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Home / Author Archives: Phil Allaway (page 12)

Author Archives: Phil Allaway

Phil Allaway
Newsletter Editor for Frontstretch since mid-2008, Phil is responsible for the site’s Monday-Friday FREE e-newsletter that keeps fans up-to-date with the latest racing news, along with exclusive features and commentary. Our head news writer, Phil also doubles as our broadcast critic, keeping broadcasts honest for years with his Couch Potato Tuesday column. A writer for the Troy (NY) Record, Phil is also one of the lead reporters at Lebanon Valley Speedway in Pennsylvania every weekend during short track season.
Logano Is The Whammy While Bad Production Decisions Hurt ESPN

Logano Is The Whammy While Bad Production Decisions Hurt ESPN

Hello, race fans. Welcome back to Couch Potato Tuesday, where race telecast criticism is our grandmaster plan. This past weekend, the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series were each at Kansas Speedway for a cavalcade of wrecks, and some racing as well. However, before we start, there are a couple of motorsports-related news bites that must be mentioned. On Friday, the ARCA Racing Series announced that they have reached a multi-year agreement with Fox Sports Media Group to continue airing a minimum of ten races a year on SPEED and/or Fox Sports 1 through at least 2014 on a live or same day, tape-delay basis. This decision shores up the deal for a series that just a little while ago appeared to be falling off of television as a result of the changeover. Read More »

ESPN Brings Some Boring Telecasts from Charlotte

ESPN Brings Some Boring Telecasts from Charlotte

Hello, race fans. Welcome back to Couch Potato Tuesday, where race telecast critiques are the name of the game. This past weekend, the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series each raced at Charlotte Motor Speedway. A nice home game for most. However, there is TV rights news that must be mentioned before we start. "The Sports Business Journal is reporting":http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Journal/Issues/2012/10/15/Media/NASCAR-TV.aspx that FOX has officially re-upped with NASCAR. The extension is eight additional years, beginning in 2015 at a cost of slightly over $2.4 billion. This allows FOX to keep rights to the first 13 point races of the Sprint Cup season, the Budweiser Shootout, Budweiser Duels, Sprint All-Star Race and the Camping World Truck Series. It's currently unclear whether the current amount of programming will remain, or if the potential re-branding of SPEED would affect it in any way. Read More »

Couch Potato Tuesday: Sunspots Detract from Race Broadcasts

Couch Potato Tuesday: Sunspots Detract from Race Broadcasts

Hello, race fans. Welcome back to Couch Potato Tuesday, where race telecast critique is the name of our game. This past weekend, the Sprint Cup and Camping World Truck Series were both in action at Talladega Superspeedway. High speeds and close quarters were definitely on tap. Last weekend was the 50th running of the *Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.* As you probably noticed, we didn't get it live this year on SPEED, which officially bites. SPEED decided not to put up the money to send a crew down to Bathurst for the race like last year. They even admitted that springing for airfare back to the U.S. in between Bathurst and Surfer's Paradise was a terrible idea and that if they returned, they'd stay over during the break. Read More »

Couch Potato Tuesday: Shrunken Lead Lap Equals Shrunken Focus for ESPN

Couch Potato Tuesday: Shrunken Lead Lap Equals Shrunken Focus for ESPN

Hello, race fans. Welcome back to Couch Potato Tuesday, where race telecast breakdowns are the name of the game. This past weekend, the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series each raced at Dover International Speedway, while the Camping World Truck Series raced Saturday night at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Before we start, "here's an example of what not to do on an ESPN3 live feed.":http://deadspin.com/5947950/in-least+professional-broadcast-ever-espn-announcers-mock-wrecked-rallycross-driver-as-hes-taken-to-hospital This is from ESPN3's coverage of the Global Rallycross Championship race in Las Vegas, held after the Smith's 350. Read More »

