Sunday, May 11, 2008

Fox Watches As The TV Plot Thickens

Things are certainly taking an interesting turn where the TV network coverage of the Sprint Cup Series is concerned. Despite the track, the location and the weather it seems that Kyle Busch is the story on a very regular basis.

As the NASCAR on Fox crew walked into Darlington, the idea was that this time the track itself would serve as the plot for the racing story. Once again, that was not to be as Busch single-handedly determined the TV coverage would be on him. The veteran TV crew knew just how to handle it.

Chris Myers casual attitude sometimes does not mesh with the intensity that surrounds the sport at various tracks. Darlington was hanging onto its lone race date by the skin of its teeth. The little South Carolina town is deep in racing history, but not deep enough in hotels or grandstand seats for the NASCAR brass.

The track had been repaved, and speeds were excessive while the racing line was even more narrow. The installation of the SAFER Barrier was well-timed. Myers quizzed Darrell Waltrip and Jeff Hammond in the pre-race show on a variety of important subjects. Unfortunately, Myers attention just seems to be elsewhere.

This was an intense race weekend after a big incident in Richmond and a very big mess in practice. Somehow, that intensity translated well to RaceDay's John Roberts and NASCAR Now's Ryan Burr. It never penetrated to Myers. Of the pre-race shows on Saturday, Myers was the host that really needed focus.

Luckily, Mike Joy and Larry McReynolds never need to be reminded of racing reality. Those two have seen it all, and kept the pre-race show on track. Once Waltrip joined them in the booth, DW got his focus back and kept himself involved during the entire race.

Jeff Hammond worked hard from the Hollywood Hotel with technical information updates. Hammond had worked in the booth for SPEED earlier in the week, and sometimes one gets the feeling he would rather be upstairs calling the action than downstairs dealing with Myers antics for several hours.

Great pictures and sound were made even better by the limited use of the "Gopher Cam." The in-car cameras were also not over-used, and the racing action was certainly a challenge to cover. The upper screen graphic "ticker" updated instantly again, and the transition of cars as they changed positions was outstanding.

The tough pit road made the use of the four video "boxes" tough on caution flag stops and quite often left viewers confused. Luckily, the "race off pit road" graphic ended the chaos with a good overview of who was where when the smoke cleared.

As usual at Darlington, this race was tough on everyone including the TV crew. During the entire broadcast nothing was broken, out-of-place or "technically challenged." If the worst TV problem was trying to wipe-off the hand-held camera lens in Victory Lane, that means it was a great night for the production and technical teams.

Once again Major League Baseball blocked some viewers from seeing the entire pre-race show. This time it was the Brewers and the Cardinals. Luckily, the delay was minor and no NASCAR fans missed the start of the race.

Once underway, it was clear that the challenge for Waltrip was going to be how to deal with Kyle Busch. Normally accused of just about everything under the sun, DW faced a tough problem. Busch was the story and he was going to be the story for four hours. Try as he might, Dale Earnhardt Jr. could not get Kyle off the TV screen. Waltrip worked hard to stay objective even though it is clear Busch is "his boy."

The normally mild-manner Larry McReynolds showed his temper when he decided that Kyle Busch had done enough complaining over the team radio. On-the-money as usual, McReynolds used both Waltrip and Hammond to reinforce that Busch's continual whining on the radio might not be a problem for the crew chief, but certainly was having an effect on his pit crew.

The NASCAR on Fox gang did a good job of tracking down the lugnut problems in the Gibbs camp and documenting the issues for Greg Biffle that ultimately put him out of the race. The ebb-and-flow of the race was highlighted by Kyle Busch coming back from a pit road problem to win the event.

At the finish, Busch had enough of a lead to allow the Fox Director to use his regular zoom into the flagman as the winner crosses the line without a problem. A nice wideshot showed the rest of the lead laps cars cross the line in style. Fox has a great pop-up graphic for the race off pit road. This would be a perfect compliment to use as the cars cross the finish line to show unofficial final positions.

Good racing often makes for good TV. Darlington was long, grinding and sometimes surprising. The NASCAR on Fox race telecast was solid and the new elements of the coverage like the "ticker" continue to be a welcome addition. The Kyle Busch story going into the Coke 600 should keep things very interesting in "TV land."

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


Anonymous said...

We had Tornado warnings and severe T stormsin Little Rock, to watch some of the race in a 9x9 box While weather guys told of impending Death!! Did get to see last 127 laps...oh well !!

wickedj said...

