Thursday, September 20, 2007

Brad Daugherty Replaces Andy Petree For Dover Busch Race

The NASCAR on ESPN team will change slightly for the Busch Series events at Dover and Kansas City. Brad Daugherty will join Dr. Jerry Punch in the booth as an analyst during both events.

This Saturday at Dover, Andy Petree will step aside and Daugherty will join Rusty Wallace and Punch as the announce team. On the Kansas City race, Wallace will take a break and Daugherty will work with Punch and Andy Petree.

As you may remember from an earlier Daly Planet column, Daugherty moved up to the booth from the infield during both the practice and qualifying shows on ESPN2 at Richmond.

This season, Daugherty has been fighting an uphill battle for credibility with the viewers. Putting him in the booth at Richmond was the best thing ESPN has done with him all season. Free of the confines of the Infield Studio, Daugherty was a very different person.

NASCAR fans who caught ESPN2's long day of qualifying and practice at Richmond may have come away with a new opinion of Daugherty's NASCAR credentials. He made a long telecast very enjoyable, and worked well in that environment.

By this time of the season most fans know Daugherty has been an owner in the Busch and Truck Series, where he has won races in both. Kevin Harvick and the late Kenny Irwin Jr. were the most notable drivers who have raced for Daugherty.

Many times this year The Daly Planet has asked ESPN to let Daugherty spread his wings and get involved in some news reporting, preparing a feature report, or taking Suzy Kolber's place when she does her live starting grid interviews. The first opportunity for change came at Richmond, and Daugherty made the most of it. Now, another higher profile assignment is on tap.

Last week, it was tough for him to be placed alongside Rusty Wallace and Dale Jarrett in the Infield Studio for Sunday's NASCAR Countdown. Things did not get testy, but there was a whole lot of disagreeing on some of Daugherty's opinions about The Chase this season. Unfortunately, the opposing opinions came from both of the veteran drivers. Daugherty, however, deserves credit for sticking to his guns and continuing to voice his views.

This Saturday, there is a live college football game at noon on ESPN2. Normally, these games are taking slightly longer than three and a half hours to complete. Unfortunately, NASCAR Countdown is scheduled at 3PM, and the Busch Series race at 3:30PM. They are also on ESPN2.

It could make for a very interesting Saturday afternoon, as all the other ESPN Networks are also carrying live college football in-progress at 3:30PM when the race telecast is supposed to begin. For the Busch Series, there is nowhere to run.

Unless East Carolina and West Virginia's football teams decide to speed-up the action, there is a good possibility that NASCAR Countdown and possibly the race telecast will be affected. At 6PM, ESPN2 has its marquee football match-up of Kentucky vs. Arkansas, so it is doubtful that the start of the Busch race will be delayed.

Into this scenario marches Daugherty, with his first assignment in the booth for a live NASCAR race. In many ways, it will be a fitting test for someone who has hung-in there this season through a lot of adversity and carved his own niche. His role as the "voice of the fans" was new, and uncharted territory in TV land is always tough.

SPEED steps-in to cover the Busch Series practice on Friday at 1:30PM, and qualifying on Saturday at noon. They are also busy with the Craftsman Trucks live from Las Vegas on Saturday night at 8:30PM. ESPN2 sneaks in NASCAR practice for one hour at 11AM on Saturday morning. All these times are Eastern Daylight.

So, off we go into an interesting three day weekend in Dover. Even as Junior stories continue to take center stage, ESPN2 makes a move that puts Brad Daugherty in the broadcast booth alongside Jerry Punch and Rusty Wallace on Saturday.

Hopefully, this move will yield positive results for all those involved, and put some more attention on the struggling Busch Series as they move toward the end of their season.

The Daly Planet welcomes comments from readers. Simply click on the COMMENTS button below, or email if you wish not to be published. Thanks again for taking the time to stop-by and leave your opinion.


Anonymous said...

Daugherty, however, deserves credit for sticking to his guns and continuing to voice his views.

