Saturday, March 29, 2008

"Digger" Dominates Craftsman Truck Race On Fox

The storylines for the Saturday afternoon Craftsman Truck Series race on Fox were fantastic. The diversity of the drivers in the field almost guaranteed a race with action from start-to-finish.

There were the Truck Series regulars that ranged from Rick Crawford to Ron Hornaday Jr. The Martinsville "visitors" included Modified champ Donny Lia, open-wheeler Scott Speed and young Chrissy Wallace. Almost the entire field had a story to tell.

Certainly, one of the most compelling was the ride Dennis Setzer was piloting. The remaining pieces of the late Bobby Hamilton's racing operation had been slowly coming together with lots of help from lots of people in racing. Combined with Setzer's well known short-track prowess, things could not have gone better.

It was Chris Myers and not Krista Voda who manned the Hollywood Hotel since this Truck race was on Fox. Regular Truck Series viewers are used to a competent and energetic Voda setting the table for the race. That was not to be the case here.

Myer's acknowledged "act" is ridiculous, as anyone who has seen the real personality of Myers on other cable sports programs knows all too well. Myers hosts Center Court, the signature interview program on The Tennis Channel.

That Chris Myers speaks intelligently to a diverse group of athletes, coaches and tennis personalities one-on-one. The difference between a stuttering and stammering Myers in the Hollywood Hotel and the sophisticated interviewer asking informed questions to international tennis stars is amazing.

On Saturday at Martinsville, Myers was simply a distraction while the rest of the broadcast team scrambled to provide the information fans needed. These Truck broadcasts on Fox have no pre-race show, so at least the racing was underway in a timely fashion.

Back after throat problems, Darrell Waltrip filled a nice role on this telecast. He and Phil Parsons have worked out a very good relationship on-the-air. DW talks big picture and Parsons fills-in the details. In this broadcast, that partnership was effective throughout the race. Between Waltrip's Martinsville history and Parsons Truck Series knowledge, the issue of Michael Waltrip being absent for this telecast did not arise.

Early in the race, it was clear that even on a cold Martinsville spring day, the Fox team was going to make good pictures and sound. Despite the gray skies, the technical crew delivered consistent coverage and just like a good basketball referee, was not really noticed. Everything just worked.

With 250 laps to run, the Fox Producer allowed viewers 25 laps before he introduced the one consistent presence that viewers would be seeing for the entire telecast. "Digger" the Gopher Cam was introduced on this short track with his animation and the race would never be the same.

The action on the track was outstanding, the stories throughout the field were compelling and the pit reporters were right on-top of the action. Unfortunately, by lap 37 the Fox Director had decided that "Digger" was going to be a part of the regular race coverage and not just a toy to use once and a while.

It was 58 laps into the race when "Digger" became a total distraction. As the field sorted out and the stories of the race began to unfold, "Digger" was now being used by the Director more frequently. The change in the perspective from high-to-low and the lack of any ability to see what was going-on in the race began to take its toll on the coverage.

During green flag racing, "Digger" would be used as the camera to frame a graphic for promoting other Fox programming. The meaningless tires of the Trucks would just stream by without any reference or meaning.

During a caution on lap 82, Fox introduced a new feature from the Hollywood Hotel. The Craftsman Tools of the Trade feature put a new air impact wrench on the set for Jeff Hammond to explain. Chris Myers holding an air gun looked like Superman handling kryptonite. It was clear he had never seen one before.

Hammond patiently explained that it was almost like the air guns the crews used down on pit road. Myers was puzzled, and asked "and what would you use it for in the pits?" As America drew a deep breath, Hammond quietly said, "taking lug nuts on and off." Is there anything more that needs to be said here?

Fox had now found yet a new use for "Digger." This was the camera angle used while going to commercial under caution. It was also the camera angle used to come back from commercial.

After lap 100, "Digger" began to dominate the telecast. Now, this camera was actively being "cut" into the telecast as a regular "camera cut" on a lap. "Digger" was now part of the live race coverage.

