Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Race Wrap: Brickyard 400 on ESPN

ESPN started season six of Sprint Cup Series race coverage with the Brickyard 400. The race was called several different names depending on the sponsorship deals in place.

The pre-race show featured Ray Evernham, Rusty Wallace and Brad Daugherty. Nicole Briscoe hosted from an outside terrace of the infield Pagoda. The topic of the Elliot Sadler penalty was handled less than four minutes into the telecast. The issue was completely updated and set the tone for a well-produced hour of pre-race programming.

Allen Bestwick called the race with Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree in the TV booth. Dr. Jerry Punch, Vince Welch, Dave Burns and Mike Massaro were the pit road reporters. This group is very familiar with having few racing moments to work with on this track. That was the case again on Sunday.

While the announcers relayed solid information, the familiar ESPN coverage returned. Instead of stepping back and covering the race, ESPN likes to "make TV." The network director constantly went to in-car cameras and tight shots during key restarts. This resulted in TV viewers seeing even less of the actual racing for position and that was a shame.

The toys that ESPN brings to this race were in use, including the slo-mo replay and the bat-cam on pit road. Unfortunately, with the coverage philosophy in use things got rough to watch once the field settled down after restarts. Instead of the wide coverage the network uses for IndyCars, this was once again the "telescope" world of jumping from one car to another.

A final restart with 20 laps to go had the director using in-car cameras once again and missing the final pass for second place. The announcer commentary pushed the pictures wider, but the disconnect continued until the finish line. In the final 15 laps, the cameras zoomed-in over and over again.

As we have seen for years with this coverage, only the winning car was shown finishing the race. The ESPN teams is simply imitating a move they do on the Indy 500 coverage. This series and this race have absolutely nothing to do with one IndyCar event. It's the perfect cap for this disrespectful coverage.

ESPN has all the manpower, technology and solid announcers in place. Despite the lack of fans in the stands and compelling racing, the problem with this telecast rests squarely with the producer and director. If this is once again the way the network is going to handle the Sprint Cup Series, it does not bode well for a strong stretch run.

We welcome your opinions on the ESPN coverage of the Brickyard 400. Comments may be moderated prior to posting.

104 comments:

Anonymous said...

Honestly, I think you're REALLY nitpicking about the coverage today, it was night and day better than anything I've seen TV wise this year in Cup. But I guess this is a TV nitpick site.

Kevin said...

To be fair, we did see the 43/78 battle side-by-side across the line for something like 18th place.

Anonymous said...

My screen went blank on ESPN HD on the final lap with audio from a local car dealer's commercial. Verizon Fios, in Maple Shade, NJ. A fitting end to my day of putting up with this race.

Anonymous said...

Only Jimmie crosses the line to end this farce of a weekend.BUT HEY,JR's IN THE POINTS LEAD!!!
Thanks for the blog yetserday and today,i really enjoyed it.See ya later.

Coffeeshop42

w17scott said...

Mr Editor -
Quality production missing - again ...video 'jumpy' after pre-race show ...booth called the race, but truck never showed it ...it appears Chad and Jimmie are just practicing for the Chase ...heaven help us from #48 overload in coming weeks
Walter

AveryNH said...

Really glad I missed out on this snooze fest. Busy moving and Caught the last five laps on prn and it summed up the entire day. Props to JJ tho had the field pretty well covered. Welp onto the next one I spose

Jimm57 said...

Last lap recap in case you missed it: shot of 48, 48, 48, 48. Shot of 48 pit box. Then the 48 crosses the finish line. Shots of 48, 48, 48, 48 pit box, a few cars going past finishing in the background, 48, 48, a few other cars finishing, 48, 48, and the 48 pit box. Oh! And the 48 pushing the nose back in against the wall, and crew guys pounding on the hood. Must be an awesome racket.

Did I miss anything? Saw somewhere there were other cars on the track I think.

I shoulda stayed out motorcycle shopping. The rest of this season on ESPN is really gunna suck. Thank God the hype of Indy is over.

Thanks JD,

Respectfully submitted

JimM

Anonymous said...

it's an indy tradition to show the finish like they do, i dont understand what kind of race you guys watched, the tv coverage was solid all day. they showed battling back through the field, it sounds like that if its now exactly what you want then its completely wrong and awful, and once again, the finish is not a big deal, get over it

Buschseries61 said...

Here's how the story of the 2012 Brickyard 400 will go:

In front of a half-empty Indianapolis Motor Speedway, ESPN began their portion of the 2012 NASCAR schedule.

Allen Bestwick led Andy Petree and a nervous Dale Jarrett from green to checkers. Bestwick did a fantastic job tracking as many drivers and storylines as he could. Strung out racing on the track made his job very difficult though.

Denny Hamlin dominated the frist portion of the race until Jimmie Johnson cut down most of the gap outbraking Hamlin heading onto pit road. Johnson's team beat Hamlin's team and Johnson took the lead.

Eventually Brad Keselowski got out of sequence and took over the lead until kicked to the back on a restart.

The first 3-4 laps after a restart featured intense driving that ESPN covered with mixed success. When ESPN stayed wide, they found the battles that soon turned into sideways cars or wrecks. When ESPN was tight on playing with in-car cameras, Allen Bestwick was the only source of perspective. After those 4 laps, the race settled into a single file parade.

Greg Biffle took over the lead with a gamble on pit road with 30 to go. Shortly after the restart, Biffle pulled over and waved Johnson by. There was no battle for the lead. Johnson held on for the rest of the day. ESPN showed just Johnson cross the line, but did go back to see the tail end of the battle for 14th.

Overall, it was a dull race that failed to meet up to the hype as usual. ESPN has finally gathered the right group of on air personalities in the right places. But the direction and picture choices still leaves a lot to be desired. Onto Pocono...

OSBORNK said...

I thought the quality of the coverage matched the quality of the racing. The tens of thousands of empty seats speaks volumns about the quality of the racing. With the quality of the racing along with the quality of the coverage, I expect there will be even more empty seats at this race next year. I frequenty wonder why I put myself through the misery of watching NASCAR on TV. I guess I'm the eternal optimist and always hope it will get better and I don't want to miss it.

Buschseries61 said...

Really nice post-race by ESPN.

Adam Wood said...

Compared to some of the other broadcasts we have had this year, I think we had one of the best broadcasts overall of the year. I also disagree with some of the picture choices, but considering the racing we saw today, I can't disagree with it.

My only comment on the pre-race is it would have been nice to have seen the driver introductions like we have seen in years past.

My final non-NASCAR related comment is it is hard to watch Olympic coverage tape delayed when ESPN has it in their bottom ticker as it happens live.

rich said...

Bonus post race is great. The race coverage was actually better that I expected. AB does a great job of steering the ship and they are bunches better than 4 years ago. The empty seats speak loudly to the quality of racing that we are being served. I remember when they used to race. The car of tomorrow changed everything. Ask any drive and they will tell you it is like racing a tank.
But the eternal optimist in me will be watching next week.

glenc1 said...

the saddest thing was when Allan was describing this great action on a restart and we're seeing nothing from someone's in car cam. Just sad. Better week than some we've seen recently, but not up to what it ought to be thanks to the cameras. On the restarts was the only time you could see the chaos going on, and then it was only one angle, sort of flat where you couldn't tell what the cars were.

Anonymous said...

