Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Road Not Taken (Updated)

We all have different paths in life. Often our direction is driven by opportunity and the desire for change. Sometimes change is thrust upon us and we simply must respond. The final sentence of the classic Robert Frost poem from 1915 says it very well. Confronted by two paths, choosing the right one can make all the difference.

In this column we are going to touch on several subjects. The passing of Chris Economaki will be first. The Dean of Motorsports loved ESPN when the network got cranked up in the early 1980's. Economaki got the idea, the technology and made the most of his opportunities with the cable network. He gladly took the road less traveled and loved every minute of it.

In the early 1980's my late friend Adrian Karsten and I were at the ESPN Christmas party held at the Aqua Turf Club in Southington, CT. ESPN was an oddity, an all-sports cable network and the party attracted a incredible mix of personalities. One man came to our table and loudly asked to "borrow" our unused bottle of red wine. It was Economaki.

When asked why he was in a small Connecticut town in the dead of winter he gave his typical reply. "I never miss a good party," he said. To have someone of that stature in both the TV and motorsports worlds at the Christmas party of a start-up cable TV network was powerful.

Needless to say, he eventually wound-up holding court for those of us involved with motorsports at the network. As you may expect, many stick-and-ball types had absolutely no idea who he was but they could not stay away from his charismatic personality. The memory of that night and his wonderful stories is what comes up first for me when Economaki is the subject.

The sadness of the Economaki passing comes amid changes that will affect what has been done here at TDP over the past several seasons. Rather than have a long discussion, let's just say that my desire to watch live Sprint Cup Series races has faded for a variety of reasons. This weekend's race will move to the DVR and be reviewed at a later date. This switch also ends the pre and post-race TV show viewing.

We had been developing the #TDP1 hashtag for weekend Sprint Cup Series races, but that Twitter activity is going to end. Twitter has been an interesting experiment and one that has provided a lot of good NASCAR information. These days, it has skewed into a breeding ground for marketing and special interest content.

This blog is not ending, just taking on a new format. TDP will continue with columns on weekdays. The topics will range beyond NASCAR and include the digital issues confronting motorsports, the future of networks like SPEED and what the motorsports TV landscape will look like in 2013. The media-related changes now in progress are major and happening at lightning speed.

I appreciate your patience during this transition and hope you will continue to read TDP in its new form. Thanks for all the support on race weekends, but life goes on and change is something we all deal with on a regular basis. The new week will start with a wrap-up of the Sprint Cup Series telecast on Sunday night. Hope to see you then. Have a great weekend.

Update: There was nothing to discuss after viewing the Dover Sprint Cup Series race on the DVR. New columns on media topics will appear this week. If you would like to leave a Dover TV coverage comment, please do it on this post. Thank you.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for all you have done here with the live stuff, look forward to your future columns. I do think it is amazing that the networks rarely if ever seem to listen and/or resopond to the columns and comments on your site. Thanks again and I am in the same boat as live NASCAR doesn't draw me to the couch anymore.

Joj said...

A short Thank you for all the years, work & info you have given. It has helped me go from fan to informed fan on the behind the scenes stuff. Thanks doesn't begin to cover it, but, for now will have to do.

For years there were the must reads of Poole & Economaki & a few others for motorsports. His insight is missed already.

Nothing is permanent. Nothing.
I always said I'd watch NASCAR till my driver Tony Stewart stepped out of his car. That was 3 years ago. I was already getting weary of the strange TV coverage, draft tracker et al. Last weekend I DVR'd it and did other things.
In 2006 when finances made it impossible to continue to go to races I thought well I can see the races on TV its not 1970's.

Little did I know how wrong I was.
Like many of us, you too are moving on.

You will be my Daly read as long as you choose to keep going. I wish you all the best.

Again Thanks
Jojaye61388 ( old hacked accountname)

Anonymous said...

sounds like your giving up cause the coverage isnt exactly like you think it should be

Jake said...

RIP Economaki,he was a true original,there aren't many like him,especially anymore.Thanks JD for all you've done,you have allowed us fans to voice our true feelings about Nascar topics and let us be heard.We support your decision and will continue to read.

PS This is overdue but i want to sincerely apologize for how i behaved when i first started posting on here(when i was Coffeeshop42).I was trying to fit in,and didn't do a good job of it.I feel bad about it,and i had to get this one out.Thanks for still posting me and talking with me on twitter anyway.Your'e a good man.


