Race Weekend Central

Couch Potato Tuesday: NBC “Chase-Ing” Away Viewers With Title Focus

After the events of Martinsville, I figured that I’d be able to relax a little bit. Yes, last year saw the tempers boil over. I saw that NBCSN ranked that as the biggest thing to ever happen (in a NASCAR race) at Texas Motor Speedway. I respectfully disagree.

AAA Texas 500

Sunday brought the Sprint Cup Series teams back out for their 34th race of the season. The race lacked a number of the traits that have marked recent Texas events, but had plenty of stories to go around.

During Countdown to Green, Marty Snider sat down with Martinsville winner Jeff Gordon for an in-depth interview. While Martinsville was definitely a feel-good weekend for the four-time champion, it was really the culmination of a resurgence that took months to take hold. My takeaway is that a lot of people likely didn’t realize just how much strife there was at Hendrick Motorsports for much of the 2015 season. Gordon’s team is just one example of the turmoil. Gordon’s win at Martinsville was the team’s first unrestricted victory since Dover in May.

During the race, the tire issues took center stage. The lack of practice due to Saturday’s drying issues likely only made it worse. Multiple teams had left-rear tire rubs. Of course, that only explains some of the rear tire issues, like the one that struck Kyle Larson late in the race.

I’m really unclear as to what caused Joey Logano’s tire explosion on lap 10. Then again, so was Logano. I wouldn’t be shocked if he had a rub, or if he ran over something. Two other theories could be in play here as well. One was the fact that track crews drilled channels into the pavement on Saturday in order to get rid of pesky weepers. Perhaps Logano ran over one of those small grooves just right. Another theory is that the sheer amount of Air Titan usage on Saturday (something like six hours) pulled up some of the track surface slightly, resulting in small pieces of stone and asphalt sticking up. The bumps cannot be discounted as well.

Speaking of that failure (Larson’s second of the race), NBC did a terrible job reporting on that. Larson was running in the top 10 before the failure, stopped due to the blowout and lost four laps. A clip aired later showed the car smoking heavily due to the issue. The failure occurred on lap 231 during a commercial break, but it was not referenced on-air until lap 250. I first noticed Larson blowing by drivers in the top five on lap 243 and realized that the booth wasn’t really paying attention to it. I was thinking at the time that they should reference Larson’s presence. Then, I checked the live leaderboard and saw that he was four laps down. I said to myself, “What the heck happened to Larson? He was right in the hunt!” As mentioned, NBC did note what occurred, but it was 10 minutes after the fact. Chase focus should not preclude covering big issues in the race.

Aside from the Larson instance mentioned above, the tire coverage was fairly comprehensive. The booth was generally on it when someone suddenly dropped off the pace due to tire issues and we often got looks at the tires in question.

Another gripe that I’ve had recently with NBC coverage is what I feel to be the overuse of the Fast Lap mph second line on the ticker. It doesn’t really do much for me, other than to see just how fast people can go (or alternatively, how much slower some of the backmarkers are). I know that Brad Keselowski turned in a lap at 194.273 mph. I must have saw that 100 times on Sunday. Must have been on lap 2. Honestly, the Fast Lap mph (which stands for the driver’s fastest lap of the race) only really interests me at Daytona and Talladega. At Texas, it should be used sparingly at best.

At times, I’ve had e-mails sent to be over the past few years claiming that intervals aren’t shown enough in the ticker, FOX Box or ESPN’s scrolls. The last time I was asked by a reader to focus on that, I discovered that ESPN was showing intervals in their scroll 80% of the time the scroll was on-screen or more. I regarded that as perfectly fine. On Sunday, it seemed like it was something like 25%. Like it or not, you can’t really keep the ticker like that long-term. You’re going to make it very difficult for fans to figure out where their favorite drivers are running as compared to others (assuming that they’re not using a “second screen”).

The last 15 laps were completely centered on the battle between Keselowski and Jimmie Johnson for the win. It was a nice, back and forth affair where Johnson was able to overcome Keselowski’s tactics to claim victory. However, during those final 15 laps, it was like no one else existed. Stuff went down outside of the battle for the lead during that time. I had no idea about Martin Truex Jr.’s issues until after the race. The only thing I did know about was the contact that he had with Keselowski while racing for the lead, which turned out to not really be a thing. For what it’s worth, he did well to keep himself right up there until the final couple of laps. Sounds like he struggled just to finish the last couple of laps with the loose wheel and lack of power struggle.