Slowly, all of the positive NASCAR on Fox production elements began to fade as "Digger" began to overwhelm viewers. The quad-split for the pits, the double video boxes for interviews and the nice crisp Fox graphics lost their luster.

The race recap just past halfway was nicely edited, but transitioned into Chris Myers selling "Digger" T-shirts from the Hollywood Hotel. Hammond seems mildly amused by all of this hype, and told Myers that "Digger" is "just as funny as you are." That quip was not lost on veteran fans.

With only 100 laps to go, "Digger" was once again on the air while 6th place Denny Hamlin spun. At the time, the announcers were once again talking about"Digger." With 67 laps to go, "Digger" was on the air when Brian Scott spun. Viewers saw the action on the track once again through multiple replays. Of course, the final replay angle was "Digger" complete with the animation and sound effects.

The big "Digger" moment came with only 13 laps to go when Rick Allen yelled "problems as Jack Sprague gets turned around coming out of 2!" Once again, Fox viewers had been watching big truck tires drive past "Digger" and missed another key moment of the race. The Director had been using his favorite toy and not covering the action on the track with less than 15 laps to go.

At the finish, a big gaggle of Trucks raced to the line. TV viewers saw the action from a nice wideshot, and in this case the benefit included two spins from the second and third place Trucks. This was the story of the race, Kyle Busch spinning Johnny Benson out on the last lap.

After the post-race interview with the winner, Fox made some very interesting choices. Chrissy Wallace was interviewed on her top twenty finish and Kyle Busch was interviewed on his "accident" on the final lap. Johnny Benson was left out in the cold even though he was a key story.

Fox also did not speak with Whelen Modified champ Donny Lia, or open-wheel veteran Scott Speed, who finished ninth and tenth respectively. Throughout the race, the unfolding Brendan Gaughan saga was documented extensively. Gaughan battled back from his late pitstop for fuel and finished in eleventh place. Despite his Davidson College storyline and the NCAA Tournament tie-in, he was not interviewed.

The SPEED crew produces their Craftsman Truck races as a "feature presentation." The effort from Krista Voda's pre-race show all the way through Rick Allen's final sign-off has been nothing short of outstanding for several seasons. The production choices are made because the team knows the on-going storylines of the series by heart.

At Martinsville, the announcers in the booth and the reporters on pit road turned in solid performances and gave the viewers all the information they could handle. The "hole" in this telecast was the over-use of one single "toy" that Fox has inserted into coverage this season for absolutely no specific reason.

Once in a while, the track-level perspective of "Digger" the Gopher Cam is interesting and makes for entertaining viewing. The key words in that sentence are "once in a while." It was unfortunate that the Director chose to insert this one production element far too many times in this Truck Series race.

It distracted from the good stories on the track, prevented viewers from seeing lots of key action, and ultimately became a storyline itself with the endless promotion and hype. Fox has been to this track for years without "Digger" and never had a problem with camera selection during the race. The same cannot be said for this season.

With a much longer Sprint Cup race on-tap for Sunday, it should be interesting to see if the NASCAR on Fox crew continues to shift the focus from the drivers and action on the track to their new "toy" that comes complete with a full line of merchandise. As we said in the headline, it was "Digger" that dominated this event from the drop of the green flag.

The Daly Planet welcomes comments from readers. Simply click on the COMMENTS button below and follow the easy instructions. The rules for posting are on the right side of the main page. Thanks again for taking the time to stop by.


Anonymous said...

"Regular Truck Series viewers are used to a competent and energetic Voda setting the table for the race."

I'm sorry but that quote makes it sound like you are saying Chris M. is incompetent. Is that what you are trying to get across in your opinion?

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your review and I agree with you about Digger.

I know some people aren't going to be happy with the coverage today of Chrissy Wallace. I think they may need to step back and realize that NASCAR has a huge female fanbase (more than 40 percent) that really wants to have a good female driver(s) succeed. The coverage today was not overkill. I'm sure more drivers would have been featured if the race had not run over, but Chrissy was THE story outside of Setzer and Busch/Benson. Plus they interviewed her post race for what, 20-25 seconds?