Bob in VT said...

I'm sure as long as you're providing the content it will continue to be informed, insightful and interesting to follow. Look forward and appreciate whatever form this site takes going forward.

James said...

You have afforded me the pleasure of venting my frustrations and certainly taken the road less traveled for many of the friends seen on this blog we THANK YOU.

I have to comment on last nights SPEED show to honor the passing of autosports longest journalist and friend. When you listen to how he discribed the demise of the midgets, due to the Curtis made cars being so easy to buy and so superior to the homemade midgets of its day, one looks to the COT and says he predicted it would kill the sport, as it has.

May the sun always be at your back and the wind guide your path.

Buschseries61 said...

Economaki was a little before my time. Despite my limited knowledge, I respect him for all he did to put motorsports in the spotlight for people in my generation. His passing comes at an interesting time when motorsports needs a representative as influential as Economaki.

I think your change is for the best, JD. The TV partners will probably enter a lame duck period over the last 2 years of this tv contract. I've seen a lot change since I began reading this blog.
The motorsports community has shifted from booming confidence (the sky's the limit) to the vulnerable spot it's in right now.

The biggest problem is what you do on the track isn't as important anymore. You can say this has been a part of the sport forever, but the recession really emphasized this. This was the atmosphere of a dying CART in the early 90's. Jeff Gordon turned away from the rent-a-ride atmosphere and took his talents to NASCAR, where talent still had weight...and his career is a great story of success today.

Now in NASCAR it's the bottom line that keeps a sponsor happy, not a championship. It is money that keeps an owner in business and a driver behind the wheel, not finishes. It's a struggle for many in the sport right now, and passionate fans feel it watching at home.

With a rapidly changing media environment, NASCAR could make a big leap ahead or continue to struggle.

Thanks for all you do, JD.

Sally said...

JD, as long as you continue to write, I'll be reading. thanks you for allowing us all to share our frustrations and gripes...and the occasional 'Huzzah'. You have been the light at the end of the tunnel for many of us. Just saying thanks doesn't begin to cover it, but it's the best I've got.

w17scott said...

Mr Editor -
Looking forward to any and all comments you will share ...wishing you fair winds and following seas with Shafer Street memories.

Lou said...

Hello JD,

My post a week or so was going to be my last as I stated. But here I am again.

I can state that I have read every post and comment since 2007. And I understand what is going on. I know things change. But TDP and jayski are always my daly(daily) reads.

You hung in longer than I did for pre race shows. And now I only watch parts of the race. Yep, no DVR, still using my old VCR. Go ahead and make fun. lol. And now reduced at times to watch midweek on speed. How sad is that? But I do have a Blackberry.

Will continue to check daly(daily) for posts. You have given me and many of your faithful followers since 2007. Dot , sophia, stricklin fan, Red. Gotta tell you that if not for you Red and I would not have emailed each other. And I chuckle when I knew who she was and you did not. I moment I will not forget. Check your emails for the history on that. Thanks again. You have given us many moments that we will not forget. Both personal and nascar related. Point, you do make a difference with your blog. I understand career changes, and am thankful that you are continuing. David Poole comes to mind as I type this. I say that in a good way.

What got me hooked to TDP was the things you brought to our attention about the tv broadcast. I as a nascar fan wanted to know more. Now I know what a b-roll is and hate it during green flag racing. The behind the camera stuff you shared with us on many posts. The nuts and bolts that made it happen. I still hunger for more of that.

Just glad this is not goodbye. and look forward to your posts from now forward as we all have. I really do think this blog makes a difference. And thank you for sharing your knowledge with us. It not only has been and continues to be learning experience for you but for your readers of your posts for the knowledge you share with us.

I do not know any other way to thank you for giving us this last six years. But I have spent many hours reading the comments. Especially those four hundred comments of race Sundays. And have learned so much.

OK, now I am.... Never mind. Just thank you for all you do. Just wish I could meet you on my next trip to Disneyworld.


Bobby O said...

Thanks JD!

When all of the best people from a sport die, like CE, and Poole....

Well... we need replacements!

Unfortunately Nascar as it is now, does not want you or Matt McLaughlin and the many other great writers.

Like many others, my loss of interest feels like a death in the family. This site is sort of the funeral for us die hards. We get reminisce, etc... relive some great times, and b_itch about the new stuff!

