Monday, April 27, 2009

Talladega TV Coverage Destined For The Water Cooler

Just like the conversations and opinions concerning the various Sprint Cup Series teams and drivers, the discussion about NASCAR coverage on TV is diverse.

When Talladega rolls around, those discussions normally get a bit more intense, just like the racing. Click here for the TDP column and reader comments about the 2008 Fox coverage of the April Talladega event.

This season Fox and their sister cable network SPEED once again overlapped for thirty minutes from 1 to 1:30PM. SPEED was ending RaceDay while Fox was just taking the air from the Hollywood Hotel. This forced fans to choose between Wendy Venturini and Hermie Sadler talking to the drivers or Chris Myers, Darrell Waltrip and Jeff Hammond previewing the race. How and why this situation continues to happen is anyone's guess.

Fox has moved the booth announcers outdoors during the pre-race programming. This certainly hearkens back to the older style of NASCAR coverage and has presented some interesting backgrounds as well. One reason TV changed this practice was the TV booths themselves were able to be lit for live on-camera shots. This allowed the "upstairs" crew to turn around and get on-camera should a red flag or long caution occur.

By this time of the season it is clear that the Fox gang has some favorite drivers and this week Jeff Hammond took several airplane rides with one of them, Carl Edwards. This feature was just part of the Fox extended pre-race show.

After a morning hour of NASCAR Now on ESPN2 and then two hours of RaceDay on SPEED, perhaps extending the Fox broadcast was not something that was going to really boost the ratings. It would be the racing that would take care of that issue.

Kudos to Fox in the Nationwide Series race review for editing-out the tasteless shot of a crying Katie Kenseth leaving pit road arm-in-arm with Krissie Newman after Matt's violent flip. The fact that ESPN actually replayed that footage on Sunday morning showed that network's learning curve is not over yet.

Again this season, both ESPN and Fox centered their promos and previews around "the big one." It was suggested that the tension would build until "the big one" late in the race would jumble the field and result in angry drivers. Well, the promise was never fulfilled. "The big one" came early.

Great pictures and sound were again wonderful in HD and the camera work was outstanding at a very difficult track to cover. Replays of the early crash were right on the money and told the story of how one error can lead to disaster.

The early accident took the momentum out of the broadcast and Mike Joy worked very hard to get it back. There were stories to be followed and the effort of Joy to tell them was a confirmation of his stature in this business. Joy directed a lot of traffic and kept things in order. His performance may be a lesson for others who will follow in his footsteps later this season.

Waltrip and McReynolds were effective and really made the situations that fans were seeing on the track make sense. Some high-profile teams just chose to run in the back, like Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch. Others, like Dale Earnhardt Jr., chose to push to the front at every opportunity.

One source of debate is the frequent use of the in-car cameras, especially "bumpercams" on the long backstretch at Talladega. The positive side is that the angle helps TV viewers to understand how close the racing really is in the era of the COT and bump-drafting.

The negative side is that the viewer's perspective is frequently interrupted or lost as the big hoods or tails of cars seemingly pop-up and then are gone. Cutting directly from one in-car to another is very tough, especially without the announcers helping identify the cars. It's not their fault, they are busy calling the racing action.

Once again at Talladega, it was tough to have four video boxes on caution flag pitstops. The pit strategies were so varied that one team would just be taking gas while another went for four tires and a full load of fuel. It rarely worked out that the race off pit road made sense by the time the Director cut to the wideshot.

The pit reporters once again made those stops work well for the viewers by adding facts about the team's day into the information being relayed during the stop. Fox handled interviews with the drivers out of the race and this crew showed why they are currently the best in NASCAR.

Digger made his presence known but was not a big interference. The cartoon at the beginning made no sense and the animated female cartoon character used over billboards was almost as annoying as the Fox NFL robot. What a strange distraction for the sponsor who is trying to feature a product.

The TV coverage of the final lap and the aftermath of the accident will be something discussed around water coolers on Monday and perhaps through the week. The TDP live blog of the race contained all kinds of opinions about how Fox ended the day.

What we do know is that Carl Edwards and Brad Keselowski did almost exactly what Regan Smith and Tony Stewart had done earlier at the track. In post-race comments, Smith stated he did not want to turn Stewart and possibly cause him injury. Keselowski had no such issue.

It has been a very long time since a Sprint Cup Series car was in the air with the potential of getting into the spectator fencing and possibly the crowd. Fox followed the cars involved in the accident and then watched the drivers emerge, including Edwards jogging across the finish line.

The camera angles were replayed only after the network knew that all drivers were fine. The in-car shots of Edwards airborne and of Newman getting a face-full of car were spectacular because the TV viewers knew those drivers were not injured.

What was less certain was the status of the fans in the stands. Nothing was offered by the TV team except a shot of multiple ambulances along the frontstretch. It was not until Chris Myers confirmed for viewers well into the post-race that multiple spectators were injured did the reality of the danger sink in.

This is the same TV team that handled the Michael McDowell qualifying accident in Texas with professionalism and expertise. Click here for the TDP article about that day in NASCAR TV history.

On Sunday at Talladega, perhaps the situation was a bit different. The shock of such a violent crash and the prospect of injured fans surprisingly did not cause the broadcast to change course. Interviews went on as scheduled. The advantage, of course, is that the TV production truck and the announcers can use off-line cameras to see exactly what was going on in the stands.

