Sunday, July 18, 2010

Crunch Time For The "B Team"

The weekend started with SPEED having the first troubles at Gateway and wound-up with ESPN having a mess at the end.

While a Friday night power outage delayed SPEED until Saturday afternoon for the Camping World Truck Series race, ESPN got the Nationwide Series event underway as planned on Saturday night.

This is an off-week for many NASCAR personalities as everyone catches a final breath before the long push to the end of the season in November. ESPN's "A Team" of Marty Reid, Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree were all off this weekend.

It was Dave Burns who got the call to handle his first play-by-play assignment with ESPN veterans Rusty Wallace and Ricky Craven alongside in the TV booth. On pit road were Dr. Jerry Punch, Shannon Spake and Mike Massaro.

While NASCAR continues to ponder changes, the Nationwide Series continues to be the playground of the fulltime Sprint Cup Series drivers. On this day Kevin Harvick, Carl Edwards and Brad Keselowski were the show.

Burns on-air performance was solid, but it was Craven who again stole the telecast with his sense of calm and outstanding analysis. Wallace was off-balance at first, but he settled down when it was clear that Craven was not going to try and one-up him with comments.

It's always great to have Punch back on pit road and his interviews with several of the Nationwide "regulars" really put that in perspective. What ESPN did not understand for several years is that having Punch interview you is an honor for a young driver. That was made clear Saturday.

Massaro hosted a chunk of the pre-race show from the starting grid and Spake has made remarkable progress in returning to the sport this season after her maternity leave. These two multi-talented personalities are ESPN's utility players.

While the race featured several interesting moments, it was the action on the last lap that will be talked about for the week. After Harvick was eliminated in a late crash, Keselowski and Edwards were left to battle it out. The rest is history.

Burns called the action as Keselowski tapped Edwards through Turns 1 and 2. It looked like ESPN was going to get a door-to-door sprint to the finish but that never happened. Edwards turned left off Turn 4, hooked Keselowski and spun him out.

As Burns struggled for the right words, the rest of the field tried to dodge Keselowski's car on a frontstretch with walls on either side. Things did not work out very well in that regard. Keselowski's car was demolished after being hit broadside while sitting motionless.

The TV pictures changed excitement to concern very quickly. Even as the Edwards crew conducted an ill-advised celebration on pit road, there were lots of wrecked race cars on the frontstretch. Eventually, Keselowski emerged unharmed.

Craven and Wallace had a tough time originally while waiting for the replays from the ESPN producer. Craven thought Edwards had botched a cross-over move and Wallace was unsure just what happened. It became apparent quickly that Edwards had purposefully taken Keselowski out.

This is a tough spot for Wallace. He owns and operates a two-car team in the very series that he describes on TV. He is a former Penske driver. His son has been involved in many accidents in the series. Despite what ESPN maintains, Wallace cannot simply speak his mind in a situation like this.

Craven continued to work his way through carefully, but Edwards' interview in Victory Lane took away all doubt that this was an accident. Edwards' bold statements that he took something away from Keselowski and that he was simply not going to let him win changed everything. Edwards dared both ESPN and NASCAR to react. ESPN passed.

Perhaps for viewers, seeing the real emotion of Brad's father Bob outside of the Infield Care center put things in a new perspective. The reality of racing was made all too clear with his words of anger and revenge. "He's not going to kill my boy," he said. That is a pretty simple concept to understand.

In the end, ESPN missed an interview with the younger Keselowski on the race telecast but followed up shortly after on ESPNEWS. Leaving the air, both Wallace and Craven hinted at an official NASCAR response, but that made little sense as Edwards celebrated in the background. He had the checkered flag.

Perhaps you could share with us your thoughts on this telecast and how ESPN handled the final lap accident? To add your opinion, just click the comments button below. This is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind when posting. Thanks for stopping by.


Karen said...

Really enjoyed Dave Burns as PxP guy. His voice didn't grate on my nerves and he was excited about the action when called for. Not as over the top as Marty R., although I do like Marty, too. Burns had a few missteps getting his words tangled up but all in all, a very good job.

Ricky Craven did an excellent job except for the comment of the "crossover move" which I'm sure he regrets saying. Probably trying not to say anything disparaging about Carl in the heat of the moment.

