Monday, April 7, 2008

Finish Line Problems Plague "NASCAR On Fox"

The email hit The Daly Planet like a tsunami headed for the beach. The messages ranged from the semi-calm to the completely enraged.

The language ranged from very well-written to emails completely laced with profanity. Despite the differences in wording, the single focus of every comment was clear.

NASCAR on Fox had blown the finish of a NASCAR race once again.

Fans of Clint Bowyer led the way with a wide variety of terms for almost everyone associated with the NASCAR on Fox broadcast. Fans of Tony Stewart, Ryan Newman, Jeff Burton and Denny Hamlin also seemed to be in fine form where angry email was concerned. The bottom line is, they all had a right to be mad.

There is no doubt that the NASCAR on Fox personalities are focused on providing a good TV product for the fans. Larry McReynolds is the best at talking about the small details of a race car. This season has been outstanding for Darrell Waltrip on-the-air in a wide variety of roles on both Fox and SPEED. When Mike Joy is in the broadcast booth and "directing traffic" viewers know they are getting the best race telecast possible.

This was never more apparent than during the big Michael McDowell crash during qualifying. As I wrote in this column, thank goodness that the veteran NASCAR on Fox crew was on-hand to lead NASCAR TV fans through this trauma. As McDowell emerged from his car, Mike Joy knew he had more than just the driver to address.

It was important to bring back the fans who were simply in shock by what they had just seen. The images of the crash had to be tied together with the reality of an uninjured driver. Waltrip, McReynolds and Joy did just that for the TV viewers.

Once the Texas Sprint Cup race got underway, there were few caution flags and little side-by-side racing. The announcers really had to work to bring-out the stories happening on the track. Fortunately, they did so with great success. Jeff Gordon's struggles, the lack of a Texas COT test and the potential vindication of Carl Edwards highlighted an outstanding broadcast from a commentary perspective.

All of the pit reporters and both of the analysts contributed during the race to keep viewers interested. Jeff Hammond worked hard from the Hollywood Hotel, but the telecast was ill-served with a late on-camera plug for a local eatery.

The Fox pictures and sound were great, and the track-level "Digger" cam thankfully flew below-the-radar during the entire event. The pit stops under caution still contain a lot of video boxes, but Fox seems committed to that format for the rest of their run. Video "bumpers" of drivers who are familiar to millions continue to be used going to commercial even as the cars race under the green flag.

During the 2007 season of NASCAR on Fox, The Daly Planet ran columns detailing the struggle of the network to define what fans wanted to see on the final lap. Fox had decided that the drama of the winner topped anything and everything happening behind first place.

It began with this column in March of 2007 and grew with this article until it finally reached a crescendo at Charlotte and claimed Kyle Petty as another victim. At that time, few believed this problem would re-surface in 2008.

Now, seven races into the season and halfway through the NASCAR on Fox package, this problem has come to a head. After an entire afternoon of trying to coax storylines and action from a single-file race, the announcers had a shootout to call for the final laps. Everything was in-place from personalities who wanted to win to cars ready to make a charge on new tires. This was going to be good.

As the final lap of the race unfolded, it was clear that the top ten would be a free-for-all. Then, as Carl Edwards pulled away from Jimmie Johnson, all eyes turned to the mad scramble behind them. Mike Joy called it "a hornet's nest" as a tight pack of cars dueled three-wide down the backstretch and and sprinted for the finish line.

As Edwards made his way off the final turn, Fox showed an infield shot of his car only and then the camera started a slow zoom into the NASCAR flagman. Regular NASCAR on Fox viewers knew that move all too well. It was time for "drama" to take over "racing" once again.

It was only Larry McReynolds yelling that Clint Bowyer was crashing off the final turn that caused a sudden switch back to the track as a portion of the field crossed the line. It was unclear who was where or what was happening. There were no graphics on the screen. The announcers were watching the action on the track, as were the fans in the stands. It did not work out well for the millions of TV viewers.

Even as the live in-car camera once again showed the winner slowing down on the backstretch, the announcers were still talking about the racing action of the other top ten cars. Only after Edwards had made his lap, unbuckled his equipment and did his customary back-flip did viewers see a replay of the finish and understand what had happened.

Joy and company did a good job during the replay of explaining exactly what happened on that final sprint to the line. It was a shame that the momentum and excitement of the live action was once again broken by poor camera selection. I wonder how many NASCAR fans were standing in their living rooms or at their favorite watering holes and yelling at the TV set once again?

