Saturday, February 23, 2008

In-Progress At Fontana: Craftsman Truck Race on Fox Sports


This is the first of two NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races that will air on the Fox Broadcast Network this season. The other is the Martinsville, VA event.

Production for this race will be done by the NASCAR on Fox team that normally handles the Sprint Cup races. On this event, Rick Allen and Phil Parsons will be joined by the NASCAR on Fox analyst Darrell Waltrip. On pit road will continue to be Adam Alexander, but Ray Dunlap will be replaced, probably by Krista Voda since there is no thirty minute pre-race show. The Hollywood Hotel is on-site, and Chris Myers and Jeff Hammond will be along for the race.

The live program comes on-air at 3PM Eastern Time, and the track schedule indicates that the opening invocation is scheduled for 3:01PM. That would tend to limit the pre-race TV activities. Hopefully, good weather will allow this race to happen.

It should be interesting to watch for the subtle differences between the SPEED team normally assigned to produce the Trucks, and the NASCAR on Fox team that will produce this race. With Michael Waltrip being replaced by his brother Darrell, it gives Rick Allen and Phil Parsons a chance to get themselves on the big broadcast TV network with a high-profile star. This is a great opportunity for both men.

SPEED has been great in providing viewers a nice wideshot of the finish to allow all of the lead lap Trucks to cross the line. The same cannot be said for the NASCAR on Fox crew, who continue to fall victim to the false drama of who won the race being the big story. Every fan has a favorite, and that does not change depending on who is leading. NASCAR fans want to see their driver finish the race. That is the point of watching it on TV. We shall see how that plays-out Saturday afternoon.

The page will host your comments about the Craftsman Truck Series race on Fox. You can add your opinion before, during or after the event. The rules for posting are on the right side of the main page. To add your comment, just click the COMMENTS button below and follow the easy directions.

Thanks again for taking the time to stop by and leave your opinion at The Daly Planet.

83 comments:

Anonymous said...

FOX crew, indeed!
After their abysmal showing in the Daytona 500 telecast, the 'higher ups' at FOX must realize that they need some practice....and they need to lose that stupid gopher cam. What they should do, instead, is put the SPEED production crew-who usually do the truck series, in the production chairs for the Sprint Cup telecast. Now THAT would be a solution!

batchief said...

John, Kirsta's website says that The Setup is on. Could be a typo though. I realize that there is nothing like actually being at any sporting event in person, heck I even enjoy ice hockey in person, but in lieu of that Fox did just fine. I for one have no problem with the Gopher cam or the little rodent in the corner considering the short period of time it is on the screen.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Batchief,

The Truck race on Fox is only two hours long from 3 to 5PM Eastern Time, and on SPEED at 2:30PM is off-road racing. What I think we will see is the Hollywood Hotel with Myers and Hammond and Krista on pit road.

JD

batchief said...

I would say you are right considering The Setup wasn't on for either of the Fox races last year and the fact Krista is doing the garage area on Speed right now, plus she was sick yesterday and doesn't sound like she is over it yet.

Daly Planet Editor said...

batchief,

The way she sounds, it might be the perfect night to take the show off and maybe just report from the pits.

JD

stricklinfan82 said...

I'm going to keep my critiques of the Truck and Nationwide races today very simple:

If they show all of the vehicles cross the finish line at the end of the race, the production crew did a great job.

If they don't show all the vehicles cross the finish line and choose to show a couple vehicles, a celebrating pit crew, and the winner riding around on his cool-down lap while other drivers are racing their brains out battling to the line off-camera, I will be furious and consider the broadcast a complete failure.

It would only take, what, 45 seconds to show all the vehicles cross the line at the end of the race? Is it really too much to ask of the Fox and ESPN production crews to wait 45 seconds to start their post-race celebration coverage so all of the fans can see THEIR driver finish?

PLEASE! Just wait 45 seconds and then you can show all the pit crew dancing, flag waving, and winning crew chief interviews your heart can stand. All I'm asking is for Fox and ESPN to give the fans a 45 second return on the 2 or 3 hour investment we put into watching their broadcast. Please please please, I want to see my drivers finish on live TV! I don't think 45 seconds would hurt anyone and it would make all the difference in the world for the fans watching.

