Monday, August 2, 2010

Your Turn: Sprint Cup Series From Pocono On ESPN


Update: We are leaving this post up for one extra day. Getting great comments from fans on the Pocono coverage. Thanks.

It was a long day in Pocono for the ESPN team. After a thirty minute delay for rain, the race coverage began with long green flag runs and little racing.

Allen Bestwick started the pre-race show over on ESPN2 as women's golf was live on ESPN. Bestwick was with Rusty Wallace and Brad Daugherty. The pre-race show featured highlights, several edited features and some interviews.

Marty Reid called the race with Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree in the TV booth. Dr. Jerry Punch, Jamie Little, Mike Massaro and Dave Burns were on pit road.

Pocono is either feast or famine. Race coverage was straightforward and featured recaps, pit road updates and good information. The original problem was there was not much to cover.

Several caution periods closed the field and resulted in periods of hard racing. The TV coverage struggled to cover the many races for position on the big track. ESPN used a split screen effect and also just jumped from one camera to the next.

A big wreck late in the race caused a mess. Kurt Busch and Elliott Sadler had hard hits with Sadler's wreck remaining a mystery on TV. ESPN had no replay of the Sadler portion of the accident on the backstretch. That was rough for viewers.

ESPN interviewed both Busch and Sadler when they were released from the Infield Medical Center. A red flag allowed for more interviews before the final restart.

Rain came with 28 laps and the field under caution. The race ended with a short sprint to the finish without incident.

I will have plenty to say about the coverage of this race once the Your Turn comments are completed. To add your race recap of the TV coverage, just click on the comments button below. This is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind when posting.

82 comments:

Jojaye said...

Missing the wreck of Sadlers car is unforgivable, period.

The blatant shilling for nascar by the on air talent was awful.

After the NNS race yesterday I was very positive towards espn. After this race - not at all.

cRusty has got to go. Awful just awful. Embarrasing

Even showing the cars crossing the finish, well it just kept it from being an F-

Grade for the race D+

Matt said...

I totally understand how the Sadler wreck could be missed, seeing as how there was another wreck in front of it and I don't know how many cameras they can place in that area of the track.

I actually enjoyed the telecast today and I thought they did a great job showing the battles throughout the field. The in-camera shots were kept to minimum and they did show places of wide shots. They could have made more use of the overhead shot, but perhaps the weather prevented it.

Overall, I thought it was a better telecast that we have seen from ESPN over the past few years.

Richard in N.C. said...

I feel it is quite indicative of the priorities of the media that after the 1st Pocono race (except for Monte Dutton) far, far more was written about Tom Logano than whether there are safety problems at Pocono.

rich said...

Really disappointing that they missed the big event in the race and then did not provide much detail about it. Who ran into Elliot and why? I guess weather had done away with the aerial shot.
That being said I continue to be impressed by Marty. I like his enthusiasm and DJ and Andy feed off it.
This was a hard broadcast with the rain and red flags. Really hard to expect someone in this day and age to spend 6 hrs. on a race. They are really going to have to shorten some races in the future. Money will probably force them to do it in the next TV contract.
Overall direction was good. Pit reporters were not used to best advantage again. Commercials continue to annoy. I wonder how long until Nascar goes Pay per View?
Most annoying thing was at the Biffs interview. In the background the new Miss Sprint Cup was jockeying for position and she is not near as good at it as Monica was. She was very distracting.

cp43 said...

Good coverage of a difficult race. I wonder how many folks left at halfway because it was too boring for them. Their loss.

Unfortunate to not see the beginning of Elliot's crash. They could have shown the RaceView simulation to see what started it. On the other hand, after seeing just the frames that ESPN did get, I'm not altogether sure I really want to see that hit any better.

Glad Elliot's ok.
Congrats to Da Biff!!

Lisa Hogan said...

Lots of mistakes by ESPN covering this race, both camera selection and in the booth. Missing the Sadler wreck is a glaring error.

I don’t expect the ESPN cameras to find the debris, they should, but I don’t expect it. Did the booth ever report that the first debris caution was for the #18 radiator pan and the second debris caution was for the #18 radiator repair falling out of the car?

Coverage of the finish was acceptable.

Richard in N.C. said...

JD, Does NASCAR media group have any cameras at a race that the broadcaster (ESPN) does not have live access to the feed from? Wondering whether NASCAR media group might have some film of Elliott's wreck that EESPN would not have been able to see during broadcast. Thanks.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Richard, they certainly do and probably will.

Anonymous said...

Good Coverage from ESPN today. They did the best with what the race itself provided. I wish they would have provided a better replay for Elliot Sadler's crash.

Anonymous said...

Well, I am going to give espn an A-. I did not get so hacked off at any point from overuse of in-car, bumper cam, roof cam, close up camera work that I wanted to turn the TV off. Missing the wreck had to be a fluke, you know they want to show something like that just as bad as some want to see it. Thank you for the finish line shot, that was so much better than last week! There are some weak points of the broadcast, but for me the two things that would make the race better would be to lose 100 laps and have race cars resembling real cars. Please do not fine me. So overall, good broadcast of a product that needs work. MC

Anonymous said...

Can't believe they missed the Sadler wreck and that Rusty asked Brewer to show us where the engine mounts to the frame 10 seconds after he just did that.

Besides that I was very pleased with the broadcast. Lots of focus on the racing back in the field and great coverage of the finish.

Dot said...

I signed in to say that I was not impressed with the post race coverage on SC. It seemed like they were chomping at the bit to get to their beloved baseball coverage. Granted the race ran long but, no excuse. Since I only watch BSPN for racing, I don't know how they cover other sports that are delayed or run over time.

