NASCAR, IMSA and AMA Pro announce Fanschoice.TV
posted by Mike Neff
Wednesday March 12, 2014
Free live streaming of events will allow fans to view previously unavailable live events online
AMA Pro, NASCAR and IMSA announced the launch of Fanschoice.tv today. The free service will stream motorcycle races, sports car races and regional touring and local short track events. The first event will be the AMA Pro flat track 200 from the 1/4 mile dirt track at Daytona International Speedway.
Fans will have access to multiple camera angles, live timing and scoring and a feed from the track’s PA system. In addition to the touring events from IMSA, AMA and NASCAR, three NASCAR Home Tracks have already signed on to be part of the release. Langley Speedway in Hampton, VA., Lake County Speedway in Painesville, OH., and Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, WA. will have all of their races available for viewing on the new service.
NASCAR’s K&N Pro Series, Whelen Modified Tour and Whelen Southern Modified Tour will all be shown on Fanschoice.tv. The awards banquets for both the Whelen All-American Series and the Touring Series will also be streamed.
IMSA coverage will include streaming of its developmental and single-make series, as well as selected practice and qualifying sessions for the two IMSA national sports car series, TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge that are part of the recently-announced five-year agreement with Fox Sports.
NASCAR Changes Qualifying Format
posted by Summer Bedgood
Tuesday March 11, 2014
Following safety concerns regarding NASCAR’s new qualifying format, the sanctioning body is introducing some changes in preparation for this weekend’s race at Bristol Motor Speedway. According to the Associated Press, NASCAR is banning teams from cool-down laps after their qualifying attempts, but will instead be allowed to hook up cool-down units to the engine through hood flaps.
Late Tuesday afternoon, a release from NASCAR fully detailed the changes. Teams will be allowed a single cool down unit to be connected through the right or left side hood flap, however the hood must remain closed. Additionally, two crew members will be allowed over the wall while cooling down.
“The qualifying is new to all of us and as we have said over the past several weeks, we are looking at it from all aspects,” said Robin Pemberton, vice president of competition and racing development. “Following discussions, both internally and with others in the garage area, we moved quickly to make a few revisions that will be effective starting with our two national series events at Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend. We believe this will only enhance and improve what has demonstrated to be an exciting form of qualifying for our fans, competitors and others involved with the sport. Moving forward we will continue to look at it and address anything else that we may need to as the season unfolds.”
The move comes after three weeks of NASCAR’s new knockout qualifying system, where multiple cars are allowed to make qualifying attempts at the same time instead of the traditional one-car-at-a-time procedure. Drivers and teams had complained that the new rules didn’t allow them to cool their engines down on pit road, and the cool-down laps caused a dangerous situation with slower cars staying on the track at the same time that other cars were running by them at much higher speeds.
The rule will begin this weekend in Bristol, a track that has a much narrower racing surface than Daytona, Phoenix, and Las Vegas.
Kurt Busch to Attempt The Indianapolis-Charlotte Double
posted by Phil Allaway
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Andretti Autosport announced this morning that Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet in the Sprint Cup Series, will attempt the Indianapolis 500 in a fifth entry for the IndyCar Series team. Once the Indianapolis 500 is completed, Busch will fly from Indianapolis to Charlotte, jump in his No. 41 Chevrolet and compete in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Busch considers the opportunity to do the double as an old-school throwback moment.
“This is really to challenge myself within motorsports,” Busch said in Andretti Autosport’s press release. “Perhaps I am a bit of an old-school racer; a throwback, I guess. I enjoyed the era of drivers racing different cars and testing themselves in other series. It is tough to do now for a variety of factors, but when the opportunity is there, I want to do it. While NASCAR is my home, I have been fortunate to compete in Pro Stock on the NHRA circuit a number of years ago and test a V8 Supercar. This opportunity was a talk with Michael [Andretti] over dinner one night, a “What if,” and now it’s becoming a reality for me to drive in the Indy 500 with Andretti Autosport. It’s literally a dream come true. To go to the famous Brickyard with the iconic Andretti name, it doesn’t get much cooler or better than that.”
