Monday, June 18, 2012

Race Wrap: Sprint Cup Series From Michigan On TNT

Tires were the story going into the Sprint Cup Series race from the Michigan International Speedway. Shortly before noon, rain came to the area and resulted in a delay until 3PM ET.

This week you are going to set the tone with your comments and I will add mine in the comments section. There was a very strong reaction to the TV production and specfically the directing of this race, so the fan comments will  be made without my input.

The pre-race show ran through the scheduled format and then expanded to interview everyone possible. From discussing Vegamite with Marcos Ambrose to watching kids crash bicycles with training wheels, it was pretty clear TNT was out of things to do. The track services crew did work in record time and there were no other interruptions.

Adam Alexander hosted the pre-race with Kyle Petty and Larry McReynolds from the infield stage. They were joined by Brad Keselowski for an extended interview with social media as the focus. The pit reporters worked very hard during the rain delay. They were Chris Neville, Matt Yocum, Marty Snider and Ralph Sheheen. Alexander moved upstairs to call the race with Petty and Wally Dallenbach Jr. from the TV booth.

This post is for comments on the TV production of the race. To add your opinion, just click the comments button below. Comments may be moderated prior to posting.


Michael Stoffel said...

Adam Alexander is brutal. Totally lacking any energy or excitement.
Showing only the winner cross the finish line was a huge mistake.
TNT doesn't "get it".

w17scott said...

Mr Editor -
Is it me or is TNT morphing into NASCARonFOX? Pitiful, pitiful and a waste of time in front of a television ...reality show reruns looking good with Twitter/RaceBuddy/MRNstreaming at hand ...dominant race for #88, looking good after all this time

Sophia said...

Agree about AA.

HUGE disappointment with too many tight shots & in car cams. Fox all over again.

I know the cars were spread out some but still. Cam work could've been better. Listened to MRN some and was thrilled to see Jr win.

As a Tony, fan too, I was suprised to hear Tony said to somebody (radio? I had on tv after race) It's not a National Holiday. Meow Ouch. What a catty thing to say.

You think he could be happy for Jr after his very long dry spell. Geez. Thought tony was a little more secure than that. Guess not :(

But yea, TNT was a nosedive of bad camera work compared to a week ago. Will not go back and watch race on DVR.

Paid attention to twitter as I listened to Reds game & watched golf, since the camera work continued to annoy, as did AA, sadly.

Nice guy just need Ralph Sheehan. Better chemistry in the booth.

No fault of AA. Either there's chemistry or there is not. Can't fake it.

Zetona said...

This broadcast was at best a mixed bag. I didn't pay too much attention to its actual quality because the race itself was pretty entertaining to watch for about 170 laps, with cautions keeping things close and plenty of lead changes. I noted that TNT's wide shots really showed just how quickly things got single file, though they still have that over FOX.

On the other hand: long and frequent commercials. Failing to follow stories such as the 55 and 78 late in the going. Not showing battles for position, even very high up the running order, which FOX did even at their absolute worst.

At the moment, this is arguably the weakest booth in NASCAR. I like Wally, but not everyone does, while AA is probably the worst PxP man in American circuit racing at the moment (in part due to the quality of the competition). Kyle Petty is like DW: he can be very insightful at times, but he can also talk and talk and talk.

Ultimately, hardly a broadcast that's going to convince anyone that TNT is the best NASCAR broadcaster.

glenc1 said...

I sometimes get the feeling that AA is just trying too hard. Trying to be funny, trying to be clever, trying to be smart...and it just comes across as fake; just not genuine; not awful, but not good. Bur I agree with Sophia, I just don't think they have chemistry.

Did they *ever* show the finishing order (not the cars, just the list..)? If they did I missed it; I had to look up where they finished elsewhere. I know it's a big story, but there were other guys in the race. At least they could have used a box or something.

Buschseries61 said...

A dull and shoddy broadcast.

Adam Alexander displays no passion for the sport in his role. He moderates the conversation Petty and Dallenbach are having like an uninvolved outsider.

The pit reporters were in a slumber with the tire storyline. It was such a huge story this weekend, with the last minute practice bumping part of the 24 hours of Le Mans. But it was never addressed until the third or fourth tire cycle that there were problems. Even if the tires were fine in the short runs, REPORT IT! That's why there are four people paid to be there. Their silence just came off as frustrating for viewers wondering what is going on.