I will not watch another post race on SC. Won't waste my time.

sbaker17 said...

Long, boring, single file races are hard to cover and watch.
The best thing they ever did out here on the West Coast was change the length of the races at Riverside International Raceway from miles to kilometers. It not only improved the competition of the race from green to checker but it certainly helped reduce the beer bill :)

Also, with 3 people in the booth and the number of pit reporters that cover the on track action, there is enough info provided on the race that the infield pit center should be removed. Or at least one member who provides no insight at all. That being RW.

Vicky D said...

Considering it was such a long broadcast, I think ESPN did a good job. Maybe the owners of Ponoco will now do the right thing and make safety improvements at the track. In the beginning of the race the cars got strung out and so many went a lap down, however after the red flag they did start going after it in case the race ended early because of rain. Thought MR, DJ & AP worked well together, but I think RE would be better in the tech center.

longtimeracefan said...

It is interesting that many fault whatever network is covering a particular NASCAR race, for every perceived deficiency that is the topic du jour. Bad this, terrible that, so on and so forth. I am as guilty as the next, but it is starting to border on being, well just, whiney.

Come on, today's race was good, despite the delayed start, boring middle, rain delay, etc. It was a well covered, yes long, race.

As for not having up close and personal replays of Sadler's wreck, so what. ESPN did show what they had of the crash, more than once. No one has 43 cameras that follow every car. If Sadler had been seriously injured, would you want/need to see any more? Yes it was bad, horrific even, but do you watch these races for the wrecks?

No, you do not. No story there.

Typical Pocono race. ESPN has come a long way from last year. No need to nit pick at this point.

Race on . . .

GinaV24 said...

Since they started off the race with a rain delay, I chose to go do my errands and listen to the radio, so I missed the early long green runs and actually the race got pretty decent from that point.

ESPN did a decent job with most of the coverage, but missing the Sadler wreck was very poor. I also thought the follow up on the various debris issues was poor.


Still can't stand Rusty, but Marty, DJ & Andy still do a good job in the booth. I'm over any of the booth personalities doing the PC stuff for NASCAR.

They did a good job with the camera work at the end of the race and covered the finish (surprise, surprise), but there was no significant post-race coverage - I guess because they ran long on time. I did stick around but once it seemed to me they were just doing the regular SC gig, I changed the channel.

the race coverage last night from Iowa was awesome, today's was OK.

Anonymous said...

@Lisa--they actually did eventually tell us the debris was from the 18.

Anonymous said...

I found the broadcast annoying. The guys really made a lot of lame comments. Marty Reid supposedly covers drag racing,open wheel as well as Nascar. Maybe someone should remind him that its the "cross over move" and not the "cross under move" as he described it. He also referred to the wall that Sadler hit, a 'barricade'. There were other goofs, but I'll stop nit picking on Reid. After the Kurt Busch/Jimmie Johson encounter,DJ said. "I'm sure Johnson didn't turn him on purpose". How would DJ know that? This is the second year in a row that they've tangled. DJ and Petree routinely go into the 'non comittal' mode when anything controversial occurs. Even without the weather delays,the race was insanely too long. By the way,earlier this week, Biffle said that someone would get killed at Pocono if they didn't install catch fencing where Kayne wrecked in June and install Safer Barrier on the inside wall where Sadler hit. The President of PIR was quoted as saying something to the effect that it was the media stirring things up about the track. There have been many complaints over the years about the lack of improvements at that track. I was fortunate enough to run in one of the first events held at PIR in either 1969 or 1970 so I only wish the track well.

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed the race, but found the coverage difficult to watch. They kept jumping from car to car trying to show a pass and it was very disorienting and unsettling.

I also did not like Bestwick. It destroys the flow of a telecast to come back from commercial to a different voice than the one who sent you to the break. From my experience, this is Broadcasting 101. (I realize all of the networks do this, although TNT only really does it during rain delays, etc. which is very nice an professional, unlike FOX and ESPN)

It's fine if ESPN wants to have a different crew for the prerace and postrace, but don't use the alternate crew during the race.

Plus, Bestwick has nothing to add anyway and his condescending tone to the viewer is alarming.

I did watch SportsCenter after the race, and I will give ESPN credit - they really did provide a lot of postrace coverage! I did not believe them when they announced it. Hopefully it will continue after football starts.

Adam Wood said...

VERY Disappointed at missing the Sadler part of the wreck. If it was TNT we would have seen a view from NASCAR.com Raceview at the very least. FOX 3D is basically the same, if not the exact same thing. Would have been better than nothing.

Pocono is a long race, making a difficult broadcast. ESPN kept it as interesting as they could, and I think they did a good job today. I'm looking forward to good things at Watkins Glen.

Jonathan said...

Wow this race was damn good! Great job by ESPN showing the best battles on the track! Got somewhat broing before halfway but thats to be expected, I just ran the the gas station and got myself and amp and back I was and so was the action! One the best races of the season in my mind I enjoyed all of it from start to finish! Great job ESPN! THe racing towards the end reminded me of last night at Iowa and thats a good no wait a GREAT thing!

Anonymous said...

As one who rants and raves about the camera work, today was much improved.

HOWEVER the in car crap was often ill timed. When Jeff Gordon passed JPM, do NOT SHOW US FROM INSIDE Jeff's car, give us a wide shot of it from reality view being at the track.

Way too many tight shots but many good shots as well. They really need to lop off 75 laps from this boring race but beginning and last 50 laps were good.

Use in car cams for REPLAYS NOT LIVE TV. Arrgh.