Anonymous said...

stricklinfan82 said...
It would only take, what, 45 seconds to show all the vehicles cross the line at the end of the race?

February 23, 2008 2:06 PM

45 seconds is an eternity in TV time. I don't think they will or want to keep 1 shot up for that long. Besides I don't think it would take that long for the first 20 or so cars to cross the line. I would say about 10-15 seconds is much better and would cover most of the cars.

GS

Daly Planet Editor said...

Very smart idea adding Matt Yocum to the pit reporting crew, especially with Krista not feeling very good.

JD

Daly Planet Editor said...

I think that starting command might live on in You Tube land for a long time!

Sean said...

Ladies start your engines! Oops

Anonymous said...

JD, Krista is still part of the pit crew though. does this mean we have one more reporter the expected?

stricklinfan82 said...

Nothing against Matt Yocum, I think he's a fantastic pit reporter, but I'm very disappointed that "the big boys" have replaced Ray Dunlap on this broadcast. I would have liked to have seen the entire "Truck crew" that follows this series every week get the assignment for their appearance on the broadcast channel.

Anonymous said...

they said "gentlemen" after that. I think they meant ladies and gentlemen.

Daly Planet Editor said...

stricklinfan,

It just does not work like that. Even though they are both under the same big corporate umbrella, there are a whole lot of different issues on FCC regulated TV than on cable.

One slip by Dunlap could cost Fox a whole lot of money.

JD

Anonymous said...

God, I hope comcast picks up SPEED HD, Trucks look great on FOX HD/

Truck Series Fan! said...

I think the pre-race show was great and Rutledge and Dilner did fine interviews but I didn't see David Starr??? And where are the fans? Maybe they are stuck in traffic. Oh yeah, that's it!

Daly Planet Editor said...

Wow, I am amazed that there are no fans. I wonder if they will be more for the Nationwide Series race tonight.

Anonymous said...

Daly Planet Editor said...
Wow, I am amazed that there are no fans. I wonder if they will be more for the Nationwide Series race tonight.

February 23, 2008 3:24 PM

Just think how many folks they have there in their RV's, already at the track but not enough interest to walk in!!

Daly Planet Editor said...

I just figured with the good weather and low temps it would be perfect for going to a race. Maybe not in LaLa land.

Anonymous said...

there seems to be a good amount of fans at the top of the grandstands near the start/finish line. Plus there is supposed to be a good amount of fans in the infield.

Anonymous said...

Traffic is a big problem in the area. That is a deterrent to many who would want to attend. And many in the area thought rain would come today and not Sunday.

stricklinfan82 said...

JD,

Thanks for the info on Dunlap. I didn't think of him as being an serious FCC risk but I'm sure you know a lot more about the situation than I do. I knew he had the questionable comments on Tradin' Paint a few years ago but I didn't think that one incident would scare Fox away (unless something else has happened since that I don't know about). If I'm not mistaken didn't he work the truck races on Fox last year? I thought for sure he worked the Mansfield race, I don't remember Martinsville off the top of my head.

I just figured it was a situation of using a "Cup guy" instead of the "truck guy" for the broadcast on the "big boy network" (much like using DW instead of Michael in the booth).

A couple observations so far:

- good job mentioning who had to start in the back, and why

- I'm disappointed there was no "Spotlight", and that the pace lap interview was conducted with the only big-name Cup driver in the race instead of a Truck Series regular

- the driver of the #22 truck is Philip McGilton, the graphics say "McGlynn"

- it doesn't look like the decision to make this a Truck / Nationwide doubleheader for attendance reasons worked out too well.... it's funny that this race weekend replaced Rockingham because Rockingham couldn't sell out

SophiaZ123 said...

It is sad the lack of fans!! Ouch.

Too bad this isn't on FOX more often since SPEED is in fewer homes and asking BEGGING for a new channel is no easy feat with many cable places..and satellite is just as bad at dropping or rotating tiers of stations.

FOX could promote the races across the board...but SPEED has a very long contract. But the trucks are very good races imo. Some of the best but the DAYTONA started out a mess. :(

Daly Planet Editor said...

They have a great story going with Skinner and the coverage is good. Even DW is really having a good race, he seems to be on his game this season.