The fact that they chose not to share those images or information with the TV viewers meant one of two things. Either fans were injured and being attended to at that time or there was no problem except for the broken fencing.

Not offering that information is certainly the right of the TV network, but ending the race and leaving the air without a NASCAR or medical official at least giving a general update was perhaps not the best choice.

Here at TDP, our readers got the information on the injured fans from Sirius radio and Twitter posts from the track. Shortly after that time, the information appeared on both the ESPN and Jayski websites.

Certainly, there will be many different opinions of this situation and all of them will have valid points. Ultimately, it will be up to NASCAR to determine what can be done so this discussion will not have to take place again.

ESPN2 will offer a full hour of Talladega conversation on NASCAR Now at 5PM Monday. Allen Bestwick will be joined by Dale Jarrett, Andy Petree and Ray Evernham. Over on SPEED, Steve Byrnes will host Michael Waltrip and Chad Knaus on TWIN as they offer first-hand observations of the racing weekend.

Thanks to Getty Images for the photo, click on it to see it full-size.

TDP welcomes comments from readers. Just click on the comments button below to share your opinions. This is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind when posting.

Thanks once again for taking the time to drop by The Daly Planet.


bevo said...

Sorry JD, I was busy posting my comment in the race coverage before this column. Agree about the technical issues of the broadcast. It was a strong rebound for Fox after the past couple of weeks.

Here is what I posted in the race column concerning the end of the race...

Every single on-camera person (except one that I can think of) has been around the sport for at least 25 years. This was not their first time at the rodeo. They know the most important thing is the safety of the drivers, crews, officials, support personnel and fans. I would go so far as to say the majority of the Fox crew has that same level of experience. I have no idea about the Director or Producer.

I understand getting caught up momentarily in the action and the immediate aftermath. But when it ends I cannot understand how the first impulse is not the welfare of the fans in the area of the incident. When replays clearly show debris flying into the stands don't say everything is fine. Temper your words and actions. No need for tight shots of the injured, no need for immediate specific injury reports. Let the emergency responders do their jobs. However do acknowledge the seriousness of the situation and act accordingly.

It appears to me that the Producer dropped the ball in this situation.

As for the cause of the accident, the drivers responses and all the rest that is an issue for further discussion in other forums. The focus of this blog is the TV coverage of the race even though we venture off the path during the course of a race.

I think I can safely say we are all thankful the worst did not happen. At the time of commenting however we did not know that. And Fox did not know that either.

Sophia said...


I second your comments.

Since I have been watching in 2004,I have heard many drivers/cc say they should lower the banking at Talladega. They really should if it would make things safer. Can't remove RP or make the cars slower. STILL in a pack on the track.

I love the Daytona track (more handling) and Talladega as I love seeing the cars spread out. It is exciting but I am no fan of 'the big one.' One driver makes a move and taking out 10 or 12 cars if he errors is just madness.

There should be a happy medium

And yes, Fox could've dropped the chucklehead 'wasn't that an EXCITING RACE' talk. Maybe "pretend" to be concerned what was going on with that line of ambulances with FLASHING LIGHTS in front of the stands?

I found their demeanor most disconcerting.
I know we could not be given specificities to the exact injuries.

Sophia said...

As I get ready to turn off this laptop, NOW Drudge Report has these two lines.

EXTREME RACING: 7 fans injured at Talladega Superspeedway...

'We'll race like this until we kill somebody'...

the second headline links to Carl's video interview after the race.


Adam said...

@Sophia I agree on the announcers. They could have pretended to care about the fans.

I've been watching since 1991 and this race was really the first one this season I actually sat down and watched.

The coverage was alright though.

stricklinfan82 said...

On Friday's blog entry (, I twice voiced my genuine concern for driver safety given NASCAR's questionable 'no tolerance' enforcement of the Yellow Line Rule (even when a driver is forced below the line) and publicly expressed my hopes that Darrell Waltrip or someone at the NASCAR on Fox group would use the extended pre-race show to take NASCAR to task for this dangerous practice.

Unfortunately Fox's indepedent review of this rule and the possible future fallout of NASCAR's ruling on the Regan Smith - Tony Stewart incident last fall didn't seem to raise any significant worry or concern for the network, and my hopes for pre-emptive action went unfulfilled.

That opportunity was lost, but now that the inevitable incident that I foreshadowed has actually occurred, it is clear that this NASCAR policy can no longer be ignored.

Since, in my opinion, NASCAR has always been predominantly reactive and not pro-active throughout their existence, it is my opinion that it's time for the television networks to turn up the heat on the sanctioning body.

In my opinion this television partner initiative needs to start on Monday night, with ESPN's NASCAR Now and Speed's This Week in NASCAR. In my personal opinion a very loud and clear message could be sent to NASCAR by very simply doing the following:

1.) Showing the video of Regan Smith and Tony Stewart from Talladega last fall, and underneath it in big letters typing "NASCAR Says: Unacceptable Pass for Position, 1 Lap Penalty"

2.) Showing the video of Carl Edwards and Jeff Gordon from Daytona last July and underneath it typing "NASCAR Says: Acceptable Pass For Position".

3.) Showing the video of Brad Keselowski and Carl Edwards from Sunday and underneath it typing "NASCAR Says: Acceptable Pass For Position".

4.) Having the host ask each of the panelists if they think this is the proper way to do things.

5.) Having the host look right into the camera and ask the viewer at home to make up their own mind on whether or not this is the proper way to do things.

