Articles

Couch Potato Tuesday: FOX Lays An Egg in Fontana

Hello, race fans. Welcome back to Couch Potato Tuesday, where race telecasts are the name of the game. This past weekend, the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series made yet another haul out to the West Coast to race at Auto Club Speedway. Meanwhile, a new era began in the IZOD IndyCar Series with the introduction of the DW12 and new turbocharged engines in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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Couch Potato Tuesday: Good Lord, Show Us Some Racing, FOX!

Hello, race fans. Welcome back to another edition of Couch Potato Tuesday, where we don't necessarily mince our words. If something isn't good, we're going to call NASCAR's TV partners on it. However, if something positive happens, I'll definitely publicize it. This past weekend, the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series returned to action at Bristol Motor Speedway for the annual Spring race. Both of these events (the Cup race more than the Nationwide one) were somewhat sterile affairs, at least by Bristol standards. However, we are not critiquing the actual racing here.

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Couch Potato Tuesday: ESPN’s Surprise and FOX’s Continued Issues

Hello, race fans, welcome back to Couch Potato Tuesday, where we endeavor to take a close look at the race telecasts that are available to us. This past weekend, the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series both stayed out west to race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. *Before we start:* On Monday, NASCAR announced that Paul Brooks, NASCAR's Senior Vice President and President of the NASCAR Media Group, is leaving the company on May 4th. According to the press release, Brooks plans to "...focus on a variety of personal and outside business interests."

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Phoenix Shows Relative Strength for FOX, ESPN Struggles

Hello, race fans. Welcome back to Couch Potato Tuesday, where we take a look at the race telecasts that are presented to you on a weekly basis. Last weekend, the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series were both back in action at Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, Arizona. Before we start; As much as I'd like to bring you a new Critic's Annex piece this week, that is not in the cards. In its place, we have a brand new driver diary that will run on Thursdays in the Frontstretch Newsletter once a month featuring Camping World Truck Series Rookie of the Year contender Paul Harraka.

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Couch Potato Tuesday: The Weather and Fatigue Hampers FOX’s Points Debut

Hello, race fans. Points are finally in play. I really wish we could have gotten the Daytona 500 in on Sunday, but that just gives us more stuff to look at. Plenty to get to this week, so let's delve right into the critique... *NextEra Energy Resources 250* Friday night marked the Camping World Truck Series' return to the track for their first race of the season. With seemingly every organization undergoing some sort of change in the offseason (driver switches, manufacturer swaps, new teams altogether, etc.), there were plenty of Silly Season moves for SPEED's crew to cover. How did they do? Let's see.

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Couch Potato Tuesday: FOX Needs to Watch their Danica Quotient

Hello, race fans. Welcome back to Couch Potato Tuesday. This past weekend brought the first oval-track action to the small (or quite huge, depending on your home entertainment situation) screen. I was amped up, to be honest, even though at least one of my colleagues was not a big fan of the pack racing being back (I'm sure you can figure out who that is). However, even though I was enthralled with the on-track action, there were still some race telecasts to be critiqued. Two of them, to be exact.

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Couch Potato Tuesday: It’s Time To Preview Our NASCAR Telecasts

Hello, race fans. So, the offseason is officially over. Yee-haw. Welcome to year No. 4 (for me, at least) of race telecast critiquing. This year, there will be some slight changes, the first of which you've already seen. That's right, a brand new series title. While I'll admit that "Couch Potato Tuesday" is not something I came up with, I'm cool with it. I had inherited the Talking NASCAR TV title from my predecessor, Doug Turnbull, back in 2009 and wasn't really in love with it. However, there will be no change in focus. I'll still be here to criticize bad aspects of telecasts and praising good ones. The Critic's Annex in "the Newsletter":/notice/9557/ will be back as well, but it will not run every week. We have a new feature that will run in its place once a month that we will be announcing quite soon. Having said that, we're going to take a brief look at what NASCAR's TV partners have to offer for us this season. I'm going to hold off on covering TNT for now since they don't start their series until June.

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Talking NASCAR TV: Focus Hurts ESPN Once Again at Texas

Hello, race fans. You know what time it is. Time to take another look at the race telecasts that we all watch. This past weekend, the Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series were all at Texas Motor Speedway. Before I start, Texas also marked a first for SPEED. Krista Voda was in the broadcast booth, doing play-by-play for the two Saturday morning Sprint Cup practice sessions. How did she do? It was a little similar to watching a college football game on ESPN2 that Pam Ward is in the booth for. Even though Voda has been working on NASCAR broadcasts for years, like Ward had with football, it still takes a little getting used to having a female voice in the booth. Still, Krista did a good job up there, impressive for her first time making the switch. But acquitting herself well in the booth creates a conundrum. What does SPEED do with their practice session broadcasts? Do they rotate their on-air personalities in the booth, or do they designate a specific group to do all practice sessions from there, no questions asked? SPEED management will have to determine their direction over the offseason.

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Talking NASCAR TV: Dover A Repeat of Past Issues For ABC/ESPN

Hello, race fans. Last weekend, the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series were each racing in Dover, De. Neither race was adversely affected by weather, although it was a potential issue on both Saturday and Sunday. Meanwhile, the Truck Series raced at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the Las Vegas 350k. However, before I get into my critiques of those races, a little news piece. Auto Club Speedway (Fontana, Ca.) has announced a fan vote to determine the start time of next year's Auto Club 500. As you might remember, this year's race coverage started at 2 p.m. local time (5 p.m. Eastern) with a one hour pre-race show. The green flag fell around 3:15 p.m. (6:15 p.m. et).

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Talking NASCAR TV: ESPN… Chase… Overload

September brings about the beginning of the Chase for the Sprint Cup. This is something that I have generally not been a fan of in the past, for multiple reasons. Most of those reasons are not really pertinent to this article, so I won’t get into it here. However, there is one thought that does relate to the TV telecasts. I’ll get into it a little while later. New Hampshire’s September Sprint Cup weekend was inherited by the track as a result of the joint purchase of North Wilkesboro Speedway by Burton Smith and former NHMS owner Bob Bahre in 1996. As part of that deal, the two owners shut down the 49 year old short track and split the track’s two Winston Cup dates. New Hampshire claimed the fall date, the former Tyson Holly Farms 400.

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