It really breaks up the flow to have wonderful view of headlights then the NOISE change and disorienting camera 'toy' view. But it's better than Fox's CONSTANT in car/bumper cam mania, but still too much.

I'm STUNNED there was NO camera to catch Elliott's horrifying looking accident. Track people could learn a LOT by viewing it to see how the hell they ALLOWED that corner to STAY at Pocono all THESE YEARS! Didn't we learn anything from the wreck at SPARTA years ago where they were lucky a guy wasn't killed hitting a corner??

The money sent to go green with solar panels is all well and good but NOT at the expense of safety?! Need SAFER barriers INSIDE & ALL AROUND TRACK FIRST

I'm glad they help give energy to 1000 houses but honestly, Pocono has horrible wrecks. Even though I knew Elliot was ok and Kurt Busch, I was on verge of tears and in angst. Thus the LACK of video of Elliots beginning of the wreck fed that. HOW did this happen?

I also did not like the view of Elliott in agony on my tv before KNOWING what was wrong with him...that kind of bothered me..yes the window net was down but I thought a leg was broken or the wind terribly knocked out of him (which apparently was the case)

I muted tv and listened to MRN part time..they were good but WHERE is Barney Hall? I don't recall hearing him today?

I'm glad everybody is ok but I about flipped out when I saw an engine on the track. WOW. Do we need a tether for those? I thought Kurt's wreck looked disconcerting until I saw Elliott's.

He's being interviewed now about HIS accident and all we are seeing is the 2 car????????

So, Pocono has a lot of homework to do but the camera work was much improved as I ended up watching most of it live. Had company immediately after the race so taped SR and never bother with ESPN Sports center junk.

I must confess, I TOTALLY enjoyed the voices in yesterday's race better but nothing against any one person today. Just the flow, the cadence, the information, the 'comfort level' of yesterday's race was better.

But I like DJ & AP fine. Marty seems like a nice man.

Sophia

Can NOT post here under my name. Keep getting Google URL IS TOO LONG error? Even with shorter comments :)

Anonymous said...

Typical Pocono race from green to checkers. ESPN did the best they could. All networks need to learn zooming out is better than zooming in. I can't stress enough how much improved the broadcast booth is. ESPN and TNT have outperformed FOX far and beyond this year.

Ziggy said...

2 words I never want to hear again until next summer:

TRICKY TRIANGLE

Anonymous said...

Interesting race with great announcing team. DJ is awesome, and having Alan Bestwick host some segments added some spice.
Better coverage than we got yesterday, when a battle for tenth place took over the last twenty laps.

Chadderbox said...

I enjoyed the telecast for the most part. But man, we are lucky someone did not lose their life at Pocono today! Wow! There are some things that seriously need to be updated on that track! I am glad Elliott Sadler is ok after that one!

The racing was very good after it got down to 50 to go. It was very frustrating to not see any decent footage of what happened to Elliot Sadler though.

My main complaints from last week have not changed.
1)Basically I feel like there are to many talking heads during the race. Jumping back and forth from booth to the infield just does not flow with ESPN.
2) There is still bad camera shots at exactly the worst moments. For example, when there is a pass for the lead, right during the pass they will switch to a rear bumper cam shot. There were times today where a bumper cam shot would just show nothing but blacktop and the wall. What is that all about.
3)Rusty is a disaster. There are times he absolutely doesn't make any sense. I know what he is trying to say but he doesn't actually say it right. It's awful.

My Grade is a C.

Richard in N.C. said...

Looked like a pretty good crowd for a race the media despises.

cdh said...

I hate this track, so that's not ESPN's fault. But these races are too long. They should be 3-4 hours max. I cannot bear to listen or watch the Infield Studio. Why do I need 3 more people to tell me the exact same thing that the first group said or could have said? Keep it simple like the truck series. Overall this year's ESPN is 100 times better since Jerry Punch is no longer allowed to ruin every race.

OSBORNK said...

I only saw the last 22 laps of the race due to a "deliver piano to daughter" chore. The outcome was not in doubt but the little I saw was done well and is second only to the Iowa coverage. I felt like we didn't get a late debris caution only because the hour was late and the "win one for Jack in the hospital" sentiment was strong. Isn't it strange how car owners and drivers seem to get a win at meaningful times in their lives? What are the odds?

Matt F. said...

Overall a great broadcast by ESPN. The only negative comment I have is that I found it strange that the pre race was on ESPN2 and then the race was on ESPN.

Sally said...

I thought this was much improved coverage than ESPN gave us last year. Nothing can make 500 miles at Pocono compelling for the entire race, but they did a good job of finding whatever close action was happening on the track instead of several minutes of the leader running way out front. They showed what they had of the awful wreck. And no one said anything that could get them fined or their hard card pulled.

RobFromCanada said...

It was nice to see..for once..espn showing action back in the pack on occasion..shocked me actually..while this wasnt an emmy winning broadcast..it was a marked improvement over last couple years horrid crud..pity pocono is a key ingrediant in sominex..needs to be shortened to 300 miles and maybe a bit of a sprint aspect ot it might create more intense racing...long boring trains are part of nascars deathknell

Anonymous said...

I don't understand how people can rip ESPN for missing Sadler's wreck.

THERE WAS ANOTHER WRECK HAPPENING RIGHT IN FRONT OF IT. And in case you didn't notice, there was a possibility of Busch sliding back in front of traffic. How many people would be howling if TV missed Busch getting slammed in traffic?

There's only two cameras that cover the backstretch and they were both on Busch. I guess you expect the director to see through the truck and buildings and the cameramen to have eyes in the back of their head to see Sadler spinning.

