Monday, September 27, 2010

Your Turn: Sprint Cup Series From Dover On ESPN (Update - Read Fan Comments)

Sunday afternoon the NASCAR on ESPN team presented the second race in the 2010 Chase for the Championship. The Sprint Cup Series started the day on ESPN2 with a one hour pre-race show.

Allen Bestwick, Rusty Wallace and Brad Daugherty appeared from the Infield Pit Studio. Bestwick interviewed Richard Childress and Mike Helton about the issues associated with the penalties handed down to the #33 team of Clint Bowyer.

Marty Reid, Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree called the race in the TV booth. Down on pit road were Dr. Jerry Punch, Vince Welch, Dave Burns and Jamie Little. Tim Brewer was in the Tech Garage.

The day was long due to the lack of real racing and the inability of the cars to pass each other on the track. The normal tight Dover racing never happened, but teams instead struggled with changes made by the pit crew on stops.

The TV pictures were fine and there were no technical problems. The race ended at 4:20PM ET with no red flag periods or extended cautions. There was weather in the area, but no rain halted the race at any point.

This post will host your TV-related race wrap-up comments. To add your opinion, just click on the comments button below. This is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind when posting. Thank you for stopping by The Daly Planet.


Daly Planet Editor said...

Hosting your comments on the TV coverage of the Dover race.

Anonymous said...

Poor Paul Menard.

JJFan1993 said...

How are you going to go to commercial in the last 10 laps? ESPN went from trying to be the best at coverage to the worst! First time fans tune in to see the start and finish, not the middle of the race. Pick up your game! I'll be happy when NASCAR on Fox comes back.

Daly Planet Editor said...

And that last commercial was under green flag racing. That was amazing.

Anonymous said...

This was just awful..give JJ the trophy and put us out of our misery.

OSBORNK said...

Thank goodness it's over! I thought this was a very boring race as presented made worse by retarded booth monkeys. I would have left and gone for a motorcycle ride except for the rain. If the racing and coverage continues like today, I will find something else to do.

Anonymous said...

Others have said this--but having commercials during the last 10 laps of green flag racing is just a slap in the face of Nascar fans. It looked like they even had to cut the last one short to get back before the checkered flag. Who wouldn't want to see the Earnhardt's talking about their insurance company for the 1000th time rather than real racing? Who makes the decision when to go to commercials? Were their extra spots to show because there were fewer yellow flags than expected?

Anonymous said...

I was stunned they went to a commercial break as well. I am done. It's football season anyway. NASCAR needs to need their season on Labor Day weekend.

Anonymous said...

I don't know why we have to post the same stuff every week because it is clear that ESPN is stubborn. Look at what Nascar has become limping home at the end of every race. Sad,sad,sad.

Anonymous said...

Here's what I'm trying to figure out. I started watching Nascar and reading this blog in 2007 and each year there's been problems with one or more of the broadcasters. The thing is, I loved the racing in 2007, 2008, probably even 2009. And that was despite TNT in 2007, Jerry Punch, etc. But now I just find so many of the races to be dull. Maybe the problem is me.

Anonymous said...

these idiots don't even show the points position? come on espn.

Shannon3n88 said...

EPIC fail at the attempt to manufacture drama where there was none.

EPIC fail for shoddy coverage. Are there no more cameras to put around the track to bring us constant footage of JJ?

MASSIVELY EPIC FAIL for cutting to commercial inside ten laps to go. ESPN didn't do that during the Little League World Series, so why do it with NASCAR?

EPIC fail on my part for thinking (hoping?) today's broadcast would be different. It's the clinical definition of insanity: repeating the exercise but expecting different results.

Travis B said...

That was absolutely terrible! I have been somewhat upset with the tv coverage for a while, but it really hasn't bothered me enough to really get upset. But I'm ticked off! I should just not even watch it and just watch my trackpass. It's terrible. There are so many commercials! It is so stupid. Hasn't ESPN gotten their heads out of their butts yet? Nobody whatches them anyway. Bring Side-by-Side to NASCAR. Either they can have fewer commercials by choice,
or they can just wait for no one to ever watch so sponsors won't pay anything at all.


Roland said...

I wish I was an NFL fan. This sport is dying. Thank you Espn for another Jimmie love fest.

Anonymous said...

Jimmie won. Ctrl Alt Del

Vicky D said...

JD, I think MR did a better job calling the races before he got (and read) the memo from ESPN top dogs to follow the script during the broadcasts or else. It's unfortunate that the viewers have to sit through this and try to watch. How many times do we have to complain about the same thing before ESPN/Nascar will do anything to improve them. Like others have said too much emphasis on JJ, going to commercial with under 10 laps to go, not showing the others that aren't in the chase. That's my beef!

Dannyboy said...

Every week, I think, "What else can they do to make my NASCAR viewing less enjoyable?" Today I was also watching football; every time I switched to ESPN, they went to commercial within seconds. Once or twice is coincidence; this was disgusting.

But wait! Then they left with 10 to go on a track where laps are 23 seconds. ARE YOU KIDDING ME????

Lisa Hogan said...

I took an informal survey this past week and asked friends and family how they watched the races. I was the only one who watches “live”. Everyone else watches delayed through DVR and FF through commercials or record and watch in the evening and also FF through commercials. I am told that before ESPN took over the Cup races that this was a random event; but, now it is their standard practice.

I do not watch NFL so ESPN is driving me away all on their own. It is obvious that the ESPN marketing group is selling “green flag” commercial time to advertisers. Somehow they are convincing the advertisers that this will get viewers to watch the commercials. I have breaking news for advertisers: The plan has backfired.