Ive got 3 questions here.
1.What was(in your opinion)the best network and era for coverage?
2.What do you think are the reasons(Besides making a story)for the obsession with only showing the winner?
3.What(if anything) can be done about this situation.
Coffeeshop42

Daly Planet Editor said...

The Brickyard 400 telecast was scheduled until 5PM. There was an extended post-race show as the race ended early. There is also a one hour SportsCenter scheduled after every ESPN Cup race again this season.

The tradition of showing only one car finish is just as loudly objected to by IndyCar fans as it is by NASCAR fans. It is an ABC created "tradition" based on the fact that the Indy500 is a special race in the IndyCar season.

In NASCAR, missing the lead lap cars (no matter where they run) elminates the fans of those drivers who have watched the race from the start seeing their driver finish.

In NASCAR, events like Dale Earnhardt Jr. taking the point lead or other drivers racing as hard as possible to the finish may play a key role in the rest of the season.

Not showing the lead lap cars is similar to showing only the lead horse win the Kentucky Derby and then saying "only one horse won, so what's the problem?"

It was once again Allen Bestwick and his commentary from the booth that forced the director to scramble and try to go back and catch the tight races across the line.

With the Chase creeping up slowly, the finish of this race for the lead lap cars and the fans of those teams was critically important.

JD

Anonymous said...

I thought today's race was predictable. Too many commercials with several 'Cautions' occurring during break. Espn can't control cautions, but no split-screens. The race was too long. It droned on. Everyone admitted that it was a single groove track with virtually no on-track passing. Try passing on the outside and you'll have a Denny Hamlin experience. Jerry Punch and Dave Burns did an excellent job. The Super Slo Mo camera was good when they used it. I'd love to hear the attendance numbers and an explanation of Kyle's bizarre engine issue exiting the pits. I had to laugh as they replayed the top three leaving the pits and crossing the line at the end of pit road for position after one of the pit stops. They showed the first two cars and said they'd show the third place car (#18) too. But the Director ran out of patience before Kyle crossed the line and cut to commercial. DJ and Andy did better than they did in Saturday's race. Pocono is usually a yawner, but the last race there in June was actually quite good. Other than Ray Evernham, the pre race crew didn't add much, in my opinion.

Dennis said...

There were a few moments where they had some nice camera angles that were panned back. I liked the shots taken from the end of the straights so you could see the cars fan out trying to make their passes.

Just wish we'd see more panned back shots, more aerial shots and fewer car cams. Save those for replays.

Allen Bestwick is my favourite play by play announcer. I think he makes things much easier for D.J. and Andy.

Buschseries61 said...

Attendance numbers are in: 125,000 people in 2012, it's down from 138,000 in 2011.

The three race weekend did not go as expected. NASCAR has to revive the Brickyard 400 in a different manner. Hopefully NASCAR learned their lesson and the Nationwide series will return to IRP in 2013.

ThinkingBrian said...

After the terrible TNT Summer Series TV broadcast, anything had to be better.

But I believe that ESPN stepped up to the plate and had a good TV broadcast. I was happy with it especially considering Allen Bestwick really took control many times and just called the race.

The booth was a lot quieter this week than in TNT's summer series, the pit reporting was good and I saw more racing today of what there was to see. Good job ESPN.

Zetona said...

@Buschseries61:

The obvious way to rekindle interest is if the racing has been amazing all season and promises the best Brickyard 400 in recent memory. But fixing the racing is hard, so everyone prefers hype/stopgap measures. NASCAR shouldn't leave Indy; the track presents a unique challenge and as much as I dislike JJ, I have to respect that wins at Indy are the mark of a champion.

Anonymous said...

1.What was(in your opinion)the best network and era for coverage?
2.What do you think are the reasons(Besides making a story)for the obsession with only showing the winner?
3.What(if anything) can be done about this situation.




1. ESPN 1.0 also known as the Bob Jenkins era. I also didn't mind Eli Gould + Buddy Baker on TNN. They had an enthusiam that seems to be lacking today.


2. I have no idea. It wouldn't take more than 10-15 seconds to show the top 10-15 cars crossing the line.

3. Short tracks. Lots of them.

Open up the specs as far as gearing and shocks go. Also let them wind the engines as high as they want to go.

Allow 18 sealed engines max a year with a fine of $200,000 for each one used after that. The fines go into a point fund for those outside the top 25.

Ration the fuel and let them do what they want with power. It doesn't make sense making a ton of power if you can't fuel that power for a whole race.

Get tougher on the # of "teams" that one ownership can own. 2 max. If Stewart , Petty and the Wood Bros. wants to play make it against the rules to buy a chassis and/or engine from anyone that owns or is part owner of another team.


Let teams out of the top 25 have more testing dates. I know that information is shared. But, let the teams that struggle have a better shot of not struggling. Once they get good enough, their extra test days go away.

Work hard to get Road America and maybe Road Atlanta schedule.

Dump 1 Pocono and/or 1 New Hampshire. I've been to both, not a big loss.

Dump the chase.

Get rid of all provisionals. If you can't make it on speed, then you don't belong in the show.

Anonymous said...

I encourage everybody who thinks todays telecast was good to google "Overton window"(not the book the actual idea)I dont have the time to fully expain it,just wiki it.I'm not saying your not entitled to your opinion,and i dont want to complain too much since my boy is in the lead now,but i think this slide in qualty has brainwashed some people.

Coffeshop42

Vicky D said...

I had to constantly watch the scroll to find out where my guy was running and all the others. Unforunately, they had a great shot of him on fire it seemed like they only showed 1 car at a time. ESPN needs better Nascar broadcasts.

Anonymous said...

I thought the coverage was good. AB was great as usual.

As for the finish, this happens every year. Literally every year. YouTube the 1994 finish and you will see little difference. Out of curiosity I looked up one of the NBC races, and same thing. After 19 years at the Brickyard, I would consider it a NASCAR tradition..

James said...

Same as yesterday, lots of empty seats, not good for NASCARS image. BZF better hire a few more marketing specialists, more "new gimmicks", opps, ideas, theories, brilance necessary to apply! The product on the tube is very very stale, not the fault of the race teams, I hope the new new car will be a better race platform. The new new TV package could be tweaked a litle too. It would be swell, if could watch it, without falling asleep.

Alan. shut up said...

Worst wick was at his VERRRY WORST
And he talked Louder than ever.
I wont bore you with this. Just
call EXPN tell em what you think.
Most folks wont so your calls are
important. There is an 888 number
of espn web site.
They listen all folks who call.
I will post it this week.

GinaV24 said...

Well, I'm tired of trying to watch Nascar races on TV. It doesn't matter WHO has the coverage, it's all about the same - the effort is simply poor to non-existent.

I tried watching the Indy mess today since after all, maybe ESPN would do better than Fox or TNT, but nope, it was the same thing. Too many toys, not enough coverage of the race. I had the TV on, but once again, I got most of my information from trackpass or twitter. Every time I looked at the tv, they were in commercial or showing some "special" camera shot.

I used to know which track they were going to be racing on from week to week by heart, these days I have to look it up and that pretty much defines my lack of interest in the series.

Brian France says that all is well and the sport is healthy. Maybe so, but this fan is disgusted and bored.

Lemon Lyman said...