We all know that when a TV network gets the rights to a NASCAR race they can show anything they want anyway they want. Fox paid many millions of dollars for this product. If this is the philosophy of the network on the final lap, then that is simply the way it is going to be. Get ready for some more yelling.

There are six Sprint Cup Series races left in the NASCAR on Fox TV package for 2008.

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 for taking the time to give us your opinion on this topic.


Kyle said...

Along with the other race fans I felt cheated at the end.

When fox flips to the flag man while the real drama of 5 hours of race is paying off you have to question what the point of televising it is to begin with.

Who is pushing the buttons in the TV truck? How can they not understand the finish is the payoff for FANS, not the winner of the race, but for the fan watchign his driver get his first top 10 in 2 years.

If fox needs pointers on how to show the finish of the race, watch the ESPN coverage of yesterdays Nationwide finish. It was simply perfection. (Did I just say that about ESPN????) Show the wide shot, with a rundown of at least the lead lap or top 20. Then cut to the flag man-incar-crew feed.

Please FOX!!!!!!!

Sophia said...

Great column though sadly, you must be weary of the subject. We all are but this summed it up best from your writing, JD.

"Joy and company did a good job during the replay of explaining exactly what happened on that final sprint to the line. It was a shame that the momentum and excitement of the live action was once again broken by poor camera selection. I wonder how many NASCAR fans were standing in their living rooms or at their favorite watering holes and yelling at the TV set once again?"

And as you warn, get used to more screaming.

JD, forgive me if you have made this comparison but has ANYBODY asked the Fox Producer and SUIT guys, what if the Ky Derby just showed the winning horse across the finish line? What if ALL horse/motor racing ONLY showed the winner? Huh?

And they skew the statistics claiming ratings are up? I don't believe it.

I only found out this week an old NASCAR fan next door (worked for RJ Reynolds 26 years and watched the sport a LOT) gave up on NASCAR after Sr died AND Fox took over. The glitz and glam of taking the focus OFF the racing and onto Fox's graphic induced agenda's was too much for him.

He watches a couple races a year and keeps up with tv shows or reading the news.

I can assure you I will listen to most of the race on radio the next Sunday afternoon.

Next Sat primetime, I will be out hearing HAPPY MUSIC that puts everybody in a good mood.

Somebody remind me to LISTEN to MRN when I get home and watch the tape on Sunday, LOL.

JD, one thing you must say about this HORRIBLE way to 'show the race' by Fox's producer is that the old Elvis urge to 'SHOOT the TV' lives on. Course, Elvis could afford to replace his tv's...even by today's expensive standards!


Anonymous said...

What's interesting is that at times, when the posters here or JD make a comment during a program, it seems that someone reads the comment and they've made a change. Not so with the director of Nascar on Fox. It's impossible that he doesn't know what's being said about his production decisions. What IS apparent is that either this person doesn't care what the viewers are saying or else he doesn't believe what they're saying and he feels that the viewers want to see more of the "human interest" side of the race. How else would you explain his penchant for showing Jeff Burton's wife over and over again a few weeks ago, or Carl Edward's mother after his victory? Or perhaps the explanation is much simpler? Maybe, just maybe the director has a deep personal relationship with the technology of the in-car camera. It's apparent he fails realize that the end of any race isn't just the guy who finishes first. Hey, Director-Man, are you a victim of Invasion of the Body Snatchers and your body was switched with the guy who directed ESPN's Nascar programs last season? It certainly appears to be the case.

emeraldchickpea said...

This may be a crude way to compare things, but if the camera directors of the past year plus had been at the Daytona 500 in 2001, we'd have never seen Dale's wreck.

Anonymous said...

About not seeing the finish:
e-mail Fox sports, DW, Larry, ESPN. etc. Let them know how this is not OK.

stricklinfan82 said...

Okay, I've tried to be reasonable on this issue and not go over the line with my comments, but I have finally had enough of this finish of the race issue that I'm going to go somewhere that I probably shouldn't........

Fox has the 3 best booth announcers you could possibly ask for. The chemistry between Mike Joy, Larry Mac, and DW was a home run from the first day Fox covered NASCAR in 2001 and these 3 continue to be the very best at their jobs, in my opinion.