Dear DW. mad love and all but PLEASE for the sake of my sanity shut up about Kyle Busch. he WISHES he could be Dale Earnhardt

oh and just remember whos coming up in a few weeks Bill "Uhhh..." Weber

Mary said...

Our DVR has worked intermittently over the past few days and when I checked on the end of the race a few minutes ago I wished that last night it hadn't worked at all! The last 20 laps I did watch were all DW talking about Baby Busch - this means I will NOT be watching the rest of the race.

Sad to say and shudder the thought Weber might even be refreshing after the DW/Busch business!

Anonymous said...

Is it just me?

I do not care for the in-car camera, or every car's green flag pit stop, or just one car on the screen or in a box - I want to watch the race. If something happens in-car or on pit lane or to one car, show me a replay.

I also do not care for the camera shot constantly changing every 3? seconds. I would rather have a wide camera shot of the race showing as many cars as possible.

I could take most anything else as long as I could watch the race.

bevo said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Vicky D said...

I'm sorry I missed most of the, and am watching tivo and Larry Mac & Mike Joy doing a great job in the booth. I like the field summary instantaneous updates too.

Anonymous said...

As a NASCAR fan for the last 40 years I finally came upon a racecast that lasted way too long for my taste. The one lane track and 500 mile length were factors but the broadcast itself did not make the race more enjoyable. Specifically, DW's insights were wrong whether it was his comment on Sadler's admittedly stupid pass of Stewart or his insipid prediction that it was going to be a "Hendrick's Night". Next Fox broadcast listen carefully to DW's short and long term predictions during the race. I don't think he grades out very well when you check him out.

Ken-Michigan said...

For Darlington I opted to watch the 500 miles from a local sports bar. Therefore, NO AUDIO and that was OK with me.

Here's what caught my eye while watching.... my Top 7 list

1) I dont know why it dawned on me last night, but, while watching I noticed that there aren't many cameras operated by a human on the coverage of the race. Think about it next time you watch.... not counting the "in the pits" hand held cameras, that leaves only 4 or maybe 5 race coverage cameras with people behind them. Maybe a few more cams WITH people would provide a little better coverage.

2) The FOX "4 box" pit screen has "stop watches" on each car presented. Why ?? Get rid of the stop watch. Last night the stop watches weren't even working properly.

3) Gopher cam. Seemed a bit overused for my liking. WAY TOO MANY animations with the Gopher. When the director has to WAIT for the Gopher to finish, before he can cut to the next shot... that just isnt right. I dont mind the shot itself, but animation should be once per 100 laps.

4) The "end of pit road" graphic worked real well last night for those of us NOT listening to the audio. Good Job FOX !

5) I thought it was a great call by the producer to watch that late race battle between 20 & 83 to be the first car a lap down. Stewart looked like he had a fast car and although it wasnt for the lead. It would have led to a great story IF a late race caution would've put #20 on the lead lap. Good thinking in the FOX truck !!

7) Finally, FOX really made a concentrated effort to show the finish line after the 500 miles. That first turn high camera was a perfect choice. In defense of the network, I dont think that each track offers the TV crew that opportunity to have that "high camera" positioned quiet like it is at Darlington.

I encourage you to watch sometime WITHOUT audio. After all, the pictures SHOULD be able to tell the story anyway.

Daly Planet Editor said...


Since you were watching without sound, I bet using the same kind of pop-up graphic that Fox uses for the race off pit road would have been good at the finish.


SophiaZ123 said...

I thought the guys were good, aside from DW's contiuing love affair with Kyle B.

I enjoyed Larry Mac losing his cool about Kyle's constant whining over the PC there ! :)

I could quibble about some things but honestly was multitasking so I did not WATCH the tv constantly...still, I enjoyed it and really liked the finish.

I agree it's a long race and frankly think many races could be shortened (and I have heard Tony s for one make the same comment)

Some drivers I can root for when on a streak whether I am a huge fan of them or not...but sorry, just can't get on the Kyle B wagon.

I enjoyed the ambient noise but like somebody else mentioned, more WIDE SHOTS are always welcome ..and oh, I hate video or interviews OVER GREEN FLAG racing. That one safety update by Hammond could have been a split screen. Thankfully, the rest of the time I think they used the split.

ENDING CAMERA work was great. Hope it wasn't just this track.