And, honestly, someone should sit Crusty down and have some speech therapy with him about these guys' names. I'm convinced he says Kes-e-low-ski to tick us all off.
How hard is it to pronounce after he's heard it a gazillion times.

As for Carl, I haven't had any respect for him since the Kenseth incident. My opinion of him immediately changed and has never wavered since. He is a bully but a media fave, so it seems.

And yay for Bob Kes. Brad could have really been injured (or worse killed) with all the hits he took after Carl wrecked him. NASCAR needs to do something about Carl and I feel they will.

Phathead said...

I really like Dave Burns, but to me his voice doesn't sound like a play-by-play voice if that makes any sense. I'm not sure what it is, but it just doesn't work for me.

And Rusty woulda been okay calling the winner a dumbass this week.

Vicky D said...

JD, what a super column. I will never forget the sickness in my stomach when Carl turned Brad in front of the field with the other drivers coming full throttle towards him and creating carnage on the frontstretch. And then like you said he had the nerve to say (in so many words) in victory lane that he did it on purpose. I was glad to hear Brad's comments on this morning and mentioning he thinks Carl wants to win the championship and he'll take out other cars to do it. I said to Mike I thought Carl should be put on probation but Nascar's probation is a joke and will never teach him anything. He should be sat down for a race and think about his actions. I'd love to hear Jack's response too I hope Nascar or ESPN finds him and gets a statement. But I'm glad ESPN got Bob Keselowski's words he didn't do anything like Tom Logano after Joey's wreck with KH a few weeks ago. That was a dad speaking from the heart about his son. Like I said in the blog last night i don't think Nascar's idea of "have at it boys" goes to almost killing another driver (and Carl has tried twice). What fans want to see that? I can see the channels being turned in droves if more of this happens.

Sally said...

Apparently any time BK touches Carl's car, he feels he can wreck him. And Nascar called it 'good hard racing'? I hope that all the other drivers that were caught up in Carl's revenge decide it's time to teach Carl that he can't wreck half the field, endanger lives, and walk away feeling as if he's a hero. I think Rusty was trying suggest as much, but tip toed around it. I have to say Ricky Craven dissappointed me in faliling to call Carl out for reckless endangerment. I have no problem with 'rubbing', or a bump and run. Especially when it doesn't wreck anyone. What Carl has done is appoint himself the 'sheriff' least as far as BK is concerned. He has shown complete disregard for the safety of his fellow drivers, and seem to feel that he is entitled to win at any cost. And wasn't he the one who was complaining that Nascar was going to get someone killed? I guess he's decided to be the one to prove it can happen.

Donna DeBoer said...

I really like Ricky Craven & usually think his insight & analysis is great but even he wasn't too good in this coverage, IMO. I already know Rusty's bias, it seems to be getting more pronounced. I think Dave Burns tried his best but came up short. This was a pretty good race, had action. But the post race coverage was completely botched. ESPN definitely should've extended, waited for an interview with Brad K. as well as some of the other wreck victims. Brad's father was very dramatic in his words and I would've liked to have the whole story. Edwards was perfectly clear in his interview.

Comment on the race ending itself, some people think that kinda thing is ok, some don't, I'm one who knows the difference between a bump & run and a flat out wreck-for-a-win. I don't approve of the latter in high speed races, because what happened is usually what happens, unrelated cars getting unnecessarily wrecked. Again, this is not demolition derby. But that's just my opinion. There should be no NASCAR sanctions on Edwards, his win was within the current rules.

bevo said...

Didn't watch live but did record it and caught it late last night. Burns did much better than I expected and actually called play-by-play, Rusty stepped on him several times while he called the action. Craven was outstanding and did what I like for an analyst to do - analyze. I appreciate his restraint on the accident at the end so he could get several replays before making a conclusion. Nothing makes you look dumber than screaming at the top of your lungs making a proclamation about fault or motives only to have the replays show the opposite - I'm looking at you Darrell Waltrip!

Punch was excellent once again but I can't agree with the opinion on Spake. They can do much better than her in the pits.

Anonymous said...

