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Talking NASCAR TV: ESPN Endures The Montreal Marathon

Talking NASCAR TV: ESPN Endures The Montreal Marathon

Hello, race fans. This past weekend was the last off weekend of the season for the Sprint Cup Series. But, that doesn’t mean that there was no action out there on the track. The ARCA Re/MAX and NASCAR Truck Series were at Chicagoland Speedway on Friday night to run support races to Saturday night’s IndyCar Series race. In addition, the Nationwide Series was in Montreal for their annual assault on the permanent road course that sort of drives like a street course. Were these telecasts great to watch, or was there something missing? Let’s find out. On Friday night, the ARCA Re/MAX Series had the Ansell Cut Protection 150 at Chicagoland Speedway. For reference, Ansell is a brand of work gloves sold exclusively through Menards Home Improvement Warehouse. This twilight race was quite interesting to watch on SPEED. Since the race was a doubleheader, Rick Allen and Phil Parsons, who were on site to commentate on the Truck Series race, commentated from the booth. Read More »

Marcos Ambrose’s Pit Strategy Doomed His Chances at Watkins Glen

Marcos Ambrose’s Pit Strategy Doomed His Chances at Watkins Glen

Marcos Ambrose came into Watkins Glen International for Monday’s Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen as a legitimate favorite to win the event. His No. 47 had been the quickest in both practice sessions on Saturday, and he had a lot of confidence coming into the race. He thought that Monday might have been the day that he could have picked up his first career Sprint Cup victory. However, it was not meant to be. Why, you ask? Read More »

Stewart Records Record-Breaking Fifth Win at Watkins Glen

Tony Stewart had an okay qualifying effort on Friday afternoon, placing his No. 14 Old Spice Chevrolet Impala SS 13th on the grid. Before the race was postponed on Sunday, Stewart said that he would like the weather to warm up, allowing the track to get slippery. He got his wish. On Monday, it was a muggy 83 degrees when the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen got underway. Stewart’s car, however, was set up for more of ... Read More »

Beyond the Cockpit:  Andy Lally

Beyond the Cockpit: Andy Lally

_Andy Lally is one of the best drivers the Grand Am series has to offer. The three-time champion already has two wins this season, continuing to add to a record number of top 3 and top 5 finishes in the series. With two 24 Hours of Daytona victories under his belt, it would seem the 34-year-old has accomplished everything he's set out to do in road racing._ _That's why it's not surprising to see one of auto racing's best looking to broaden his horizons just a bit. In a revealing interview with our Phil Allaway, Lally talks stock car racing on the eve of his first Sprint Cup start in the No. 71 TRG Motorsports Chevy, hoping a solid run Monday will be a springboard to bigger and better things._ Read More »

Talking NASCAR TV: ORP Good, IMS Bad As ESPN Jumps Back Into Double-Duty

Talking NASCAR TV: ORP Good, IMS Bad As ESPN Jumps Back Into Double-Duty

I know that the beginning of this week's title sounds like something out of the 2001 movie Zoolander, starring Ben Stiller (Martial Arts good; Prime Minister bad), but it essentially drives home my point in this critique. Indianapolis is likely the biggest race weekend for NASCAR in the second half of the season. As a result, the pressure is on everyone to put on a good show even more than normal. That goes all the way from the teams at the race tracks to the TV people and the tracks themselves. Of course, anything could have been better than last year’s insanity caused by the tires at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but just because the tires could last longer than it takes the average person to drink a soda doesn’t mean that there aren’t things that could be better. This past weekend, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway played host to the Cup Series for the 16th running of the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard. Meanwhile, the Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series raced a few miles away at O’Reilly Raceway Park on their .686-mile oval. Were these telecasts up to snuff? It appears that the answer is yes and no -- as always. Read More »

Talking NASCAR TV: Nationwide Shines, But SPEED Fails to Recognize Start and Park Presence

Talking NASCAR TV: Nationwide Shines, But SPEED Fails to Recognize Start and Park Presence

Hello, race fans. I hope you enjoyed your weekend. I certainly did. I had fun, not just critiquing races, but relaxing, sleeping in and hanging out with a group of employees at the local YMCA. Going into this weekend, I had planned on only covering the Truck and Nationwide Series races. However, I had not noticed that SPEED was covering the ARCA Re/Max Series race as well. I guess it was supposed to be tape delayed, but I’m not sure how much it was tape delayed by -- not by much. All I know is that this setup led me to critique three races over a period of 5 1/2 hours. Not really ideal, because of the constant switching back and forth. Read More »

Talking NASCAR TV: Lack of On-Track Action Hurts All Broadcasts at Chicagoland

Talking NASCAR TV: Lack of On-Track Action Hurts All Broadcasts at Chicagoland

Hello, race fans. Chicagoland Speedway brought us some more rain on Friday, but thankfully, it did not cancel any sessions. Instead, the racing Friday and Saturday night suffered from a different problem: it was rather spread out and kind of boring. In fact, there hadn’t been so much as a spinout all weekend until 55 laps remained in the Cup race. How did the lack of racing on the track affect the TV coverage itself? Let’s see... Read More »

Spoiler Picks, Round 19: LifeLock.com 400

Hello, race fans. The trend that has held firm for the entire season finally broke last Saturday night at Daytona. At the halfway point of our little friendly competition, nothing has been decided. The score is tied at nine after 18 races. Before we get into this week’s picks, let’s first review last week’s results. Phil’s Daytona Picks: No. 29 Kevin Harvick — Finished 26th No. 55 Michael Waltrip — Finished 37th, 36 laps down (involved in crash on lap ... Read More »

Talking NASCAR TV: Punch Mails In The Nationwide Race While TNT Shines

Talking NASCAR TV: Punch Mails In The Nationwide Race While TNT Shines

Welcome, race fans. For nearly 50 years, the 4th of July weekend at Daytona has marked the ceremonial, and in the case of this season, the physical halfway point. The Truck Series took the week off, so it was the Cup and Nationwide Series competing at the World Center of Racing this weekend. The Cup Series’ Coke Zero 400 is the centerpiece of TNT’s Summer Series, so they roll out some extra stops for the race. As you may already know, TNT refers to the near-commercial free broadcast as their “Wide Open Coverage.” More on this a little later... for now, in keeping with the chronological order, we’ll start with the Nationwide Series’ Subway Jalapeno 250 on Friday night. Read More »

Talking NASCAR TV: Loudon Telecasts Marked By Bill Weber’s Departure In The Booth

Talking NASCAR TV: Loudon Telecasts Marked By Bill Weber’s Departure In The Booth

Greetings, race fans. This past weekend, all three of NASCAR’s major series were in action. The Truck Series was in Millington, TN at the Memphis Motorsports Park for the MemphisTravel.com 200 presented by O’Reilly Auto Parts. Meanwhile, the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series were both in Loudon, NH for the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 and Camping World RV Sales 200 presented by Turtle Wax, respectively. The NASCAR Camping World East Series and NASCAR Whelen Modified Series also provided additional support; but unfortunately, those races didn’t get the coverage they deserved this past weekend. I should say that the Camping World East Series was televised on HDNet, but there were still a whole a lot of people who didn't get a chance to see it. Read More »