Monday, November 21, 2011

Race Wrap: ESPN In Homestead


Sometimes, the reality matches the script. ESPN could not have asked for a better scenario than the battle between Carl Edwards and Tony Stewart for the Sprint Cup Championship.

Nicole Briscoe hosted a pre-race show that featured both contenders in the pit studio. Rusty Wallace and Brad Daugherty were joined by ESPN reporter Marty Smith for a portion of the hour.

Features were mixed with interviews. ESPN paid a lot of attention to Jimmie Johnson, a driver the network romanced for many years. While Edwards is an ESPN favorite, it is no secret that Stewart does not enjoy ESPN's approach to the sport.

The race was called by Allen Bestwick, Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree. Early on, Kurt Busch exploded his transmission and a piece punctured the radiator of Stewart. Despite many camera views, ESPN did not have a replay.

This got the team off-balance as hyper-tight shots returned and ESPN was plagued by caution flags happening in commercial break. Since the Nonstop format did not start until halfway, there was a lot of replays used to show viewers what was going on.

Dr. Jerry Punch, Jamie Little, Dave Burns and Vince Welch got a chance to do some bonus interviews when a red flag stopped the race for a rain shower. Despite the fact that almost all of the ESPN personalities are on Twitter, there was no interaction with fans during the delay.

The restarts resulted in some wild action that ESPN followed with aerial shots and wide camera shots for one or two laps. Then, the familiar pattern followed of showing only one or two cars in the camera view at a time. Incidents were replayed and the announcers often sounded frustrated when what they were describing was not what viewers were watching.

With under 100 laps to go, another caution for rain scattered the field and put distance between Edwards and Stewart. Bestwick is a master at working through those kinds of issues and took his time to explain who was where and why. This is exactly the problem the network had with Marty Reid.

Edwards and Stewart both had radio contact with ESPN. Jarrett was outstanding in keeping his conversations short and to the point. Gas mileage became an issue and it took a lot of talk to figure out what was actually going on.

NASCAR really needed a fresh and new storyline and it was delivered. This kind of Homestead excitement will attract the mainstream media and get NASCAR exposed on lots of outlets Monday that may not normally report on the sport.

The race restarted with slightly less than 40 laps to go, ESPN got the job done with coverage as the race narrowed down to the top two cars. Ultimately, the action on the track for the first time in a long time pushed any concern about the TV coverage aside. ESPN simply had to follow the unfolding reality.

ESPN made good pictures, great sound and once again delivered a telecast free of technical problems. Early in the race, the network pulled the lower third sports ticker and left it out for the rest of the championship event. There were several special effects tried with special graphics and in-car cameras, but ultimately it was just cameras aimed at two cars fighting for the championship.

The finish line coverage focused on the championship after a solid final lap call from the TV booth. The top three cars were shown crossing the line and sound from both contenders was used. One of the hardest thing in sports broadcasting is knowing when not to talk and Bestwick did a superb job in the moments after the race.

Little interviewed Edwards post-race and Punch handled Victory Lane and the presentation of the championship. It's always awkward, but Stewart finally showed some emotion with Punch in a very open and honest interview the kind that NASCAR just loves. Somehow, the final rain shower made for a fitting ending to a historic day.

We invite your comments on the final Sprint Cup Series race coverage on ESPN. To add your TV-related opinion, just click on the comments button below. Thanks for hanging with us all season, we will be updating every day with NASCAR TV and media information. There are plenty of things about to be announced next week, so check back with us please.

58 comments:

Anonymous said...

jd this race and chase should put all the chase hatters away. the chase made this last race unbeliable, without the chase tony wouldnt even have been talked about today, what a great idea for the sport. the chase is great and here to stay, tv ratings had to be through the roof

Anonymous said...

No Brian France handing out the trophy this year ? Hmmmm highly unusual.

Was he on SPEED pre race show earlier today with his usual end of the year Q&A and state of the sport ?