On Sunday we were very very lucky that one of our racecar driving heroes wasn't killed, and even luckier that none of the paying spectators lost their lives in the aftermath. NASCAR should not and can not be allowed to tempt fate twice with this 'no tolerance when forced below the yellow line policy'. In my opinion television can and should play a major role in making sure this doesn't happen again, and I certainly hope that starts on Monday.

Ken-Michigan said...

I finished watching the Talladega race and was finally satisfied with an outstanding race.

Getting past all of the commercials, race breaks, and various sponsor plugs is tough, but I've learned to accept it.

It could be that the racing on the track FINALLY overshadowed FOX's lack luster coverage in 2009.

Switching between HOT PASS and FOX makes my viewing alot more enjoyable.

So, I tip my hat, great pictures on Sunday from Alabama.

But why are most so surprised that FOX didn't cover or investigate the injured fans in the grandstand ?

I've said for months that FOX does not, and blatantly will not cover these races with any kind of journalistic responsibility. They rarely do much follow up on any issues involving the race, so I never expected any kind of follow up with the potential injuries in the grandstands. FOX is merely there for the fun and games and cartoons that make up a FOX telecast.

If they truly wanted to cover the aftermath completely.... they could have easily called upon the great journalistic talents of Rutledge Wood.....right ??

JD - Many of us remember the Bobby Allison '87 crash covered by ESPN....Jenkins and the crew showed genuine concern and were very professional that day.

Oh my, how times have changed.

Adam said...

Well said stricklinfan82.

The drivers see it, the viewers see it, but the higher ups do not.

It has to start with the press.

Jeff said...

did anyone on fox comment about Kyle Busch running into Brad Kesolowski after the race? It happened right in front of me and no one around us could figure out why Kyle was mad at him. I heard that DW said it was an accident but Kyle was on the the throttle when he turned him so I don't really buy that.

Jimbacca said...

There is no ability to flip the switch to serious coverage. Let's look at the coverage of the aftermath.
End of Race- Blatant ignoring of perfectly visible items going into the crowd. Yes we shouldnt see people hurt up close. But at least acknowledge it is happening instead of blowing it off.
Victory Lane- Laughing. Laughing at the results. So if you are laughing at the results that means you know Carl's wild ride into the fence happened. So taped earlier doesnt fall into it. The only time they fake serious is when one of their favorites has a problem.

Racing coverage is now just a sitcom with a splash of soap opera. It's funny until an incident. Then they make a concerted effort to turn that incident into a battle of words. If they luck out they may even turn it into a fight!!
They should improve their writers. If they want to treat it like a sitcom then do so.
But give us a way to see the races and get information about the race. Like how there is SAP. Have a version IWTR, I want the RACE. Having to pull up for race positions when you are watching the race is a great indicator of how bad covering the race is.

Nascar got to where it was through TV covering the race. That's all ESPN, TNN, TBS, ABC and others used to do. Cover the race, follow the cars. Really isn't a hard guide to follow. KISS was lost a long time ago. Maybe they should get back to KISS. The NASCAR for dummies era has ended.

No need for heads on a stick yet. But there should be a wake up call. #'s are down for a reason. Treating people as idiots and re explaining what a tire is every week doesnt help hold viewers. I do not believe its the COT. To me the Dodge has looked the most like a dodge when the cot hit. The old car looked nothing like a dodge. Some of the racing is now better. The new car can take a pretty good hit and keep going. Look how much tape there was on cars finishing near the top at the end of the race.

Anonymous said...

I would like to see FOX experiment with a new way to get viewers the running order. The ticker-tape scroll at the top of the screen bugs me because it is just so slow you have to take your eyes off the action for so long to find your favorite driver -- and in a race like this it was changing so often it was ridiculous.

I think they should do something on the HD feed the same way CNBC does on their HD feed - the full picture fills up 3/4 of the screen, and then there is a vertical sidebar of info. I would LOVE to see a think black sidebar on the side of the screen that looks like the running-order tower you see at the track - the one that gives you an ability at any one second to see the running order of any driver.

Anonymous said...

I want to say something else here - I know we don't like to think of crashes as a selling point of the sport, but I think today's crash hooked a lot of fans. It certainly hooked two non-race fans who I made sit down and watch this race today.

I think it had to do with the fact that Carl Edwards got so much pre-show coverage. My non-racing friends who didn't know more than a handful of big-name drivers (by name only), got to know Carl before the race with his pre-tape segment and then on-air interview. So when the end of the race came and it was Carl in the 99 shooting to the front, they were really paying attention with investment.

When the crash happened, their reaction wasn't one of "oooh, what a nasty wreck" but of being impressed as hell at how hard those guys were racing for the checker and how much they were willing to put on the line to be the first to get it. I suppose they could have ingested the intensity of the sport with a simple photo-finish, but the spectacular crash (one we'll be watching every Talladega for at least 20 years) really sealed it for them.

I'm not saying this was a Yarborough-Allison fight moment, but then again I could think this could have been a day NASCAR won over a number of new fans.

Anonymous said...

Mr.Daly and fellow Orbiters:

What I saw was FOX completely drop the ball when things got serious at the end of the race. In fact, I believe they were derilict.
As evidence, I cite:
1. Upon one of the many replays of the 99 car airborne, Mike Joy PROCLAIMED "..and no debris went into the crowd!". How, in the name of Bill France, could that statement be made? CLEARLY, THE VIDEO SHOWED DOZENS OF PIECES OF DEBRIS FLIYING THROUGH THE FENCE! If Mike Joy can't see a monitor, does anyone in the FOX production truck know what's going on?? I suspect the real story is that FOX continue to be NASCAR apologists at the expense of journalism.