It has been a while since we had a Kentucky Derby reference. NBC's tradition of showing every lead lap horse finish is impeccable. Hopefully ESPN is taking note.

I did enjoy the whacky panning of various camera shots after the engine's were fired. ESPN should use that for the whole race, constantly scanning to find the best action. I have a feeling the screen would never stop moving then

Anonymous said...

Yeah,that end commercial load was purely coincidental,and otherwise it was unbearable,3 cautions today missed under commercial.I hope with everything in me i can get HD and keep Hotpass,because without it i would be totally lost.I encourage anybody(although it probably wont do any good)to email or tweet Directv to change this or at least give a good deal on HD.It's not just me that could end up suffering,there's many other people that are getting the short end of the stick.

Coffeeshop42

Zetona said...

Okay, just checked the results on NASCAR.com. How did Jeff Gordon move from 7th to 5th in the final few laps? I'll admit I wasn't paying too close attention, but Jeff was in 7th with less than 10 laps to go and he didn't look too close to the guys in front of him. ESPN coulda showed it. Anyone know more?

Anonymous said...

Zetona ESPN was too busy cranknig out another JJ story to show Jeff's final moves.It's pitiful,but that's the way it is.
Rat:I wanna be immortal.
Pig:Not me.
Rat:Why not?
Pig:Because my feet would hurt really bad after a while.
Rat:You need a better sole.
Pig:Look who's talking.

Coffeeshop42

Anonymous said...

There's not much traffic on here,has everyone given up?

Coffeeshop42

Anonymous said...

Why don't we quit complaining about this small bullcrap and look at the good? There was no commercials from the final restart until almost 10 minutes into the post race show. A battle for 18th at the finish line was shown. There were shots that looked down the frontstretch from a cam 3/4ths of the way down the straightaway, which could be considered to be a wide shot. Battles outside of the top 10 was shown multiple times. AB, DJ & Petree did a good job with the play by play and analyzation of the race, much better than TNT where they overtalk each other and the play by play was criticized constantly. Seriously, look at the good in it, because every week it seems there's always at least 2-3 negative comments about the broadcast. If I make anybody upset, I'm sorry, but these are just my thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Bestwick is the best in the business, which he proved all the way back to NASCAR on radio and on Inside Winston Cup Racing show on Speedvision(before FOX destroyed that channel for me)
Bottom line is that no one in the ESPN truck knows anything about the sport. Just another time filler until they get back to "stick and ball" crap
The winner circle interview was the most innocuous load of drivel I've seen in a long time.More indicators of total lack of understanding of the sport......and a vacuous line of journalism

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:40 Your entitled to your opinion but not showing any more than 3 or 4 cars crossing the line is inexcuseable and Hyper tight shots were used at critical moments of the race.It has gotten to a point where we are happy for any good showing even if its just for 10 seconds.The broadcasters have a responseabilty(Sorry for bad spelling)to us fans to give us a telecast that's informative and actually shows the bare neccesities,which they fail to do on a repeated basis.There were about 10 non start and park drivers that werent even shown today.What are fans of those drivers supposed to do?But BZF says "all is fine"so that means there's nothing to discuss.

Coffeshop42

PammH said...

Kinda had the race on in the backround-was reading the 50 Shades of Grey today! Had on Sirius to see where my driver was. It kinda looked like a cluster@%&* from what I saw. Not much diff then I expected to be honest. The booth HAS to stop calling Dale Jr Junebug-it's disturbing.

Anonymous said...

I dont know what else to say.I often wonder what we are doing here,what's the purpose of our exsistence.What is our reason for doing what we do,and how we do it,where we do it,when we do it.I sometimes wonder if we are just doing this all for naught,and we are just wishing about something we cannot change or if there is hope for something better.These are pressing things that invade my head,and probably everyone else'es from time to time.Is there a purpose?I always wonder when or if that moment of truth will happen.I'm talikng about what we do on this site,of course.

Coffeeshop42

Sophia said...

PammH I got that book from the library to see what all the HYPE was about. It's so poorly written I laughed out loud and had to return it. Way too long, near 400 pages? Oh my, I could go on but this is a racing blog (Then I read it was aimed at Twilight folks. NEXT :))


The Broadcast:

I was busy multi tasking in kitchen where I'm staying and kinda actually enjoyed the pre race in parts and the race, in a "not really paying attention, just listening to the cars and watching the headlights coming at me on the tv..

...when I would look up I often saw wide shots which was nice...but I just did NOT try to pay attention and was not on twitter.

It was nice to hear the sounds and this house (dog sitting) has little speakers built into the walls so I could hear everything without turning up super loud...I had low expectations.

I DID notice Alan Bestwick seemed really hyped up but, I've not listened to ESPN racing much this year,...or maybe not at all now that I think about it?

just usually read tweets. Has he been like this all year? Don't remember that...and I missed the junebug comments.

but I switched on Reds game when they started about 3.40 and bounced back and forth and caught the last 12 laps and some post race comments. It seems ESPN FINALLY did some decent post race.

Too bad it was the horrid One car finish, swoop to flag man, crew chief, in car cam, guys jumping up and down...same old same old on FOX. Yes Indy 500 does this and it ruins the race then, too!

The best part for me? Tony Stewart's in car cam interview. WOW, he was cranky and fed up with some bad drivers...mentioned Marcos running Jamie Mac off the track...and something like some might 'get their feathers ruffled' before the race was over. For some reason I laughed off and on for 5 minutes over that interview.

So many try to be so polite and PC. Not Tony.

Best part of what I witnessed on the broadcast and I usually HATE in car interviews. We have no business bugging the guys even under caution imo.

The end was a drag with JJ winning by such a lead....I did click on after the race to see them trying to get his little girl to kiss the bricks, during the hat dancing. She would not.

So, had I sat down and TRIED to watch the race, I'd be annoyed but I've just let NASCAR GO.

I can't "enjoy and love the broadcast" so have "broken up" with the sport, so to speak and just try to be polite/tolerate it IF I choose to turn it on.

Usually, I do not turn it on and just read tweets. Today hands were busy making carob/almond/date candy.

PS Mike Helton "explaining" the totally PATHETIC call from Sadler's deal? Lame at the driver's meeting. Pemberton's explanation last night read like the "Who's on First" routine. Horrid call for the sport and Sadler.

Anonymous said...

It's basically impossible to watch a race Allen Bestwick calls. Constant cliches. Non-NASCAR terms trying to sound intelligent (like using "circuit" instead of "lap).

I swear if I heard him say "kiss the bricks" or "smooch" one more time I was going to break my TV set.

I put the over/under on his use of "tricky triangle" next week at 50.

I don't see how you all like him! He is so condescending.

GinaV24 said...

Zetona, if not for trackpass, I wouldn't have known that Gordon was passing anyone during those last 10 laps. ESPN's camera was watching the 48 in a single car shot for most of those laps. Considering that they are bragging that they didn't go to commercial during the last X amount of time at the end of the race, it still doesn't matter if they are NOT going to cover the action but only focus on one car. yes, the 48 was dominant, we all got it but split the daggone screen and show the action in addition to the lead car.

atd118 said...

