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NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Couch Potato Tuesday: FOX Provides Stripped-Down Broadcasts

This past weekend was the first part of “10 Days of Thunder” for FOX Sports. Weekend No. 1 featured racing in Charlotte and in Iowa. Thankfully, rain did not play a factor. The action was interesting, though. How FOX handled the situations that arose would ultimately affect how fans perceived the issues.

Sprint All-Star Race

Prior to this year, Saturday night would have been one of the biggest nights of the year for FOX Sports 1. It would have been the only time that the Sprint Cup Series would be racing on the cable network. Now, not so much, but it’s still a big deal.

With qualifying now on the night of the race, pre-race coverage was quite skimpy. The main story was clearly the return of Kyle Busch. With only about 16 minutes before the most drawn-out televised driver introductions in racing, all we got was a piece where Busch talked about getting in the car and his desire to once again experience the pleasure of winning. Admittedly, it was a bit underwhelming. I was expecting a little more.

I don’t like the idea of using Bryson Byrnes as nothing more than a prop during Michael Waltrip’s Grid Walk. It’s strange, self-serving and kind of makes me sick. Also, why are they giving a 12-year old $1,000,000 to stroll around with? Is that money real, or was that just for show? All I hope is that Bryson had a good time doing it. Also of note, the drivers were actually far more cordial than normal with the Grid Walk. Then again, Waltrip doesn’t exactly have that much cache these days thanks to his recent taco antics.

NASCAR likely expected this year’s All-Star Race to be more exciting than last year with more passing and closer racing. The reality was that despite there being 20 extra laps of racing, the action really wasn’t much different than 2014. That said, FOX still had to bring viewers the action.

That action was rather furious at the beginning of the segments. By that, I mean the first five or so laps. Here, FOX Sports did pretty well in bringing viewers the action early. Once the field spread out, some stories emerged. One was Kurt Busch charging like heck. Another was Greg Biffle‘s ill-handling Ortho Lawn Defense Ford. The broadcast even caught Biffle’s contact with the wall on lap 20 live. The second, more substantial hit should have been caught as well. However, FOX Sports made a really choppy cut to Kasey Kahne just as Biffle was losing it. As a result, FOX missed the wall contact and we only saw it on a replay. That’s weak. You had it, and someone pushed the wrong button.

On the plus side, the telecast didn’t have a number of the issues that I often rant about here. There was no Mid-Race Report to take viewers’ attention away from the race at hand. Much like on Friday night during the Sprint Showdown, the commercial breaks were in between segments, so viewers didn’t miss action to pay bills. Also, the smaller field resulted in a more focused broadcast. By all means, such a focused telecast is doable in a regular race if FOX Sports makes it a priority.

I have no idea why NASCAR takes so long to organize everyone with the whole average finish thing before the mandatory final stop. It doesn’t take that long to add four numbers together for each of the 19 drivers still on track and divide by four. I guess it wants to build suspense. All I know is that it’s interminable.

Despite no cautions outside of the time in between segments, the race still finished 16 minutes after the scheduled end of the time slot. Crazy, isn’t it? No wonder officials are talking about starting the race earlier next year. That race has no business finishing after 11:15 p.m. Despite the fact that Jay Onrait and Dan O’Toole were clearly chomping at the bit to get on-air, viewers got a decent amount of post-race coverage, complete with post-race analysis.

Overall, the telecast wasn’t all that bad. It left me wanting more in some sections of the race, but being cut down a little actually helped a bit in sections. The telecast wasn’t as cluttered as it can be, allowing viewers to see a little bit more of what they tune to FS1 to see. While a normal Cup race has 43 starters instead of 20, FOX Sports can look at Saturday night’s broadcast and take what worked here and put it on regular telecasts.

North Carolina Education Lottery 200

On Friday night, the Camping World Truck Series competed in a 200-mile race that came down to a manner of inches. How well did FS1 do in broadcasting the event? Let’s take a look.

