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NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Couch Potato Tuesday: FOX Can’t Fix Boredom

Welcome back, race fans. After the insanity of Memorial Day weekend, last weekend brought a tripleheader at Dover. We saw wrecking, track surface issues and Jimmie Johnson winning again. In other words, it was just like last year. Things never change.

Due to time constraints, Saturday’s running of the Buckle Up 200 will be covered in the Critic’s Annex in the Frontstretch Newsletter later this week. It was most definitely not in the original plan to do this, but the race will be given its due in the Newsletter, along with one other race.

Before we get into the critique proper, Brian Vickers took to Twitter on Monday and announced that he will join NBC Sports Network’s NASCAR America as an analyst on a part-time basis, joining Jeff Burton, Parker Kligerman and others in that role. While it’s a shame that Vickers’s health issues have kept him out of the car repeatedly in recent years, it’s good to see him staying involved with the sport as much as he can. As for a return to the car, who knows when that’s going to happen? Probably not this year unless MWR comes up with a third car or farms him out somewhere (maybe as the fifth man to drive Front Row Motorsports’ No. 34). Monday was his first day, and he will continue on the show today and tomorrow. It’s too early to tell how well Vickers will work in his new role, but I will be watching this week (partially aided by newly reinstated morning repeats) to see how he does.

FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks

Sunday afternoon brought a Dover redux. Just like last year, we saw the track breaking up once again. At least this time, the hole showed up before the race started. Good cripes. FOX didn’t really acknowledge the pre-race patch that was applied in turn 4 a few hours before the race. I personally learned about the patch from a story I saw linked on Twitter an hour before the race started. Regardless, the ongoing patching of holes, plus the concrete in Tony Stewart’s pit coming up during the race is just another sign that Dover Motorsports Inc. needs to look at replacing the 20-plus year-old track surface in the near future. And before you ask, yes, I know that the concrete on pit road is newer than the concrete on the track. It was first put down when the then-Indy Racing League raced at Dover (crazy, isn’t it). I want to say that it was fixed up when pit road was renovated a few years back as well.

Since Sunday’s race was on FOX Sports 1, NASCAR RaceDay counted as the de facto pre-race show as opposed to the pre-pre-race show. When the race itself is on FS1, NASCAR RaceDay has a slight different feel. They’re the only pre-race show of note. As a result, the production seems bigger than normal. There’s more Waltrip sightings and features. Unfortunately, the features simply left me wanting more much of the time.

For example, I really wanted to see the whole interview that Danielle Trotta did with AJ Allmendinger. However, we only got to see a preview of the piece, which is scheduled to air Wednesday night on NASCAR RaceHub. I feel like they should have just showed the whole thing then and there. Why the heck not? Having Cup races on FS1 is supposed to be a showcase, right?

One of the biggest takeaways from Sunday’s race was the general lack of action for much of the race. That’s nothing new at Dover. Sunday was a rather extreme example, though. With very little action going on, it makes the event quite the challenge for FOX, or any other broadcaster for that matter, to cover in such a way that it remains captivating. FOX definitely didn’t make the race all that captivating to watch from what I could see. Much of the first half of the race was spent just waiting for the action to come.

Sadly, almost every formula for competition at Dover in recent years has not necessarily led to thrilling racing. My argument is not even that the cars are to blame (an easy point to make these days), but it’s the track itself. Concrete is simply a tough go. The surface was put down at Dover for the same reason it was introduced to Bristol in 1992. It cuts down on track maintenance costs since repaves were happening way too often at those tracks (especially Bristol). Asphalt paving technology and materials have improved substantially since the mid-1990s. You can more than likely come up with something that can stay together today.

Heck, even pre-concrete races at Dover weren’t exactly the most competitive. They just took forever because of the 500-mile distance (which didn’t bother me despite the fact that even the quickest of them still took four hours) and a crazy number of wrecks that the track itself was partially responsible for (sealer was applied to help keep the track surface from coming up on a yearly basis, making the track slicker than heck when combined with 90-degree weather for one or both races). Dale Earnhardt Jr. openly noted in a montage that aired during the broadcast that he wished that the track would be converted back to asphalt. Will that happen? Probably not. Concrete is Dover’s calling card these days, but Earnhardt Jr.’s words do have some weight in NASCAR.

The first full round of green-flag pit stops ended when Ricky Stenhouse Jr. smacked the wall in turn 1 to bring out a yellow. The crash apparently happened due to a suspension failure. Did we see this crash? No. We did see Stenhouse dragging his No. 17 back to the pits with sparking shooting out from underneath, but there were no replays, no nothing. Weak.