Busch will be doing the Indianapolis-Charlotte double as a Memorial Day mission to men and women serving in the U.S. Military via the Armed Forces Foundation. Fans can contribute to the cause by texting AFF to 50555 to donate $10.
Busch, who has never raced an IndyCar, passed Rookie Orientation at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway last year during a test session. At the time, Busch was more or less testing the Dallara DW12 for fun.
Busch will be the fourth driver to attempt the Indianapolis-Charlotte double. John Andretti was the first driver to attempt it in 1994. After finishing four laps down in tenth in Indianapolis, Andretti crashed and had engine problems in the 600. Robby Gordon has attempted the double five times, most recently in 2004. However, Gordon failed to make it to Charlotte on time and did not start the 600 in 2000 (P.J. Jones started Gordon’s No. 13 Ford in that instance). Finally, Tony Stewart has attempted the double twice (most recently in 2001) and is the only driver to ever complete all 1100 miles. Neither of the three drivers has won either leg of the double. The best finishes are Stewart and Gordon’s sixth-place finishes at the Indianapolis 500 (although Gordon’s came in 2000, the year he didn’t make it to Charlotte in time to start the Coca-Cola 600), and Stewart’s fourth-place finish in the 2001 Coca-Cola 600.
Danica Patrick, Justin Allgaier Talk About Phoenix Incident
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
A disappointing start to the year for Danica Patrick won’t include continued conflict. Patrick met with rookie Justin Allgaier Sunday, shortly after the Phoenix Cup race after a wreck ruined both drivers’ days. Patrick, who was critical of the No. 51 car on the radio, claiming Allgaier was “driving all over the track” appeared receptive to a conversation that quickly settled differences over what will be a long season.
“She was just upset because she got involved in the crash that we had,’’ said Allgaier to the Motor Racing Network. “She says she’s been through this and that she felt like I needed to settle down at that point. I explained my position on why everything happened. I think she understood where I was coming from. It doesn’t fix either one of our racecars. It doesn’t fix either one of our days. Unfortunately, we were both having pretty decent days.’’
Allgaier wound up 30th due to the incident while Patrick was 36th. The incident, which was caused by Allgaier’s spin also involved the No. 32 team and Travis Kvapil, which wound up 38th after sustaining heavy damage.
Camping World Close to Extending Title Sponsorship of NCWTS
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Marcus Lemonis, CEO of Camping World, Grand Marshal of Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway, and star of CNBC’s “The Profit,” made the announcement over the weekend that the retailer is very close to announcing a deal that would continue its title sponsorship of NASCAR’s Truck Series. The original agreement with NASCAR is scheduled to conclude after the 2015 season.
According to the sanctioning body, no formal contract has been signed, but “the agreement between the two parties has proven to be a beneficial one.”
“In about a month, we’ll be announcing a significant extension to that contract. It’s been great for us,” said Camping World’s Lemonis in a statement. “The NASCAR relationship has worked well for Camping World. When we started, we had 35 stores. Now, we’re up to 120 stores. As we travel the country and we meet new customers in stores, they always are very appreciative of our relationship with NASCAR. It’s been good.”
Gaining a long-term commitment from Camping World to sponsor the Truck Series would be a relief for NASCAR, which is set to lose Nationwide Insurance as title sponsor for the NASCAR Nationwide Series at the end of the 2014 season. The sponsorship of the Cup Series by Sprint runs through 2016.
The NCWTS is back in action on March 29th at 2:30 PM (ET) when the trucks visit Martinsville Speedway in the Kroger 250, which can be seen on Fox Sports 1. Ratings for the season opener were up 11 percent.
Harvick Takes Win At Phoenix In Second Race With New Team
posted by Justin Tucker
Monday March 3, 2014
Phoenix International Raceway has become Kevin Harvick’s home away from home. Sunday Afternoon was no exception as Harvick charged to the front early and would dominate for much of the day, leading 224 of the scheduled 312 laps to record his record fifth win on the one mile oval and his third win in the last four races at Phoenix.
Harvick, coming off of a disappointing Speedweeks which was capped by a last lap crash in the Daytona 500 in his debut with Stewart-Haas Racing, set the tone on Saturday by winning both practices while having the best 5 and 10-lap averages in the first practice of the day on Saturday. On Sunday, Harvick and his No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet was nothing short of flawless as he was able to hold Dale Earnhardt, Jr. by .489 seconds after a late race restart to claim his 24th career Sprint Cup Series victory.