2- No on-air announcer saw Keselowski get spun out by Kyle Busch after the checkered flag, despite the fact that it was on the left side of a split screen. When it was replyed minutes later, everyone in the booth was all a-twitter about it happening.

3-In the closing laps, Hamlin got hooked up in the high lane and was pushing to the front. It was obvious in the wide shots, but took about two laps for FOX to figure it out.

4- When Kesilowski hooked up with Edwards on the high side in the last 2 laps, FOX caught on sooner, but still missed mentioning it when they first teamed up.

5- Carl Edwards physically ran across the finish line. It begged the the rules say that a driver actually has to be in a car to get credit for crossing the line? I suspect that everyone ASSUMES that the rule book says that, but it would have shown real insight and initiative had FOX actually addressed it. Remember, drivers get points and cars get points for owners.

There was a post last week that claimed FOX uses an NFL production crew in the NASCAR production truck. It certainly appeared so yesterday. They had a fourth down and inches......and missed by a mile.

Bray Kroter

majorshouse said...

WhenWhen are we ever going to get rid of the plate? If we have to race like this then get rid of the yellow line because it has caused more wrecks than it has saved. Many like me remember the 1987 Talladega race when Bobby Allison climbed the catch fence without the plate and then the next season it was implemented to keep this from the cars getting airborne and guess what, that did not work too.
There is much right about this car, but there is still too much that NASCAR has painted the teams into boxes over and this desperately needs to be changed.

Anonymous said...

The coverage for the race was better than it has been but is still a poor excuse for coverage. The bias and personal agenda of DW continues to ruin what could be passable coverage.

Why Fox continues to do their best not to show all the empty seats in the grandstands when we know there are a lot of empty seats leaves something to be desired. They sacrifice some good race shots and action for the vanity of somebody in Daytona who doesn't watch the races. Until or unless some professionalism returns to the booth and the networks can actually show the racing and not what they're told to show, we'll still be served up second best coverage.

The mainstream media isn't going to call NASCAR to task on Talladega or Daytona because NASCAR tells them what they will and won't say or cover. That's part of the deal with getting their credentials from NASCAR. The only folks who take NASCAR to task on a regular basis is the non-credentialled web writers and they get blown off by both NASCAR and the mainstream media because they aren't credentialled.Not being credentialled, in the eyes of NASCAR and the mainstream media, means you're not knowledgable and can't be taken seriously.

NASCAR will have an official press release, the credentialled writers will re-word it to their specifications and release it as their own and nothing will change because of NASCAR's control of the media.The problems of Daytona and Talladega and the Big One will continue even if somebody gets killed. Sorry to say that but that's the reality of it.

I wish the injured fans a speedy recovery.

James said...


The announcers did see the spin out of Keselowski by Kyle Busch. They mentioned it would be looked on as Kyle purposley spinning him out, when really Keselowski didn't see Kyle there.

I thought this was was a good one and the coverage reminded me of old with the exception of the way they followed the leaders only. I wish they would just leave the "digger" camera on until the whole field passed by.

Dot said...

What happened yesterday is a good reason why we need a longer post race show and a shorter pre race one. Not so much for what happened to the injured fans but, for the Odd Wads who finished in the top 10. Yes, I'm including Marcos. Scott Speed even mentioned the unusual top 10 finishers. As I said in a prior post here, is to let the stories come to the them. Yesterday's finish was a big story. Not to mention what happened during the race.

BTW, OT. Trucks are delayed due to weather.

glenc1 said...

The broadcast didn't make me run to turn on MRN, I guess that's a good sign. Too many bumper cams, but other than that, fairly solid coverage. Much better than last week, though there were some drivers they *never* mentioned. They covered most of the guys in the earlier wrecks though, so at least we could hear their stories. Seemed well done until the end. Agree the light tone was inappropriate.

stricklinfan--"Since, in my opinion, NASCAR has always been predominantly reactive and not pro-active throughout their existence"...well said...they wouldn't want to 'react for the sake of reacting', would they? Never mind who gets hurt in the meantime. About as true as it gets. And it *IS* the job of the media to be critical and ask those questions, but that never seems to happen, at least not in a serious way (since they're not allowed to be overly critical of the PTB.)

Taking off the plates isn't the answer, lowering the banks is. But that would (a) cost money and (b) take away the wrecks that I think NASCAR wants to keep, probably for the reasons anon 3:24 says. It does cause 'excitement'. But when you've seen people get hurt/killed, even on TV...kinda changes your way of looking at it (unless you're NASCAR.)

Incidentally, I saw an early story by Jenna Fryer (later changed) also stating that it 'appeared' none of the debris went into the stands. I don't know if she was watching TV or there in person, but she apparently wasn't watching the TV or monitors closely. Just found it interesting.

glenc1 said...

BTW..not sure if anyone mentioned it in the blogging from yesterday, but Brad's name is pronounced 'Kez-low-ski'...the e is silent. How hard is it for broadcasters to get that (he's mentioned it on TV himself.)

Daly Planet Editor said...

Glen, some folks are still working on Hendrick.

Our topic today is the NASCAR on Fox coverage of the Sprint Cup race at Talladega.

We are looking for your comments on the various parts of the coverage that you liked or disliked.