Then, there’s the plight of Josh Wise. I know, it’s Phil Parsons Racing. The team rarely gets coverage these days outside of restrictor-plate races and collaborations with race fans seeking to promote cryptocurrency.

Wise finished 40th Sunday after running into what’s been termed as “electrical issues.” Apparently, it also involved the melting of shoes.

There was not a word about any of that on Sunday. It’s sad how much you can miss at times. Even in a race as “boring” as Sunday’s, there’s still a lot going on. The stories don’t always come right to you, like the dust-ups last year during the Chase that you all remember, or the time Bart Scott gave ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio a rather memorable interview following a Jets victory in 2011.

When there was some racing for position up front, FOX covered it, but there just wasn’t that much until late in the race. Didn’t help that the first two on-track passes for the lead occurred during commercial breaks. Mind you, it took 144 laps to get two such changes under green.

Post-race coverage was a little shorter than normal since the race went long. There were only a few interviews and a check of the points. I’m still not a fan of FS1 trying to wedge FOX Sports Live into everything. It makes everything more rushed than it really needs to be.

Overall, Sunday was a tough day for FOX. It’s one thing if a TV partner screws up a perfectly good race with a bad telecast. It’s another when the race itself just isn’t up to snuff and FOX is forced to sugarcoat a rather unexciting race. I’m personally interested in seeing what this driver’s council will pitch over the next few months to NASCAR in order to make the racing better, but I don’t know if anything is really going to change at Dover for the fall race.

Lucas Oil 200

Friday evening brought 140 miles of wrecking to TV screens. Unlike Sunday’s race, the lack of rubber on the track led to a series of tire failures. Frustrating.

During the Setup, Ray Dunlap traveled to Billy Boat Motorsports to take a look at the small operation and their development. It was an interesting piece. Recently, the team has struggled a lot, mostly due to the fact that both of the team’s drivers (Chad Boat and Mason Mingus) are young and are prone to tearing some stuff up. We saw what Billy Boat envisions that the the team is capable of and how they’re building the operation. It’s still a work in progress, to be sure. Mingus got caught up in a wreck with Jesse Little on Friday that got a lot of attention since Little was making his Camping World Truck Series debut. If anything, Little was blameless there. It was a classic Dover squeeze play.

Friday night’s race brought yet another new booth combination. Up until last summer, the Camping World Truck Series had continuity in the booth. Then Rick Allen left to go full-time with NBC Sports. Since then, it’s been a revolving door. Ralph Sheheen, who did the play-by-play for the race, is the fourth man to handle play-by-play duties in the first six races of the season. That simply should not happen. FOX Sports needs to settle on a permanent booth combination for the series so that fans can have familiar voices from week-to-week.

Having said that, Sheheen did a pretty good job in the booth. He was right on task and very enthusiastic, something that seemed to be lacking for much of Sunday’s race. Phil Parsons and Todd Bodine, making a rare booth appearance, were both solid as well.

During the race itself, one of the big stories was Jennifer Jo Cobb blowing her volcano top at eventual race winner Tyler Reddick. FS1 did a great job trying to get the definitive angle to prove whether or not there was contact, but there just wasn’t one available. The ultimate conclusion that the booth drew was that there may have been just a little bit of contact between the two, but that it was not intentional in any way. There was absolutely no support for Cobb’s reaction.

By the time you read this, NASCAR may well have thrown the book at Cobb. Since she broke a behavioral rule (and to a lesser extent, so did Trevor Bayne on Sunday), NASCAR has carte blanche to do whatever they want here. I don’t necessarily agree with NASCAR’s rule here (I personally believe it to be an overreaction to a very unusual sequence of events), but those are the rules and Cobb agreed to them when she paid for her license.

Tires were a big problem on Friday and FS1 provided decent coverage of the issues. Viewers saw some of the tires that were taken off of trucks such as the one driven by Cole Custer. The telltale peeling away of the rubber in strips was starting with roughly 50 laps of hard racing. That’s a serious issue. Thankfully, the problem more or less cured itself before Sunday.

Compared to the Cup race, FS1 did a better job of covering the on-track action on Friday evening.  The fact that people were actually racing each other helped

Post-race coverage was rather limited due to the sheer amount of wrecking that occurred. Much like after the ARCA race at Talladega, FS1 flew through the post-race coverage so that they could get to MLB Whiparound. It’s frustrating for viewers, knowing that the race would have something like four to five times the audience of MLB Whiparound. I know that FS1 wants to build the show up (admittedly, they’ve had serious trouble building any studio show up since the network’s launch in 2013), but it’s early enough in the evening that baseball fans really aren’t missing much by allowing post-race coverage to go on for an extra couple of minutes.

