Saturday, September 12, 2009

Your Turn: Sprint Cup Series From Richmond On ABC

This was the first of eleven Sprint Cup Series races that will be carried on ABC and produced by the NASCAR on ESPN team.

Allen Bestwick opened the show after a delay due to the Notre Dame vs. Michigan live college football game. Bestwick had Rusty Wallace and Brad Daugherty in the Infield Pit Center. They focused on the Chase contenders in this program.

Jerry Punch called the race with Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree up in the broadcast booth. This was a long weekend on the air for all three men and it sounded that way.

Punch followed his format of reporting from the booth while asking questions and reporting facts about the race and the teams. The actual play-by-play provided for the race was minimal, the tone was calm.

Petree and Jarrett worked hard, calling out the accidents and trying to stay with the pictures on the screen. The total focus was the Chase, while the racing in the middle of the pack and the cars outside the top ten were not featured on TV. At times, both Petree and Jarrett sounded flustered.

Bestwick interjected himself into the telecast several times to offer updates and lead the pit reporters through the field on a review of the race. Wallace and Daugherty also added excitement when they were allowed to talk during the race.

ESPN often covered green flag racing with played-back elements like drivers interviews and even a Rusty Wallace at Richmond tribute. There was no reset before green flag restarts. The focus was on the Chase.

This is your opportunity to offer your comments on the race telecast. To add your opinion, just click on the comments button below. This is a family-friendly telecast, please keep that in mind when posting. Thanks for taking the time to stop by.


Walter said...

with MRN audio, it was a great race to follow ...ESPN broadcast lacked continuity ...some great shots - wide, aerial low backstretch was difficult to follow, though ...disjointed ...very disappointing for all the tools ESPN brings to each show

RLDreams said...

Typical ABC/ESPN Nascar coverage, I have never figured out how with the worst coverage they keep winning the bid to cover the chase. All I can say is it must be one real big check to France to make up for all the fans they lose because of the lousy broadcasts.
Look at the finish, the camera was on Vickers,not on the leaders. Yes Vickers was racing into the chase, BUT some people might have still been interested in who was leading/won the race. Especially when the winner was a "hometown hero" .

Anonymous said...

ESPN on ABC without MRN - Awful and as one poster put it like a pinball game. Just a hot mess. I was just listening to radio by lap 200.

Labbie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Labbie said...

IMO, all personnel at NASCAR on ESPN need to be dumped, except for Bestwick. The truck couldn't keep up with a snail race, Punch is worthless in his PxP role, and DJ & AP get lost too easily. And need I say anything about Rusty and Brad?

This broadcast was another fiasco by the World-wide Leader.

TexasRaceLady said...

ESPN, please hear me, loud and clear ---

If it weren't for the radio, I would never have known what was happening on the track.

Long live MRN!

Anonymous said...

The Good:
- Dale Jarrett & Andy Petree trying their best to keep this coverage from sinking
- Staying after 11:30 with plenty of interviews.

The Bad:
- Jerry Punch. Drained the life out of the broadcast. I listened to MRN going in and out for about an hour just to avoid listening to him. All race he offered nothing but stats. Mark Martin is 50, this is Denny Hamlin's hometown track, Jimmie Johnson is a 3 time champion, car numbers, point numbers, position numbers, lap numbers, win numbers, aahhh!!! The fun was never there and I felt like I was in a stats class. No play-by-play all night long. It will be a LONG 10 weeks.
- Failed to show every car finish. They made some progress in this aspect the past few races, but they got caught up in the drama of the Chase. Every car after Vickers was ignored. Get ready for the next 10 races!
- 2 full screen video packages. One of the most intense races of the year & they interupt the action to listen to a piece of an interview done days ago?
- Full Throttle: While MRN was giving me play-by-play, ESPN was giving me 30 spotters talking over each other. Pointless.
- Missed restarts, pit road disastors, college football going late, dumb tech center segments, Sports Center updates, should I keep going?

Overall race broadcast:
* / *****

Overall race:
TV coverage did not do it justice. The race seemed to drag out forever & I struggled to stay awake. Maybe it was better in person.

Sally said...

Going only by what I was and heard on my TV, I have NO idea what was happening on the track. The race may have been exciting...but I certainly couldn't tell that by what ESPN tried to foist off as race coverage. I know that the media thinks the 'chase' takes precedence over everything else. Apparently that means they will not cover any action on track that does not involve the top 12 drivers. And they wonder why so many fans HATE the stupid chase? Tonight's race coverage, or lack thereof, is a huge reason. The camreas jumped around from one 'chaser to the next. NO context to try to make sense of the race as a whole. Richmond is one of the best tracks in Nascar, and ESPN managed to make it totally incomprehensible. Following 14 cars in a 43 car field just doesn't cut it. If this is what I can expect for the final 10 races, I guess I'll just stick to listening on the radio. I get a much better 'picture' of the entire race from them. They really should be embarrassed. I guess a plus was that they managed to avoid overuse of in car and bumper cams...but that's probably because they only had 14 cars to cover.

Martin Vincent said...

TSN cut to SportsCentre after the Montoya interview. I didn't think to switch to ABC. Was there more to the ABC coverage than that or did it all switch to ESPN2 shortly after?

Daly Planet Editor said...

MV, after this race, ESPN always talks to all the drivers that will be in the Chase. They stayed late and did the same this year.