I want to watch the race. Simple! ESPN won’t show me the race. Commercials and all the junk that ESPN puts on the screen during the race and their illogical script makes it impossible to simply watch the race.

Today was so bad that after the finish, I turned off the TV. I will not watch anything NASCAR until Racehub tomorrow night.

slander q. libel said...

I, for one, am simply heartbroken at the fact that, given the drama and buildup that ESPN was providing, Kyle wasn't able to Make History™ with his Historical™ History-Making™ run today...

larry said...

Howdy. I'm just checking in to see the critiques of TV coverage and race coverage in general.

I didn't bother to watch the race, and I've been a fan since the 50s. It's gotten just too boring to watch and listen any more. I did check in to FoxTrax a few times to see the running order.

It looks like I didn't miss much.

Anonymous said...

It may already be too late, but NASCAR needs to get a grip on their sport and stop the bleeding. The persistent excuse relating the economic conditions no longer holds water. The product on the track is terrible, the management and "officiating" is very questionable and the television coverage well ... you see how viewers feel. In my opinion it all points to one individual - Brian France. Don't look for much more next week at the cookie cutter Kansas track. The downhill slide continues - unless you listen to Chocolate Myers on Sirius radio. He paints a picture that all is great and the sport is thriving. Just wait until this week's television ratings are released.

Terri Ketterman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I found the day to be both boring and frustrating. I actually made it through the first hour and a half this morning of Race Day to confirm that Kenny Wallace is the biggest embarrassment in Nascar racing. And that says a lot when you consider all his competition for that title. If you stayed abreast of Sprint related news this week,you'll know that Hamlin says the Childress cars had problems WAY before Richmond. You'd know that one of the Childress cars was high on both rear corners after Richmond and that everyone in the garage knew the Childress issues went back way before Richmond if we are to believe Denny Hamlin. Now keep in mind that we in Nascar have all the print media,the TV host darlings consisting of Talking Heads and ex-drivers. Today we had Childress and Mike Helton interviewed in addition to Randy Pemberton throughout the week. Where I'm going with all this is this. After hours of talking about illegal cars, did anyone ask Randy,Richard or Helton whether there were issues going back before Richmond? If one of the Childress cars was high after Richmond, why weren't there penalties? Bestwick tossed Childress a bunch of marshmellow questions. This is the second time this year I've watched Bestwick completely avoid a controversial issue when it was staring him in the face. No one in the booth would comment on whether they heard or didn't hear about problems with the Childress cars. They completely avoided the issue. But they'll flap their jaws for hours about all the 'insights' they gleaned from their contacts in the garage. Instead we get Marty Reid and Kenny Wallace filling the airwaves with nonsense. Harvick has calmed down a little over the years. Who can forget Ricky Rudd and Harvick standing on their hoods screaming at each other after a race about ten years ago? Rudd said he couldn't underst what Harvick was saying with his "yappy little voice." Benny Parsons,in the booth just groaned. Saturday, Harvick again made a fool of himself and today ESPN shows all the charity work he does. Give me a break! I apologize for sounding so negative, but what a bunch of overpaid amateurs! From now on, I think I'll watch the race with the 'mute' button on until something significant happens. Thanks for listening.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
trophyguy™ said...

Who in their right mind would go to a commercial break with 11 laps to go.

Coming back with and showing a whole 5 laps to go is just stupid. At least it was UNINTERRUPTED

Why not just come back with Johnson in victory lane?


And soon enough the season will be over, and we'll start the cycle all over again, and be stuck with the babble of DW, then right back to the awful coverage of E$PN.

Time to start watching football, and highlights only of the races.


Anonymous said...

Going to commercial with 10 laps to go at Dover was the most unforgivable Nascar TV moment EVER. ESPN started so great and it all went back down the drain when Chase time neared. Now it's back to scripted storylines, Tim Brewer, cheesy music videos under green with the 'dramatic' gray snapshots and jumping crewmen and wives at the finish.

You suck ESPN. For a 4th straight year. Congratulations I hope you're proud.

Textbookmgr said...

As a long time NASCAR fan, I have finally given my Sundays to the NFL. This race pretty much killed my live watching. I will now for the rest of the season DVR the hotpass feed.

I watched very little, kept up on twitter and then tried to watch the last 20 laps. When ESPN went to commercial, I never turned back. I have NFL season ticket.

Nascar needs to realize, that they really have no clue with what kind of product they are producing.

Long boring races, supposed "cheating", JJ winning again. Is making long time fans run away in droves. Since NASCAR is no longer interested in listening to their fans, then I am making less time in my television viewing devouted to the sport that I have loved for more than 25 years.

I am sad that I have now just raised the white flag and given up.

Anonymous said...

I DVR'd the race and began watching it at about 4PM Eastern only fast fwding thru commercials and any thru the field and race racaps.

For a telecast that went 3:20 I was done by 06:20 PM. - 2:20 - ONE OF COMMERCIALS AND FLUFF

I am trying to skip thru the last thru the field at 12 laps to go and they go to commercial - unbelievable.

one note - I thought that chasers do not get bonus points so why the graphic as to laps led? Realize that non-chasers get them

as AB says - agree or disagree - did I hear wrong from Dave Moody on Sirius NASCAR channel?

also at beginning you thought that a WWE event had broke out. A Petree hearing that payback is around the corner - who will wreck who - do we need this stuff in NASCAR?

Anonymous said...

The only problem with the broadcast is showing the prerace on espn2 and the race on espn and the fact they had a commerical break with 10 laps to go- never seen that before- a BIG mistake by espn

adamtw1010 said...