Anonymous said...

I watched a bit of two of the live Sportscenter editions this morning. They both covered the wreck extensively with the same footage - except the second edition dropped the Vince Welch ending segment where he said the general "there were no life threatening injuries". The anchor instead added at the end that one woman may have a broken jaw.

(BTW, I am surprised by how many media stories and the doctor quoted at the track consider a possible broken jaw to be a "minor injury". I bet they wouldn't say that if they or someone in their family had a broken jaw or other "minor fractures"!)

On both editions, the footage of Brad K. saying (paraphrased) "it was an ugly way to race, but it was fun" sounded out of place, and the anchor on the first Sportscenter noted it may not have been "fun" for the fans who got hurt. Brad K.'s quotes (even the ones after he knew people were injured) are not coming off very well, either in print or on TV, IMO.

First Take (is that what it's still called?) on ESPN2 had a live phone interview with Carl Edwards this morning, who stood by his views about it being unsafe. Though when the host guy said "Who do you blame?" (what a dumb question), Carl very diplomatically said he didn't blame any person, he blamed the rules package they were driving under.

Carl came across very well and very calmly, the anchor guy not so much - he seemed too mesmerized by the "horrific" footage that played over and over again as Carl talked to keep his good train of thought. There were no NASCAR on ESPN analysts like Marty or Ray on the show - but I'd rather hear from Carl than them, actually. So good job First Take on getting Carl to call in.

Sophia said...


SO TRUE about broken Jaw. that is a HUGE INJURY!! thus my being so wound up at the way it was shrugged off. the whole complexity of the jaw and face, which we use all the time for those who speak and eat or smile, makes a broken one a huge deal.

I also know it will never happen due to the fans/media that LOVE CRASHES at Dega, sick as that is, but I would be TOTALLY FOR LOWERING the banking.

course I like the new Bristol and most hate it as it's less crashes.

Anonymous said...

James @ 11 am

The comments from the announcers you cite were made during the replay of the spin, not live


Anonymous said...

Better and safer racing?

go back to bias ply tires (can't make a lap flat out)get rid of restrictor plate and make the roof flaps bigger so cars stay on the pavement.
Just give the drivers enough horsepower to get out of trouble faster than they drive into it!!!!!

red said...

coupla points:
1. as noted, young mr busch did not deliberately spin keselowski at the finish. the 09 and the 88 were bumping each other in that "post-race, winner congradulations" move and the 88 pushed the 09 up the track -- and inadvertently into the path of the 18. not the 18's fault in any way and i am in no way an apologist for young mr busch. but this time, he did nothing wrong and the announcers did correct that impression. and given the chaos at the end, i don't blame them for only catching it on the replay: after watching edwards run to the finish line, i was more focused on whether newman was ok than anything else.
2.i gave my opinion on the coverage of the last lap wreck yesterday toward the end of the blog, in a response to batchief and so won't repeat it here.
3. as a follow-up to anon@3:24's observation: " . . . My non-racing friends who didn't know more than a handful of big-name drivers (by name only), got to know Carl before the race with his pre-tape segment and then on-air interview." that made me stop and think. for all the bashing i do of the pre-race nonsense, it served the purpose of introducing the sport and drivers to new viewers. that's why i've been so frustrated: i want the info, not the fluff. but our sport NEEDS new fans and the fluff pieces help get them "invested" in the race in a way that is clearly successful. anon's comment is, i think, telling and worthy of consideration.

pre-race serves a purpose, maybe not for me, but it does serve a purpose. so maybe it's incumbent upon the netowrks to expand their coverage of various drivers, giving new fans what us "old timers" consider endlessly repeated information and helping them establish an alliance to a team.

like others, i certainly would like to have a more extensive post-race show and that would serve both the newer and older fans equally well. if fox hadn't been pressed against their schedule, i choose to believe they would have covered the last lap in all aspects.

maybe it's another argument for pushing the starting times back a bit?

Anonymous said...

I hate the idea of taking screen space off the side of the screen for a scoring pylon. That would look terrible and take away from the pictures at the track. You cant compare CNBC to a race.

glenc1 said...

I just can't see TV going for more post race. I mean, the NFL is on Sundays from 11am to midnight, but that includes 3 games (3 slots for games, anyways.) Plus they have to review *all* games, not just one race & 43 teams (which of course, they never do other than finishing order). But we do at least have Speed report to follow up on the stories.

Just to mention something was interesting to me the dilemma Fox had--they're trying to show that Carl/Ryan are okay, that others are crossing the finish line (which people are always complaining they don't) and showing the fence moment all at the same moment. It was a bit chaotic, but they did go to the split screen fairly quickly. Not sure I'd have known where to go with that myself, and you have seconds to make a decision.

I have to cut Brad a little slack--he's young; he's just won his first race, and he's not used to handling quite as many interviews as a Jeff Gordon or even Carl Edwards might have. You get better with practice at knowing what people 'expect' you to say; I doubt it was indifference on his part.

Jack from PA said...

After watching the finish on YouTube a few times over, I find Mike Joy's call (and I'm a huge Mike Joy fan) one of his worst calls in recent memory. Instead of calling the fact that Edwards' car almost went into the grandstand, flipped over, etc., he said "the front end of Newman's car was destroyed." Further, it took six or seven seconds for Larry Mac to say that Brad had won the race. Part of this may have to do with the three in shock over what they saw, because as I was sitting on my couch, all I could say was "oh no! no! no!" like DW said on the air.