Still don’t really understand the benefits of having John Roberts and Todd Bodine host NCWTS Setup from the studio, especially for a race in Concord. According to Google Maps, it’s a 7.5-mile drive from the studio to the track. I just don’t get it.

During the inexplicably studio-based edition of the Setup, the primary feature of the show was a sit-down interview that Ray Dunlap conducted with Busch prior to Dunlap traveling to Toledo (spoilers). The topic of discussion could have been fairly obvious, given what he was doing for the first time this year last weekend. However, if you thought that, you would be wrong. Sure, they touched upon it, but the primary focus was the driver development that Busch has overseen with his race team. Quite simply, Kyle Busch Motorsports is doing very well with the truck team. Despite what it looks like, Busch’s goal isn’t to steamroll everyone while handling the driving chores himself. His goal is to build KBM into an organization that can stand by itself. It’s a work in progress at the moment.

During the race, the primary story that was covered was Erik Jones (and to a lesser extent, Kahne) coming from the rear of the field. I was not in Charlotte, so I have no idea what kind of media obligations kept Jones from going to the drivers’ meeting (or why it was held after qualifying), but that fact probably made the race more exciting than it could have been.

Honestly, Friday night’s race wasn’t all that exciting outside of the final 20 or so laps. The coverage of much of the race was just single trucks and discussion of whatever truck was on-screen at the time, along with more blushing about Jones’s performance. As you’ve read this year, that blushing is an every week thing. Yes, Jones is very, very good for an 18-year-old racer, but it’s getting out of hand. Of course, having said that, Friday was nowhere near as ridiculous as his Cup debut was.

Once we got to the end of the race, the action got good real fast. Jones and Kahne were side-by-side, giving each other the business. It was like watching a pack racing-era IndyCar race at Texas Motor Speedway. Here, we saw the booth really get into the action, something that had been lacking for much of the night.

Post-race coverage was included as part of FOX Sports Live. That said, the coverage that we got was decent. Viewers got checks of the points and unofficial results. I found Jones’ post-race interview to be quite interesting. Here, he ranted about lapped drivers that couldn’t let the leaders run the race to its natural conclusion.

There’s a couple of things I want to touch on here. One, had that happened, the natural conclusion of the race would have looked quite similar to what actually happened. Two, Daniel Hemric, who wrecked to bring out the yellow, was on the lead lap. Jones doesn’t really have anything to stand on here. He’s just frustrated that Kahne outdrove him at the end.

3M 250

Sunday afternoon brought the Xfinity Series back to Iowa Speedway for the first of two standalone races at the short oval. It was a pretty good race, despite the fact that the aura of the track seems to have worn off (attendance is down, sadly). How was it? Let’s take a look.

The biggest story that came out of Sunday’s race was not Chris Buescher winning and walking out of the track with an eight-point lead, but the pair of crashes involving Brennan Poole and JJ Yeley. The whole setup just seemed bizarre to me. I can understand Poole being upset that he got spun into the wall on lap 11. It’s too early to take chances. Stuff like that goes over like someone attempting to solve the puzzle on Wheel of Fortune too early. If anything, Yeley’s actions didn’t look intentional to me. He was trying to get the inside line for turn 3. Also, he nearly wiped out earlier that lap, which allowed Poole to get to the inside of him in the first place.

To its credit, FOX Sports spent a good chunk of the race behind the scenes going through in-car footage from Poole’s No. 42 and other camera shots to see if there was some kind of trigger that led to Poole being spun out. The broadcast team could not find one in the first 10 laps of Sunday’s race. The jury’s out on whether Yeley’s move was intentional or not. He definitely didn’t cop to it when he was interviewed. The booth was completely convinced that Poole’s actions were intentional.