...despite the fact that he's got no background to support them, sure.

Look, having your business manager buy a racing team for you and having someone else run it doesn't mean you suddenly have the background or knowledge it takes to have an informed view on the sport, even if you were listed as the team's owner on the paperwork.

Brad's as much as said he doesn't know NASCAR--"I'm a basketball guy," he said in one pre-race show--so what the heck is he doing on the telecast? Voice of the fan, my you-know-what.

You know, I know, the American people know, and HE even knows, because he's admitted it--he's there because of his skin color. That's wrong.

ESPN/ABC should hire Bill Lester, who sounds danged professional to me in TV interviews, if you want to have a black guy on the air. He's driven in a NASCAR series and can back up his statements with real-world experience.

Then you don't face the embarrassment of having a token minority on the air, demonstrating his lack of familiarity with he topic.

stricklinfan82 said...

So... ESPN will let Speed Channel televise Busch Series practice on Friday morning but not Cup practice? What's up with that?

Saturday is going to be a disaster for NASCAR fans. College football games typically last at least 3 1/2 hours so let's look at Saturday's ESPN2 TV Schedule:

College Football: 12:00-3:00
NASCAR Countdown: 3:00-3:30
Busch Race: 3:30-5:30
College Football Pre-Game: 5:30-6:00
College Football: 6:00-9:00

Countdown to Green? Forget about it, no chance we'll see that on TV. ESPN and ESPN Classic already have college football games on at 3.

There's a great chance that the first football game will run later than 3:30, which will cause us to miss the start of the race (green flag probably at around 3:45 I'm guessing?). ESPN and ESPN Classic have live college football games on at 3:30 so there's no TV outlet left to shift the Busch race coverage to.

If the green flag falls at 3:45 and the race takes the same 2 hr. 9 min. the spring race at Dover did, that takes us to 5:54 PM. That might barely leave enough time for a rushed winner's interview. Sprinkle in a few extra caution flags than the spring race, our post-race coverage is gone. Lord forbid there be a red flag for track cleanup, SAFER Barrier repair, or a rain delay, NASCAR fans will be in DEEP trouble.

This isn't going to be good folks.

Anonymous said...

Are you saying we might miss the beginning and possibly, if the race runs long into football, the end of the race? Would the football game start late if the race runs long due to a red flag?

Tripp said...

Somewhat schizophrenic.

It's hard to know whether those here want Brad to succeed or banned from the NASCAR landscape. It's a secret to no one that he doesn't have the bona fides that Brewer, Wallace, or even Bestwick and Punch have.

Daugherty has been repeatedly roasted for his work in the booth for not being more than he has repeatedly said he is. His role is undiscovered country in the realm of motor racing coverage. ESPN deserves some credit for trying something different and Brad does too for putting himself in the cross hairs.

It's easy to sit in the cheap seats and toss rotten tomatoes at the guys in the spotlight. If those here think they know more than those pulling down six-digit salaries, make suggestions. Offer something better for ESPN to do.

This has worked in the past. Loud bleating wanted cameras to catch all the top finishers crossing the finish line. Voices were heard and the viewers got what they wanted.

Offering suggestions is a much more creative solution to the problems with NASCAR broadcasts than simply taking pot shots. YOS has been guilty of this too. But perhaps the ongoing sniping at Mr. Daugherty has touched a nerve.

Let the man do his job. He's shown talent, thoughtfulness and enthusiasm. He's gone full bore into this new role, and it's hard to fault him for that. Two veteran drivers argued against his point of view last weekend and everyone assumes Brad is wrong. He may well be, but find a crew chief that says their driver is always right. What's wrong with conflicting opinions. It keeps Sirius NASCAR radio on the air 24/7.

Brad is doing his job a bit better each time he looks into the camera. Giving him a chance to grow his role could be a very smart move. Let's hope college football doesn't take that opportunity away.

Oh, and skin color should be irrelevant. If it's not, there are bigger problems in NASCAR-land than are talked about here.