It might have made more sense to leave ABC and do the interviews on NASCAR Now over on ESPN2 with no time pressure.

kbaskins said...

I'm pretty sure this race is a harbinger of things to come for the final 12 races of the season.

Dr. Punch was a step behind all night, quoting car numbers instead of driver names, and when he did mention a driver's name, it was invariably follwed by his hometown (and age, if it was Mark Martin).

DJ and Andy tried their best, but their best wasn't very good.

The pictures were pretty, but everything was so disjointed that I resorted, as I usually do during ESPN's coverage, to following the leaderboard on TrackPass.

The darn-near exclusive focus on the Chase story ruined everything, and I fear this will be the same for the next 12 races. What do you want to bet that the format of covering only the Chase drivers will remain for the rest of the season? Please ESPN, prove me wrong.

It was an awful, nay execrable, broadcast, entirey ruined by the focus on only 14 drivers. I fear it won't get any better for the next 12 races.


DrTeplisky said...

Again, I feel that there was something missing--usually my job will find me at Richmond at that race.

Letter Grades for Telecast Elements:

Visual Continuity: The good shots were real good, but the bad shots were abysmal--D.

Continuity: Pacing was not commensurate with the dramatic events that unfolded on track; questions were not focused enough to bring perspective; too much time was spent on trying to make the telecast fit some sort of outline that was devised in a production meeting--D- .

Direction: F for a gross misuse of talent. Allen Bestwick is one of auto racing's best play by play guys. Doc Punch invented the role of pit reporter back in the day--and still has all those instincts. Seeing the job done properly would improve the line of questioning from the weakest of the present pit reporting crew.

DJ and AP need a little more direction, and with Bestwick in the booth--they'd be "on the chip", big time.

The production executive who greenlighted the present assignments is not exercising even basic leadership. The lack of passion from that leadership is evident. Knowledge and motivation will do more to produce a great broadcast than three acres of 1080i HD cameras, switchers and in car robot cams in a TV compound.

As I've posted here many times, I must repeat: You Planeteers deserve better.

David said...

Rough day for ESPN. From the start it was doomed to be a long, winding, confusing night. And it was.

Tons of talk about the Chase, that was to be expected so it is what it is. Commercials, promos, points, blah blah blah. Hornish had a great run, never got a post race interview. That was a shame. Harvick another great night, they talked about him some but pat that team on the back for rebounding if some of you recall Pocono in June you guys know how much he HATED his cars.

The coverage of final stops sucked plain and simple. They just blew it until after the commercial trying to catch up.

Missed a restart, were close on a couple more, not good.

Reported lots of things many laps after they happened so ESPN seemed behind in their info all night long.

What do you say, Punch struggled, DJ was solid, AP actually made steps forward tonight, still not where I think he could/should be but he is getting back there. Post race interviews were weak, AB was WAYYY underutilized late, would have been a great race to have Ray Evernham instead of Brad D. but didn't happen that way.

Anyone hear from Carl on his struggle of a night, little surprised after they criticized him running last night that they would try to draw some conclusion into them struggling tonight....

Also surprised they couldn't read into Matt's interviews before the race, he kept saying IF the car was there which meant he knew they were junk. Heads in sand ESPN, your heads are in the sand.

brad said...

This was the best ESPN could muster for the cut off race to set the chase field? Same old story week in and week out. How do you suck the excitement out of a race filled with it naturally? I understand falling short when trying to manufacture drama but tonight actually had it on it's own and you sucked it all out. I just don't understand the logic from the people with big desks at ESPN. I'm about to resign myself to the fact that nothing is going to change. Atleast til next year!

Sophia said...

Dr. T

I agree with your posts!


Heads may be in sand but more importantly, money is in the $bank$ and the SPORT is suffering. :(

kbaskins said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dot said...

@ KarenB, lol.

I also agree with Dr T & David.

David said...

remember, this is a FAMILY site! lol

slander said...

Downside: BSPN's coverage of the race was, as usual, atrocious.

Upside: I had some friends from work over to watch the race, and we played the "Chase-Standings-As-They-Run-Run-Now/How-Does-It-It-Feel/What-Does-It-Mean-To-You" Drinking Game™. Yeah, we're all pretty looped right now...

kbaskins said...

@ David

Yeah, I know this is a family site. That's why I didn't specify where ESPN's heads are. :-)


Daly Planet Editor said...

The late night version of "NASCAR Now" with Mike Massaro, Ricky Craven, Marty Smith and Nicole Manske was outstanding.

How can the same network produce an outstanding news show about the sport and also produce such a completely disastrous race?

Imagine, NASCAR fans actually had to turn on the radio to figure out what was going on during the race.

This is a production management problem at the highest level. What a shame that again this year the fans and the sport are the real victims.


kbaskins said...

I decided to delete my comment because it was pretty rude. I think in the spirit of constructive criticism, I didn't need to be making ill-mannered comments like that.

Besides, JD might fine me concerning Section 12-1 of the rule book: "Actions detrimental to blogging".


Daly Planet Editor said...

After a summer of TNT, Marty Reid on the Nationwide race and Rick Allen on the truck series, I can understand how this mess today would be a bit much to take.

Sophia said...

I didn't even know NNow was ON tnight.

Good grief, too much on the weekends. I ended up watching a friend online practice a webcast and MISSED most of VLane....that's ok.

Everything is going to be so CHASE oriented.

I was sick of it before they started.