After thinking a little, I thought that it might be something similar to the Greg BiffleBoris Said spat at Watkins Glen back in 2011. As you may remember, the two drivers had had a run-in at a prior race, so they already weren’t exactly friendly. That manifested itself in what Said claimed was Biffle furiously flipping him off and being “unprofessional,” followed by a confrontation between Said and Biffle’s entire team after the race and a classic interview with ESPN.com’s Ryan McGee. However, I can’t find anything in the first six races that Poole competed in this season prior to Sunday that could have foretold this stupidity. Also, I don’t think Poole and Yeley ever raced against each other prior to Las Vegas. We’re probably looking at a one-off instance of brain fade. Also, if the Twitter exchange between Poole and JGL Racing’s Twitter page is any indication, you probably won’t see a repeat anytime soon. Poole was upset over the whole thing, but he’ll turn the page and move on.

Bush league tactics aside, Iowa gave viewers a look at the kind of coverage we’re likely to see this year at the standalone events. FOX Sports chose to go with the truck booth and truck crew. Remember when SPEED aired the Xfinity Series spring race at Richmond back in 2011 due to ESPN’s coverage of the NFL Draft? I got that feeling while watching the race.

With no drivers eligible for Sprint Cup points in the field (Yeley and Landon Cassill race full-time in Sprint Cup, but are technically NXS regulars and are ineligible to earn Cup points), FOX Sports couldn’t use Jones as its crutch this time. The network had to give the NXS regulars their due, and that’s exactly what happened. Sure, there was plenty of attention given to Jones, who could be considered the closest thing to a ringer in the race. Then again, that happens about as often as the sun shining these days. However, there was a good amount of racing for position on Sunday and FOX Sports did a pretty good job of bringing that action to us. It was a swell race to watch.  I’m sure Chase Elliott must be heartbroken to lose the race because of the late caution involving Ross Chastain and Jamie Dick, but that’s life. It happens.

Post-race coverage was somewhat typical. Since the race ran long, FS1 was desperately trying to get to FOX Sports Live. As a result, the coverage was somewhat brief as compared to the other two races over the weekend.

That’s all for this week. Next week is one of the busiest race weekends of the entire year. The Sprint Cup and Xfinity series will be at Charlotte Motor Speedway while the Verizon IndyCar Series will run its crown jewel, the Indianapolis 500. Meanwhile, Formula 1 has its own crown jewel in the Grand Prix of Monaco, and the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series will be at Heartland Park Topeka. Here’s your listings.

Tuesday, May 19

TimeTelecastNetwork
10 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.XFINITY Series 3M 250FOX Sports 1*/# (from May 17)
5:30 p.m. - 6 p.m.NASCAR AmericaNBC Sports Network
6 p.m. - 7 p.m.NASCAR RaceHubFOX Sports 1
7 p.m. - 8 p.m.NASCAR RaceHubFOX Sports 2*#
8 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.The 10: Greatest Charlotte MomentsFOX Sports 2#
8:30 p.m. - 9 p.m.The 10: Greatest Soundbites in NASCAR HistoryFOX Sports 2#
9 p.m. - 10 p.m.NASCAR Masters of the Clock: The Legend of MartinsvilleFOX Sports 2#

Wednesday, May 20

TimeTelecastNetwork
3:30 a.m. - 6 a.m.XFINITY Series 3M 250FOX Sports 1*/# (from May 17)
10:30 a.m. - 11 a.m.100,000 Cameras: TalladegaFOX Sports 1#
11 a.m. - 1 p.m.IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge: Mazda Raceway Laguna SecaFOX Sports 1*/# (from May 2)
6 p.m. - 7 p.m.NASCAR RaceHubFOX Sports 1
6 p.m. - 7 p.m.NASCAR AmericaNBC Sports Network
7 p.m. - 8 p.m.NASCAR RaceHubFOX Sports 2*#
7 p.m. - 8 p.m.British Touring Car Championship: ThruxtonCBS Sports Network*/ (from May 10)
8:30 p.m. - 9 p.m.Formula DRIFT: Long Beach InsiderCBS Sports Network#
9 p.m. - 11 p.m.ARCA Racing Series Menards 200CBS Sports Network*/# (from May 17)
11 p.m. - 12 a.m.British Touring Car Championship: ThruxtonCBS Sports Network*/# (from May 10)