Jojay said...

Early on -despite 72 cameras espn brought to the track - they could not show us & tell us how the 14's grill was damaged. And then as if someone flipped a switch the bottom ticker was gone, the hyper tight was going away, and espn let the race become the story ! For the first time all year.

And the race was really good to watch mostly. OK I am happier since my driver won, but all in all it was a much better TV production.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 8:42PM,

Chase still has plenty of issues to discuss, but a great race is a great race.

We will get overnight ratings in the afternoon tomorrow and report them right here.

Anon 8:51PM,

Mike Helton hands those out, Brian will be on the stage in Vegas. France had a Q&A session with the media this week. Nothing major came of it.

Anonymous said...

JD - disagree, in past years BZF was on stage with Helton at Homestead.

And for the last 4-5 years he has appeared on SPEED's race day on the Sunday morning of the Homestead finale for his "state of the sport: Q&A with the boys.

Today was highly unusual. Others - please correct me if I am wrong.

Roland said...

Broadcast wise, Ill give ESPN some credit, they did a great job from the rain delay on. Im one of those people who would rather see the championship battle then the other 41. They did a good job. limited commercials was great too. Now the first half of the race was utter crap. With the long taped first lady interview and all. I know a lot of people will complain about not seeing the other 41, but honestly with a battle like that, the other 41 do not matter at all. Good to have Doc Punch handle the championship interview.

As for the championship, this sport needed this so badly. The 5 year reign of the 48 really killed any momentum Nascar had. I thought his championship was a knock out blow for many fans. But the sport rebounded, in spite of Brian France. As a fan, I got what I have always wanted. From Trevor Bayne stunning the world at Daytona to Tony stunning the world at Homestead, what an unbelievable season. For all those saying their passion for the sport is waning, if you didnt like that, than this sport doesnt need you. That was awesome.

Thanks JD for this outlet. Great season on the track, not so much for the networks.

I wish Daytona was tomorow!

PammH said...

There is no NN on Monday?? How can that be?

Jessica said...

dude in white shirt on stage...those are open mics. can hear you making dinner plans in media center:)

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon, Mike gives the trophies at the final. France has done RaceDay before, but he has not been the same guy this year and is not out front and being aggressive with the media.

Not too sure if his new PR guys have made the changes, but I really wish he had run to the TV booth tonight in the red flag.

That is who we need to see, the person running the sport!

Daly Planet Editor said...

Pammmmmmmmm,

NN has a final wrap-up show tonight at 10PM and is then done for the season. Been that way for years. We hate it!

Anonymous said...

You're right there JD - he is NOT like his father or grandfather in attempting to lead the sport.

Very reclusive and clueless guy.

Maybe he's had enough ?

Buschseries61 said...

Tony Stewart and Carl Edwards put NASCAR back on the map. Whatever flaws ESPN's broadcast had were overshadowed by the phenomenal racing on the track. ESPN's script was exclusively Tony & Carl, and that happened to match reality.

ESPN almost lost all their viewers when they missed a critical race moment within the first ten laps. Tony Stewart had something hit and damage the front of his car while ESPN presented a taped interview with Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden. Despite 72 cameras, there was no video of how Stewart had the damage. If Stewart's radiator was damaged, ESPN would have missed the championship-crowning moment.

Stewart and Edwards were covered the most (4 times the amount of coverage as the third most covered driver - Kevin Harvick), but I think ESPN was justified in their decision. They raced the hardest and they were the championship contenders. ESPN caught some good racing in the middle of the pack the first 109 laps, but Stewart and Edwards had to be the focus afterwards as the drama unfolded. In result, ESPN never missed a moment as these two fought for the title and eventually tied. Normally I would complain two thirds of the field was poorly covered, but it was justified in this situation.