Now with that said, asking who and what turned Sadler should have been left to the pit reporters but I don't expect much from them anyway.

Luckily, the camera caught the important part of Sadler's hit: The brutal impact. That was the story. Not who turned him and not what happened before.

Anonymous said...

True to form,John Roberts started covering for PIR on Victory Lane as to why the track didn't have enough time since the June race to make the improvements that they announced. True,but the lack of a catch fence and SAFER barriers on the inside of the track have existed for decades.Heck, a few rows of tires at that bad spot Elliot hit would have helped. A sixth grader with poor eyesight could be driven around that track and point out the problem areas.Kenny Wallace opined that racing is 'inherently dangerous'. Thanks Kenny. As with Jeff Gordon's horrific hit on the inside wall out West a few years ago,nothing gets done until something bad happens. Pocono and even Indy still have grass too close to the track. At PIR, I thought some of the spinning cars were going to flip where they slid over the grass and crossed paved access roads. The Glen just got rid of its problem grass....after the Hornish/Gordon mess last year. I know money is an issue when a track only holds a few events each year and there are empty seats, but some of these issues are inexcusable.

Richard Newton said...

At least they didn't say Sunoco gas eighty-five times. I'm not sure though since I simply can't stand to watch a whole race. I watch the first ten laps - and then the last ten.

I just got sick and tired of all the product mentions and the sucking up to NASCAR. The ratings will continue to drop until the broadcast team can report on the event like professionals.

Anonymous said...

Long Time Race Fan's reaction to ESPN missing Sadler's wreck is "so what". SO WHAT? So, for starters, covering the track is THEIR SOLE RESPOSIBILITY!. Of course there aren't "43 cameras to follow every car", but hat make the ESPN failure so egregious is that SADLER'S CAR CAME RIGHT INTO THE CAMERA FRAME at the end of the 2 wreck!. The crash came TO the camera, yet they couldn't follow it.

On top of that, we got the politically correct, overly conservative super long wide shots
of the 19 - including the engine sitting on the track!!

I understand you don't want to show close up images of a fatality- but Sadler climbed out of his car.
took forever to show that..

Hem and haw, hem and haw.

It ruined a pretty good day of coverage.

Bray Kroter

red said...
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rich said...

Thought of a couple of points that I missed on my first post. First, I was very glad that someone learned from last week and showed the Finish Line shot. That is just a must. Second, ESPN could save some money if they used only AB in the infield center for race resets. The others there are useless. (Hey Tim,show use how the motor is mounted) What was he watching as Tim just showed us that.
Oh by the way, lose the "Tricky Triangle"

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

i'm breaking this into 2 separate comments: the race coverage and the 19 wreck coverage.

well, that was a let-down from n'wide broadcast for me. not horrible; just never rose to the level we saw on saturday night. the evernham/craven dynamic with burns tossing them comment points was so successful & would have made pocono's broadcast stronger. but the team fell back on the usual form & it now seems very flat. small example: the 88 shifting was briefly shown/talked about but never really discussed as far as why that was happening & the ramifications of it.

i felt there was a concerted effort to show racing away from the leaders & i applaud that. in addtion, the overhead views of that monster track were excellent and could have been used more -- if only the rain had held off.

tech center still underwhelms me. it may be that brewer is actually providing solid info but the camera just cannot seem to focus on what he's discussing so his point is lost.

i lost the stomach for it all after the wreck so didn't see the finish, the post race of the SC follow-up.

red said...

the 19 car issue:
i'm not sure i can condemn espn for blowing that shot when the spotter for the car missed it as well. in his words:" i was watching the 2 & didn't see us get hit." perhaps a wider angle might have caught it? i don't know where the cameras are positioned so i can't say for certain. following the car that is wrecking as dramatically as the 2 was is, i feel, SOP for tv. the violence of the 19 wreck shook us all & i want to understand why it happened as well. but i can be a touch more forgiving of the failure to have footage of it when even the 19 spotter says he was watching the 2 wreck instead of his own car getting punted.

not all that happy with the camera showing sadler laying on the track before his condition had been evaluated. there really needs to be some formalization of how to handle the post-wreck visuals by the broadcast parners. once we know the driver is ok, go ahead & use that footage. but until then, i opt for not broadcasting it. use it as a replay moment & explain "we didn't want to show you this until we were certain the driver is ok but here's what we filmed right after the wreck" or some such.

however, the on-air talent totally mishandled the review and analysis of it, crossing that line between being announcers & being apologists, in my opinion. both pocono management and nascar should have been called out in a big way. that armco wall has caused far too many wrecks over the years for the track to not have been fined by nascar. the problems w/pocono from a safety point of view are well-known & nascar has been remiss in not forcing changes. & the booth was just wrong for not finding a way to discuss the issue without becoming apologists.

T-ASH said...

Rusty completely missing (or ignoring) Tim Brewer talking about how the motor is mounted inside the car was ridiculous.

Otherwise, pretty decent broadcast. I enjoyed the old-school skit at the beginning with the professor and the triangles.

Pit work was nice. I thought the interview with Hornish's crew chief was nice to see, nice that the car was in a position to win.

The guys in the booth work well together. I personally think the infield three-man group is overkill. Bestwick deserves a decent role, but Brad and Rusty bring NOTHING.

David Evertsen said...

I really liked the coverage, I was only able to watch the last 75 laps after errands. Just like the week before they followed everything up and did they best they could do with what was given them. I think the only two things they need to change are Rusty and Brad, they always say the same thing no matter what track they are at. Rusty have you figured out what camera to look at yet?? I mean really come on. Other than that I think with SC afterwards and it running late they did an awesome job. Should be fun at the glen next week..