Since the race ended right at 6 p.m., actual post-race coverage on NBC was minimal (more on that in the Xfinity Series section). Only the interviews with Keselowski and Johnson aired on there before they left the air to get to the news. Those interviews were simulcast on NBCSN before they seamlessly continued into the NASCAR America Post-Race show. There, viewers got more interviews (not necessarily with Chasers, a nice change) and post-race discussion.

The Chase continues to try my patience when it comes to race telecasts. The broadcast booth often mentions how unique NASCAR’s “playoffs” are because everyone else is still out there. That creates a unique problem. Yes, the NHRA’s Countdown to One also has drivers outside of the Countdown competing, but those races are one-on-one duels (The 4-Wide Nationals at zMax Dragway, which are an exception to the drag racing norm, are not part of the Countdown to One). As a result, the coverage disparity is nowhere near as much of an issue.

Other sports with playoffs eliminate the non-playoff teams before the playoffs start and their seasons are over. If that happened in NASCAR, the whole dang series would fall apart. At times, it seems like NBC pretends like the non-Chasers aren’t there. Yes, they factor into Through the Field segments (or at least the ones that aren’t Chasers-only), but are often ignored unless they’re wrecking. Tony Stewart spun out on Sunday while running somewhat decently. We got a replay of that spin (which occurred during a commercial) that was cut in half by a round of pit stops, then we didn’t hear anything more about him. There was no interview with him (although, since we’re talking about Stewart here, he easily could have declined comment). Issues for non-Chasers would seemingly come out of nowhere, like Denny Hamlin’s fuel-pump issue. He went behind the wall for the repair and we got a brief description of what was going on, but that was about it.  It’s frustrating and something that I really don’t think is helping NASCAR bring in new fans at this point.

O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge

Saturday afternoon saw the NXS return to NBC. It took a while to start due to the ongoing weeper issues, but once they got going, we had a couple of different drivers assert themselves.

During Countdown to Green, the primary feature was a piece on points leader Chris Buescher returning to his hometown of Prosper, which is roughly 30 miles from TMS (but with no direct route to the track due to Lewisville Lake being in the way, so it’s a 45-mile drive). While it’s interesting to see Buescher talking with students at a local elementary school, the crux of the piece was how Buescher got into racing. Apparently, the young man was hooked early, but his dad tried (unsuccessfully) to steer him towards stick-and-ball sports.

The piece (which was previewed during what would have been coverage of qualifying had it not been cancelled) showed me that even at the age of six, Buescher had all of the determination and drive that is central to his personality today. While his parents undoubtedly helped him along as best as they could financially, he took advantage of his talent to jump from racing Legends cars at the L’il TMS to the big leagues. He’s a lot like Jimmie Johnson when you really think about it. He’s a quiet chap most of the time, unlike a contemporary like Erik Jones, who is prone to outbursts.

Now, I was well aware of the continued issues with weepers prior to the start of the race from Twitter. However, NBC really didn’t mention it until they were just about to have the opening ceremonies, right at the end of Countdown to Green. As far as I’m concerned, that’s a rather important story that was inappropriately brushed off to the side. Yes, the championship battle is important, but not knowing when the race was going to start is a bit more important. While the crews continued to work on the track (and clean up after one of the trucks leaked oil, viewers were treated to additional interviews.

Once the race got started, the tires were one of the big issues. Darrell Wallace Jr. corded a right-front tire barely 15 laps into the race, much like Dale Earnhardt Jr. did on Sunday. We saw that tire. Tire rubs were also an issue, especially on Larson’s Parker Store-sponsored No. 42. The broadcast stated that it was an issue for him all day Sunday, but it was more than that. It was a serious issue for all of practice on Friday for Larson. I fully admit that I listen to practice at work on Fridays via NBC Sports Live Extra, which is superior in nearly every way to FOX Sports GO. Admittedly, it wasn’t quite as bad Saturday as it looked Friday, but I’m still surprised Larson made it 177 laps before he blew a tire.

Due to the delay in getting the race started, post-race coverage was the bare minimum despite an average length race. Viewers only got an interview with race winner Keselowski, along with checks of the results and points before NBC left for the local news. It was disappointing, but it didn’t surprise me. Those newscasts generally are not tape-delayed. The anchors and crews sit and wait until the live event ends before going live. That includes instances like the Coke Zero 400 ending at 2:40 a.m., then having expanded post-race due to the insanity that marked the end of that race.