I've seen comments on several Cup drivers' message boards today with people specifically watching the race for Chrissy - or if they were going to watch the race anyway, they were rooting for her to do well.

And this was an impressive race for her coming straight from late models. I'm going to repost what I posted in the race thread because I think it's important for people to realize that Chrissy warranted the coverage today.
Guys, what Chrissy Wallace did today was very impressive. I had my doubts about her, but she finished 17th in her first NASCAR race.

Contrast that with Erin Crocker who has 29 truck starts (2 in 2005, 25 in 2006, and 2 earlier this year). Erin finished 36th in her first race (crashed out).

Erin did not get a top 15 until this year, in her 28th race. She finished 14th at Daytona (and then finished 22nd at Cali). In running the full season in 2006, her best was three top 20s (two 16th place finishes and an 18th).

So basically, with one race (and no confirmed scheduled races coming up) Chrissy Wallace has already surpassed Erin Crocker in my mind. She's still got a LONG way to go, but that was more potential than Erin ever showed, and I doubt Chrissy's Germain equipment and crews were as good as the ones from Evernham Motorsports.

While I agree that Scott Speed should have been mentioned more, Chrissy backed up all the coverage she got with a good showing.

stricklinfan82 said...


Great column. You pretty much echoed my sentiments from the in-race comments about the overuse of the damn gopher cam. I started getting a headache seeing the same camera shot over and over and over again. It can be cool once in a while to see a thundering pack of vehicles driving over a track-level camera but to use it seemingly every single lap during green flag racing was definitely overkill. Attention Fox: WE CAN'T SEE THE RACE FROM THAT CAMERA ANGLE. And, as I also pointed out in the in-race comments, we missed far too many accidents on restarts thanks to using the gopher cam excessively. Every restart seemed to follow the pattern: gopher cam, switch to the wall "speed shot", switch to gopher cam, switch to the other gopher cam, switch to the speed shot, go back to a normal camera for a second, back to gopher cam. It just got to be way too much to handle.

Other than the overkill on Chrissy Wallace while completely ignoring the very similar stories of fellow-newcomers Donny Lia and Scott Speed that outran her all day long, the other glaring problems with Fox continue to be the 4-box for pit stops and the scoring crawl.

I personally prefer the traditional 3-box with a wide shot of pit road on the right side of the screen, and it was especially curious of Fox to use one of the boxes to show the leader on the race track following the pace car during today's race.

As for the scoring crawl, Fox's information is always outdated and I especially dislike the new idea of scrolling positions 1-10 twice and then going to a 1-36. The scoring crawl was invented to keep fans updated on the cars not being seen on camera, and those are usually the cars running 11th on back. I shouldn't have to sit through seeing the top 10 names 3 times before I finally see who's running 11th. I should see a constant crawl that goes 1-43, 1-43, 1-43, 1-43, and that crawl should have real-time intervals and position changes, not the rundown and interval as of the last time they crossed the finish line.

On the flip side, ESPN does a fantastic job with their crawl. They always scroll the entire field and update the intervals and position changes in real-time. I just can't understand why Fox is seemingly using 1993-aged scoring crawl technology while their competitor at ESPN is using state of the art timing and scoring that couldn't be any more accurate up to the millisecond. Get with the times Fox!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 9:49, slight correction on your comment: Chrissy Wallace finished 18th, not 17th. The FOX ticker had her 17th, but official results changed it.

Other than that good post! Don't worry, some people are just never going to get it and complain any time a female racer gets on the screen and call it overkill. :-) They're just gonna have to deal. As you pointed out with that comparison, Chrissy deserved all her airtime today. (BTW, it wasn't Speed's first truck race like it was Chrissy's - different circumstances.)