I think the guys OUT of the Chase should race separately. I know that's ludicrous but they must feel invisible and NERVOUS's very contrived in some ways.

I was glad to see Juan Pablo and Vickers make it in.

But . . .

kbaskins said...

Honestly, JD, I don't know how to frame these ESPN races any more without repeating myself. Just how many synonyms can we come up with for "awful"? I know I've reached the limit of my vocabulary.

How many more times can we point out the obvious? I don't always talk very much, but I always have something to say. Frustratingly, I've run out of words. No matter, I guess, since they're falling on ESPN's deaf ears.


Anonymous said...

Overall, I really wish I was watching the race that Andy and Dale were watching.

They kept saying stuff like "Whoa, three wide action in Turn 4" or "Wow, look how Matt Kennseth is bottled up in traffic" or "We got some exciting three wide action back in Turn 2"... all while the ESPN director cued up shots of single-file racing.

One of the worst NASCAR camera-directing jobs in history took place tonight. As bad as the announcing can be (and it was bad), the directing tonight was horrible.

Anonymous said...

I have heard MRN, but never streamed it during a race. Around comment 550 or so of the live blogging, I asked where I could stream it, and someone gave me a link of a radio station that was streaming MRN. Once I synced up my TV to their calling, it was a world of difference. I wish someone would literally sit ESPN executives down in a room and demonstrate this for them. Suddenly the race was really exciting!

Blog owner: Where can I subscribe to MRN? I couldn't find any links online, only a list of affliate radio stations and most of them were so swamped with traffic that I couldn't get the audio to stream. I would be willing to pay for MRN every race, just the audio. I don't have Sirius, so that's not an option. Can you pay to stream MRN online? It would be worth $10 per race to GET JERRY PUNCH OUT OF MY LIVING ROOM. He's like a boring guest who doesn't know when he is killing the party and doesn't know when to leave. Anyway, where do I sign up to subscribe to MRN or something? Their website is woefully lacking in answers!!

Anonymous said...

From what ESPN gave us today expect the remaining 10 races to be about the only 12 drivers. Yes they earned to be in the top 12 but does that mean you ESPN should avoid the rest of the filled? NO. Today's race was bad because all they did was chase chase chase and took their entire focus off the race itself. I was sick of it. Na$car got thier money from ESPN so they don't care.
Jerry Punch, mann can somebody switch this guy with Allen Bestwick? All what this guy does it talk about stats stats stats plus his voice is a sleeper so it makes him boring. Sorry Jerry but there are better things for you to do than to be a PXP announcer. ESPN just needs to wake up and put their people in the right places.

Haus14 said...

One thing that ESPN could uses is simple common sense. Common sense tells you that racing isn't a stick and ball sport and yet it seems that ESPN has taken a stick-n-ball approach to producing a NASCAR race. For example, Sports center in games, pre-produced driver interviews and historical looks at past race winners should never be inserted during green flag action especially in a full screen manner. Other sports have natural breaks in the action which lend themselves to pre-produced pieces being used. The closest NASCAR comes to a break is a yellow flag. That would be a great time for these pieces IF and only if ESPN could reset the field after the pit stops. However, since they can't even do that, there isn't room for the other fluff. Use the SPEED format. Keep it simple. NASCAR fans don't need the bells and whistles that ESPN loves to show off. Especially when those gadgets and gizmos get in the way of the action on the track. We want to see the race.

The tech garage is a waste of money and a waste of time. So often, the camera guy in the tech center can't keep up with what Tim Brewer is pointing to or can't get a good enough shot to even be able to see what he is talking about so it ends up being even more pointless than it is already.

As others have said, much of what could be said has been said for the last year and a half. It is the same old same old with the 4-letter network. You could cut and paste the comments from last year's Richmond race and the same complaints and problems would be there. How sad.

Tom said...

Watching rerun on my DVR now. Noticed how they used HD graphics when they crawled the field across the TOP of the screen (it should have been on the BOTTOM). It did not translate well to my SDTV. The tops of the drivers' heads, as well as the names, were cut off.
Typical of the excessive pride in the toys.

Tom said...

Just reviewed this bit of genius from Dr. Jerry on lap 15:
"Back up front, the local boy, Denny Hamlin, from nearby Chesapeake, Virginia."

Uhh,'s CHESTERFIELD!!! Obviously, he doesn't read his media guide very well.

Anonymous said...

JP also introduced Kahne as driving the budweiser chevy for the in race reporter and said the over the wall guy was rick not ryan.

Very much an off night for the good doctor.

RobFromToronto said...

Well..first off..i didnt mind the overrun of the Mich v ND game..i witnessed an amazing QB in Tate Forcier i would have never seen otherwise as i dont frequent NCAA kudos to ABC for for the nascar broadcast the best..period.
Rusty..and now finally..even Brad..are wearing very thin..i despise rusty fans..he could drive..talking is an issue for him..ugh..grates on my nerves.For a time..i enjoyed Brad..but this season..he's become TOO much cheerleader fan-boy hey listen to me i got knowledge've become an overbearing buffoon...sorry..go away..the race itself..was somewhat boring as a race..but the intrigue FINALLY of the chase scenarios,made it very interesting...with JPM getting in..and Mark..the young kid Martin getting in..this will be the first chase worth watching..Mark is a fav because..well..heck..Mark is a legend and a super nice guy..JPM is a wildcard..he's consistently improved all season..and may be the darkhorse..will be fun to watch.