The wide camera shots never lasted long. It's a shame, because we missed some of the best racing on restarts due to bumper/hood/in-car cameras restricting the view. The poor camera choice finally lost me around the Logano/Kahne/Gilliland wreck. I had enough, and changed the channel.

Buschseries61 said...

Reading the other comments, totally agree with Glen. Didn't AA come up with such a corny saying last week that Petty and Dallenbach made fun of him? The chemistry was never there in 2010, and it's still not there.

RutgersKev said...

Regan Smith cut a tire, and Kasey Kane blew up in the last 15 laps. How do I know that? TWITTER. - TNT did nothing to call the race.

Sally said...

A very disappointing broadcast after their coverage last week. Way too many gimmick cameras...bumper, in car, etc. The frequent early cautions kept things pretty tight, and more 'thru the field' segments would have been helpful. If not for Race Buddy I would have no idea what drivers were making steady progress wither forward or backward. again, if I'm not given the information about the ebb and flow of the race, it's hard for me to feel involved. It really was like watching Fox all over again.

Sophia, I was surprised too with Tony's catty comment. Guess his hard luck after 2 early wins isn't sitting well?

RutgersKev said...

In the last 15 laps Regan Smith cut a tire and Kasey Kane blew up. Never seen of mentioned on TV. Terrible coverage from every angle.

Anonymous said...

This is really petty, but the green icon by the laps indicator next to the ticker drives me crazy. It has a splash of yellow on top, so on my crappy bedroom it's tough to tell at a glance whether the race is under green or yellow. How hard would it be to just make the icon fully green?

I had high hopes that these six races would be decent after the horrible nightmare from Fox. Well, my hopes were dashed after today. Missed lead changes, missed spins, missed battles, missed everything other than the 11 on fire and the 88 winning. I don't want to see an inside the car cam, or close ups of one car... I want to see the race!

NASCAR wants to know where their fans are? Watching a sport that you can actually watch!! I don't understand why they can't work with Fox/TNT to improve the broadcasts.

RPM said...

I thought TNT did a fine job. Adam Alexander isn't Mike Joy or AB, but he does a fine job directing traffic.

I also saw the elusive pitstop timer. Got to give TNT a passing grade on this one.

RPM said...

Forgot to mention... Can you imagine what the lovefest would have been like if FOX was calling this one?

Anonymous said...

TNT coverage leaves a lot to be desired. Eating Vegemite sandwiches is no better than Pizzi eating hotdogs in the infield. And say what you want about DW,but he often sees things happen on track and tips off the director. The TNT guys are clueless.

John in Chico said...

Next week we'll bring up the PRN/MRN streaming and go back to listening on the lap top top instead of the 5:1 surround surround sound system, it and the big HDTV are for watching and enjoing the races. But it's back to the PC's.
Whenever possible we use Race Buddy to enhance our experience and for the last couple weeks we have had the 88 on a smaller TV.
So what were the complaints about TNT? We were riding with Junior and weren't watching TNT, or listening either.
Race Buddy is an on-line game changer.

William said...

Overall an OK show today given that they never do really race at Michigan. I always wondered, they had to know rain was coming this morning if not last night, why do they not "script" the rain delay?

Jonathan said...

You know I didnt do today like I do every other race.... the first half I was outside getting some sun with MRN on..... Wow the excitment the passion the way they call a race is amazing..... Once I heard Jr was in 4th im zoomed to the tv. On radio they made it sound like a battle was ragging from 1st to 4th... I go in put the tv on and there not even showing that... Its like stepping from the race track to a funeral home. Cant comment much on the broadcast cause about midway through we got invited to go across the street for a party... me being the Jr fan I am I was back and forth from tv to party..... Ive been waiting for this for 4 years and then some cause last time JR won I taped it and was told he won before I watched so it wasnt exciting.... so maybe what 6 years. anyways I was pacing the floor biteing fingernails just flustered cause I know JR was leading but would he keep it..... anyways JR WON I picked my mom up in the air and screamed, poured beer on me..... I was so pumped JR was leading and won that I didnt actually digest this broadcast..... from what I saw and heard I'd say they did an ok job but I was away for to long to give me comments.





GinaV24 said...

Pretty lame telecast. It started off with the sound and picture pixilating and that set the tone. Put Ralph back in for PXP, Adam's a nice guy but he's terrible to listen to. Once more it was jabber, jabber in the booth without a lot of info. Too much playing with the cameras, in car, back of car, side of car when what I want to see is the cars in perspective to one another. Granted that when there are multiple seconds between cars, it can be hard to show the racing, but well, that's the job. How do I know where each car was? Oh yeah, I had trackpass, racebuddy and twitter up.