I agree with John, its the producers who ruin every single broadcast and have ZERO clue about the sport and fans want.. In-Car cameras are the worst.. Why on earth do we need to see it on every single pass, its the worst angle ever. I despise it, but its NEVER going away.. These producers think its wonderful and think it's people wanna see... I cringe evry single time they show it. It is by far to me the most frustrating thing about watching a race on TV. Oh and racebuddy is a waste.. I think the race just ended on my computer.. It freezes and is delayed its completely useless. IM a huge Stewart fan ( and of course the only angle they had was his in car camera ), but I watch it to hear his radio and communication with the team.. It's so delayed its useless.. So thats another epic fail.. Good thing im going to Pocono next week, even that race can bore you to tears just like Indy, but at least I can actually see some racing and see some passing..

Anonymous said...

All I have to say is that Jimmie Johnson is my guy - and I still fell asleep during the race.

GinaV24 said...

Anon 9:52 Allen Bestwick and Mike Joy are the best PXP announcers in NASCAR. Unfortunately Mike Joy doesn't call the races any more, DW does all the talking in the booth.

Sure, there are a lot of cliches thrown around, but I'll take AB using them AND calling the race over nothing at all.

Sophia said...

atd118

The IN CAR cam, along with the focusing on just a couple of cars are why I no longer plan my weekends around the races like I did a few years ago. Sadder, I delete the race off the DVR once I've read comments on twitter about the coverage.

Oh, I've heard folks on Twitter complaining about basketball ball games using "Ceiling cams" and stumbled across this the other night.

WOW, producers and their camera toys just get stupider. NOBODY likes it but you either watch your sport or you turn it OFF.

I love my baseball on radio due to the guys and info and interactions.

In car cams to show us the 'passes' INDEED is the worst thing for racing. But we've been griping on this blog since JD started it and it's gotten worse.

Used to be TNT was the good part of the season but they jumped the shark, big time.

Glad I got back into baseball is all I can say.

Nascar is simply an after thought.

Anonymous said...

Thanks JD for these awesome blogs this weekend and your hospitality,it was very fun.Everyone have a good night,and dont give up hope!See ya'll later.

Coffeeshop42

Sally said...

ESPN brags about showing the final 23 minutes of the race commercial free...and then spend at least 15 of those minutes on the 48 car running well ahead of the field? They think this is something to brag about? Yoicks. They are living in the same universe that Brian France does. Hard to realized that the network that used to set the gold standard for race coverage has forgotten it's heritage and tradition just like Nascar has.

GinaV24 said...

Anon 10:12 p -- well that's a really damning indictment! When YOUR guy dominates the race and you still fall asleep, then something is really wrong.

Congrats, at least you had a reason to cheer.

53 yr. fan said...

Think those last laps of the 48
going round and round were a surprise? Think back to how many
times we saw the JJ ad tearing up the speed hump. Its just payback for the sponsors. Brian's marketing geniuses are dictating coverage and could care less about the racing. Looked like the local fans voted with their behinds not in the seats on what they thought of "the product".

Anonymous said...

the best tv era, a tie between espn in the early 90's and tnt/nbc from 2001-2004 espn had passion and exposed the sport, but tnt had enthusiasm never seen before that made it excitable and enjoyable

tommy1946 said...

Saw coverage of last 30 laps. What a sick joke. In car, bumper cams, tight shots of 48 car ad nauseam, no booth excitement. Only one car finished the race - again. Next week I won't even turn on the TV when I come in for a cool drink. Major league stockcar coverage is dead. I'm sad! I still think that approximately 43 start the races. It's mighty weird that only one finishes the race. Well Mr. Daly, I've been to many races, and the last lap usually has the most action and excitement as many drivers in the field attempt to improve their positions as they don't need to save their equipment for any more laps. Now where the heck is that excitement and those encounters. Maybe some of the action would have to be covered in replay as is done in football replays of linemen or others blocking or faking like they have the ball. Why does TV "racing" coverage just keep getting predictably worse? I'm screaming!

Steve Luvender said...

Best broadcast of the year so far. The combination and professionalism of Allen Bestwick, Dale Jarrett, and Andy Petree made for a great broadcast. The three had a nice dynamic and they broadcasted a quality race. The interesting stats on Johnson were a nice touch in the closing laps.

One thing most people won't notice is that they didn't go to commercial break after the 20 to go mark -- they only stopped the broadcast well into the victory celebration, at a point where it didn't matter.

I think ESPN nailed it yesterday, and it was a very refreshing change of pace from the low-quality FOX and TNT narrating/production work.

Still the most boring race of the season, though. I'd rather watch a race at LORP any day.

MRM4 said...

I didn't think the coverage was all that bad. I thought it was pretty good despite a crappy race to show and one driver pretty much dominating the whole race. I suspect the coverage will slide downward next week at Pocono like it did last year. Time to formulate those stories.

erb224 said...

I'm sure there was some battle going on in the last 5 laps, something closer than 6 seconds. The 39 and 56 were pretty close at the end, too bad we didn't get to see anyone besides the 48 finish.

Jacob said...

I thought the broadcast was good for the parade they had to work with. Bestwick has been my favorite play by play guy since I first heard him doing radio in the late 90's, so to have him back instead of Kyle Petty talking down to the fans for four hours was more than welcome.

Anonymous said...

I had no real issues with the broadcast from Indy. ESPN did as much as they could with a real turd of a race. I've mentioned this before here and will again. It does not matter HOW the race is shown, if it is a bad race, the way it is presented will not matter.

I have always thought ESPN did the best job of telling the story of the race. FAUX tells their own story way to much, TNT is just sort of there talking, but ESPN mingles the story of the actual race occurring into their preplanned talking points.

I don't really care if they show all the cars crossing the finish line, it doesn't really matter if 3rd-20th crosses the line single file all separated by a 1 second. The broadcasters should show side by side battles to the line and they should cap off any battles they had mentioned during the final 5 laps. ESPN did miss doing that as they mentioned Kahne moving up late and showing him closing on Harvick. I believe Kahne did pass Harvick, but ESPN did not make mention of this.

Regardless of that, if ESPN continues with these kinds of broadcasts it will be a nice presentation the rest of the year.

The broadcasters cannot control the amount of stink coming from the race and should not be blamed for a poor broadcast when it was really just a poor race. Next weekends race will most likely also be a stinker as Pocono almost never puts on a good show. As others have said I believe this site is really nitpicking and letting the negative override anything positive.

Anonymous said...

I want ask you JD,in your most honest of honest opinions do you think things will get better?And if so how long will it take?

And a second question,in your time on here what would you say were the best and worst individual telecasts and what percentage of the telecasts would you say have been "good"?

Coffeeshop42

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 11:19AM,

I could not disagree more. In race after race in the past, the TV network was faced with a leader who may have lapped the field. It was not uncommon to have two or three cars who were running away with the race.

What TV did was go back in the pack to find the racing and tell the stories. ESPN is so arrogant and uninformed in terms of the producer and director that this concept cannot even be processed.

This fact was hammered home when the most popular driver in the sport, Dale Earnhardt Jr., raced on the final lap with the points lead of the Sprint Cup Series on the line.

ESPN instead chose to completely pretend that this was somehow an Indy500 version of NASCAR and ignore all the stories of the final lap of the race except the winner.

It is the ultimate statement that ESPN is "making TV" for themselves instead of covering NASCAR for the viewers.

JD

Daly Planet Editor said...

Coffee,

The short answer is no. Brian France is disconnected from the reality of the fans. See my column "The Island of Brian France."

