Sunday, September 25, 2011

Flat Tracking In New Hampshire


The truck series race on Saturday showed us that it was going to be another case of a single groove racetrack that made it tough to pass. New Hampshire Motor Speedway lived up to that reputation on Sunday as the Sprint Cup Series raced on ESPN.

Nicole Briscoe led a pre-race show that consisted of a lot of content seen earlier in the week on ESPN. Features from the past were re-used on various topics to fill the hour. Rusty Wallace and Brad Daugherty now present a familiar infield TV duo.

Allen Bestwick called the race with Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree in the TV booth. On pit road were Jamie Little, Dave Burns, Vince Welch and Dr. Jerry Punch. Tim Brewer was in the Tech Garage.

This race was a nose to tail affair that made pitstops and track position key to winning. There was little attrition among the top teams and ultimately gas mileage decided the race.

This was a typical ESPN presentation. The core of the live racing is covered by cameras that feature select pairs of cars. Sometimes, there is a single shot while the coverage talks about a designated driver. ESPN had a wonderful aerial shot, but it was used infrequently.

Positives were the nonstop commercial format, the quad-split for caution flag pistops and the effective use of split-screens during the racing. Negatives were conversation among announcers with no one calling the action. This race sounded very different on the radio.

This post is your opportunity to express your opinion about the ESPN coverage of the Sprint Cup Series race from the New Hampshire Motor Speedway. To add your TV-related comments, just click on the comments button below. Thanks for stopping by.

26 comments:

GinaV24 said...

I thought Chicago was bad, this race broadcast was no improvement.

they are showing side by side commericals - great, but the race is in the small screen with the ad in the large one and there are still too many of them and they show one car at a time, not what I had in mind when they said what a big improvement it would be.

Didn't bother with the neutered version of racebuddy. Without the battle cam, it's a waste of bandwidth, I'll stick with trackpass.

End result - D rating for this boring race and that's regardless of what Pete Pistone thinks about the fans complaining.

sbaker17 said...

Better Heading:
Flat Lining in New Hampshire

Anonymous said...

ESPN:
1)Thank you for showing ALL the last lap. It is much appreciated.

2)Do you supply magnifying glasses for the "LIVE" box? It's so small, it's just a PR joke.

3)You refuse to follow Bestwick's lead. Stupid, stupid.

4)You make great efforts to show endless laps with just ONE car in view. Do you have special training sessions to unlearn qualified staff?

5)I won't stop watching the races you televise....I just keep track of your advertisers and make a point of NOT buying their products.

6)You, ESPN, could be a "leader" in NASCAR coverage. Why do you refuse to be?

Makiki
Honolulu

KoHoSo said...

The ESPN "plan" for broadcasts is still a disaster even with the various improvements that have been made. To put it plainly, "hyper-tight" camera shots suck just as bad on ESPN as they do on Fox. No, it doesn't help when conditions create difficult passing and another fuel mileage race. Still, it was yet another confusing disappointment where I feel like I have "watched" more NASCAR on Twitter than what I have received this year on television.

w17scott said...

Mr Editor -
1)Pete Pistone (Toody) is still looking for Car 54.
2)No doubt about it, DJ slept through another race
3)Tony Stewart won? ...sounds like they're reprising #48 idea ...test during the season to make an impact in the Chase
4) ESPN's broadcasts are akin to XFL vs to NFL ...time wasted
5) hyper-tight shots again ...so much ado about nothing
6) despite AB's presence, ESPN missed another race
Walter

Buschseries61 said...

The ESPN method of covering these races is terrible. Was their Indy coverage a trick? They have the right people in the booth, stop giving them a coffee talk script to follow. I watch and read enough studies during the week. Scripted questions and long winded observations is not my ideal entertainment when watching NASCAR Sunday afternoons.

The director did another lousy job with the camerashots today, clashing with Bestwick multiple times. We missed a lot of passing to focus on one or two cars for the booth to chat about.

While we saw no debris, we got a better finish line shot. While there seemed to be more commercials, NASCAR Nonstop kept viewers informed as things changed in a commercial break.

As for NASCAR, shouldn't the playoffs be a bit more intense? The final 50 laps were the only fun part of the race.

Anonymous said...

anybody know who it was that AB was apologizing for late in the race? Kurt Busch? Pre-race interview?

Daly Planet Editor said...

Yes, it was. Accidental and there should be nothing further coming from it.

Anonymous said...

There are both good and bad races for the Networks to cover. But for some reason the broadcasts appear to get worse and worse for each Network. Today's race was truly lackluster. It was a beautiful day, but I can't imagine sitting there all weekend and spending a ton of money to watch that snoozer. Once again, there were real surprises in the top 15, but you'd never know it watching the cars shown on TV. The producers of the Awards banquet are going to be really challenged if Stewart is Champion. I mean, there certainly weren't a lot of positive "highlights" during the regular 26 season race. It sounds like "Nascar Fatigue" is running rampant based on the posts I've been reading lately. Having said all that, JD perseveres. It's appreciated by this blogger.

Lisa Hogan said...

The ESPN formula simply does not work! Fans want to see the race!

As always, thanks JD.

AncientRacer said...

I suppose I spoiled myself this summer while away and got heavily into listening to the races on the radio for the most part (as where I was it was too nice to be inside staring at a flickering box), and I have continued that now I am home since being gone there is a lot to do around here and the weather has been lovely, but there comes a time in a race when I want to go in and sit in The Comfy Chair and watch.