Vicky D said...

I fell asleep before the end of the race but the broadcast was concentrated so much on the chasers and near chasers I just couldn't believe it. I think some of the other drivers in the race got a snip of a picture if they were in the same frame as a chaser. My fav didn't make the chase they did show a lot of him last night when they could have shown others that were doing better.

Anonymous said...

If Jerry Punch had said "local boy" Denny Hamlin one more time I was gonna vomit! It was as irritating as Mike Joy saying Texas Terry Labonte a million times on one of Fox's broadcasts.....

Bruce Atkinson said...

I'm just curious as to how people that claim the radio coverage is better know? How do you listen to both at the same time?

red said...

@bruce: i listen to mrn/prn thru my laptop and put the tv on mute. some planeteers synch the tv and radio but i don't have that ability. even with the lag time betwen the radio and tv, i still get much more info from the radio than i can ever get from espn. (and reading the closed captioning of the race is often quite interesting!)

jd, will think about last night some more and make time this afternoon to add my comments.

Robyn said...

@Anon 1:42

The only online "subscription", that I know of, to the radio is through Track Pass. If you pay for Pit Command, you can get the radio broadcasts no matter which radio group is broadcasting it (MRN, PRN, or Indy.) You need to sign up for Pit Command, at the least, I think and it's $10/mo.

Chris said...

Hey did anybody notice ABC/ESPN going "side by side" to promote the football game on ESPN?
I was stunned! How is it they can do that for their own purposes but not for the fan? I can only imagine NASCAR gave them permission.
Go JPM!!!

Anonymous said...

The only good thing about Jerry Punch last night was that I didn't hear him say "Cousin Carl" one time when referring to Carl Edwards.

Beyond that, his performance was utterly incompetent. Am I really living in a world where Punch's colleagues, bosses, and peers think he is doing a good job? Does Punch himself think that he did a good job?

Can you imagine the Patriots playing the 49ers in San Francisco and the NFL announcer telling the audience that "local boy" Tom Brady grew up just a few miles away in San Mateo, CA 30, 40 or even 50 times in a three-hour broadcast? The network would probably fire the guy on the spot!

And, hey, guess what: Mark Martin is 50! Who doesn't know Mark Martin is 50? It's been the story all year. It's been the story every time he won. It's been repeated on every broadcast. GUESS WHAT: Mark Martin has been in NASCAR for 30 years --- SO WE DON'T NEED TO BE REMINDED THAT THE GUY WE HAVE BEEN WATCHING LITERALLY OUR ENTIRE LIVES IS OLD!!!!!

Sorry for the all-caps, JD, but this situation infuriates me to no end. This is the third season of a major league sport being called by the equivalent of a bumbling junior-college broadcasting student. Embarrassing!

GinaV24 said...

I had the race on with my computer set on so I could listen to the MRN feed once I couldn't stand any more of the "chase" malarkey. I know that the drivers trying to get into the final 10 races was important, but I am so tired of it always being the focus rather than the actual race that is being broadcast.

The director must have had ADD since it was almost impossible to watch. I know that I almost fell asleep on the couch around 10:30 trying to follow whatever was going on via tv.

We've been saying for 2 years now that Jerry Punch cannot get THIS job done for ESPN so saying it again seems silly, but I just can't help it.

How to improve this mess?

1. Show and tell me about the race that I'm actually watching.

2. Stop trying to follow a script -- it's not a soap opera.

3. It's TV people, I tune in to SEE the race.

4. Put Allen in the booth as the pxp guy. Having too many people talking distracts from the sport.

I don't expect any of this to happen. The money has already changed hands. if my driver wasn't in the chase, I wouldn't bother watching ESPN's coverage of the races for the rest of the season.

michael in sc said...

The broadcast was what I expected. They are not going to make any real changes this year. Disney is in the commercial selling business. If they sell all their time, then they have done their jobs. They have been pumping the Chase so they can sell commercials on ABC. Then they will push the other content on that network to sell commercials on it.

As for the on air talent--I have had trouble with most all of them for years now. Most of them are not the easiest to understand--not the content, but their "accent" or the quality of their voices. This is not a regional accent thing with me since I was born, and have lived my entire life, in the South.

Anonymous said...

Rusty and Brad add nothing. Tim Brewer is a waste of time. Even on the occaison where he know's what he's talking about, his communication skills are so poor that he mucks it up. Does the booth really think the viewers want to hear the radio communications all playing at the same time??? DJ was excellent. Andy did ok. They often mention that a car is really moving up while showing the gap to the leader at the top of the screen showing the car is going backwards??

Anonymous said...

Espn needs help!!!! We need to start a websight NONASCARONESPN.COM
hell is there a number we could call and complain! lets get something started cause this needs to change its killing the sport we all love!

Rob Apted said...

Terrible coverage!! I thought ESPN was bad!! They kept cutting to comercials during at least 12 green flag runs. What gives? TNT has the best coverage followed by FOX,ESPN, then ABC. We need Speed to cover all race for now on!!

Tom said...

Rob Apted,
Not to get nitpicky, but ESPN and ABC are all one and the same family. Same broadcasters, same production teams.
And same crappy broadcast.

Tom said...

Anon 11:04
Fox's version is the right way to do gazillion radios, just the cars in full glory.
Digger Cam isn't really necessary, but it still works because there is no excess noise.