Burns was a bit nervous for the Qualifying session,but settled down for the broadcast and did a great job. Punch did a good job on pit road. As for assigning blame when it comes to accidents, the booth on all the networks rarely gives you the straight scoop. They're too politically correct. Brad did what he did on purpose and Edwards did also. The list is as long as your arm of the drivers Brad has put the bumper to last year and this season. Christ, last year he turned Edwards on the straight at one race. By the way, I'm not a fan of Edwards. I just call them the way I see them.. That's OK to drive like Brad drives. But you'd have to be a fool to think it's not going to come back at you. Last night, he lost the race, lost a ton of points and wiped out a fast racecar. He's had two bad points races in a row. He could easily lose the Championship with a little more bad luck.

Anonymous said...

I lost respect for Carl Edwards a long time ago, and it doesn't look like he is ever going to reclaim it. I personally think NASCAR needs to park him for a race like they did Kevin Harvick. That "might" teach him a lesson

Leah said...

I enjoyed the broadcast last night and thought they were doing a great job. Really enjoyed that there weren't commercials every ten laps, thought camera work was well done and the commentators were a pleasure to listen to overall. That is, until the end of the race. But when, as a fan, I'm speechless except for yelling "Holy (you know what)!, I'm not sure what they could have said in inmediate reaction to the crash. While it's their responsibility to remain neutral, I did expect them to maybe fill us in on the history between the two drivers and I was disappointed to hear them giving the benefit of the doubt to Edwards. Give the fans some credit...we know the history and we can see!

Maybe they couldn't get to Brad K for an interview, but not getting his reaction if it was at all possible was a raw deal for the fans.

It was a great race until that sick feeling in the pit of your stomach at the end and ESPN left us hanging. I can understand keeping the schedule but this was a pretty big deal and switching off immediately to drag racing left me feeling cheated.

Anonymous said...

TV Comments:
- Dave did very well tonight, much better than Vince's audition.
- Ricky Craven needs to be promoted next season.
- Tim Brewer is still useless to the broadcast. FOX has Hammond, TNT has McReynolds. They are in the infield, involved in race strategy discussions, and cover the cut away car. Brewer is locked in a hauler all night with the cut away car and has nothing new to share. Something has to change.

Last lap wreck:

ESPN and NASCAR leave a lot to be desired after that assault.

-Rusty's on thin ice already after his Kyle Busch comment. Obviously, he wasn't going to say much on the assault.
- Jerry Punch was the perfect person to talk to Bob Keselowski. That interview is quite emotional.

- NASCAR needs to park Carl at Indy. It's the only way he will learn. Brad K bumping Carl in turn 1 is 'have at it boys'. Carl purpsely wrecking Brad in that position could have been fatal. This is his second offense as well. Carl freely admitting the assault was intentional is completely tasteless. He could have killed Keselowski. Just look at the accidents that took the lives of Tony Roper and Blaise Alexander.

- NASCAR also needs to look at Cup drivers in the series. The Nationwide series can not be used as a playground for Cup drivers to take out their Cup fustrations. Some low budget teams lost a car last night because of Carl Edwards driving like an idiot. It is completely unacceptable. We don't need more Nationwide teams to close. We don't need more S&P's and we don't need more Cup drivers.

Martin Vincent said...

It was only 11 years ago that Bob Keselowski last ran in the Truck Series, I'm sure he still has it in him. He drove in 86 Truck races and even has 1 Cup start, but no Nationwide start. I think he should drive at ORP just to complete his resume. And he's 10 years younger than Morgan Shepherd, so I think Brian Keselowski should let him drive his #92 and see what Bob is capable of.

Ritchie said...

I enjoyed Dave Burns call of the race. I think he could develop into a good play-by-play guy.

Ricky Craven really brings a sense of class to NASCAR telecasts that has been missing for a long time. I'm not sure that I agree with his assessment of the last lap incident, but to be honest we were all a little stunned regarding what happened.

Rusty, well, I think enough has been said about him.

Great pit reporter work by the team. The Bob K interview may go down as one of the most revealing 10 second interview in history.

And as for Carl Edwards - glad you didn't kill him, and thanks for creating about 100,000 new Brad K. fans.

Anonymous said...

Great job by Dave Burns on the PxP. May there be many more in his future.

Carl, you are not now or ever will be a legend in this sport. Stop acting like your entitled. Wrecking is for cowards.

Brad, glad you are ok. I like your style. Rubbin' is racin'.