Anonymous said...

the driver of the #22 truck is Philip McGilton, the graphics say "McGlynn

Still not fixed..Get a clue..What a joke

Anonymous said...

Daly Planet Editor said...
They have a great story going with Skinner and the coverage is good. Even DW is really having a good race, he seems to be on his game this season.

February 23, 2008 3:41 PM

I'm thinking their story is Busch, They can't stop talking about him, even though he just took the lead.

Anonymous said...

It's just that the race are not promoted as much in this area. That could be a problem. It's not the lack of fans.

The LA stations rarely mention NASCAR and if they do, it's only after a race. San Diego stations, the nearest large city, also cover NASCAR only after a race most of the time. But, at least some of the San Diego stations use highlights from all 3 of the top series.

GS

Newracefan said...

Their story should be Busch at least right now, he's passing trucks like their dragging the brakes. Hopefully now that's he's in the front they move on to others

stricklinfan82 said...

Fox still hasn't fixed the McGilton issue. How does a mistake like that happen anyway? Even the last second driver change in the 47 truck is correct on their scoring crawl. I guess the laptops in the production truck aren't working today.

It's certainly a shame the way the rookies are treated by these TV networks. Last week ESPN blows off Bryan Caluson after a top 6 finish in what amounted to a Cup race and this week Fox doesn't even have the name of the Truck Series' leading Rookie of the Year Candidate right. What a shame.

Anonymous said...

If I'm not mistaken, the running order is connected to NASCAR's timing and scoring. So, I wonder if NASCAR's timing and scoring has the #22 as McGlynn.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
If I'm not mistaken, the running order is connected to NASCAR's timing and scoring.

February 23, 2008 3:54 PM

I was just about to say that. The driver information FOX uses is from NASCAR. FOX cannot change it, NASCAR has to. This is not about FOX's treatment to the regulars, it seems to be a simple spelling mistake on NASCAR's part.

GS

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
If I'm not mistaken, the running order is connected to NASCAR's timing and scoring. So, I wonder if NASCAR's timing and scoring has the #22 as McGlynn.

I would not think that is the case..entry list and practice list has it correct.

Daly Planet Editor said...

GS,

The fix from NASCAR and/or Fox should have taken thirty seconds. At least the announcers have it right.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
I would not think that is the case..entry list and practice list has it correct.

February 23, 2008 4:00 PM

I believe those lists are created separately from the timing and scoring list. Isn't that a different department? So a spelling mistake can still be made. And I don't think it is that easy to change.

Anonymous said...

I notice in this race Fox has picked up the NBC style where a pit reporter will ask someone in the booth a question to set up what they're going to talk about.

SophiaZ123 said...

Last week the in car camera HUGE graphics said "ENGERY DRINK" instead of ENERGY drink for Jrs car.

I commented here and noticed the next time, it was fixed. So it is basic spelling and typing isn't it?

One thing I noticed, we need more commercials. *sigh*

Frankly the Busch talk has been a bit much this season but that's just my two pennies.

Jon Wood took his problem hard...that boy is lookin' depressed again...wonder if he gets yelled at over the dinner table ala Steven Wallace?

My tv is getting dark...hope it isn't clouding up for tonights race.

stricklinfan82 said...

I think 11 laps to go is far too late in the race for billboards AND a commercial break.

Anonymous said...

Lots of breaks here in the last 25 or so laps.

Newracefan said...

Commercial load is a little heavy especially at the end of the race, perhaps they needed more commercials since it's on Fox instead of Speed

Geez said...

A big green blob heading for the track on radar. Clouding up here about 10 mile's from the track :(

SophiaZ123 said...

Once again the lead car and then the racing crew PATTTING EACH OTHER ON THE BACK???
WTH??????????????????????????????

FOX STINKS and ignores what the fan's want.

ESPN wannabes. :(

JD I see FOX will do this all season it would appear. and no MRN for tonight's race either around my area.

Newracefan said...

Got the flagman again but this was used as a filler due to the gap between first and second. They even went back to give us the fight for 11th. SLF82 did the end meet your expectations?

Anonymous said...

Neat!, I didn't know Kyle drove the #51 for free. Wonder if he % of winnings?

