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NASCAR Sprint Cup cars race past the grandstand at Chicagoland Speedway during the 2015 myAFibRisk.com 400
(Photo: CIA Stock Photo, Inc. ©2015)­­

Couch Potato Tuesday: NBCSN Tightens Up for NASCAR’s Chase

Last weekend marked the first weekend of the Chase. Oh boy. It’s the time of the year in which I become more and more irritable when it comes to the television product that we get from week to week. To save some time this week, I’m moving my critique of the Furious 7 300 to a special Wednesday edition of the Critic’s Annex in the Newsletter. The critique was running a little long and there’s only so much that our editing staff can bear…

myAFibRisk.com 400

Sunday saw the Chase finally get underway. Naturally, with 16 chaps battling it out in this “playoff,” I wanted to compare and contrast with what ESPN did last year. Here’s what I wrote at the time when I critiqued ESPN’s broadcast of the myAFibStory.com 400 last year.

“ESPN basically did not preview the race. The whole show was spent focusing on the Chase and who was likely to move on to the Contender round that starts in three weeks. As much as ESPN wants to pimp out this ridiculous format that’s being used to determine the champion, it cannot be done at the expense of previewing the race. Anyone watching the show wouldn’t have had much of an idea who to look out for on Sunday as a potential contender to win the dang race. Let’s face facts. That’s really important. Not everyone is watching these last ten races because of the Chase. I know I don’t watch late season races just for the Chase, and a good number of the people reading this critique don’t watch for that reason alone (in fact, some intentionally do not watch because of the Chase).

“The actual race telecast shows what teams that aren’t in the Chase likely will have to do over the next few weeks (Talladega is a likely exception to the rule because it’s Talladega) in order to get airtime. Either you have to have some kind of visible problem, or you have to be right up in the mix. Otherwise, you’re invisible.”

Needless to say, I was a bit sore last year, don’t you think? Unfortunately, what we got from NBCSN on Sunday was actually very similar to what I described above. The vast majority of the 90 minutes of pre-race was completely focused on the Chasers and what they needed to do to prosper in Joliet. Where NBCSN differed from ESPN was that there was less time given to what needed to be done to advance. Regardless, the race itself wasn’t really previewed outside of the Chaser view.

Granted, most of the race weekend was dominated by the Chasers, but given the way that it was presented, it was difficult for me to distinguish between previewing the race and previewing the Chasers.

A pack of NASCAR Sprint Cup racecars during the 2015 myAFibRisk.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway
If you were one of these guys, you got some coverage in Sunday, If you weren’t one of them or their fellow Chasers, it was a long day with little mention. (Photo: CIA Stock Photo, Inc. ©2015)­­

During the race itself, we did have a strong Chaser emphasis. There were really only two non-Chasers that got a significant amount of focus outside of incidents. Those drivers were Austin Dillon and Kyle Larson. Dillon could have really sprung a surprise on the field had he not blown the tire and wrecked it shortly before Kevin Harvick’s incident.

I feel like the overall Chaser dominance of the weekend meant that NBCSN lucked out. All I ask during the Chase races is a complete view of the event as opposed to a telecast that is stilted nearly totally towards the Chasers.

Speaking of Harvick’s incident, NBCSN covered it pretty well. However, there was some disagreement as to their conclusion about how the contact occurred. They were convinced that Joey Logano running into the back of Jimmie Johnson led to the contact. Others believed that Johnson was responsible for the contact because he’s the one who hit Harvick. Needless to say, all the possible scenarios were covered before Harvick’s left rear tire cut down and put him in the wall.

Later on, they used their Toyota race car to show a close up of the exhaust pipes, which they believe caused the tire issue. While yes, that can happen, I don’t think that was the case on Sunday. Harvick had the left rear fender rubbing against the tire and that’s what caused the blowout. Had Johnson’s exhaust pipe cut the tire, it likely would have gone down quicker and the resulting crash would have taken out a lot more people. Knowing what happened Sunday, if Harvick could have guaranteed that he would be ok physically, he would have preferred that scenario.

The restart issue once again reared its head. NASCAR chose to review the lap 145 restart where it appeared that Jeff Gordon jumped Kyle Busch. 11 laps later, NASCAR decided to do nothing. What should have happened is NBCSN getting someone from NASCAR to come and explain their reasoning for the move. NASCAR has made someone available in the past (usually Mike Helton) to come to the booth in these situations. I think NBCSN should have taken advantage of it.