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On Friday night, the Camping World Truck Series made their second visit of 2015 to the high-banked 1.5-mile oval. Unlike the other two races, this race was pretty clean.

During the Setup, Ray Dunlap sat down for a “Where are they now?” interview with Mike Skinner. Of course, if you’ve been watching the Setup recently, it hasn’t been that long since he showed up on the show (about three races, actually). Regardless, the main topic of discussion was Skinner’s career and how he effectively came from nowhere. Personally, prior to 1995, I’d only seen him race a couple of times. He had a couple of Cup starts for Jimmy Means Racing in 1992 and made a few Busch Grand National starts in 1994 in a KFC-sponsored Chevrolet. That was it for me. Later, I learned that he had made his Cup debut way back in 1986.

My understanding is that Skinner was not necessarily the most well-liked person in the garage during his career. In Jade Gurss’ In The Red: The 2001 Season with Dale Earnhardt Jr., Gurss talks briefly about Skinner’s overaggressive mentality and how it caused problems from time to time. In the interview with Dunlap, Skinner admitted that that mentality led him to make a bunch of mistakes in his career. For example, he chose to come back too quickly from injuries (he missed races two separate times due to being hurt), to the detriment of his team. Overall, I found the piece to be informative. The over-aggressiveness on Skinner’s part curtailed his career to a certain degree. He was out of Cup two years after being fired by Richard Childress Racing.

Interestingly, the truck race was the event that had the least amount of tire issues out of three. While yes, there was some “unzipping” of tires during the race (a pile of tire windings caused the one and only caution of the race), the tires really weren’t that much of a discussion point. Looking back at the situation after two days of constant issues, it probably should have been covered more.

Jones dominated the action on Friday night, leading all but 30 laps. That, combined with only one yellow means that the race got quite spread out. Up until the last pit stop, there was still a fair amount of close racing, so we at least got our fill of action on the track. However, with only a dozen or so drivers on the lead lap and only Daniel Suarez and Ryan Blaney within 12 seconds of Jones, the action really died late.

With next to no racing for position on track, the broadcast focused on Suarez trying to run down Jones. Suarez never got closer than about 1.5 seconds, so it wasn’t even really a battle. It’s a shame, but it happens.

Since the race was run at a record pace, there should have been a lot of time for post-race coverage. Ultimately, FOX Sports Live cut in early, something that I still don’t particularly like much. Regardless, viewers still got five post-race interviews and a points check prior to the broadcast ending.

Overall, the telecast was relatively enjoyable early on. We got a good amount of racing for position, the booth was enthusiastic and the production was good. Yes, we got some silliness (Ex: John Wes Townley hit the commitment cone when he made his first stop and Michael Waltrip apparently took time during the race to tweet The Orange Cone and ask his whereabouts), but I generally enjoyed the telecast. It was just a runaway. It happens.

That’s all for this week. Next weekend, all three of NASCAR’s National Series will travel to Phoenix for the second to last race weekend of the year. They will be joined by the K&N Pro Series West, which will hold their season finale on Thursday night. Meanwhile, the Formula 1 World Championship makes their annual visit to Sao Paulo. It’s actually a really busy race weekend. Here’s your listings.

Tuesday, November 10

2 a.m. - 3 a.m.NASCAR RaceHubFOX Sports 2*# (from November 9)
6 a.m. - 7 a.m.NASCAR AmericaNBC Sports Network*# (from November 9)
7 a.m. - 8 a.m.NASCAR AmericaNBC Sports Network*# (from November 9)
4:30 p.m. - 5 p.m.Off the Grid: TalladegaNBC Sports Network#
5 p.m. - 6 p.m.NASCAR AmericaNBC Sports Network
6 p.m. - 7 p.m.NASCAR RaceHubFOX Sports 1

Wednesday, November 11

2 a.m. - 3 a.m.NASCAR RaceHubFOX Sports 2*# (from November 10)
6 a.m. - 7 a.m.NASCAR AmericaNBC Sports Network*# (from November 10)
7 a.m. - 8 a.m.NASCAR AmericaNBC Sports Network*# (from November 10)
4:30 p.m. - 5 p.m.Global RallyCross Lites: Las VegasNBC Sports Network*/# (from November 4)
5 p.m. - 6 p.m.NASCAR AmericaNBC Sports Network
6 p.m. - 7 p.m.NASCAR RaceHubFOX Sports 1
8 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.Formula DRIFT: Irwindale, Part No. 1CBS Sports Network*/# (from October 9)
8:30 p.m. - 9 p.m.Formula DRIFT: Irwindale, Part No. 2CBS Sports Network*/# (from October 10)
11 p.m. - 11:30 p.m.Formula DRIFT: Irwindale, Part No. 1CBS Sports Network*/# (from October 9)
11:30 p.m. - 12 a.m.Formula DRIFT: Irwindale, Part No. 2 CBS Sports Network*/# (from October 10)