GinaV24 said...

RPM - LOL, enough lovefest from DW via twitter - thank goodness we didn't have to experience the end of the "drought" with him in the booth!

Anonymous said...

The coverage was alright, but the last 15 or 20 laps seemed to be a one-car show. The focus was on Jr the whole last part of the race. Did anybody know Mark Martin blew up running 7th with 10 to go?! I didn't see it on TV, did I miss it?

Tim S. said...

I'm with Anon 9:14. Those last 20 laps played like a QVC show for the Batman scheme.

Zetona said...

In defense of TNT's coverage of the last 20 laps, I think it's justified to focus coverage on the most popular driver in the sport when he's leading, pulling away, and about to end the most-publicized winless drought I can remember. TNT did show a little side-by-side racing further back, but the field was pretty strung out and in that case you have to focus on the big story. That does NOT excuse their missing what happened to the 78/55/whomever at the end.

On another note, at some points in the broadcast RaceBuddy was behind TV by a good 30-40 seconds, perhaps because I hadn't refreshed it in a while. There's no way to sync it up perfectly to the broadcast, though, which is a little bit irritating. I'm also waiting for them to let us pick our own four camera views.

Paul said...

I'm just glad that TNT had covered this race instead of the other two networks. Fox would have probably sent DW down to victory lane before the broadcast ended so he could celebrate his late friend's son's return to the win column, and ESPN would just have another highlight (that they don't care about) and be able to pat themselves on the back for.

I hadn't watched a TNT NASCAR broadcast in a few years, but after watching numerous videos online of their coverage over the last few years, I can see why people are calling for Ralph Sheheen to replace AA in the booth. The PxP man should be the main voice, with Wally & KP adding color to the broadcast. Listening to the race today and last week, TNT may as well have put Larry Mac in the booth and just have 3 color analysts do the broadcast. AA adds nothing to the race, and thus should be replaced (Ralph Sheheen comes to mind).

The cameras didn't bother me as much as some people have stated. I thought they did a great job of showing the cars come by the start/finish line via the overhead camera.

Towards the end they focused every camera on Junior as he came closer to ending his winless streak. This didn't discourage me as I expected nothing else, no matter which network covered it.

Looking forward to next week for the two road courses. Should be plenty of wide angle shots next weekend.

Jonathan said...

Zetona I hear ya... I remember when racebuddy first started there was an option of digital or HD and if you had HD on and you clicked HD it was on par with the HD broadcast. Not sure where that option went but I enjoyed it

JD could you find out why this option isnt there anymore? Made racebuddy so much more enjoyable

Daly Planet Editor said...

Jon, no iPad or HD for RaceBuddy as Turner runs out the season before turning digital over to NASCAR.

KoHoSo said...

There was one area of improvement this week with TNT. While they still did it on occasion, Kyle and Wally didn't talk over each other nearly as much this race.

Other than that, this race did nothing but prove my prediction from last week that TNT will repeat what happened in 2011 -- starting out with tons of promise and then flopping deeper into the toilet with each passing week.

It is painfully obvious that the announcing crew is too often completely disconnected from the pictures being shown on the screen. This was a true shame for this race as it was probably the most interesting stock car event seen at Michigan in ages where there was a decent amount of passing going on and plenty of cars struggling to handle well.

Of course, the work of the booth crew is not helped when there is apparently a big disconnect down in the truck as well. Aside from a ton of poor camera selections, the most glaring incident was when the director took so long to call for a new camera in the wake of the three-car incident on the backstretch.

Still, that did not excuse what I thought was the worst part of the telecast in how the final segment was called. It sounded to me more like AA, KP, and Wally were sitting around discussing hog futures than calling a race. No, I certainly don't want what would have been a puke-worthy call by DW (done while stomping all over Mike Joy's role). Still, like him or not, when you have the sport's "favorite" star about to break a four-year losing streak, it calls for more thought and excitement instead of getting three guys sounding like they are sitting around and just chewing the fat.

I just don't understand how TNT can start so relatively strong (admittedly with plenty of warts) and then fall off so quickly like a set of soft tires. However, I do understand one thing and I am going to become more adamant about Dr. Jerry Punch and Marty Reid, AA might be the most wonderful person ever but he was a terrible choice for play-by-play. I just don't know if TNT's mere six-race schedule will ever allow enough momentum to be built up to get a change made such as how we finally got our wish to get AB in at ESPN.