TheCarpenterKitchen said...

The first visual of the three guys was a total hoot. I thought it was a new reality show for over 50 Geeks.
There shirts buttoned up so high looked totally awkward. They need a tie or an obvious sport shirt. A military man needs to show them how to tuck in their shirts military style.

The Seniors Geek Squad has lost any spark they may have had. If one closed your eyes and listened, it was droll and their voices sounded so much alike at times that it was disconcerting.

It was difficult to follow and many drivers were never mentioned. They had about four facts about four people and they thought their audience were retards as they had to repeat the same facts over and over and over and over and......

I could not wait until they were over.

Anonymous said...

Great race, with a race broadcast focused directly on the chase, like it should be. Like it or not, that is what 99.99% of the people, and NASCAR is interested in. The numbers of the drivers contending for the Chase weren't painted on the track and walls for nothing.

Anonymous said...

marty reed we need

DL said...

Looking for something positive to say, I'll say this: I appreciate that the invocation and national anthem continue to be shown on all the networks before a race, and I hope it never stops. Imagine if a race telecast began after The Command. A tiny thing bobbing in a vast sea of broadcast troubles, but there it is.
Richmond was difficult to follow on TV- radio & internet better- but as the end of the regular season I enjoyed the post race coverage. Just wish it could've been coordinated a little better, I will have to watch the rerun of VL on SPEED to get the full enjoyment of Hamlin's win.

Kenn Fong said...


I'm not sure I like the kinder, gentler Kyle Busch. NASCAR needs a first class "heel" (pro-wrestling speak) and his pouty, "It's never my fault," persona was perfect for that. Geez, I might end up respecting Shrubby.

Although I wish he was just a bit more articulate and the camera work was better, I like watching Tim Brewer in the Tech Garage. Go ahead and flame me for not knowing anything about cars, but there ARE some of us out here without grease under our fingernails.

I'm not saying anything bad about Dr. Jerry. At some point it started to feel like piling on, and since ESPN is not going to make the change before the end of the season, it's just an empty exercise. I will say this: for all of you who criticize his "For those of you just joining us," there have been times when I came back from work and tuned in mid-race and I did hear it. So there are people joining mid-race. (While you're at it, flame me for that one too.)

I thought this week's racecast did a reasonable job keeping us current with the Chase bubble boys.

Yesterday's Nationwide coverage made a big deal of the red-hot brake rotors but I didn't recall any of that in the Cup racecast. I liked the slow motion replay on the Nationwide to show the glowing rotors which is impossible for these bad eyes to see on a standard-definition TV.

West Coast Kenny
Alameda, California

Sophia said...

carpenters kitchen

Not sure it's good to make fun of older people being in the booth. Many here are the age of some of the guys in the booth. age has NOTHING to do with anything, except the young ones playing with IN CAR CAMS so much.

that being said, I would rather listen to the "Older voices" on MRN over ANYBODY in, radio or online shows.

Those guys know how to have fun w/o being obnoxious, give info, and fill in time during cautions or red flags. & all the voices blend well & have a nice cadence--i can NOT say that about the Prn guys.

Somebody mentioned Common Sense. There was a book written years ago about problems in the world called The DEATH of COMMON Sense. ESPN is perfect example of what's gone wrong in sports telecast. especially NASCAR.

just had to put in a word for the ancient over 40 or 50 crowd.


p.s. & somebody talked about using all caps earlier & apologizing. It's really a lesson in discipline for all here not to have every post with the cap lock button stuck. As I & others have said, same gripes, new year, no change to camera work, or it's worsenes. Lather, rinse, repeat. Talking in low voice has not helped at all to have us heard.

What's that old saying from MLK, "we will not remember the voices of our enemy but the silence of our friends.'...kind of how many of us feel about the France family ALLOWING BSPN to ruin the sport over $$. NASCAR brags they listen to the giving us DF nice if we could SEE them on the tv from wide shots..but NO we get in car cams.

Off to enjoy a GORGEOUS day and watch the F1 race later. Those guys do a FABULOUS job from Charlotte & the race is in Europe. :) Simple broadcast but most effective!

Sophia said...

WC Kenny

Hey I had him muted yesterday but I must say I love the tech stuff which is why I love NASCAR Perf though I can never watch it as it has time slot roulette each week. I am not going to flame you.

Also to say something POSITIVE.

FABULOUS ANTHEM last night & they deserve a shout out. Can't beat a great brass band that knows how to play.:)

Dan said...

PLEEEASSE!!!Replace the good Dr.Punch in the booth with Allen Bestwick.It almost makes me long for Bill Weber....wait a minute,
forget that last comment.

Delenn said...

Hmmm. Something positive to say.
Ah yes. "Only 10 races left to Digger-time."
Oh, is that not positive enough? Sorry, best I can do.

West Coast Diane said...

First...ditto to all that was said previously.

Second, if you hate the Chase format, then you hate the Chase. I like it because there are more drivers competing for the Championship. If you look at "classic points" realistically only Jeff & Jimmy would have a shot to unseat Tony. (Before I get fire bombed, I realize "classic points" might be different as teams might have raced differently with no Chase.)

With that said, the problem with TV coverage isn't the Chase. The problem is how TV chooses to cover it. All those listening on MRN tout how exciting the race "sounds". They do field run thrus, cover those not in the Chase, update those going to the garage, show excitement and do better interviews. TV could do the same, if they put the effort in to do so.