ESPN obviously doesn't care about NASCAR anymore. First, they move the races to ESPN, then they move the pre-race to ESPN2, and then today they put in a commercial with 10 to go. I will say part of the problem is the racing itself isn't that great-I know NASCAR is considering some car changes next year and I hope that will help. But it is clear that ESPN doesn't care. They could have taken several different approaches to the race-I didn't hear about the #43 car again after his tire issue-it became the Chase & Jimmie Johnson story again. I was mad during the final commercial, I honestly thought I was going to miss the final 10 laps all together.

And as for the NFL-I can almost count on a commercial at lap 8 to check in on the first plays of the games. Almost stayed with football on many occasions.

RWar24 said...

I'm sure this will be another ratings blockbuster, NOT. When you're cutting to commercials at lap 8 at the beginning and again with 11 to go, that is absolutely horrendous. That should never happen on network that claims to be the leader in sports coverage. The way TV coverage is now, you're not only not attracting new viewers, you're making even the die-hard fans turn it off as well. Even channels surfers can't stumble onto a race because it's always at commercials. Everybody knows that ads pay the bills, but enough is enough.

Andrew said...

How much longer until we get a new TV contract? Let's hope ESPN is not a part of it!

What a disaster today ... I don't think I even need to say more. Everyone has summed it up well.

Anonymous said...

So,I'm watching this movie on another channel,fully aware that the race is supposed to start.Switched channels at 18 min. after the hour,First thing I saw was that the first 2 posisions were occupied by non chase drivers.
My thoughts were that this will really upset the announcers script.
The first words I heard were,"As of the points right now" thats when I switched back to the movie.
Never went back.

Chadderbox said...

I watched the race on DVR.

When the race started they went to commercial on lap 8. They came back from commercial on lap 16. On lap 24 they went to commercial. They came back from commercial on lap 32. Half the race up to that point was commercials.
In car shot on Lap 2!!! Why???

Talking heads assault the viewers non stop!

Mart Reid, Dale Jarret, Andy Petree, Alan Beswick, Rusty Wallace, Big Brad, Vince Welch, Dave Burn, Jamie Little, Troll Brewer, etc. etc. etc.
Between all the commercials and these folks talking every single second, it is totally impossible to settle in and ever enjoy the race. And we are constantly being told what already happened. The coverage is just a complete assault on the race viewer. It goes from commercials, to ads over the screen, to talking in the infield, to in car shots, up to booth, ads over the screen, pit reporters, pit reporters, infield, commercials, infield, booth, recap, commercials, recap, infield, pit reporters yap, yap, yap, yap, yap. It's just silly. The race is in the background as the coverage just goes around the horn from one talking head to another. JUST SHOW THE DAMN RACE!
It's totally out of control with no purpose or direction, other than to cut away to commercials and show us ads on the screen for other things.

A Commercial with 10 to go just tells me all I need to know.... that what I am watching is not really about the race.

I can't watch this type of coverage and take it seriously anymore.

I am a season ticket holder for Daytona and Homestead and I will continue to always go to the races.

But, until I can get to the track the TV insanity and Brian's CHASE are killing me!

Anonymous said...

I thought the coverage was fine considering they didn't have much to work with. The commercial inside of 10 laps to go was odd but there wasn't much to miss so I don't really care. I know people here don't like the idea of competition cautions but races like today are very toxic to the sport. Something needs to be done.

I'm not the type of person who is nostalgic for the "old days" because Dover races have mostly been a bore for the 20 years I've watched NASCAR. The problem is today we have more entertainment options, busier lives, and more distractions. 3-4 hours of boring racing just isn't a viable product anymore.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry. That was the worst race coverage I have ever seen.

It's bad enough to have the prerace on a different channel, but going to a green flag commercial with 10 laps left on a 1-mile track is the straw that has broken this camel's back.

I'm done. See you at Daytona.

tommy1946 said...

I gave up on the IRL when they stole a race win from Helio. Now I have given up watching any ESPN coverage of NASCAR since they have no respect for the race fan by going to commercial with 10 laps to go under green flag conditions. This lack of respect for the fans and the sport plus about a "million" more idiot factors during the day's coverage has run me out of town. By the decline in TV ratings and empty seats at the tracks, I see that I have plenty of company. I'll just watch the NFL.

Matt said...

Another forgettable race with more forgettable coverage. Someone wake me when something different happens.

West Coast Diane said...

Same routine. Try to start with race on ESPN. Tight shots. Bumper cams. Jumping between shots every nano second. Can't focus!! Single car. 10 laps. Commercial.

Lather, Rinse, Repeat. My homage to Sophia where ever she is.

Switch to Directv HotPass. At least you can see passing and other cars other than chasers and top 5.

Spent a lot time online looking for backsplash ideas for kitchen remodel.

I am so disinterested. Can't believe it.

Anonymous said...

Let us look at this as if it was a Baseball game on ESPN. Say a Boston @ Yankees game...on a Sunday night.

Sox hit one to deep center field. Joe Morgan says the wind held that one in. Then Sox hit a screamer right past third base. Joe Morgan says the ball hydro-planed off the grass as to why 3rd base player could not get the ball. Then Sox steal 2nd base...throw from home was off target. Joe Morgen say the wind affected the throw. Foul ball hit at least 40 rows up from the field...WIND! I was by the stadium. The wind was blowing at no more than 15 mph.

Just like a race ESPN has no idea how to call sports.