I will be out again listening to Cajun/Dixieland music and taping the ALL Star race on Fox next week. Wonder what driver will get voted in?

David said...

One thing that bothers me is how "with the winds" DW is. He claims during the race he sees Jr as the favorite to win, then later in the race backs off that once Busch and Biffle start to dominate. Then furthermore continues to diminish Busch due to the glow of the rotors, seemingly convinced Kyle won't make it to the end. Yet again changes his mind when Gordon and Jr are out front, changing his mind yet again when Busch gets out front late and Gordon as well as Jr become nonfactors in the finish.

I was VERY happy with the limited use of the track cam. It was used sparingly and well timed when they did use it.

My only major issue is sometimes the replays seemed off cue such as when Busch caught and passed Biffle for the lead early in the event.

Anonymous said...

I'm the type of person that will put up with something or someone who is very annoying for as long as I can stand but I reached my breaking point with last night's coverage of the Cup race from Darlington.

DW's obsession with Kyle Busch has gone beyond the point of no return. Beyond ad nauseum. I cannot express how much his yammering on and on about the 18 car irritates me and makes me want to puke. Well, I probably could but there'd be too many colorful words used which would then make you delete my post on here.

That being said, as always I had TrackPass PitCommand up and was listening to my #1 favorite driver, Bobby Labonte and his team on the scanners while the t.v. was on with the volume low enough to where I could listen if I wanted. I mostly watch driver stats via PitCommand but it seems like every single time I looked at the t.v., there was the 18 car with DW going on and on about how wonderful Kyle is.

Starting with the next race, my plan is to DVR the race, not even have the t.v. tuned to the appropriate channel, and listen to Bobby and his team while watching stats on TrackPass. I will do this until Fox is no longer covering the races and if the other networks continue this obsession with the 18 car, same thing. DVR the races only, erase them or watch (and FF through all of the junk) the races, depending on how Bobby does and who wins the races.

There are 42 other drivers on the track and they have more fans than Bushc does but everyone at FOX seems to have forgotten this.

bevo said...

Sorry JD, I just posted that headline to illustrate how people's priorities get screwed up. I've gone through a few and advance information saves lives.

Ken-Michigan said...

JD -

You're right. Utilizing that pop-up graphic for the finish would have been a nice touch.

That pop-up could really be left on screen until the entire field crosses the finish line, regardless of what camera shot they are on.

Just leave it up on that Left 3rd and we get to see all of the "unofficial" order of finish.

Ken-Michigan said...

about the Hammond / State Farm safety report.....

I saw that last night too and made me wonder why is was placed where it was and why full screen.

If I had to guess, I'd say that State Farm bought that "full screen", therefore is HAS TO BE full screen. And since they ran it during green flag action, i figured there is also something in the contract stating that it HAS TO RUN in the first half of the race or something like that.

I thought it was odd to show it during green flag, but there must be a real good reason why they did it that way at Darlington.

Matt said...

I was watching the high def over the air broadcast and running the audio through my surround sound system. I don't know where the problem was, but I lost the commentery with about fifty laps to go. Funny part was I it took about 15 laps before I really noticed-I get waitng for the "Turn it down they're gonna talk" thing to pop up. It was kind of nice that it never did!

What is the big deal about the pre-race show. Every Sunday in the fall, people tune in to one of at least three networks broadcasting a football pre-game show, then at 1:00 the studio shows throw it to the game sites and the either whatever game your network affiliate is showing comes up or you get ice skating, bull riding, or an infomercial. If you want to watch another game, you turn the channel. Millions of people accomplish this every Sunday in time for a 1:05 kickoff!

Why not put the pre-race on Speed, ESPN2 or wherever, and drop the green five minutes after the race broadcast starts? The field is set a day or two ahead, so everyone who cares knows who qualified and where, you can run through any changes due to engien swaps or whatever, and lets RACE. Looking at a broadcast time of 7PM and trying to guess what time the green flag is going to finally wave is a pain.

Aven said...

I guess I'm becoming a Kyle Busch fan because everybody hates him except DW. I hate DW. If they would pay him what he is worth, he couldn't afford the gas to get to the track and run his mouth. I thought Fox did a pretty good job with the race and wish there was a 2nd race there.

The BOOs of Busch reminds me a lot of Dale Sr's early years. Dale didn't care if they were cheering or booing as long as they were making noise.

Fasttracks said...