I understand ESPN going off air without the Brad K interview. The man was in a wicked wreck. He could have been in the care center for an hour. Thanks to ESPN news for putting it up as soon as they got it.

I agree with all of you. Jerry Punch is back in his element. Great job handling the situation.

High hopes for ESPN Cup coverage. I think they are turning the corner.

Anonymous said...

Lot of complaining about Carl, but these guys have a history.

Here was my thinking as I watched it unfold:

As they lined up for the final restart I said to myself, "Self, this could be interesting."

Then there was a nice clean restart, Carl held back, stayed away from Brad and let Brad have at least a front quarter-panel lead at the line. Then they raced. I said to myself, "So far so good, Self, let us see what happens when they are at speed."

Then the contest started, still clean hard racing. BK leads, Carl edges up, Carl leads but cannot close the door. I say to myself, "Self, watch Brad."

Sure enough in 1&2 on the last lap Brad does a Brad and tags Carl on the left rear, Carl wobbles and Brad gets ahead. I say to myself, "Self, you and me have never met Carl, but I can guarantee you he's pissed. I'd be if I were him."

Now to 3&4. Checkers are in the air, Carl has recovered and though I didn't have telemetry I could see his right foot must have been through the floorboard. Carl is advancing, then he got the vscuum. BK is in clean air, but Carl is now riding the lightning. "uh, oh," I say to myself.

BK tries to close the door. He does not have the room -- who told him he did or did he just think it I do not know. He is simply too close to Carl to try to slide up in front with Carl puttin' it all out and in the draft.

Now here Carl could have checked. He did not, he rose a little but the draft took him into BK's right rear -- hard if you looked at Carl's left front after the race. Carl just pushed through and the rest, as I am sure Drs. Hawking and Einstein would tell us, was simple physics.

Over my many many years as a race fan I've heard Dale Sr., Cale, Junior Johnson, etc. etc. criticized for this kind of thing, but that is racing. And I think Carl's message was clear -- do not mess with me or I'll mess back.

BTW -- I wish Ricky Craven could be in the booth for every race -- and that would be a good question for here -- who would the Planeteers chose as the Dream Team for the booth?

That's my 2 cents

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Anonymous said...

I enjoyed Dave too! I think he did a decent job :).

@Karen--I agree his name isn't that hard to say and he was scared to try Matt's which is actually *easy* to pronounce.

I love Dad Bob! I hope he has a fan club now because I want to join it!

Very disappointed in what happened last night, it was uncalled for. Sure being "upset" after being moved is understandable but you can move the other guy cleanly. Blatantly taking someone out as well as admitting it should get the win taken away. Roush and Penske have money but what about those innocent teams collected in the mess who don't have money growing on trees out behind the shop? They still need to make sure they have enough cars for the rest of the season as well as get the Pony cars ready.

Ken said...

I don't understand the bashing of Carl. He did exactly what the good drivers "back in the good old days" did. If you messed with Dale Earnhardt, Bill Elliott, Cale Yarborough or many of the other great drivers of their day, you were paid back double. The other drivers quickly learned to not mess with them. The sissified NASCAR of recent years stopped hard racing until the "have at it" of this year. The ratings in recent years have shown what the touch football version of NASCAR racing gives us. People complain about the follow the leader racing and then complain when the drivers actually race to win. You can have the boring touch football version of racing or you can have the tackle full contact exciting version of racing. I think the attendance and TV ratings tells us what the public wants.

nscr2fn said...

I really enjoyed the trio in the booth, as well as the pit reporters and of course the doctor. I know this is the "B" team, but I think it should be the
"A" team for the Nationwide Series.
Carl has finnally lost my respect, it took awhile, but last night was the last straw. I have always liked Brad and last night proved my point even more. His after the race interview was great considering.
Keep up the good work and Keep it WFO.

Anonymous said...