Truck Series Fan! said...

My husband says that they moved the truck racing fans up so they had a better view of the racing so there are more there than we thought. I'm actually curious to see how many PAID fans were at the track though.

Anonymous said...

Many of the truck races are General Admission Seating.

stricklinfan82 said...

I didn't like the last lap coverage. First the dreaded flagman shot. Then they started to keep the wide shot of the finish line but then switched to the 2nd place pit crew and Kyle Busch's cool-down lap. Yes we finally saw the 11th place guys cross the line but they should have shown that race much earlier.

6th, 7th, 9th, and 10th place changed hands some time on the last lap. It might have happened after Busch took the checkered flag for all we know. I still wish these TV networks could keep the cameras focused on the vehicles that are still racing at speed before they go into post-race celebration mode. All it would take at this track is 45 seconds at the max, I don't think that's too long to wait. Kyle can't even start burnouts until he makes it back around to the frontstretch so it's not like we would even miss that. Just please show the cars that are still racing, and then do the post-race coverage once everyone has finished the race.

Anonymous said...

It looked like they didn't know what they wanted to show after the checkered flag flew. They wanted to show Busch during his cool down lap, show the pit crew, but then also other trucks crossing the finish line....they were all over the map with it.

As far as the late commercial break...they were in a pickle with the green flag stops being stretched out like they were and how they were going to play out. They were probably holding off in case a caution would come out while pit stops going on and really jumble up the running order

SophiaZ123 said...

sfan

45 seconds is a long time on TV.

But think about this, count to 10 (in real second time)

KEEP THE CAMERA ON THE FINISH LINE.

THEN switch to the crews and everything else.

NO EXCUSE to keep screwing the fans out of the end of the race in my book.

It's SIMPLE.

ANOTHER ARROGANT PRODUCER/DIRECTOR's agenda with NO thought whatsoever of what the fans want OR DESERVE.

A double thumbs down for this coverage...too many commercials and the last lap camera coverage STANK.

What can you say. JD yapped about this all last season. FOX doesn't care.

Anonymous said...

JD
With regard to empty seats, word is that there are 30,000 UNSOLD tickets for the CUP race.
SoCal (in spite of FOX being in the neighborhood) doesn't car about NASCAR.
They should take a date back and go to North Wilkesboro again.
Bet the teams and drivers would be all for it, too

Daly Planet Editor said...

I just don't get it. The race is not over after the leader finishes. If your driver has worked hard all day for third place, like Johnny Benson, don't you deserve to see him finish on the lead lap in third? Yes, you do.

The same Fox Director did this to fans last season, and ruined the Fox Sports portion of the season with his arrogance and lack of understanding of racing fundamentals. Please see The Daly Planet archives for those columns.

I am just having a hard time figuring out why fans would continue to watch this coverage when "their driver" will not be seen finishing if he or she does not win. Talk about frustrating.

JD

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 4:59PM,

Look for news to happen if the Cup race is a fan disaster. Wait until we see the Nationwide race tonight, if it does not rain.

JD

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

SoCal (in spite of FOX being in the neighborhood) doesn't car about NASCAR.

February 23, 2008 4:59 PM

I HATE it when people make blatant unfounded assumptions like that. This area has many fans. Maybe not in LA proper, but you don't have to be in LA to be in SoCal. There are so many other NASCAR friendly areas with many NASCAR fans within 100 miles of the track.

I sorry but I just hate those kind of assumptions. Maybe I am just thinking about the fans here but, I don't want any dates to this Speedway to go away. That track and Irwindale are the closest NASCAR sites for about 400 miles.

GS

Anonymous said...

Sophiaz-
You are dead on the money! FOX execs DO NOT CARE! They think the whole NASCAR phoenomenon is a joke! Something unique to "dumbed down Americana". You need look no further than their encouragement of the bastardization (sorry JD) of the english language thru Larry McReynolds. They could help the guy out, get him diction and vocabulary help-but no! Larry is left, (albeit a very knowlegable guy about the sport) to be the 'poster boy for poorly spoken Americans, i.e. southern NASCAR fans. Its FOX exploitation of the worst kind, and Sophiaz sees right through it too. Good for you, girl!!!!

stricklinfan82 said...

