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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 »

Talking NASCAR TV: Action Overload for TNT

Talking NASCAR TV: Action Overload for TNT

Greetings, race fans. This past weekend brought two fairly interesting races at the Milwaukee Mile, and one very racy 350 kilometer event at Infineon Raceway. I, for one, thought that the double-file restarts were going to create chaos on Sunday since this was completely uncharted territory for restarts on road courses. However, this actually was somewhat sane. There were no pile ups at the uphill Turn 2 like everyone predicted that there would be. Now, obviously, you’re not necessarily reading this to get my views on the races. You’re reading this because you watched the races and want to know my thoughts on the broadcasts. Well, that’s what I’m going to do. Sticking with the normal routine, I’ll go in chronological order and start with the Truck Series’ race, the Copart 200 at the Milwaukee Mile. Read More »

Talking NASCAR TV: Bill Weber, You Lied To Us

Talking NASCAR TV: Bill Weber, You Lied To Us

Hello, race fans. Last weekend was a busy weekend, with the ARCA RE/MAX Series, Sprint Cup, and Truck Series at Michigan while the Nationwide Series raced in front of a near-sellout crowd in Kentucky. However, I’ll keep things relatively brief with the support series to start, because I’m going to bring on the vitriol towards TNT. Let's get right to it. Read More »

Talking NASCAR TV: TNT’s First Effort of the Year Promising, But Issues Remain

Talking NASCAR TV: TNT’s First Effort of the Year Promising, But Issues Remain

*HEY FANS! I’VE GOT GOOD NEWS FOR YOU TODAY! THERE ARE NO GOPHERS IN THIS REVIEW! THAT’S RIGHT, NO STINKIN’ GOPHERS IN THIS REVIEW!* _Note: This is a reference to a YouTube video by the user, UrinatingTree. It is adapted from his review of NHL Stanley Cup for the Super Nintendo. The video can be found "HERE":http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjEZtBlXZ7g. I do warn you, though. The video contains naughty language. (You know which words I’m talking about.) Since FOX’s portion of the season is now over, the computer animated creature is now in hibernation. I’m sure that you guys were not only sick of FOX’s persistent usage of the creature, but probably of me going on about it too._ Read More »

Talking NASCAR TV: Grading FOX’s 2009 Season, And…What’s Stopping The Scrolls?

Talking NASCAR TV: Grading FOX’s 2009 Season, And…What’s Stopping The Scrolls?

Greetings, readers. The three races held at Dover International Speedway were quite interesting in their own ways. I enjoyed the races, especially that race to the finish between Jimmie Johnson and Tony Stewart on Sunday. Sunday also marked the 13th and final points race on FOX’s schedule for the season. This might be a relief to many of you out there. Since Sunday was FOX’s last NASCAR go-around for the season, I’d figure that I would give them a grade for the season after I finish the Sprint Cup race telecast critique. Now, as many of you have come accustomed to since I took over this critique full time from Doug Turnbull at the beginning of the season, I like to keep the critique in chronological order. I just find it easier that way. This would have meant that the Camping World Truck Series race would be first. However, since the truck race was postponed to Saturday evening due to rain, it will come after the Nationwide race critique. Read More »