They only thing I was waiting for at the end of the game with 1 out in the bottom of the 9th inning with 2 runners on guessed it, a commercial break.

ESPN, would you roll a break with 1 or 2 outs during a baseball game? I think not. Then why in the heck would you go to break with 10 laps to go in a race? (pitching changes do not count, that is like a red flag in a race)

Anonymous said...

I have to admit - I thought a lot of your griping about the NASCAR commercial breaks were just whining. Until tonight!

To break for commercial with 12 laps to go in a race and come back with 5 laps to go is RIDICULOUS and INSULTING.

I cannot believe how bad ESPN is about this.

Anonymous said...

It is time for NASCAR to admit The Chase is a failure.

If you need proof, all you had to do was look at the thousands of empty seats at the Dover race. This is supposed to be one of the more exciting races in "the playoffs" and the stands were woefully empty.

They can't blame it on the economy. The bad economy didn't stop the Texas Longhorns from breaking a new attendance records of over 101,000 fans -- in a game against an unranked team. It didn't stop any of the NFL teams from selling out - did you see any NFL games this weekend with 30,000 empty chairs?

THE CHASE IS A FAILURE - when will they learn?

Anonymous said...

There must be an ESPN curse, because I swear Marty Reid turned into Jerry Punch today. All he could say was "There's Kyle Busch, now shown running in the 6th position." HOLY MOLY -- did Punch come up to him before the race and tell him just to say that over and over again? It was painful.

KoHoSo said...

It sure seems like we are seeing a lot more of the phrase, "I'm done" here. I find that just as understandable as I do sad. The only reason I can pay any attention to this strongly deteriorated ESPN coverage is to remind myself how much worse Fox was during the first half of the season...and even then my attention to the race was very low, so much so that I did not even really notice the late commercial break until after they returned to the action (I seemed more interested in doing some computer repairs for friends than the race, and I'm an oddball that has always loved Dover).

Some of my fellow Planeteers might recall that I made a promise (or threat) to give NASCAR through the 2011 season to improve its product both on the track as well as through its television partners. At this point with such boring racing in cookie-cutter cars being described with such useless babble (something I certainly did not expect from Dale Jarrett), I'm wondering again if I can hold out through another full season -- or even through the remainder of this one -- before I say "I'm done," too. :-(

Anonymous said...

Not much to say. I get tired of talking to a brick wall. Thanks JD for the hard work you do. MC

bevo said...

I really tried to stay with the whole race even using picture-in-picture but I had to bail with about 90 laps left. I can't remember a booth with that much constant confusion during a race with the lone exception of TNT in Sonoma when Montoya won. Have no idea if they were breaking in a herd of spotters or if it was a director/producer thing but it was brutal.

The commercial load has gone beyond the tipping point for me. If I watch the remaining Chase races this season it most likely will be on my Tivo well after the race is over.

I really miss the old version of HotPass on DirecTV at times like this. I remember the early days of this blog raving about the production on those channels with guys like Rick Allen and Randy Pemberton doing play-by-play on each drivers channel with a dedicated pit reporter to go with them. The great thing about it was that switching between the five drivers gave you more information about the whole field than the regular telecast did.

That might be the only way NASCAR can win me back as a "race first" viewer instead of one who looks for other things to watch during the race.

Anonymous said...

Turned off the tv once Johnson took the lead. Its the first time I've ever done that in the 6 years I've been watching Nascar.

Aging NASCAR Fan said...

Did you see the empty seats and the closed off sections? It gets worse and worse! And now it looks like JJ may get his 5th in a row in this manufactured format! Brian France - you must step aside.

glenc1 said...

to be honest, I barely noticed the commercial break. Probably because I've come to expect that sort of thing, plus I was already tuning out the 'Jimmie show'. But it really is unacceptable. I was listening to my team lose on the radio so I was only half paying attention. But for those arguing that if the driver wants a mention he needs to run in the top 10/5, some of them did that and *still* barely got a mention. I watched the F1 race and it was much more entertaining on TV, as was the truck race Saturday night (I stopped blogging because I was actually enjoying the race.) You know, Benny & Ned were not perfect, they followed the party line pretty closely and never criticized the powers that be. But the actual *coverage* I don't remember having such an issue with.

MRM4 said...

I must admit that I didn't watch much of the second half of the race. Part of it was from Tony Stewart being 2 laps down after that speeding penalty and taking himself out of contention for the win and for the title. And part of it was the race was not that exciting. So I started watching some of the football games, flipping over from time to time to see what was going on in the race.

It's not ESPN's fault the race turned out to be boring. Dover usually provides exciting racing. But not this time. I did turn over near the end since I knew the race was about over. When they were in commercial break, I thought the race was over and they were waiting on JJ to get to victory lane. To my surprise, they came back with 5 laps to go. That was truly pathetic.

With Stewart now being out of the title hunt, I'll be watching more football the rest of the way unless Stewart is contending for a win or JJ gets knocked out and there's actually some drama.

GinaV24 said...

The race was better in person. I'm glad I didn't have to watch this one on TV. We were at the track and there was more passing than there had been at the spring race at Dover. I'm not saying it was an exciting race, but at least I didn't have to listen to the booth blather on or waste time with commercials.

I really doubt that I'm going to spend much time on Sunday's watching the races on TV over the next couple of weeks.

Anonymous said...

I feel like writing an essay. I should be starting a new project, but I'm far too lazy this morning. Maybe I will write one later.

As for now let me observe there was ONE good shot during the race in Dover. One. It happened late in the race. Kyle Busch was leading. The camera was tight on another car on the back stretch and the booth was babbling something about it.