If I could pick an all-star team of 4 pit road reporters I'd be hard-pressed to look anywhere outside of picking all 4 of Fox's pit road reporters (well maybe I'd pick Wendy Venturini in my top 4, but she's still in the same "Fox family of announcers").

Chris Myers is among my favorite general sports announcers, and though he's not as NASCAR-fluent as some other potential hosts could be I think he does a very good job in his role. Jeff Hammond as well is the best studio analyst in the sport, in my opinion.

Despite having the best or among the very best in every on-air position, Fox still has a GIGANTIC Achilles heel that ruins every race broadcast - the behind the scenes people.

These same people that regularly cover the NFL before NASCAR starts clearly don't understand how things work over here in 'NASCAR Land'. In their world NASCAR is the same as a stick-and-ball sport, there is one winner and everyone else is a loser.

Well I'm sorry but this "stick-and-ball win-loss" approach does not fly in NASCAR. Yes winning is a big deal in NASCAR, but Nascar IS NOT A SPORT WITH ONE WINNER AND 42 LOSERS. The championship standings in NASCAR are NOT determined by wins and losses like they are in these Fox behind the scenes guys' beloved stick-and-ball sports. Every position pays more points then the next and every position in a race is critical in the outcome of the top 35 battle, the "Race to the Chase" and the "Chase for the Sprint Cup".

These naive behind-the-scenes people clearly think the NASCAR standings look like this:

1.) Carl Edwards: 3-4
2.) Kyle Busch: 1-6
2.) Ryan Newman: 1-6
2.) Jeff Burton: 1-6
2.) Denny Hamlin: 1-6
6.) Everyone Else: 0-7

I'm sorry stick-and-ball guys, but that's not how NASCAR works. 2nd place matters. 3rd place matters. 4th place matters. 20th place matters. 36th place matters. And last lap, last turn crashes involving the 4th and 5th place cars damn sure matter!

But no, in the world of the stick-and-ball behind the scenes guys only the race winner matters, and everyone else racing for crucial points paying positions, beating and banging, crashing, running out of gas, or whatever might as well go to hell in these people's minds because they think NASCAR is football and the event is over when the winner is determined.

Today's last lap coverage was a complete joke. One nice wide shot from a roof-top camera down towards turn 1 looking head-on at the finish line and the exit of turns 3 & 4 would have been fantastic today. We could have seen winner Carl Edwards take the checkered flag and simultaneously seen what happened in the 11-07 incident just feet behind them. We also could have seen the rest of the tightly bunch field cross the line as they finished their races for positions to the line.

Did we get that? NO! These stick-and-ball NASCAR novices that work behind the scenes at Fox decided to find the coolest camera angle they could to show the closest shot they could of the race winner. "Screw everyone else in the field", they said. "We must glorify and celebrate the race winner because nothing else going on behind him matters!" "This is just like football right? Everyone but Carl Edwards on this day just gets another notch in the loss column, right?"

No Fox, that's not how it works over here. This Busch league NASCAR-newbie, stick-and-ball emulating approach to covering NASCAR needs to stop right this second! I have had enough of this garbage over and over and over and over again.

No one likes to say it but I will, these behind the scenes decision makers, whichever particular individuals they may be, need to be thrown out like yesterday's garbage. Or at a minimum they need to be suspended and forced to read a "NASCAR for Dummies" book so they get a damn clue that EVERY POSITION MATTERS IN NASCAR.

I'm not asking to skip showing the winner cross the finish line at the expense of anyone else. I'm just asking to show the winner AND everyone else. That would simply require the director picking a wide camera angle for the winner finishing and keeping that shot locked for the duration of the rest of the cars finishing, which today would have been what, 5 or 6 seconds after the green-white-checkered?????

I have had enough and better see some changes RIGHT NOW!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Fos blew the end again. Guess they don't learn very quickly. Another problem with the broadcast finally left me to abandon trying to listen to the audio from Fox...the ambient noise from the cars on the track frequently drowned out the commentary from the booth. While I enjoy hearing the sound f the cars racing, it shouldn't be so loud that you have to strain to hear what the commentators are saying. This isn't the first time I've had this problem, but this time I just gave up and tuned in the radio. Why pay all that money to the announcers if you're going to drown them out?

Anonymous said...