“Man, this is awesome,” Harvick said after his dominant victory on Sunday. “Man, this just solidifies so many things and so many decisions. It’s been so much work with all the time and effort that these guys (the crew) have put in—but what a race car.”
Stewart Haas Racing co-owner Gene Haas shared in Harvick’s excitement after the race.
“It took long enough,” Haas joked. “This is phenomenal. I think there was a lot of skepticism last year about what myself and Tony (Stewart) what we were up to, was there a lot of madness to this. Quite frankly, it’s a great team, there’s a lot of synergy at the shop, people working together. I don’t know what we did, but I think we put together a great organization.”
Daytona 500 winner Dale Earnhardt, Jr. continued his hot start to the 2014 season. Earnhardt Jr. would finish second on Sunday, marking his seventh consecutive top 10 finish since the end of the 2013 season. Earnhardt Jr. was pleased with the effort after a coast-to-coast whirlwind week after winning his second Daytona 500 and also gave great praise to the efforts of Harvick and the No. 4 team.
“I’ve got to congratulate Kevin. Those guys were two-tenths faster than everyone all weekend in practice. They were just phenomenal,” Earnhardt said. “To be able to run with them all day was a big confidence builder for us.”
Joining Harvick and Earnhardt in the top 5 of The Profit on CNBC 500K were Brad Keselowski with his second consecutive top 3 run of 2014 in third. Keselowski’s Team Penske teammate Joey Logano would finish fourth, and Jeff Gordon would come home fifth in his No. 24 Pepsi Max Chevrolet.
Jimmie Johnson finished in sixth, followed by Ryan Newman with a nice rebound after Daytona in seventh. Carl Edwards would carry the banner for Roush Fenway Racing by finishing eighth, Kyle Busch was ninth, and Jamie McMurray would finish tenth.
A look at the Profit on CNBC 500K by the numbers. There were 14 lead changes among eight different drivers, there were eight cautions for 39 laps which slowed the race pace to 109.229 MPH.
Next Sunday, the Sprint Cup Series heads to Sin City and the Las Vegas Motor
Starting Lineup: The Profit On CNBC 500K
posted by Thomas Bowles
Saturday March 1, 2014
Drivers in RED (i) are those ineligible to collect Sprint Cup points
Daytona 500 TV Ratings Down
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Wednesday February 26, 2014
What was the longest weather delay in Daytona 500 history turned out to bring NASCAR lower ratings and TV viewership Sunday night than expected. According to a report Monday from FOX Sports, the 56th running of the Daytona 500 airing at 8 PM (ET) posted a 5.6/10 national household rating/share which averaged 9.3 million viewers. That’s down 44 percent from last year’s 9.9, easily making it the least-watched Daytona 500 of all-time.
Due to the six-hour, twenty-two minute rain delay in Daytona, the race was up against the primetime coverage of the Winter Olympics Closing Ceremony from Sochi, Russia on NBC (15.25 million viewers). FOX also reported that 69% of the pre-rain delay viewers of the race, which began at 1 PM (ET) kept tuning in.
In comparison, the 2013 Daytona 500 on FOX was the most-watched race in five years, posting a 9.9/22 rating/share, commanding 16.7 million viewers. The Daytona 500 in 2012, the first to ever be run on a Monday and in the primetime slot did a 7.7/13 overnight rating/share which resulted in 13.67 million households viewing the race according to Nielsen TV ratings data.
Earnhardt, Jr. Claims Second Daytona 500 Victory
posted by Justin Tucker
Wednesday February 26, 2014
Ten years is a long time. For Dale Earnhardt, Jr., it felt like an eternity. NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver endured many near misses and close calls at the Daytona 500 since his only win in the Great American Race in 2004. Earnhardt had finished second in two of his last three Daytona 500s coming into Sunday’s race. He was also riding the tail of a 55-race winless streak, dating back to Michigan in 2012.