Overall I thought the TV coverage was good for the first 99 laps. California's not known for great racing but I thought Fox did a good job finding battles on the racetrack to show throughout the day.

My biggest issue was with the constant commercials in the late laps of the race. We missed the final 2 on-track lead changes and had to endure a series of billboards and then a commercial break with less than 11 laps to go.

Finally, the last lap coverage left a lot to be desired. Once Kyle crossed the line they zoomed on the flagman and missed Todd Bodine crossing the line. Then they cut to Todd's pit crew standing around doing nothing, then to Kyle coasting on the backstretch, then we saw 2 seconds of the 99 and 10 truck crossing the line.

Once Kyle crossed the line they should have covered the other on-track action behind him instead of bouncing around between a bunch of useless stuff. Either keep a wide shot to show all the trucks crossing the line or find the first battle still remaining on the track and follow them to the line. Then when they cross the line fall back and find the next close battle if one exists. Keep doing this until everyone finishes. There was a last-lap pass for 6th and 9th and we saw none of those trucks at any point once Kyle crossed the line. The 10 and 99 were 20 seconds behind Busch so we could have seen them battle for a good half-lap after Busch crossed the line but they didn't give us that either.

These TV networks need to understand that the race isn't over until the LAST vehicle on the track crosses the finish line. It doesn't end when the first vehicle crosses the line.

Again, I could live with no wide shot of every vehicle crossing the line IF the furthest up battle on the track is shown from turn 3 or turn 4 to the finish line. If Benson was running by himself in 3rd and there was a side-by-side race for 4th going on then by all means show the 4th place battle. Just show me actual racing and not pit crews, flagmen, and vehicles running on their cool-down laps. Please!

Anonymous said...

Hey GS!
30,000 empty seats does not amount to an assumption!! NO fans means limited interest. I guarantee a race at N Wilkesboro would be sold out on Saturday and Sunday!!

Anonymous said...

I find it interesting that so many of the same people who were saying "we want FOX back" at the end of the year last year, are now saying stuff like "FOX stinks" and "they did this last year too"

Why is that? Especially if the coverage was the same last year too.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Hey GS!
30,000 empty seats does not amount to an assumption!! NO fans means limited interest. I guarantee a race at N Wilkesboro would be sold out on Saturday and Sunday!!

February 23, 2008 5:09 PM


Seats may be empty tomorrow because it is supposed to RAIN. we don't like rain here.

Seats were empty in September because it was 115 degrees most of the day.

Also, empty seats do not mean complete lack of interest. Many don't want to pay $100 each for tickets no mater how big of a fan they are.

GS

Anonymous said...

Look for news to happen if the Cup race is a fan disaster. Wait until we see the Nationwide race tonight, if it does not rain.

JD

February 23, 2008 5:03 PM


From what I've been reading, NASCAR is considering an 2009 Atlanta-California date switch. California would lose its Labor Day race date, but would not lose a race.

And to other anon, if n Wilkesboro would be sold out, why did they lose their date after warning fans several times that the date would go away if it wasn't sold out?

They're not going back there.

Erik said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 5:10PM,

The answer to that is easy. A telecast does not contain only one element. Fox had great announcers, a passion for the sport, and good graphics without a lower third crawl.

What they did not have is good final lap coverage and some of Myers stunts in the Hollywood Hotel were downright embarrassing.

I got email from crew members as uspet as we were with not seeing our favorite drivers finish the races, even on the short tracks, with this Director. Amazing!

Daly Planet Editor said...

Erik,

When you get a chance, please drop me an email at editor@thedalyplanet.tv thanks!

JD

Anonymous said...

I don't want to bring up names, but I think everyone knows who the director is...

JD, Do you think this is a problem with Artie K.? I thought this was a producer/executive issue?

Anonymous said...

Bruton wants that Labor Day date for Las Vegas, too, but NASCAR doesn't want to give it to him. Since NASCAR owns California and Atlanta, those will probabaly be involved in realignment.

The Speedway president in california wants April and October for her dates if possible.

SophiaZ123 said...

I got email from crew members as uspet as we were with not seeing our favorite drivers finish the races, even on the short tracks, with this Director. Amazing!