Anonymous said...

Brads favorite word "opportunity". You will hear that word at least 27 times in the broadcast. I am sick of hearing of Brads Busch Series team ownership. That ship has "sailed" in the words of Jerry Punch. Brad is going to play the straight man roll for ESPN no matter how many failed attempts he has had in NASCAR racing. ESPN is trying very hard to turn NASCAR into a stick and ball sport, dont believe me? Jerry Punch just last week " those pit crew guys are for the most part college athletes". Drape that stupidity with Brent going on and on about baseball and football, with a splash of stick and ball reporters who do good just to know what NASCAR actually stands for -- and you have an ESPN broadcast. The emphasis is on stick and ball, and heaven forbid a game run late, because NASCAR is going to take it in the shorts. ESPN is really not set-up to broadcast NASCAR, no matter how much money they throw at it. Andy is (was) the only person in the three man line up with sense. I give up, I really give up.

Anonymous said...

If those here think they know more than those pulling down six-digit salaries, make suggestions. Offer something better for ESPN to do.

Read the first comment on this page.

Anonymous said...

He's gone full bore into this new role, and it's hard to fault him for that.

And if that's all it took to be a credible racing commentator, then he'd be doing the job.

But it isn't.

National TV broadcasts are not the place for him to be learning his role or polishing his skills or growing into the job.

It's insulting to us as fans and viewers to subject us to an announcer who is inexperienced, doesn't know the sport well, but gosh, he's trying really, really hard.

When ESPN starting bringing the "voice of the fans" into national broadcasts of NFL games in the form of someone from, say, a race team--then we'll see how well this "let him learn" concept flies.

Anonymous said...

brad for andy?? maybe brad for rusty,not brad for andy. far too many experienced folks out there to do the job that espn maybe should look to for the sake of a good show,to promote nascar,themselves,to the fans. disney needs to stick with cartoons and movies.

Tripp said...

It's clear that people either love Brad or they hate him. That's a personal preference and that's OK.

As far as putting Bill Lester in the booth, that is a great idea if he wanted to do that. He's a very bright, passionate and articulate man.

Anonymous at 7:19 missed the stated point. Brad is developing a TV role that has heretofore never been done in racing. It's much easier for Rusty, Jerry and Andy to perform roles that were established by the likes of Ken Squire and Ned Jarrett. There has never been a "voice of the fan" before and Brad and the network are working out how that should play into the broadcast. The concept may or may not be valid. One cannot fault them both for trying something new.

Anonymous said...

I'm sick of hearing Brad Daughtery's voice. In any position. JMHO

Unknown said...

Voice of the fans? Wasn't that Tom Arnold and/or Dennis Miller?
At least Daugherty was a fan. (see his jersey number-43-and yes, because of RP!

Anonymous said...

I've said from the beginning that Daugherty is the best thing ESPN/ABC has going for them. They already have such miserable coverage of NASCAR(even worse than TNT) that maybe they should get rid of Dr. Jerry Punch and trhat fool from the tech center.

Anonymous said...

Brad is developing a TV role that has heretofore never been done in racing.

Maybe that's because it's a silly idea that adds nothing to the coverage of the race.

Where's ESPN's Voice of the Fan in NFL coverage or MLB telecasts?

Anonymous said...

I will admit that Brad brings enthusiasum to the booth, but little else. He seems to switch roles as he sees fit. He goes from a owner to a fan at the drop of a hat. Now, yes, he can be both but he doesn't acurratly represent either side. As the owner he needs to explain about the sponsorships, money needs and interaction with the drivers and he hasn't done that. And I would be willing to bet that he hasn't spent alot of time in traffic getting to the track, tailgating and watching the race from the stands. That would be the "voice of the fans". The view as a fan is much different for those that get 1st class treatment, catered lunches and air conditioned boxes to watch the race than for the average fan. Brad needs to define his role but he can't replace Petree, Petree has too much knowledge as both an owner and crew chief. If Brad wants to be the voice of the fans put him in the parking lots and stands to do stories from there, that would be interesting.