Joy's comments afterwards on the "no debris" that went into the grandstands were completely wrong.

Other than the end, which includes FOX's ignorance of even further reporting of those injured fans, the broadcast was a strong rebound from Phoenix. However, I do wish they'd go back to the three-box pit road format. I like it a lot more than the four boxes they show now.

Anonymous said...

I watched Victory Lane last night as well as the repeat broadcast this morning. On my big flat screen,you could clearly see what happened between Brad and Kyle. As a previous poster said, the 88 ran Brad up the hill not knowing Kyle was bearing down on him. You can see the tire smoke coming from Kyle's tires as well as skid marks behind his car as he tried to avoid contact. I agree that we need to give Brad a break. I'm sure he didn't intend for some of the things he said to come out the way they did on VL. I won't cut Kenny Wallace and Spencer any slack though for their pathetic performances. Kenny seemed to suggest that Mr Finch "bought" his victory by buying a Hendrick motor and chassis. Isn't everyone trying to provide their driver with the best car/motor combination? There's a long list of second tier teams driving Rouch and Hendrick equipment. Wallace and Spencer are just an embarrassment. I would seriously hope that Nascar do some serious introspection about what they can do to improve the safety and the quality of Super Speedway racing.I've watched and/or attended Cup races for at least 25 years. I was at the Glen when McDuffie was killed. Nascar dodged a bullet yesterday.

Richard in N.C. said...

I did not get to see very much of the post-race as I had to go run errands, but what I heard Mike J say just moments after the end of the race was that HE did not see any debris go thru the catch fence.

I do see that the NASCAR-bashers like D Poole started bashing NASCAR and ISC last night- while before the race the "outrage" at Talledega was the KFC chicken dance.

Anonymous said...

I've been to several races myself and recall reading on the back of the ticket that no one but me is responsible for my safety.
Look, if you go to a racetrack and sit ten feet from the track with cars travelling at 200mph you had better do so at your own risk and expecting the worse.
They call it a catchfence for a reason, if there was no possibility of cars flying into it they wouldn't need it.
I do hope everyone recovers ok!
I thought the broadcast was very good and was handled professionally.
I love "Dega"
Viva Talledega

Anonymous said...

anon 3:51--the tickets may say that, but the venue is also accountable legally to provide all reasonable safety measures, which is why people still sue them (and probably for a lot less serious things than this--for instance, if they had a loose stair that caused you to fall; that sort of thing.) The warning doesn't vacate their responsibility, which is why they have significant liability insurance, which they are probably going to need in this case.

I hate this race, but at least most of the broadcasting was good.

Anonymous said...

(BTW, I am surprised by how many media stories and the doctor quoted at the track consider a possible broken jaw to be a "minor injury". I bet they wouldn't say that if they or someone in their family had a broken jaw or other "minor fractures"!)

Objectively, compared to life-threatening injuries, it is a minor injury.

Anonymous said...

After watching the finish on YouTube a few times over, I find Mike Joy's call (and I'm a huge Mike Joy fan) one of his worst calls in recent memory. Instead of calling the fact that Edwards' car almost went into the grandstand, flipped over, etc., he said "the front end of Newman's car was destroyed."

VERY disappointing.We wanted to know what had happened.

Instead, the show went on as if nothing had.

I didn't hear a word about Ryan Newman's condition until The Speed Report.

And when there are multiple ambulances on the track at the site of the wreck, you don't fool anyone by pretending like everything is just fine.

What in the world were these guys thinking?

Anonymous said...

Kenny seemed to suggest that Mr Finch "bought" his victory by buying a Hendrick motor and chassis. Isn't everyone trying to provide their driver with the best car/motor combination? There's a long list of second tier teams driving Rouch and Hendrick equipment. Wallace and Spencer are just an embarrassment.

Yes, perhaps Kenny could get into one of those cars and guarantee himself a win.

Or maybe it takes a little more that that, eh, Kenny?

Anonymous said...

I just returned from Talladega and have not watched the DVR recording of the race yet. I wanted to read up on all the news from the track before watching.

I was in and out of the media center yesterday shooting photos of the race. In the media center, there are 4 flat screen TV's in there showing different shots while the race is going on. My favorite was the wide shot TV. You could hear the actual race but see the wide shot at all times. It was great! You could see multiple cars, just like the old days without all the bumper cams, digger shots, and fluff. That's the way I want to watch my races. Why they can't use that shot more on TV I'll never know, it's so much better.

Also, I was in Victory lane waiting to take photos of the race winner when the last lap wreck happened. It was scary from where I was standing and we could tell the 99 car destroyed the catch fence. You could see folks scrambling in the stands and safety workers heading to the injured fans.

In Foxes defence: It was after all the hat dance photos and victory lane celebration photos were taken, I returned to the media center and did some computer work, when we got some formal announcement of the injured fans from the track doctor. Fox couldn't have got the news any faster than the media center, so how were they to report it right after the wreck happened? They didn't know either. I'm sure it was total ciaos at that time and well best left to the safety people to do their jobs instead of a few TV cameras getting in the way of those in need of help.

We were told how many fans were hurt and the extent of their injuries. Two were flown out by Medivac, not for life threatening injuries, but because of traffic being tied up after the race.

JD, I just wanted to give a little insight.


The J said...

anyone catch the convo about this on around the horn? love it how those guys always say no one cares about nascar, then they pretend to be experts.