Suddenly, the camera in the front stretch stands zooms out and shows the car on the back stretch AND Kyle Busch on the front stretch simultaneously! Also you could see many of the other cars too. What a concept! I'll have to use that in one of my scripts: A zoom out, a reveal and context all in one!

It only lasted for a few seconds, but it was something good. Of course you all know what happened next:



Jayhawk said...

Like some others, I don't watch the race, but watch football and click over from time to time to see how the race is going. (I read here to see what others think regarding what I missed.) Every time I tuned in the crawler was showing positions, but not one time was it ever showing the intervals, or even what lap the cars were on. One time I waited through three full iterations of the crawler and all three times it was sans intervals. What's with that?

Donna DeBoer said...

Two random comments
1) my son was thrilled with the Dover race, he's planning on going next year after he turns 18
2) The COT gets major changes again next year.

Veri word "carloash", perfectly describes what I saw.

Anonymous said...

many many shots of single cars driving around, looked like qualifying? tedious and seemed really, really choppy, commercials every few laps. and to agree with just about everything already here, just wanted to be counted among the disappointed.

Jkat88 said...

You become a fan of a sport in the first place because you get enjoyment from watching it, right? It's entertainment, a break from your everyday life. It brings you pleasure to get involved. As far as Nascar goes, for myself, over the years it has evolved into a passion. It scares me to see week after week the negative comments about the races that i have come to love so much over the years. Don't get me wrong, I'm full of negative comments about them myself & it makes this passionate fan stand back & wonder...where has that fun & enjoyment in viewing Nascar gone? When did this fan go from having fun watching her favorite sport, to feeling annoyed, angry & insulted week after week. You've got to wonder how long a person puts up with it before they finally say it's not worth it, for goodness sake, it's just not fun anymore. Everytime I go to the track & see a race I remember what it is I love about my Nascar and I try to carry that feeling over into the months inbetween that I have to suffer thru watching on TV. I'm a stubborn gal, so I'll continue to suffer thru these broadcasts & hope that soon someone that has the power to do something about it will, but I wonder if anyone will be left. There's a limit,even for the stubborn hopeful ones like me, before I finally get tired of watching every ounce of enjoyment being sucked out of my favorite sport.

Tom said...

For part of my Sunday morning (I was in Las Vegas covering a great trucks race on Saturday night), I enjoyed a beverage at the NASCAR Cafe in the Sahara Hotel. The place has a ton of TVs of varying sizes scattered throughout.
Of course, there was a lot of football, but there was also NASCAR for everyone to view.

I am not exactly sure how many TVs there were, but I know there were more than a dozen.

The total number of TVs that were tuned to the race from Dover: 2. One was a projection-style screen that you had to walk to the back of the restaurant to view, and the other was a small screen sandwiched around two or three that had NFL games on.

That speaks volumes to the priorities of fans on Sundaysright now, and it's not really on the Chase, even at the NASCAR Cafe.

Anonymous said...

The crazy thing is the way that NASCAR is devoted to this Chase despite all the evidence to the contrary.

Like the fan polls that show overwhelmingly that fans don't like the format (not that it needs to be tweaked or have the system adjusted - we just flat-out hate it).

Like the fact that attendance has been on a steady decline since the implementation of the Chase (the stands at Dover this weekend painted a harrowing picture).

Like the fact that ratings are in steep decline the more and more Chase we get.

I don't blame it on Jimmie Johnson and the 48. I get the feeling they would find a way to win in any format (JJ would have won last year under the old points system, too). I blame it on them making the entire season meaningless, putting too much focus on the last 10 races, and eliminating any interest in 2/3 of the field.

I mean, think about it: Tony Stewart and Jeff Gordon still don't have primary sponsors lined up for 2011. And what's NASCAR's solution? Ignore the sponsors on the other 28 cars!

I mean, if you were NASCAR, wouldn't you want to keep McDonalds, Stanley Tools, Home Depot, Target, and Budweiser on the screen? If I was making budget decisions for any of those major-league corporations, I would have to consider if it was really worth my tens-of-millions of dollars in investments just to have the sanctioning bodies declare my logo as not-fit-for-TV coverage.

But I asked Ryan McGee the other day in email if anyone at NASCAR gives any consideration at all to ditching the Chase, and the response I got was "no, they think they have something special and are married to the Chase."

You gotta wonder what they are smoking in the NASCAR offices to see these kinds of number declines, this widespread decline in fan interest, these poll numbers that show people hate the Chase, and these angry sponsors who are dropping out of the sport left and right... and then still think the Chase is a good idea. How low does attendance have to get before they figure it out!??! The NFL is just as expensive as NASCAR for a ticket and they have no problem selling out.

Darcie said...

THEY DON'T CARE !!!!!!! Haven't we all learned that yet???? Nascar doesn't care, ESPN doesn't care and neither do the other broadcast networks. Everyone that matters have their money, and that's the ONLY thing they worry about. Why should Nascar bother putting on a good show when Brian France has his pockets lined with network money? Why should ESPN put together a good broadcast when all their commercial time is sold? Why should the drivers care as long as they have their private jets, million dollar buses and their multi-million dollar contracts?

Brian France won't care until 2014 when the tv contract is up for renewal. ESPN will never care unless they can't sell out their commercials. The drivers won't care until they, or their owners can't find enough sponsors to run their cars, and they will have to pony up millions of their own dollars to keep running.