NASCAR on ESPN made their best decision ever when they moved Allen Bestwick to the booth this season. Bestwick's excitement transfered through the televisions in millions of homes all evening. He called the insane racing on restarts, he made the most of multiple rain showers, and delivered a great call to the finish. He didn't cave-in despite what felt like an hour without a single commercial break. Andy Petree and Dale Jarrett did a great job contributing in this classic that will finally give ESPN some credibility.

The problems? The infield studio was useless, and actually became an annoying interuption as Stewart and Edwards battled. Brewer disappeared quickly in his irrelevant role. Multiple Monday races without the Infield Studio this season showed me it isn't needed unless ESPN wants a fancy pre-race. If anything, Brewer should be in Brad's seat next season and drop Brad from the telecast.

2011 was a strange season, with mystical surprises and a surplus of forgettable clunkers. In the end, NASCAR got the major boost it needed.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Nope, had many an argument with his dad. Very different kind of guy.

Brian is in charge of a much different organization and Mike is the face of the racing side.

I hope Brian finds his feet a little bit in the off-season.

Buschseries61 said...

In my typo-filled post, I forgot to say thank you for the blog, JD. I'm looking forward to hearing your plans for the blog and plenty of NASCAR media off season news. Thanks to the other Planeteers for making this season so much fun!

Anonymous said...

whats up with Vince Welsh? Stupid comment to Grubb - asking him about his troubles along the way. was so dumb I cannot even remember the exact wording. Talk about who should go - V Welsh is on my list at ESPN.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Thanks Busch! I am lucky that my current situation allows me the time to run the site.

Daly Planet Editor said...

That question really missed the mark and Darian kind of looked surprised. The SHR guys have been working the media well and he stayed cool and got in an answer.

Rainy2228 said...

JD....I also wanna thannk you for this blog and SINCERELY hope that any changes made are ones that we all (Planeteers) can live with and enjoy...I admire your truthfullness and candor and await the 2012 season and hope we can all meet here again in good health....God Bles America!!!!

Anonymous said...

There's one thing Im suprised ESPN didnt apoligize for, and that was when Kurt Bucsh showed the middle finger during the in car shot in the garage.

Jessica said...

so talk about your unemployment in the face of success with your kid on your lap...nice.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Tonight on Victory Lane on SPEED Darian Grubb said he was OUT as the #14 crew chief and did not know what the future holds.

DW, Mike Joy and Larry Mac were almost speechless. Classic TV moment.

rich said...

JD, thanks for providing this blog this season. It gives us frustrated fans a civil outlet (the only one I know of) for our rage at the TV gangs. It's better that throwing a shoe through the screen.
Hope to see you back for Daytona.
I CAN'T WAIT

AveryNH said...

Such a memorable season from the 500 and Bayne to Smith winning at darlington. Four wide at dega in the spring and Regan at night in Daytona. Menard's shocking brickyard win and the big wreck at the glen with Ambrose's win. Gordon moving to third all time in wins. And say what you will about the chase but it was one for the ages Edwards and Stewart down to the wire decided by a tie breaker. Truly a season for the ages. Thanks JD for this blog for allowing so many different opinions to be voiced. Here's to 2012!!

w17scott said...

Mr Editor -
Credit two determined and classy drivers and Mother Nature, but ESPN stepped into it with this race ...two-car shot happy too much this season, that format was well-suited to the closing laps of this finale ...Allen Bestwick displayed his professionalism in letting the pictures tell the story, despite ESPN's scripted approach ...even DJ and Andy stepped it up with their analysis ...looking forward to brighter broadcasts in 2011 and to continued entertainment and education with The Daly Planet ...that Shafer Street approach works well, so many thanks to you JD
Walter

Daly Planet Editor said...

Thanks, new posts every day this week. Lots of TV/media news about to break.

Anonymous said...

The excitement of this race and Tony's win reminded me of why I used to love NASCAR so much. Could we possibly continue it in 2012?!