Overall grade: D -- still better than Fox but that's not saying much.

Anonymous said...

I really had no problem with the broadcast as it is such a relief not to have to listen to dw.
AA does okay as far as I am concerned. His knowledge may be limited but he sounds more professional and less biased than that fox crew. Now that I think of it, they all were more professional and did not show their favoritism toward some of the drivers. I would give them a B at this time.


Anonymous said...

I didn't expect much from Tnt's broadcast Sunday. I like AA. He's toned it down on Speed Center this year but he's handicaped in the sense that he's not terribly knowledgeable about race cars and Nascar racing. I'm not a fan of KP or Wally. Kyle Petty is capable of calling a good race if he could stay focused. But he can't and never will. He wanders off topic while there's tons of more relevant things happening on the track. Wally has a nice gift of gab, but virtually no Nascar experience or success. Certainly, not at the Sprint Cup level. Larry Mac does do a nice crisp job of summarizing whats happening from a fuel stop, 2 vs 4 tire change, suspension set-ups,etc. He had an excellent graphic of Carl Edwards progression through the race from the back to the front. Lots of things happen on the track that go into a Black Hole. The pit reporters usually fail to close out issues during the race. It's understandable that Junior would get a lot of coverage during the last 25-30 laps, but the booth ignored everything else that was happening. I thought some cars were low on fuel. Guess not since it was never mentioned. Everyone's happy for Junior....he won a race since the one he backed into four years ago where the leaders pitted for gas. Sadly, all we'll here this week is all the Nascar media p'ing all over themselves about Junior. Sonoma should be an excellent race. The Cup races on the road courses have consistently been some of the hardest racing we'll see all year.

Anonymous said...

No matter what happens, there will always be complainers – Not from me!

I thought the entire TNT crew did a great job. This is historically a boring race but they made it interesting. I thought the camera crew was very good given the fact that the cars were so spread out. The tight shots that people are complaining about were nowhere as tight as FOX, I enjoyed them.

In my opinion, the booth crew was fantastic. Adam knew his place and did a good job. Wally & Kyle are always good to hear. They are both very knowledgeable and conveyed that quite well and they didn’t have all of the blah blah blah exhibited by DW.

After 2 races, I give the entire TNT Team Gold Stars for both races and can’t wait for the Lefty-Righty race coming up next


17972 B. C. said...

I'm a bit surprised nobody brought up the in-car cam while Hamlin was roasting on an open fire. I am one that thinks it is okay for in-car after the net drops, but that was a little too interesting for me.

LpMv2407 said...

paul menard ran out of gas & i heard some1 say the 48 was sputtering too.

Colorado said...

ON ESPN's bottom crawler: "BREAKING NEWS: Dale Earnhardt Jr. wins at Michigan"
So obviously it was a big winless drought. ESPN typically reserves the "breaking news" tab for anything Red Sox... TNT gets a passing grade from me. I, unlike some people, do not have a short memory. FOX destroyed all that is possible in television. Seems like some posters on here work for FOX. Again, at tracks like MIS, or Yawnsas, or Chicago, there is no REAL racing, just follow the leader, so it's hard to inject excitement into a broadcast. I'll take TNT over FOX any day of the week, and twice on Sundays. I'm happy for Jr. on his win, but like Kyle Petty said in 2002, "You'd think he hung the moon."

Jimm57 said...

Gotta admit it. They lost me with the rain delay. Went outside to do something else. When I came in, they were about to go green. I wait all week for the races. Read the articles and watch some of the race shows during the week, but Michigan does absolutely nothing for me. Started watching about the half way point. Shots were OK at best, guys in the booth were OK at best, nothing to really get into. After the Logano/Kahne wreck, we decided to go out to eat and celebrate fathers day. Enuff wasting time with this! Daughter paid attention to Twitter and learned about Jr's win. Oh Boy!

Hoping TNT does a much better job in Sonoma. Michigan couldn't get much worse.

Daly Planet Editor said...


There is a basic set of TV rules that every TV network has used for years.

TNT did not use split-screen for Larry Mac at the cutaway car under green flag racing. All we saw was Larry.

TNT did not use split-screen during green flag pistops. The live racing action was ignored for single car stops.

Every racing incident was missed due to the tight shots that reminded us of the fundamental problem with FOX.

Since TNT did not replace Lindsay Czarniak, Adam Alexander was out of gas after three hours of rain fill.