I also really enjoyed the booth. Dave and Ricky did an outstanding job of calling the race and balancing with Rusty. Camera work was a B. Still too many in-car, single car, two car, roof cam, etc. You can pull the shot back and still show two cars racing. But do not get me wrong, the camera work was SO MUCH better than fox. Regarding the last lap, the booth trying to be nascar politically correct, plus trying to be semi nuetral, plus being tied directly to nascar bit them in the rear. At least they did not make fools of themselves. Based on Brad's past and actions in turns 1 and 2, he had/has it coming. Carl should know the front stretch was NOT the place to do it because of the safety reasons and all the other cars that would be involved. For this reason only, nascar should come down hard on him. Park him for at least two races (both nationwide and cup) and fine him $100,000.00. Carl should pay all the other teams their cost of replacing cars. It was a stupid, stupid move. There is a time and place for retaliation. That was not it.

Richard in N.C. said...

Bob Pockrass has a good column on Carl & Brad re Gateway.

It appears to me that Carl has no sense of perspective - Brad hit Carl with a fly swatter, so Carl hit him with a hammer, and endangered others besides Brad. Carl obviously has a temper and, it would appear, often acts without thinking long-range. He's battling to make the Chase in Cup and now has given Brad - and maybe other Penske drivers - a reason to give him a payback in a Cup race where it will do Carl more damage. Maybe Carl just wants to demonstrate how much everyone needs AFLAC insurance.

I watched part of N-wide qualifying, part of pre-race and first part of race, and part of last 20 - 30 laps recorded. I thought the booth did a good job, but I believe it would have been much improved to have a crew chief in the booth to better address strategy. I wish L'EESPN would use Tim Brewer more and put him in the booth some.

I have really enjoyed and been impressed by Ricky C's analysis since I found his columns on Yahoo a couple of years ago. I suspect Saturday will turn out to have been good for him as it appeared to me that he might have felt compelled to comment before he had a chance to adequately review the tape. With more booth experience I suspect he would have hedged his comments more until he had a chance to get a good look at the tape.

I was never a Rusty fan and he obviously has an ego big enough to be in the media, but he still has a world of real experience. I find Rusty far more knowledgeable about his sport and far less biased than Skip Bayless and Ed Hinton.

GinaV24 said...

So does this sort of attempted murder with Edwards fit in with NASCAR's "have at it, boys" philosophy.

After all, this isn't the first time he's done this stuff -- it seems that all these guys want to be the new intimidator on the track, epecially on the last lap. I know that Kez has had his fair share of run in's too and not always used the best judgment, but this was so blatant, that I'm having a hard time with it.

I was out with friends and got back just in time to see the end of the race so I didn't hear all the play by play by Burns, but I sure did see things fall apart at the end in the booth.

Craven made a mistake in trying to explain away Edwards actions and Rusty has no credibility with me at all in the booth, not only because he annoys me with his mannerisms but because he has the same conflicts of interest, actually more, than the Waltrip boys do when they call a race.

Edwards seemed like a nice guy when he came into the series, someone that I could like and possibly cheer for. That is gone for me.

Darcie said...

ESPN has a history of not following through on interviews that are important, and they did it again last night. They needed to speak to the guys who were involved in the late wreck and get their perspective on Carl and his driving. They wasted a great opportunity for some real journalism.

I think Dave Burns did a pretty good job with the play by play and Craven is a rising star. But Rusty needs to go. He cannot possibly be objective about anything on the track, and that's a detriment to the entire broadcast.

To those who think that idiot Carl will receive a penalty, think again. It's already been announced that the powers that be have said "it's just racing". No matter that it was blatant and that there could have been serious injuries. I fully believe that the bozos LOVE this stuff and it will take a season ending injury, a fan's death or a driver's death before Nascar puts a stop to this lunacy. We all want to see great racing but none of us want to see an anger management needing jerk continue to be allowed to pull this crap.

Jimbacca said...

I've read some posts on here and across the web.

Let me put this into a different perspective.

So you bump into someone in line. That person gets pissed goes out gets a gun and shoots you because they were disrespected by some delusional idea of how cool they are.

Carl basically laid it out. If you touch his car he's going to wreck you. Because in theory any race is 'your race' no matter where you are in placement on the track. Just the slime fraud of a personality that he is makes it disgusting. It's irrelevant that its Brad. Its a matter of this idiot will take people out because he feels he owns the place. But obviously NASCAR, Owner and sponsors love the thug mentality because they aren't racing a peep.

Shame for all the low dollar teams that lost cars because of someone's childish actions.

longtimeracefan said...

. . .