Couch Potato Tuesday: Points Burnout after Two Weeks? Huh Boy

Couch Potato Tuesday: Points Burnout after Two Weeks? Huh Boy

Hello, race fans. Welcome back to Couch Potato Tuesday, where race telecast criticism is the name of the game. This past weekend, the Sprint Cup Series raced at New Hampshire Motor Speedway with three lower level series (Whelen Modified Tour, K&N Pro Series and an exhibition race for the ACT Tour) as support. Meanwhile, the Camping World Truck and Nationwide Series each raced at a somewhat empty Kentucky Speedway. Read More »

Opening Day for NASCAR’s Chase Sets the Tone on ESPN

Opening Day for NASCAR’s Chase Sets the Tone on ESPN

*MavTV American Real 500* On Saturday night under blinding sunshine (literally), the IZOD IndyCar Series held their 500-mile season finale at Auto Club Speedway. On this night, there was really but one big story for the race, that being the championship. However, more was at play here than just the title chase. IndyCar Central started out with a look back at the craziness that was the Baltimore Grand Prix presented by SRT before getting into the pre-race interviews. The primary feature of the show was a one-on-one interview that Marty Snider conducted with Will Power. The main topic of discussion included the upcoming championship battle with Ryan Hunter-Reay and how Power has been unable to finish in recent years. Read More »

ESPN Reintroduces Fans to Johanna Long; Hypes Wild Cards Repeatedly

ESPN Reintroduces Fans to Johanna Long; Hypes Wild Cards Repeatedly

Hello, race fans. Welcome back to Couch Potato Tuesday, where race telecast criticism and praise is our goal. This past weekend, the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series raced at Richmond International Raceway, and in the case of Sprint Cup, dealt with rain. Before we start, there are two things I must note. ESPN confirmed Jamie Little will be back on pit road this weekend in Joliet. I'm happy to have Little back on the telecasts. Read More »

ESPN Puts Themselves (Unintentionally) in a Dark Place at Atlanta

ESPN Puts Themselves (Unintentionally) in a Dark Place at Atlanta

Hello, race fans. Welcome back to Couch Potato Tuesday, where race broadcast criticism is the name of the game. This past week, the Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series were each at Atlanta Motor Speedway for 1,000 miles of racing and wearing tires down to the cords. Speaking of wearing down to the cords, I'm pretty sure that Trevor Bayne did quite a bit of that on Sunday night if his practice laps Saturday were any indication. His car seemed to be more at home at Lebanon Valley than Atlanta. Also of note, we’re getting into college football season again. Countdown prior to both the Nationwide and Sprint Cup races was affected by games running long. I have no idea why ESPN thinks that it is a good idea to allot three hours per game. They have to run exceptionally fast in order to finish in that amount of time. At this point, ESPN literally has the power to dictate terms to schools about when they start games (the Tuesday night MAC and Sun Belt Conference events are just one example of this.) I'd suggest moving the start times up, but I guess they'd probably wait until next year to execute any changes. Read More »

Couch Potato Tuesday: ESPN Fails to Carry Excitement to Cup Telecast

Couch Potato Tuesday: ESPN Fails to Carry Excitement to Cup Telecast

Hello, race fans. Welcome back to Couch Potato Tuesday, where race telecast critiquing is the name of the game. This past weekend, the Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series were all in action back at Bristol Motor Speedway. Also of note, we've breached the 250 critique mark here at Frontstretch (combined between the regular Tuesday critiques and the ones in the Annex). I thank my readers for hanging in there over the past three plus seasons. Read More »

SPEED’s Action is Tops, While ESPN Needs to Expand Coverage

SPEED’s Action is Tops, While ESPN Needs to Expand Coverage

Hello, race fans. Welcome back to Couch Potato Tuesday, where race telecast criticism is the main topic of discussion. I'm back from a one-week hiatus imposed because I was in Watkins Glen for the Sprint Cup weekend there, representing Frontstretch. While I was there, I had originally planned to gather information in order to completely update/replace the article I wrote back in 2009 that goes behind the scenes of ESPN's telecasts. The idea was that since technology modernizes at a substantial rate these days, ESPN would have had to modernize their own setup as well. However, ESPN refused to allow me access to the TV Compound, or to interview anyone associated with the network's NASCAR telecasts. Read More »