But I hope that when 2014 comes around, NASCAR makes the right call and leaves ESPN once and for all, even if it means adopting NBC's schedule.

Anonymous said...

For the first time since I've been a fan, I did not stay home to check out the race. I went to a movie and then ran a couple of errands. I did turn the race on once I got home but ended up channel surfing to check out the football games and golf. What little I saw of the broadcast was painful.

J.Todd said...

Jerry Punch dropped the ball...


I like Jerry Punch, personally, but in this instance, he really showed that he is not suited for the job he has been placed in.

Huge chasms of silence occupied the space where Allen Bestwick should have waxed poetically. God Help Us.

Anonymous said...

anon at 3:25 pm wrote:
"Try separating your driver likes/dislikes from the actual facts."

You must be new to this sport. You see, its longstanding popularity was founded on the idea that every driver in the field has fans somewhere. The beauty of ESPN coverage in the 1980's and early 90's was that they understood that and covered the race accordingly.

The current vid-crap that ESPN produces as race coverage shows an arrogance and a total lack of understanding of the sport

Anonymous said...

Since JP is a real doctor, do you think that when he sees a crash, he is not excited about the action but instantly considering in his head the possible resulting injuries?
If I were an ER doc, I wouldn't get excited about a flip either. At least not until Joey gets out of the car.

Me personally, I saw the flip and was yelling "holy ...." while it was happening. I wouldn't begin to tell you what anyone on TV was saying at the time and it certainly would not have been more exciting had I been able to.

bevo said...

@anonymous 9:51- that is exactly why he should have never been put in the pxp position. As I said many times since his debut in that position his training as both a doctor and a reporter is to be dispassionate and cool under pressure. He was an excellent pit reporter for that very reason plus his good will with the drivers, crews and officials. ESPN needs to make him the lead pit guy and get all new reporters for him.

BWBarefoot said...

I had heard of NASCAR fans falling asleep during the telecasts. But somehow I had managed to stay up each and every time.

Until Sunday.

Granted, there was an extenuating circumstance, as my body was bone-tired after four full days in New York City and a 5 1/2-hour plane flight across the country.

But it didn't help that Jimmie Johnson dominated the race (although he is my favorite driver) and the usual lackluster coverage from ESPN.

I agree with the poster that said that the Logano crash played into a strength that Dr. Jerry Punch has, but chose not to use. No excitement in his voice at the time, and no context as to driver safety and potential injuries.

If indeed DirecTV has changed its HotPass coverage to MRN audio and voice-over announcers, this could be a huge wakeup call to ESPN.

Tom said...

Hey, everyone...
Knowing that Hot Pass now feeds MRN radio with the TV pictures, is it safely recordable off the DVR? I'll dump my ABC recording plan in a heartbeat if that's the case.
Tips and advice are welcome.
For those who are curious...Logano, Harvick, Johnson and Junior - in order of channels - are on the HP lineup for Sunday.

Jordan said...

I started following NASCAR on a regular basis from 2004 and unfortunately i don't record the races as frequently as I used to. And you know why? ESPN!

It is not just US viewers that are suffering from bad coverage, its even worse down here in Australia. Blocked and deleted graphics (to avoid sponsors and network logos), for all Sprint cup races and majority of Nationwide races. Then of course throw in ESPN's abysmal coverage. Because of Joey's flip I could have had a replay of this race taped but decided not to.

Im sick of how the race is directed. I think the director's name is Rich Basile, am I correct JD? Between him and the rest of his crew along with Jerry Punch and the booth along with all of the pit reporters (except Dave Burns, I like him from NBC/TNT days), they have just made watching the races impossible. ESPN need to start afresh with new behind the scenes crew and on-air talent. They did it with the IRL and NHRA, why can't they do it with their Sprint Cup coverage.

The last race I might watch for this year will be Talladega, where at least the race itself is enough to keep me on edge.

Sorry ESPN until u get urselves together and actually try to care, I'm not watching. G'day from down under

Anonymous said...
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Tom said...

Found another gem from Dr. Jerry at the race start on Sunday...

"We welcome you to race No. 2 in the 2006 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup."

Ai-yi-yi. Wonder if there was any weeping, wailing or gnashing of teeth going on in the truck.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Thank you for all the great comments. We will be live blogging the races from Kansas next weekend.