Only after the replay did I understand what happened to my favorite driver, but I don't understand why it came down to that. Is it all that difficult to show the lead lap cars crossing the finish line? I guess on Fox it is. The tv crew did a great job and Larry Mac was super describing Hamlin & Bowyer but why Fox showed the flagman is beyond me.

Tom said...

Some people never learn. Thank god that the announce team was on top of things or you can bet that we would have seen a replay of that last lap debacle after they told their "story". Really JD, is there an official reason WHY this is done? Has anyone at FOX ever answered this criticism? If the director really sees this sport in terms W-L-T, there needs to be a change!

Inverness, FL

Anonymous said...

John Daly wrote:

This season has been outstanding for Darrell Waltrip on-the-air in a wide variety of roles on both Fox and SPEED,

Hahahahaha! You've got to be kidding there, John, right? He's more obnoxious than ever! And with that stupid weasel cam, he doesn't seem to go five minutes without mentioning it or it's childish name. Except for Mike Joy, watching Fox broadcasts makes me feel like I'm watching the Cartoon Network most of the time.

drh277 said...

Sunoco Fuel, Sunoco Fuel, Sunoco Fuel, Sunoco Fuel, Sunoco Fuel, Sunoco F... enough, I can't take it anymore. I do not need to hear SUNOCO FUEL out of L Mac's southern talking mouth every 15 laps, it is driving me CRAZY!!!!

And don't get me started on that finish. I was screaming at the tv, my wife, the kids, anyone that would listen. What are you doing Fox? Why are you showing Carl Edwards by himself when guys in the top 10 are being spun into the wall? That finish was disgusting, downright DISGUSTING!!!!!

Statboy said...

I just don't get it. Fox was doing great until last season. From 2001 to 2006 everything was great. The on-air crew has remained the same, so why did the behind the scenes crowd change? I hate the fact that I'm looking forward to ESPN's portion of the season.

When they took the white flag yesterday I said to myself that I figured they would do the same stupid shot of the flagman and show the in-car again at the end of the race and we would all be on JD's website tomorrow talking about it. I hate it when I'm right.

Anonymous said...

Interesting quote from the director of yesterday's NASCAR broadcast from the July 3, 2006 issue of Newsweek. Mr. Daly won't allow his name to be posted but here's the quote without his name:

Matt Kenseth will end up taking the checkered flag with a dramatic pass on lap 397. And _______'s crew catches all the big stuff. "If there's such a thing as survival of the fittest in this business," he says, "it's this job. This sport. Because it just happens too fast. If you screw up a few times, lose your edge, it's probably time to go back to basketball."

Well, Mr. Fox Director, maybe you should think about that basketball move, hmmm?

Anonymous said...

First, the good parts:

#1 -- After we fans complained about the overkill at Martinsville, the in-track camera was little used and barely mentioned.

#2 -- Understanding that all the world had already seen a dozen replays of McDowell's crash, they took an approach that offered additional information and insight rather than just being the 25th replay of "Wow! What a wreck."

#3 -- During an action-deficient race they found a number of things to talk about. The posters on the forum I live-post on during races were also talking about what we were doing for dinner. LOL

But KNOWING that in a 4-tire, 2-tire, no-tire situation in the top 10 with the action of the previous lap in mind there is NO EXCUSE for isolating on the leader and missing the wreck that we KNEW was going to happen.

With Carl so far ahead maybe they couldn't get everyone into the shot. But this is what split screen is for. Put the main camera on the action and put Carl crossing the line alone in the distance into a small box off to the side.

What happened to the shot they used to use? From the infield, high enough up to see the roof numbers, aimed down the frontstretch toward turn 4 with a drop down box off to the upper left of the screen to show the finishing order as they crossed the line. Looking at the flagman's back is not an improvement.

Come on, Fox. You used to do better about this. You can do better now. We want to see what happens as drivers make their last, desperate moves. We want to be able to see the paint scheme and the numbers so we know who was desperate and who paid the price.

It isn't that difficult.

Anonymous said...

My fellow frustrated viewers:
At the end of the day, the only message FOX execs will react to is the Nielsen ratings. If we really want to change the race coverage, then we need to organize a real boycott of FOX coverage. So lets pick a race, plege the boycott and be vocal about it!!
Clearly this blog is widely read and foloowed, so lets see if we can organize to the extent where we can affect a downturn in the ratings!
I nominate "Stricklin Fan" to chosse the event-as he sounds like an intelligent, clear headed chap.
So pick it, Strickfan!! What race do we boycott?

chase said...