However nothing would stop Dale Jr. on Sunday, not even a 6 hour and 22 minute rain delay from capturing his second Daytona 500 win. Earnhardt Jr. led a race-high 54 laps on the evening and used some timely drafting help from teammates Jimmie Johnson and, on the final restart, Jeff Gordon to separate from the pack and secure the victory.
“Winning this race is the greatest feeling that you could feel in this sport besides accepting the trophy for the championship,” said a jubilant Earnhardt after pulling into Victory Lane. “We could fight off battle after battle. We got a little help at the end there from Jeff to get away on the restart. This is amazing. I can’t believe this is happening. I never take this for granted, man because it doesn’t happen twice, let alone once.”
Aside from the race itself the big story of the race was the 6 hour and 22 minute red flag, which threatened to move the race to Monday evening (had the race been postponed, FOX Sports’ Chris Myers had tweeted that the race would resume at 5:00pm EST). However, Mother Nature would cooperate and would allow the race to be run under different conditions from which they practiced this week. Once the race resumed, the intensity picked up from the changing track conditions. This allowed the pack to race side-by-side and at times 3-wide up to seven rows deep.
Joining Earnhardt Jr. in the top 5 for the 2014 Daytona 500 were: Denny Hamlin who closed out a spectacular Speedweeks in second, Brad Keselowski in third, Jeff Gordon in fourth, and Jimmie Johnson who overcome two wrecks leading up to the 500 in fifth.
Rounding out the top 10 in the Daytona 500 were Matt Kenseth in sixth, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. in seventh and Greg Biffle would bring his No. 16 Ford home in eighth. Austin Dillon would come home ninth in his first Cup Series race in the iconic No. 3 for Richard Childress Racing, while Casey Mears would round out the top 10.
A couple of major contenders for the Daytona 500 win would see their hopes dashed early on as Martin Truex, Jr. would blow up just 30 laps into the race, relegating him to a 43rd-place finish in his debut for Furniture Row Racing. Crew chief Todd Berrier was already in Nashville for a test session before the race was even over. Kyle Busch, meanwhile would have a pit road violation just before halfway and would spend much of the race battling back from that mistake. Busch would eventually finish 19th after leading 19 laps.
Danica Patrick would also be bit by bad luck as she was caught up in a multi-car wreck on lap 145. Patrick would lead her second consecutive Daytona 500, but wouldn’t have the finish to show for it finishing 40th. Tony Stewart would encounter a frustrating evening as well, with a fuel pickup problem derailing his quest for his first Daytona 500 win. Stewart would finish 35th.
A look at the Daytona 500 by the numbers. There were 42 lead changes among 18 drivers, while seven cautions for 39 laps would slow the race pace to 145.290 MPH.
Next week, the Sprint Cup Series heads to the “diamond in the desert,” Phoenix International Raceway for The Profit on CNBC 500K. The Green flag is scheduled for 3:15pm EST.
Nationwide Series Post-Race Quotes: Drive4COPD 300
posted by Thomas Bowles
Tuesday February 25, 2014
Frontstretch Interviews – Courtesy Mike Neff
ELLIOTT SADLER – FINISHED 4th
Thoughts on the race?
It’s definitely a lot different racing than what we’re used to.
Comfortable with it?
Yeah, it’s just different. You’re worried about what you’re doing, but you’re also worried about what everyone else is doing and they’re not doing more than you’re doing. Physically pushing a guy is way better than just riding so you just gotta time it right and push it to the edge.
Happy to start the year with a top 5?
Yeah. Hell, that was the worst we ran all day, I think. I have no idea how they put the 3 car in front of us on that last restart. I hadn’t seen the 3 car hardly all day. When they put us from fifth to sixth, on the outside line, it just really boxed us in. I would have really restarted behind my teammate and given him a good push to the front. Anyways, it is what it is; we’ll take it and move on.
Looked like you were up front all day.
The guys did a good job. We had a fast race car. Great pit stops, just really proud of these guys. The car’s in one piece and we can take it to Talladega now. Great job by my guys. A lot of effort came into coming down here to Daytona and giving ourselves a shot to win. We had that chance to be up front and make some things happen. Fifth is not what we want, but we’ll take it and move on.
Bumping vs Pushing?