The fans are the only ones who care, and they're being kicked in the male room over and over again. Unless 80 percent of the fans revolt, refuse to buy products, tickets and watch TV races, absolutely nothing will change. We now have to endure spoiled owners and drivers who don't give a rats patootie about winning, only getting their millions and points racing for 36 weeks, we've got TV exec's who don't have the sense God gave a goose and we've got the big wigs of Nascar who only care about expanding the product in order to make more money, to the detriment of the sport.

Face it, Planeteers, were screwed-----with our pants on. This sport is dying, and not a slow death. Unless someone comes along and takes control of Nascar away from the France Family, the sport will become irrelevant. Why no one has been awakened yet is beyond me. Why haven't the warning alarms sounded in the owners heads? When they've got champions like Gordon and Stewart unable to secure sponsorship, do they not realize something is amiss? Doesn't Brian France see that attendance is awful and TV viewership is awful? Oh yeah, I forgot. They probably do see all this but........THEY DON'T CARE!!!!!!!

Mike (Detroit) said...

Yet again another weekend of poor NASCAR coverage goes by. Remember people, the only way to fix this, is to turn NASCAR off and don't turn it back on. The only control we have over this sorry coverage is ratings. They went to commercial under green flag with 12 laps to go. That is a slap in the face, so slap back and turn it off. It's a loud message that they can not ignore.

JohnP said...

Someone asked me yesterday why I stopped going to Dover because of the Tv broadcast. I didn't. They were wrong on their assumption. I stopped going because it was so CROWDED, and the parking problems.

Today, after watching the race yesterday, I have to wonder why someone who has never attended a race would want to even go in the first place.

Anonymous said...

Rather than continue to state the obvious problems (which ESPN will still ignore), I will just summarize my viewing experience by comparing my quotes from the Truck race to the Cup race:

My last comment from the Truck race:
"This was the first race in a long time I've truely enjoyed. Good coverage by Speed and great racing among the series regulars.

My last comment from the Cup race:
"Flipping back to football."

Smiff_99 said...

Jkat88 said EVERYTHING I wanted to say. Glad somebody could put it into words for me.

I will never stop watching, no matter how much worse it gets. No matter how much it frustrates me, no matter how much that killjoy Jimmie Johnson wins, no matter how bad the broadcasts are, I will ALWAYS be a dedicated fan.

Every week I come on this site and other blogging sites and see the comments.

It breaks my heart. While I share all of the same opinions, I know that the more disgruntled we fans get and the more we talk about it, the more people we'll turn off.

If there's all these people willing to announce on here and other sites that they've given up on NASCAR, well then their attitudes will spread like a cancer and continue to drive ratings and attendence further into the ground.

I don't know about you other so-called fans, but I don't want any hand in the demise of NASCAR. And for every one of you that tunes out.....well, you've just driven another nail into the coffin of NASCAR.

I don't want to live in a world without NASCAR.

Anonymous said...

Any bets on the ratings? I say 2.2. Obviously, we just need more time for the chase to grow on us. MC

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 2:25

"Like the fan polls that show overwhelmingly that fans don't like the format (not that it needs to be tweaked or have the system adjusted - we just flat-out hate it)."

The only poll I've seen on the subject was one recently on, where the question was whether or not to tweak the Chase.

57% said keep it as it is, and I'm willing to bet that has the biggest and most ideologically diverse user base of any NASCAR site.

Regardless of the biases of such a poll, I think there's more support for the Chase than most of the commenters here acknowledge.

Here's the article in question:

Anonymous said...

Fox is the best, by far. They sound like a bunch of true fans watching a race.

ESPN/TNT have their own agendas. I think the crew is good, but the producer is terrible and knows nothing about racing.

Let's face it, NASCAR isn't run by the brightest of bulbs. The "Chase" is a disaster. Boring, no one cares. But NASCAR is stubborn and won't change it.

My plan:
- Eliminate the Chase.
- 100 bonus points for a win.
- 10 points per position in the Top 10.
- 3 points per position after that.
- 0 points for finishing 31-43.

Winner take all at the end of the year.

Take a race away from boring tracks like Pocono.

Give a race back to great racing tracks like Rockingham.

KoHoSo said...

Anon 8:03...

You may very well be correct that support for The Chase might be much greater outside of the Plaenteer community and, just to be clear, I respect your opinion and am not being contrary simply to be argumentative. However, the poll you referenced only gave a choice as to whether or not the current format should remain the same or be tweaked. Fans were not given the option of saying, "Dump it." Without that choice, we can only guess how those that hate it voted.

Also, nobody should ever forget that any open, online poll is not scientific and should never be used as a true measure of any topic. To me, the more telling results are shrinking television ratings scientifically calculated by Neilsen and empty seats on race day. As for why those things are happening, I can only guess myself but, as I have said here before, I believe is a a wide combination of factors, all of which we have covered here over the past few years and that The Chase is only one of them.

Chadderbox said...

If they are going to keep Brian's Chase in order to crowm the champion they they could have a bonus payout to the driver 13th points at the end of the season.
That would create some more on track excitement from race 26 on as the drivers 13th through 19th or so battle it out to end up 13th in points for an added payout. Right now that would put Ryan Newman (13th) back to Allmendinger (21st) battling for something rather than testing for next year. When someone like AJ has a run like he did yesterday it would create some excitement as drivers other than the chasers actually battle for something.

If there is a demise of Nascar, I definitely am not going to think my posting critical comments on this blog have a damn thing to do with it. Them suits in Daytona are big boys and they have the power and the ability to save Nascar. Whether they use their God given talents to do so is up to them. Not me! I buy my tickets and go to races every year!

Anonymous said...