ESPN and our politicians come from the same mold....they know better than the people they serve. So arogant and sad on both fronts.

hotaru-raganbaby_6 said...

I had the race on towards the end of the broadcast (muted, :D), but when I did overhear it in another room.. blah blah blah, Chase this, Chase that! Could you stop talking 'bout it for five minutes.

Bad move showing Brian during the closing laps. Hello, Denny Hamlin was going to win, not Bri. Again, more Chase-centric coverage with that move.

And it's going to get worse, so I'm definitely NOT watching.

Mïk said...

-@anon 12:59

How the ESPN internship going, anyhow? Doesn't it rankle you to be assigned these 'ditch-digging' chores?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @ 12:59 - Seriously? Do you think the Dale Earnhardt Jr, Jeff Burton & Michael Waltrip fans watched last night to only follow the Chase? Of course not. We all want to watch the race & follow our favorite driver. Just because this is the last race before the cutoff doesn't mean the other 30 drivers should be ignored. Regan Smith had his first DNF ever, ending his streak at 54. We were never updated about his problems, never got an interview.

This is my grudge against the Chase, the other 31 drivers turn into a nuisance the last 10 races.

Dot said...

@ West Coast Kenny, I love you :). Great post. BTW, do you know West Coast Diane?

One thing I noticed last night. After every break, AB was on. He brought the race back to life after the droning of JP. JP needs to be more animated and spontaneous.

West Coast Diane said...

Dot...just down the road a piece,40or so miles, from WCK :-)

CaseMoney said...

Jerry Punch may be the most dreary PBP announcer I've heard on any sports telecast. And some of the sports I like to watch on TV include poker, dominos, and Scrabble..

I hate the Chase so much. Besides the fact that the TV guys are hyponitzed by it.. and talk Chase, Chase, Chase non-stop, it casts such a pall over the racing itself. The guys 'locked in' the chase are running R+D. The guys 4th-12th in the standings are 'points racing' and have been doing so for several weeks because they can't jeoparzide their spot in the almighty Chase. Montoya has been tremendously fast at some of these tracks but we'll never know what he could've done because he had to drive safe to make sure he got into the Chase. Martin admitted he's likely left a win or two on the table. And for what? So a bunch of guys can compete for the championship who don't deserve it. I'm not seeing how any of this helps the product which is RACING, is it not?..

Anonymous said...

This is obviously a pro FOX anti ESPN blog.Almost like O'Reiily versus Olberman. Nothing will change some peoples minds. Keep listening to the disgruntled ex ESPN worker who has an axe to grind. That's why the country has so many problems, bitterness and bashing the opposition even when they are doing good. I could write a book about problems others have in broadcasting racing.What does Rush Limbaugh call his followers who follow him even when he's wrong? Ditto Heads. Keep spreading your venom because I enjoy the ESPN coverage.P.S. I'm sure this will be deleted, no free speech on this blog.

Walter said...

anon@1:42 pm -
MRN is free online from many local stations ...go to on affiliates streaming for the price of listening to local spots ...yes, it is available for a fee with PitPass, etc. ...not necessary to pay for MRN ...I use these two - and ...check for NW and NCWTS because not every station carrying Cup will carry other series

Anonymous said...

I invented a new drinking game last night. Every time Jerry Punch said "If the race ended now....." we all had a shot. Could someone tell us who won?

Dodge Boy from Canada

Richard in N.C. said...

In light of its arrogance and lack of standards and its fondness for negativity, mean-spiritedness, and bias, EESPN has far greater problems than JP's PXP abilities, but I'm only a fan who has only been watching EESPN since the Australian rules football days. It would appear that Gordon Gecko is alive and well and working in EESPN upper manglement.

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:00, you need to get serious and realize that this site is not what most race fans feel about the ESPN coverage. I read this site, chuckle, then go on. As someone who has been there with ESPN since Australian rules football as well,a 70 year old race fan, don't let this very small pocket of people annoy you.The ratings are speaking for themselves.

Anonymous said...

The pre-race show was delayed because of a college football game, correct? For the first time, I didn't care about not getting the whole race show. In fact, I watched more college football yesterday than I've watched actual race coverage all year.

MRN, Trackpass and the other various ways to keep up with the race are a saving grace.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 5:00PM,

OK, let's review. Left ESPN in 1989 for another job in Texas. Had a nice party. Everyone signed my banner.

Fox had the worst season ever and TDP was right in the middle of it. Digger, DW and the directing were a mess. Check the archives.

Nowhere in your post did you address the topic we are discussing. Perhaps, you could return and offer us your views of the ABC telecast.

Anon 6:06PM,

What is your point? Try to find another site that allow fans to talk about NASCAR TV coverage.

It's easy to talk about others and leave without commenting on the subject at hand.

How about you man-up and let us know what you think?

As you may know, I was at ESPN in 1980 and actually received the Aussi Rules tapes in the library.

Isn't it amazing that instead of praising this coverage like ESPN's college football or tennis, we are trapped in a continual conversation about the failure of the very basics of NASCAR TV that many of us have come to expect after decades of dedicated viewership?

Try laughing that off.


GinaV24 said...

Anon 6:06 -- really? how interesting that you think so? Have you been reading and posting anonymously long? and look, you agree with ANOTHER anon. Figures, doesn't it.

Tracy said...