The broadcast was good, Craven was great, Burns was OK, but Rusty needs another gig, he does not belong on TV.

If NASCAR did not allow Cup regulars to run Nationwide races, we would be talking about something completely different.

As far as the finish, it was classic NASCAR racing in its purest raw form. If Keselowski does the same thing to Edwards down the road, that will also be classic.

Race on.

. . .

Anonymous said...

Amen to Ken!

Good coverage throughout. I still don't understand why ESPN sends the B-team to any race. I understand the contractual aspect but if you want to cover the series then cover the series.

It's confusing and disjointing to have different people every week - and I think this contributes to the lack of a good Nationwide following (possibly as much as the Cup drivers participating).

I'm so sick of Brad K. It goes both ways. It's not Carl's fault other spotters didn't keep cars away from hitting Brad. Brad hit Carl, Carl hit Brad. It's racing.

Anonymous said...

SEE i thought Carl was in the wrong last night and you say u lost respect for him and stuff but I think back to what Dale SR did and he turned people no one said much back then why is this sooo bad now in an era where the cars are so much safer and such:?????

Darcie said...

Anon 10:02, if you know Nascar history, Dale Sr was reviled by a lot of people because of his overly rough driving. There were a lot of number 3 haters back then, and even a lot of the drivers disliked him. Sure, they may have respected his abilities, but they hated the way he punted other cars out of the way. Like many things in life, when a person dies young and tragically, perceptions change. Now, not many seem to remember that the Intimidator had a lot of enemies.

BTW, Despain was great tonight. Pretty evenly divided as far as being for or against Carl. Dave was in the "Carl was totally wrong" camp.

AndyPandy said...

To Anonymous at 2:03 PM:

You said "BK tries to close the door. He does not have the room... He is simply too close to Carl to try to slide up in front... Now here Carl could have checked. He did not, he rose a little but the draft took him into BK's right rear..."

Your analysis fell apart when Carl admitted wrecking him on purpose for what Brad did to him earlier in the lap. There's no closing the door, no sliding up, no draft. Brad gave Carl a textbook bump-and-run, so Carl got mad and dumped him. End of story, even according to Carl (to a certain degree).

If you could remove the numbers and paint schemes and ask a group of knowledgeable NASCAR fans to point out which was the rookie and which was the veteran, my money says they'd get it completely backwards.

NASCAR could gain big respect in my eyes if they would park The Carl for The Brickyard, but I'm not holding my breath. It would take more guts than they traditionally show.

Vicky D said...

Darcie, Dave Despain was calling out Carl for blocking Brad at the Talladega race and showing that Brad was holding his line and saying it was completely Carl's fault. Carl is simply a bully in this sport now he needs to be out of NW that's for sure. It sure will be interesting once the chase starts and whether he's in it or not and like you said Brad doesn't have anything to lose. And your comment about Dale Sr was right on. I remember after Terry Labonte was dumped by him at Bristol and they asked Terry about it and Terry said he always says he never means to dump other drivers and all Dale said was I was trying to rattle his cage. There are a lot of fans who never saw Terry & Dale race against each other either. I would like a comment by Penske or Roush or even Terry Labonte about Carl and see what they have to say.

MRM4 said...

I only saw the last 15 laps or so of the race because I was watching the Legends Million on SPEED (which was a good broadcast BTW). I thought Craven's call of saying Edwards' move was a mis-timed crossover move was off base. It was obvious what Edwards did was intentional. From what I saw of the race, the coverage wasn't too bad at all.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 1002: Punctucation is a wonderful thing. Did Dale
Earnhardt right hook every driver he didn't like into the wall? No. Every driver knows it is the most violent and vulnerable impact. His car hit the wall at Daytona at that angle, and it killed him. We lost many drivers in 1999-2000, but little was done to improve safety. It took Earnhardt's death to finally increase the safety of the sport. I'd hate to lose another due to pure stupidity.

bowlalpo said...

@VickyD 8:49,
I thought I was the only one who was sure that Cousin Carl was in the wrong all 3 times; nice to see someone else on my side.

About the telecast, I thought Burns was very good for first time under the microscope. But Craven was the star. He seems to know how to talk right AT you, not above or below you, when he explains racing strategy, car setup, etc. I don't watch the weekday shows so I didn't know how good Craven was.