Overall, watching NASCAR on FOX and ESPN this year was painful and depressing. Oh, what will next season bring?

I never would have made it through the season without TDP. Thank you, JD, for all your efforts.

Makiki

Daly Planet Editor said...

Thanks Makiki!

Zetona said...

A fitting end to a crazy, roller-coaster season. A championship decided by some incredible driving on Tony Stewart's part, capping off a year full of surprises, in which no one ever emerged as a dominant driver for more than a race or two; five drivers won their first race, at some of the biggest events of the season; crazy finishes all season; rivalries flaring and resolving themselves before our eyes. I could go on.

It wasn't a perfect year, and the broadcast reflected that. They got off to a pretty strong start and avoided zooming in too much. Soon, they were missing key incidents and focusing only on the 99 and 14, making for a dull stretch like we saw in several 1.5-mile races this year. After the rain delay, the coverage was fantastic. I'm kicking myself because I missed the last 90 laps by not setting the DVR properly, but the coverage was vastly improved up to that point, and Allen Bestwick was as good as he's been all season. What a day! What a season! Jimmie Johnson is NOT the champion! THAT should bring some people back to the sport.

Adam Wood said...

It's clear to me that there are some telecasts that ESPN cares about and others they don't. This was one they did care about, and the production reflected it. I almost think that we need to go back to the days where tracks negotiated the rights for their races on their own. That could bring a better broadcast.

But for now, if ESPN can produce more quality race broadcasts like tonight's, like Indy, like Talladega, then they can make the next few years bearable.

Anonymous said...

It was such an incredible race that even ESPN couldn't mess it up. To me Alan Bestwick has to be the biggest disappointment of the year. Sometimes he is really good, but even tonight he just calls numbers like Jerry Punch. Maybe an excited Jerry Punch, but just calls numbers. Maybe he's trying to tell the director which car to shoot, but he needs to describe more action and less "that was dicey" with no reference.

Biggest ESPN surprise of the year is the gelling of DJ and Petree. I really thought DJ was bad when he started, but like a true professional, he has improved a ton. The repore with him and Petree as they weave in references to races they were a part of in the past with the current action is just fabulous. My only complaint is - why do they make DJ read a queston from a fan. Why not just ask the darn question. Is it really worth all the effort of having a graphics guy type up the question and have DJ read it off a card with a cold cadence, just so some guy in South Carolina gets to see his name on the screen for two seconds during caution laps? Just let DJ ask the driver a question without all this "Jared from Fayetteville wrote to us on Twitter to ask." Just ask it already.

All I have to say is: NASCAR couldn't have really asked for anything more, from the way the Chase played out, to the final race. I mean, these guys swapping 1-2 all day, even from back of the field? It was crazy. It could have so easily been one guy running 7th and one guy running 19th and no story at all. Instead, NASCAR got an absolutely DREAM final to the season. And not only was it an incredible race with incredible story lines and tension, but the racing all over the track was crazy good. It was such a credit to the sport that these guys were racing 3-4 wide all night and had no big wrecks or silly payback. Just pure professionalism and an incredible finish. If NASCAR can't get ratings off of this, then nothing will bring ratings, because this is simply as good as it gets - in any era. They will talk about this race for years.

LVI56 said...

What a great race, one to remember for ages. And I don't just say that as a Smoke fan. Bestwick was on it all day/night, I just love that guy in pxp.

As far as the Darian Grubb thing, let's wait a few days before going crazy about that. To me, his status is a championship crew chief. That's it. Worry about next year later.

Homestead produced some amazing racing all weekend. Proves that a well-aged progressive-banked track can really work. I'd vote for a second race here for sure (although, I'm not sure if there's any time during the season it would fit with good weather).

Very impressed with nearly no commercials during the last half of the race. Loved it, really hope Fox was work something out similar for the 500.

James said...

Thank you JD, for all your tolerance with all the issues and frustrations the 2011 Season required. Thanks to the Planateers for all the wonderful banter and opinions.

