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Talking NASCAR TV: Some Thoughts About In Car Cameras In Between Spotty Darlington Coverage

Talking NASCAR TV: Some Thoughts About In Car Cameras In Between Spotty Darlington Coverage

Hello, race fans. Hope you enjoyed this weekend’s racing from Darlington Raceway. I thought it was pretty good as well. Maybe a few too many cautions for my taste, but that’s okay. I cannot control that facet of races. I'm still kind of surprised that Sam Hornish’s spin late in the race did not cause a caution despite the fact that he slid nearly the entire length of the front stretch. Oh well. Enough about that stuff, let’s get to the review. Normally, I just critique the TV coverage of the races themselves, but I’ll start this weekend with coverage of Sprint Cup pole qualifying. I have two issues that I want to address here. Read More »

Talking NASCAR TV: FOX Forgets Important Pit Road Injury During Kyle Busch Coronation

Talking NASCAR TV: FOX Forgets Important Pit Road Injury During Kyle Busch Coronation

Hello, race fans. Hope you all enjoyed the action last week from Richmond. I enjoyed the racing, that much is clear, but did the coverage do justice to the race? Let’s find out. Friday night was the Lipton Tea 250 for the Nationwide Series from Richmond, televised on ESPN 2. Our own Bryan Davis Keith watched the race Friday night and generally liked the telecast. My thoughts on the coverage are that ESPN 2 is slowly improving. For the sake of this argument, we’ll consider Phoenix to be the “nadir” of the season. The nadir is defined as the lowest of the low. Talladega represented an improvement over Phoenix, but then again, anything’s an improvement over Phoenix. Richmond’s telecast was about the same as Talladega’s. Read More »

Talking NASCAR TV: FOX “Back Of The Pack” Battles No Laughing Matter For Fans

Talking NASCAR TV: FOX “Back Of The Pack” Battles No Laughing Matter For Fans

Hello, race fans. I don’t know about you guys, but I was real scared watching that wreck that Edwards had Sunday at the end of the Aaron’s 499. Not so much for Edwards -- but for the fans themselves. After the race ended, I thought back and realized that the crash looked a little like the late Neil Bonnett’s wreck in the DieHard 500 in July 1993 as opposed to the infamous Bobby Allison one from 1987 that was referenced on FOX. But in the end, it didn't matter which wreck was the worst; they were all bad, giving the catchfence a serious test that could have led to a devastating loss of life. Thank goodness everything held up and no one was seriously hurt in Sunday's last lap mess. OK, time for the usual TV review. Read More »

Talking NASCAR TV: Jump the Shark

Talking NASCAR TV: Jump the Shark

Race fans, the title says it all for me. However, for those of you who may not be familiar with the term... let me explain. The term "Jump the Shark" was created by Jon Hein and a group of his buddies at the University of Michigan in 1987. Apparently, they spent a Saturday night watching Nick at Nite and thinking about television shows and when they peaked. One guy, named Sean Connolly, claimed that the TV show Happy Days essentially went in the toilet when they had Fonzie jump over a shark on water skis. The term stuck from there. In the late 1990’s, Hein started jumptheshark.com, a website devoted to, well, allowing fans to post their input on when their favorite shows peaked. It eventually became very popular on the internet, and its eventual sale to TV Guide netted Hein millions. Jump the Shark doesn’t just apply to TV shows, though; it can apply to anything. Hein’s 2002 book Jump the Shark: When Good Things Go Bad, covered TV shows, politicians, bands, celebrities, athletes, and sports teams. It has become a term used to describe anything that has peaked and is on the downturn. At the heart of this explanation is how NASCAR television may have hit a new low this weekend at Phoenix. Read More »

Talking NASCAR TV: Creative Approach To Practice Makes ESPN Shine At Nashville … Until Nemechek’s Flip

Last weekend was Easter Weekend, a traditional week off for the Sprint Cup Series for as long as I can remember -- and probably before that as well. However, the Nationwide Series has not always stuck with that tradition. In the past, the division has actually held races on Easter Sunday at tracks like Hickory Motor Speedway and Martinsville Speedway back in the car's V-6 era. Today, the cars race on the day before Easter (Holy Saturday) at Nashville Superspeedway, a 1.33-mile concrete tri-oval near Nashville, TN. This past weekend's Pepsi 300 was the first standalone event of the new season for the Nationwide Series, so ESPN2 decided to use it to try some new things. For the final practice session, ESPN decided to essentially “adopt” a team and follow them all through practice. In this case, they chose the No. 12 Verizon Wireless Dodge driven by Justin Allgaier for Penske Championship Racing. Read More »

News Recap for April 7, 2009

By Phil Allaway *Brian Scott to Drive NNS No. 10 for Braun Racing* Braun Racing announced on Tuesday that Brian Scott, currently the driver of the No. 16 Albertson’s Toyota in the Camping World Truck Series, has been tapped by Braun Racing to drive the No. 10 Toyota for four races. Only two of the four events that Scott will drive in have been decided so far. The first will be this Saturday’s Pepsi 300 at Nashville Superspeedway. The other ... Read More »

Talking NASCAR TV: Digger Returns… But That’s Not The Only Problem With Texas Coverage

Talking NASCAR TV: Digger Returns… But That’s Not The Only Problem With Texas Coverage

Hello, race fans. Texas provided us with long green flag runs on both Saturday and Sunday’s races. Usually, this means that the field gets extensively stretched out, and Texas was no exception to the norm. So, how did this weekend’s television coverage add up? Let’s take a look. On Saturday, the Nationwide Series, back from a week off, raced in the O’Reilly [Auto Parts] 300. ESPN 2, with their commentary crew of Dr. Jerry Punch, Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree was on hand for the call. Kevin Harvick, winner of the most recent Nationwide Series race (the Scotts Turf Builder 300 at Bristol), did not race on Saturday and sat in with Allen Bestwick and Brad Daugherty in the mobile studio. Read More »

News Recap for March 31, 2009

By Phil Allaway *McMurray’s Assets Frozen* The Dallas Morning News reported on Monday that Jamie McMurray, driver of the No. 26 Crown Royal Ford, is currently locked in a battle to have his investment assets unfrozen. McMurray’s accounts were frozen as they were set up through the Stanford Financial Group, currently under investigation for being a Ponzi scheme. McMurray claimed in a Federal Court filing that the frozen funds are used to pay employees of his own racing outfit and ... Read More »

Talking NASCAR TV: FOX Needs To Cover More Than Just The Cars Up Front

Martinsville is an old school type of track, a place where the ideals of aerodynamics really don’t apply all that much (although having smooth sheet metal does give some benefits on short tracks). And, most importantly, it's a place where far more rudimentary methods than normal are considered acceptable for passing. Sunday’s race saw Jimmie Johnson use a very brash maneuver to root Denny Hamlin out of the way to win -- and face no retribution for it at all. As for the Truck Series event, originally scheduled for Saturday afternoon, it was completely rained out and rescheduled for Monday afternoon at noon. Read More »

News Recap for March 24, 2009

By Phil Allaway *Front Row Motorsports to Run Full Season* SceneDaily.com is reporting that Front Row Motorsports is planning on running their No. 34 Chevrolet for the full season. To that end, the team has hired Steve Lane as the full time crew chief. Lane was the crew chief farmed out to Front Row Motorsports at Daytona as a result of the technical alliance between Front Row Motorsports and Earnhardt Ganassi Racing. Evidently, team owner Bob Jenkins liked what he ... Read More »