It’s way harder. You don’t want to lay on the guy in front of you, so it’s tough racing. A lot different than what we’re used to, ‘cause you gotta go. You gotta drag the brake too ‘cause you don’t want to hit the guys and you don’t want to stay on him. It’s a lot harder mentally than what we’ve done in the past.
Car was strong all day. Pushing vs. Bumping, is that harder to do than just getting on somebody and pushing them?
Yeah, it is a little bit. When you bump ‘em, you jar ‘em, it kinda jacks ‘em a little bit. It’s a little more abrupt, obviously. I thought it was OK there at the end. It was certainly fun and hopefully entertaining. But a little bit of a struggle in the early part of the race and the midpart of the race to see a good race. And that’s unfortunate for the fans. You can’t do that the whole race, you can’t tear up your stuff, knock your grill in, overheat your motor, all that stuff so there’s no sense in doing all that until you get down to the last lap. The 7 and the 6, they did a good job. Man, the 7 really held the 22 and I tight on the bottom. I was rubbing his door and hitting the apron at the same time, no room whatsoever. So it was good; wish we were the ones who could have won but a lot better now than what we were last year.
Going home in one piece makes it a lot better, right?
Yeah. My back feels good. My foot feels good. Past years here, I’ve been going home with pain so I’m alright.
Connect with Mike!
Check in with Matt and Jay on their site at CareyandCoffey.com.
Doug Turnbull · Tuesday August 12, 2008
ESPN’s road racing coverage Sunday at Watkins Glen was not great — but it could have been much worse. The first two thirds of the race, with the exception of a couple of caution periods and varying fuel strategies, provided little excitement. Dale Jarrett, Andy Petree, and Dr. Jerry Punch did a wonderful job in the booth of keeping track of the leaders’ and other possible contenders’ pit strategies to keep fan’s curiosity piqued, instead of giving them a chance to fall asleep.
However, the latter of the booth-dwelling trio, Dr. Punch, has had a rough three weeks covering the Sprint Cup Series. In particular, he seems to use excessive pauses to search for catchy ways to word otherwise mundane details of the race. Pointing out interesting facts amongst a spread of data is one way to jazz up NASCAR coverage, but Punch seems to spend too much time connecting those dots, sometimes leading to inaccurate miscues and awkward, unpolished sentences. Fortunately for Punch and ESPN, the Doc is not seen as a talking head, but as a respected reporter and personality in the sport; so fans are likely to be forgiving of these broadcasting foibles.
Another aspect of ESPN’s broadcast that has been littered with mistakes this season is its coverage on pit road. Though the network’s pit road reporters managed to follow the major storylines of the race at Watkins Glen, the dissemination of these reports was shaky at best.
In particular, Shannon Spake repeatedly spoke nervously while covering pit stops and chiming in with updates throughout the broadcast. That’s a problem, as the network had Spake covering the stalls of some of the series’ top teams — including the No. 88 of Most Popular Driver Dale Earnhardt, Jr. But as a critical mistake of the race unfolded, Spake ran out of words to say during Junior’s ill-fated, final pit stop, making the whole situation seem far less important and confusing than it actually was. I do not think that Spake should not be a part of the pit road team, but at the very least, maybe ESPN should reassign her to some lower impact race teams over the course of the weekend — at least until she polishes her Sprint Cup delivery up to the quality level she displays on other ESPN NASCAR broadcasts.
But while Spake’s mistakes were the most noticeable, ESPN’s other reporters — Jamie Little, Dave Burns, and Mike Massaro — were not without their own problems. Each one botched tosses to each other and stated some inaccurate stats throughout the show. Considering their years of experience covering the sport, they should be far better than they are at this point in ESPN’s Cup coverage.
The lack of racing excitement through most of the race provided ESPN with another opportunity to cover the storylines for drivers throughout the field. But once again, they didn’t capitalize; instead, most of the racing coverage centered on the drivers at or near the Chase cutoff (though little to nothing was said about David Ragan and Brian Vickers, who are still within shouting distance of making the playoffs). Coverage of the race for the Top 35 in owner’s points, which is good filler for a race as boring as most of this one was, did not appear prominently until the over half-hour red flag at the end of the race.