I just wish they would give me somehing to watch. I do not mind the "coffee talk script" really as I realize many viewers are not as hardcore as me so long as there is a good call and pictures to match the call. AB does a good call so, as usual, I find myself pointing my bony finger at The Truck.

I had high, perhaps too high, hopes for the SxS ads, but that was a Fail. Every 4 laps until the last 15 or so. I counted. That and the size of the box -- actually, the LACK of size of the box.

And then there are the titght tight shots and the focusing on two or so cars, but I have beaten that horse so much the ASPCA will be coming to get me soon, I fear. I did like, however, that the finish was shown.

All in all C- leaving me this week, again, a step to a step and a half from paraphrasing Casey Stengel, when he was Manager of the Mets, and screaming -- to no one in particular at all -- "Can't nobody here televise this game!?!"

I do like "Victory Lane" coming right after, but that is one of those "for every thing they give you they take something away" deals -- or in this case they took 4 things away since I never see "Race Hub" any more.

I also agree that "Racebuddy" is something less than my "buddy" without the battle cam.

Anonymous said...

Smoke and dead weight. He must have jettisoned ESPN on cable or satellite.

Everything that is wrong about NASCAR TV was on display today. Bad habits on top of bad habits. Laziness and apathy in the production truck continues to build. I've seen production crews do far greater work with a handful of people and 4 cameras on the Modified Tour races. WTH?

justg said...

I really dislike watching race broadcasts from ESPN. Their coverage of the racing is minimal unless it is Jr. or JJ. There was no mention or shots from more than half the field (guessing). The "live" commercial thing would be great if the racing was in the big window & there were fewer of them. I am glad we don't hear more from the group in the "on-site studio". and i am glad they did make a change in the announcers booth. Why do they feel the need to have so many women broadcasters that really don't know the sport.
ESPN's coverage is just really sad.
g Hall

earl06 said...

I'm filing NASCAR Non-stop under "careful what you wish for."

I was not in favor of it being implemented, reasons being mainly what happened yesterday. The second half of the race played out on a screen about as big as my phone with no commentary.

"As you saw on our NASCAR Non-stop coverage, there was a car circling the track all by itself!"

Yay. Total garbage.

ChrisK said...

There are some positives about ESPN's coverage.

1. No DW with his moronic "BBB"

2. No Digger

3. No "Let's be honest..."

Anonymous said...

Anyone got anything new on the "dead weight" comment from Stewart?

I didn't comment yesterday, but when the are doing the side by side, they had about 30 seconds of Gordon driving from inside the car. Glad we got side by side for that!

Fuel mileage and strategy IS a part of racing. Not the most exciting part, but still. It was a dull race I wish I wasn't so tired, I could have done something else with my day.

Anonymous said...

For the one that thinks Jr. & JJ gets the most TV coverage need to look up the numbers. Ls

Zieke said...

I feel kind of sorry for ESPN having to broadcast another boring "fuel mileage" race. No wonder DJ slept through it.
I dare say F-1 is becoming alot more interesting. Cup guys can hardly race their cars anymore because they are almost exactly alike. It's follow the leader until they run out of gas. ESPN doesn't have much to work with.

Andrew said...

No mention that ESPN covered non-Chase competitors pretty well?

Fed UP said...

All in all, not a bad race. Granted, I didn' watch the whole thing however, I usually just listen to it. Im beginning to understand that what is shown on tv is usally from from what is actually happening, but until the powers that be understand this, it will never change. All in all, a much better broadcast than what was in the past.

Anonymous said...

As I've said here a number of times, "everybody has to play by the same rules", but I don't watch Nascar racing to watch a bunch of the lead cars run out of gas on the last lap. If that routinely happened at our local short tracks on Friday or Saturday nights,there'd be NO local stock car racing. "Let's be honest", it's hard to justify taking the time to watch the 'show' Nascar puts on. "Racing" seems to be an abstract concept.

Andy Marquis said...

The race is televised, that's good enough for me.

Anonymous said...

The comments I've seen on the blogs suggest Tony dumped his long time girlfriend. Again, purely speculation. Darien Grubb,when asked said there were no personnel changed at SH Racing. I'm sure it'll come out

Anonymous said...

Very few people with careers in media will acknowledge there could ever be a problem with anything in the media business anywhere. Why is that?

West Coast Diane said...

If it were not for, in order, my DVR, TDP, Twitter & Hot Pass I am pretty sure I would not be watching NASCAR. As much as I love all forms of racing I can't imagine watching what passes for racing without all my "support" help. Even though I watch using the DVR I sync up Twitter & TDP to follow like watching. The info from those sources enhance my viewing immensely. Even watching HotPass I can see & hear ESPN. Single car, tight shots & babbling.

Regarding practice, quals, pre race shows I DVR & FF to get any info on some of the drivers and/or stories if there is some new stuff. It is so repetitive. I know some of it is that not everyone watches all the shows leading up to the race but certainly they can find some interesting things to discuss. Hey, how about info on more than the Chase drivers. And not just their car number and name.

By the way. I did try Race Buddy last week. Could not hear the scanners. I could hear the annoyingly loud ad that popped up every you changed to another box. Wasn't my idea of fun. I'll stick to HotPass.

Bobby O said...

I watched the NFL ALL day long.