This weekend, especially Saturday, showed the incredible lengths the sport will go to in terms of creating TV despite the absolute reality surrounding the race.

There are lots of angry folks right now within the sport, but that can't stop a family-run business from proceeding in whatever direction the family member in charge wants it to go.

JD

Ir42nate2bhere said...

Coverage good. Had camera on the wreck involving Kenseth, did not go tight till he was exiting car.Smoke gave them good late race interview.You get lemons, you try to make lemonade, and everyone has different taste how they like theirs.
JD, major TV horseracing does not show every horse finishing, only those in money or 2 seconds of winner, then a cut to horse or owners. Youtube some to back me up on this. And TV gives offical results and payouts at majors much later than betting public gets that info.And remembere TNT was trying to show all finishers last month and was missing a wreck right under their nose.
Saw Brickyard1 on ESPN Classic.in middle of race, had 5 STRAIGHT MINUTES of only showing 1st n 2nd place cars.If not for an accident, how much longer that would have been is unknown.Also,no tickers then, so you had zero idea where everyone else was. And if you ever youtube a Buffet Benny or Benny's hat of the week, see how many were shown during green flag laps. As much as we all love the past, they would get destroyed in the 2012 world of twitter/FB/blog world.
1 last thing. Watched an Olympic sailing race today.25 boats in the water, beautiful setting. Race was a blowout, but the coverage you would all know.Over 2/3 of race only showing the leader, in a tight shot.Graphics only show top 5. Few shots of full field, aerial shots. Lots of commercial breaks. See it is an internation way of TV, tight shots on leaders only. Only thing mussing was onboard boat cams.

atd118 said...

I agree totally John... Its why ESPN now is unwatchable.. It truly is the most arrogant network on TV.. It's become a joke.. Im a huge sports fan I can no longer watch the network..

Daly Planet Editor said...

Nate,

Come on man. This is racing and your making fun of my one reference to a horse race in terms of not EVEN showing the horses in the money. We did not get 2nd and 3rd.

As you know, there was no replay of the finish of the Brickyard 400 as there would be with a horse race. If you sat with your friends in the t-shirts of anyone other than the winner or the what...18th place finisher....you watched an event for hours only to not see your driver finish.

TV fundamentals cannot be ignored just because some TV network, which was gone from the sport for a decade, returned and is somehow thought to be all knowing.

This was awful coverage from the director and total lack of knowledge from the producer. Did you see the final "bonus" segment of the race?

The announcers had no idea what to say, the director had no idea what to show and the producer had no guidance to give.

AB, Dale and Andy were pulling out every trick they had to try and voice pictures of JJ driving in circles.

I can't sit around and watch a bunch of egos destroy a sport I have enjoyed for decades.

I'm fired up and this week could get very ugly for NASCAR and ESPN before it is over.

JD

Zach H said...

I gotta say, I do think you're being a little picky here. If you compare ESPN's coverage to TNT and Fox, it was amazing! And I can say from being at the race, I thought both Cup and NNS races were really good! ALSO, YOU FORGOT TO MENTION THAT ESPN WENT 31 STRAIGHT MINUTES WITHOUT A COMMERCIAL! Many people have complained about commercials and you have written about them before, but once there is a race that has less commercials and more race coverage, YOU DON'T MENTION IT! Kinda reminds me of how you describe TV when they mention some things, and don't mention other things. Just saying

Anonymous said...

Thanks,JD,i apprectiate the honest answer,the last thing we need is people like BZF that only see things from a fair weather perspcective.It is a sobering truth,but to have any hope whatsoever we can't blind ourselves from it like some have.

My driver is the points leader,but i know that this sport is in deep trouble and is a mess that is in desperate need of fresh changes and an injection of common sense.IMO Nascar needs an mix of both some old and new good ideas to return it the glory days.Does anybody here remember when Nascar was the hot thing in sports and was actually the #2 sport in the country early in the decade?

Ive got an intresting little note here on that.Many of us are aware of the fine publication Nascar illusrated(formerly Nascar Winston Cup illustrated)and their annual February season preview.I have subscribed to them for the last 2 years,but i also have sevaral older issues going back to 2002.I have the 2003 season preview.That paticular issue was 262 pages long and almost as fat as a novel.Back then they only had previews of the Cup series and were a lot lighter on other details.The 2012 edition(I know the economy is an issue,but still)was 124 pages long,and that was inlcuding Nationwide and Truck series previews and some other stuff that didn't used to be in the magazine!


If that doesn't tell you where we are,then nothing does.Let's hope that in the future somebody with enough power can do something about this situation,becuase i'm not ready to give up.Good luck and God speed JD.

Coffeeshop42

Daly Planet Editor said...

Zach,

What did you think that meant? That ESPN was really trying to serve the fans or that the scheduled commercials were done and there was a long segment of racing?

I watched the same race as you did and missed almost every key pass, including the final one for 2nd due to in-car camera shots. We missed all the action except the Logano spin due to tight shots of the leaders.

If ESPN wanted to help us with commercials, the network would go with ESPN Non-Stop for all 17 Cup races instead of pretending it was some special treat for the Chase.

JD

Anonymous said...

Bill France Sr. Made NASCAR
Bill France Jr. Made NASCAR Big
Brian France is destroying it.

Coffeeshop42

Sally said...

Zaach H...apparently you missed my much earlier comment about the 23 commercial free minutes, 15 of which were spent zoomed in on the 48 running all alone. Gee, that was enlightening, wasn't it? Wouldn't that have been a great time to focus on any battles farther back in the field instead? Just because the time was ad free doesn't mean it added anything interesting or worthwhile to the telecast.

West Coast Kenny said...

J. D.,

Someone wise once told me if you're gonna take someone to the woodshed, always start with something positive. (That was right before he said what a good worker I was.)

According to Caws'n'Jaws, the racecast ran 196 minutes with 55 minutes of commercials. By my back of the envelope calculations, that's a bit over 28%, which is about 10% less than TNT. (That's comparing 32% on TNT to 28% yesterday, percentages to percentages, sorry to disappoint the "gotcha gang" who wanted to flame me because they perceived I didn't know how to subtract.)

In the final 40 or so laps I watched, I agree with you, J.D., there was some terrific work in the pits, and I thought Alan Bestwick, Andy Petree, and Dale Jarrett have worked together long enough to have learned each other's rhythyms so they are an excellent, cohesive team.

Now, ESPN, go out to the woodshed and wait for me... This'll hurt ME more than it'll hurt you. (Yeah, when has that ever been true?)

There's an old vaudeville (that was entertainment before movies and TV for you young folks out there) joke:

Man: Doctor, doctor. You have to help me. I keep banging my head on the wall.

Doctor (in a stereotyped German-Jewish psychiatrist accent): Why do you do this?

Man: Because it feels so good when I stop.

I suspect that describes many of us. Now that NASCAR isn't my mandatory Sunday sports experience, I keep tuning in for short periods out of morbid curiousity. It's like a trainwreck, I have to keep looking.

I don't know whether it's eternal optimism or some sick pathology like the battered spouse who keeps coming back for more. (Apologies to those who are actually experiencing that, I didn't mean it as a joke.)

J.D., sometimes I feel as if reading this blog and the comments of the Planteers is like those meetings I should be attending more often with other friends of Bill W.