It just goes to show you, its not easy to be fair. NASCAR is what it is, my only hope is that SMOKE will bring back the "old school" mentality when dealing with the media and NASCAR and step into the role as LEADER OF THE GARAGE, a role that seems to uncomfortable for most and has surely been a contributing factor to most of the stupid positions being taken by BZF.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS to all, looking forward to Daytona.

52 yr. fan said...

Glad to see our military get the
recognition they deserve, although I'm not sure what the
1st & 2nd ladies brought to the
table.

I think ESPN did a better job than usual knowing that the
championship had to be the only
focus they had.

Congrats to the 14 team and thanks JD for all your hard work and efforts to represent the real
NA$CAR fans.

Vicky D said...

It was a good race, and ESPN did a good job of broadcasting it. I was also surprised with Vince's question to Grubb I hadn't heard anything about it and many in the booth were dumbfounded too. Thanks for the blog, JD, hope you and your family have a good Thanksgiving.

GinaV24 said...

I have really mixed feelings about the race coverage from Homestead.

At first ESPN seemd to do a pretty good job of actually covering the race, then they went throug a period of hypertight stuff - showing one car - usually Stewart or Edwards in one screen and an ad in another, but they finally seemed to pull it together and did a good job of bringing the race home. Of course it helped a lot to have Allen in the booth calling the race AND to have an actual race for the championship happening for a change.

congrats to Tony and Darien. I'm sorry to hear that he will be out as crew chief, but not really surprised considering how much the 14 struggled through the season.

DJ and Andy did a good job in the booth with Allen, they don't make me crazy like others do.

I didn't stick around for much of the post race coverage. Although I'm a Chevy fan and therefore happy that it wasn't a Ford that won, I'm not a Stewart fan at all.

Thanks, JD, for the site and I'm looking forward to the columns this week.

AncientRacer said...

I was very curious to see the comments from yesterday this morning because having been there I can tell you it was a very good race. Even the rain helped -- though the red flag period must have seemed intermindable at home. At the track it increased the excitement level.

I am please to see that the comments are pretty positve overall because if there was a race in recent years that could be a showcase event for NASCAR this one qualifies.

Now, of course, after a really good event we have the abyss. Oh well.

Maybe, JD, we can blog for the diner this year like last year?

Ziggy said...

I'll give Disney's sports channel a big thumbs up this past weekend for a job very well done.

Actually they should thank Smoke, Concrete Carl & the track itself for a great race. (maybe the weather too)

Imagine what the excitement would have been like at Phoenix or one of those other "one groove tombstone" racing venues.

OSBORNK said...

I thought the coverage of the race was very ordinary until after the red flag. After the red flag, the coverage improved and the season ended with a bang. I didn't care who won but I felt good that both of the drivers have the "win any way possible" mentality. I guess Tony has a driving style and drive the most like Dale, Sr. than any driver currently driving (and I have never been a fan of either)and that is good for the sport.

Zieke said...

JD, Thanks for running a class site for all us non DW fans.(most) It's been nice to be able to vent despite some good coverage by ESPN and TNT. Speed appears to be going down a slippery slope with their coverage, but maybe next year will bring some improvement.

Anonymous said...

West Coast Diane said:

First, thanks JD. I, like many, thought it was just me regarding the race coverage. Your blog saved my sanity and probably kept me from not watching my favorite sport.

Second, thank you ESPN for no commercials the last part of the race. Totally helped keep the intensity up.

I have been watching HotPass since I follow JR. Since he has had a good year and made the Chase, he has been on just about every week.

For the final race, I chose to watch ESPN because of the close points battle. Also, my husband hates trying to watch two boxes & listen to two sets of audio:-).

ESPN made some of their typical mistakes. But I will say, I was so engrossed in the battle between Carl & Tony, I ignored most of it. The last part of the race after the rain delay was so intense. I personally didn't care about the other drivers, even mine.