That’s all for this week. Next weekend, the Sprint Cup Series makes their first visit of the year to Pocono Raceway for 400 miles of quirky action with the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards as the traditional support. Meanwhile, 1,500 miles away, the Verizon IndyCar Series will be back for their annual assault on the 1.5-mile quad-oval known as Texas Motor Speedway with the Camping World Truck Series as support. Here are your listings.

Tuesday, June 2

TimeTelecastNetwork
2 a.m. - 3 a.m.NASCAR RaceHubFOX Sports 2*# (from June 1)
3 a.m. - 3:30 a.m.Formula DRIFT: Long Beach, Part No. 1CBS Sports Network*/# (from April 17)
3:30 a.m. - 4 a.m.Formula DRIFT: Long Beach, Part No. 2CBS Sports Network*/# (from April 18)
4 a.m. - 5 a.m.Trans-Am Series: Road Atlanta Muscle CarsCBS Sports Network*# (from May 2)
5 a.m. - 6 a.m.Trans-Am Series Road Atlanta 100CBS Sports Network*# (from May 2)
7 a.m. - 8 a.m.NASCAR AmericaNBC Sports Network*# (from June 1)
8 a.m. - 9 a.m.NASCAR AmericaNBC Sports Network*# (from June 1)
10 a.m. - 11 a.m.SCORE International Bud Light Baja Sur 500CBS Sports Network*/# (from April 25-26)
10 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.XFINITY Series Buckle Up 200FOX Sports 1*# (from May 30)
6 p.m. - 7 p.m.NASCAR RaceHubFOX Sports 1
8:30 p.m. - 9 p.m.Uncompromising: Kevin HarvickFOX Sports 1#

Wednesday, June 3

TimeTelecastNetwork
2 a.m. - 3 a.m.NASCAR RaceHubFOX Sports 2*# (from June 2)
7 a.m. - 7:30 a.m.NASCAR AmericaNBC Sports Network*# (from June 2)
7:30 a.m. - 8 a.m.NASCAR AmericaNBC Sports Network*# (from June 2)
8 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.NASCAR AmericaNBC Sports Network*# (from June 2)
8:30 a.m. - 9 a.m.NASCAR AmericaNBC Sports Network*# (from June 2)
10:30 a.m. - 11 a.m.Uncompromising: Kevin HarvickFOX Sports 1#
11 a.m. - 1 p.m.TUDOR United SportsCar Championship Chevrolet Sports Car ClassicFOX Sports 1*# (from May 30)
4:30 p.m. - 5 p.m.Red Bull Global RallyCross Lites: Fort LauderdaleNBC Sports Network*/ (from May 31)
5 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.NASCAR AmericaNBC Sports Network
6 p.m. - 7 p.m.NASCAR RaceHubFOX Sports 1
7 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.Pirelli World Challenge: Belle Isle, GT/GTA ClassCBS Sports Network*# (from May 30)
8:30 p.m. - 9 p.m.Formula DRIFT: Road Atlanta, Part No. 1CBS Sports Network*/ (from May 8)
9 p.m. - 11 p.m.DTM: LausitzringCBS Sports Network*# (from May 31)
11 p.m. - 12:30 a.m.Pirelli World Challenge: Belle Isle, GT/GTA ClassCBS Sports Network*# (from May 30)

Thursday, June 4

TimeTelecastNetwork
12:30 a.m. - 1 a.m.Formula DRIFT: Road Atlanta, Part No. 1CBS Sports Network*/# (from May 8)
1 a.m. - 3 a.m.DTM: LausitzringCBS Sports Network*# (from May 31)
2 a.m. - 3 a.m.Red Bull Global RallyCross: Fort LauderdaleNBC Sports Network*/# (from May 31)
2 a.m. - 3 a.m.NASCAR RaceHubFOX Sports 2*# (from June 3)
5 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.NASCAR AmericaNBC Sports Network
6:30 p.m. - 7 p.m.NASCAR AmericaNBC Sports Network#
7 p.m. - 8 p.m.K&N Pro Series East NASCAR Hall of Fame 150NBC Sports Network*/ (from May 30)
8 p.m. - 9 p.m.K&N Pro Series West Bill Schmitt Memorial 150NBC Sports Network*/ (from May 30)
9 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.NASCAR America: The States of NASCARNBC Sports Network#
9:30 p.m. - 10 p.m.IndyCar ChroniclesNBC Sports Network
11 p.m. - 11:30 p.m.NASCAR America: Scan all 43NBC Sports Network#
11:30 p.m. - 12 a.m.NASCAR America: Scan all 43NBC Sports Network#
6 p.m. - 7 p.m.NASCAR RaceHubFOX Sports 1