I too must add my complaint to the miserable coverage of the last lap. Stricklinfan says it most succinctly. What a travesty to show the flagman! Do any of us care about the flagman? Since those of us not fortunate enough to actually BE at the track each weekend, the network showing the race should above all take that into consideration - if we hadn't heard that there were many things occurring on the last lap, things which we didn't see until the replay,how would we know? Regardless of which network is covering the racing season, it is paramount that they give the fans what they want which is coverage - pure and simple - even if our favorite driver is not in the mix being shown, enough already of showing virtually only the top 10 - let us be able to see action outside of the top 10 cars, even if some cars are lapped or not - when you attend a race at a track you get the entire picture along with so much else, none of which either network can deliver. Come on FOX, you're better than that - if the director can't deliver then he should be fired and FOX should actually hire someone who can do the job!

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 8:23AM,

The change in the frequency of DW's Digger mentions and the work that DW has done on Trackside and other SPEED shows has been very positive.

In the production meeting before the event, features like Digger and Crank It Up and Hollywood Hotel cut-ins are layed out for the staff.

I think you can see from Texas that some things have changed for the better. Hopefully, one more change on the last lap will top off this season in style.


Anonymous said...

As I keep saying "What's so hard about pointing a camera at the finish line and leaving it alone?" A wide angle shot would show the finishers as they crossed the line and it would take under 10 seconds most of the time. A 10 second delay of the in-car celebration would have no impact on the "excitement" in the car that is totally predictable.

LuckyForward said...

Things are better in many ways. But I cannot understand the resistance that Fox broadcast execs are exhibiting on the finish line issue. We are telling them how we feel; I cannot fathom their "deafness", nor can I understand what benefit they gain in showing a "one car" finish.

When a non-racing fan asks me why I like to watch a pack of cars play follow the leader, I respond that in that "pack" there are many races going on. Thus, enjoying a race is not only who is ahead, but also who is trying to get ahead.

There is no more critical time for this "final race within the race" than the last lap. Everyone wants to finish as well as possible to gain the most possible points in the race for the championship. To have this reality totally ignored by those who are in charge of sports programming is intolerable.

Sophia said...

luckyforward said:

There is no more critical time for this "final race within the race" than the last lap. Everyone wants to finish as well as possible to gain the most possible points in the race for the championship. To have this reality totally ignored by those who are in charge of sports programming is intolerable.

Most all people in sports at OTHER stations (Besides Fox) would lose their job at such perpetual, chronic INEPTNESS!!

It really makes you want to stop watching the race and stick with audio only.

Anonymous said...

In my opinion Fox's coverage is horrible. Mike Joy is the only one who does a good job in my opinion. Very professional, rarely makes a mistake. DW's just there to sell the latest whatever (idiotic Gopher shirts), McReynolds knows for the most part what he's talking about but my three year old son has a better mastery of the English language. Only in Nascar is this type of lack of professionalism tolerated.

Fox's last lap coverage just shows how clueless the people in the truck are. Flag man's head is a dream shot for the TV viewer if I've ever seen one. It's not that hard Fox. Watch ESPN from 1999 or could learn much.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I dislike everything about the Fox race coverage including the on-air talent. The icing on the cake is not being able to see at least the top ten finishers get the checkered flag live.

Anonymous said...

I watched the endings of three races Sunday.
The coverage of the F1 race stayed with a fixed camera shot of the finish line.
IRL showed the winner cross the line and then to his daddy in the pits.
NASCAR showed the leader, the flagman, and then the winner sitting in his car.

Other than missing the finish of the race, Fox does a great job of covering the race. I even love the perspective that the digger cam gives you and the feeling for the speed of the cars it conveys. But golly, what about the finish of the race?

Anonymous said...

Stricklinfan83 stole my thunder. Someone needs to show the director a NASCAR rules book and point out that EVERY position means something at the finish line. I watched a lot of the Bahrain F1 race, and thankfully the FOX director has no choice but to show the F1 feed which showed a fantastic battle between Coulthard and Fisichella for P19 of allthings. BOb Varsha and David Hobbs pointed out that in F1 anything can happen, so everyone races for every spot, and there's no, "I'm slower so I'll pull over" like you often get in other race series.