The race was ultimately decided because of the final yellow, said to be a debris caution. I don’t like the idea of it being called a debris caution. The broadcast indicated that Matt DiBenedetto wrecked it in turn 2. Apparently, his car rode up against the SAFER Barrier. Some metal parts came off the car. When NASCAR noticed that, they threw the caution. There were no replays shown of what happened to DiBenedetto.  We just saw him dragging his slightly damaged Cosmo Motors Toyota down pit road. It’s unclear as to whether NBCSN had any or not.

Post-race coverage was pretty good. Viewers saw a few interviews during the regular post-race coverage, including one with Harvick. The fact that Harvick actually consented to the interview with Kelli Stavast given the circumstances is kind of amazing. We’re talking about a guy who, despite being very descriptive and forthcoming in some circumstances (see Harvick’s time in FOX booth for XFINITY races), is usually sullen and short with people if he doesn’t win.

Rick Allen explained that the interviews with both Harvick and Johnson were tape-delayed. As they were airing, heck nearly went down in the coach lot. Viewers got to see the video of Johnson trying to explain what happened and Harvick not having any of it and clearly losing his cool while his manager (I think) had to restrain him. If you didn’t watch the whole race, you wouldn’t have known that he was that ticked off. He seemed reasonably calm when he was talking to Stavast. However, earlier in the race, there was a replay of Harvick angrily pointing towards Johnson’s pit as to say, “I’m coming for you!” The replay led the booth to think that Harvick was gunning for Johnson during the actual race. Ultimately, he waited until after the race to get his revenge.

After the near-scuffle, there were more interviews that stretched into the post-race edition of NASCAR America. I found the post-race coverage a satisfying wrap-up to a race I was lukewarm on at best.

I’m not a fan of intense focus upon a certain group of drivers in a race broadcast. Anyone who has read my columns over the past seven seasons will have noticed that. Such an intense focus takes away from all the other stories going on. It’s frustrating.

Having said that, there were a couple of things that I did like. For instance, NBCSN appears to be using side-by-side replays. I’m definitely in favor of the move, but it seems to be in sporadic use at the moment. Perhaps that will increase as the Chase continues on. I also had no issues with booth enthusiasm or anything like that. I am concerned that 2015 might be another Chase filled with stupidity last year. Unlike a lot of people, I don’t believe fisticuffs in the Chase benefit NASCAR in any way, shape or form. It just allows people to point at NASCAR and deride our sport as a place for drooling morons.

American Ethanol E15 225

The Camping World Truck Series was supposed to race Friday night at Chicagoland Speedway. However, heavy rains forced a rare race postponement prior to the start of pre-race coverage. As a result, there was a brief cut to the Setup to explain the situation and show some highlights from practice before returning to MLB Whiparound. Given the circumstances, I wasn’t really surprised at that move. There was essentially nothing that could be done. The weather was too wild and woolly to allow the cameramen to stay on their perches, and it would have been pointless to leave them out there anyway.

The race was rescheduled for 9:30 a.m. local time Saturday on FOX Sports 2. FOX Sports 1 was busy covering a Bundesliga match between Darmstadt and Bayern München at the time. We’ve talked about the 40 million household gap in carriage between FOX Sports 1 and 2 in the past. It bites. It’ll only improve with the next round of major deal renewals. I do get FOX Sports 2, but it’s only available in standard definition in a letterbox setup. It’s like going back to critiquing on a 22 inch TV like I did in 2009. Had to sit a little closer than normal.

I know for a fact that at least one fan in particular was quite peeved about the move, claiming that no American watches German soccer and that NASCAR is more important than soccer. That’s because he told me that on Twitter. I’d post the tweets, but they would make this particular fan look delusional (even though he is not), so we will not share them. However, I doubt this man was alone in his vitriol. Major carriers, like Comcast’s XFINITY service, still do not make FOX Sports 2 available to subscribers. Those that do often force viewers to pay extra to get it. It’s not an easy channel to get. It’s a long-term project for FOX Sports.

With the 9:30 a.m. local start, there was no pre-race coverage at all. By the time the coverage started, the trucks were already on the track. No interviews, no command, no anthem, no nothing. Because of the situation, stuff started happening. I wasn’t even fully settled in for action before Daniel Hemric‘s truck started smoking during the pace laps. From the very start, the telecast seemed like it was going to be a rush job in order to get to Austin for the TUSC race.

