Monday, October 12, 2009 , Posted by Christopher Byrne at 11:59 AM, under ESPN, NASCAR, The Daly Planet
ESPN covered the Nationwide Series Race from Fontana, California this past Saturday, and from reports and comments on The Daly Planet, it was not only a disaster, but a disaster that demands an apology from ESPN to race fans.
What ESPN should do is apologize to NASCAR fans for the entire Saturday telecast. Instead of another Busch vs. Edwards stinker, the dynamics of this event played out to make it one of the best races of the season in all three national series. That apparently was not in the ESPN script.
From the drop of the green flag the producer and director hopped randomly around to cars that seemed to be running closely together. Quickly, the silent ticker at the top of the screen was the only thing allowing viewers to understand who was where. Unfortunately, it could not tell them why.
Steven Wallace and another car got a penalty on a restart. It was never followed up until he magically appeared in the final laps having spent the entire race coming back through the field. Driver Michael Annett was never even mentioned until ESPN discovered he was running in the top ten toward the finish.
The TV chaos in this race was over the top. Marty Reid desperately tried to reset the top five or six cars before restarts. He was never allowed enough time to do more with all the ESPN and ABC promos. Allen Bestwick tried to put things in order when he did an infield recap, but it was almost always too late.
This telecast relied on replays to tell the story to the viewers because the production team missed almost everything on the track from the opening lap through the finish. The final lap was a NASCAR TV disaster that should live for a long time on YouTube. Smoking cars with bent sheet metal, super-tight camera shots and totally confused announcers made for a fitting end to a three hour NASCAR TV disaster.
With the same production crew calling Sunday's Sprint Cup Series race on ABC, The Daly Planet decided to forgo comment and let his readers give their opinions. ESPN needs to read these comments and listen to the fans.
For an unbiased, unspun look at NASCAR on TV, there really is no site better than The Daly Planet.