Friday, June 5

TimeTelecastNetwork
12 a.m. - 1 a.m.K&N Pro Series East NASCAR Hall of Fame 150NBC Sports Network*/# (from May 30)
1 a.m. - 2 a.m.K&N Pro Series West Bill Schmitt Memorial 150NBC Sports Network*/# (from May 30)
2 a.m. - 3 a.m.NASCAR RaceHubFOX Sports 2*# (from June 4)
7 a.m. - 7:30 a.m.NASCAR AmericaNBC Sports Network*# (from June 4)
7:30 a.m. - 8 a.m.NASCAR AmericaNBC Sports Network*# (from June 4)
8 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.NASCAR AmericaNBC Sports Network*# (from June 4)
8:30 a.m. - 9 a.m.NASCAR AmericaNBC Sports Network*# (from June 4)
10 a.m. - 11 a.m.Trans-Am Series: Road Atlanta Muscle CarsCBS Sports Network*/# (from May 2)
10 a.m. - 11 a.m.NASCAR Masters of the Clock: The Legend of MartinsvilleFOX Sports 1#
10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.Formula One Grand Prix of Canada Free Practice No. 1NBC Sports Live Extra$
11 a.m. - 12 p.m.One Hot NightFOX Sports 1#
12 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.Sprint Cup Series Practice No. 1FOX Sports 1
2 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.Formula One Grand Prix of Canada Free Practice No. 2NBC Sports Network
4:30 p.m. - 6 p.m.Sprint Cup Series QualifyingFOX Sports 1
6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.Camping World Truck Series QualifyingFOX Sports 1
6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.Verizon IndyCar Series QualifyingNBC Sports Network
8:30 p.m. - 9 p.m.NCWTS SetupFOX Sports 1
9 p.m. - 11 p.m.Camping World Truck Series WinStar World Casino 400kFOX Sports 1

Saturday, June 6, 2015

TimeTelecastNetwork
9 a.m. - 10 a.m.Sprint Cup Series Practice No. 2FOX Sports 1
10 a.m. - 11 a.m.Formula One Grand Prix of Canada Free Practice No. 3NBC Sports Live Extra$
10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.FIA Formula E Championship: MoscowFOX Sports 1
11 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.Mobil 1's The GridCBS Sports Network
11:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.Formula DRIFT: Road Atlanta, Part No. 2CBS Sports Network*/ (from May 9)
11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.Sprint Cup Series Happy HourFOX Sports 1
12 p.m. - 1 p.m.Trans-Am Series New Dimension 100CBS Sports Network*/ (from May 23)
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.NASCAR RaceHub Weekend EditionFOX Sports 1
1 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.Formula One Grand Prix of Canada QualifyingNBC Sports Network
1 p.m. - 3 p.m.ARCA Racing Series Pocono ARCA 200FOX Sports 2
2 p.m. - 3 p.m.AMA Lucas Oil Motocross: Tennessee, 450 Class, Moto No. 1NBC
2 p.m. - 6 p.m.X Games AustinABC
8 p.m. - 11 p.m.Verizon IndyCar Series Firestone 600kNBC Sports Network
10 p.m. - 11 p.m.Trans-Am Series Next Dimension 100CBS Sports Network*/# (from May 23)
11 p.m. - 11:30 p.m.Mobil 1's The GridCBS Sports Network#
11 p.m. - 12 a.m.AMA Lucas Oil Motocross: Tennessee, 450 Class, Moto No. 2NBC Sports Network*/
11 p.m. - 1 a.m.NHRA Toyota Summernationals QualifyingESPN 2*/ (from June 5-6)
11:30 p.m. - 12 a.m.Formula DRIFT: Road Atlanta, Part No. 2CBS Sports Network*/# (from May 9)

