Race Weekend Central

Talking NASCAR TV: Terrible Tires Overshadow ESPN’s 2008 Debut

The big story following the Brickyard this week was the excessive tire wear that forced competition cautions and prompted drivers to play it safe. But lost in the crossfire between the fans (and media) versus NASCAR was ESPN’s debut covering the Sprint Cup Series in 2008. Unlike the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard, the network’s …

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Talking NASCAR TV: ESPN Needs to Learn From Mistakes to Improve 2008 NASCAR Coverage

The third network to cover the Sprint Cup Series takes their turn at glory this week, as ESPN/ABC begins their NASCAR coverage at the historic Brickyard on Sunday, July 27. The final 17-week stretch to finish off the year follows a 21-race schedule that was covered by both FOX and TNT. Those networks had their …

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Talking NASCAR TV: SPEED’s Stewart Announcement Debacle Overshadows TNT Season Finale

NASCAR media outlets had plenty to discuss this week, as Tony Stewart’s future plans came to public fruition piece by piece. Multiple reports surfaced at the beginning of the week stating that the Stewart-Haas deal was done; and the very next day, Joe Gibbs Racing officially announced to the media that they were granting Stewart …

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Fanning the Flames: Breaking Down TNT’s Wide Open Coverage

For the second straight year, the Coke Zero 400 from Daytona International Speedway will be broadcast by TNT Saturday night using a concept called “Wide Open Coverage.” You remember last year, right? The split-screen coverage of commercials and racing action that had been so successfully used in the IRL – from a fan’s standpoint, anyway …

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Talking NASCAR TV: SPEED Satellite Failure Not the Only Weekend Problem Over the Airwaves

The most interesting part of Sunday’s NASCAR activities at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, at least up until the final two caution flags of the race, may have not even been during the race itself. Early in the broadcast of NASCAR Race Day on the Speed Channel, the satellite feed for the show stopped working. Although …

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Talking NASCAR TV: Noticeable Glitches Undermine Solid TNT Effort at Sonoma

When TNT debuted its 2008 NASCAR coverage two weeks ago at Pocono, a major audio foible took away from what was an impressive performance for the network. Two weeks later, Sunday’s presentation of the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma still had its own share of avoidable mistakes, making a professional, lucrative television operation look like …

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Talking NASCAR TV: TNT Not the Only Network to Step It up a Notch This Week

Dale Earnhardt Jr. had a lot of reasons to win Sunday’s Lifelock 400 at Michigan International Speedway, not the least of which was the strong reader response to my being critical of Junior for lethargic television interviews in last week’s column. The results were varied, but most sided with Junior, saying that he does enough …

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Talking NASCAR TV: TNT Return is Dyn-o-mite!

A new segment of the NASCAR broadcasting season began this past Sunday, as TNT hosted the first of six races that it will cover this season. Many anticipated the weekend’s race at Pocono to lack the excitement and the drama that both NASCAR and TNT pride themselves upon. Fortunately for both, Sunday’s race delivered; and …

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Talking NASCAR TV: FOX Finale Adds Some Spice to Snoozer at Dover

With the latest NASCAR TV contract in place now for just the second year, the end of FOX’s annual coverage approaches faster than ever. Under the first deal, FOX covered the first half of the season and NBC covered the second half – beginning at or around the Pepsi 400 – while TNT took a …

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Talking NASCAR TV: FOX Wines & Dines Lady in Black to a 2nd Straight Saturday Night Success

There must be something in the air at racetracks on a Saturday night. After a less-than-stellar outing at Talladega, the FOX Sports broadcasting team again turned in a performance deserving of the Emmy Award they received just a few short weeks ago. In fact, the last two races at Richmond and Darlington – both on …

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Critiquing NASCAR TV: Richmond Race Coverage Conveys Short-Track Drama Well

If you’re a television executive on FOX or ESPN, the last two weeks of NASCAR racing have bound to have left you drooling. At Talladega, the pack of cars did not get strung out or single file like it did in the fall race there; that caused the close racing and crazy wrecks fans expect …

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