He was useless in the TV booth and never called even one lap of racing, including the final few.

Unlike Allen Bestwick or another veteran broadcaster, Alexander had no memorable words for the Earnhardt finish.

It was a fitting way to top off one of the worst TNT telecasts in the last six years.


terri said...

Here are a couple of things about the broadcast that spoiled it for me:

The camera numerous times was focused on one car, and the booth is talking about another car or driver.

Again with Larry Mac going over something on the cutaway car during green flag racing.

Focusing on one car doing a normal pit stop under green while the race goes on.

The tire issue began early, maybe at the third (?) pit stop when Jimmie Johnson had a blistered right rear. Took TNT forever to focus on it, then it became just a back-story the rest of the race.

Jazzy camera angles: we already know what they all show.

Just like FOX/dSPN: one car, or two in the frame. Few shots of any "racing".

When it became clear that Jr. was going to win, the booth went into "memory lane" mode, and the race itself was forgotten.

Engines blowing, cars (even those in the top ten!) running out of gas at the end of the race not even being mentioned. And wasn't it someone's responsibility to know this might be an issue? Michigan is ALWAYS a fuel mileage race to some extent or the other

Overall grade D+.

I was so hopeful that TNT would be a breath of fresh air after FOX screwed everything up. But it doesn't look like that will be the case.

And after TNT comes dSPN and their butchered coverage. All is lost.

The ONLY good thing is that I don't have to listen to DW.

Darcie said...

Let's face it, NASCAR fans, we will always get the short shrift of everything because our sport doesn't have a bat/ball/club. In a few weeks we'll be sitting here complaining about espn's coverage, which will also stink. Unless some kind of magic happens, and the directors of these broadcasts wake up and discover how to show a race, we'll be sitting here week after week, complaining.

But I have a question and an observation. Why is the broadcast of Indycar races so much better. And the observation, isn't it interesting that NASCAR broadcasts of days gone by were so much better? Perhaps there is a link between the advent of technology and the bumbling broadcasts? Back then, they had no in car cams, no in race reporters, no cut away cars and all that other crud. All they needed to do is show the race, plain and simple.

Anonymous said...

I thought they did okay filling the long rain delay - not an easy job. Enjoyed seeing Carl's reaction to the kid who kept crashing his bike into the fence (maybe reminded him of his own childhood).
Hated TNT nearly missing the fly-over. Come on - everyone looks forward to seeing that (even all the drivers). I'm sure someone was smart enough to have a couple cameras on the jets - but who ever calls the shots in the truck was snoozing.
JR was the big story, so can understand the focus on him as the laps wound down - just like Joey last week.

Anonymous said...

To all the people saying TNT is turning into FOX, they're wrong. FOX is awesome and TNT sucks. TNT seems to go to commercial after only 5 laps & doesn't show a replay of incidents after it happens while FOX can actually go 9 laps without a commercial & shows a replay of the incident after it happens. TNT has a bland booth team & FOX actually has a booth team that can call an exciting race well. With what I've seen from TNT as of late, I hope ESPN's coverage comes quicker than past years!

Sophia said...

The on track incidents the camera's continued to miss was mind boggling. Fox cam work STINKS but at least DW or Mike Joy would've been screaming & looking on the track.

It's like the director was busy trying to annoy real race fans.

I turned the tv off some during the last 15 laps as I was TOO NERVOUS thinking Jr would finally break his losing streak so thankfully missed the horrid booth yapping.

But still, I'd rather have overtly Jr fans in the least we would've had excitement for the guy.

Granted many fans may feel like Tony Stewart. I mean, I know guys want to win but I've heard many drivers say well if I couldn't win, i'm glad "so and so did" . . Tony couldn't haveve be the least bit gracious? I realize the garage is sick of the media's fascination with Jr's every move (professionally and personally) but seriously...this is the most popular driver. (course I guess Tony was making a comment perhaps Dale Sr might have made? Didn't watch back then?)

As one who has Tony shirts, hat & Jackets, I'm bummed I have only one Jr shirt. Tony just showed a lack of class in my opinion. Not that it would be the first time.

he seemed so arrogant about it on Victory Lane I was stunned.."so a guy broke a 4 year losing streak" !!!!!

Sad to see Stewart is so insecure.

But I must add, I also turned MRN on transistor off and on during final few laps, too nervous :) ....even after a bourbon I was very stressed for Jr!!


Thank you for tweeting the post race direct LINK online so I could see Jr & Letarte. If not for twitter, I would've been lost.