Sunday, June 7

TimeTelecastNetwork
12 a.m. - 1 a.m.K&N Pro Series East NASCAR Hall of Fame 150NBC Sports Network*/# (from May 30)
1 a.m. - 2 a.m.K&N Pro Series West Bill Schmitt Memorial 150NBC Sports Network*/# (from May 30)
2 a.m. - 2:30 a.m.NASCAR America: Scan all 43NBC Sports Network#
2:30 a.m. - 3 a.m.NASCAR America: Scan all 43NBC Sports Network#
5 a.m. - 5:30 a.m.Mobil 1's The GridCBS Sports Network#
5:30 a.m. - 6 a.m.Formula DRIFT: Road Atlanta, Part No. 2CBS Sports Network*/# (from May 9)
6 a.m. - 7 a.m.Trans-Am Series Road Atlanta 100CBS Sports Network*/# (from May 2)
7 a.m. - 8 a.m.Trans-Am Series: Road Atlanta Muscle CarsCBS Sports Network*/# (from May 2)
8 a.m. - 9 a.m.Trans-Am Series Next Dimension 100CBS Sports Network*/# (from May 23)
9 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.Formula DRIFT: Road Atlanta, Part No. 1CBS Sports Network*/# (from May 8)
9:30 a.m. - 10 a.m.Formula DRIFT: Road Atlanta, Part No. 2CBS Sports Network*/# (from May 9)
10 a.m. - 12 p.m.Blancpain Sprint Series: Brands HatchCBS Sports Network*/# (from May 10)
11 a.m. - 5 p.m.NHRA Toyota Summernationals Final EliminationsESPN3$
11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.NASCAR RaceDayFOX Sports 1
12 p.m. - 2 p.m.Blancpain Sprint Series: ZolderCBS Sports Network*/
1 p.m. - 4 p.m.Sprint Cup Series Axalta "We Paint Winners" 400FOX Sports 1
1:30 p.m. - 2 p.m.Countdown to F1NBC Sports Network
2 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.F1 CountdownNBC
2 p.m. - 3 p.m.MotoAmerica: Road AmericaCBS Sports Network
2 p.m. - 6 p.m.X Games Austin: Formula Off-RoadABC
2:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.Formula One Grand Prix of CanadaNBC
3 p.m. - 5 p.m.Blancpain Sprint Series: ZolderCBS Sports Network*/#
5 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.Uncompromising: Kevin HarvickFOX Sports 1#
5 p.m. - 6 p.m.MotoAmerica: Road AmericaCBS Sports Network*#
6 p.m. - 7 p.m.SCORE Bud Light San Felipe 250CBS Sports Network*/# (from January 23-25)
7 p.m. - 8 p.m.SCORE Bud Light Baja Sur 500CBS Sports Network*/# (from April 17-19)
8 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.F1 CountdownNBC Sports Network*#
8:30 p.m. - 10:30 p.m.Formula One Grand Prix of CanadaNBC Sports Network*#
9 p.m. - 12 a.m.NHRA Toyota Summernationals Final EliminationsESPN 2*/
10:30 p.m. - 11 p.m.F1 ExtraNBC Sports Network*#

Monday, June 8

TimeTelecastNetwork
12 a.m. - 2 a.m.Blancpain Sprint Series: ZolderCBS Sports Network*/# (from June 7)
1 a.m. - 3 a.m.Verizon IndyCar Series Firestone 600kNBC Sports Network*/# (from June 6)
2 a.m. - 3 a.m.MotoAmerica: Road AmericaCBS Sports Network*/# (from June 7)
3 a.m. - 4 a.m.SCORE Bud Light Baja Sur 500CBS Sports Network*/# (from April 17-19)
4 a.m. - 5 a.m.SCORE Bud Light San Felipe 250CBS Sports Network*/# (from January 23-25)
10 a.m. - 11 a.m.Trans-Am Series Next Dimension 100CBS Sports Network*/# (from May 23)
4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.NASCAR RaceHubFOX Sports 1
5 p.m. - 6 p.m.NASCAR AmericaNBC Sports Network
11 p.m. - 12 a.m.NASCAR RaceHubFOX Sports 2*#
Key:
* – Tape Delayed
/ – Highlighted Coverage
# – Repeat Coverage
$ – Available via password-protected online streaming. Check with your internet service provider for availability.

I will provide critiques of the Sprint Cup and Camping World Truck Series telecasts in next week’s edition of Couch Potato Tuesday here on Frontstretch. The third race covered will either be the Pocono ARCA 200 from Pocono Raceway or the Firestone 600k from Texas Motor Speedway. For the Annex this week, I’ll have the Buckle Up 200 from Dover, plus one of the races from Belle Isle Park last weekend. I have both Verizon IndyCar Series races, the Pirelli World Challenge event, and the 100-minute TUSC race to choose from. One irritated me more than the others. Guess which one that was.

