Friday, March 9, 2007

SPEED: NEXTEL Cup Qualifying - Las Vegas

Sometimes, things just feel right. Sometimes, TV feels comfortable and nice. Sometimes, its a pleasure to write about NASCAR television coverage.

Mike Joy led the broadcast team from NASCAR on Fox who used the SPEED Channel to bring fans Cup qualifying from Las Vegas. Viewers who have watched this crew since their inception understand that this type of on-air dynamic is just a pleasure to watch. Joy leads two good friends in the booth and a solid pit road staff bolstered by the dynamic Krista Voda. NASCAR fans just eat up the solid facts and race perspectives that are offered by the announcers, drivers, and crew chiefs. Add in the personalities from crazy Kenny Wallace to pouty Tony Stewart and you have an excellent mix. This is sports TV at its best.

Darrell Waltrip continues to put in his finest work since his time with Fox began. While its unfortunate that he is connected with the MWR effort, he has continued to be mature, realistic, and even "fatherly" to the young racers. You get the feeling that maybe, finally, DW is comfortable...with himself at last.

Larry McReynolds is the pit-bull of NASCAR announcers. He is always on full bore, always over-prepared, and always in the know when anyone asks about absolutely anything NASCAR related. You almost get the feeling that you could read off a grandstand ticket number and he would know the life history of the person seated in it. Without the distractions of his previous attempts at part-time crew chief duties for DW, Larry Mac is just flat dialed-in.

Krista Voda was the addition the team needed, and has already proven to be a fan and driver favorite. She has added a friendly and honest perspective to a pit road crew that needed a lighter touch. The best part is, unlike some others on pit road, she understands television. Her interviews are concise, her opinions are her own, and she clearly has the respect of "the garage."

Its not usually an easy thing to say that watching qualifying was fun. Today, from Las Vegas, it was. Let's hope the NASCAR on Fox crew carries this momentum through the race.