"Like the fan polls that show overwhelmingly that fans don't like the format (not that it needs to be tweaked or have the system adjusted - we just flat-out hate it)."

The only poll I've seen on the subject was one recently on, where the question was whether or not to tweak the Chase.

57% said keep it as it is, and I'm willing to bet that has the biggest and most ideologically diverse user base of any NASCAR site.

Hey, I HATE THE CHASE, yet I would still vote not to tweak it. It ruins the sport if the champion is determined by a different system every couple of years. Some of the solutions I have heard - eliminating drivers, giving 1 point per position, and making the champion reliant only on the last race -- are all horrible.

I would MUCH prefer the old points system, but if you ask me should we tweak the Chase or leave it as is, then I would say leave it as is. We don't need tweaking, we need to get rid of it - two different questions.

Let's put it this way: if the Chase is so great, why does it need tweaking to begin with? I mean, if the Chase works, why all the articles about how to fix it? ANSWER: it doesn't work and you cannot manufacture excitement.

NASCAR's biggest years in terms of ratings, attendance, and mainstream appeal came BEFORE the chase. Since 2004, all those numbers have been going down. It doesn't take a chimp to figure out that the Chase is the reason, not the economy. If it were the economy, then TV ratings would be UP as people watched TV instead of went live. If it was the economy, you would see empty baseball stadiums and empty football stadiums, too. Well, guess what: you don't.

Anonymous said...


I agree that the results of such a poll are unreliable. I was responding to someone who, citing no poll, said that there was overwhelming hatred of the Chase.

The viewership problem is big, though, and this is what I noted. When watching the Formula 1 race Sunday, they showed a battle for eighth in which Robert Kubica, on fresh tires, absolutely knifed through the competition with some great passes. It was absolutely riveting. I've seen closer battles for eighth in NASCAR, perhaps better ones, but none so entertaining. Maybe it's because there is a bigger points difference between eighth and ninth in F1 than in NASCAR, or maybe eighth place doesn't matter so much in NASCAR because a win is on the line.

There's been some great racing for eighth in NASCAR this year. There has not, however, been great racing for first. With the exception of the Labor Day race at Atlanta, where Stewart and Hamlin kept swapping the lead back and forth, I don't think I've seen the top two cars remain within a second of each other for the length of a fuel run, let alone swap the lead.

I'm not sure what to say about all this. All I know was that in Singapore on Sunday, it was made clear that Fernando Alonso was never more than 1.5 seconds ahead of Sebastien Vettel for the win, but the focus was on battles further back in the field. The battle for the lead stayed in my mind throughout the race, though, adding tension--and when they cut from a burning car to show Alonso and Vettel nose-to-tail at the start of the final lap, it was absolutely thrilling.

saltsburgtrojanfan said...

Very well Said Darcie.

NA$CAR and E$PN does not give a rats behind about their product, they do not give a rats tutu about you the viewers and they are partners for one thing and one thing only, MONEY.

And as long as you buy NA$CAR sponsored products, continue to watch the races or attend the races, guess what, there is no incentive for them to change. sorry i'm repeating you Darcie.

Me and my buddy Vince (the poster) have stopped watching E$PN altogether because they are money hungry clowns that are all hype. They used to be a hardcore sports network now they are an entertainment network, all thanks to the walt disney company.

So i suggest to all of you stop watching E$PN and stop going to the races until there are wholesale changes to the broadcasts and the cup season structure.

JD keep up on this, this lets fans vent and we don't know what we would do without you.

Impeach Brian France, George Bodenheimer and whoever runs the disney company.

Anonymous said...

Dover ratings are in. From USA Today the race had a 2.1 rating, down a whopping 22% from last year. While the NFL TV ratings are up! The bleeding continues for NASCAR.

GinaV24 said...

Smiff_99 and jkat88 -- I understand your feelings, but IMO NASCAR simply cannot continue on this path and put on such a terrible show with terrible TV coverage and expect fans to stick around.

I am fortunate enough to be able to still go to races and even that has lost a lot of the "fun" factor has been lost due to poor management decisions by NASCAR.

I feel like I wasted my time at Dover in the spring and although this race was better in person, I was still disappointed that Dover has become a one groove race track for so much of the race. I'm disappointed when I spend my money and time to go to a race where the entire middle portion will be just cars driving around in circles -- the comment that people who didn't like NASCAR always made -- which has come to fruition with the advent of the ugly car and the chase.

You said you didn't want to live in a world without NASCAR, well, my point is that I want a NASCAR in my world that I can enjoy again.

I don't think that's an impossible request. I want to see racing again and that's up to NASCAR to pull their heads out of the sand before its too late.

Anonymous said...

Just read the ratings on the USA Today website. The NFL continues to eye record ratings. The NASCAR AAA 400 earned a 2.1. "Down 22% from comparable coverage last year on ABC." (Michael Hiestand, USA TODAY)

Let's see how long it takes for NASCAR to blame the economy.

West Coast Diane said...

Jkat88 - Perfect! We trek 3000 miles every February to the Datyona 500. We love the atmosphere, people and of course all the racing. By the end of the year, watching TV butcher the telecasts (except TNT) I ask myself why am I even wasting my time watching.

Anon 8:29 - Like your no chase, more points idea. My husband and I have discussed that very same, or close to it, concept. NASCAR should have done that first before even considering chase format.

Anonymous said...

You want to know why NASCAR ratings are down? Sure, the commercials don't help... but the real reason is that you cannot catch the leader in "clear air". There is virtually no passing for the lead. If you get the lead, you check out from the field on almost every track. We've heard guys say time and again that they had a faster car in second place, but the best they could do was get to the leaders' bumper, but they couldn't pass.