Also of note, I recommend watching the telecast of the Trans-Am Series Next Dimension 100 from Lime Rock Park on CBS Sports Network this weekend (if you can). The series uses the 1.53-mile configuration without the chicane at the Climbing Turn. There’s a reason why the Climbing Turn at Lime Rock is a popular viewing spot for spectators.

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 their 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 they finally get 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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Bill B

RE: “I’m personally interested in seeing what this driver’s council will pitch over the next few months to NASCAR in order to make the racing better, but I don’t know if anything is really going to change at Dover for the fall race.”
My bet is nothing will change anywhere. While NASCAR acts like they listen to fans, drivers, owners, etc., from what I’ve seen through the years they don’t seem to listen to anyone.

Steve

Nascar is already downplaying it, saying that they already meet regularly with the drivers in some form or another. So this tells you pretty much all you need to know. That nothing will come of this. What are the drivers going to do? Leave Nascar and go race somewhere else for less money if they don’t get what they want? Don’t count on it. They aren’t going to bite the hand that feeds them their huge salaries. If I was a driver making that much money doing something I love, I would fall right in line too, unless it was a safety issue.

DoninAjax

It looks to me that Brian has led NA$CAR so far down the road to a cliff that there’s no way to stop in time.

What surprised me the most about the broadcast was the fact that more than one car appeared in some of the shots. I couldn’t read the Moog or Champion decals on the fenders of the chosen few.

Dennis

“What surprised me the most about the broadcast was the fact that more than one car appeared in some of the shots. I couldn’t read the Moog or Champion decals on the fenders of the chosen few.”

Hahaha. Love it! My laugh for the day. Too true.

Tim S.

Like I said on another column, I had no plans to watch the whole race, but did plan to check in once in awhile to see what was happening. Four times I flipped to FS1, and four times it was in commercial. A glance at the timing and scoring made me happy that I had not sacrificed my Sunday for another Cup event.

JohnQ

Two things. First, it is the cars. No passing equals boring racing whether at Dover or the Crown Jewel of Boring, Daytona. Second, the actual broadcast. Michael Waltrip is a buffoon, he cannot help what he is, he has nothing to offer and will always be hopeless as a broadcaster. Nobody expects anything from him. Lately, I tend to find Larry McNascar the more bothersome. He seems to have real knowledge that he chooses not to share with the audience as he has completely sold out to NASCAR, Toyota, and whatever corporate sponsor has rented him for the weekend. His complete lack of integrity does a disservice to the Fox audience.

russ

Parity.

GinaV24

So right, John Q.

Guest

One of my co-workers was at the race and he was listening to the TV broadcast on the scanner. The mics were still hot during commercial and he said Mike Joy complained about the race not even being half over on lap 120-ish, and DW made a comment about the problem being the cars. I was shocked cause I thought in DW’s eyes NASCAR could do no wrong.

jerseygirl

only in public! I’m quite sure that Mike Joy, DW and the rest know the problems only too well, but they get paid to be enthusiastic and they don’t want NASCAR to beat up on them.

Dennis

Get rid of as much down force as you can. Get the cars up off the ground. Go to bias ply tires. You will have a show.

GinaV24

I agree with Bill B. I don’t expect anything to change. Input from the “driver’s council”. ha, what a joke. NASCAR’s management doesn’t listen to anyone, they do whatever they want and then try and pretend that they are doing what everyone wants. They SHOULD listen but they won’t.

Also as far as the coverage of the races by Fox. I’m not a fan of their coverage – IMO they don’t actually cover the race, they cover what they are paid to cover by sponsors or whoever. And as far as the racing goes, well, you can put lipstick on a pig, but it is still a pig.

I watched the race from around 3:15 p.m. on but was switching from FS1 to the Indycar race until the very end of the race.