MRM4 said...

I have to say missing the Sadler wreck was bad, but the cameras were all fixed on Busch. I can see how they'd miss it. But you'd think there would be an in-car camera that caught some of it. Guess not.

The first 120 laps of the race was a real bore. I got a chuckle out of Reid anytime there was a pass or two car running close to each other when he'd admit that was the best battle on the track. I appreciate his honesty.

majorshouse said...

My problem is not necessarily with the announce team that ESPN has put together this year, I just think that Pocono in its current length is too long and too boring and should definitely be shortened considerably.
I am also not really sure if I would have wanted to see the Elliott Sadler wreck as vicious as it sounded, and now we know that his teammate was the one that hit him evidently not seeing the smoke.

Donna in FL said...

ESPN did a good NNS job at Iowa Speedway.

I watched the Pocono Cup race on DVR. Thought there was plenty to look at & not boring. Fortunately I had looked at the weather map & scheduled overage so I didn't miss the end like my friends did. I'm not sure how ESPN missed Sadler's wreck with more than 50 cameras?? I will bet footage of it surfaces & makes a NMG production.

Otherwise I thought ESPN's job was slightly better than Indy, and dealt with the delays well. Did not watch any postrace until SPEED's Victory Lane, also DVR delayed.

W_Rabb said...

I really enjoyed the coverage yesterday when there was racing they showed it and I was really shocked there was some racing a Pocono so Kuddos to ESPN for showing it and not have a love fest with HMS as far as the Sadler wreck I can see how you miss it even if you have several camera's down there if you see a car spin I'm sure your trained as a cmaera man to go to the spining car so I see how you could miss it not that they should have they should have another camera. Dot I wasn't surpised that the SC post race was weak the ran ran long and they had baseball tonight at 7pm to lead in to Sunday Night Baseball which ESPN pays a pretty penny for so with just 25 minutes I didn't expect much and give them a pass as the race was so long and ate up all of the post race time. Finally I have to say that not just on this sidte but many others people hate ESPN so much and I just can't see it I mean yeah Dr Punch was bad and they've offered some bad coverage in the past but it seem to me that al lot of yall be it FOX TNT or ESPN look for any little reason to hate. I can understand it's furstrating if good racing is ignored to show the lead cars or the Cup guys in NNS races but to me as long as I can watch the race I'm pretty happy

Kevin said...

I thought the coverage was great today. I'm getting a little tired of reading the bashers on this board who feel the need criticize every aspect of ESPN's coverage. It's clear that they're trying everything they can to give us a good product.

The first half of the race was boring as could be. That's not ESPN's fault. Everything started to get interesting when NASCAR brought out the Junior caution just after he went a lap down. All heck broke loose after that, which really saved ESPN and NASCAR's rear.

The biggest thing I like to see is the expanded post race. Thanks to ESPN for having the guts to integrate the coverage with Sportscenter, even though most common sports fans don't given a hill of beans difference about NASCAR.

Garry said...

I'll guarantee that if it was the 48 or 24 wrecking, we would have had 37 different angles of the replay. In fact, I'm surprised that one of the cameras didn't run right up the back end of the 48, when he stopped at the red flag...

Anonymous said...

What's a director to do?

Consult the crystal ball of course!

in order to catch the 19 spinning and wrecking while the 2 is spinning and shredding major portions of the front end of his car off?

What was going through his head as the 19 is sitting there?

The first thing that went through mine was "there's an engine on the track!!!" Where'd that come from?

Then He/We saw the 19.

is he OK? Severely injured? Dead? Should I show the car?

Oh Wait, the nets down! It's OK! Oh wait! maybe not! He's getting out! Oh wait he doesn't look good.

Put yourself in the "Big Chair" How do you handle the questions I've posed above?

And while I'm at it, How about giving Brian France his due on this one.

Without NASCAR mandating HANS devices, new belt technology and the new car, we'd be mourning the loss of another driver this week.

That head on impact was as vicious and horrifying a hit that I have seen in quite a while and that includes MWR at Bristol in 1990.

Good Job!

Dave in Milwaukee

Anonymous said...

I would like to respond to this. I'm not an ESPN apologist, in fact have had my comments removed from another site recently for criticising ESPN on a Board sponsered by ESPN.

I thought ESPN's coverage was an improvement over the past. Their camera shots were better and showed more action. I do have some criticisms however.

1. Get rid of Rusty.
2. You really need 4 cameras per stretch of the track. 2 for long shots from each end and 2 for zooms. Never zoom the long shots and you will always have a record of the action. I know this requires a lot of equipment and heaven forbid, some skill in the trailer but that is how to do it professionally. Only 2 cameras for the backstretch is woefully inadequate of such a large track.
3. I find Jarrett annoying at times but he seems to be fairly straightforward can deal with him.
Petry on the other hand is just another Nascar guy that plays playground politics, apologize for the popular guy, suck up to Nascar, and gang up on the unpopular one. I might like him more in person but despise what he does in the booth. I would like to see more announcing talent that will talk about the sport honestly about what is going on, on the track. Jimmy Johnson was moving left when he (intentionally or unintentionally) bump drafted Kurt Busch. It was obvious on when it happened and more obvious from the replays. These bone head manuevers by him and some more intentional ones from his team mate directed at Busch 1 have been ongoing occurances, multiple times throughout the seasons for a number of years. As of yet, I have only found one blog out of all print and broadcast media that has pointed out how this actually started yesterday. No one is talking about the implications of this ongoing, especially ESPN's announcing booth.