It's the producers who decide what "story line" will be presented on air. Putting Busch's displeasure with his crew on the air was their decision. If anyone has been to any track with a scanner they would know what most drivers sound like when they have a bad piece.

Busch certainly changed his channel late in the race so FOX would not continue with the story line of him berating his crew. (who deserved every bit of it)

I have heard drivers and even JR. (2003 Bristol night race) rip into their crew for many laps during a race. It is part of the sport and not isolated to Kyle Busch.

The media would make Kyle Busch a puppy kicker if it would help the ratings.

Anonymous said...

I was disappointed im McReynolds' comments about Kyle's whining. If he or any of them want to comment on driver/crew communictions,fine but everyone should be fair game. Without naming names,some drivers are noted for constantly crying on the radio.I rate Larry tops because he rarely deviates from just commenting on the nuts/bolts of the race and keeps the bs to a minimum. As for Chris Myers,he's useless. Occaisonally, there was distracting idle talk about some song from the 1920's while things were happening on the track. There was one key pass while we watched a big shot of Hammond putting glue on a lug nut!Reminds me of Monday Night Football where there's a sense that every second requires 'talk' from the booth.

Anonymous said...

The Fox coverage continues to improve each week. I enjoy the humor and lightness they provide. After all people, 3-plus hours of cars going around the track with very little passing or suspense is mind-numbing and virtually unwatchable. And as far as having a "pop-up" animation, the on-top ticker gives the finish order seconds after it occurs, no more is needed than that

Anonymous said...

Chris Meyers is a BORING announcer who has a hard time trying to figure out what is going on. He knows nothing about NASCAR. If he was only half as funny as what he thinks he is, just think of how much more boring he'd be.

Alex said...

I don't understand why so many people have a problem with Waltrip's analysis. From his perspective before the race, he thought that the Hendrick team would be the one to beat. That didn't pan out, so what? What's the big deal? After during the race, Earnhardt didn't look as strong as he originally thought, wouldn't it be even dumber to keep harping about how he thought the #88 was going to win? You folks would be complaining about how much DW loves Dale Jr!

I don't like Kyle Busch either, but if he's winning races all the time, it's hard to not talk about him. If it was any other driver, I don't think this would be a problem, and I think that we all have to look at this through an objective lens.

Anonymous said...

Kyle Busch is brash, bold, well-spoken and a least for now. Who should Fox/the media be concentrating on, the 30 or so field-fillers that have NO chance of winning. In a sport with too few personalities, Kyle Busch, Stewart, Edwards and too few others is where the attention should be. And Dale Jr. should learn how not to mumble or speak into the ground or he will be lost in the shuffle soon, no matter who his daady was.

GinaV24 said...

fortunately, I was at the race, so I didn't have to watch it through TV's eyes or listen to DW babble on about Busch. DW just can't seem to act like a professional, I guess it's just his nature, but it sure is irritating to listen to, enough so that it is always a relief when I don't have to. BTW, Chris Myers may be as boring in person as he is on TV, he and Hammon were on a golf cart trying to get through the crowd exiting the track last night and as the fans recognized him (although one person said "we love Mike Joy" to him which made me laugh)he showed a little bit of TV personality, but essentially neither of them were "on air" any more, so it was nothing special. Hammond at least was polite and thanked the fans who were being asked to move so that he and Myers could get to their cars quicker than we were walking. I'll give him credit for that.

Anonymous said...

How did FOX win awards? Mike Joy, Dr. Dick and others but certainly not DW, MW, Jeff Hammond.They are not only not improving , they are getting worse. Hammond is so awkward on TV. DW blabs about nothing I am buying and MW is terrible, not to mention his lack of credibility. I'm looking forward to Bill Weber and then the ESPN coverage, which has left FOX in the DUST!!!

Anonymous said...

How can 2 people watch the same thing with 2 different views on it. Mr Daley sees DW and Larry as doing a good job. I see them as unwatchable. Bring back Buddy Baker, or someone like him and see what a difference it is. I just watched and old tape with Buddy Baker, The Famous LIVE BY THE SWORD DIE BY THE SWORD RACE, I'm sure you all remember that one. He understands racing with no hidden agendas. What we need is someone like him, not someone always plugging Toyota,Toyota drivers,Kyle Busch, his brother, DW store , Elliot Sadler for the allstar race, etc, etc. Enough is enough.

Anonymous said...

What I find most amazing is this....

Up until this year, there was an obvious bias in the Fox team.. After all, wasn't all we heard last year "Jr., Jr., Jr."?