Biff Baynehouse

First, to clarify, I LOVE Nascar & have for the majority of my life. It is fans like me that found appeal in Nascar, who supported it, made it grow & made it what it is. So let’s not be so generous in noting issues that currently plague it. Imo, being nice about it has enabled it’s decline, so lets not be afraid to take of our gloves, so to speak. As technological advances have made comprehensive coverage much easier & cheaper, corporate greed & gluttony has surpassed technology & caused race coverage to become MUCH less integral. So please, let’s not dress up the fact that, in recent year, the “network in question” has disenfranchised this brand & a massive amount of it’s former followers, myself obviously included. The “network in question” is providing the worst TV coverage in the 40 year history of televised Nascar races. Regarding Dover coverage (or lack there-of), critical events that were NOT show & largely ignored during Sundays broadcast include (but are not limited to): track surface repairs (pre-race patching), many of the (very limited) passes for the lead, #17 wreck & their other issues, #20 issues, #98 issues, why the #6 was called to the hauler, why the #18 was NOT called to the hauler, #2 hitting #35’s jack man in the pits …& much more I suspect! This is full on unethical, unconscionable, abhorrent & detestable! Race car aero-dependency is NOT the reason this race is being viewed as boring. Parrish the thought! Weak, impotent & flat-out LAME TV broadcasting is! Racing is made for TV! If viewers consider a 400 mile race with 40+ cars going 150 or 200 miles an hour boring, that is a definite sign that the broadcast is HIGHLY dysfunctional! There are only two things the “network in question” is good at. Their prime mission & the only thing they emphasize (inc. 2.5 hours of pre-race) is obliterating as much racing & race news as possible! All tolled (inc pre-race) I am sure there were more ads than there were laps in the race. 400+ ads, I am sure & they somehow find time to cram those insipid sports desks breaks into races, that only serve to make attempting to follow races all the more frustrating, if not impossible! One of the “network in question’s” new segments is the “halfway review”, which sounds neat, but, as any 3 year old can quickly figure out, in reality it is contrived solely to increase ad content & revenue. It is a 2 minute review of the race, at a point near half distance in the race, that occurs, by contract, during green flag racing, that relegates live racing into the small side of a split screen view & emphasizes commentators in the larger view, in conjunction with wearisome banners & other ticker style ads. This is not so bad in itself, except for the fact that the “review” is preceded & followed by 2 minutes of full screen ads, making for a full 4-6 minute segment in the middle of the race that, by contractual obligation, is totally obliterated! Insidious! Also, the pre-race shows, that used to focus on actual race matters, is now just a useless train of ads strung together by useless & truncated human interest stories that are typically wholly unrelated to the RACE DAY in question! The only other thing the “network in question” emphasizes is dumbing down the mechanical, technical & strategic nuances of races so it is, supposedly, more easily ingested by mass quantities (of uninterested know-nothing non-viewers), by resorting to the infamous & idiotic Darrel Waltrip’s DW-izms. Ie: Booggity! The cars are historically science’ed-out for strategical co-op-petition. Such an emphasis is INSULTING to long-term & knowledgeable race followers who are left uninspired by DW’s inane vocabulary & lack of understanding basic concepts, like the English language! And such long-term fans are left hungry for in-depth comprehensive coverage they do not get from the “network in question”. Not to mention, likewise for Michael Waltrip, regarding the Truck & Busch series. This week [DW] became stupefied by the fact that concrete provides better fuel mileage than asphalt (because concrete is harder). He must have mentioned it 1/2 dozen times, but failed to realize or mention, in the context of a race, this means NADA! The track is the same for everyone so NO mileage advantage can be extracted by anyone, but he sure was proud of himself! Which leads me to what the prime mission of ANY sports/news broadcaster SHOULD be. Namely, removing themselves & their personalities from the circumstances of events they are broadcasting. The “News” should NEVER be about the newscaster! A sporting event should NEVER be about the commentator! The “network in question” broadcasting the event is NOT the event! They did not create it! They are not participating in it! So, they should not attempt to assert that they are part-in-parcel with it’s existence. They should exude transparency & disappear as much as possible & try NOT to be the topic & subject. This is a concept that is lost upon the “network in question”. No! Sadly, they exist for quite the opposite, because the entity responsible for the most numerous amount of ads is none other than the “network in question” advertising itself! And, to my dismay, on a weekly basis, they are followed, closely, in advertising volume, by the second most offensive advertiser …Nascar itself! So, this leads to a series of obvious, yet rhetorical question: How weak & impotent must your product be, & how little confidence must you have in the potency of your product if you feel the need to obliterate approx. 1/4 of YOUR OWN live product, with YOUR OWN advertising? This is mind-numbing frustrating! Nascar did not go national (or global even) until they began full-time TV coverage. Then they allowed the cars to evolve, from stock showroom cars that were tweaked by backyard & barn mechanics, into highly specialized robotically fabricated widgets made by a couple corporate entities that are void of anything stock, including appearance. Next they began to abandon their base, by leaving their historic tracks & (fan) supporters or removing repeat visits in a season, in pursuit of greener ($$$) pastures in larger markets (therein turning their backs on & offensively insulting a huge percentage of their fan base & people who are responsible for their success & growth in the 80’s & 90’s). Now, what I believe will be the final alienation to it’s once massive & fanatical fan base, it is allowing & participating in the “network in question’s” obliteration of cohesive & comprehensive coverage. When they obliterate over 1/3 of live races with advertising, unlike football or baseball games, in which many instances for pause naturally occur, they obliterate race continuity & integrity. Hence summarily RUINING the event! Especially so, when the completely ignore what happened during their (commercial) breaks. Important race happen-stances of many multi-million dollar teams are completely & totally ignored! So it seems, the next development will be many of those multi-million dollar sponsors hopping off this sinking ship! How upset would football fans be if one full quarter of every televised game was obliterated & ignored? Would that effect the NFL’s fan loyalty & the NFL’s bottom line? How about every televised baseball game with 3 innings of each game skipped & ignored? Would MLB fan loyalty be affected? Would TV ratings decline? Pfft! You are DARN right they would, GREATLY! In fact, Nascar fan loyalty is MUCH more negatively effected by this because races are races! They do not have naturally occurring breaks, like quarters, halftime or field swaps. Regardless, barring the multiple events I have physically attended in person, I have watched, essentially, every Nascar event ever broadcasted. For decades, I have watched the all pre-race shows & all races with a avid & nearly religions fervor. Since the “network in question” monopolized Nascar coverage, especially in the past few years, despite vastly improved audio & visual technology at the track & in the cars, the coverage has gotten consistently worst. Now it is revoltingly BAD! Now, I do not watch Race Day anymore, at all! Now, I do not watch the pre-race broadcast anymore, at all! And my new religion consists largely of damage control, in limiting the amount of obnoxious & odious advertising displayed in my house! Appallingly, it is much like a video game! When they queue the lead-out background music that initiates commercial breaks, I tune Nascar races off! Then, at approx. the 2 minute mark, I check to see if the race is back on. Thusly, this goes the entire race, so undoubtedly, I miss at least half of every race! This is not a model of success! It is a model of un-regulated & un-checked corporate greed & gluttony that is bleeding an American main-stay dry! I feel I am watching something I love being consumed by disease! It seems only a matter of time before I will sever my participation entirely, because next to no entertainment value remains in these barbarically severed disseminations of races! Savagely Tragic Butchery!