FOX Sports 2 gave viewers a rather front-centric telecast. Compared to last year’s race (which was also postponed a day and aired on FOX Sports 2), the action just wasn’t all that exciting. Last year, Kyle Busch started in the rear because he didn’t sit in the truck prior to the start. The first 60 or so laps of the race were excellent. Then Busch got to the lead and the show was comprehensively stunk up.

On Saturday, Larson started on pole because he was the fastest guy in practice. As a result, there really wasn’t all that much action up front.

The whole situation with Tyler Reddick’s fluid leak was bizarre. NASCAR waited way too long to black-flag him. The black flag was thrown after he had been leaking fluid for what had to have been 125 miles. It was ridiculous. It’s like a NASCAR official looked at the black (instead of blue) TV Panel and said, “Gee, that’s not right, better have them check it out.”

FOX Sports did a decent job of covering the saga. We had anecdotes from multiple drivers complaining about grease and/or oil on their windshields and pit reports about it. However, we never found out what it was that was leaking. Whatever it was, it had stopped by the time Reddick pitted, leading to Crew Chief Doug Randolph flipping out on the officials. I’m unsure if FOX Sports tried to get a comment from Randolph, but if they had, he would have had some trouble keeping himself composed.

As you know, Saturday’s race came down to fuel mileage. A number of drivers topped off, but the broadcast only really focused on Larson. Eventual race winner John Hunter Nemechek stopped as well, but that was unplanned. Turned out that he had an issue with the Romeo window on the truck bed that had to be fixed and they took the opportunity to fill it up.

Despite the race being a rush job so that FOX Sports 2 could get to the TUSC race, truck viewers got a full post-race show with multiple driver interviews and checks of the results and points before FOX Sports 2 left for Austin. Great for truck fans, not so much for sports car fans.

Because of that move, the TUSC race started off as an internet-exclusive. FOX Sports promoted the race as being on FOX Sports GO, but I can’t get that to work anywhere (my computer is not compatible because I can’t upgrade to Windows 8.1 and the video wouldn’t come up on my Nook or my iPhone). It’s definitely not like NBC Sports Live Extra, which I can watch on my laptop at home and my computer at work (yes, I listen to practice sessions clandestinely while working). IMSA.com had the race available with IMSA Radio commentators, so I had that on while I was waiting for Lone Star Le Mans to come on my TV.

FOX Sports was not given the best race on Saturday morning to cover. However, they did ok with what they had to work with. I just wish that there was a little more action for the viewers.

That’s it for this week. Next weekend, the Sprint Cup and Camping World Truck Series are in New Hampshire for some flat-track action. Meanwhile, the XFINITY Series returns to Kentucky Speedway with the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards as their support. Here’s your listings.

Tuesday, September 22

TimeTelecastNetwork
2 a.m. - 3 a.m.NASCAR RaceHubFOX Sports 2*# (from September 21)
6 a.m. - 7 a.m.NASCAR AmericaNBC Sports Network*# (from September 21)
7 a.m. - 8 a.m.NASCAR AmericaNBC Sports Network*# (from September 21)
5 p.m. - 6 p.m.NASCAR AmericaNBC Sports Network
6 p.m. - 7 p.m.NASCAR RaceHubFOX Sports 1

Wednesday, September 23

TimeTelecastNetwork
2 a.m. - 3 a.m.NASCAR RaceHubFOX Sports 2*# (from September 22)
6 a.m. - 7 a.m.NASCAR AmericaNBC Sports Network*# (from September 22)
7 a.m. - 8 a.m.NASCAR AmericaNBC Sports Network*# (from September 22)
5 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.SPEED Energy Formula Offf-Road: Long BeachCBS Sports Network*/ (from April 17)
8 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.Formula DRIFT: Monroe InsiderCBS Sports Network#
8:30 p.m. - 9 p.m.Formula DRIFT: Dallas, Part No. 1CBS Sports Network*/ (from August 21)
9 p.m. - 10 p.m.Pirelli World Challenge: Laguna Seca, GTS ClassCBS Sports Network* (from September 13)
10 p.m. - 11 p.m.Pirelli World Challenge: Laguna Seca, TC/TCA/TCB Classes CBS Sports Network*/ (from September 12-13)
11 p.m. - 12 a.m.MotoAmerica: New Jersey Motorsports ParkCBS Sports Network*/ (from September 13)