Well I plan to stop by now and then, so I hope you do well!

Anonymous said...

What a wild ride its been. J.D. I thank you for the opportunity you have given us to continuously voice our opinions. They all have been nothing short of compelling and always were quite intriguing.
Now for the legendary Chris Economaki. He was well before my time. But thanks to the film archive that YouTube has I've become quite familar with his distinct style and voice on numerous formula one broadcasts, Indy 500s on espn classic, and back when speed aired classic NASCAR races the Daytona 500. His persective was always from what he was deep down, a true fan. The Dave Despain special that speed aired last night drove that fact home. He was such an eloquent wordsmith and not only does broadcasting lack without men like him, journalism does too. RIP to a true craftsman. A man who created the craft.
I like mr. Daly have my interest in the sport I once loved dearly dwindle throughout the past few seasons. Just last weekend I declined two free tickets to go to my home race. The very place I defend in July turned out another chcolate milk dud. The saddest thing is that we know the track produce good racing. The drivers now in the sport are just complacent. They ride around lap after lap with zero aggression. It's disappointing to know people line the hill on the backstretch who camp out all weekend to see drivers 'race' and they get rewarded with junk. I'll return next year I'm sure of it. As well they. But I'm not sure how much more of a beating my spirit can withstand.
If I've learned one thing in life, it's that change while unexpected is always a constant. The luxury J.D. Has granted us to voice our opinions at times in response to his has been greatly appreciated. Dare I say all us Planeters are family. And I'm proud of it.
Thanks John.
Sincerely, AveryNH

Sophia said...


Thanks for this blog where I found some great like minded race fans, some which emailed me and some I interact with on Twitter.

BTW, as much as I have loved Twitter since 2008, it has indeed, become saturated as a marketing tool and I am weary of it being 'selectively used on tv in all areas....same with FBook or online media in general. (If I am watching a tv show or not tell me to go to your website for more info/longer interviews This is what TVs are for to bring us the details, not to slack off and throw us to a badly cluttered website... but i digress)

It is sad to read of so many NASCAR fans letting go of a 'long lasting love' and finally realizing 'divorce' is the only option. While that may sound like hyperbole, to those who've loved the sports much longer than I have, it has to feel like the end of a relationship. I realize I got on board late compared to the majority here (2004) but I cam armed with w tapes from a brother of older SPEED shows, and Classic races on ESPN.

Now, I'm happy enough to just read comments online or in the paper about the latest NASCAR races.

I can't takes no more of the 'zoom camera - in car camera- bumper cam/fender cam, lipstick cam, etc - - mania. No doubt chosen by the same immature Powers that Be that think all tv is aimed at young demographics.

I also loved hearing the inside scoop from those bringing us the races from the tracks in almost live time and in more than 140 characters.

Though I use it under under my online pen name, I do use FBook a little but not a fan of it. My love of Twitter is waning and I note the same is happening for my local tweeps.

I also thought I'd never give up watching Tony Stewart race live but. .. since I rarely get to see Tony "race live" I've given up DVRing races.

Sure I can "see" Tony's car on tv, but due to the aforemntioned camera tricks, I never see the race in it's perspectively-needed-wide camera angled-viewing.

Thanks to all who made this a fun place to visit.


RIP Chris E.
I LOVED the interview Dave Despain had with him a few years ago...before his show (Wind Tunnel) show got butchered as in recent months!

53 yr. fan said...

JD, thanks for all your efforts
and perseverance. I think we have
to give up beating the dead horse.
After over 50 years of following
NA$CAR I've found interest in
other sports I had long ignored.
I now enjoy high school sports and
minor league baseball. It's great to see the young kids making their
way up the ladder instead of supporting multimillionaires. I'll still watch racing but not with the previous devotion. Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

Mr Daly, as a loyal fan, I need to tell you I am disappointed with choice of road but you know best. Your presence during live events only enhanced my views of your blog! Twitter is a pain in the butt with its evolution of spam, haters and promoters but nothing beats free exposure. I'll still read the blog but I want more The Daly Planet - not less! Thank you so much for many hours of knowledge and entertainment. I always considered you and Jayski as the pioneers of fans who made the most of the love of NASCAR! God Bless- dara

Anonymous said...