But in NASCAR, though they do that, at the end of the race everyone is racing for every square inch of race track, and despite being the best at showing the races, NASCAR on FOX shows the in-car of the leader while everyone is still crossing the line. TV directors have an obsession with tight "head shots" that goes way back, so they need to be educated on what's different about motor racing.

PLEASE! Just put the in-car in a box in one corner and show what's happening at the finish. My wife is getting tired of hearing me yell at the TV.

Anonymous said...

Why was my post removed? Is it because I actually said the name of the person who does the behind he scenes work?

E-Ticket said...

First of all I don't care about DIGGER tshirts. EVER. Let me have have all the cars cross the start finish line. FOX should stop saying they care about the FANS they don't they care about the advertisers. I would rather hear DW and his phrase than the most disrespectful phrase that has ever been spoken to a race fan during coverage. For those of you watching a race for the first time. Yeah insult everyone for one person. That is what they do all the time. Does Phil Simms say that ever doing a Football game. NO why do we have this illusion during a race.. FOX doesn't get it.

I live in Central Florda and we had storms yesterday, we had graphics covering the graphics on the screen. It was horrid wish I had a screen grab. IF these warnings are so important why don't local stations air them during commercials?? They only care about the advertisers...

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 12:26PM,

This site does not put the names of the production staff in print, regardless of how public they have been in the past.

We learned last season that it quickly degenerates into name calling and endless hassles with deletions.

We use the on-air announcers because they have chosen to be public personalities, but we are going to keep the names of the behind-the-scenes folks off the comment board.

If you would like some further help with this issue, please feel free to drop me a line at anytime.

Thanks, and I appreciate your patience while we address the finish line problem on Fox.


Anonymous said...

I cannot begin to describe how disappointed I was with the last lap coverage of the race at Texas. We all waited patiently as a not-so-exciting race finally got interesting in the final 50 laps and to have the Fox director screw up the finish line coverage was completely disheartening. I simply don't understand the obsession with covering the flagman after the winner crosses the s/f line. The first time I can recall seeing that shot was ABC's Indy 500 coverage in the 70s. That shot is OK for a race where only 2-3 drivers finish on the lead lap and there's a 2-mile gap between 1st & 2nd place. Somebody important must really like that shot because it seems to me that I see it more often than not at the end of a race.

Anonymous said...

i'm so frustrated over this whole finish line fiasco that i can't hardly put it into words without being fined 25 points & $25,000! others have captured the mood quite well so i'm looking for a solution.

jd: is there anyone at fox who is willing to speak about this disconnect with you -- or better yet, with us? can someone who is involved in the process explain the reasoning behind this continuing poor decision? often, we as fans react from the gut without having enough information at hand. i truly would like to avoid that & i suspect most of my fellow posters would as well. so i am respectfully asking the fox team to respond to the concerns which have been raised so that we might all better understand the constraints & pressures that exist. i would like to "see it from their point of view" but that's difficult when there is no response -- either in writing or action -- that says they are even attuned to the concern.

as posters on this site (& others), we've attempted to explain our frustrations with the way the finish is called by the director so often and in so many ways. it is now creating such ill that many of us are actually turning away from the broadcast all together, thereby tuning out the commercials and the sponsors each week. that, surely, isn't in fox's interest.

(and yes, jd: i know that's a particularly sensitive area but that is, unfortunately for fox, the situation. bringing it up isn't creating the issue: it's highlighting what's happening. surely, we won't pretend otherwise?)

so, fox sports team, here's what this one fan would like to know, either directly thru conversation with the fans on this site or directly to jd and then thru him to us: why is the finish of the race shown this way weekly? what are the driving factors? what can be done to address the concerns we have raised?

i would suspect that once the information is shared with fans, we might just be able to have the sort of discussion about it that could bring about an intelligent compromise or solution. please, fox team, work with us here! we're your best advocates when something goes very right and your most vocal critics when it goes horribly wrong. win us over on this one! we all know that, as fans, we have alternatives available to us: if you ever doubted that, just browse the above comments once again. we WANT to watch racing on fox, we don't want to have to go other routes. YOU can make a big difference here and i respectfully ask that you consider my request. thanks red.

JHD said...