Also priceless when the audio was the conversation between driver and father : "Dad!" "Just keep digging, honey". As DW and Phil said, never heard a spotter call their driver "honey." I liked that DW thought it was funny and "kinda sweet".

Anyway, I'd rather see airtime of Chrissy Wallace about actually performing on the track than Brendan G. being interviewed about the Hoyas getting knocked off by Davidson a while back. Or like tonight's race where they started off the pre-race showing video of Danica Patrick getting her pictures taken in her swimsuit. Not the way to make me take Miss "I-Still-Haven't-Won-A-Race" seriously, but I'll bet a lot of guys won't complain about that TV broadcast choice as much as they will about Chrissy getting a short interview after the race.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 9:43PM,

I write a column and then you form your own opinions. If you choose to share them, you can post them here.

Perhaps, you might take a moment to read the column again. As always, I complimented Mr. Myers on his journalistic abilities and his veteran TV presence.

I am a fan of the Tennis Channel, and I watch his program regularly.


Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 10:28PM,

I think the Chrissy Wallace story was outstanding and I never suggested in any way that it should not have been shown.

What should have been done, in my opinion, is to also get Johnny Benson, Donny Lia and Scott Speed on the air quickly and "pay-off" the stories the network had been telling us about since the race started.

Thanks again for the comment.


bevo said...

Great post JD.

I had stuff to do today and caught the race at a sports bar. Couldn't listen much because of the hockey and baseball games playing at the same time. That made the constant use of "Digger" even more aggravating. By the last 30 or so laps left I was the only one watching, the other 20 people gave up on it.

Hope they don't pull the same crap tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

Great column D.P.E., also agree with Stricklinfan82 post. You both called it right. As for me I say the time has come for "Digger" to road kill.

Newracefan said...

I use to like the digger cam and the animation doesn't really bother me but the over use of those camera angles was horrible. It made it difficult for me to just watch the race. Is it the same producer for the cup race? All I can think of is be afraid be very afraid.
Chrissy was a big deal for me and I was ok with the coverage of her run. I wonder if it was on Speed instead of FOx would we have heard more about the other first time drivers, not to mention the JB interview.
The Hollywood Hotel was a big waste, this race is way to short to allow it's use. About the only time it made sense was during the red flags but I'm sure Phil and DW could have kept us entertained or better yet fill it up with commercials and we wouldn't have to watch them during a green flag run or miss the restart after a caution. I will admit I enjoyed the HD for the trucks since I do not have Speed HD.

PS Lose the top 10 ticker it's annoying.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:28PM,

I think the Chrissy Wallace story was outstanding and I never suggested in any way that it should not have been shown.
March 29, 2008 10:36 PM

JD, I should have been clearer. I was referring to the post above mine at 10:04 and some on the other blog that referred to airtime for Chrissy Wallace as "overkill" - not your blog at the top. Sorry about that. :-)

I did really want to see an interview with Johnny Benson. Reading his post race comments he said they've got to start penalizing drivers for that type of driving, it happens all the time in the truck series and nothing gets done about it. Maybe they'll have something from him on NASCAR Now tomorrow from after the race, but you're right they should have gotten him today. But IMO Scott Speed (not his first race) and Lia (not as unusual a story as Wallace) and Gaughan were less priority for TV than Chrissy if FOX was short on time (and they were).

Anonymous said...

I used to like Myers on the "pre race" segments. But it seems this year hes trying to be my uncle benny and tell knock knock jokes for the entire time we see him.

His "comedy" is getting old in a hurry.

How much money can the be making off of Digger? I can fathom for the amount of time they spend pimping T-shirts that they could make just as much with a subway add. DW must have a huge stake in that thing....

Sophia said...

Welp, since it's fox again tomorrow, I shall have on MRN since today's show got TREATED like radio. Between the useless SLING SHOT CAM (because that's what I wanted to shoot at it on my tv) we treated the tv like radio and I even did laundry.

Why sit to be treated to the show as JD wrote. It was bloody annoying. They could NOT use a simple, standard camera angle for anything.