Thursday, September 24

TimeTelecastNetwork
12 a.m. - 1 a.m.Pirelli World Challenge: Laguna Seca, GTS ClassCBS Sports Network*# (from September 13)
1 a.m. - 2 a.m.Pirelli World Challenge: Laguna Seca, TC/TCA/TCB ClassesCBS Sports Network*/# (from September 12-13)
2 a.m. - 3 a.m.NASCAR RaceHubFOX Sports 2*# (from September 23)
2 a.m. - 3 a.m.MotoAmerica: New Jersey Motorsports ParkCBS Sports Network*/# (from September 13)
3 a.m. - 4 a.m.Pirelli World Challenge: Laguna Seca, GTS ClassCBS Sports Network*# (from September 13)
4 a.m. - 5 a.m.Pirelli World Challenge: Laguna Seca, TC/TCA/TCB ClassesCBS Sports Network*/# (from September 12-13)
5 a.m. - 6 a.m.MotoAmerica: New Jersey Motorsports ParkCBS Sports Network*/# (from September 12-13)
6 a.m. - 7 a.m.NASCAR AmericaNBC Sports Network*# (from September 23)
7 a.m. - 8 a.m.NASCAR AmericaNBC Sports Network*# (from September 23)
5 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.Whelen Southern Modified Tour South Boston 150NBC Sports Network*/ (from September 19)
9 p.m. - 10 p.m.TORC Series: The Chicagoland Slam, Part No. 2FOX Sports 2*/# (from June 19)
9 p.m. - 10:30 p.m.Formula One Grand Prix of Japan Free Practice No. 1NBC Sports Live Extra$
10 p.m. - 11 p.m.TORC Series: The Big House Brawl, Part No. 1FOX Sports 2*/ (from June 27)
10:30 p.m. - 11:30 p.m.Indy Lights: Laguna Seca 100NBC Sports Network*/ (from September 13)

Friday, September 25

TimeTelecastNetwork
1 a.m. - 2:30 a.m.Formula One Grand Prix of Japan Free Practice No. 2NBC Sports Network
2 a.m. - 3 a.m.NASCAR RaceHubFOX Sports 2*# (from September 24)
6 a.m. - 7 a.m.NASCAR AmericaNBC Sports Network*# (from September 24)
7 a.m. - 8 a.m.NASCAR AmericaNBC Sports Network*# (from September 24)
12 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.Sprint Cup Series Practice No. 1NBC Sports Network
1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.Camping World Truck Series Practice No. 1FOX Sports 1
2:30 p.m. - 3 p.m1979 Daytona 500: Pop-up StyleFOX Sports 1#
3 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.Camping World Truck Series Happy HourFOX Sports 1
3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.XFINITY Series Practice No. 1NBC Sports Network
4:30 p.m. - 6 p.m.Sprint Cup Series QualifyingNBC Sports Network
6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.XFINITY Series Happy HourNBC Sports Network
8 p.m. - 10 p.m.ARCA Racing Series Crosley Brands 150FOX Sports 1
11 p.m. - 12 a.m.Formula One Grand Prix of Japan Free Practice No. 3NBC Sports Live Extra$

Saturday, September 26

TimeTelecastNetwork
2 a.m. - 3:30 a.m.Formula One Grand Prix of Japan QualifyingNBC Sports Network
6 a.m. - 7 a.m.Pirelli World Challenge: Laguna Seca, TC/TCA/TCB ClassesCBS Sports Network*/# (from September 12-13)
7 a.m. - 8 a.m.Pirelli World Challenge: Laguna Seca, GTS ClassCBS Sports Network*# (from September 13)
9 a.m. - 10 a.m.Sprint Cup Series Practice No. 2CNBC
10 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.Formula DRIFT: Dallas, Part No. 1CBS Sports Network*/# (from August 21)
10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.Camping World Truck Series QualifyingFOX Sports 1
10:30 a.m. - 11 a.m.Formula DRIFT: Dallas, Part No. 2CBS Sports Network*/ (from August 22)
11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.Sprint Cup Series Happy HourCNBC
11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.Rolex Monterey Motorsports ReunionFOX Sports 1#
12:30 p.m. - 1 p.m.NCWTS SetupFOX Sports 1
1 p.m. - 3 p.m.Camping World Truck Series UNOH 175FOX Sports 1
4 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.NASCAR Scan all 43NBC Sports Network#
4:30 p.m. - 6 p.m.XFINITY Series QualifyingNBC Sports Network
6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.Sprint Cup Series QualifyingNBC Sports Network*# (from September 25)
7:30 p.m. - 8 p.m.Countdown to GreenNBC Sports Network
8 p.m. - 11 p.m.XFINITY Series VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300NBC Sports Network