The first time I even heard about Clint Bowyer crashing was....5 minutes ago when I started reading this article/comments. Thanks for the "breaking news", JD! ;)

I saw Carl cross the line and his in-car celebration. I was so focused on listening to Trackpass/scanning so I could work out where my driver finished and how many laps down, that I didn't bother going back to watch the post-race stuff of Fox or SPEED.

Didn't think there'd be a need. Pretty soon, that'll be the attitude with watching any race on FOX, TNT, or ESPN. "Didn't see the need since I can get more information about the actual race elsewhere." Don't think that is what those networks want to hear, but nothing else seems to get through to them.

Steve L. said...

We know it CAN be done. We've seen good finishes and coverage before.


And then sit around and pat themselves on their backs saying they did such a great job! Give me a break!

alex said...

If they're so desperate to show the winner pumping his fist out the window, can't they show that in a picture-in-picture while the majority of the screen shows the other cars crossing the line?

Seems like an easy compromise....

Anonymous said...

JD, you said in the race comments last night:
"Daly Planet Editor said...
When I know for sure who decided that on the finish, I will talk about it.

The last thing you want to do on the Internet is to lay blame on someone who does not deserve it.

Just give me a little bit of time to deal with the issue, and a column will follow. "
So may I ask: are you still looking into this? This column today doesn't say who is responsible. Will there be a followup column? I echo Red's statements:

"so, fox sports team, here's what this one fan would like to know, either directly thru conversation with the fans on this site or directly to jd and then thru him to us: why is the finish of the race shown this way weekly? what are the driving factors? what can be done to address the concerns we have raised?"

Anonymous said...

I tuned in just as the start your engines was "Shreiked". I noticed the pit road reporters did not have on fire suits. Their reports were "voice overs". What's with that? Were they banned from the pits?

Anonymous said...

Is it possible that a person previously associated with ESPN (JD) correctly advises TV to show all the pack-finishers at the line, ESPN corrects their production (great job in the we-can't-call-it-O'Reilly 300), but Fox doesn't want their shows to look like ESPN's? Is that why we only see the winner/flagman in the Fox races, most recently the we-can't-call-it Samsung/Radio Shack 500?

It's a lot like the NFL not opting for the one-foot-in-bounds rule (heaven forbid we take a good rule from college, they are beneath us!). Does Fox think ESPN is beneath them?

kbaskins said...

I was appalled by the decision not to show the finish of the race, as I am every week. Carl is my favourite driver, but he's not the only one I cheer for. I could have delayed watching my guy whoop and cheer to see where the rest of the drivers I take an interest in finished, but I didn't get that opportunity. Instead, I had to consult Trackpass for that information.

Why is the director having such a difficult time understanding this? While most of us have a driver who is our absolute favourite and whose career we will follow until he retires, we also have other drivers we cheer for, though not so vehemently. My driver won, but I also wanted to know where some of the other drivers finished.

All that concentrating on the winning driver does is make everyone cranky. Those who are not his fans could care less; those who are his fans probably don't only cheer for him, and want to see everyone else finish too.

In the words of Dilbert, it's not rocket surgery.


Anonymous said...

My driver finished 43rd, but after sitting through that boring race, I wanted to see the finish, not just the winner,his Mother, the flagman, and then the winner again, can't all that crap wait until the race is over, show us the cars racing to the finish line, then they can show their "DRAMA"

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 2:30PM,

Still getting to that. Got some differences of opinion. Imagine that!


Charles Jackson said...

My problem with Fox was not with the last few laps, but nearing the end of the race Carl Edwards had a 7 second lead and Nascar throwed a "debris caution" and not showing the debris!
I am not saying there was no debris, but with all the cameras and angles they had, they should have at least tried to find it!

Newracefan said...

Charles it wasn't a bogus caution Truex blew up and dumped oil on the track, I don't think they would have put all that speedy dry down for pretend oil.

JD you can also add me to the growing list of fans frustrated with the end of the race. I am even willing to forgive seeing Jeff Hammond's "dinner" during green flag runs but not missing the lead lap guys crossing the line live. I really do not understand why it continues to happen. Fox has done a fantasic job responding to our issues this year except this one. Are there more fans out there jumping for joy with how the finish is being shown, are we in the minority, does someone at Fox have an ageda we don't understand? Let us know if you ever get a straight answer for Fox, we know the guys in the booth are on out side.

E-Ticket said...

I emailed Mike Joy and asked him why we couldn't see the finish. Well this is what he said..