For those of you who don't like it, Kyle Bush is one of the two hottest Drivers in the sport, along with Carl Edwards. So, who do thing the team is going to talk about?

If you don't like what you're hearing on TV, turn off the TV sound and listen to the radio.

BTW "wicked" I think you have it backwards. I believe it would Dale Jr. wishing he were Kyle Busch. After all, Kyle Busch has won three "points paying" Cup races this year. How many has Jr. won?

Dale Earnhardt Jr. has matured and is growing up. What a shame his fans aren't.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 6:09PM,

That is the best part of hosting this blog. Everyone has a lot of different views on exactly the same subject.

It is great to hear what folks think. I don't try to be right, just to start the conversation and then nudge it along.

I appreciate your thoughts on DW and company. As we have seen this season on TV as never before, the color analysts on the broadcasts have so many conflicts of interest and money-making ventures it is hard to keep everything straight.

I have a feeling that during the off-season the TV networks are going to try and set some kind of conflict of interest rules.

It should be interesting to see how that affects the DW's, Rusty's and Kyle's of the world.


Anonymous said...

I can't believe all these complaints!! Especially since they go against JD's opinion! This was a great race with especially great Race coverage. I do not mind DW. He adds emotion to the broadcast. And Also, NASCAR races have been this long for YEARS!!! I think you are nitpicking if all of a sudden you decide to complain about length right now. I don't mind the length. It is all about endurance.

Thanks for the site JD.

Newracefan said...

I enjoyed the race and the coverage by Fox. Would I have preferred to hear less about Kyle Busch, absolutely, but he won how are they not going to talk about him. I know everyone has been saying that DW was all positive about KB. I seem to remember DW saying several times that Kyle was driving too hard and was abusing the car/brakes, that doesn't sound positive to me. I also would like the popup to the side with the finishing order but JD please make sure Fox realizes how thrilled we all were with the coverage at the checkers. I also do not like the quad pits. please go back to the triple with pit road in the 4th box.

Anonymous said...

Whatever happened to a run down of who is in and out of the top 35, and by how much? For me, that is MANDATORY. Because of that, last night's Fox broadcast gets an automatic F. They failed.

Anonymous said...

It's true about conflict of interests. I had a friend years ago, before Dale joined Gibbs, who thought Dale Jarret was not related to Ned because Ned always referred to him as Jarret or hardly talked about him. It's true, Ned was excellent , except for the one 500 where CBS asked him to root for his son. Now DW weighs in on the MW/Roush sway bar thing with a Toyota patch on his shirt on trackside without a disclaimer that he is some sort of Toyota employee and his brother is involved. No journalistic integrity with old DW, just pushing his agendas.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 8:35PM,

I will make sure and try to find out what happened with that info. Fox has been good on showing that, so if there was a problem behind-the-scenes I will try and get the info.


ri88girl said...

Well, I finally got to listen to MRN. How sad is this? I'm attending my nephews wedding in Spartanberg SC, a mere two hours from the lady in Black. Does he deside to have a nice afternoon wedding? NO! 7pm! I DIDN'T EVEN GET TO WATCH IT! Not quals not practice cuz I DROVE! From RI; never again. What did larry Mac say about KB's whinnig? On the up side, I got to listen to the last 29 laps, sitting in my car having a good night smoke and enjoyed the different style of play by play. I think it would take me some time to aclimate to how a race is called on the radio. I appreciated the cleaness of the broadcast and can see why some people feel the booth personalities interfear with the action. I like bill weber, but may consider turning the sound off when we get to Jerry he is about as sintilaing a commintator as spark plug.

Anonymous said...

Here, in a nutshell, is the crux of FOX problems in presenting NASCAR.
FOX Sports senior brass think NASCAR is a joke, that its an American cultural quirk that succeeds in spite of itself (racing in circles) and in spite of its fans (uneducated but loyal hicks who dutifully march to the cathedral every Sunday). They do not understand the sport, make no attempt to understand it and so, they simply exploit characters like Larry Mac and others who, as they butcher basic english, are considered media fodder, to be used up (and never improved upon) until the next "hot" sports opportunity comes along. The proof is that, if the FOX brass or its race producers had ANY inkling of the history of the spor, they'd have built a feature piece (or pieces) focused on how DW's own career started out very much like Kyle Bush's is now. He was young, talented, had good equipment, was aggressive, drew the ire of the fans and WON RACES!!. But nope, old FOXY would instead throw ol'DW to the wolves instead of producing him, and allow him-thru no fault of his own, to come across as indecisive on the air. I despise FOX, their so called "style" ( which is vapid) and their arrogant, condescending treatment of the audience.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Just to follow-up on Anon 9:13PM's comment. David Hill, the original Executive Producer of Fox Sports is a veteran TV guy from Australia.