"Hello, my name is West Coast Kenny, and I'm a NASCAR TV addict. It's been 22 hours since the last time I watched a race."

Last point: Although I bow to no one in my admiration and awe for the driving ability of Jimmie Johnson and the clever way Chad Knaus manages to skirt the rules and get away with it, I think the last thing NASCAR needs is to see Jimmie Johnson winning again. This I will confess: I'm a Forty-Eight-Hater.

WCK

KoHoSo said...

This is such a shame because ESPN can bring so much to the table that is good. I can also try to be as generous as possible in that this was the full crew's first Cup race of the season. Still...while there were some bright spots in the Brickyard coverage (if only getting to hear AB's voice and words of competence), it does not bode well for how things are probably going to deteriorate yet again as the season goes on.

Aside from the use of far too much Fox-like hyper-tight coverage, the most telling incident was the late wreck where, as JD put it himself on Twitter (IIRC), AB was pretty much literally screaming out the details while the director couldn't seem to get his finger out of his nose to switch to a different camera so we could see what was happening.

We can only hope that was a first-race gaffe, but I doubt it. We've all seen what ESPN brings to the table for six years and I have no confidence it is going to change. I am probably going to take another break from watching Cup races until Bristol and, if ESPN is still the same old same old, I'm probably done for good.

I know that JD said above that people behind the scenes are angry and that we could be at a tipping point. I do not doubt JD's reporting. What I do doubt is that BZF will ever take the bull by the horns and really get us back to competent race coverage where racing is found even if the leader is stinking up the show and that the commentary puts the sport on a high plain instead of square in the middle of Gooberville.

Anonymous said...

I wish there were drivers out there that would have the guts to send out tweets like Hope Solo did being critical of the broadcast.

Colorado said...

I see where Ricky Craven had his daily dose of Kool Aid, in saying that "8 Championships are reasonable, and maybe more." With ESPN employees like that, we are in for a 48-fest the rest of the season. Oh, wait, that's been the case the last 8 seasons. I too grew tired of watching the 48 drive in circles for hours. I guess parity in NASCAR is out the window.

Anonymous said...

I like Ricky Craven,but way to encourage everybody to watch Nascar.I know this site is about TV and not the drivers and teams,but if Jimmie reaches 8 i will stop watching.Chad Knaus reminds me of Byron Hadley from the Shawshank Redemption.This is one situation where i want to be told lies.

Coffeeshop42

Coffeeshop42

Daly Planet Editor said...

Kenny,

ESPN has finally gotten the on-air line-up sorted out after seasons of Jerry Punch, Marty Reid and Rusty Wallace in the wrong slots.

That is what makes it even more frustrating. All the tools are in place and we have a producer and director who are trying to "make TV" for themselves and the SportsCenter highlights.

JD

GinaV24 said...

Ha, JD, how likely is it that any NASCAR items make the SC highlights?

I understand that BZF is large and in charge of his family owned business, but if there are enough people in the sport who are angry, you would think they would find a way to make some positive changes.

Count me in as one of those people who will tune out when it's chase time if, as it appears now, that the 48 will become a 6 time Chase trophy winner. I refuse to say 5X champion because he has only won trophies under the chase scenario.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Gina,

Race highlights were brief and there really is no one holding a candle for NASCAR in the SportsCenter group.

It's turned into hype, ego and famous faces from the stick and ball world. Shame to see the actual sports knowledge and real highlights leave that series.

JD

Anonymous said...

GinaV24 If it makes you feel any better,Jeff Gordon should be at least a 6-time champion,i have always been split on the chase,i cant make my mind up whether i like it or not,i do think some slight modifications are in order.I'm with you on the 48,i have always been suspicous of them,especially CK.Like i just said today,he reminds me of Captain Hadley from Shawshank,and we all know what happened to him.More than just his repeated violations is his attitude,has anyone ever heard him on the radio?Kurt Busch can rage more,but he can't compete with Chad when it comes to his sheer volume of vulgarities.There was a video i saw of Inside Nascar last year where after Jimmie lost the fall Martinsville race Chad stepped off the box and pushed a kid out of the way as he was walking back.Since the 48 now works with Jr's team and they are friends(i think)i try to not begrudge them as much anymore,but it's hard.

Coffeeshop42

Anonymous said...

It was good, a touch rusty at times it seemed with talent talking over each other.

There were a few times where the director needed to calm down with the switching of angles. Otherwise, solid broadcast. Coupled with racebuddy it was out standing.

Anonymous said...

I think it is so funny that everyone is lays talking about putting more emphasis on winning and then also complain that thy didn't see 2nd and 3rd crossing the line. Quick - how many 3rd place finishers of the Indy 500 do you remember? Answer: none. Because all that matters is who won the trophy. Everyone else is an also-ran.

Who was 2nd in the Preakness or Belmont this year? exactly.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 8:41PM,

Just so we are on the same page. The Sprint Cup Series has been racing since February with only one goal. That is to make the Chase for the Championship.

If a team does not make the Chase they fall off the radar. The sponsor, driver and crew chief are all instantly in a state of flux.

While it might be great to win big races like the Daytona 500 or the Coke 600, I can assure you that the Brickyard 400 is no longer on that list. It is dying. That is why NASCAR threw the sports cars and Nationwide Series into the mix.

Any fan with even a fundamental knowledge of the sport understands that the stories unfolding behind the single car that happens to win might be much more compelling and important.

Such was the case in this race. It's a shame the fans of those drivers saw NONE of it, the finish of the lead lap cars was not replayed and even during the expanded post-race the footage of the drivers finishing was not used during their interviews.

ESPN's producer and director swung at this task and missed. Time to get some new players.

JD

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:41 It would take the broadcasters at most 30 seconds to show all the lead lap cars crossing the finish line.Altough there are a few special times where this is excusable it is not 95% of the time.This is about the fans that watch a 3-4 hour race only to not see their driver finish the race.I dont want to sound rude,but JD has made this abundantly clear.And BTW,"all that matters is who won the trophy,everyone else is an also-ran"?I could comment on this,but i choose not to.And i hope that last part wasn't a reference to JD.I dont want to sound like a teacher's pet,but C'mon people!We need to get our heads out the sand if we hope to accomplish anything.We can't just accept everything we are seeing,that's why we are in the trouble we are in now.Sorry for the rant,but you are ignoring the elephant in the room.I encourage anybody that's a game fan to play Silent Hill 2,it's an awesome game that shows why you can't just accept the false reality you've made in your head,you have to face up the truth.

Coffeshop42

Anonymous said...

I'm not saying that you don't say something about the finishing order - I'm just saying that we don't need to see it live. They had a real-time scroll with photos/numbers of the Top 20 finishers as they crossed the line. Seeing this is the same thing as seeing a car, especially when the cars are strung out seconds apart.

Bobby O said...

I'm with you JD.
But some of the ... Never mind.
I'm done with this anyway.
Just hope we can find something better to do...

Oh dang, I already did!

It's like a divorce, it's never easy! What is the saying? If it's going to end, it's going to end badly, or it would not end.....


Good luck to you all!

Joseph said...

I DVRed the race and FFed through most of that horrendous snoozefest, then watched 48 go in circles for 20 minutes. NASCAR is a now a bunch of points-racers being covered by idiots. It's practically unwatchable, which apparently the crowd onsite agrees with. The half-empty stands at the start were virtually deserted by the end of the race.