I was at the race. It was dead-on, flat-out great racing, and no one left early, believe me. When Denny won and circled the track (doing awesome burnouts now and then), a wall of cheers rose from every section. The crowd was seriously happy for him.

Did ESPN show Gordon giving Bowyer the finger during a caution? Bet not, LOL.

So much was happening,and while we had the scanner and Fan View, I pretty much stuck with MRN during the race. Love those guys.

Talked today to my 23 yo daughter who watched the race on ABC, and she shut it down halfway thru, and she's a Hamlin fan! Said the coverage was horrible, the ads sucked the life from the race and were incessant, and she never knew what was happening. This is a girl who knows racing!

All I can say is, I'm so glad we went and saw it live. It was one of the best races I've seen, and I've been to a ton.

darbar said...

I'm beginning to wonder, is the lack of really great racing part of the problem with bad race coverage? Yes, I know and fully admit there is some good racing back in the pack, which is rarely shown, but when you have the biggest stars in the sport admitting they're just points racing in order to make the Chase, doesn't this contribute in a big way to making things boring? I mean, you can only do so much with what you have, and IMHO Nascar isn't providing a great and exciting product.

I think the networks will readily admit that they have a penchant for showing the big stars--which is something that you find in every sport. I mean, CBS isn't going to show Joe Blow, a golfer ranked 356th in the world, playing at Augusta, despite that fact that old Joe might be on pace to shoot a 63. Face it, the networks focus on the stars, and if the stars aren't performing, the broadcast will be boring. To use another golf analogy, when Tiger isn't in the mix, ratings drop faster than Brett Favre retracting yet another retirement.

Yes, the booth announcers have shortcomings and ESPN relies too heavily on their precious technology, but in all reality Nascar has become boring with their points racing and Hendrick cars winning most of the races. Sorry, but you just cannot put excitement and fake interest when Johnson/Gordon/Stewart/Martin are winning mostly everything, with a slight dash of Busch put in the mix, and you're not going to have great, exciting racing when guys like Montoya, Gordon, Biffle readily admit they're just going to tool around and add up their points.

Sorry, but I just cannot point the finger of blame entirely at ESPN. Nascar must take a big part of the blame for boring racing and putting on a bad show.

Sally said...

As far as I am aware, everyone who visits this sitehas the opportunity to post whatever they choose to about the broadcasts. Positive or negative. I always find it interesting that the majority of those who 'hit and run', bashing those who comment regularly, are inevitably 'anonymous'. That tells me somethng right there. As someone pointed out before, what happens at this site is known as 'Fan Feedback'. Usually a business who wants to stay viable welcomes constructive criticism, as it can keep them in business. If you wonder what can happen if you ignore your customers, look at GM and Chrysler.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Tracy said...

Darbar, it is was great racing last night - you should have seen them going at it. I don't know who was points racing, because that was a bare-knuckled fight from first to last (minus the S&P teams)on the Richmond track. Wow is all I can say.

If the coverage left you wondering where the problem arises, wonder no more. At least, as far as Richmond is concerned.

Tracy said...

Oops, it "was" great racing. Sorry, in my head, it's still a live feed.

peggyann said...

Anon (of various times, whoever you are): Nobody in here thinks that Dr. Jerry isn't a classy guy. He is doing the wrong job. And you don't know who we are and how we think. Well, I'll tell you that I'm not a fan of Jay Leno or many TV "personalities." I tend to prefer the real world.

Anonymous said...

anon(of course)@5:00:
your level could go lower?
Ugly personal attacks, bashing MW who has nothing to do with this issue,throwing in big names and PBS to show your great smarts....
You may not be laughing, but, you may be the only one.


Dot said...

@ dar, Brava.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 7:31PM,

You are welcome to repost without the Michael Waltrip comments. Obviously, that is not our topic today.

Please feel free to make your other points again in whatever form you choose.

If you take a minute to search the archives, you will know that we have said repeatedly that Punch should wind-up in the NASCAR Hall of Fame for his contributions to the sport.

This issue is about a good man in the wrong role and a network with too much ego to fix it.

This is year three of this discussion. Glad you finally discovered TDP.

btw - We average over 25 thousand page views a day on a free Google blog with no sponsors or budget. We exist because of our readers, period.

Glad to have you as one.


glenc1 said...

I'm watching rain delayed tennis now. Just saying, I get why tennis coverage is hard to schedule.

Darbar, nearly every person who's been to a race has reported the same thing Tracy did. I am not going to pass this off on the racing/NASCAR. Nothing wrong with the racing. I went to Watkins Glen, will let everyone know with Dover in a few weeks. But in my nind, it's all on the networks.

darbar said...

Tracy, Montoya admitted he was just taking it easy and not pushing anything. Tony Stewart has been doing some R&D with his car and that's been obvious by his poor performances in the past three weeks. Things like that do an injustice to anyone who are fans of drivers like that, and also impact viewership. Why should I invest my time with ESPN if my favorite drivers are just out for a Sunday drive, or are just messing with set ups and trying things for the future, and you know they aren't concerned with racing hard and winning? Yes, there was some nice racing going on with Hamlin and a couple of others, but if you're not a fan of those drivers, if you're a fan of the ones who were just trying to protect their Chase positions, no matter how great ESPN's broadcast would have been, those fans may not be watching.

Richard in N.C. said...