This is not normal for me. But this was an epic race, made more epic by Tony coming from the back twice, using pit strategy with fuel and just driving his guts out.

The only thing that bugged me was they did not keep up the interval box between Tony & Carl. At that point that was critical info to be able to see when/if Carl was closing on Tony.

So, I will respectfully disagree with some of my fellow Planeteers. For this race, the decision to follow just Tony & Carl was ok by me.

Next year, if nothing changes, I will go back to HotPass with the hopes my driver is competitive once again.

Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to all!

West Coast Kenny said...

J.D.,

I can't remember a single race I enjoyed more.

Bizarre how ESPN treated NASCAR like something it found on the bottom of a shoe. It couldn't drop NASCAR fast enough. What other explanation could there be for not having NASCAR Now on Monday with Alan Bestwick's round-table putting a ribbon on this season?

WCK

Anonymous said...

Thank you, NASCAR, for not throwing a phantom debris caution with 10 to go.

MIchael Stoffel said...

I certainly caught a lot of the NFL Sunday thanks to the rain.
Otherwise the race was just a long tiresome day with someone getting the lead and taking off.
At least the booth guys mentioned the lap-down cars that wouldn't get out of Tony's way in the last 20 laps. But nothing said when they boxed Carl in. I guess Tony winning was the script.

Pamela said...

First,
Thank you Mr. Daly for all of your hard work, and for giving us a great place to come and share our opinions. I love that there is no name calling and trashing each other on this site, so refreshing.
To the poster who called yesterdays race epic, thank you, that is exactly the right word.
I thought ESPN did a really good job, especially after the red flag. My only complaint as others have mentioned is how they managed NOT to capture how the 14 got the front end damage.

Bryan said...

As a longtime ESPN hater, this was actually a solid broadcast.

Buschseries61 said...

I completely agree with Kenny. I can't believe NASCAR Now is already shut down for the winter, not even 24 hours after the closest points battle in history. ESPN paid millions for a moment like this to pimp exclusively around the world. But now NASCAR’s back to obscurity on the foreign Bristol, Connecticut turf. It’s like marrying the love of your life, then kicking them out of the moving limo two hours later.

Unknown said...

I was also waiting for the phantom caution at the end, but I'm glad they just 'em race. Tony proved he could pull away, so no need to create any artifical drama with another restart.

I also think most of the other 41 deserve a little credit for mostly staying out of the way, and letting the leaders race cleanly. It would be interesting to know just what they were told in the drivers meeting.

And thanks for this site - as an armchair critic, I think it's great.

Anonymous said...

Wait a minute - why is there no NASCAR Now on my schedule?! Why is there no race recap? No year-end roundtable? No highlights? No coverage? MAJOR LEAGUE FAIL!

Daly Planet Editor said...

The Sunday night wrap-up show after the final race has been the last show for several years now.

It makes no sense to me to have the Sprint Cup Series champ get up at 6AM and fly to Bristol, CT to be on SportsCenter, Mike and Mike and Second Take.

It would require little effort to have one final "NASCAR Now" show featuring the champ on Monday, but ESPN has not time for such things.

I was told last week NN will be back for 2012, but with a 2:30PM air time and no re-airs why bother?

JD

Sally said...

The race Sunday was epic because it reminded me of how races used to be...going all out b***s to the wall trying to win. Not hanging out at the back of the pack to avoid trouble, not protecting a point lead, just run for all you're worth. I still find it difficult to get too thrilled with the points being close only because Nascar arbitrarily resets the points, but it was a heck of a race. ESPN brought it home in the proper fashion, for a change. I hope they remember this. Of course, it helped them that they only had to cover 2 cars for the final 50 laps, something they do exceptionally well.

Sophia said...

I thought ESPN had great post race show...I LOVED hearing AJ Foyt call & talk to Tony on the air. Great moment of the night. Tony's hero complimenting him. It don't get no better than that.