Anonymous said...

Let's look at some possible scenarios that could be played out in this "announcing swap".
One- It may or may not be the "skin color" as some have suggested, but certainly plausable given the current MNF booth staff.
Two- Perhaps the producer is sick and tired of the sniping between Rusty and Brad, so he is putting the two together to see if there is some legitimate friction that needs to be laid to rest(read:Kevin Harvick as in-race reporter)You know ESPN does not like to be slighted.
Three: They are testing the chemistry between all those involved for a future permanent booth change. My money is on Dr. Jerry Punch being the one shown the door. One place he could land, if it is not at the track, is back to college football games as a sideline reporter(which is what he did for the last 6 seasons.)
Certainly some people believe that the networks will listen to the fans, but I truly believe that is utter hogwash. If anything, the networks love to "you know what" down the viewers' backs and tell them it's raining. If 100% of the fans want Rusty out of the booth, I gaurantee you that he will stay, and the fan favorite will go. The networks will do as they please, as if we couldn't tell already.

Anonymous said...

Brad Daugherty might be there instead of Andy Petree, but there's no way on God's Green Earth that Daugherty could ever replace Andy. That would be like trying to replace my 426 CID Chrysler "Hemi" with a 5 horse Briggs & Stratton.

Anonymous said...

Good gosh, folks, this is a network sports broadcast!

It is NOT the place to put an enthusiastic-but-uninformed guy who's trying hard, or for a producer to put two people together on-air as an experiement.

This is yet another example of the fact that ESPN thinks NASCAR is not a "real" sport worthy of the professional treatment they give stick and ball sports.

Anonymous said...

It just keeps getting worse and worse with each week. Instead of trying to improve with the group we've been suffering with each week, ESPN decides to try something like this at this point in the season? What's next, week after next are we going to have Brad and Suzi calling the race? (That's where nightmares come from..)

This late in the game, (OMG, did I just type a S&B reference?), they should be at their best with every thing involved with covering a race. Not 'trying' something new....(hands up in the air!)

Anonymous said...

I kinda like Brad, so I guess I disagree with most of ya'll. As for pedigree, who says you have to have pedigree to be a racin' fan. Brad is true blue North Carolina Race fan, has been since he was a boy. I remember when he was at UNC playing basketball and a tv interview background story was done on him. Most college age kids doing these interviews talked about music stars and rappers as idols. Brad was a racing fan. So what did he do with his basketball money? Went out and bought a race team and tried to get into the sport, starting in Busch. Sound familiar? can you say Football and Coach Gibbs? The guy is pleasant, isn't a "know it all" who is hung up on himself and his own career which has passed (cough) Rusty/Darrell (cough). Go get'em Brad, not everyone hits a homer on their first trip to the plate. I think a lot of folks don't like him because of his background (african american and basketball), but brad is a western north carolina race fan who's been "one of us" probably a lot longer than most of the bandwagon jumpers.

Anonymous said...

I think a lot of folks don't like him because of his background (african american and basketball),

I think that overlooks everything else we've been saying.

Are you suggesting that anyone who grew up in North Carolina and has loved racing (but hasn't actually done it) should be allowed to be a network race commentator? I'd like them to have a little more knowledge of the sport than that.

By the way, how's his Busch team doing? Oh, wait, he doesn't own it anymore. Lifelong dream, huh?

JHD said...

Ah yes. Let's just assume that because people are expressing an opinion that Daugherty shouldn't be in the broadcast booth, that it's immediately due to racism. It can't possibly be for other reasons that have nothing to do with his skin color or background.

Personally, I don't want Rusty Wallace in the booth either, and he's white bread AND a former driver.

I am willing to reserve judgment until I actually hear a race called by Brad, but as of right now, I don't think he's got what it takes to do play-by-play anything. Not NASCAR, not basketball, not a playground tetherball competition.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Let's keep the focus of the comments on Brad and his Busch race. There have been lots of good thoughts and very different opinions.