I liked the Chrissy story but was HUGELY disappointed FOX said we would hear from JB but we didn't.

Man, already FOX's versin of "DRAFT TRACKER" is alienating those of us who said (last year) we can't wait until Fox because ESPN is dreadful.

Well, I was wrong about Fox, and I promptly admit it (one of the 12 steps !!) I like the guys in the booth but the DIGGER TOY needs to go find a mate and disappear into the sunset now that mating season is here.

I am done with Fox. They either have TWO different producers for the races or they are like NASCAR NOW and have day good, next day, NOT good.

IRL started off rough with the Danica swimsuit pics and their HORRIBLE SPLIT Screen over kill but they got better.

I am dusting out the boom box in the morning to LISTEN to the Cup race. They may pretend to start the race with little usage of Digger cam but we all KNOW their agenda now...sell T shirts.

Maybe Digger was on the last TWIN show and I missed it but man...Who would think such head spinning, vertigo inducing USELESS camera work would be in CONSTANT use for the race today.

Thanks for the column JD and the chance to rant, kvetch, and sometimes, cheer, with the other posters.

Anonymous said...

Great article.

I wish they would have interviewed more of the drivers as well, like mostly everyone else has said.

And I agree with some of the others in the previous topic about Matt Yocum and how he put his arm around Keebler.

I know we aren't supposed to bash.. but I'm sorry, I need to vent somewhere. I knew Kyle was gonna wreck Johnny when they restarted. It's so upsetting watching Johnny, one of the most respected drivers out there, get wrecked by some impatient "driver" who wasn't happy with 3rd?! Johnny needed those points. But it's ok Kyle, you got wrecked too, so you should be mad.. yea right.

Ok sorry JD. Please don't delete that. I just wanted to let out the frustration.

Congrats to Setzer.. I'm proud of that whole organization.

Anonymous said...

Also, Matt Crafton had a career best 2nd and wasn't interviewed.

Anonymous said...

Erin did not get a top 15 until this year, in her 28th race.

If we take the comparison back even further, Kelly Sutton finished a career-best 15th once in 54 races over five seasons, with seven overall top 20 finishes.

Wallace only has to get a 13th place or better to have done better than Crocker and Sutton in Trucks. An 18th is not a bad start for one race and being 19 years old, so I didn't mind them talking about her today.

Her TV presence since when I saw her on NASCAR Now was pretty different. Perhaps they took her in for some quick media training, one of the best sports media trainers in the business is based in Charlotte NC.

IKILGORE said...

Hey John!

Once again, great column. I enjoy reading your posts. You need to admit that you really don't like Chris and just get it over with. We are all tired of your constant tirades about him and I am sure hoping you will just come out and say it.

The "Digger" cam is a great toy. You guys are missing the point on one thing: Martinsville is boring!!! Anytime you can change it up is always a good thing. You people that complain about "Digger" are the same ones who complain about "Crank it up!" and any type of technical inovations a network might have. This is not the 1990 ESPN coverage that everyone loved. Have any of you been to an actual race? If you sit in the grandstands and watch them go around in circles you don't know anything that's happening unless it is right in front of you. The TV networks do a good job of showing what is happening.

To the people who complaing about the ticker. Just remember that we are dealing with a half mile track. On one of the networks someone said that the trucks travel three laps in one minute. You have a 36 truck field and three laps a minute... well can you see how it would be HARD to update the ticker all the time? It's not 1993 technology, its more like who really cares about the guy in eighteenth when there is only seventeen trucks on the lead lap?

The Truck race was great and I wish that SPEED could let FOX broadcast the Talladega show. Keep up the good work JD.

PS: Those who don't like "Crank it up" have never been to a race because that is all it is!

stricklinfan82 said...

anon @ 10:28,

I'm not trying to downplay Chrissy Wallace's accomplishment by any means. I was rooting for her to run well and I thought she did an excellent job. She was a relevant human-interest story and it was good to see her get some attention.

