Sunday, March 8, 2009
Live Blogging The Sprint Cup Series Race From Atlanta On Fox
The NASCAR on Fox crew is now several races into their season and hitting full stride. The TV veterans are going to once again be at one of the favorite tracks for good NASCAR racing and even better telecasts.
The Atlanta Motor Speedway promises a better scenario than last season's tire problems and single car domination. The CWTS race on Saturday set the tone with good action and no tire problems.
This week, there is no overlap with RaceDay on SPEED and the Fox pre-race is only thirty minutes long. That should solve a lot of the problems that viewers saw last week, including two Fox TV networks on the air from the same site at the same time live.
Chris Myers starts the day in the Hollywood Hotel with Darrell Waltrip and Jeff Hammond alongside. There will be a feature involving Bobby Labonte and Larry McReynolds makes his annual visit to The Weather Channel.
Once the action starts, Mike Joy will handle the play-by-play with Waltrip and McReynolds alongside in the booth. Down on pit road is the best group of pit reporters in TV. Steve Byrnes, Dick Berggren, Krista Voda and Matt Yocum will once again be front-and-center with the stories of the race.
Fox continues to use a quad-split (4 video boxes) during yellow flag pit stops. The other NASCAR TV networks use three boxes, which enables them to keep a wideshot of pit road on the screen. This lets viewers see the cars pulling in and out as the stops are in-progress. the quad-split covers pit road and fans lose the perspective of who is where and what is going on.
The good news is that Fox has changed the final lap of the racing coverage to give fans a clear view of the lead lap cars crossing the finish line. This includes a new graphic element at the top of the screen that shows the finishing order as the cars cross the line. That was long overdue, but a welcome addition to the telecast.
There is a new dynamic in the Sprint Cup Series with independent teams trying to make a name for themselves. There are also former top teams struggling in the middle of the field and seemingly unable to get the COT technology to work for them.
This demands that the TV coverage go back in the pack much more often and update the stories of the race throughout the field. Fox struggled with this in Las Vegas, but Atlanta should give the TV crew an opportunity to look back and keep the fans of those teams updated.
The green flag is set for 2:16PM and the Fox TV stations are scheduled to continue the coverage until 6PM. The weather is good and the track is fast, the potential for an outstanding NASCAR on Fox is ripe for the picking.
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