I heard Tony on Dan Patrick radio show this AM around 10AM or so. He'd gotten 45 minutes of sleep between the post race stuff, the plane flight & excitement.

I'm glad he won and as I read about parts of race I missed, I realized it was a helluva race.

But it is crazy the fast paced merry-go-round the Champions have to do.

Jonathan said...

What a CHASE and WHAT A RACE!!!! Awsome thats what Nascar is all about! I had a great time mind you a casino near me had a viewing party hosted by Chicagoland Speedway it was the perfect way to end the 2011 season! They had over 40 hd tvs and a 80 inch big screen it was awsome!!! This is what everyone wanted and if you didnt like this Chase well I dont know what to tell ya you will never be happy cause this was the best championship battle i've ever seen thats for sure WOW

Thanks JD sorry I wasnt around much the past 2 races but appreciate all you do for us!

ESPN gets a B+ for the final race from me

Tracy D said...

Great sound, JD? We're listening to MRN with the TV on, because we can't hear anything but the car noise. It has been this way for weeks, and we gave up on listening to ESPN, whenever we decided to watch and not just listen on MRN.

bowlalpo said...

I guess I'm in the minority, but I felt like I was watching Chick Hicks and Lightning McQueen in Los Angeles, with no one else (not even The King) on the track. All that was missing was Bob Cutlass and Darrell Cartrip.

I didn't know until I heard the MRN replay that Brad K pitted to take him out of third place. I HATED the way ESPN handled the last 30 laps.

I also HATED the little trophy emblem painted (superimposed?) on the track with only the numbers 14 and 99. Talk about major disrespect to the other teams who pay big bucks and choose to entertain us in what can be a dangerous sport.

I will never get over my firm belief that any points battle in a Chase is contrived. 1992 was a real battle; they did not have to reset any points.

Yes, keep tabs on the comfortable (yes, comfortable) lead that the 14 had. But (in those last 30 laps) why not put Reutimann on camera and say farewell for now? Or Bowyer? Ragan? Anyone who may be running or crewing their last race? Even put Junior on camera once and lament another season without a win. How close did Kenseth get to Truex?

Sorry for rambling, but there are at least 43 stories in every race, and there are fans of most, if not all, of the 43 competitors. With all of ESPN's resources, we should be able to see and hear these stories, not in pre-race, which I and many others skip due to their repetitive nature, but while they're on-track.

Thanks John for the opportunity to comment; Happy Thanksgiving!

Marylee in Richmond said...

This may be a bit late, but I nearly turned off the TV when ESPN ran the Obama/Biden interview. Long. During a caution, but not a major caution. ESPN had no business running this during the race. It should have been in the pre-race or during a red flag (and there was one where they could show it). I think during that interview the whole ESPN crew sat back and relaxed, thus not a clue of how Tony's grill was damaged. This is NOT race coverage in my book.
Otherwise, PLEASE, if ESPN is going to keep coverage, make sure it is Bestwick, Jarrett & Petree

Marylee in Richmond said...

John, hope you will continue this blog. It adds so much to my understanding and appreciation of the sport.
By the way, I am a college graduate, northerner living in the south and recently retired. Yet still passionate about NASCAR. What will it take for the media to realize the widespread passion for the sport!

Anonymous said...

Granted this is a day and a half late, but my internet has been down. I agree with Bowlalpo, what about the "other races" during the race? Were there not two races, one for 13th and 35th? Kasey was only 5 points behind Clint for 13th.

After the final rain caution, it was only the Tony and Carl show! I agree, show those two when they were running close, but what about
the other drivers? ESPN didn't even show the finishing order! It was a great race, but there were other drivers on the track with their personal and fan agendas.

Anonymous said...

Sure would like to see ESPN back in Feb. What a pleasure to have a good and decent race with no DW silliness.