About the end (JD please help because you've been in the truck); IMO, there was no excuse for ESPN not being ready to compile and run a highlight package of Carl-Kez at Dega and Carl-Kez at Atlanta. Would they have needed to call up NMG or Fox or are these highlights easily accessible? B-team or no, someone needed to call Bristol CT as soon as the yellow flew to get those uploaded.

Finally, all those teams that took six-figure hits from Carl's petulance should show up with bills and lawyers at RFR's front door. I'm thinking specifically of Shelby Howard (a struggling team that has made a great turnaround after being kicked out of racing a few years ago) and Steve Arpin, whom Carl helped elevate to the NNS.

Watching The Captain yesterday at Toronto, even though his man won, the other two crashed, and his facial expression made me believe that he's still seething about Saturday night.

NASCAR has not given Penske a whole lot of love, and if Carl gets off scot-free again (which I think he will), RP may choose to team up with Bob Keselowski to mete out some frontier justice. Bob and Roger, you have my permission to "have at 'em."

Bryan said...

VERY impressed by Dave Burns, must admit I feared the worst when I heard he would be the play by play guy. Outstanding job! Ricky Craven should have been doing this for years, the guy has always been professional, unbiased, and very knowledgeable of any topic being discussed. Rusty Wallace, however, is terrible. I always thought the awkwardness that is ESPN was the reason he acts the way he does, but it's clear that's just how he is in general. His fake excitement and repetitive commentary is beyond annoying, and I smile every time he gets cut off in mid-sentence. Let the man just be an owner, his personality is garbage!! What would it take to bring Buddy Baker in the booth? Now THAT would be awesome!

CraigJLong said...

Kurt Busch & Jimmie Johnson showed at Loudon "proper" bump and run racing, where the cars make contact and retaliate without trying to injure each other or collect half of the field.

Carl Edwards blatantly bragging about his actions in Victory Lane ended any respect I had for him. His Victory Lane speech put him in the same class as Kyle Busch who wanted to "thank his haters, I mean fans." If it wasn't for the haters or the fans neither one of them would have a job.

In 1991 NASCAR took away a win from Ricky Rudd at Sears Point after contact with Davey Allison that was no where near what happened on Saturday night. NASCAR parked Kevin Harvick for a Cup race after his actions in a Nationwide race (I believe with Biffle) a few years ago. Both of these penalties took place in a time when NASCAR let the drivers police themselves.

If NASCAR does not take some type of action or stance on Saturday night, it's only gonna escalate until we see drivers injured or worse.

Bobby said...

I'll take it one further about blatant wrecks for the win. I don't think either third-generation Earnhardt (Kerry or Dale Jnr) has been the same since the K. Earnhardt-Alexander incident for the win at Charlotte in October 2001. The next spring at Sprint All-Star Race XVIII (as it's now referenced), Junior's actions going at the end of the race against Ryan Newman was evident that incident still affected him.

And ironically, it as Junior who ended up with a mess at the end of Saturday, since it was Steve Arpin who took much of the hits other than Keselowski and Edwards, and Arpin drove Junior's #88 that race. Good run for Josh Wise too -- showed promise when he can drive in Junior's car.

Of course, Junior's Daytona win was the first as a driver in a while, as for over two years all of his winning was as a Nationwide car owner, mostly with Keslowski winning in the #88, with a Mark Martin and Ron Fellows win each too.

Maybe NASCAR needs to copy F1 and have a different ex-driver be in the stewards' tower to determine malicious driving. This last-lap crash was malicious, and he's made this move twice.

BWBarefoot said...

Interesting to note that neither ESPN2 nor Speed were able to post the complete starting linueps for their respective races due to technical difficulties. Also, there was no rundown ticker for the Nationwide Series finish. Not that anyone noticed.[lol]

ESPN did get the soundbite from the year from Bob Keselowski - "He's not going to kill my boy" or something like that.

Trident said...

Craven's the shining star - smooth, unassuming, experienced, and professional. He should have THREE contracts covering all of next year. His analysis has proven that most every other commentator is unneeded.

Shame for the struggling Nationwide teams who did not need to lose a car as a result of the rage of a bonehead Cup infiltrator.

@Martin Vincent, 11:51 am:
Perfect, absolutely perfect!