ESPN did do two Up To Speeds throughout the 90-lap race, but neither one appeared to go deep enough to make a difference. Through the field coverage, which used to be done frequently on NBC/TNT and was done some — but not enough — on TNT this season, meant that most fans’ drivers get covered during the race. But nowadays, fans of drivers who struggle every week have to go beyond the TV coverage to even have a chance at knowing what caused their driver’s plight.
Scanner radio traffic is a great way to track a team through a race, and I will say that ESPN does well at finding good chatter and broadcasting it. But as expected, the network only broadcasts scanner chatter amongst contending teams, meaning that subscribing to TrackPass on NASCAR.com, watching DirecTV NASCAR HotPass, getting a Sprint phone, or obtaining a scanner at or near a race track are the only ways that one can hear how, for example, Scott Riggs is running.
Fortunately, the ESPN cameras did capture the major wrecks of the day, including the ‘Dega-like melee at the end of the race. The extended red flag allowed the broadcast team to interview some of the drivers involved, and the Max Papis interview proved to be one of the jewels of their race coverage. Papis was emphatic and heartbroken at his finish, yet displayed a grateful and persevering attitude at being given the chance to compete with stock car’s best. ESPN cameras also caught the zealous efforts of a No. 78 crew member literally jumping on the hood of Joe Nemechek’s race car involved in the same wreck … that was also fun to watch!
But as the race finished up following that nine-car incident, fans’ smiles quickly turned to frowns. Despite compelling post-race stories, such as: Kyle Busch’s astronomical season, the race to qualify for the Chase, Marcos Ambrose and A.J. Allmendinger’s underdog runs near the front of the field, the turnover above and below the Top 35 cutoff, Bobby Labonte’s trip to the hospital after the nasty red flag-causing wreck, and Michael McDowell and David Gilliland’s trip to the NASCAR trailer for a post-race chastising, we got almost none of these during the network’s post-race coverage. ESPN could only afford to interview the top three finishers (including Ambrose) and race-winning crew chief Steve Addington before they had to quickly cut to an episode of SportsCenter. That left hungry race fans, who had finally seen a few laps of excitement, with no television post-race rundown until NASCAR Victory Lane at 8 PM on SPEED Channel and NASCAR Now a couple of hours after that on ESPN.
This is not acceptable.
The amount of ad nauseam pre-race coverage easily could be replaced with some quality post-race answers to the questions that hundreds of miles of fender-banging racing can spark, and the scheduling conflicts that do arise from NASCAR coverage can easily be worked around. The bottom line is that race fans deserve more than 15 minutes of post-race analysis, and it’s amazing when they’re not able to get it. ESPN has tried to integrate race coverage into SportsCenter following races, but, as stated in this column before, NASCAR and SportsCenter have run about as well together as Kevin Harvick and Jeff Green did with RCR five years ago.
If ESPN makes improvements to its three P’s listed above — Punch, Pit Road, and Post-Race — its coverage will soar to the levels it should be.
Here are some other things I noticed from this week’s NASCAR TV coverage:
Maybe ESPN would be better off using Bestwick in the booth and Punch as the lead pit road reporter, leaving Wallace and Daugherty in the studio by themselves. In that scenario, Bestwick would just toss to them, as he does during the Monday roundtable discussions on NASCAR Now.
ESPN and others in the media, like Bowles, deserve commending for not letting this developing story not die. Fortunately, fanatics on both sides of the issue have failed to hijack media outlets and interrupt a serious discussion on a serious issue.
That more than covers everything from the Glen; next week, we’ll check in from Motor City as NASCAR makes its return trip in Michigan. A big “thank you” goes to Phil Allaway, who did an awesome job covering for me while I was slacking away in St. Augustine. Thanks for tuning in then, now, and next week!
©2000 - 2008 Doug Turnbull and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
The fact that some announcers have been involved with the race broadcasts for years doesn’t mean they are any good . It only means that they have become fixtures .It almost seems as if Jerry Punch would rather be anywhere else than a NASCAR broadcast . He feels his real position should be with important, respected sports like football . Bestwick would be a good replacement for Punch . If anyone can explain the need for the in studio idea , i’d sure like to hear it . All they do is re-hash what the at- track announcers have already said . Ex racers who love the sport and can use the English language are always the best race announcers . And right now that group would be Dallenbach , Jarrett , Petree , Schroeder , and Petty .