Sunday, September 27

TimeTelecastNetwork
12:30 a.m. - 1 a.m.F1 CountdownNBC Sports Network
1 a.m. - 3 a.m.Formula One Grand Prix of JapanNBC Sports Network
3 a.m. - 3:30 a.m.F1 ExtraNBC Sports Network
6 a.m. - 7 a.m.Pirelli World Challenge: Laguna Seca, GTS ClassCBS Sports Network*# (from September 13)
7:30 a.m. - 9 a.m.motoGP World Championship Grand Prix of AragonFOX Sports 1
11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.NASCAR RaceDayFOX Sports 1
1 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.NASCAR America SundayNBC Sports Network
1 p.m. - 3 p.m.IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge: Circuit of the AmericasFOX Sports 1*/ (from September 18)
1 p.m. - 3 p.m.DTM: NürburgringCBS Sports Network*/ (from September 26-27)
1:30 p.m. - 2 p.m.Countdown to GreenNBC Sports Network
2 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300NBC Sports Network
3 p.m. - 4 p.m.V8 Supercars Wilson Security Sandown 500CBS Sports Network*/ (from September 20)
4 p.m. - 5 p.m.Moto3: AragonFOX Sports 1*
4 p.m. - 5 p.m.SPEED Energy Formula Off-Road: Long BeachCBS Sports Network*/# (from April 17)
5 p.m. - 6 p.m.Moto2: AragonFOX Sports 1*
5:30 p.m. - 6 p.m.NASCAR America Post-RaceNBC Sports Network
6 p.m. - 7 p.m.NASCAR Victory LapNBC Sports Network
6 p.m. - 7 p.m.motoGP World Championship Grand Prix of AragonFOX Sports 1*/#
11:30 p.m. - 12:30 a.m.NASCAR Victory LapNBC Sports Network#

Monday, September 28

TimeTelecastNetwork
12:30 a.m. - 1 a.m.NASCAR Victory LaneFOX Sports 1
12:30 a.m. - 1:30 a.m.V8 Supercars Wilson Security Sandown 500CBS Sports Network*/# (from September 20)
6 a.m. - 7 a.m.NASCAR Victory LapNBC Sports Network*# (from September 27)
7 a.m. - 8 a.m.NASCAR Victory LapNBC Sports Network*# (from September 27)
8 a.m. - 9 a.m.NASCAR Victory LapNBC Sports Network*# (from September 27)
12 p.m. - 2 p.m.NASCAR 120: Sylvania 300NBC Sports Network*/# (from September 27)
5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.NASCAR AmericaNBC Sports Network
6 p.m. - 7 p.m.NASCAR RaceHubFOX Sports 1
Key:
* – Tape Delayed
/ – Highlighted Coverage
# – Repeat Coverage
$ – Available via password-protected online streaming. Check with your programming and/or internet service provider for availability.

I will provide critiques of the Sprint Cup, XFINITY and Camping World Truck Series races for next week’s edition of Couch Potato Tuesday here at Frontstretch. For this week’s Annex, we’re covering the Federated Car Care Fall Classic 200 from Salem Speedway for the ARCA Racing Series. This was the first race I’ve ever watched on internet pay-per-view. It was interesting for many different reasons.

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. If you would like to contact either of NASCAR’s media partners, click on either of the links below.

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As always, if you choose to contact a 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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About Phil Allaway

Phil Allaway
Phil Allaway has three primary roles at Frontstretch. He's the manager of the site's FREE e-mail newsletter that publishes Monday-Friday and occasionally on weekends. He keeps TV broadcasters honest with weekly editions of Couch Potato Tuesday and serves as the site's Sports Car racing editor. Outside of Frontstretch, Phil is the press officer for Lebanon Valley Speedway in West Lebanon, N.Y. He covers all the action on the high-banked dirt track from regular DIRTcar Modified racing to occasional visits from touring series such as Tony Stewart's Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions.