Colorado said...

Anon 9:47: What color is the sky in your world? "We don't need to see it live"? I can tell you who finished Second in the '76 Daytona 500 (Petty), and I can tell you who finished second in the '79 500 (Waltrip). These are stats that MATTER. There are 43 teams on the track, not one. YES , we do need to see it live. This is NASCAR, not baseball or whatever your favorite sport is. It's obviously not stock car racing.You're telling me that seeing a graphic created by a computer is better than seeing a 3400 lb. stock car, with a human being driving it is better? WTF? Does the graphic show the bent sheet metal, or tire marks that mean that the driver was involved in an earlier scuffle? Which could mean why a certain driver finished 18th (Smith), instead of 5th? Jeez. Go blog on ESPN's site. Leave the race talk to the professionals.

GinaV24 said...

JD, I agree about SC. I simply never watch ESPN except for the races. The times I have seen it, it has been on at a deli or some other place where I don't control the TV set, so it's there and I do my best to ignore it since it seems to be just talking heads making noise about nothing. A lot like NASCAR these days.

Thanks, Coffee, I appreciate that support. Obviously as a long time Gordon fan, I feel that he has been robbed of championships and it frustrates me. Heck, actually it makes me angry. Since as JD points out (and as we all know from years of watching this mess), if you aren't in the chase, no one cares but your fans. I'm not expecting ESPN to do anything other than what I've seen in the past for their race coverage which means that after Richmond, if Gordon is out, I will also be absent.

The up side of that is the weather is better in September and early October than it is in the summer. I'm making plans already to do a lot of fun things that don't include being inside on Sunday's

bowlalpo said...

Apologies up front for long rant. Like many, my biggest TV gripe is (and has been) tight shots and overuse of in-car cameras. A pass for position should NEVER be shown with an in-car. But there are bigger problems that cover a much wider scope. The biggest, of course, is The Chase.

The Chase changed everything by (a) diminishing the importance of each individual race, (b) forcing drivers to take fewer chances during races, and (c) allowing TV to ignore 3/4 of the field because they now have a contrived reason to do so.

I've written before that races are difficult to cover. But after rethinking this, I now see how it can be much easier. Nowadays, even before the Chase, TV believes they only need to focus on 5-10 cars and drivers, and that's what they do.

Start-and-parks aside, drivers who drop out of the race and are not in the select 5-10 get no interview and their sponsors get even less exposure than the NASCAR-mandated muzzling. Unless you have a massive wreck, or if the wreck takes out one of the anointed, you will never see the little guy (or gal, e.g. Johanna Long) interviewed.

Compare this to pre-Chase years. Even when the points leader was 300+ ahead, we kept watching late season races because they all had their own identities, and we were interested in who won and who did well, REGARDLESS of where they were on the points list. The TV partners had to televise races with this in mind, and this type of coverage fueled our interest. That can't happen any more, as The Chase has made everything except the Chasers complete non-entities.

Races are no longer Events. They are treated by TV and the sanctioning body as dime-a-dozen. This is why fewer people go to the track. We veteran viewers keep watching in hopes that the individual races can return to their old level of prominence. But it won't happen with The Chase.

It trickles down...no, it floods down...to the other series too. After being at IMS on Saturday, on Monday, I found no one at work or at play who watched the race, was aware of the controversy, or cared about any of it. Several of these people used to watch everything, Trucks, Busch and Cup, religiously.

A sport dies when no one cares any more.

Anonymous said...

Here's 3 things every race broadcaster should do when televising race.
1.Show every non-start and park car on screen at least once,and at least mention every car in the field.
2.Have announcers that are exciting ,but dont overstate what we can already see on tv.
3.Show every lead lap car cross the finish line.
There are many more,but that's just a short refresher.

Coffeeshop42

Clay said...

The coverage by ESPN was good, given the product they were forced to try and sell. At least they didn't, as some crews do, continually try to tell us how it exciting it was. I'm sick of the Frances, heltons, tell us how competitive and exciting the reacing is, when its crap. There was a reason that the Pearsons, Sr.s, Bakers weren't know as social animals,. You can't race another driver hard, if you and the missus, is having the other driver and his missus over for Tea on monday afternoon. We need more Tony's, and as bad as i dislike them, more Busch brothers. At least they race hard.

Ir42nate2bhere said...

Colorado-stay classy, last sentence unnecessary.

40 years since i saw my first motorsport event in Long Pond. Known and watched many races with people inside n outside the industry.Watched old TV,new TV.And we all knew one thing, to paraphrase Herm Edwards- "You Race to Win The Game". Not good enough, no TV for you. It was not socialism, if you were good, the TV and press will find you. Been with businesses that bought a sponsorship or 2 at the local dirt track, they knew the rules, run up front, you will deliver for the investment, run not so good, they got little notice.

Watched almost every race in the 85-95 period,I knew if Terry or Mark was not a contender it would take time to know where they were, as no ticker was scrolling.

My point? In TV, almost every event goes for the Emotion shot after the big moment, and to the winners go the spoils.Baseball, Football,Horse Racing, Idol, Elections, F1, Indy, AMA. Even watch the Olympics for any event longer than 200 meters where the field spreads out, you get the top finishers within the camera shot. So right or wrong, and it is about 50/50 here on this subject i think. ESPN is not reinventing the wheel with showing the winner, like it or not.

JMHO, and it is cool one can use a site like this to give it, enjoy your day people.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Three items to add:

David Hobbs said on "Wind Tunnel" that the Indy track is not suited for NASCAR. His point was you will never be able to race side by side on a narrow flat track like that.

Dave Despain said on the same show that IMS is looking at a ten million dollar lighting project to move the Brickyard 400 to a night race.

Finally, ads are already online for next season. Confirmed is Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Grand-Am once again during the day on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

JD

Anonymous said...

Nascar has become like Metallica when they went pop.And JD,are you kidding me?Night race at Indy?Brian France should be given a straitjacket(YES i'm going there),locked in a padded room,and studied for scientific purposes!I think he has contracted Vickernism.And Nate,please dont bring up another NFL name here please,we have a hard enough time dealing with them.It's just a fact that every week thousands of fans dont get to see where their driver finishes,sometimes you have to go on the internet to find out.I understand your point about the old days,but this is 2012 and they have the technology to tell and show you where everyone finishes.And i suppose anyone that doesn't win every race should just quit.I'm not sure you understand that not every team is fortunate enough to win much,but that doesn't mean they should be ignored.

Coffeeshop42

Colorado said...

If they put up lights at Indy, then the media can really see how bad the racing is there. Maybe the boredom just needed a little light put on it...It's that old adage, 'You can paint 'trash', but it's still trash" Aplogize earlier for my combativeness with Anon 9:47. I won't stoop down to his level anymore...
Maybe NASCAR could go to the "Flex schedule" like the NFL? They can move the Indy race to a Wednesday night, opposite Bob Ross' The Joy of Painting...

Ancient Racer said...

I did not see one minute of the race broadcast (and to be honest I did not miss it at all which in itself says something), but from reading the Race Blog comments and those here I see the opinions regarding the telecast are mixed.

On the whole, with the Kentucky Fried Commercial 400 as the season to-date (and contender for all-time) TV disaster, "mixed" is a good thing.