Joe

Biff, you penned an absolutely spot on assessment of the mess that FOX is. What I can’t understand is why people like Phil Allaway are always enabling the very people that are responsible for the tragedy that isacurrent Nascar TV coverage. I’ve been opining about it for four years and I am always rebuffed by Alloway so I quit replying. Lastly, I contend that the FOX style of race broadcast coverage has poisoned the other networks. Where are OUR advocates?

Steve

Two words Biff. Paragraph’s please! Other than that, I agree wholeheartedly with yours and Joe’s comments. Reading this article every week is nearly as painful as watching the races. I get it, though. Phil wants to give a respectful critique, but he seems to let them off too easy, because frankly, the tv version of a race is unwatchable, and has been for years. If people are getting more info from twitter than on the race broadcast, how can someone see that as a good thing. You shouldn’t need 7 different devices to follow the race. TV should be all you need, but sadly it isn’t. I’m optimistic that NBC starts a new trend of good race broadcasts. They do pretty well with other forms of racing. And they have some new faces when they get started. It can’t get much worse that it already is.

Biff Baynehouse

Steve/Joe/Phil: For the record; I respect & admire Phil’s take on the situation & his work here. I realize the job of reputable authors & publications requires a dignified & diplomatic approach, otherwise, similar to race teams, they loose sponsors. So I know & appreciate that they can not afford to be nearly as verbose as commenters like me. I did not mean my opening comments in a critical sense, in fact I meant it in a light hearted, 1/2 joking way… And, yes Steve …very very sad!

Fed Up

I totally agree with Biff’s comments. Also, if NA$CAR wanted real input, they would encourage an open
fan dialogue. Vickers will only be an NBC substitute for Mikey & DW, as a Toyota cheerleader.
It’s a shame the sport cannot afford legitimate announcers.
We watch “in spite of, not because of”.

Half Fast

As a now TV only race fan I appreciate your commentary as well as the feedback.

Your upcoming weeks TV schedule is very useful, so I can set my DVR.

Thanks

Frontstretch