Hopefully, ESPn will use this moment as an opportunity to improve their issues with camera placement and usage of resources, which in turn will help them to document what they missed this time.

As to complaints about the track. They just need more safer barrier. I have seen some incredulous exclamations about the shape and make up of that wall. In fact, that shape is necessary to minimize what could be a real disaster if a car goes unrestrained into that very necessary access road. You are more likely to have a disaster if you take that current deflection out and allow the car to go unimpeded into
a. that access road,
b. Head-on into the wall on the other side of the access road (which is highly more probable than what happened Sunday).
C. Or worse yet into a wall corner at the tip of that access road which could easily bi-sect a car.

That shape is there for a reason and is still more likely to deflect than stop a car coming at it.

old97fan

Anonymous said...

ESPN does okay most of the time except for the in car camera shots and the bumper cams. Why don't they understand looking at in car does NOT give the viewer the feel of being in the car? It just takes us away from viewing what is happening on the track. Other than that aspect, the coverage is good for what all they have to plan for so they can broadcast the show. I enjoyed the booth combo and broadcast from the Nationwide much better. Ricky C and Ray E do a great job. I do agree with some that maybe ESPN has an over abundance of people working the show. And I still think Alan Bestwick would do the best job in the booth.

GA Red

Zieke said...

That Pocono race is sooooo long. I turned on just as the rain let up with 30 or so to go, watched the highlights, and "BOOM" got everything in 30 minutes. They need to shorten that race to 350 miles, and give 1 of their races to a track that has the ability to put on a good race...

Richard in N.C. said...

Zieke- it would appear that a Cup race date has a value of something over $80,000,000. My recollection is that Darth Bruton and Bahre paid something close to $200,000,000 for N. Wilkesboro, and its then 2 dates - and the N. Wilkesboro and Rockingham deals have pretty much established the precedent that the race dates belong to the tracks. So I don't believe it is reasonable to expect Pocono to just give up a race date. However, many in the media (who hate Pocono) frequently imply that NASCAR could just pull one of the Pocono dates whenever it wants.

Haven't had a chance to check mainstream sites, but the "mystery" of whether the KY track is going to have a Cup race is probably over since the track has already scheduled a news conference, including the Gov. of KY, for sometime in the next 2 weeks.

BillyDelyon said...

All I want to know is why Motor mouth Marty is the lead NASCAR play by play?

When you have Bob Jenkins working Indy...

Im watching the '83 race at the rock, and Bob is just outstanding...

With DJ and Andy, that would be great both crew..

Tom said...

One of the reasons neither of the Pocono races will be shortened: The Mattioli family is too stubborn (and it's been more than documented) about the facility it has.
One of the themes I was hearing about why the crowd was better than Indy's was: Ticket prices were slashed to as low as $25.
Just my 2.5 cents.

Anonymous said...

GA Red,

What you should be looking for when they use an in-car camera shot is to look at the attitude of the car in front of the car you are in. Look at the rear wheels in relation to the front. This will tell you if that car in handling loose or tight based solely on the yaw of the car. Unless you have a 60" HD TV, the in-car camera is almost the only way you can get this information.

I'm not saying that it should be used as much as it is, but sometimes I get the feeling viewers don't take advantage of the view they are getting from the telecast.

NC Racer

Anonymous said...

You have to give John Roberts credit for consistency. On Sunday's Victory Lane, he made excuses for the lack of action towards safety improvements at Pocono. Tonight, on Race Hub, he did it again. Apparently it's lost on Mr. Roberts that the safety issues at Pocono are longstanding and obvious. By the way, tonight's Race Hub for the most part was a rehash of tape we've all seen several times. I did see some tape for the first time shot out the back of Kurt Busch's car. Johnson claims he was bump drafting. If he was,he was even worse at it than Carl Edwards when he wrecked his team mates at Dega. The video showed the cars weren't even in line. Kurt was high,Jimmie was low with 2-3 foot of bumper contact. At the point of contact,Johnson turned left(low),hooking Busch. I've lost a lot of respect for Johnson since his childish reactions to Gordon racing him hard. Fortunately,no one got seriously hurt.

Richard in N.C. said...

Looks like their aversion to going to Pocono and EESPN's camera work has bitten the media since I have not seen anyone write that he or she actually saw what occurred in Elliott's wreck.

Tom said...

Richard,
Can you report on the racing any better? You seem to have blanket criticism of the media without citing specific examples.
So come on and come clean...what makes the media so horrible to you? Links to specific posts that have your ire are welcome so I can get my brain around why you're so critical.
Help me out here...

Richard in N.C. said...

Tom, I find a great deal of distortion, bias, and sloppiness in the media - but then I'm only a NASCAR fan and the noted sports columnist of the Winston-Salem Journal, Lenox Rawlings, has written and stated in public that NASCAR fans are "ignorant and gullible."

I have been a fan since the 1960's and I have watched the media in general, and NASCAR print in particular, become increasingly more negative as their primacy was eroded by increased TV coverage.

I happen to enjoy watching the Pocono races and I have friends that go annually and enjoy it - but the media constantly bashes Pocono, in part I am convinced because going to Pocono inconveniences the media. Check out the number of major NASCAR writers who failed to go to Pocono, but still comment, mostly without being upfront that their commentary is based on watching TV. This past Pocono race is a prime example - no reporters writing that they actually saw what happened in Sadler's race.

I have been a NASCAR fan since the 1960's and it appears clear to me that many in the media are convinced that bashing NASCAR sells and promote bashing NASCAR for their own benefit.

