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Phil Allaway

IZOD IndyCar Series Race Recap: Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach

IZOD IndyCar Series Race Recap: Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach

*In a Nutshell:* On Friday morning, the big news in the IZOD IndyCar Series paddock was that James Hinchcliffe suffered an engine failure during a test at Sears Point. As a precaution, Chevrolet ordered all 11 of their teams to change engines prior to the race weekend in Long Beach. Since none of those motors had run the minimum amount of miles allowed before a legal change, all 11 teams incurred a ten-spot grid penalty. This resulted in a jumbled starting grid in which the drivers that qualified fourth and seventh on Saturday comprised the front row on Sunday while the fastest qualifiers started 11th through 13th. But even after spotting the top-9 Honda teams nearly the entire top 10 on the starting grid (Alex Tagliani's Lotus-powered No. 98 in tenth was the lone exception), Chevrolet still took eight of the top-10 finishing positions, with Will Power winning his second race of the year. Read More »

SPEED does well with CTSCC, Seven Network Not Inclusive Enough

SPEED does well with CTSCC, Seven Network Not Inclusive Enough

Hello, race fans. Welcome back to Couch Potato Tuesday, where we take an in-depth look of motorsports telecasts. Let's just say that it is rather difficult to actually put together a column for today since there was absolutely no live racing on television last weekend. "SPEED2":http://www.speed2.com did have some live racing from the Circuit Paul Armagnac near Nogaro, France, but I don't think that a lot of you have access to that service. As a result, I had to rely on tape delayed telecasts for races to break down and look at for you. SPEED provided two such events on Sunday afternoon to take your eyes away from South African golfers getting an albatross and not being able to close the deal. Read More »

Couch Potato Tuesday: NASCAR Improvements While A New Network Rises Above

Couch Potato Tuesday: NASCAR Improvements While A New Network Rises Above

Hello race fans, and welcome back to Couch Potato Tuesday, where the dissection of race broadcasts is a simple fact of life. This past weekend, the Sprint Cup Series was back in action at Martinsville Speedway, while the Camping World Truck Series came back out of their extended hibernation to support them. In addition, the IZOD IndyCar Series had their second race of the season at Barber Motorsports Park. I originally planned to place a scathing rant against ESPN here for their treatment of "the recent Blake Koch issue.":http://www.frontstretch.com/bkeith/38001/ However, I've been pre-empted. Matt McLaughlin claimed the topic for what I'm sure will be an epic takedown later this week. As a result, I will state for the record that ESPN's actions are ridiculous, and that's it. Read More »

Couch Potato Tuesday: FOX Lays An Egg in Fontana

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. Read More »

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

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. Read More »

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

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." Read More »

Phoenix Shows Relative Strength for FOX, ESPN Struggles

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. Read More »

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

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. Read More »

Couch Potato Tuesday: FOX Needs to Watch their Danica Quotient

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. Read More »

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

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. Read More »