Thursday, May 21

TimeTelecastNetwork
12:30 a.m. - 1 a.m.Formula DRIFT: Long Beach InsiderCBS Sports Network#
1 a.m. - 3 a.m.ARCA Racing Series Menards 200CBS Sports Network*/# (from May 17
3 a.m. - 4 a.m.British Touring Car Championship: ThruxtonCBS Sports Network*/# (from May 10)
4:30 a.m. - 5 a.m.Formula DRIFT: Long Beach InsiderCBS Sports Network#
5 a.m. - 6 a.m.British Touring Car Championship: ThruxtonCBS Sports Network*/# (from May 10)
5 a.m. - 6:30 a.m.Formula One Grand Prix of Monaco Free Practice No. 1NBC Sports Live Exttra$
8 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.Formula One Grand Prix of Monaco Free Practice No. 2NBC Sports Network
10 a.m. - 11 a.m.British Touring Car Championship: ThruxtonCBS Sports Network*/# (from May 10)
2 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.The 10FOX Sports 2#
2:30 p.m. - 4 p.m.Sprint Cup Series Practice No. 1FOX Sports 1
4 p.m. - 5 p.m.XFINITY Series Practice No. 1FOX Sports 1
5 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.NASCAR AmericaNBC Sports Network
5 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.NASCAR RaceHubFOX Sports 1
5:30 p.m. - 7 p.m.XFINITY Series Happy HourFOX Sports 1
7 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.Sprint Cup Series QualifyingFOX Sports 1
8:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.One Hot NightFOX Sports 1
10 p.m. - 11 p.m.The 600: History of NASCAR's Toughest RaceFOX Sports 1

Friday, May 22

TimeTelecastNetwork
12 a.m. - 1 a.m.K&N Pro Series Casey's General Store 150NBC Sports Network*/ (from May 16)
3 a.m. - 3:30 a.m.100,000 Cameras: TalladegaFOX Sports 1#
3:30 a.m. - 4:30 a.m.One Hot NightFOX Sports 1#
4:30 a.m. - 6 a.m.Sprint Cup Series QualifyingFOX Sports 1*# (from May 21)
10 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.Formula DRIFT: Long Beach, Part No. 1CBS Sports Network*/# (from April 17)
10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.XFINITY Series Happy HourFOX Sports 1*# (from May 21)
10:30 a.m. - 11 a.m.Formula DRIFT: Long Beach, Part No. 2CBS Sports Network*/# (from April 18)
11 a.m. - 12 p.m.Indianapolis 500 Carb Day, Part No. 1NBC Sports Network
11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.Sprint Cup Series QualifyingFOX Sports 1*# (from May 21)
12 p.m. - 1 p.m.Indy Lights Freedom 100NBC Sports Network
1 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.Indianapolis 500 Carb Day, Part No. 2NBC Sports Network
3:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.NASCAR America Motorsports SpecialNBC Sports Network
6 p.m. - 7 p.m.NASCAR RaceHubFOX Sports 1
7 p.m. - 8 p.m.NASCAR RaceHubFOX Sports 2*#