P.S. Some tweep fans were making hilarious comments about NASCAR not throwing a caution. Ryan Newman complained of some debris and NASCAR ignored it, MRN said it was not significant--perhaps added to Stewarts snottieness? )

One said "a piece of debris the size of a bus could be on the track and they would not call a yellow."

This one made me laugh out loud during the final 3 laps
"There could be a dead body on the track right now and NASCAR would not call a yellow" (because Jr was going to win)

Oh, my! I would not even tell my housemate what that tweet said until Jr crossed the finished line.. but he wondered what had me chuckling and suppressing a chuckle. Guess you had to be there. MY tweeps often crack me up.

Dennis said...

Occasional wide shots but too many tight ones and stupid bumper cam, in car, low angle camera shots. Why they don't make better use of aerial shots I don't know.

I like Wally's glibness but the booth is altogether far too casual and relaxed when calling the race.

And while I'm thinking about it.... I cannot stand hearing the style of reporting during these races especially from the pit reporters. It's like they have to give a speech about each driver. If all there is to say is that the driver is complaining about being loose then say just that. Can't stand when they tighten up the shot to just show one car when they are giving a report on it. Instead, I'd suggest the camera move quickly from a 1 second close up so viewers can see which car is being referenced, to a pan back to include several cars even if they are strung out. Gives us something to actually see.

This was yet another race where I invested 4 plus hours and felt I didn't actually get to see the race. Last week's TNT broadcast was better in that respect.

mrclause said...

I think Kyle and Wally would come across a lot differently if AA was actually a lead PxP that knew the sport and had some real interest in it. There most certainly is a major disconnect between he and the others.

If Brian France actually cared about this sport and had some real management skills he'd take a lot of these complaints to heart and throw them on the table during the talks for the next TV contract and say, we are going to address these and not continue delivering our product in such a half way manner. But that would mean he cared as much about his product as the fans do. That isn't going to happen because he cares more about the money counting than he does about the fans or the sport itself.

I totally agree that the networks have an obligation to present us with the best total package representing our chosen sport that they can and they are failing in doing that. But I see the problem differently in one way. I see the real issue as being Brian France, Mike Helton, Robin Pemberton. If they were to pay attention to the fans or just start watching what the networks are giving us they just might see that a "come to Jesus meeting" with the networks is in order. They could use some of their combined arrogance to set some production guidelines, if not under this contract then assuredly under the new one. It's pathetic that they condone this poor presentation of NASCAR.

Brian France is much more concerned with counting the sponsor dollars he can finagle away from the teams and the millions TV brings in. He simply isn't smart enough to understand that the fan dollars are equally as important. All he needs to do is look at the bottom line on any tracks ledger and see that the fans do make the sport after all. He uses us to pull in the millions of advertising dollars but still doesn't see us as the corner stone of the sport. France has strayed from what his father and grandfather saw in building NASCAR. Everything about the sport evolves from the fan base and he's losing that.

I don't fault the networks as much as I fault NASCAR for allowing the deterioration of it's own product and slapping the faces of the fans that built it.

Jim_812 said...

I am in total agreement with JD's comments, as well a few others, KoHoSo in particular("Overall grade: D -- still better than Fox but that's not saying much." KoHoSo)

Miserable broadcast, to sum it up. The last 30 laps or so of nothing but Junior were absolutely wrong. I watched Mark Martin's car disappear by way of the ticker, but no pictures or mention was made. Didn't even know The 78 or the 27 had issues. Didn't know when the 18 came back on track. Why? Because TNT was stuck on ONE car, ignoring every other car out there. But before they became fixated on Junior, they happened to be showing pit road when Kasey Kahne came back out with 50 something to go or so, but didn't mention him being back on track until there were only 12 laps left. But apparently no mention of his engine failure a few laps later.

I must reiterate, the sole coverage of Dale Jr. for the last 30 laps and choosing to completely ignore the rest of the drivers really ticked me off, and if they were not racing at Sonoma next week, I wouldn't be watching.

earl06 said...

I agree with you, John. Pretty awful telecast overall. The director was worthless and the booth was just mailing it in.

I've seen lots of comments about what Stewart said after the race. As a very sarcastic person myself, I have a pretty accurate sarcasm meter. I watched the presser live and Tony was definitely being sarcastic to the media about Dale finally winning. It's pretty funny that none of them picked up on it.

glenc1 said...