Where is the side-by-side racing in NASCAR? Aside from the restrictor plate tracks, it just doesn't seem to happen any more. This weekend's Dover race was boring not because of the long green flag runs, but because during that run, the cars are not racing side-by-side.

I have tickets to the Texas race and am really looking forward to it -- but at the same time I really dread showing up to watch a high-speed parade of cars going by one-at-a-time!

Vince said...

Can't post about ESPN's coverage of the race. I didn't watch it. I'm so fed up right now I didn't listen to it on MRN either. Nor did I follow on's leaderboard. I instead watched my Lion's get beat, again. And then watched a very good Denver vs Indy football game. The overall result? No aggravation and a very enjoyable Sunday afternoon. Except for the Lions getting beat part.

I've pretty much given up on the rest of the Nascar season. It's just not worth it. Football (college and pro) right now is just more enjoyable to watch.

I'll still read JD's blogs and some the media's Twitter postings. But after being a fan for 45 years, I'm just fed up and tired of "this" version of Nascar. It sucks right now trying to be a Nascar fan.


Anonymous said...

Anon 12:02 hit the nail on the head.

The funny part is that though the COT seems more susceptible to "aero push" than the old car, we hear less complaints about it. There are so many complaints about the COT's looks; fixing the aero push can improve brand identity and kill two birds with one stone.

One other thing I've noticed about the COT this year is it's very hard to spin out or get out of shape, meaning fewer cautions and longer green flag runs where the cars get strung out. Sure, I don't like to see a bunch of cars wrecked in this economy, but it's gotten so hard to spin out that even when cars are racing in a big pack, it feels like there's less chance of a wreck and thus watching a battle back in the pack feels less interesting.

Anonymous said...

Denny Hamlin, the points leader, said that he did not pass one single car on the track all day long. He picked up some spots in the pits, but never during a green flag run.

How messed up is that? That at D-O-V-E-R you cannot pass?

They've turned the Monster Mile into the Miserable Mile!

Mike (Detroit) said...

FYI I lifted this from Jayski's site.

Dover TV Ratings: ESPN's live telecast of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway on Sunday earned a final national household coverage rating of 2.8 (2.4 U.S. rating), averaging 3,965,722 viewers. Last year's race aired on ABC and earned a 3.1 U.S. rating [with 5.08 million viewers].
ESPN2's live telecast of Saturday's NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Dover earned a final national household coverage rating of 1.2, the same rating earned for last year's race that also aired on ESPN2. The telecast averaged 1,624,214 viewers, an 11 percent increase from last year. ESPN2's NASCAR Nationwide Series ratings have remained consistent all season and are slightly up from ratings at this point last year.

Tom said...

This just in...
Saw early ratings from Sunday that were published in today's editions of USA Today. The coverage from Dover netted a 2.8 rating, which, according to Jayski's chart, is down from last year's 3.1.

Sigh...the downward spiral continues.

Tom said...

Oops! I stand corrected.
Final rating was a 2.4, and that's a lot more of a drop.

Anonymous said...

It's so interesting to see the comments about the racing itself being a problem and not just the broadcast.
I've felt this way for quite some time.
Whether people want to admit it or not, restarts are when alot of the racing excitement happens. I haven't checked the stats but it feels like overall there are less cautions lately which means less restarts. Several recent races finished with fairly long green flag much for those entertainment cautions at the end of the race.
Two reasons for less cautions. No Michael Walter this year and Sam Hornish seems to have gotten his car a bit more under control. Those two were good for 2-3 cautions per race.

Anonymous said...

Not surprised to see Nationwide & Truck ratings up and Cup ratings down.

Both have no Chase format, both have shorter distances. (Not that I agree races should be shortened, just an observation)

Nationwide has 33% of the drivers in Sunday's race also competing in Nationwide race. Drivers are afraid to ruin their Chase chances in Cup, so many have taken out their anger in Nationwide this season.

The Truck series still maintains its 'tough trucks, tough racing' identity. Races are shorter, the trucks race harder, and the personalities are everywhere. Indepedents have the most reasonalbe shot in this series.

KoHoSo said...

Anon 9/27 9:44 PM...

Your further comments are understood and highly appreciated.

Anon 9/28 8:39 PM in reaction to the first part of your comment...

A lot of us have been saying in these comments sections here and there, as appropriate, that many facets of the on-track product have affected our enjoyment of NASCAR broadcasts. It just seems to have hit a frenzy in reaction to this particular article as we normally all try very hard to focus solely on the television aspect of things as that is why our esteemed Mr. Daly started this blog. However, I strongly believe that the declining ratings and overall interest in NASCAR is much deeper than race telecasts that insult our intelligence and devalue our beloved sport. While that might be usually off topic and not a place intended for us to go by Mr. Daly (a man for whom I have the highest regard and respect plus give my greatest thanks for the information he gives us along with a place to rant), we also cannot ignore the bigger picture.

We're frustrated whether we're "old timers" like me or those that caught NASCAR fever in the late 1990's or early 2000's. I just hope that JD will forgive those of us that hare having Howard Beale moments right now. ;-)

Unknown said...

I thought it was a great race, my buddy fell asleep around lap 8, (shortyly after the first commercial break) he woke around lap 200 and asked what he had missed. I told him about Kenseth & Biffle's troubles. I fell asleep and woke up just as they were returning from commercial with 5 laps to go. I asked what I had missed and was told nothing. Saw Jimmie win & go to victory lane, got up and BBQ'd a steak... great race!