Thursday, November 12

3 a.m. - 3:30 a.m.Formula DRIFT: Irwindale, Part No. 1CBS Sports Network*/# (from October 9)
3 a.m. - 4 a.m.NASCAR RaceHubFOX Sports 2*# (from November 11)
3:30 a.m. - 4 a.m.Formula DRIFT: Irwindale, Part No. 2CBS Sports Network*/# (from October 10)
6 a.m. - 7 a.m.NASCAR AmericaNBC Sports Network*# (from November 11)
7 a.m. - 8 a.m.NASCAR AmericaNBC Sports Network*# (from November 11)
6 p.m. - 7 p.m.NASCAR RaceHubFOX Sports 1
7 p.m. - 8 p.m.NASCAR AmericaNBC Sports Network
11 p.m. - 11:30 p.m.Off the Grid: AustinNBC Sports Network
11:30 p.m. - 12 a.m.Global RallyCross Lites: Las VegasNBC Sports Network*/# (from November 4)

Friday, November 13

2 a.m. - 3 a.m.NASCAR RaceHubFOX Sports 2*# (from November 12)
7 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.Formula One Grand Prix of Brazil Free Practice No. 1NBC Sports Live Extra$
11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.Formula One Grand Prix of Brazil Free Practice No. 2NBC Sports Network
12:30 p.m. - 1 p.m.Off the Grid: AustinNBC Sports Network#
12:30 p.m. - 2 p.m.Camping World Truck Series QualifyingFOX Sports 1
1 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.Off the Grid: TalladegaNBC Sports Network#
1:30 p.m. - 2 p.m.Off the Grid: MonzaNBC Sports Network#
2 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.Sprint Cup Series Practice No. 1NBC Sports Network
3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.XFINITY Series Practice No. 1NBC Sports Network
4:30 p.m. - 5 p.m. NASCAR AmericaNBC Sports Network
5 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.XFINITY Series Happy HourNBC Sports Network
6:30 p.m. - 8 p.m.Sprint Cup Series QualifyingNBC Sports Network
8 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.NCWTS SetupFOX Sports 1
8:30 p.m. - 10:30 p.m.Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 150FOX Sports 1

Saturday, November 14

4 a.m. - 6 a.m.Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 150FOX Sports 1*# (from November 13)
8 a.m. - 9 a.m.Formula One Grand Prix of Brazil Free Practice No. 3NBC Sports Live Extra$
11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.Formula One Grand Prix of Brazil QualifyingCNBC
11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.Sprint Cup Series Practice No. 2NBC Sports Network
12:30 p.m. - 2 p.m.XFINITY Series QualifyingNBC Sports Network
2 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.NASCAR AmericaNBC Sports Network
2:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.Sprint Cup Series Happy HourNBC Sports Network
3:30 p.m. - 4 p.m.Countdown to GreenNBC Sports Network
4 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.XFINITY Series DAV 200 Honoring America's Veterans presented by Great ClipsNBC Sports Network
6:30 p.m. - 8 p.m.Formula One Grand Prix of Brazil QualifyingNBC Sports Network*#