Thank you Mr. Daly for opening my eyes to things I never knew about "behind the scenes". It doesn't matter if we see eye to eye on everything, knowledge is power.I can't thank you enough. God Bless

KoHoSo said...

I could write a lot here -- as I often do :-D -- but I'll just say this because I think everything else has already been said here since 2007.

With a word that got one member of the NASCAR on Fox crew cross with me on Twitter earlier this year, what we are getting through our TV screens now from all three networks is indeed trash. While I will still follow The Daly Planet as I don't think I will ever cease to be fascinated with the workings of the broadcast industry (especially as they try to work with the still-new-to-them online world) plus the fact that JD is an entertaining and informative writer, I am bringing my NASCAR fandom to a close. After 42 years of advocating it, spending on it, and caring about it, even sitting around making fun of it like Mystery Science Theater 3000 is no longer any fun.

Regardless of the change in focus of this blog, we are and always will be the Planeteers. I hope to continue to keep seeing all of you here for many years to come.

As for you steal a bit from Mel Brooks and Roger Waters, I offer you a laurel and hearty handshake for spending almost five full years banging your head up against some poor bugger's wall.

Tim S said...

I can't say anything but thanks, not only to JD but to all the TDP regulars. Those live blogs of the races were some of the most fun I've had following racing in years. Sorry that they ended before I could follow them with the broadcast in one room instead of running back and forth. Like Sophia and Joj, I thought I'd stick with it until Tony (and Mark) was done. But I find anymore that reading how they did suffices at all but my favorite tracks. Even MRN often sounds agenda-laden and skewed. There's more than just the TV coverage at fault, and as long as NASCAR/ISC bigwigs and the select few "chosen ones" are fat & happy, nothing will change. Hope there are still people around to care when they do.

Steve L. said...

JD, it's been a real pleasure getting to know you these past years. I climbed aboard this ship the first year and have been a avid reader and contributor. We've been through a lot and for those who think this site didn't make an impact think again.

We helped remove a few bad race announcers; Rusty, Dr. Jerry Punch to name a couple. Our complaints were heard loud and clear by NASCAR. Sometimes it helped, sometimes it didn't. But, they STARTED listening to us, the fans.

Then Twitter came and gave fans a direct line to NASCAR. When we started here with JD, there wasn't even a way to get a message to NASCAR unless you wrote an actual letter to them. Yes, things have changed, it always does.

I know how you feel as far as NASCAR goes. Last weekend, I DVR'ed the race for first time ever and watched it later in the evening. I'm one of those that watches everything that has to do with NASCAR. But since the COT, I've been loosing interest. Even going to the track to shoot the races feels more like a job. I'm not having as much fun doing it any more.

The new TV contracts have me worried. We need a network that actually likes NASCAR and gives it more respect than we've got the last 10 years. I hope you help guide us through all that when the time comes.

It's been fun JD, and I feel like you're more of a friend than a cyber acquaintance. Keep writing, you're at the top of my favorites list and always will be.

papaserge said...


Thanks for everything you've done to educate NASCAR fans like myself on the media landscape over the past few years.

I've read your stuff since the Erik Kuselias/Doug Banks days of "NASCAR Now," and I'll continue to read your work wherever the road takes you.

NASCAR's powers-that-be should take note. Every time someone like you (a trusted voice of the fans) loses interest, it's going to cause others to contemplate their fandom as well.

I haven't watched a full race since Labor Day. I don't feel like I've missed anything. I took down the collection of NASCAR memorabilia I've had in my bedroom (being a recent college grad, I still live at home) for years.

It's just depressing.

NASCAR Bits & Pieces said...

A: Thanks for what you've done.
B: As always, I'm sure your content will still ring with value.
C: Yes, Twitter, like anything else, gets diluted with the usual noise.
D: Good luck, have fun! I am sure you will bring great points to the forefront, no matter what you cover.
E: That first Anon comment is hilarious. Obviously doesn't come here often.
Chat with you later,
Best regards,

Charlie Spencer said...

JD, whatever else, it's been educational having a peek behind the curtains. Regardless of the format or schedule, I look forward to what you'll present in the future.

"We had been developing the #TDP1 hashtag for weekend Sprint Cup Series races, but that Twitter activity is going to end."

I'm not sure how you're going to
"end" the use of an unrestricted hash tag. One of my problems getting value from Twitter has always been the 'signal to noise' ratio; apparently your threshold has been exceeded too.