JD

NASCAR seemed to straighten out issues with ESPN and FOX ignoring each other.

Why can't NASCAR step in and say COVER THE END of the races??? This can't make anybody happy as you mentioned.

Not to mention SPONSORS, team owners, on top of major fans.

After reading your response to some of the crew members last season, I find this arrogance on the director beyond mind boggling??

Daly Planet Editor said...

I was corrected and told it was a Director decision. If that is off the mark, please drop me a line.

It should be interesting to see if we see winner and flagman only again on Sunday. Thanks.

JD

Daly Planet Editor said...

I have been getting lots of email about internal problems at the Fontana track. This is not my neck-of-the-woods, so we will see what pans out after this weekend.

I think it is interesting that we have not seen stories about this in the mainstream NASCAR press.

JD

SophiaZ123 said...

I don't know the director's name?

Please, SPILL. WE DESERVE to know who is KILLING the end of the races we invest hours of time in.

I will lean more on MRN this season apparently but that's a bummer. But if a director is that arrogant and offends that many

HOW DOES HE KEEP HIS JOB??

Isn't that the big question?

Anonymous said...

SophiaZ123 said...

The director's first name is in the post. I don't think I want to share his full name.

His has been credited with some of the best NASCAR and Football coverage on television. This lap issue seems to be his only issue with the fans.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Sophia,

TV networks can do what they want once they buy the rights to sporting events. It's not that simple to get upset, this is something they decided in a meeting before the race.

As we do all the time on this site, we are just airing our own personal views about coverage and then seeing if they can help to affect change.

This is why I try hard to ask everyone in the comments to express their own personal views and not to try and defend or attack a specific network.

This is what Fox wanted to do, and they did it. The results in terms of ratings should be interesting to see if they keep this up.

When Fox Sports only showed the winner cross the finish line at Bristol, I got over five hundred emails in an hour. Hopefully, that will not happen on Sunday.

JD

elena said...

As long as UCLA is playing, there may be fans in their coaches watching the game. We have 3 UCLA alums in my family and we switch back and forth. The game won't finish until about 5 Pac Time.

I'm really proud of UCLA and we don't consider ourselves from LaLa land.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
SophiaZ123 said...

The director's first name is in the post. I don't think I want to share his full name.

His has been credited with some of the best NASCAR and Football coverage on television. This lap issue seems to be his only issue with the fans.

February 23, 2008 5:36 PM

sorry. that was confusing... I DID NOT mean SophiaZ123 said that. I was just addressing Sophia's question.

SophiaZ123 said...

Gotcha JD.

500 emails in one hour??

Not good.

Still, it's sad when folks prefer radio over TV due to bad decisions of which, you know, there are many.

Thanks

Daly Planet Editor said...

Thanks for bringing that up, there has never been an issue about the skill or experience of the Fox Director. This one issue is just tough for fans.

Why would anyone watch a NASCAR race on TV wearing a driver's colors with their friends for three hours only to be denied seeing him finish in the top five, or the top ten, or on the lead lap?

One of my emails was from a room of over fifty Junior fans when Fox did Bristol. They missed him finishing in the top ten and the field behind the winner was bouncing off each other all the way to the line. I just don't get it.

JD

Anonymous said...

Daly Planet Editor said...
I have been getting lots of email about internal problems at the Fontana track. This is not my neck-of-the-woods, so we will see what pans out after this weekend.

I think it is interesting that we have not seen stories about this in the mainstream NASCAR press.

JD

February 23, 2008 5:30 PM
For some reason this year, nobody did stories about California Speedway problems. Maybe they felt they exhausted it too much in the past two years, because they did a bunch during that time about how it was teetering on thin ice. Main criticism was focusing on LA fans with marketing and high ticket prices instead of middle class Inland Empire fans (at Brian France's direction, I must add.) I think Gillian Zucker is the fourth or fifth speedway president in a very short time. They get about 2-3 years on the job, then they're out. Speaks to a larger problem, seems like.

elena said...

It's raining. Practice stopped.

Anonymous said...

I think NASCAR Images, etc. like to have the shot of the winner crossing the line and then the focus on the checkered flag for later use - but they should use a different camera to record a "highlight" than the camera used to broadcast the race...