The point I was expressing with the "overkill" comment is that she received far more coverage than almost any other driver in a similar position has ever received. We've seen female drivers in the Truck Series, we've seen the children of current NASCAR drivers make their NASCAR debuts, we've seen minority drivers make NACAR debuts, and we've seen Formula 1, Indycar, and Sprint car drivers make their debuts... and I can't remember anyone else receiving nearly the constant coverage she received today in her NASCAR debut.

It's good for her of course, but we didn't see nearly this much constant coverage all day long with female Erin Crocker when she made her NASCAR debut, African-American Bill Lester when he made his NASCAR debut, F1 drivers Scott Speed and Juan Montoya when they made their NASCAR debuts, Indycar drivers like Dario Franchitti and Sam Hornish when they made their NASCAR debuts, or other children of NASCAR stars like Stephen Wallace and Justin Labonte when they made their NASCAR debuts.

Chrissy absolutely deserved TV coverage, but I thought the coverage was excessive considering the prior precedence in covering the NASCAR debuts of other women, other children of NASCAR drivers, and other "newbies" in general that had more impressive resumes heading into their NASCAR debuts.

Newcomers Donny Lia, Ryan Lawler, and Scott Speed outran Chrissy today and were basically ignored, that's where I had the biggest problem. I think the wealth should be spread and other drivers should get shout-outs and attention when they have good runs too.

In my opinion (and maybe mine alone, I don't know) TV coverage of new drivers should be earned by performance on the racetrack, and not by that new driver's gender, race, family tree, racing pedigree, or any other factor outside of on-track performance. With racing careers being so dependent on sponsorship money it becomes unfair, in my opinion, when TV time and valuable exposure to new drivers is afforded based on a producer or director's choice of which newcomer is a better storyline and not based on which newcomer is actually running better on the racetrack.

RPM said...

Chris Meyers needs to go. If he has'nt learned NASCAR by now, he never will. The "I'm a dumb wannabe fan" act has worn thinner than a tomato cut with a Ginsu knife by Ron Popeil.

I'm sorry FOX, but you have for the most part an audience of seasoned fans. We get tired of the spoonfed newbie antics rather quickly. Do you explain the handoff or forward pass on your NFL coverage on every single play? NO!

Why not? Because the audience knows the sport! Give us dumb ignorant backwoods hick viewers some credit. You are broadcasting to an audience that is hardcore racing fans. The 10% of random viewers with no idea of the sport is alienating the 90% of your core viewers.

By the way FOX, why do those guys move the chains on the football field when teams go ten yards?

Anonymous said...

I am so happy we have Chrissy Wallace she is going to be what RE tried to make out of Erin Crocker. I agree with the poster that mentioned Kelly Sutton. She was always better than Crocker but never got the attention. I think Chrissy is the real deal.

I like Digger, and I don't mind the overuse, although I agree it is OVERuse. Poor CM can't get out of the rut FOX has put him in IMOH and if he did start asking intellegent questions no one would notice he is SUPPOSED to be the bufoon now.

As for KB, I think it is unfair to criticize him for hard racing with JB but not give him props for not eviceratng the 85 when he should have. KB actually faced the music if with the most copliant dance partner at FOX, JB didn't need to answer the wreck, KB did and did it well.

I repeat what I said the fist time the trucks were on FOX. KEEP THE TRUCKS ON SPEED. The regular speed crew seems to suffer from performance anxiety when they get over on the BIG network.

Unknown said...

If we want to get rid of Digger then we must embrace Digger.

Accept and expand!

All the other cameras need names and cartoon figures.

The cameras that hangs over the wall coming out of turn 2 and turn 4, call those "Slug".

The camera that is at the exit of pit road and just stares at the white line, call that one "Junkie".

The camera that is 5 miles up and shows the whole track, call that one "Google Earth".

The cameras in the cars that stare at the drivers all race, call those "Mother-In-Law".

The camera on the pit crew helmet, call those "Spy Cam".

You get the point, embrace the idea, expand on it, show how silly the whole thing is and it will go away.