Anonymous said...

I would be willing to bet na$car is partying it up right now to know you are not going to be a thorn in their side every weekend. In reality, they should be taking a real hard look at what has driven you away. Please do not stop writing completely. You are one of very few to have articles of worth and not the na$car spin or fluff. Thank you for all you have done and do. MC

Anonymous said...

Enjoy your insightful, unbiased column. Your decision reflects what my family and I also feel. No longer satisfied with "the product" because it has turned into "a product" and not a very good one. No longer a top priority in our lives either.

Michael Stoffel said...

Any WWE fan will recognize this as Sean Michael's "I Lost my Smile" promo. He just needed some time away and returned refreshed. As we hope JD does also.

Sophia said...

Another note.

Before the days of TDP getting on FB and Twitter, I too had a BLAST 'watching the races with these cyber friends' and hearing from technical crews during rain delayed races and such. I learned a lot about uplinks and downlinks and later, how TPTB tell directors what to show and sponsors of top drivers, choked out the sport, literally altering out enjoyment of the sport forever! :(

While we all often had disagreements, there were also some laugh out loud moments here, that could not be done in 140 characters or less.

Then we had the lame trolls that spoiled the fun...we got a little to hurtful with comments here..but that's nothing compared to Twitter !! I can't even read some of the Reds game some use such vulgar language and are so hateful, I think they should not be allowed to use SM !! That's what a block button is for.

Sure we can be critical and some are valid. But the hate speech that is taking over Twitter, along with spammy marketing and 'auto commenting--which I never follow, by the way, I felt our comments were valid. Especially in the camera work which we all agree killed this sport.

But Brian France will never see it. All he sees is $$$$ signs.

SPEED is a joke with Trackside becoming a trashy, dumbed down show. The first shark jump on the show for me was getting rid of Steve Byrnes...after that I only kept up on how bad the show got via twitter and it made me sad.

If the sign waving, drunk crowds were not enough, they added dames to the show. Even NASC Performance got ruined. I loved it when Larry Mac ran the show.

I've nothing against attractive women and have been told I am one...but this fixing things that ain't broke and ruining them, is the theme of the sport of NASCAR.

And SPEED channel.

R.I.P. NASCAR. I Miss Steve B and the guys.


I hope you will talk about Indycar a little...a sport that deserves our love and a better network!

And Robin Miller's grid RUN is a hoot!

Thanks for this blog, even if you and I did not always see eye to eye.

Anonymous said...

West Coast Diane said:

JD,just wanted to say thank you.

The Daly Planet & fellow Planeteers saved my sanity. I remember thinking I'm wasn't crazy. There were others who were seeing...or not seeing...the same as me when watching NASCAR.

It was fun and informative. You educated all of us on the inner workings of the broadcast & cable world.

Most of all, you did make a difference. We have seen some changes. Some, like, bringing Allen Bestwick back I believe happened because of this blog. Oh...and getting rid of Digger! LOL. Unfortunately it appears that the most important change...covering/showing actual racing...they just chose to ignore.

TDP is the only blog I have ever posted on. Thank you for keeping it "family" friendly. I rarely read comments after articles anymore, be it sports, politics, entertainment, whatever. Twitter, in some ways, has become the same. I am all for free speech, but the abiltiy to have public discourse without being crude and just vile at times is disheartening. So, my point is, I appreciate your efforts, which were herculean, in smoting the trolls and keeping a "G" rated site!

I wil continue to read you of course and wish you well.

Thank you....more than these words can say!


Jonathan said...

Well JD you lost me im done coming here if you honestly feel its the bad I guess im out then to. Thanks for everything

Vince said...

JD, sorry to hear you're going to be throttling back on your Twitter use and blogger site. I've pretty much been with you since the start and have thoroughly enjoyed your perspective on the networks and NASCAR. Being able to interact with you on Twitter and email has been a big plus.

I've throttled back my viewing and responding on your blog site the last couple of years myself. Partly because of health issues and mostly just because my interest in NASCAR has gone down the toilet along with NASCAR and the networks coverage. I don't see things getting any better until BZF has nothing more to do with NASCAR.

It's been a pleasure JD and I plan on staying in touch with you with my "unique" view on things, if that's ok. Good luck to you in all of your endeavors.

