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Phil Allaway

FOX Needs to Show All Debris*, No Questions Asked

FOX Needs to Show All Debris*, No Questions Asked

*- If it can be found, it must be shown. If not, the viewers must be notified that it cannot be found. Hello, race fans. Welcome back to Couch Potato Tuesday, where TV critique is the name of the game. This past weekend, the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series were at Richmond International Raceway for some short track action (that supposedly was more comfortable to watch than Lebanon Valley Speedway's Saturday night card in windy, 40-something degree weather). Meanwhile, the IZOD IndyCar Series made their third trip down to Sao Paulo, Brazil. Read More »

Couch Potato Tuesday: Waltrip Touts Changes, but FOX Under-Delivers

Couch Potato Tuesday: Waltrip Touts Changes, but FOX Under-Delivers

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 Camping World Truck Series traveled out to Kansas Speedway for their spring race weekend. Also, the Formula One World Championship basically screwed themselves this weekend by going forward with their date in Bahrain despite all of the protests. *Grand Prix of Bahrain* If you've watched the news over the last year and change, then you likely know why Sunday's Grand Prix of Bahrain was so controversial. SPEED's on-air crew never really mentioned their opinions of the whole mess (aside from noting that the Sahara Force India team's explanation of "already learning everything we needed to know from the first practice" for skipping Free Practice No. 2 on Friday didn't hold water). However, they did make it unclear to anyone who follows them on Twitter that they weren't really feeling Formula One racing in Bahrain and the series being used as a political tool. Read More »

Should ESPN Take a Cue from IndyCar Regarding NASCAR Telecasting?

Should ESPN Take a Cue from IndyCar Regarding NASCAR Telecasting?

*Good Sam Roadside Assistance 200* I’m not sure how this reference will go over with my readers, but here it goes. Back in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, Warner Home Video put out what they called the Golden Jubilee 24 Karat Collection. They were a series of video tapes that contained eight Looney Tunes and/or Merrie Melodies shorts pertaining to a particular character or characters. I have one of Foghorn Leghorn and one of Speedy Gonzales from when I was little. Why am I referencing classic cartoons here, besides the fact that I can? Each tape started out with this bit where Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck were singing, "On with the show, this is it!":http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-t8PngHgWY That is how I felt about Sunday’s race in Rockingham. Read More »

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 »