Anonymous said...

Here's another vote to cut down the use of the in-track camera. Its a cool angle at times, but its not where the racing is.

I thought that the coverage of Chrissy Wallace was perfectly appropriate. First, unlike other female drivers who have attempted the truck series, she has been winning races at the level she's been racing at. Second, its become downright unusual to see a new driver who has come up through stock cars. Third, she's good enough to have interested Tony Stewart in her career and any driver Tony is willing to mentor deserves watching. Fourth, she's from a racing family -- a fact which is always going to draw attention (consider the fact that Jeffrey Earnhardt and Austin Dillon have gotten broadcast time during Nascar coverage without even being in the races).

People need to take note of the way Matt Yocum interviewed Kyle Busch after he messed up as compared to whatshisface from ESPN last week. Which gets a better interview from a driver who is upset? Friendliness, respect, and a personal touch? Or a confrontational, adversarial, I'm-gonna-get-somethng-juicy attitude?

ESPN reporters need to learn that they're going to be interviewing these same drivers not just all year but for the next ten, fifteen, or even twenty years and that the drivers will remember how they've been treated and react accordingly.

Anonymous said...

Myer's acknowledged "act" is ridiculous

Meyers and the HH are a total waste of air time, I wouldn't miss either a bit.

Anonymous said...

If I had the ability Iwould create "" wehre every time the the stupid little thing popped up we could kill it somehow.

FOX... you do realize we are there to watch a race right? Apparently not.

snowfaller said...

First of all, they had to interview Chrissy after the race. She had been the main story all week and if they left it open at the end there would be just as many people complaining...

As for interviewing JB, it's certainly possible they asked him and he said "in a minute" to cool down a bit. Unfortunately, with the race running long they didn't have any sort of a postrace show at all so if they had a few more minutes we very well may have heard from JB.

I'm dreading the race today (Digger).

Daly Planet Editor said...


Nothing could be further from the truth. You are confusing personal with professional.

Myers original role was to be "the California clown" for Fox and admit he knew nothing about the sport and was an "LA kinda guy."

Years ago, that worked well with DW and Jeff Hammond. Now, not so much. Fans know the sport and also know from watching other NASCAR shows that folks like John Roberts, Steve Byrnes and Krista Voda have been working very hard in this sport every race for years now.

As I mentioned in my column, you should see Myers other shows on TV. He is glib and informed and sophisticated. The NASCAR thing is an "act."

In the Truck Series, fans are used to a smart Voda hosting a fast-paced thirty minute pre-race show. This element of having someone hosting in the infield should be expanded by SPEED, but why not give Voda a break and let her host the Trucks from the Hollywood Hotel?

I just do not understand the downside of that, and we all saw the results on national TV.


Anonymous said...

I don't think we need to see Gopher "once in a while". I think once was enough and it needs to go away forever. I feel pretty much the same way about in car cameras. I just want to see the race.

I liked the coverage of Chrissy Wallace. She did better than most 19 year old kids. In the future, they should focus on her the same as if she was a male.

Anonymous said...

It's good for her of course, but we didn't see nearly this much constant coverage all day long with female Erin Crocker when she made her NASCAR debut, African-American Bill Lester when he made his NASCAR debut, F1 drivers Scott Speed and Juan Montoya when they made their NASCAR debuts, Indycar drivers like Dario Franchitti and Sam Hornish when they made their NASCAR debuts, or other children of NASCAR stars like Stephen Wallace and Justin Labonte when they made their NASCAR debuts.

I didn't see all those debuts, but I saw the debuts of Montoya (ARCA), Crocker (ARCA, Busch, and Trucks) and Stephen Wallace (ARCA). They ALL got extensive coverage before, during, and after the race, and except for Crocker in Busch and Trucks (she did exceptionally well in ARCA at the beginning) they all lived up to the TV hype. C. Wallace did the same thing yesterday.