The latest example of the overall decline of EESPN, in my view, is the saga of Matt Millen. Last year he was constantly pilloried, probably rightly so, for the failure of his management of the Detroit Lions. This year he is an NFL expert for EESPN.

glenc1 said...

darbar...just saying...I hate the Chase. Have since it started. But have to admit that watching what leads up to it is exciting. Better than the Chase itself, IMHO. But I don't see that it effects the quality of racing in each race. Everyone has a different everyone races in a different way.

Anonymous said...

...I actually used to like listening to Matt Millen for NFL events. Was sorry when he left. I think he's a MUCH better analyst than a GM.

Anonymous said...

Tooooooo many tight shots of cars, almost makes your head hurt with all the cameras switching back and forth. Still same issues with monotone commentary, especially Punch. Same scripted questions from the bobble head pit reporters. I'm just worried that the recent upturn in ratings (don't know how) might make ESPU think they are doing a smash up job. Not that they were going to change anything regardless.

Todd said...

JD, I knew it was going to be a long hnight, when Punch's first comment was" Let's hear from our in-race reporter. Kasey Kane, driving the Budwiser Chevrolet!" I turned it off, grabed my wife, and we went out out.

Anonymous said...

This may be slightly off subject, but indicative of how clueless ESPN can be and how it extends beyond NASCAR coverage.
The college football game leading into the Richmond race came down to the wire, and a kickoof went thru the endzone with 11 seconds left on the clock.
When the offense snapped the ball on the 20 yd line, there were 9 seconds on the clock. ESPN announcer Matt Millen was befuddled. The clock ran out before a receiver got out of bounds. The "missing" 2 seconds would have alowed another play. Millen said "I want to know what happened to the 2 seconds" Then, bye bye. Sign off. Left the audience hanging.
I swithched to Espn.. No follow up. Looked for espn 2. Not there
Finally, espn news explained it. By the time I got back to Richmond, I had missed some interviews and Punch blah blah blah. ESPN/ABC could have stayed for an extra 60 seconds to explain....but nope. Nobody is in control. NO BOD DEE

Thanks for the latitude to rant

Zieke said...

Of course our "Worldwide leader" is oblivious to all the comments on this and other sites, just as Fox is. Neither one of those folks care one eyelash about what goes on TV. As long as they get their money. Let's hope that runs out soon. It would sure be nice if TNT could get exclusive rights to all Cup broadcasts. Compared to those others, they are "on top".

Anonymous said...

As long as we are watching racing, to me, thats all that counts. Waiting for the "stupid" college football game to get over was my beef. How boring !!! ESPN/ABC you need to square yourselves away !!!

Tgro said...

I also seen that ESPN's ratings had increased for multiple weeks and wondered how? As someone else said, this must give ESPN a real false sense that they are doing a great job.

I personally keep thinking back to racing about 10 years ago and how I used to find almost every race exciting. I loved Nascar with all my heart! Everything was more exciting back then. I remember the coverage going continuously to wherever cars were side by side. I remember the cameras focusing on cars racing side by side in 37th and 38th place and being told "Heres a battle for 37th!" Because at the moment, that was where the best racing was! Now we are treated to endless follow the leader racing or wherever the current Chase contenders currently ride. Nascar has been reduced to about 15 drivers every week and after this week it will be reduced to 12. If you are not a fan of a driver in the top 12, you may as well come back at Daytona in February. Your reason to watch has officially ended. Your driver will not mean a thing to ESPN for the rest of this year unless they crash or damage a Chase contenders chances. They just aren't going to have any focus on your driver anymore.

I keep wondering what Dale Sr. would've thought of the Chase? Would he just "points race" to secure his spot in it? I figure he would retire before he would ever "drive around for points" like that. This really is not the same racing I personally remember 10 years ago.

I can only imagine sponsorships dwindling for every non-chase team as this continues year in and year out. How many times can sponsors like Hamburger Helper, CAT, Jim Beam, Geico, UPS, Aarons, Bass Pro Shops, ect; expect to see their logos on tv while not a Chase contender??? They aren't getting as much exposure for their money as they would have 10 years ago.

I continue to feel that ESPN's crew are the most monotone, droll, lifeless crew Ive ever heard in any sport, ever. And I still enjoy ESPN broadcasts of Football, Baseball, Basketball, Hockey, Tennis and plenty of other sports they televise. For the most part, they do a fine job elsewhere. But Nascar and ESPN is just unbearable. I feel dumb for having watched when the race is finally over.

I'm so glad Football season just started. I really think with ESPN going head to head with the NFL on Sundays, the ratings should soon drop. 10 years ago, if Nascar was on at the same time as a good NFL Football game, I would have watched Nascar with glee. I don't think that is going to be the case with me this year. I'm losing interest in Nascar. I think this year I'm going to watch Football when a good game comes on at the same time as Nascar. NFL football IS more promising. Its more exciting by comparison. I don't miss a single football play to endless commercials. I have much better announcers to listen to. No one is going through the motions "points racing". There is more than just a few of the teams being televised. When I admit it to myself. It has the better product.

chase said...

What can I say - Darbar says it way more eloquently than I -- I continue to mute the sound, turn on the radio, and watch only sporadically to see if perhaps a camera might take matters into its own hand and cover the rest of the field? Dr. P is tired - get him out and get him out now - DJ and Andy are being brought down because of him and are obviously tired of ESPN not making the necessary change...watching NASCAR sure isn't what it used to be! Thanks JD and others -- we're all like broken records!!!