Sunday, November 15

12:30 a.m. - 1 a.m.Formula E: Sound of the FutureFOX Sports 2
12:30 a.m. - 2 a.m.Formula One Grand Prix of Brazil QualifyingNBC Sports Network*# (from November 14)
1 a.m. - 3 a.m.Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 150FOX Sports 2*# (from November 13)
2 a.m. - 2:30 a.m.Off the Grid: AustinNBC Sports Network#
2:30 a.m. - 4 a.m.NHRA Auto Club Finals QualifyingESPN 2*/ (from November 13-14)
7 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.Formula One Grand Prix of Brazil Free Practice No. 2NBC Sports Network*# (from November 13)
8:30 a.m. - 9 a.m.Off the Grid: AustinNBC Sports Network#
9 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.Formula One Grand Prix of Brazil QualifyingNBC Sports Network*# (from November 14)
10:30 a.m. - 11 a.m.F1 CountdownNBC Sports Network
11 a.m. - 1 p.m.Formula One Grand Prix of BrazilNBC Sports Network
11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.NASCAR RaceDayFOX Sports 1
1 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.F1 ExtraNBC Sports Network
1 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.NHRA Auto Club Finals QualifyingESPN 2*/# (from November 13-14)
1:30 p.m. - 2 p.m.NASCAR America SundayNBC Sports Network
2 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.Countdown to GreenNBC
2 p.m. - 7 p.m.NHRA Auto Club Finals EliminationsESPN3$
2:30 p.m. - 6 p.m.Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans Race For Heroes 500NBC
3 p.m. - 4 p.m.Porsche Rennsport Reunion VFOX Sports 2#
4 p.m. - 5 p.m.V8 Supercars ITM 500 AucklandCBS Sports Network*/ (from November 7-8)
5 p.m. - 6 p.m.Blancpain Sprint Series Year in ReviewCBS Sports Network
6 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.NASCAR America Post-RaceNBC Sports Network
6 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.Formula DRIFT: Irwindale, Part No. 2CBS Sports Network*/# (from October 10)
6:30 p.m. - 7 p.m.Formula DRIFT: Irwindale InsiderCBS Sports Network
6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.NASCAR Victory LapNBC Sports Network
9 p.m. - 10 p.m.SCORE Imperial Valley 250CBS Sports Network*/
9 p.m. - 12 a.m.NHRA Auto Club Finals EliminationsESPN 2*/
10 p.m. - 12 a.m.Formula One Grand Prix of BrazilNBC Sports Network*

Monday, November 16

12 a.m. - 12:30 a.m.NASCAR Victory LaneFOX Sports 1
12 a.m. - 1 a.m.SCORE Imperial Valley 250CBS Sports Network*/#
12:30 a.m. - 2 a.m.NASCAR Victory LapNBC Sports Network*# (from November 15)
1 a.m. - 2 a.m.V8 Supercars ITM 500 AucklandCBS Sports Network*/# (from November 7-8)
2 a.m. - 3 a.m.Blancpain Sprint Series Year in ReviewCBS Sports Network#
2 a.m. - 2:30 a.m.Off the Grid: AustinNBC Sports Network#
2:30 a.m. - 3 a.m.NASCAR Victory LaneFOX Sports 1#
4 a.m. - 5 a.m.V8 Supercars ITM 500 AucklandCBS Sports Network*/# (from November 7-8)
5 a.m. - 6 a.m.Blancpain Sprint Series Year in ReviewCBS Sports Network#
6 a.m. - 7 a.m.NASCAR Victory LapNBC Sports Network*# (from November 15)
7 a.m. - 8 a.m.NASCAR Victory LapNBC Sports Network*# (from November 15)
8 a.m. - 9 a.m.NASCAR Victory LapNBC Sports Network*# (from November 15)
2 p.m. - 5 p.m.NASCAR 120: Quicken Loans Race For Heroes 500NBC Sports Network*/# (from November 15)
5 p.m. - 6 p.m.NASCAR AmericaNBC Sports Network
6 p.m. - 7 p.m.NASCAR RaceHubFOX Sports 1
6:30 p.m. - 7 p.m.Off the Grid: AustinNBC Sports Network#
11 p.m. - 11:30 p.m.F1 CountdownNBC Sports Network*# (from November 15)
11:30 p.m. - 1:30 a.m.Formula One Grand Prix of BrazilNBC Sports Network*# (from November 15)
* – Tape Delayed
/ – Highlighted Coverage
# – Repeat Coverage
$ – Available via password-protected online streaming

I will provide critiques of the Sprint Cup, Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series telecasts for next week’s edition of Couch Potato Tuesday here on Frontstretch. We’ll have some additional coverage for you Thursday in the Newsletter as well.

If you have a gripe with me, or just want to say something about my critique, feel free to post in the comments below. Even though I can’t always respond, I do read your comments and I’m happy with the increased number of comments so far this year. Also, if you want to “like” me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter, please click on the appropriate icons. If you would like to contact either of NASCAR’s media partners, click on either of the links below.

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As always, if you choose to contact a network by email, do so in a courteous manner. Network representatives are far more likely to respond to emails that ask questions politely rather than emails full of rants and vitriol.

About the author

Phil Allaway has three primary roles at Frontstretch. He's the manager of the site's FREE e-mail newsletter that publishes Monday-Friday and occasionally on weekends. He keeps TV broadcasters honest with weekly editions of Couch Potato Tuesday and serves as the site's Sports Car racing editor.