Also, RIP Chris Economaki. I grew up listening to him on Wide World of Sports and later on CBS. He and Ken Squire set the standard for NASCAR's early broadcasts on TV. Our newer media could learn tons from those two guys. Hint, hint.

Take care JD and don't be a stranger on Twitter or email. It's been a great ride.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for all you have done. I truly appreciated the time you spent informing us

Since the "smart guys" told me this morning that my driver will not win anymore this year, then I will go on with my life and check back in February. As for today it will be the Ryder Cup. Go USA!!

Lisa Hogan said...

As I have posted before, at the end of last season, my frustration meter had pegged. This season, I have not watched any of the three series race live. I was the last of my family and friends to drop off the live coverage.

I always read your live race coverage blogs and the comments after I had watched the race.

I understand your decision and will continue to read whatever you post and wish you well.

As always, thanks.

Anonymous said...


I guess Dover leads to tight shots but take ONE wide shot Please.

Is The ESPN Director the same as the FOX director?

MortonGroveDon said...

JD I totally understand. I spent the week volunteering at the Ryder Cup and had the time of my life. I too, have gotten to the point where Ihave cut back on Nascar, Iam ending my fantasy league after 8 years. I simply dont watch enough to care about it week after week. Someone said it before me.."the lack of agression" says it in a nutshell.....enjoy your newfound time. I am..

Buschseries61 said...

I got a kick out of your update! I ended up only watching (and enjoying) the Truck race at Las Vegas this weekend. I spent time with family instead of watching the Dover races.

West Coast Kenny said...


After everything the others have said, my kudos and thanks will sound fulsome, but I need to say 'em and you need to hear 'em.

Thank you for being such a wise shepherd for our flock. I recall with fondness (and a bit of embarrassment) a couple of private email slaps on the wrist you gave me some years ago.

You've never taken advertising, not even Google Adsense, and
you have given of your time and expertise so generously without reserve for no tangible personal benefit other than knowing you enriched our race day experience, whether it was the live blog, the #TDP1 hashtag, or the midweek inside information about the inner workings of the motorsports television business.

You and the Planeteers have seen my notes become much less frequent and I've spoken frankly of my NASCAR ennui as I grew less attached to the sport and the coverage. I did not see a single moment of live or recorded NASCAR in the last two weeks, and I wasn't surprised to notice I didn't care.

I still keep up by reading the Planet, Jeff Gluck and my young journalist friend Matt Weaver on SB Nation, and an occasional link off Jayski. (I notice that The NASCAR Insiders seem to have dropped off the face of the earth, and are not answering any personal emails.)

NASCAR has become to me like an old flame who I was very much enamoured with for a long while, but now we just can't be together any more. She still looks good to me but I just can't spend all my time with her. I wish her the best and if she wanted to, I'd spend a naughty weekend with her, but that would be the end of it. So don't be surprised if I say I've watched Daytona or Dega.

As your own interest waned, in retrospect, it's clear you've been foreshadowing this development somewhat subtly over the past season.

I'll still be around, like most of the other Planeteers, so this is not goodbye.

West Coast Kenny
aka KennFong1 (FB/Twitter)

(If you are ever in Northern California, I hope you'll look me up so I can express my gratitude in person to you over a spicy Hunan lunch in San Francisco, followed by a one block walk to a microbrewery.)

tom in dayton said...

Mr. D.:

Wow, I leave for a weekend racing trip to Dover and come back finding this change!

Before I watch the DVR recording of the Dover race, I'll tell you that the thrill is still there watching 43 racecars coming to the green flag, with the sights and sounds still as vibrant as they were back in the sixties. And yes, there was racing all around the track. It's why I try to go to as many NASCAR races(cup, Busch and truck) as I can each season, because if I only watched what was presented to me on the TV I might be discouraged as are many of me fellow posters here.
Anymore, I usually stream MRN/PRN and turn the TV on only to see any action described to me by the radio. Funny that, in the sixties and after, the radio was the only venue to get the live action and I've come full circle in 2012.
I give the benefit of the doubt to Alan B. for commentary, but his producers really let him down by putting the visuals in front of him which are usually so out of sinc with what he is trying to describe in reality from what the storyline is from the trailer.

