NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Mirror Driving: Schedule Slash, Middle Class Mediocrity And A Cautionary Tale

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*After the fastest Coca-Cola 600 on record, runner-up Denny Hamlin and third-place finisher Kyle Busch said that they believed the lack of cautions is due mainly to drivers having learned the limits of the new cars, along with their fellow drivers competing within those limits. Is this assessment a fair one?*

Phil: Sure, it’s fair. I believe Ryan Newman said something very similar on Thursday. Honestly, that’s not exactly a bad thing.
Kevin: That’s probably a good part of it. Certainly makes some sense.

Mirror Driving: Judging NASCAR Silly Season, Radio Silence And More

*Several Sprint Cup drivers made postseason moves recently, with Kurt Busch jumping to the Phoenix Racing No. 51, A.J. Allmendinger to the No. 22 at Penske, and Aric Almirola reportedly to the No. 43 at Richard Petty Motorsports.  There were also several changes in the Nationwide Series… so which driver made the best move, and why?*

Mike N.: I’d have to say, of those three, Allmendinger made the best move. He’s going to be in a proven, race-winning machine. If the ‘Dinger doesn’t get it done there, he’s got no one left to blame but himself.

Talking NASCAR TV: Commercials Or Racing? Ads Overwhelming ESPN Coverage

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Hello, race fans. Welcome back to Talking NASCAR TV, where critiquing race broadcasts is the name of the game. We’ll use any way possible to make sense of some of the decisions made on race telecasts, even referencing 20-year-old straight-to-video animated films, like last week. This past weekend, the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series each had their penultimate races of the season at the newly repaved and reconfigured Phoenix International Raceway.

Talking NASCAR TV: ESPN Handles Bristol Adversity But Struggles With Their Own

Hello, race fans, and welcome to Talking NASCAR TV, where race telecast dissection is the name of the game. This past weekend, the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series returned from their week off to race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Meanwhile, the American Le Mans Series presented by Patron Tequila (ALMS) held their season opener on Saturday morning at Sebring International Raceway in Sebring, Florida.

However, before we start, Versus announced their new on-air broadcast team for Izod IndyCar Series broadcasts on Monday. There are some returning members, but plenty of changes, one of which could impact the NASCAR on-air teams later this year. Most notably, Robbie Buhl is out of the broadcast booth, replaced by Wally Dallenbach, Jr. Dallenbach has never driven a race in what is now the Izod IndyCar Series, but he did drive in four CART races prior to his time in the Cup Series. Dallenbach will join Bob Jenkins and Jon Beekhuis in the booth. It is unclear whether Dallenbach will continue with TNT’s Summer Series for the 2011 season, as three Versus race weekends conflict with the Summer Series.

Talking NASCAR TV: Hot Dog Overload

Hello, race fans, and welcome back to Talking NASCAR TV, where we look into the motorsports telecasts made available to the general public. This past weekend, the Sprint Cup and Camping World Truck Series were in action at Martinsville Speedway. Meanwhile, after Saturday’s Camping World Truck Series race, SPEED finally aired the speed trials that were held right after the Scotts EZ-Seed 300 at Bristol last month. We’ll start there…

Mirror Driving: Inverting the Field, Road Racing at Indy & Gauging Roush’s Future

Many fans cried foul after a speeding penalty cost Juan Pablo Montoya the lead late at Indy, though NASCAR’s data shows that Montoya was clearly too fast at two pit road markers. What does the sanctioning body have to do to regain credibility with the fans?

Split-Screen Surprise: Reaction To FOX Making NASCAR History

Hello, race fans. Welcome to Talking NASCAR TV, where we take the TV partners to task for their screwups and praise them for their accomplishments. Last weekend, NASCAR’s top-3 divisions (Sprint Cup, Nationwide and the Camping World Truck Series) were all competing at Dover Downs Motor Speedway in Delaware.

TV-wise, the big story of the day was that with 24 laps to go in the Cup race, FOX took their very first Side-by-Side commercial break. If you’re reading this critique, you probably saw how the setup was. For those of you who did not, here’s a “screen shot”:http://twitpic.com/4y616i that a fan took and posted on TwitPic Sunday evening. Let’s just say that to most viewers (including myself), this commercial setup came out of nowhere. There had not been any indications that FOX was going to do it during the broadcast, not from Mike Joy or anyone prior to Sunday. Am I happy that they did it? You bet your butt I am.

Mirror Driving: Kicking Talladega Out of the Chase, How Regan Lost the Race & Do DNFs Matter?

This week’s race at Talladega ended in controversy when NASCAR disallowed Regan Smith’s last-lap pass on Tony Stewart, saying Smith made the pass illegally while below the yellow line. So, who really won the race?

Talking NASCAR TV: Why Chase Coverage is Already Turning Into a Problem

Hello, race fans, and welcome back to Talking NASCAR TV, where I look into the race broadcasts that we all watch (or try to watch) and dissect them with a fine-tooth comb. This past weekend, the Sprint Cup and Nationwide series raced at Richmond International Raceway. Also, the Rolex Sports Car Series held their season …

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Mirror Driving: Ragan’s Win, The Four-Team Cap and Nationwide Leaves IRP

*David Ragan’s win at Daytona was the third first-time win by a driver this year. But was it enough to save his ride with Roush Fenway Racing?*

Beth: One win does not save a career, but it’s certainly a good place to start.
Phil: Ragan was very strong on Saturday… he was able to keep himself up front almost all night. I’ll say he definitely didn’t hurt himself; UPS was definitely pleased with the victory.
Amy: I think Ragan’s future at RFR depends largely on Carl Edwards. If Edwards jumps ship, he could be a bit more secure. The thing is, Ragan is a consistent threat on plate tracks … but inconsistent elsewhere.
Beth: And does one win really offset just 27 top-10 finishes in 163 starts?

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