Outside of Frontstretch, Phil is the press officer for Lebanon Valley Speedway in West Lebanon, N.Y. He covers all the action on the high-banked dirt track from regular DIRTcar Modified racing to occasional visits from touring series such as the Super DIRTcar Series.

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I have to admit I did not watch a thing related to Nascar this weekend. The beach beckoned, nice swells, warm water..etc. Tired of the crap drama, and all it entails, tired of the Chase, tired of the announcers, tired of the agenda, tired of the bias. Tired. Caught the highlights when I got home, nothing surprises…playing out as we predicted. Tis going according to plan.


The tv broadcasts, no matter who has had them, have become so chase-centric that they are unwatchable if you don’t happen to have a driver who is, in the words of Allen Bestwick, relevant. Most of the fans I know don’t change who they cheer for whether they are in or out of NASCAR’s crapshoot.

NASCAR insists it listens to its fan. I say that they have selective hearing and listen to what they WANT to hear.

It was a nice day to get things done outside this weekend and I find Texas to be another boring big track so I did my yard work and came in and out to see if there was anything worthwhile being shown. I watched the end of the race since it was dark. My brother is a 48 fan — he was very happy at the end of the race.

Also I didn’t know that this race was being shown on the mothership NBC station. I had to look for it. Once upon a time, I would have known exactly what time it started and what station it was on, but that is an example of how far my interest in NASCAR has fallen.

Bill B

Phil, I too just shook my head at the amount of time the ticker was reporting fastest lap. It is pretty much a meaningless statistic that usually has no bearing on what is happening or how things will turn out. I could see them putting that information up a few times during the race, perhaps at the quarter marks of the race. What is also funny is that they’ve put the pylon up with the chase standings and points on the left hand side of the screen (very good idea) but they still see the need to have the yellow or green color band under the chase drivers’ names on the ticker. First off, pretty much everyone could name the drivers in the chase since it’s beaten into our brains by the broadcasters, secondly, how many ways do they need to remind us of something we already know. Graphics overkill in my opinion.


So little information is given on the broadcast that doesn’t involve ‘playoff’ drivers that it is almost impossible to get involved with the race. I know that Junior came from the back at least twice, but had to peer at the streamer to see how he was doing. So many drivers had incidents that weren’t covered except as an aside that I had NO idea what was happening on the track. No wonder ratings are going downhill. If you don’t relate what is happening to most of the cars on the track, it just doesn’t make for compelling watching. I finally gave up and just checked in once in a while to see if I could figure out anything new. No luck. I ended up giving up on the truck race because I couldn’t take Mikey’s ranting any longer, and seeing Cup drivers dominate the Xfinity series holds no interest for me.


salb, you hit right on the reason why I don’t/won’t watch the truck races. I will not listen to Mikey. I don’t watch the xfinity series because there are so many cup drivers in it that it isn’t worth my time either.

NASCAR gets all the $$ from tv and yet the tv broadcast doesn’t do anything for the fans watching at home. If they liked what they saw on tv, they MIGHT buy a ticket, but by refusing to actually talk about the race and all the drivers, they are missing a great opportunity to bring in new fans and NASCAR is going to need them.


Keep up the good work Phil. Some of your associates have just about got me really disgusted.Good thing it is almost the end of the year.


First it was Jeff Burton (my favorite driver but unfortunately a NASCAR PR hack in the booth) who commented at Charlotte that the non-Chasers are under no orders to take it easy on the Chasers. Of course, at the time, Chasers held 10 of the top 11 positions in the running order.
This week we get Steve Letarte, with the qualifier that some people don’t like the Chase format, noting the beauty of the Chase with first 5 in the running order at the time being Chasers.
And finally Bob Pockrass, one of the few people left covering NASCAR for ESPN, stating that most fans really like the Chase format in response to a tweet from a fan if asking if the Chase might change if/when a new series sponsor takes over in 2017.
I just wonder how delusional most of the media folk are in thinking that the shrinking number of people still watching these races is on the edge of their seats because of the Chase. As I see it, any small bump or less than expected ratings decrease is the product of people watching Jeff Gordon’s final races.


rg72, yeah, that whole sucking up to NASCAR about the chase that many in the media do makes me really angry. Especially when they say “most fans really like the chase”. I’ve been to a lot of races since the chase started and maybe in the first year, it was a novelty and people were OK with it, but over the past few years I haven’t heard many fans say they like it. The falling attendance and viewership speaks louder than any of the NASCAR feel good staff.