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Phil Allaway

Coca-Cola 600: FOX’s Commercials Bite Them Again

Coca-Cola 600: FOX’s Commercials Bite Them Again

Hello, race fans. Welcome back to Couch Potato Tuesday, where race critique is the name of the game. For those of us who just cannot get enough racing on television (like myself), this past weekend was likely pretty sweet for you. The action was fast and furious in Indianapolis, while NASCAR's Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series were in Charlotte. *Before we start,* a couple of big announcements pertaining to TV were made last weekend. First, Dick Berggren announced that he is leaving NASCAR on FOX after next weekend's race in Dover, ending a 31-year career on telecasts. He claims that he's not retiring, but that he's stepping back and relaxing a little more for now. Good luck to Dick in his relaxation. Read More »

SPEED Showcased with Mixed Results on All-Star Weekend

SPEED Showcased with Mixed Results on All-Star Weekend

Hello, race fans. Welcome back to Couch Potato Tuesday. We've got a pretty busy weekend of racing to cover. The Sprint Cup and Camping World Truck Series were both at Charlotte Motor Speedway as part of Sprint All-Star Weekend, while the Nationwide Series was at Iowa Speedway, with a combination K&N Pro Series East and West race for support which still hasn't aired, yet. *Before we start:* Firstly, I was somewhat unsatisfied with NBC Sports Network's coverage of Indianapolis 500 Pole Day Qualifying on Saturday. In the past, they have had on-screen graphics depicting position as they run and time behind. For some reason, that didn't come out during the entire first segment of qualifying (Over three hours). I have no clue why. All I know is that its weak. Read More »

Commercials Hurt NASCAR on FOX Again; Edwards OK in TV Debut

Commercials Hurt NASCAR on FOX Again; Edwards OK in TV Debut

*VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200* On Friday night, the Nationwide Series returned to action at Darlington Raceway. With Travis Pastrana coming back for his second try in the No. 99, ESPN expanded what was supposed to be a 45-minute edition of _NASCAR Countdown_ into a full hour. During that time, the primary feature shown was yet another piece on Pastrana. This time, the focus was on his upbringing and family in particular. Read More »

Couch Potato Tuesday: Commercials Hurt a Decent FOX Broadcast

Couch Potato Tuesday: Commercials Hurt a Decent FOX Broadcast

Hello, race fans. Welcome back to Couch Potato Tuesday, where breaking down broadcasts is the name of the game. Last weekend was Talladega, oh, that large bowl of restrictor plate goodness (or badness, depending on who you ask). The Sprint Cup Series was joined by the ARCA Racing Series and the Nationwide Series. *International Motorsports Hall of Fame 250* Friday evening brought the ARCA Racing Series back to SPEED for their second telecast of the year from Talladega Superspeedway. Between Daytona and Talladega, there have been two races run (Mobile, Alabama and Salem, Indiana). These races were effectively glossed over. Read More »

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 »