It's not true that AA doesn't 'know the sport', but he's having trouble showing it. It took some hunting, but here's what an older bio said: "Alexander got his start in motorsports calling the action at local short tracks near his Evansville, Indiana home. Having crossed paths with some of the sport's most famous names and power brokers on the local motorsports beat, Alexander soon had the opportunity to join the MRN team. The years at MRN gave him the chance to call the pit road action in all three of NASCAR's nationally touring series, and now he brings that expertise to television."
In other words, he has a similar background to many of the other announcers that we hear; starting at local tracks and working radio. MRN doesn't hire every Tom, Dick & Harry. And we know he works pit road, so he must have learned something about the technical side. So why he seems unable to bring that knowledge to the broadcast I don't know. You can love a sport--but bringing the enthusiasm for it on the air is a different thing, apparently. It could be he thinks getting too excited is too 'theatrical'. It could be he's just a low key guy and it doesn't come naturally. You don't want to force it & be phony, but you need to reach your audience and make them care somehow.

BTW, I'm not a big fan of Tony's, but the dude was being sarcastic...Jr is a friend. It's a bit like William Shatner telling Star Trek fans to get a life. I think Tony was just trying to give people some perspective.

Colorado said...

BAD NEWS ALERT!!! FOX is negotiating an extension for the tv rights. Godd*** it! Are you serious FOX? Really? Please just go away and destroy another sport. Your damage is done with NASCAR.Please no!

Anonymous said...

Only announcer worse than Adam Alexander is Marty Reid. Wish they would hire back Bill Weber or Allen Bestwick. I liked the old TNT/NBC coverage, but they are trying to keep up with Fox and ESPN. Btw, anybody knocking Fox, keep in mind, they are still better than ESPN, who are painful to watch. Aside from Bestwick & Daugherty, there's no personality there, they mess up constantly. Thank God they at least got rid of Reid, but I'm sick of the ass kissing on ESPN. Danica, Jr., Johnson, YAWN! ESPN do this with all their sports coverage and are embarrassing. Give me Fox over both TNT & ESPN right now. Wally should move to ESPN, replace Petree. When AB was with NBC/TNT, they fed off each other and BP when he was still alive and the coverage was the best. But AA & Kyle lack a lot of the personality that made the coverage enjoyable. If that switch was made, ESPN or TNT could be saved, but right now both suck.

GinaV24 said...

Mr. Clause - unfortunately you are right on the money (pun intended) as to the real interest of NASCAR's management and so there will be no change.

The emperor has NO clothes but no one will tell him he's naked.

MRM4 said...

There is no doubt TNT took a step back this week. But they didn't have a lot to work with.

I read some comments on Twitter yesterday about TNT "missing" the Logano wreck. I have a different take. I thought it was cool to see a wreck happen so close to the action without knowing it was going to happen. Logano hit the wall right in front of one of their cameras. To me, it was like being in the middle of the action.

Joj said...

I was not happy this week with TNT. Last week was much better. Last week I had no access to RaceBuddy - This week it was mandatory.

What happened?

jdh417 said...

I didn't see this race, but I'd like to make a comment that applies to race coverage in general. The IRL race on Saturday was delayed two hours. When they went racing, ESPN had one, count'em one, commercial break for the hour of coverage that they showed on ABC (and it was during a caution). No side-by-side. They just showed the race.

It was night and day compared to the usual race coverage. They covered battles all over the track. There was continuity and constant reporting about on-track events. It was amazing.

At the top of the hour, ESPN went to NASCAR Nationwide coverage. They had two commerical breaks in the first 15 minutes of the race. I stopped watching.

Obviously there were extenuating circumstances with the IRL coverage, but wouldn't it be nice if the networks would treat racing coverage about the same way they treat soccer coverage. When there's action going on, stay with the event.

Charlie Spencer said...

I tried a couple of things this weekend. First, I took a look at RaceBuddy. Second, I muted the tube and streamed MRN.

Maybe I'm missing the point of RaceBuddy, or I'm not using it effectively. Four of the eight shots available were in-car cameras, something I dislike and have many complain about when the networks overuse them. Two more were static shots of pit road and the backstretch; I found these to be of little value. The 'Battle' selections were useful, but the ads when switching between them quickly became more annoying than the ads on TV. The leaderboard data didn't appear to be any different from what NASCAR already offers during each race. All of this was hampered by repeated 'Flash Player crashed' messages. Can anyone suggest a more effective way to use this tool?