It may be unfair but people are interested in people who are different to NASCAR or have a family name in NASCAR. For JPM's debut there was media from all over the world at the race and fans all over the world bombarding the ARCA website for results and asking if there was a link where they could watch the race live.

Anonymous said...

Fox introduced a new feature from the Hollywood Hotel. The Craftsman Tools of the Trade feature put a new air impact wrench on the set for Jeff Hammond to explain.

Actually this is not a new feature. It is usually shown on SPEED Channel with Ray Dunlap during the race. Since Ray is a SPEED Guy, Jeff Hammond did it this week. It is a segment used just for Truck Series coverage.

frankp316 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 11:15AM,

Have you ever seen it done from the Hollywood Hotel with Jeff Hammond and Chris Myers before?

I had not, and that is the reason I made that statement. I am a big NCTS fan and always enjoy RD showing off new tools.


Anonymous said...

Anon 8:01, you basically said what I was thinking, especially as pertains to Chrissy W.
Also I, for one, like that they alter the positions tracker, especially late in the race. I don't want to know who is running 30th as much as how the top 10 are positioned. Running thru the entire list each time can cause some postition changes to be missed.

Anonymous said...

I misunderstood something in the 10th graph of your post... By my reckoning, they used the "ditch cam" three times in the first two laps, when a high degree of position-setting was occurring; and I basically knew we were screwed. The perspective is certainly interesting, but it usually provides nothing to the coverage and offered the ultimate insult when one of Mr. Raymer's spins was reviewed only from the "hole cam" -- outrageous misuse of a trivial application, which you pretty well covered.

In the end, Chrissy Wallace was well covered, especially considering the hook her dad, a successful NASCAR driver, spotting provided; but IMHO she fell to fourth-most-important spot behind Setzer, Busch and Benson, who needed to provide the counterpoint to Kyle's wheel-hop story. It was tough to see a video clip of JB hanging on pit road post-race only to never be interviewed, but to me, the most ridiculous aspect of post-race was that Kyle couldn't understand that, after he (insert most vile slur here) Benson, he got what was coming to him as Matt Crafton, who had the same basic thing happen to him last year, knocked KB out of the way on his way to the checkered flag... Oh well.

And to sum up their coverage, I would have loved to have had one clue to how Jon Wood came from 34th to seventh, where he got together with Timothy Peters, then went back to 30th before getting back to the top 15, before finishing 28th? You would have thought a former Martinsville race winner with a very fast truck, getting black-flagged three times would have been worth one note from the pit reporters.

Anonymous said...

here is the interview of JB, what happened? I got turned around. how was your truck today? I want to thank all my sponsors amd my crew, they really worked their butts off to give me a good ride, did you have any worries about running out of gas? no and so forth and so on, yadda yadda yadda. If you hear one interview after the race you heard them all, just like going to the circus.

Anonymous said...

I have often asked myself why Chris Myers is even a part of the NASCAR telecast. His comment about what the crews use the air gun for just confirmed my thoughts.

Statboy said...

After watching Digger come out of his hole approximately 147 times this weekend, I was starting to change my opinion that Fox is better than ESPN and put the 4-letter network back at the top when it comes to NASCAR coverage. But then I think to myself that ESPN will beat us to death with draft tracker this fall and I just want to stab myself in the eye with a screwdriver.

All big-time networks come up with gimmicks. I just hope this one dies before next season rolls around.

Anonymous said...

billwebz - that was FUNNY!

I know that every week there are a lot of stories around that need to be told. Trucks sometimes dwell on one person or one topic alittle too much, but that digger thing...WOW! They really went overboard on that one. It's funny how NASCAR wants to make up stuff so they can sell more things. We have enough things to buy. Just educate people on what is going on around the track or stories behind the scenes, past stuff that need to be relived or new things be ventured is all the announcers need to do. Keep an eye on the track, explain and educate what is going on there. Show more than 5 trucks a race. Tell all the stories and you'll have a greater fan base. No need for "new toys" leave that to Cup. Truck racing is best left as racing.

Bucket Trucks said...
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