Some notes:
I know several drivers very well and their opinion of the Chase is nothing of what the media's concerns are of. They simply see the final ten races as races to be won or to get the best final placement as they can.
Second, the crowds are still there, but not as much as they were five years ago. In talking to a senior member of NASCAR (who started by selling consessions at the Bristol track so many years ago), his belief is that the core fans are there, but much has to be done to get a lot of the others back.
Third, I truly regret that I wasn't able to get the "Digger" mug to Sophia. Even though I'm only thirty to fourty miles north of her, I was not sure that she would really appreciate "Digger"!

Anyway, I was (and still am) delighted that, through Jayski, I was able to start following the DALY PLANET in 2007, and I will be looking forward to your commentary going forward.

You have my gratitude and very great appreciation over these past years for this blog.

tom in dayton said...

Mr. D.:

I totally left out my remembrance To Mr. E.

In the late sixties, we were at Road Atlanta for the SCCA championships. In the motel we were staying, we had brought the racecar back to do some additional work. Out in the parking lot, with multiple trouble lights and bodies, we were working when an authorian voice asked if we needed any help. He was pressed into service and afterward my dad(the driver and owner of the race team) asked him to join us for dinner. His stories that night live in my memory to this day. Whenever I saw him at later events, he always remember that night, and I'm sorry to learn of his passing.

Dannyboy said...

As a participant/correspondent of TDP since before Twitter I think I understand the changes you are making, JD. It looks to me like you want some time to yourself on the weekends ;-)As a 6-day a week business owner, I certainly understand. It has led me to be a lot more jealous of my Sundays. And frankly there is just too much going on opn my one day off to sit in front of a TV for 3+ hours for a race - well most of them anyway -much less pre and post race shows. The product is simply just not as compelling as it once was.

Frankly, this hapopened to me and my NASCAR viewing once before - in the 80s-90s. But then I discovered a little chat show on an obscure channel called Speedvision, and my motorsports viewing life was changed forever. Inside Winston Cup with M Waltrip, Ken Schrader, Johnny Benson and host Allen Bestwick brought my interst in NASCAR back to front & center. The changes since then have been almost all bad, and that's a damn shame. Life goes on. It was a great 15+ years for me, but NASCAR is now just one of many interests that vie for my time.

Thanks for the forum, and the inside info. I will miss your RTs, many of which became must-read for me, even though my Twitter use has been curtailed by other pressures.

I look forward as always to your observations on the broadcast media.Thanks again for all the effort.

GinaV24 said...

JD, thank you for all you've done for NASCAR fans over the past several years. I have enjoyed reading and posting comments with you and the many planeteers who have become online friends. Your insight into the workings of TV have helped me understand so much more about how sports are broadcast and also make me realize that I wasn't crazy to think that things were NOT what they had been in the TV broadcasts. I will continue to read whatever columns you write and know that the topics will be interesting.

I only knew Economaki from TV but even from that small a perspective, he was an amazing person and talent. Now we have people like DW, Rusty and heaven help us, Brad D. These people disrespect drivers openly from the booth. Yech!

I was at Dover yesterday and so did not bother to record the broadcast. I don't find enough of interest in the broadcast to bother wasting the digital space. In person, the race was fairly uninteresting. I think at one point there were 7 cars on the lead lap. We had bets on what lap Danica would be lapped - it was lap 20 if anyone is interested. I was sitting in the stands thinking of all the things I could be doing and the race hadn't even hit halfway yet. It's a shame, I used to love going to a race, when being there in person has lost it's charm, no wonder that I can't stand watching it on TV.

Joj said -- I hear you. My driver is Jeff Gordon. I had the same thoughts - I'll stick with this until he retires. Honestly I thought he would do that in 2010 when the DuPont contract ended. I still enjoy watching Jeff race, but it isn't the same.

As I said, I was at Dover yesterday, the stands on the front stretch were relatively full, turns 1 and 2 were empty, we sat in turn 4 and there were rows of empty seats and this is with reduced ticket prices. Brian France can continue to say la, la, la everything is wonderful. The fans have obviously voted with their choice to not attend races. Yes,the economy is still poor but I really don't think that is the entire story.

JD, I'm am so glad to hear that you will continue the blog even though the twitter deal on race day will be done. You sure did fight the good fight for all of us. Take care and see you here soon.

MRM4 said...

Saw a comment by Kyle Busch on Twitter where he waited for 10 minutes at the hauler expecting some interviews. He said no one showed up. That sums up the Chase coverage by both TV and the print media.