The MRN experiment was less than informative. I couldn't figure out a way to sync the broadcast with the images from either RaceBuddy or TNT's broadcast. The MRN audio was always several seconds ahead of TNT, and so far out of sync with RaceBuddy that I couldn't figure out if it was ahead or behind. Either way, it quickly became more distracting than it was worth.

Just another Luddite's opinions, although I'm wide open to suggestions.

Billy Weeks said...

Pre-race and rain delay wasnt bad... give them an A for making it up as they go... but the race coverages was hoeeibel.. stop trying to win Emmys wiht "COOL" camera shots and focus on the event.. that wins viewers and tv ratings.... coverage sucks.. we turn the channel and wait for SPEEDs review of the race......

Bodine99 FAN said...

The last 20 laps were painful for all but JR Nation. TNT actually showed a 3-screen of Jr inside steering, a Jr shot out the roof cam, then a Jr shot from outside his car! Argh!! And there wasnt a car to be seen around him or in front of him.

Anonymous said...

One thing I haven't read on here is about the placement ticker (or whatever it's called) at the top of the screen. At least on FOX, when you saw a driver clearly change positions on track, the ticker would follow that new position. SEVERAL times yesterday there were obvious position changes, but the ticker didn't change with the action.

While I'm not a big JR fan, TNT showed JR about to or getting ready to take the lead (later in the race). So TNT goes to commercial break and JR is in the lead when they get back. Bet Junior Nation was happy about that one!

Yes, JR was the big story during the race, but I agree there are other drivers (with fans) who also want to see what their favorite drivers are doing.

Maverick24 said...


I don't know what browser you're using, but if you'd like to eliminate the ads on Racebuddy for easier camera switching, I use Firefox with Adblock Plus which fixes that problem and allows me to switch instantly between cameras as needed without missing a beat. Had nobody ever mentioned the ads, I never would have known they even existed.

I use the fixed backstretch camera only when I want to check on an interval between the 24 and another car visually.

The in-car cameras, if the 24 isn't one of them himself, I'll pick an in-car camera driver that is in close proximity on the race track which more often than not still gives me a great view of how he's doing, especially on the restarts. While the in-car cameras are a joke when the TV decides to use them on restarts, I find Racebuddy is a whole other ball game as the view is constant and you can actually focus since there's no trigger happy camera director to interrupt the flow. Will you miss some things? Probably. But as I'm more interested in tracking just one particular driver, I'll take that tradeoff.

When things get spread out after that, as they inevitably do in this aero-heavy era, that's when I switch over to tracking the battle cams.

All of this while listening to the MRN stream to keep informed of what I might not be able to see. And that usually ends up being most of the wrecks. But again, I'll take that trade.

As for my impression on the race, MRN did good yesterday in the closing laps to avoid the tunnel vision that I understand plagued TNT in regards to Junior, however overall they also seemed off their game throughout the afternoon. There were a few instances where stuff just didn't add up to the reality on the track or the numbers on the leaderboard. I'll chalk it up to rain delay fatigue.

Anonymous said...

West Coast Diane said:

I didn't post a comment last week. I was/am very disappointed in TNT.
I usually DVR the main broadcast of the race & HotPass as my driver has been on every week (guess I do both because if my driver wrecks I need a back up. I would prefer to watch one big screen but gave up on FOX.

Last week, due to the time of the
F1 race on network TV, and this week due to the US Open I had to make a decision between the two race options. I thought it was a no brainer to pick TNT for our main TV. I did the HotPass option on our bedroom TV just in case.

Last week after only a few laps I ended up watching HotPass upstairs! This week I sat thru TNT as I didn't want to go upstairs (no air con and a 90 degree day that followed a 100 on Sat).

AA is not a pxp guy. In both races not only does he/they miss racing action TNT as a whole miss incidents and provide no follow up to any issues by teams. A definite fail on comers and goers, pit stop strategies, etc. The other irony is there was drama going on as JR made laps at the end. Regan Smith had a tire going down, evidently there was debris, albeit not in the racing line, and people were running out of fuel. Thought TNT knew "drama".

I agree with those that said it's like 3 guys just chewing the fat and not about anything relevant to the race. I remember TNT being so much better. What happened?

Thank God for Twitter. I get so much more information which at least helps me understand what is going on thru the field.

One other thing. AA had a chance to have his voice in the highlight reels for eternity. Because JR was so dominant at the end and basically just riding around,Adam had plenty of time to craft something meaningful and memorable. Worst case, if he is incapable, the producer/director could have scribbled something on a napkin for him. Major fail.