We have made them aware of your and other fans concerns regarding the final lap at Texas, and it will again be discussed prior to Phoenix.

I like the word again in that sentence..

Daly Planet Editor said...


Trust's on the agenda.

Thanks for filling us in on Mike's reponse.


Anonymous said...

I have a hard time believing there's no decision maker or decision making team that can easily be pointed to or named, seeing that FOX has conducted at least half of their finishes that way this season alone and also most of last season as noted in this blog entry's link to past blog entries.

This is a regular, plotted, line of camera shots. It wasn't random yesterday in any manner.

I'm not doubting that the Daly Planet is getting differences of opinions, but I do think it's easier to pinpoint the decisionmaker than the DP's contacts are letting on. It's just that nobody wants to be the one to say it.

Anonymous said...

Charles was referring to the prior caution to the engine failure with about 35 laps to go. That one Fox failed to show the debris.

Anonymous said...

Fox has been showing races for some time now. They are not rookies. I fully trust the judgements of the production crew. I am sure they have excellent reasons for the split second decisions that they make which outweigh the "Monday morning quarterback" concerns that some can have in the comfort of your own home.

Anonymous said...

One advantage I discovered yesterday to having a boring race with little side by side racing or passing, is that it does serve to restrict the overuse of the in car camera shots FOX insists on using when a car is passing another. You know, that shot that tells you nothing about what's actually happening, and requires a replay so viewers can actually see the pass? I guess you can find something good if you look hard enough.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 8:13PM,

When you think that you can share those reasons with us, please feel free.

Two years of missed finishes do not exactly inspire confidence.


E-Ticket said...

I echo JD's comments about anon 8:13..

Anonymous said...

I agree wholeheartedly....why can't they just show the racing? It seems pretty simple to me

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I got bored at work, so wrote this to the tune of "Nascar Love". Amused me anyway:

Love it when they're in the blimp, love it from in-car,
Love it from the cable-cam, or the long shot from afar,
Fans at home are making lots and lots of noise,
Can't wait to hear Mike Joy say "No more gopher boys,
No cartoons boys, no more silly toys, just the best shot boys."

Love it when Larry's on, love it see them race,
Love it when they're showing just the fight for nineteenth place,
Fans at home are making making lots and lots of noise,
Can't wait to hear Mike Joy say, "Show the whole field boys,
43 cars boys, not just the top five boys, show the small teams boys."
Oh yea...

Love it when you're at the track, love it when you're there,
You can see your driver finish, even if he comes nowhere,

Love to see a close last lap, love to see them fight,
Love a last lap turn four pass - it needs to be in sight.
Fans at home are making making lots and lots of noise,
Can't wait to hear Mike Joy say, "Show the whole end boys,
43 cars boys, not just the winner's joys, show them cross the line boys", or i'll throw my toys.....

LuckyForward said...

Sometimes you wonder where some of these "anonymous" posters work . . .

Anonymous said...

I was in a meeting about setting up a common parts coding system throughout our international businesses. When I thought the chorus up, my Finnish colleagues were explaining why they need 41 characters to uniquely explain their parts.

Glad you asked eh?

GinaV24 said...

Oh, Lucky Forward, I was thinking the same thing -- this person (anon) works at Fox! I'm glad he or she trusts the producers/directors, cuz me, I'm done. I'm listening to the race on the radio and following it from trackpass. If I don't get to see where my driver finishes, well, I don't need to waste time watching TV.

Daly Planet Editor said...


I was washing my car and humming "Let's Go Racin' Boys." Does that count?


Anonymous said...

Spot on, thanks

LuckyForward said...

delenn -

I loved your song! At the same time, as a mental health therapist, I would have to frame your comments in the Freudian sense of "wish fulfillment!" :)

Newracefan said...

Delenn, Enjoyed the song but now I can't get the tune out of my head, now if that wish fulliment would just happen we could all sing together

Anonymous said...

I can't give any reasons similar to why I don't diagnose my own medical problems. I trust the experts, whether they are doctors, or produce race broadcasts. We're not talking about a high school game on a community access cable station. These guys know their stuff.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Thanks for your response. I assure you that the doctors in the hospital and the "doctors" in the production truck have only one thing in common.

They both put their pants on one leg at a time.

Like both Karen and Dilbert said: "It's not rocket surgery."