Bob Margolis' recent article about NASCAR's problems is a breath of fresh air - not rocket science, but even-handed and providing an analysis that is logical and insightful, but one I have not seen elsewhere. One of the very few, if not only, article I have seen this year commenting that TV ratings for all pro sports are down this year.

Oh, yes, I am biased - I am convinced that many in the media are often less than truthful, even if just by selective ommission of inconvenient facts.

Anonymous said...

Richard in NC

I think you may be right about some things. NASCAR in history has always ruled with iron fist. I've a brother who does not get all the negative chatter about the driver fines for talking bad on the sport. They used to ban drivers for life that did not do what NASCAR wanted, dating back to the 60s.

He also thinks MANY bloggers need to give up their negative websites. He claims some have only been watching NASCAR a handful of years and deem themselves "true fans". He's been watching many kinds of racing (EXCEPT Drag) and knows history of many sports.

NASCAR still has best competition. If you hate it, don't watch it.

So, he has a point. I know i've cut back drastically in my viewing habits this year.

Anonymous said...

The fact that the track boasts about its $16 Million Solar Farm while ignoring track safety improvements says a lot. I've seen the horrific Junior and Steve Park incident on TV that occurred a few years ago where they hit that earthen bank.

Tom said...

Richard,
Hmm...let's see...Jim Utter was there at Pocono. Lee Spencer and her husband, Reid, were there banging out stories. AP had Dan Gelston there in person.
You mentioned Lenox Rawlings, who is a columnist. His role in that position is to express his opinion about what he's seeing from all possible angles.
Writers, on the other hand, are supposed to tell a story. It seems to me like you're lumping columnists and writers into the same group based mainly on what you read from Lenox Rawlings of the Winston-Salem Journal.

Also, are you psychic? Name some of the other writers you believe weren't at Pocono.
Inconvenience? Really? That argument is ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

Did anybody but me notice that everytime the 16 took 2 tires, that it was a poor decision? The 88 takes 2 tires and it was a great move!

Turns out the 16 was able to makeup and hold positions, while as expected, the 88 can't keep his car on the track.

Guess the 16 wasn't on the ESPN script for the weekend.

Wish ESPN would trash the script and just call the race as it happens.

Harry in Calif

Richard in N.C. said...

At the first Pocono race Jenna Fryer, Jeff Gluck, Dustin Long, and Monte Dutton were not at the race. I have not had a chance to check yet, but I don't recall seeing anything indicating that Fryer, Gluck, or Long were there Sunday either.

I haven't had a chance to look yet today, but as of yesterday I found it intriguing that I could find no one writing about having actually watched, live, what happened to Elliott.

At a minimum I feel that reporters should make it more readily apparent to readers when they are commenting on race events based solely on watching the race on TV.

Anonymous said...

After watching Race Hub and Nascar Now, and the videos of the Busch/Sadler wreck - and listening to the radio announcers accompanying that video, the radio announcers were on the Sadler wreck instantly, as it happened. Then rewatched the ESPN broadcast and the TV announcers were really slow to even acknowledge the Sadler wreck. Even if they didn't have video, don't they look at the track? Just horrible coverage in my opinion.

Tracy D said...

I have one small thing to add about the booth: like Marty Reid. His enthusiasm is palpable. He may get some terms wrong, but he's letting us know this is a race and not a church service.

I heard Nicole Briscoe say the grass can't be removed from Pocono because of the environmental impact it would cause. Evidently there's a watershed or somesuch in the area, and the EPA requires them to have so much grass. . . Why didn't the race announcers know that? That's a pretty crucial bit of knowledge, and that grass has been there a long time, someone should have asked why it stayed when it should have been paved.

I too worried about the camera focusing on Elliott post-crash. Like another poster, I would have been more comfortable if we'd been shown him emerging from the car after we knew he was going to be okay. My heart was in my throat there for a bit, and I had to shut my eyes and pray after seeing his face in the window.

Craven and Evernham are super together in the booth for the NW race. What a winning combination.

Stickwiththebiff said...

Richard, Gluck is a blogger, not a reporter. I doubt SBNation pays to send him to races. Likewise, the news services may choose to not send their reporters to events. They also do not have to publish articles even if they're written (editors decide these things.) I do agree with you that everyone who generally covers racing on the 'beat' should be clear about whether or not they attend. But I also see that both the AP and USA today had descriptions of the wreck. Were they there? I have no idea. But I also don't know that there's much to describe except Sadler was hit when he checked up and went head on into a wall with no barrier, not even tires (which is an incredible no brainer imho.) But what kind of detail do you expect? Reporters could even describe more detail, and it could get cut by an editor. Just saying.

Anonymous said...

maybe JD can answer this. People are complaining, correctly, that ESPN should have had more cameras on the back stretch to get the 19 crash but as I understand it NASCAR positions the cameras not the network as both SPEED and ESPN used the cameras from Pocono over the weekend.

DexterMorgan said...

I thought it was really good. You can tell ESPN is making a conscious effort to show us battles for position when we are "not missing anyuthing up front"

And I love Marty Reid's excitement.

Tom said...

As I stated previously to you, Richard, Dan Gelston was the guy who covered Pocono last weekend IN PERSON for AP. Jenna Fryer was not there, and as a result, did not write the race story on Sunday.

As much as you seem to have trouble grasping this, individual writers don't always cover a beat every single week, whether for budget restrictions or (gasp) personal reasons.

Yes, I looked it up...Jenna Fryer did not write on the first Pocono race for AP, either. And that's probably for the same reasons mentioned above.