Anonymous said...

"Objectively, compared to life-threatening injuries, it is a minor injury." A minor injury is a cut or a bruise. A broken bone is NOT a minor injury. Moderate, maybe. Not minor, except in NASCAR PR spin.

According to NASCAR Nuts and Bolts blog, the woman who likely has the broken jaw is still in the hospital in FAIR condition. Doesn't sound minor to me.

The other person who was in the hospital has been released.

ryan said...

thank goodness for talladega ! good point about speed prerace show..they should start earlier so they end when fox comes on with the hollywood hotel..
i loved chris myers summation of edwards wreck at the finish !

ben said...

i thought fox do a solid job of showing the wrecks and replaying them...chris myers was the first to point out carl edwards strategy in the race and jeff hammond paid it off..
i wish fox could have stayed on for more post-race coverage...myers gave info on fan injuries but was hurried off the air.

red said...

@SL: thanks for the insight from the media center! We all knew there had to be better tv images available than what we usually have to suffer thru each week! so how come it is we don't get to see it? altho' yesterday wasn't as bad as it has been, it still was substandard, in my opinion.

as for the information in re: spectator injuries, i can only reiterate what i said last night: i wasn't looking for details. what i expected, however, was that the fox team would have at least recognized that metal and debris likely did, in fact, go into the stands and that they -- or some other nascar tv partner -- would update viewers as soon as possible. that didn't happen and that lack of information coupled with what i felt was a cavalier attitude is what bothers me most as a fan.
as someone else mentioned, i didn't find out newman's condition until well after the race and once i had seen that edwards was ok, my concern next turned to newman, whose car took a direct hit on the windshield.

i understand it was chaotic at the end of the race and that there were so many important things unfolding simultaneously. i did not expect fox to have all the information nailed down. but i did expect a far better call of the last lap and at least some indication that they knew there was a serious problem that needed to be followed, if not by them, then by someone else.

as i said yesterday: this same crew did an absolutely stellar job last year during the 00 wreck. yesterday, they failed to meet their own high standard, in my opinion.

Newracefan said...

OK I'm going to defend Fox a little here, keep in mind I AM in the medical field. 1) I do not think Mike and the guys were even aware that there were injuries until Chris said something, remember they are looking at the replay on a little computer screen not a big HD TV. My guess is based on Jenna F's first AP post that the initial word was everyone was fine, it probable applied to the drivers and not the fans but you know how that initial info can be messed up. 2) Because they were not aware their behavior was not what we feel it should have been. 3)Does anyone really think Brad K knew about the injuries when he was on VL, that was taped before he went to the media center, I saw the media center interviews he was appropriately concern, granted he was still very excited and I can understand that. 3)Broken jaws are minor injuries, I am speaking both as a medical person and someone who has had a broken jaw. I was seen in the ER more for the cuts on my face and sent home with a follow up with your doctor on Monday, this was a Friday. Major injuries require substantial medical intervention (usually surgery), broken jaw needs wiring done on the teeth to keep the jaw in position. I am by no means stating the injury is not significant (I am actually more worried about the facial cuts- they leave scars) but when a medical person makes the list they are minor injuries.

I know I am in the minority here but it's my opinion

Now on the the actual coverage, Fox did a decent job, I remember screaming last year about the incar camera cuts and this time I was just annoyed. I watched RaceDay and FF through the Fox prerace, they need to stick to a 30 minutes and leave the fun to Wendy and Hermie.

Dot said...

While watching NN I noticed that there was a break in the fence just past where Carl flew up into it. Another few feet and there would have been even more injured.

I guess those driver segments do work per anon 3:24s comment. It reminds of soap operas that mention the first and last names of a character when referring to them. It's for the new viewers. We were all there once.

Robyn said...

Interesting point about not following up about Newman. I didn't notice it since I knew he was ok from his scanner. But if Stewart hadn't lost a cylinder during the last caution, I wouldn't have known, because I did the same thing that Tony did- switched over to Newman's radio to listen in. Don't jump on Tony for switching. At the restart, Edwards was behind him, and before he "left" his channel for Newman's, he made sure that Carl knew what the situation was and that Tony was going to drop out of line and ride around for the last 4 laps - no spotter needed.

I think that it was Newman's CC (or it could have been Newman's dad) who came on after Newman was worrying about his wrecked race car and said shut up about the car, we were going to build you a new one anyway and then asked how the driver was. When Newman said ok, as long as the driver is fine, everything is ok.

Anonymous said...

I had to chuckle at the comment that people know what they're getting into when they attend a Nascar race and that they accept what it says on the back of the ticket. S-u-r-e... I'm sure the heirs of anyone seriously injured or killed at a Nascar race would tell all the trial lawyers calling them 'forget about suing,he knew what he was getting into!" Now I get it.

Anonymous said...

JD, I would like to begin by saying, "I love a long, boring race". I have always said that. I would just as soon never see a wreck again. Having said that...a man called into "Windtunnel" last night and told Dave that Nascar needs to adopt the Indy Car and F1 "NO BLOCKING RULE"! It would have eliminated Carl's wreck yesterday, Kyle going across the front of Jeff's car, Vicker's blocking Jr. at Daytona, etc.
Marybeth Wallick

Richard in N.C. said...

