Check in with Matt and Jay on their site at CareyandCoffey.com.
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NASCAR fans will be in a constant debate about which network has the better coverage for as long as the season is split between Fox and NBC. I happen to give the nod sligtly to Fox. although NBC coverage has improved while Fox has stayed about the same. Having network coverage on prime team shows that Fox
realizes the potential of NASCAR in building their viewership, instead of having “COPS” on Fox and shoving the “Bud Shootout” over to their cable partner FX. While I am happy to see the same trio back in the booth, Fox missed an oportunity to upgrade their talent on pit lane. Director Artie Kempner is still the best in the business and makes a race telecast on Fox an artistic display.
NASCAR Nextel Cup Bud Shootout
TV Crew: Mike Joy with Larry McReynolds and Darrel Waltrip
Pit Reports by Matt Yocum, Dick Bergren, and Jeanne Zalasko
Hollywood Hotel: Chris Myers and Jeffrey Hammonds
Good: While some old time race fans might JUST want the racing action, Fox does a good job of spicing up the telecast to appeal to a wider audience. Face it folks…sometimes these races have some boring times and Director Artie Kempner does a good job with gadgets to spice it up. Mike Joy was steady as always while
Larry McReynolds and Darrel Waltrip added some interesting comments. (DW pointing out Greg Biffle’s gear choice being a factor for example)
Bad: How did Jeanne Zalasko get her job and more importantly how does she keep it? her pit reporting is clearly weaker than her other two cohorts. Speed Channel’s Wendy Norris did an excellent job on Craftsmen Truck broadcasts last season and Fox should have grabbed her for Nextel Cup coverage.
Ugly: The use of the “Hollywood Hotel” in the middle of the race action takes away too much while adding so little. Using Chris Myers and ? on pre-race stuff and during breaks in the action during caution flags is one thing, but having them give an in-race recap during a 70 lap event was a waste. Chris Myers is one
of the worst interviewers in the business nodding his head as if he is listening. A driver could tell Myers that he was planning on running into the “Hollywood Hotel” at 195mph and Myers would just nod away with a smirky grin on his face and never notice!
Telecast Rating: B+
Despite being handicapped with a few weak team members, the overall strength of the Fox announcing team saved the day once again. Since so many commercials are crammed into a NASCAR broadcast these days, it is also a benefit that many of the advertisements are clever. (The new Bud commercials with Junior and the new Aaron’s restrictor plate ad for example) Commercial breaks were way too frequent during the live race action with too much time being invested in the break time pit coverage. A tip of the cap to fast responding camera coverage on pit road after the race too. Showing just how messed up Tony Stewart’s windshield was after the event showed viewers what Tony was talking about in his interview. Fox got the race season off to a good start.
For more “Couch Coverage” of other series check it out every week at RaceTeamUSA.com!
Today on the Frontstretch!
Bowles-Eye View: Follow the leader? Let’s hope not
Jarrett captures pole, Johnson 2nd For Daytona 500
Couch Potato Corner: Bud Shootout
Frontstretch 2005 Preview: 9th – Jamie McMurray
Frontstretch 2005 Preview: 10th – Matt Kenseth
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Dennis no longer contributes to the Frontstretch, but you can Dennis's commentary at his website bio and archive page.