Another FYI: Dustin Long had not one, but TWO post-race posts up within three hours of each other on Sunday. They're available on Jayski...look them up.

Bottom line: If you're so enamored with whether or not certain writers are there at the track covering races, ASK THEM!! They really do have e-mail addresses and can easily be contacted.

I remember the case in 2003 of a writer for the Sacramento Bee named Jim Van Vliet. He was FIRED after 34 years because he submitted a story on a San Francisco Giants home game, but was later found to have filed the story while watching from a location away from the ballpark.

Can you HONESTLY say ANY writer would knowingly do something as dumb as file a story they're assigned to do and not be at the track in person?

I just gave you a perfect example why a career has potential to go down the toilet if that were true.

Then again, if you'd rather say the media "despise" Pocono without any real proof backing it up, go right ahead.

I'll also repeat what I said earlier: Your argument that Pocono is an "inconvenience" for media is patently ridiculous and just plain absurd.

Tom said...

@Stickwiththebiff 6:09,
Thank you...well said!

Richard in N.C. said...

With such a terrible wreck, no film or video (yet), and all the blogs and the like, it seems curious that no one has come forward to describe what happened to cause Elliott's wreck, how it occurred, who caused it, etc. Maybe no one in the press was looking that way when the wreck occurred - or maybe the modern, knee-jerk reaction in the press box was to look at the TV monitor to get a better view of the 2 wreck.

Dannyboy said...

I couldn't watch the whole race, and missed the middle where many said it was boring. Hey, some races are that way, y'know? But any race that ends with fans on their feet for extended laps gotta be good for the sport.

The part I DID see was reminiscent of old ESPN broadcasts. OMG I even saw long wide shots of the back straight action taken from on top of front stretch grandstand. I had to rub my eyes in disbelief!
Decent commentary too. I'll watch again.

Anonymous said...

i was disappointed that i didn't get to see a better shot of Sadler's accident. i do think they did a good job of catching and covering battles out side the top five.

Richard in N.C. said...

I stopped reading Rawlings when I learned I am ignorant. I may be ignorant, but I'm not gullible. I'm told Rawlings still writes about NASCAR on occasion despite his obvious disrespect for its fans- not sure who he expects would read his commentaries about a sport whose fans he has no respect for.

I did not mean to accuse any of the writers of misrepresenting whether they were at the race - and I know Gluck, Fryer, and Long were not at the 1st Pocono race because Dustin Long so stated on NASCAR Now where all 3 were commenting on that race.

In the interest of full disclosure, I believe readers have a right to know whether they are reading a report of what a writer saw at the track or a commentary from watching the race on TV without a reader's having to investigate to determine the writer's frame of reference. I believe a writer's commentary from watching a race on TV is inherently less informed than a report from the track - and I believe that handicap was evident in several reports of Tom Logano's involvement in the confrontation with Harvick. It might also have contributed to more having been written about the Logano's than safety at the 1st Pocono race.

I happen to enjoy the Pocono races and they bring back special memories to me, but Pocono constantly gets beat up in what I see written by the majority of the press. Friends of mine who attend Pocono annually tell me it is a real pill to get away from the track after a race.

Just because there are e-mail addresses does not mean you will get an answer. Last year or the year before a well-known reporter for a major site posted an article just before the start of the race in Chicago that a driver/team had been caught blatantly cheating - which within minutes was shown to be untrue. I e-mailed the site during the race about the error - don't have a response yet. The original article was pulled and corrected - but no apology or acknowledgement of the erroreous report was ever printed that I could find.

Indytina said...

I didn't think the coverage was awful. The race was boring at times (during the first half). But can all of you who are on the Fan Council PLEASE tell NASCAR that they have to start doing side by side coverage during commercials. I'm so sick of missing things when they're at break and hearing, "while we were away" when they come back. If something happens, immediately dump out of commercial and come back to live coverage. There is plenty of time for commercials during cautions (after pit stops).

I'm disgusted that they missed Elliott's wreck and didn't seem to go sleuthing through scanner traffic or anything to figure out what happened.

I've also decided that the networks should all remove car owners from broadcast duties. They don't belong and give too biased opinions. Enough with all of them.

51 yr. fan said...

Race Hub tonight had several driver
commentaries about the Hamlin/Newman detrimental conversation fines. Stewart, Edwards and others commented about
not biting the hand that feeds them. Everyone was after the almighty dollar. I think I would
be more impressed if they would
address the integrity of the sport
and where it is going. We fans are
not stupid when it comes to the
NA$CAR manipulation.

Daly Planet Editor said...

There is a new post up for comments on other TV and media topics from the week. Thanks.

JD

glenc1 said...

Just thinking aloud--it IS possible that the reporters couldn't see what happened even in person. We all know when a wreck happens, smoke starts and it if it becomes a melee, even the drivers in the middle of it have a hard time telling what happened til they see the replay. At big tracks and road courses, you'd have to have binoculars trained on the wreck as it happens even if you are *there* in person. Reporters at the Glen are generally in the press box; it would be impossible to see what happened in the esses or the busstop. I would say reporters often rely on replays or Sprintvision, just as we do. I think it's unfortunate that all the cameras missed it, but a first hand report is always best if you're a reporter who didn't see it--and Elliott told it pretty well (and Allmindinger reported he was the one in back.)

BTW, Richard--if you think reporters/columnist dislike Pocono, you should hear what they say about the Glen. I believe it was Dutton and Mulhern, in particular, used to whine about how primitive the conditions were. Nothing about the fans, mind you, just about their lack of amenities for the press--who don't buy tickets. I guess the new press building has given them less to complain about now.