He was introduced to NASCAR by Patti Wheeler, Humpy's daughter on a trip to Charlotte. The resulting discovery of NASCAR led to the sport being exposed in a very different way on TV than it had before.

By creating "characters" like DW and Larry McReynolds, the sport grew tremendously and David Hill was right in the middle of it. The creation of the Hollywood Hotel, the addition of Jeff Hammond and the purposeful addition of Fox-LA's Chris Myers was a brilliant plan.

The downside of the new TV contract is that SPEED and NASCAR on Fox are two different production groups in the same big corporation. By using "Fox guys" on the Cup races, viewers have more of a casual fan experience than perhaps they would with fulltime NASCAR Producers.

Since the Cup TV is split into three parts, does it ever get the respect it deserves on the actual races? 3 groups of contract employees produce their part of the season and then move on.

It has always been an interesting point to debate.


SophiaZ123 said...

With results to the long races...before I started watching NASCAR, and the NASCAR folks had sense, I am told the race started a little after 12 noon for the most part and was over by dinner.

Now to watch it live, you have to give up any chores outside to watch or tape or DVR the race. Well, if you like any pre race or post race shows, you need to watch live...same if you want MRN online or on radio to go with the race. thus many on different boards over the years say switch the times back or shorten the races a bit.

MONEY says WhAT TIME things are on tv sadly but yes, endurance is a part of the race...but I know of a few MAJOR RACING FANS losing interests these days due to all the coporate BS.

And to anon who ripped into FOX, ALL MY MALE FRIENDS who watch sports AGREE that the "FOX KNOW IT ALL BELLS AND WHISTLES RUBBISH" has ruined you are not alone there..and many see their impact on NASCAR since they took over in 2001.

Most real fans I know of from reading articles prefer the days of old style tv...if only they had the safety inventions enforced back then...

everybody appreciates the safety factor but the LOOK AT ME preening of FOX and in my opinion, of ESPN (ok, everybody in today's "it's all about marketing mindset") DOES TAKE AWAY from what NASCAR is about

THE RACIN'. It's the simplicity that is sorely lacking and greatly missed.

Though I realize i am whistling "Dixie" in the wind, with a mouthful of cracker and no water...but that's the truth.

The fact KB races and crashes in Truck, NW and CUP series has been a buzzkill for many. Thus by the time the CUP race is on Fox, I am not as interested in the racing. Aside from too many cup drivers, I prefer the NW races and Truck races.

I do enjoy Larry Mac, bad English and all. I enjoy Mike Joy and used to...DW.

But he is over the line this year with the KB chatter...and NEVER spoke of Jr this much. I love Jr but am TIRED of the media focus on him as well.

but i could watch Truck and NW and get away from the Jr talk. Not so with KB.

So, yea...Fox needs to set rules about conflict of interest.

Sorry for the manifesto.

P.S. I was going to make a point about another post but got lost and have prattled on too long. ? ? !

You will get to be this age, too with a memory where you don't remember what you just typed.

Where you don't remember what you just typed.

Anonymous said...

During the pre-season, Brian France had a news coneference in which he stated what the stories would be for the year. Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota, Dale Jr., Hendrick Motorsports, and Juan Pablo Montoya.

I observe that a lot of folks are complaining about Joe Gibbs Racing (Kyle Busch) and the constant plugs for Toyota from DW. DW saying it was going to be a Hendrick night and his infatuation with Dale Jr. If you haven't figured it out by now, Fox is promoting the agenda established by Brian France back in January. That it's being presented poorly is another matter.

The Fox brass however, could do something to make it a little more tasteful instead of the constant favoritism shown by their announcers for a particular make of car, team, or driver. Something about a song from Mary Poppins comes to mind about a spoonful of sugar.

SophiaZ123 said...


Interesting. I Remember last year many thought JPM was mentioned too often.

But the KB thing is turning many fans away..for the first time EVER I taped a race and never watched ANY OF IT (Phoenix) as I listened on MRN on a ride home. 10 minutes or so later, race over, one car across the finish line.