Saturday, May 23

TimeTelecastNetwork
5 a.m. - 6 a.m.Formula One Grand Prix of Monaco Free Practice No. 3NBC Sports Live Extra$
8 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.Formula One Grand Prix of Monaco QualifyingNBC Sports Network
10 a.m. - 11 a.m.Sprint Cup Series Practice No. 2FOX Sports 1
10 a.m. - 11 a.m.FIA Formula E Championship: BerlinFOX Sports 2
11 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.Mobil 1's The GridCBS Sports Network
11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.XFINITY Series QualifyingFOX Sports 1
11:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.Formula DRIFT: Long Beach InsiderCBS Sports Network#
12 p.m. - 1 p.m.Trans-Am Series Foametix Road AtlantaCBS Sports Network*/ (from May 9)
12:30 p.m. - 1 p.m.NASCAR RaceHubFOX Sports 1
1 p.m. - 2 p.m.Sprint Cup Series Happy HourFOX Sports 1
2 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.NASCAR RaceDay - XFINITY EditionFOX
2 p.m. - 3 p.m.Speed Energy Formula Off-Road: St. PetersburgNBC Sports Network* (from March 28)
2:30 p.m. - 5 p.m.XFINITY Series Hisense 4K HDTV 300FOX
4 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.IndyCar Chronicles: James HinchcliffeNBC Sports Network#
4 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.Mobil 1's The GridCBS Sports Network#
4:30 p.m. - 5 p.m.Formula DRIFT: Long Beach InsiderCBS Sports Network#
4:30 p.m. - 6 p.m.Indianapolis 500 Festival ParadeNBC Sports Network
5 p.m. - 6 p.m.Trans-Am Series Foametix 100 (Sebring)CBS Sports Network*/# (from March 1)
6 p.m. - 7 p.m.Trans-Am Series Foametix Road AtlantaCBS Sports Network*/# (from May 9)
6 p.m. - 8 p.m.NHRA Lucas Oil Nationals QualifyingESPN 2*/
7 p.m. - 9 p.m.AMA Lucas Oil Pro Championship: Glen HelenNBC Sports Network
9 p.m. - 11:30 p.m.1NBC Sports Network#

Sunday, May 24

TimeTelecastNetwork
12 a.m. - 1:30 a.m.Formula One Grand Prix of Monaco QualifyingNBC Sports Network*# (from May 23)
1:30 a.m. - 3 a.m.GP2 Series: Monaco, Race No. 1NBC Sports Network* (from May 23)
2:30 a.m. - 3 a.m.Mobil 1's The GridCBS Sports Network#
7 a.m. - 7:30 a.m.F1 Countdown, Part No. 1NBC Sports Network
7:30 a.m. - 8 a.m.F1 Countdown, Part No. 2NBC
8 a.m. - 10 a.m.Formula One Grand Prix of MonacoNBC
10 a.m. - 11 a.m.FIA Formula E Championship: BerlinFOX Sports 1*# (from May 23)
11 a.m. - 12 p.m.Sprint Cup Series Happy HourFOX Sports 1*# (from May 23)
11 a.m. - 12 p.m.Verizon IndyCar Series Indianapolis 500 Pre-Race TelecastABC
12 p.m. - 12:30 p.m.100,000 Cameras: TalladegaFOX Sports 1#
12 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.Verizon IndyCar Series Indianapolis 500ABC
12 p.m. - 5 p.m.NHRA Lucas Oil Nationals Final EliminationsESPN3$
2:30 p.m. - 3 p.m.F1 Countdown, Part No. 2NBC Sports Network*#
3 p.m. - 5 p.m.Formula One Grand Prix of MonacoNBC Sports Network*#
4 p.m. - 5 p.m.MotoAmerica: Virginia International RacewayCBS Sports Network*/
4 p.m. - 5 p.m.NASCAR RaceDayFOX Sports 1
5 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.F1 ExtraNBC Sports Network*
5 p.m. - 7 p.m.Pirelli World Challenge: CTMP, GT/GT Cup/GTS ClassesCBS Sports Network*/ (from May 16-17)
5:30 p.m. - 6 p.m.FOX NASCAR SundayFOX
5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.GP2 Series: Monaco, Race No. 1NBC Sports Network*# (from May 23)
6 p.m. - 10:30 p.m.Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600FOX
7 p.m. - 8 p.m.Blancpain Endurance Series: SilverstoneCBS Sports Network*/
10 p.m. - 12 a.m.NHRA Lucas Oil Nationals Final EliminationsESPN 2*/

