ESPN Adds Current Owner As Analyst To NASCAR Coverage

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


ESPN was hammered last year for it's NASCAR coverage by those in the know (I am certainly not one who "knows" NASCAR). The network recently made a handful of changes in and out of the booth over the past few weeks, and they're now added current owner Ray Evernham as an analyst.

Ray Evernham, a successful team owner in NASCAR racing and a three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion crew chief, has joined ESPN’s NASCAR coverage team as an analyst.

Evernham, who makes his debut this week from Daytona International Speedway, will appear on NASCAR Now, ESPN’s daily NASCAR news and information show, as part of a rotating panel of ESPN analysts for a weekly roundtable discussion in an expanded one-hour Monday edition of the program. The roundtable, hosted by ESPN’s Allen Bestwick, will discuss the latest NASCAR news and events.

In addition to his duties with NASCAR Now, Evernham will work as an analyst in ESPN’s booth for live telecasts of NASCAR Nationwide Series races from Mexico City and Loudon, N.H. Evernham also will join ESPN’s pre-race NASCAR Countdown show for some races in 2008, including prior to the Feb. 16 NASCAR Nationwide Series opening event from Daytona, and will appear from Daytona on NASCAR Now, SportsCenter and ESPNEWS.
It seems like a great move on the surface, and the insight he could provide is probably immense, but why would you hire an owner of a team in the midst of the season? This has to be an unprecedented move in the History of Sports. I can't for the life of me remember a party with ties to an actual season being an active member of a broadcast.

What would happen if Jerry Jones was hired to work Monday Night Countdown? Just an odd move if you ask me.

(Via ESPN PR)

Posted by Awful Announcing- at 2:56 PM

12 Comments:

This is almost the same as Clark Kellog calling Ohio State games and Hubert Davis calling UNC games. I am tired of having CLEAR conflicts of interest in broadcasting. It is like they don't even try anymore to hide it.

Taylor said...
Feb 13, 2008, 3:30:00 PM  

i couldve swore ive seen him do broadcasts for nascar races on fox before

Mike Georger said...
Feb 13, 2008, 3:31:00 PM  

i dont see this as a problem like with former athletes calling games of the schools they played for and things like that. in those situations those guys arent there because of their brilliant insight, theyre there because of the fact that they are former players (herbstreit, brad doherty, jay bilas)
Ray Evernham is one of the greatest crew chiefs nascar has ever had and can give insight into what is going on more than any outsider espn could possibly find to do their broadcasts. i saw yesterday they had some hot broad and boris said talking about dale senior, said admitted he had never met him and i doubt the chick was even in college when senior died; theres no way that kind of nascar analysis is better than what he could bring to the table

btw he is just a minority owner now as george gillet bought out most of his stake in the team last summer (but im sure you all knew that) and many in the racing media (aka: the charlotte observer) have suggested he was pushed out and is doing very little with the team any more.

Mike Georger said...
Feb 13, 2008, 3:39:00 PM  

Or Kirk Herbstreit talking about Ohio State games. Or Doug Flutie calling Boston College games (and showing that same fucking Hail Mary pass EVERY SINGLE TIME). Funny how you never have that problem when SEC teams are playing!

You said it's like Jerry Jones working for Monday Night Countdown. Actually, it's more like the owner of the Cardinals doing it. He's definitely not in the top four owners (Hendrick, Gibbs, Roush/Fenway, DEI), which makes you pretty much irrelevant in NASCAR.

And if I'm not mistaken, Brad Daugherty has a stake in a team too. But at least their latest NASCAR hire is not a football reporter. That's an improvement

J.J. said...
Feb 13, 2008, 3:48:00 PM  

pretty sure Brad Daugherty is/was the owner of a truck series team, dont remember if he still is or has bought into something else.

i thought i remembered him doing college ball for espn though specifically unc games, thats what i was referring to with him

Mike Georger said...
Feb 13, 2008, 3:53:00 PM  

I live in the North, what is this "nas-car" that you speak of?

GMoney said...
Feb 13, 2008, 4:04:00 PM  

You know, gmoney, the sport that has races in New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Illinois, Delaware, and soon New York City.

And no races in Louisiana, Mississippi and Kentucky (I believe)

J.J. said...
Feb 13, 2008, 4:49:00 PM  

@jj 3:48

It is not a problem with SEC games because most of the "experts" have a tie to Big Ten / ND. Even Gary Danielson, what CBS couldn't find an ex SEC player/ coach for the games ?

@ AA

NASCAR is such a closed shop it would be hard to find anybody without a tie to one of the current
teams. Besides is this any worse than Parcells commenting on Cowboys or Patriots or Lou Holtz's being a apologist for ND ?

jg said...
Feb 13, 2008, 7:54:00 PM  

It's actually not the first time something like this has happened in NASCAR.

Last year during ESPN's first year back in NASCAR, they had Rusty Wallace as a analyst in the booth during the races, as his son raced in a car that Rusty owned, in what was then called the Busch Series, (now Nationwide Series-bascially AAA baseball) I never understood it then, and still really don't.

Back in 1999, when NBC had their first NASCAR race (Homestead-Miami Speedway) Joe Gibbs was in the booth and an analyst during the race, in which he had two of his drivers (Bobby Labonte, and Tony Stewart. Stewart ironically won the race.)

Evernham will be doing most of his work on the NASCAR Now show, which is sorta like Baseball Tonight for NASCAR, so it won't be as big of a conflict of interest as it seems on the surface. Besides Evernham is taking a step back from his team, and has even said he won't be going to all the races this year.

Michael said...
Feb 13, 2008, 8:33:00 PM  

Not so much of a surprise, however. Ray Evernham does have prior experience with the network (he was one of the broadcasters of the race where Geoffrey Bodine suffered a horrific injury after his truck disintegrated).

amoreira81 said...
Feb 13, 2008, 9:11:00 PM  

actuallly they tend to use current drivers/crew members alot for example dale jarrent called about Nationwide series (NASCAR's AAA) ten races last year and was a pre race host for the cup races when he wasn't running the race so its not odd alot of cup drivers drop by on saturdays and add a little insite HELL Kyle Petty either likes tv so much or hates running 35th so bad that he takes a six race break mid season to call races for TNT

wrabb said...
Feb 13, 2008, 9:42:00 PM  

With all the talk of precedents, how could we get this far without mentioning Magic on Inside the NBA while having a stake in the Lakers? Oh wait, because ESPN is TEH SUXXORS and TNT is God.

Morgan Wick said...
Feb 16, 2008, 11:30:00 PM  

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