I was glad I have chosen Cajun Dixieland music over the races some this year. I have always watched at least parts of races I have missed but did not feel compelled to watch more than 5 minutes or so of Phoenix. Why invest 3-4 hrs to see one racer cross the line (Did BF address that dumb idea, btw? )

Funny, this year, I rarely hear JPM mentioned at all and I would notice as I have come to appreciate him as a driver.

Thanks for your input.

Just one question, why has Brian France been mostly invisible this year???

Any tidbits on that? :-)

p.s. I have been known to tape rain or snow delays to run out to dinner or quick grocery run *a couple years ago, Bristol had snow delays* and I would come home and even watched pre race stuff I taped while gone, lol.

Anonymous said...

They need to change the name of that broadcast to "NASCAR with Kyle Bush" on Fox because that is the only thing they talk about.
Can't wait for another network to get it, then maybe we will not just have a one man show.

S said...

I'm so glad people here have finally remembered that Fox isn't actually better than ESPN!

Kudos to Sophia and those who point out DW's bias and the fact Fox has turned the racing broadcasts in jokes!

As to John comment that the Fox producer developed Larry and DW as "personalities" or whatever it was, well, it's sad that the Fox suits have such a low opinion of the actual racing, they feel they must do this. I certainly don't think it's a "brilliant" decision.
Fox "attitude" has ruined the broadcasts for me. For most of this season, we've listened to the audio from MRN on Trackpass.

And lastly to those who fail to remember that in previous seasons Fox, NBC, and ESPN shoved Earnhardt, Jr. down our throats when he wasn't even running up front. I don't like too much coverage of any driver, but at least Busch is winning.

I can't wait for TNT to return in June! While Mike Joy is great, I'll gladly take Bill Weber as long as I don't have to hear DW and Larry.

Ken-Michigan said...

Anon 9:13pm has hit the nail on the head. I could not agree more.

FOX rarely makes and kind of video reference to the history of NASCAR. Producing more elements involving the history of the sport would go along way in appealing to the LONG TIME fans of the sport.

FOX seems to think that NASCAR started when FOX started doing the races.

JD -
Did you really say this ?
By creating "characters" like DW and Larry McReynolds, the sport grew tremendously and David Hill was right in the middle of it. The creation of the Hollywood Hotel, the addition of Jeff Hammond and the purposeful addition of Fox-LA's Chris Myers was a brilliant plan.

Were you kidding ?

More and more tracks have empty seats.
More and more people are upset with the FOX TV coverage.
Chris Myers & "brilliant" in the same sentence is brutal.

FOX simply rode the NASCAR "wave" and now that wave has reached shore. FOX's answer to increase viewership was an animated Gopher... nuff said.

Anonymous said...

I dispute one of your opinions in response to my 9:13 post.
YOu say that FOX involvement made "the sport grow tremendously". I beg to differ. What grew is the amount of NASCAR related content on tv, but not the sport itself.
Fox broadcast ratings for Cup events is still around the 4.5 to 6Nielsen number, which is relatively unchanged from the days when CBS and ABC carried NASCAR on broadcast. Cable ratings remain within tenths of where they were when ESPN and the late TNN aired the races. Again, to FOX, this sport is colloquial and not treated on the same plane as MLB or NFL. If you doubt it, look at their promos. Stick and ball are all about heroes, NASCAR is all about crashes.
The Hollywood hotel adds NOTHING to the telecasts (not Chris Myers fault) It was created to add layers of perceived importance to the FOX coverage (and no doubt, appeal to Brian France's former obsession with Hollywood CA)
Point is, its all hype and no substance. And it has not grown the sport

Anonymous said...

I despise Fox's 'coverage' of Nascar racing. It truly is a joke and a side show. DW is horrible, provides nothing but a mouthpiece for whatever corporate agenda he or his brother has at the moment. Jeff Hammond has the speaking and announcing skills of a third grader. Larry Mac may know what he's talking about but has the grammatical skills of a three year old.

Would Fox put so many unprofessionals on their football broadcasts? I think not.

Anonymous said...

Yes DW's bias you Can even see that on the show Trackside because his sponsor is Toyota, they are paying him for talking good about Toyota and not bad.
And he keeps trying to sell us his store too, saying that you can get this or get that at a good broadcaster would not do something like that I will not buy anything from him.

Daly Planet Editor said...