Way way way way too many commercials. It that's what it takes to get the trucks on Fox then I'll be happy to watch them on SPEED.

elena said...

Things we know about Auto Club Speedway. The Auto Club has just signed a 10 year contract to sponsor the track. Paepsico just signed a multi-year contract to sponsor several of the races.

The attendance in CA is higher than the attendance at Darlington. The average price of tickets at Darlington is $90 and the average price at Fontana is $155.00. Actually, the price for everything in Fontana is higher. That allows them to pay higher purses.

There are more Cup drivers from California than ANY other state.

California has a very rich heritage in all kinds of motor sports--stock, open wheel, drag, etc. This is where I saw Benny Parson, Neil Bonnett, Dan Gurney (one of the best all-time), Parnelli Jones, Cale, and Petty. Those days are gone, but don't think we know nothing just because we're Californians.

May I offer you a glass of wine? Or some sushi? :>)

Daly Planet Editor said...

elena,

But you understand why people have a hard time with a historic track losing a race, right?

The same history that you referenced in your note was ripped out of the south and transplanted to a track which has had a ton of trouble since it was built.

I love the NHRA and I am a big fan. But, I also know drag racing is California, and it seems like no matter what ISC or NASCAR does they cannot get the natives interested in stock cars. In the meantime, they sold out the NHRA events out that way.

If the rain had not come, and today was a bust even with two races for the price of one, something was going to change down the road.

It should be interesting to see how it plays out over the next several weeks.

Statboy said...

Anonymous said...

Seats may be empty tomorrow because it is supposed to RAIN. we don't like rain here.

Seats were empty in September because it was 115 degrees most of the day.



GS

February 23, 2008 5:16 PM



I don't want to start a fight here, but seats were full at Darlington in September when it was 100 degrees all of the day and seats were full at Darlington when it rained for both races in 1999.

Anonymous said...

I guess here is the problem I have here. I don't care how many seats were empty, There were still thousands full. at least 70,000. To say that even with those 70,000 people "no one in SoCal cares". That makes me just a little upset.

I know other tracks have history and as some have said "seats were full at Darlington in September when it was 100 degrees" but this is California. Many say we here in California won't stand for weather extremes and other parts of the country will.

GS

elena said...

JD, thanks for your comments. I think that part of what I said was a response to your "LaLa land" comment. The average attendance in Fontana has now settled to about 78,000. Yes, that leaves 25K empty seats, but that is still a lot of people. Last year, if you remember, it also rained. It is also the night of the Oscars, collegiate basketball is also a competitor. And yet, it still has better attendance than Darlington,Martinsville, Rockingham, and North Wilkesboro.

Also, the track in California I was talking about ran races during NASCAR infancy. There was not tv coverage, so you had to go if you were a fan. I'm surprised we got so many racers that were in the A list. Drivers did not have jets and big coaches or lots of money like they do now.

I just don't see Fortune 100 corporations investing in Fontana if they thought it was going bust. I do think that it was a mistake for Fontana to add all those seats. They should have left well enough alone.

Also, the date so close to Las Vegas, and LV is only 200 miles from here. I don't know if you are familiar with this area, but it's more or less a bedroom community. It has some big malls, but once you've been to one, then what? There is nothing to do. Plus it's expensive. If you wait a week, you can go to Vegas which runs 24 hours a day. Motels are cheap and so is food. Lots to do. Because of the traffic,(from LA) you can get to Vegas by driving for just another 30-45 minutes. (It's not on the way.)

Daly Planet Editor said...

Elena,

You made some very good points. Thanks for that note.

JD

Anonymous said...

Amy in FL said...

I will say that I attended the Duels in Daytona and when I got home, I watched Speed's replay of the second race. I learned alot that I did not know while I was at the track. Don't get me wrong, I love the time that I get to spend with my Dad. He and I love going to Daytona.

I am one that is just happy to have Nascar to watch. TV teaches me alot that I might not know if I just attended race after race.

I appreciate all the comments here and John's columns. I have learned alot here also.

I just had to put this comment out here just to keep things in perspective. I have been a fan since 2004 and have enjoyed learning about the sport and it's history but I love it now also.

Keep commenting.

I hope that this was clear and not clear as mud.