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13 comments

  1. Avatar

    How about the stupidness of having both Burns and Massaro in the bed of the pick up truck to interview each driver. Talk about not seeing the big picture of ineptness and egos. Burns trying to make a joke about the situation was even more lame.

  2. Avatar

    With all the hype and “Nation” garbage from Nascar all week, wouldn’t you think that the race would be put on the primary NBC channel since the race was going to be so great…..according to Nascar anyway. Nascar should be embarrassed at only a 1.7 rating for the first race of your playoffs. Just goes to show that it really is all hype and no substance. I’m still shaking my head at the amount NBC paid for the rights to Nascar races. They may regret that decision. And its only going to get worse next season when all the Gordon fans will be gone.

  3. Avatar

    The most irritating thing to me was neglecting the driver intervals during key times in the race and for long periods. It’s the only way you can follow the drivers not on camera. Fastest lap shown over and over? Who cares. It’s not even relevant. Laps since last pit stop doesn’t need to be shown over and over and over. To any race fan the intervals between drivers is how you know where everybody is all the time and should be shown all the time.

  4. Avatar

    I can not believe a major ground breaking part of the broadcast was not even touched on in the article. Even Jeff Burton made reference to it that he has never seen this before and that was when NBC used in car telemetry on the Jeff Gordon restart to show he jumped the start. The technology should be used and shown all the time for restarts and pit road speeding penalties. The networks should demand to use it as nascar will not let them. So much for the integrity of the sport. This is like the NFL not letting the networks show penalties and use taking the officials word the penalty happened. Nascar must have gotten to NBC and told them don’t do that again because they showed and talked about the gordon restart on the post race shows and never used the speeds. Show much for integrity but that word isn’t in nascars vocabulary.

  5. Avatar

    Interesting, this column never mentions the steadily decreasing TV ratings while supposedly covering the broadcast. The Cup numbers, easily attainable at Sports Media Watch, inch closer and closer to infomercial levels while the truck and Xfinipractice are almost too low to measure. I wonder what NBC paid NASCAR to air races viewed by less and less people every week. If they could get a “do over” I would guess that they just might keep the checkbook in their pocket,

  6. Avatar

    I got severe overload of coverage of NO ONE but the ‘chasers’ running at the front of the field. Aric Almirola had his 2nd top 10 finish in a row. Never heard a word. NBC shows only the top 5 finishers at the end. really? Guess nothing else matters. As much as I enjoy much of their coverage, the oversaturation of ‘the chase’ and the ‘top 16’ has left me unable to watch a race from start to finish. Why bother have all 43 cars if you don’t cover most of them? Silly me! Who else can you use for those spurious caution flags!

  7. Avatar

    I fully expected NASCAR to blackflag Gordon on the restart – even though they had not done a darn thing in previous races to other drivers – Matt the Brat for one and I can tell you that I was going to be pretty hot about it. I was very surprised when they decided to make a “no call” on it, but happy.

    Of course they managed to screw him anyway with the late race caution – although maybe that was really meant to screw Kurt the magic rat (read MM’s column for more on that if you haven’t already).

    Doninajax, yes, it would make far more sense to let the flagman start/restart the races and get rid of this whole “in the vicinity of” BS, but NASCAR likes to have their gray areas so that they can screw who they like with their etch a sketch version of the rule book.

    • Avatar

      NAS$CAR’s “rule book” can be printed in block letters on the head of a pin with a Sharpie.

      I thought Kyle was Magic Rat.

    • Avatar

      I’m just bein’ a cynical smart ass, but I’d put borrow a Christmas tree from the NHRA & let ’em stage / go green. “Staging” means do whatever the hell they want.

      Sorry, all, I’m grumpy bc of Auburn’s lackluster performance. But Gus just announced a QB change next week for Mississippi State. There I go again talkin’ football on a NASCAR forum…

  8. Avatar

    Harvick did decline the first interview, and who could blame him. So him gathering his composure for a minute or two at a later time should not be viewed as exceptional, he is coming on 40 years of age.

    I would go a step further, yep NASCAR said no harm no foul with the Gordon restart fine. How about a video replay with a NON BIAS person leading us to enlightenment as to the decision NASCAR made. I feel these “decision” (no noth this one) will bite the severity and importance of this stupid format this year. And it won’t be pretty. Who wants that? I don’t.

    • Avatar

      Doesn’t it make sense that the Starter start and restart the “race?” I guess that’s why Brian will never let it happen.