We’ve Got Allen & Burton, Should There Be A Third & Who?

by Jim on December 5, 2013 · 9 comments

NBC is rolling out its broadcast team for 2015, and so far, the lineup is solid. Speaking as one who works in the business (on a MUCH smaller scale), Rick Allen is a pro and Jeff Burton has a ton of promise as a color analyst.

Now the question is who will be the third voice in the booth, or will there be a third member of the on-air team? Tradition had held that the third announcer would be a former crew chief, to offer a strategic and technical perspective. Larry McReynolds- former chief for the likes of Dale Earnhardt and Davey Allison- has held down the post for FOX, while Andy Petree (Dale Earnhardt, Harry Gant) has performed in that capacity for ESPN.

Not EVERY network has followed suit. Remember Benny Parsons and Buddy Baker? TNT has gone with Wally Dallenbach Jr. and Kyle Petty.

What should NBC do? Is a third even needed? Those are interesting questions.

Personally, I don’t care, just as long as the combination works. My biggest issue with our current lineup of broadcasters is the absence of another perspective. McReynolds has been referred to as “DW’s talking parrot,” Petree and Dale Jarrett have sounded so much alike that I often have a difficult time discerning who is speaking. Dallenbach and Petty don’t offer enough contrast between each other, and frankly, it just doesn’t seem like the pair have grown any in their years together.

A new perspective is needed. I read where one fan suggested former Martin Truex crew chief Robert “Booty” Barker. There’s an interesting idea. Could Petree play well off of Allen and Burton? It’s possible. It doesn’t have to be another crew chief, opening the door for any number of other personalities. One thought that immediately comes to mind is Ricky Craven, who in my opinion has been great in the broadcast booth when given the opportunity.

The beauty of this is NBC has plenty of time to get it right. They need to do it right. So far, network executives are saying all the right things. Now they need to follow through. What NASCAR needs right now is one LESS problem. In recent years, TV coverage has been a part of the problem. NBC can help change that by learning the lessons of their predecessors.

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1 Twostepn December 5, 2013 at 11:43 am

Well, since the cows done been fed and it’s too cold to plow, I had some time to ruminate on this.
Jeff Burton will probably do a good job, but he’ll have to go to his brother Ward’s speechin’ school to tone down that Virginia drawl.
And you’re right Jim, they’ll have to put a ex crew chief on the staff just so us dumb ‘ol fans will know about tire pressures and trash blockin’ the radiators.
And just to be PC, they’ll probably stick a girl in the mix too so the wimmen fans won’t feel left out, maybe Wendy Venturini.
And hopefully they won’t be anymore ex-basketball players turned NASCAR announcers………

2 Jim December 5, 2013 at 9:11 pm

@I’m hopin’ they do a feature on the Burton boys and their accents. I loved Brad Daugherty as a basketball player, but when it was all said and done, it looks like he was just there for comic relief.

3 Sue December 6, 2013 at 9:34 am

My biggest fear is now that Rick is going to NBC, who is going to do the trucks. If they put MW in that spot, I will not longer watch the truck races. Its bad enough having to listen to him when he isn’t the pxp man, just think what he would be if he takes Ricks place.

4 Jay December 6, 2013 at 9:56 am

Ricky Craven would do a great job in my opinion. Though best combination ever was Bob Jenkins, Ned Jarrett, and Benny Parsons, with Dr. Jerry Punch and Jack Arute in the pits

5 Kevin December 6, 2013 at 1:12 pm

I would like to see Wally Dallenbach as the third man in. They already have him under contract. His insight. I wish they got Allen Bestwick vs. Rick Allen. A.B. is the best!

6 Jim December 6, 2013 at 1:39 pm

@Sue- as an insider “in the business” I just can’t see that happening. It’d be like making him crew chief.
@Jay- LOVE Ricky Craven. I also wholeheartedly agree on your best broadcast team ever. That’s Al Michaels and John Madden good.
@Kevin- I would be interested to see what WD would sound like without Petty. Nothing against either of them, but they were just echoes of each other.

7 Terry December 7, 2013 at 8:27 am

Sorry, couldn’t handle Wally Dallenbach. While I am sure he is knowledgeable, I just can’t handle the way he says “rafetrack” instead of “racetrack.”
Other than that, he would be a good choice.

8 Roger December 7, 2013 at 6:05 pm

I have several choices for the 3rd seat. Any member of the Pemberton clan, any member of the Parrott family, Matt Borland, Doug Richert, Pat Tryson, Paul Andrews or Jimmy Makar. These are winners!

9 Robert December 9, 2013 at 5:14 am

If we can put Burton in there then let’s put Bill Elliot in also. Those two accents together would be entertaining.:)

Joking aside, those two might provide too much honesty for NASCAR to handle.

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