You are taking what I said out of context. We were talking about many years ago when Fox first came into the sport, do you remember the momentum that DW & company built-up for NASCAR?

Now, with the new TV contract Fox has not changed anyone in the on-air staff. You may remember my complaints about Chris Myers continuing in his role that even drew a response from DW on his column.

Remember when they first named the Hollywood Hotel? It was a cultural phenomenon to say the least. Fox put NASCAR on the map at a time when NBC made it clear they were just in the sport until they got NFL football back. TNT has always been nothing but a mid-summer cash cow.

As we have said many times on TDP, the constant in TV is change. ESPN spends millions of dollars to change their logo every couple of years for exactly that reason.

My opinion is that Fox needs some freshening up. You know where I think it should begin. For any TV network to be in one sport this long with almost totally the same line-up except for one pit reporter is amazing.

Now, with the Fox package nearing the end, it should be interesting to look back and evaluate the good and bad elements that viewers dealt with to kick-off the season.


Lou,Kingston,NY said...

Hello All, Yes, and to you to JD.
As someone who has read and posted on this blog from the start,(yes, I have read them all, and enjoyed) this maybe as short as my memory, is one of the most enjoyable TDP that I have enjoyed as far as the comments are concerned. The comments are so strong and with feeling. It is good to know that some of us do want to see the best as far as TV coverage is concerned.

Desmond said...

In a just and fair world, in mine at least, Darrell Waltrip would be out of the broadcast booth abnd Chris Myers and Jeff Hammond would be evicted from the Hollywood Hotel, which would then be condemned.

But I'm a realist, and I know that Fox would have to force them out while they were kicking and screaming. That is, if they cared to do it at all. Remember that Fox has always sold "attitude" throughout the entire network, so the people they have in place reflect that philosophy, from David Hill down to the janitors.

What happened last Saturday night is another reason to long for the old broadcast teams of ESPN and TNN. Believe me, if I was as huge of a NASCAR fan all those years ago as I am today, the Fox coverage would make me even angrier. I doubt that any of the old broadcast teams had the same favoritism that DW has nowadays. He clings to the hottest drivers and biggest stories and doesn't let go.

To Gina: I hope you had a great time at a race track I want to go see before I die.

To the first poster: I pray you made it through the night in Arkansas.

To Sophia: Have a great time at the music show this coming Saturday night. I love listening to the "real" music as compared to the pre-packaged pop crap.

SophiaZ123 said...


Thanks for the music comment. I am hearing genuine Cajun/Dixieland from guys that used to live in thatarea but now teach French in this areas schools. A couple are classically trained musicians drawn to this band due to the natural talent and FUN mood they creat without being "showman". It's all about the "music". Duh, a rare concept...VERY unique group, switching instruments all night (keyboards, trombone, trumpet, cornet, guitar. clarinet and percussions) and of course great fiddle/violin and Accordion combo. MUST have latter two= for REAL CAJUN sound. Then they stroll the crowd as well...not for tips or but to let you hear and see them up close!

i wish i could provide a slideshow link here but JD doesn't allow it and link would not show up anyhoo.

but back to FOX.

Even though many of us do NOT LIKE the ESPNish and FOX 'it's all about us attitudes'...let's face it. most of us, if you can't travel MUST WATCH all sports on tv.

so I do not think the ratings are DUE TO FOX and company but guess what, they are the ONLY PLACE to catch some games and or races.

Thus we are forced to sit thru the endless promotion. And that annoying ubiquitous ESPN lower ticker *&^%$#! And the tech toys we all hate (draft tracker, pretaped video over green flag racing, diggercam, bumper cam, excess or all in car cams...etc)

But DW mentions his store on WT, Trackside, I have heard Digger mentioned on TWIN. and the constant hawking during the race should NOT be allowed imho. I would feel the same way if he were promoting drivers I love. I have good sense and DW needs to be nipping it in the bud, as Barney Fife would say.

Also, I do remember last year when griping about ESPN (before they improved THIS YEAR) others kept saying we "forgot" how Fox can be.

I admit, those anons were correct though I enjoy Mike Joy and Larry Mac. But DW is tough to take and is his own biggest fan.

He should NOT be allowed to bring up his DW store constantly.
I will spare a repeat of his love fest with KB.

Kevin in SoCal said...

For all the DaleJr fans who cant stand Kyle Busch and hate that the TV focuses on him now: Now you know how we non-Junior fans feel when your driver stinks up the show and is on the TV all the time for no good reason.