Zetona said...

I hope the state of the sport and the TV coverage finally takes an upswing next season and that at least some of your interest in the sport can return, JD. If not—well, IndyCar just announced a pretty exciting schedule/TV deal.

One quick comment on the race. I liked the way ESPN covered the last green-flag stretch. They provided good information about the fuel situations of the various teams and kept me well-appraised of the progress of most of the cars in the top 10. The first 300 laps I only halfway paid attention to, given that it seemed to take half a fuel run to be able to catch and pass even one car in the top 5.

Dot said...

I want to say thank you to you JD. If not for you, I would not have met my many friends here at TDP. I have converted a lot of them to Twitter friends. :)

I am going to miss your columns, but I will continue to read you in the new format.

JD, if you're ever in Las Vegas, you're invited to dinner for some "sketti". ;)

glenc1 said...

There’s a story up from Sports Business Journal on the NASCAR negotiations, saying that their deal with Fox is close. It also speculates that, believe it or not, even though ratings are down, the product might be part of a bidding war next year with ESPN, NBC sports, and TNT (which apparently wants more races) and could be worth even *more* than it was. Which means no one is going to care about the quality of the product we get--as long as Brian is making his money, what does he care? Sigh.

Chris Economaki was a legend. I will miss hearing that gravely voice and his words of wisdom and humor. Thanks, Tom in Dayton, for sharing that story. He was that kind of guy. And thanks to SPEED for the re-air of the Wind Tunnel he did with Dave. I had seen it, but enjoyed seeing it again. With no SPEED, there would be no places for that kind of programming.

John—thanks for allowing us to vent & share. I do believe some good was done largely because of your efforts. I look forward, actually to future discussions on motorsports TV.

James said...

If the economy is the reason that the stands appeared very empty, I wonder what the thrilling action on track with only two (2) passes for the lead under green (others where made under yellow) in 400 laps of racing can be made for what once was a great competitive race track? What will it take for management to admit they made a huge error. Fans are not willing to spend the time and/or the money to watch "fluff", in person or on TV.

Arian Gomez said...

Freaking cool story right there, Tom.

Anonymous said...

JD, meeting Dot in Vegas last year was a hoot! You'd enjoy it.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for everything John. Rather sorry to see your view of the weekly races changed along with mine. I'm just a motorsport fan, as you are, trying to roll with what I like vs. reality.
Glad to hear you will still be commenting & printing the truth. The Media Nation of NASCAR et al will go on, as will the fans who love motorsports. We will find enjoyment in a way that works for each of us.
Thanks again, Donna.

Darcie said...

JD, although my interest in Nascar has diminished, I always held you and your blog in the highest regards. Unfortunately, the know-it-alls in both Nascar and TV didn't have the intelligence to contact you to get a better perspective of all things Nascar and TV. If they had, perhaps the sport wouldn't be dying the way it is.

I, for one, have never bought into Twitter. I always felt it was stupid and misused in many circumstances. I'm not sorry to see you and others abandon Twitter. But I will miss reading your blog and the comments of those here who had similar interests in Nascar racing and it's TV production. I wish you the best.

KudzuCarl said...

JD: Just want to say thank you for providing a site where I had friends to get together with to watch a race. I was sorry to see the live blog end, but also enjoy creatively commenting in 140 characters or fewer. And if it wasn't for you, I never would have heard Ancient Racer's story about the mud in Atlanta.....

All the best.

Oh - and for a kid growing up in the 60's, Chris Economaki was THE VOICE of motorsports. I can still hear him bringing the race to life whether it was some major event or the figure 8 races at Islip. Godspeed.


Alex Jordan said...

I agree with Zetona about what she says about how ESPN handled the final green flag run at Dover. While ESPN's prerace show is all about the Chase-they didn't even mention the situation with Regan Smith and Kurt Busch, it looks like ESPN is letting the Chase fall where it does and just covers the race. And that's a good thing.

Anonymous said...

I started out a NASCAR fan, but have become more of an IndyCar fan after attending a race a few years ago. Some of their announcers are awful too, but I enjoy the shorter races.

Cup races are too darned long. I used to watch all the pre-race shows and Trackside, but quit them all years ago. Dumb stuff. I check in on the races from time to time, but I never watch an entire Sunday afternoon Cup race (except the Daytona 500).