NASCAR Race Weekend Central

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Talking NASCAR TV: Impartiality Needs To Be Worked On Across All Fronts

Hello race fans. The Memorial Day weekend is traditionally the busiest racing weekend of the year. In addition to the Cup Series’ Coca-Cola 600, the IndyCar Series has their revered Indianapolis 500 on the same day, or at least they normally do. Because of rain in Charlotte, the Sprint Cup race was pushed to Monday at noon. There is also the Grand Prix of Monaco, Formula One’s most prestigious and glamorous event. Also, it’s quite possibly the toughest track to pass on in the series, in addition to the narrowest and the slowest. There’s a reason why the Grand Prix of Monaco is only 260km instead of 305km (standard length for a Formula One race).

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Talking NASCAR TV: 2009 All-Star Race Not The Best Showcase For SPEED

Hello, fans. While the All-Star Race highlights the best drivers the Cup Series has to offer, the rest of the weekend itself has always been relatively lean on actual official racing. The Nationwide Series took the weekend off, along with Formula 1, while the Camping World Truck Series raced a support race Friday night. But the best television story in what was a rough weekend had to be the IndyCar Series, which finished qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 this past weekend. I just want to take the next few sentences and talk about this just a little before moving on.

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Talking NASCAR TV: Some Thoughts About In Car Cameras In Between Spotty Darlington Coverage

Hello, race fans. Hope you enjoyed this weekend’s racing from Darlington Raceway. I thought it was pretty good as well. Maybe a few too many cautions for my taste, but that’s okay. I cannot control that facet of races. I'm still kind of surprised that Sam Hornish’s spin late in the race did not cause a caution despite the fact that he slid nearly the entire length of the front stretch. Oh well. Enough about that stuff, let’s get to the review. Normally, I just critique the TV coverage of the races themselves, but I’ll start this weekend with coverage of Sprint Cup pole qualifying. I have two issues that I want to address here.

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Mark Martin Gambles on Fuel Mileage to Win 2009 Southern 500 at Darlington

Ever since Darlington Raceway was repaved, races can be run to different rules as compared to the past. Saturday night was no different. Mark Martin and a few other teams gambled on fuel mileage Saturday night. While the rest of the leaders pitted for four tires and gas on lap …

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Talking NASCAR TV: FOX Forgets Important Pit Road Injury During Kyle Busch Coronation

Hello, race fans. Hope you all enjoyed the action last week from Richmond. I enjoyed the racing, that much is clear, but did the coverage do justice to the race? Let’s find out. Friday night was the Lipton Tea 250 for the Nationwide Series from Richmond, televised on ESPN 2. Our own Bryan Davis Keith watched the race Friday night and generally liked the telecast. My thoughts on the coverage are that ESPN 2 is slowly improving. For the sake of this argument, we’ll consider Phoenix to be the “nadir” of the season. The nadir is defined as the lowest of the low. Talladega represented an improvement over Phoenix, but then again, anything’s an improvement over Phoenix. Richmond’s telecast was about the same as Talladega’s.

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The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2009 Crown Royal presents the Russ Friedman 400 at Richmond

Brian Vickers’s No. 83 struggled with handling issues early on. This resulted in him dropping out of the top 10. Vickers then missed pit road during the first round of green-flag pit stops, dropping Vickers off the lead lap. After bottoming out around 30th, Vickers came back through the field and got the Free Pass back onto the lead lap with the 14th caution on lap 347. Pitting for tires under that caution allowed Vickers to race up to a 15th-place finish.

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Birthday Boy Kyle Busch Brings Home the Hardware at Richmond

Previous to Saturday night, Cale Yarborough was the only driver in the history of the Cup Series to win a race on his birthday (he pulled off the feat twice, at two different race tracks, North Wilkesboro and Bristol). Well, after Saturday night, Cale has some company. Kyle Busch started …

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Talking NASCAR TV: FOX “Back Of The Pack” Battles No Laughing Matter For Fans

Hello, race fans. I don’t know about you guys, but I was real scared watching that wreck that Edwards had Sunday at the end of the Aaron’s 499. Not so much for Edwards -- but for the fans themselves. After the race ended, I thought back and realized that the crash looked a little like the late Neil Bonnett’s wreck in the DieHard 500 in July 1993 as opposed to the infamous Bobby Allison one from 1987 that was referenced on FOX. But in the end, it didn't matter which wreck was the worst; they were all bad, giving the catchfence a serious test that could have led to a devastating loss of life. Thank goodness everything held up and no one was seriously hurt in Sunday's last lap mess. OK, time for the usual TV review.

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Talking NASCAR TV: Jump the Shark

Like almost everyone else that watched Saturday night’s race, I felt that there was far too much emphasis on Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch. It was insane -- to the point it definitely didn’t feel like the seventh race out of 35 on the schedule, for sure. It’s almost like the production crew thought that the Bashas’ Supermarkets 200 was the November daytime race at Phoenix instead of the April night race. Viewers were treated to constant reminders about the points, along with constant updates on where Edwards and Busch were running at the expense of covering the rest of the race. I know that the director and camera crews have to pick and choose what to cover on the track with 43 cars starting each event -- but this was a travesty.

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Mark Martin Breaks his Winless Streak at in 2009 Subway Fresh 500 at Phoenix

Starting on the front row this season had been a mixed bag for Mark Martin. At Bristol, he ran up front for most of the race and finished sixth. At Daytona, he got caught back in traffic and the rains prohibited him from moving up higher than 16th before the rains came and ended the festivities. And, at Atlanta, Martin blew a tire and spun out, eventually finishing 31st. Saturday night was a different story all together.

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