JD, I seem to be coming back to a question I've had for the past few weeks and that is what the FOX booth is watching during the race. A few weeks ago I saw Mike Joy on either SPEED or FOX and I understood him to say that he, DW, and Larry stand during the race and primarily watch it out the window, but with monitors in front of them below eye level. Now if that is the case, wouldn't it be likely that Mike's real-time view of the incident was out the window and from that vantage point he did not see any debris breaching the catch fence? I know I heard Mike say he saw no debris go thru the fence, and then I left to run errands, so I did not see the FOX wrap up.

red said...

richard, your comment shook loose a remembrance from sunday. several times, dw exclaimed that there was trouble somewhere on the track and it took the truck a few seconds to key up the camera which showed what he had seen. not sure if that supports your point but it sure makes me go hmmmmmm.

Palmetto said...

Bray Croter @ 7:45, I was watching on 13" set in the garage and could see the debris into the stands. Either Fox needs better monitors in the booth, or Carl can auction off the car to get Larry Mac new glasses.

Fox totally blew the coverage on this. I don't expect cameras shoved through the fence, but the joviality throughout the post race was inappropriate. If a track or medical official was unavailable to comment, or Fox had no information, they should have said so explicitly.

Sophia said...

Depending on the exact nature of a jaw break, it can bother a person for the rest of their life.

If you think jaw issues are nothing, just google Jenny Craig and read about her jaw nightmare years ago...I am sure it still bothers her and affects her speech.

I agree, calling that a 'minor issue' is pure PR spin.

There are quality of life issues at stake as well.

But nobody cares about that.

According to NASCAR I have been told if a driver is ok after a wreck, it probably means he is breathing without a respirator.

I continue to be amazed at how the media is MISSING THE POINT of why people are upset.

DEMEANOR on the air.

Ambulances LINED UP and folks still exclaiming HOW exciting and fence did it's job.

Sure it was a freak accident...but


Anonymous said...

1) I do not think Mike and the guys were even aware that there were injuries until Chris said something, remember they are looking at the replay on a little computer screen not a big HD TV.For pete's sake, they are THERE, looking out a window. If I can see eight ambulances on the scene on my TV, they surely can see them as well!

darbar said...

I feel that Fox missed numerous opportunities for stories on both pit lane and in the garage. I would have liked to know what happened to Tony Stewart's car, not just when he fell off at the last re-start but in any of the wrecks. I would have liked updates on if or when any of the wrecked cars from the first mess would be coming back on the track. They just seem to forget all that.

And then of course the worst of it all---Mike Joy's apparent vision problems with regards to the very obvious debris going into the crowd.

Sophia said...

Chad on TWIN just said the ONLY way to get the cars separated is to KNOCK DOWN the banking but he knows they won't do it and the 'fans would not like it'.

This fan would be happy to see that happen.

But as I said earlier, I like the new Bristol with multi grooves as opposed wrecking guys out of the way. The COT IS MAKING some races boring but it had nothing to do with what happened yesterday.

Nice to see TWIN have the full team on tonight and discussing this.

Perhaps to make up for the INDEED what some of us have called INAPPROPRIATE attitude and demeanor at the end of the race.

Vicky D said...

And we are watching TWIN and they showed a crew member of Kahne's getting knocked down and the Nascar official pulling him up. Didn't know if anyone else had seen it or knew how he was.

Anonymous said...

More pouring of water on the Fox and NASCAR parade.

James Finch, the underdog owner of the #09 Chevrolet, may have to spend his race winnings paying off environmental fines for his construction business -

Robyn said...

Vicky D- The broadcast did mention that it was the front tire carrier and the front of the car (assuming tire) fell on his foot. They took him to the care center and was released and said to be doing ok. I don't remember if they said what the extent of the injury was, but it couldn't have been good having a 3400 lb. car land on your foot.

ronnie said...

not sure who wrote about fox and the post race jovial attitude..but you weren't paying attention..myers was quick to point out some fan injuries and said they were not life threatening and then chris and jeff celebrated brad's win and carl's adventure..
mike joy spoke too quickly saying no debri went into the stands..

jerrod said...

this is for bevo and his water cooler can talk all you want about the guys on fox and their years in racing but thank goodness for a professional broadcaster like chris meyers who has experience in other sports as well... he at least pronounced the winner's name correctly and handled the postrace with respect and decency.

Daly Planet Editor said...

There is a new column up for your comments about the Monday versions of NASCAR Now on ESPN2 and This Week in NASCAR on SPEED.



Anonymous said...

Sophia please tell us again how you'd like to see the banking "knocked down" one more time. Twice wasn't enough. :rolleyes:

Yeah destroying the character of the two most hallowed circuits in stock car racing history would be brilliant. We really need another California, Pocono or Michigan race putting everyone to sleep driving fans and tv audiences away while the cheater cars pull 10 second leads on the field. Good cure if you are having problems sleeping for sure.

So Carl says it's dangerous and Jimmie says racing "sucks" there. They should just park their cars after one lap every time they race at Daytona and Talladega now. They can fly their million dollar jets to their million dollar homes and think about all the millions of dollars they are making.

The side/reverse aero of these cars needs to be studied. Redesign the circa 1993 roof flaps with modern technology and add more of them. For some reason the ones on the #99 didn't deploy nearly as fast as they should have. Take the plates off the cars and NASCAR can develop a superspeedway wing/wicker package that can slow the cars to around 210mph. Make handling a concern at Talladega again with those speeds and instead of the 30 car wreckfest packs with throttles wide open you will see 5-10 car breakaway groups and others having to lift in the corners like the good old days.