The Loose Wheel said...

Fairly solid broadcast aside from missing a few cautions during commercials.

Indy is difficult to cover in the sense that there isn't much passing going on once the field strings out. I think they made a reasonable effort to show passes inside the top 10 and I do give them a kudos for showing that battle for 18th down to the wire.

Pretty good post-race coverage as well. Still feels like we are aiming for mediocre instead of excellent, but as some others have said it was one of the better broadcasts of the season.

Anonymous said...

Best comment and the most fitting this weekend.OSBORNK:The backstretch cameraman must be new.Showing nothing 95% of the time.

Coffeeshop42

Anonymous said...

Here are some numbers i think some of you may be intrested in(BTW,there are some of you that have probably already done this,but for those of you that haven't,this is fasicnating)These are what the top 3 in the points standings would have looked like without the chase in the years since it started.

I just want to say this is not my personal indictment of the chase,as i said before i can't really make my mind up whether i like it or not,im on the fence.I got these statistics from a site called Racing-Reference.info that is about Nascar stats.Keep in mind that the numbers before 2011 use the old 170-175-190 points system.

2004 "non chase" standings
1.Jeff Gordon 5042
2.Jimmie Johnson -47
3.Dale Earnhardt Jr.-173

2005
1.Tony Stewart 5199
2.Greg Biffle -215
3.Jimmie Johnson -428

2006
1.Jimmie Johnson 5158
2.Matt Kenseth -4
3.Kevin Harvick -320

2007
1.Jeff Gordon 5455
2.Jimmie Johnson -353
3.Tony Stewart -706

2008
1.Carl Edwards 5236
2.Jimmie Johnson -16
3.Kyle Busch -252(This is obviously revisionist history but i is intresting to note that with 10 Races to go Kyle would have had a 207 point lead)

2009
1.Jimmie Johnson 5156
2.Jeff Gordon -66
3.Tony Stewart -71

2010
1.Kevin Harvick 5274
2.Jimmie Johnson -285
3.Denny Hamlin -409

2011 (New race by race system)
1.Carl Edwards 1278
2.Kevin Harvick -78
3.Tony Stewart -87

These stats once again came from Racing-Reference.Info and are unofficial of course,but i'm pretty sure these are accurate.

Coffeeshop42

E-Ticket said...

Honestly the race was like watching paint dry, ESPN did an average job. In this instant world that is all we can ask for. Compared to Olympic coverage I count my blessings..

Anonymous said...

For all those of you that want to relive some more glory days,i have another video recommendation.I just watched the first part of the 2004 UAW GM Quality 500 by de31168 on youtube.I want everyone to see how exciting things were then.If you can notice,the stands are completely packed,and there are hundreds of flash bolts popping just like at the super bowl(you sure dont see that anymore dont ya?).Notice how great the racing is,with the majority of the cars close together and lot's of passing going on.And finally,look at the coverage,Nice wide shots with a few neccesary tight shots,awesome commentating and attentive coverage,and no yellows missed under commercial.This,in my opinion is everything Nascar should be.Granted,this was in the middle of one of the greatest battles ever and not every race can be a barn burner,but you get my point.My Nascar soul yearns for these days.

Coffeeshop42

fbu1 said...

There are two kinds of people who watch NASCAR on TV: (A) those who watch for pure entertainment and (B) those who have made an emotional investment in the sport.

Group A simply enjoys the entertainment value of the event, including all the pageantry, pre-race activities etc. Its all good fun for them. In our celebrity driven society, they are drawn to the marquee drivers who grace their screens in commercials etc. I understand why those viewers really don't care about who beat who into 20th place at the line. When the director does a quick cut to the winner's crew, it's more entertaining for those fans. ESPN produces the broadcast for group A. To the A folks, complaining about the exclusive focus on the lead cars is petty nitpicking. The winner deserves the attention, everyone else is irrelevant.

Group B are the folks who watch practice and qualifying sessions. We are the fans who want to know whether Dave Blaney managed to stay in the top 35, or whether Landon Cassill closed the points gap on David Regan. I've been watching Blaney since his World of Outlaw days, so I care. I actually follow several drivers. I want to know where they all finished. ESPN knows that I will probably watch the race if I'm an invested group B fan because there are few alternatives for me.

The Disney suits have abandoned virtually all of ESPN's journalistic responsibilities from most of its programming in favor of "spectacle", manufactured talking points and scripted racing. Group A is happy, it fills time until Project Runway begins. Group B has to settle for the middle finger salute.

fbu1

Anonymous said...

fbu 1 D--- right,couldn't have said it better myself.Brian France and his meat puppets have pushed Nascar to the brink(of disaster).Has anybody read this this story from BK today?Now,no one puts their foot in their mouth more often than he does,but this is an actual good idea.He proposed an idea to have different hard and soft tire compounds during the same race weekend to combat the aero issues.A bit radical and a new idea for Nascar,but they should consider it(bet ya they dont though).SOMETHING has to be done,you could fit 1 million Jimmy Spencer's in between the cars at indy.I think they should chop off part of the spoiler and take some downforce off(remember the days when they didnt run any spoiler?).Anyone else got some ideas?

Coffeeshop42

Darcie said...

There's something outside the broadcast that I found quite interesting. Seeing that the Brickyard was the first race of ESPN's season, one would think that ESPN would want the most uptempo, rah-rah and positive coverage for NASCAR. But on their Outside the Lines show on Sunday morning, ESPN took NASCAR to task on their diversity program, the one supposedly designed to bring a more diverse face to NASCAR. According to OTL, the program is a failure. While this might be the truth, why would ESPN decide to focus on this issue instead of putting on a happy face and put the sport in a more positive light? They even went so far as to include a quote that said something to the effect that their diversity drivers could front for the KKK. No, I'm not kidding. They actually called a driver a poster child for the Klan. Is this something that was smart for ESPN to do, seeing they're now the only broadcast outlet for the sport? Is that how ESPN wants to bring in a more diverse audience? To me, it was a very poor decision to put this program on the air, right before the first ESPN broadcast.

Coffeeshop42 said...

The reality is that NASCAR is a sick sport,and ESPN has exacerbated the problem by shunning it and putting it on the back burner.

I'm obviously biased,but i am(just in general) so sick of the mainstream sports media's football and basketball overload,with no regard given(even baseball to an extent)to other sports,they only get referenced if something incredible happens,and even then they may not get positive coverage.

I used to watch the NFL mid-decade as a kid and enjoyed it(though i dont really like it anymore),but geez,how much coverage do you need?And dont get me started on the NBA.If i hear "can the Lakers win one more for Kobe"i think i might stone myself.

NASCAR should clean house,and they should start with ESPN.Either demand that they represent the sport better(oh boy what a dream)or get out and dont let the door hit ya.It is such a shame that ESPN used to be the gold standard of NASCAR TV,only to see the way things are now.Wish things could change,but with BZF,anything is impossible.

(BTW that is me,the same C42,i will start officially singing my comments)

Stick With the Biff said...

fbu1...does that mean if I'm in Group B I have to give up Project Runway? I mean, it only started a couple weeks ago. And it's on Thursday night, so I don't really have a conflict. Call me crazy, I like racing *and* fashion.
:)

fbu1 said...

@Stick With the Biff...Project Runway is a secret pleasure. :) It was just the first non racing program that came to mind.