Race Weekend Central

Talking NASCAR TV: ESPN Shines Under the Bristol Lights

The script for excitement during Saturday night’s race at Bristol Motor Speedway practically wrote itself. The sports two hottest drivers, Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards, occupied the top two spots in the pack for most of the race. Edwards tagged Busch’s back bumper ever-so-slightly, clawing his way into the lead, and yanking victory away from …

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Talking NASCAR TV: SPEED’s TWIN Needs to Double Coverage of Other NASCAR Series

After intense scrutiny of ESPN’s Sprint Cup coverage in the weeks since Indy, this week’s column will focus on another network’s show. This Week in NASCAR (TWIN) was unveiled at the beginning of this season as a revamped version of Inside Nextel Cup. The idea behind changing the format was to make the show represent …

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Talking NASCAR TV: Punch, Pit Road & Post-Race Are Where ESPN Needs to Improve

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 …

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Talking NASCAR TV: Cup Race Good but ESPN Stands Alone with Poor Nationwide Coverage in Montreal

Editor’s Note: Talking NASCAR TV columnist Doug Turnbull is on vacation, so Frontstretch newsletter contributor Phil Allaway filled in for this week’s edition. Look for Doug to be back next Tuesday with another long list of critiques that’ll keep those producers, directors, and announcers both honest and accountable for their TV coverage of the sport! …

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Talking NASCAR TV: Terrible Tires Overshadow ESPN’s 2008 Debut

The big story following the Brickyard this week was the excessive tire wear that forced competition cautions and prompted drivers to play it safe. But lost in the crossfire between the fans (and media) versus NASCAR was ESPN’s debut covering the Sprint Cup Series in 2008. Unlike the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard, the network’s …

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Talking NASCAR TV: ESPN Needs to Learn From Mistakes to Improve 2008 NASCAR Coverage

The third network to cover the Sprint Cup Series takes their turn at glory this week, as ESPN/ABC begins their NASCAR coverage at the historic Brickyard on Sunday, July 27. The final 17-week stretch to finish off the year follows a 21-race schedule that was covered by both FOX and TNT. Those networks had their …

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Talking NASCAR TV: SPEED’s Stewart Announcement Debacle Overshadows TNT Season Finale

NASCAR media outlets had plenty to discuss this week, as Tony Stewart’s future plans came to public fruition piece by piece. Multiple reports surfaced at the beginning of the week stating that the Stewart-Haas deal was done; and the very next day, Joe Gibbs Racing officially announced to the media that they were granting Stewart …

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Fanning the Flames: Breaking Down TNT’s Wide Open Coverage

For the second straight year, the Coke Zero 400 from Daytona International Speedway will be broadcast by TNT Saturday night using a concept called “Wide Open Coverage.” You remember last year, right? The split-screen coverage of commercials and racing action that had been so successfully used in the IRL – from a fan’s standpoint, anyway …

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Talking NASCAR TV: SPEED Satellite Failure Not the Only Weekend Problem Over the Airwaves

The most interesting part of Sunday’s NASCAR activities at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, at least up until the final two caution flags of the race, may have not even been during the race itself. Early in the broadcast of NASCAR Race Day on the Speed Channel, the satellite feed for the show stopped working. Although …

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