Monday, May 25

TimeTelecastNetwork
12 a.m. - 12:30 a.m.NASCAR Victory LaneFOX Sports 1
12 a.m. - 1 a.m.MotoAmerica: Virginia International RacewayCBS Sports Network*/# (from May 24)
1 a.m. - 3 a.m.Pirelli World Challenge: CTMP, GT/GT Cup/GTS ClassesCBS Sports Network*/# (from May 16-17)
5:30 a.m. - 6 a.m.Mobil 1's The GridCBS Sports Network#
10 a.m. - 1 p.m.Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600FOX Sports 1*/# (from May 24)
4:30 p.m. - 5 p.m.NASCAR America: Scan All 43NBC Sports Network
5 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.NASCAR AmericaNBC Sports Network
6:30 p.m. - 7 p.m.Mobil 1's The GridCBS Sports Network#
6 p.m. - 7 p.m.NASCAR RaceHubFOX Sports 1
7 p.m. - 8 p.m.NASCAR RaceHubFOX Sports 2*#
Key:
* – Tape Delayed
/ – Highlighted Coverage
# – Repeat Coverage
$ – Available via password-protected online streaming. Check with your internet service and/or programming provider for availability.

Of note, keep an eye out for FS1’s newest NASCAR special, One Hot Night, about The Winston from 1992, the first year that it was run at night. It premieres on Thursday night after Sprint Cup Qualifying. Should be interesting. Also, ESPN has not announced whether it will make in-car cameras available on WatchESPN like in past years. When the information is made available, I will let you know.

I will provide critiques of the Sprint Cup, Xfinity and Verizon IndyCar series races for next week’s edition of Couch Potato Tuesday here on Frontstretch. For this week’s edition of the Critic’s Annex, I’ll take a look at the Menards 200 for the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards from Toledo Speedway. That event just so happened to be the first ARCA race of the year to air on the CBS Sports Network.

Also, keep an eye out for FS1’s newest NASCAR special, One Hot Night, about The Winston from 1992, the first year that it was run at night. It premieres on Thursday night after Sprint Cup qualifying.

If you have a gripe with me, or just want to say something about my critique, feel free to post in the comments below, or contact me through the email address provided on the website in my bio. Also, if you want to “like” me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter, please click on the appropriate icons below. Finally, if you would like to contact FOX Sports personally with an issue regarding its TV coverage, please click on the following link:

FOX Sports

At this point, there is still no public contact e-mail for NBC Sports. When the network finally gets around to creating a new link, I will post it for you.

As always, if you choose to contact the network by email, do so in a courteous manner. Network representatives are far more likely to respond to emails that ask questions politely rather than emails full of rants and vitriol.

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18 thoughts on “Couch Potato Tuesday: FOX Provides Stripped-Down Broadcasts”

  1. Yeah the broadcast was better than usual. Unfortunately it was wasted on a race that didn’t come anywhere near the level at which it was hyped. Why is it surprising that the first few laps after a double file restart are the most action packed? Of course they are. Don’t you remember, the main reason they are needed is to make up for the lack of racing once the aero issues take over. That is also why we need fake debris cautions.

    • Exactly. And would have loved to have seen the proposed 2016 package to see if it helped the aero issues. Instead we got what we know doesn’t work. Brian is playing the fiddle while Rome burns.

  2. Was convinced Yeley deliberately hooked Poole’s car at first. But, since Fox nor the drivers found/spoke about contract prior to the incident, I now believe Yeley’s explanation that he was just trying to tuck in behind for the draft. Like he said “I barely clipped him”. I don’t have a problem with Poole’s retaliation in that if a driver intentionally or sloppily takes you out, they are fair game for the same. I hate hooking the cars but it was one in exchange for the other.

    • I agree 100%. It was so obvious that Yeley intentionally hooked Poole in the first incident. Yet, no discipline was dished out to him. I cheered for Poole when he returned the favor. I was furious that NASCAR parked him for the rest of the race.