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Sophia said...

I do not know what to make of this move at all.

ONLY WHY NOT TAKE OUT RUSTY? He is the one that drives most folks nuts. Even columnist writers are griping about him with the same gripe; It's like Rusty is stupid and FORGETS he ever raced?! What's next in the booth? Dennis Miller? A cub scout?
Oh, or maybe a black comedian? Not to make it a skin color issue...

I cannot TOLERATE Rusty and he is white and UNBELIEVABLY (by his announcing) A former racer. Since I have no radio for Busch races, I guess I will give my opinion on Brad after the race.

But I remember at Dega or somewhere, there was a big race and he just looked around grinning at the big one and seemed like an 8 year old. Then again, I guess it could be GENUINE excitement.

Better than Crusty Rusty LAUGHING at Waltrip spinning out and missing last weeks qualifying...I missed seeing that but read about it.

I am wondering if the race will end up on ESPN CLASSIC which is on digital now with TW. Thankfully two tv's in the house have Digital but that STINKS for REAL NASCAR FANS w/o access to Classic if that's where the race ends up.

Hmmm as I edit this, I realize some of us are saying the same thing about this change in announcers.

I saw GIVE US A NO ANNOUNCER RACE....just CAR NOISE and maybe the pitstop guys. Remember when they ran a football game with NO ANNOUNCERS VOICE back in what, 1980. See we were griping about announcers way back then. :0

Anonymous said...

As I said before! Who is this Brad guy and whats he got to do with it???

WickedJ said...

i came here to say everything the first person said

Daugherty is a waste on a NASCAR Telecast

if Riki Rachtman can start a petition to bring the 8 to HMS im starting a petition to replace Punch with Allen Bestwick

Anonymous said...

Please, oh please God, let them talk about anything except jr. I for one am sick and tired of jr all day, all night.

Anonymous said...

Oh Please!
I like Daugherty, but let's get rid of Rusty PLEASE!!! He is one reason why NASCAR is losing viewers!! The other is ESPN2 (or ESPN or Disney)! They are ruining my raceday! Give us SPEED (and all those boys and Wendy V) and leave football and all that other crap to ESPN so I don't have to watch it! Who else but ESPN would interupt the race for a "race recap" using graphics that obliterate the actual current race????

Anonymous said...

To the guy venting about six figure salaries. Some of us here do drag down six figure incomes and over the years have made plenty of suggestions to NASCAR. The trouble is, you cant talk to a brick wall my friend. The giant gorilla bleeds money and its so big they dont realize its bleeding at all. Dont assume everyone here works for McDonalds, you may be surprised.

Anonymous said...

Brad Daugherty replaces Andy Petree, no way he might "take over" for Andy in the booth but in no way does he replace him. Just one more way that NASCAR is screwing up, take a man that knows NASCAR in & out & put a basketball player to sub for him stupid move, Daughterty doesnt know a nano byte of what Petree knows about NASCAR or the cars or the drivers, put him back where he belongs announcing basketball,even I could do better than him for racing.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the stick and ball network might as well canvas the grandstand find the fan that's tailgated the least and give a fan chance to announce the race. With Rusty, Eric Kasillness, and Daugherty ESPN has fielded the poorest and weakest group of on air personalities ever seen on a racing telecast. Rusty is boring, Eric and Brad bring nothing to the dance in terms of knowledge of the sport if they want someone go to the group of go-homers each week and pick one. ESPN relegated Nascar to the same as table tennis when they lost the contract a few years ago and now they are paying the price with poor broadcasts and equally poor coverage personalities. Jerry Punch is the one top hand in the whole bunch

Anonymous said...

ESPN's coverage of qualifying is the worst ever. They don't keep you up to date on the go or go home drivers. They need to leave the crawl going at the top of the screen instead of taking it off when they go to a shot of Jamie Little's BOOBS!!!!!

evision said...