Will someone find out how much the announcers are paid to say the word sunoco at every possible second . And do they get paid a lump sum , or per mention . My guess is per mention , they only refer to “ four tires “ so that they can always have time to get in a plug for Snoko . How could the fans , the sponsors , the teams , or for that matter NASCAR take these clowns seriously . They are for sale . No objectivity , no truth in reporting , only advertising for which ever company buys their services . They obviously get paid enough from Snoko that they don’t mind being laughed at by the fans and real media .
Doug: Great recap! I agree that Punch has got to go and be replaced by Alan Bestwick who is absolutely as good as it gets! Punch’s ‘exhaustion’ (for a better word) comes across loud and clear and it makes the viewers ‘exhausted’ just listening to his chatter. Spake needs way more time on pit road covering less pithy matters – she needs alot of help and to foist her ‘learning curve’ on us is not a good thing. One would have thought ESPN would have learned a few lessons after last year’s debacle – they’ve learned some but not enough!
SPIKE THE PUNCH!! Its time to do something different with ESPN’s Play by Play guy!! I AGREE!
I fully agree about the lack of coverage of anything but the frontrunners, I am a 07 Bowyer fan and it is almost impossible to find out how he is doing in any race from just TV coverage. While he isn’t having the best of seasons this year he is also Not a back marker but yet you hear or see almost nothing about him during the entire race. The same can be said for many other good drivers out there that just aren’t driving for the “right” team or have the right last name. All the networks need to do a Much better job of covering the top 20 – 25 and not just the Favored Ones.
At least ESPN coverage in 08 is better than 07. Glad Rusty is out of the booth—great driver great champion good businessman lousy play-by-play. Bestwick is still gonna be better than Punch in the booth. I am saddened by Punch’s punch because I do respect his years in the bidness and him as a person, but he just lacks the right stuff to click yet still the chemistry in the booth with Punch Petree and Jarrett is far and away better than 07. What a friggin disaster that was.
I like Little and Spake and don’t see as many downs there as I do with Massaro and Burns. Burns to me just has never measured up and Massaro’s deliver seems awfuly contrived and contorted.
Punch’s Man on a Mission thing has seemed to cool off. Geezuz, all these guys —or Men on Missions — we should have a cure for cancer now. And Punch’s constant voice inflection ploys just seems so fake. Enough already! If you watched the Nationwide race from Montreal, the lead anchor, forget his name, did such a great job. No artificial use of BS or voice inflection or any “tools” of the modern era. Just plain ole good coverage.
That’s what we need. The last 2 years I have failed to get why we don’t have a Bob Jenkins Benny Parsons Ned Jarrett kinda show. It worked and worked so well back then. I don’t think the world, nor communication techniques, nor the advancement of varied means of communication the last 10 years should alter the basics. And if ESPN needs anything it’s just back to basics…
And by the way Tim Brewer has improved mightily but he has a ways to go yet before I would employ him. But at least he is light years from last year’s debut.
For the life of me, I do not understand why Alan Bestwick is not doing the play by play. Alan came from MRN where the reporters have to stay on their toes throughout the entire race. His low key delivery and attention to detail are what I appreciate so much. Alan provides a great sense of seamlessness that the current broadcasts are lacking.
Dr. Jerry Punch was always a great pit road reporter and should be back there as the lead guy on pit road.
I like both Andy Petree and DJ in the booth and would not change a thing there.
The play-by-play man for the Nationwide race in Montreal was Marty Reid.
I think Paul Page is doing ESPN’s NHRA broadcast.
The reason why there is very little post-race show is explained by the poor ratings time and time again. The ratings for the race drop drastically the minute the checkered flag is shown. The longer the broadcast stays on, the worse it gets. This affects the overall ratings for the entire broadcast. They want to get off the air as soon as they can to “stop the bleeding.” If you want more post-race coverage, you need to find people with Neilson boxes and encourage them to keep watching!
Dave Despain is the only sports show I have on permanent record. If only we could have live race coverage as good as his reporting. Very little of this article would be relevant.