  3. Its almost funny, the worst race of the year, along with a mediorce broadcast gets a ratings increase. Go figure.

  4. BTW if you think that the aero issue can be solved, don’t hold your breath. F1 has been trying to reduce downforce for years and the engineers always find a way to get it back. The car companies have a lot of good engineers and powerful computers to solve problems like that.

  5. I posted an article on May 12 which said the All-Star race at Charlotte has been a dud for the past 10 years. After what I watched last night, make that 11 years. That was a poor excuse for a race. I totally wasted 3 1/2 hours of my life on that. I would hate to have been one of the race fans who spent their hard earned money to go see that in person. In addition, all of the pre-race hype just makes the outcome that much worse. And I am sick to death of Michael Waltrip and Darrell Waltrip with their silly, goofy, idiotic comments, too. They both think they are so humorous and witty. I have news for them. You guys suck!!
    I have heard this idea thrown around for years and I believe it is now time for it to take place. Many people have said they would like to see the All-Star race moved to a different race track each year. I am all for that! The race has become way too predictable and BORING! The other option I would suggest would be to eliminate the race completely. It is a joke. There is no racing except for the first lap or two of a re-start and then they get strung out. Again, as I said, BORING!
    I bet Sprint is glad to be done with NASCAR. And their last All-Star race will always be remembered as a non-race and a waste of a huge amount of cash to sponsor it.
    I say move the All-Star race or drop it. Good riddance.

  6. Over course the Fox coverage was terrible, it always is. Still, I’m surprised that you didn’t notice the silly over focus on Eric Jones during the Xfinity race. At times when real racing was going on for the lead the idiots in the booth were squealing about how Eric Jones had worked his way into the top ten. The car was on screen so much that one would have thought his mother was working the camera. Kyle Larsen had a fine rookie season in 2014 that was strangely disappointing due to over hype and unrealistic expectations. Any one have any idea why they lazier focus on some kid and cover him as if he is positively going to be the best thing to come along since forever?

      • LOL, I like the “lazier” focus myself. It pretty much defines the way Fox broadcasts races.

    • I’ve talked about the laser-like focus on Erik Jones previously. It never fails to drive me nuts. That’s why I’ve spoken about FOX Sports 1 co-opting him as an XFINITY regular this year while actually not being a regular. It is frustrating. Last week’s column was a rant against FOX Sports fawning over him. Believe me, there is no shortage of me ranting about the coverage of Erik Jones this season. Unfortunately, Saturday will likely be a continuation of recent weeks with Jones back in the No. 20 once again, Also, Clint Bowyer is in the booth. Strange things may follow.

  7. I agree, the drivers were “nice” because Bryson was there, not because of Mikey’s grid walk. I don’t really think the drivers in general think much of Mikey. As a fan, I can’t stand him in the broadcast booth. I generally avoid the truck races because he’s in the booth and I was very unhappy when I tuned into the race in Iowa to find he was there, too. I had been looking forward to watching that race, w/o Cup drivers and w/o Waltrips.

    Yes the all star event was a dud as far as the racing goes – just like most of the 1.5 mile races are. As Bill B said, the reason NASCAR instituted the double file restart process was to make up for the fact that overall, most of the races lack excitement.

    A few years ago, BZF said that good racing didn’t need gimmicks. He’s right but ever since he took over, NASCAR has been ALL about the gimmicks and not about good racing.

    Quite honestly I watched the race to see Jeff Gordon race in his last All Star event.

    • I was thinking about you as I listened to the end of that race, Gina. You’ll have no reason to even bother following next year’s all star event. I don’t think there’ll be a Charlotte-shaped hole in your heart.

      • Tim, you’re right, no CMS hole in my heart and I doubt that I’ll bother next year at all. The rest of my family, heaven help me, follow Jimmie Johnson. Imagine how I feelwhen the 48 is dominating at Charlotte!

  8. There are plenty of short tracks around the Charlotte area. How about having the race at a ‘home’ short track? It can’t get any less exciting, that’s for sure.

Comments are closed.