Monday, May 25, 2009

Patience And Patriotism Mix At LMS


After a while, it did not matter if you were a TV viewer or a crew member. Patience was at a premium during the long weekend at Lowe's Motor Speedway.

Fox defaulted to non-NASCAR programming on Sunday as rain delayed the Coca-Cola 600. The TV effort began on Monday with a one-hour version of RaceDay on SPEED. That group did a good job of resetting the scene for the race and updating the mood of the drivers and teams.

Once Mike Joy led the Fox team onto the air, circumstances continued to test the patience of all involved. Chris Myers and Jeff Hammond were the relief team for the guys in the booth as the rain interrupted the racing time and time again.

During one break, Larry McReynolds gave fans his report card for the various Sprint Cup teams through this first part of the season. Fox only has one more race remaining at Dover, so they are beginning to transition into wrapping-up the details of their part of the Sprint Cup season.

Waltrip and Hammond disagreed frequently on the grades being assigned to the various teams by McReynolds. Opinions are good to hear, but there was a lot of judging going-on in terms of what should have been and what could be.

After a while, the TV coverage was just following the leaders after the restarts. Trying to capture the racing at the back of the field was apparently a tough assignment once again. There were no triple splits on pit stops, but the real-time scoring worked well as the cars left. Several times, major changes in the field were lost when they happened on pit road.

Mike Joy did a good job of keeping on top of the stories, but the inability to then show what he and the other members of the booth were talking about was rough. Over these final Fox races, Joy has taken to calling out the number of the turn where the action was happening. This is certainly a gentle reminder for the TV team to follow the real leader of the pack.

As the racing action ground toward 3PM, a new wrinkle developed in the officiating of the sport. NASCAR threw a caution flag, slowed the field to a stop on the frontstretch and shut-off the car engines. In the same kind of show of patriotism that fans know from the opening ceremonies, the crew members lined pit road and the entire speedway joined the nation in a minute of silence honoring the military veterans who have served this country. That was a great moment to put things in perspective.

The rain started again shortly after the restart, beginning the familiar cycle once again. The TV scramble was on and everyone possible who cooperated was interviewed. Unfortunately, that did not include Dale Earnhardt Jr. or Tony Eury Jr.

It was over five hours after the first laps when the Fox TV cameras showed a pensive David Reutimann squatting next to his wet car. He was leading when the rain came after taking a chance by staying on the track. The tension on his face was in sharp contrast to the smiling Michael Waltrip who seemed to be smelling a Sprint Cup Series win as an owner.

Eventually, the normally optimistic Jeff Hammond began to tell the tale that in his mind things should be done. He pointed to the crews, drivers and others who needed to begin the turn-a-round to head for Dover. Ironically, it was Hammond on Sunday who kept telling TV viewers that the race was getting set to begin in just a short while. That never happened. Talk about a real turn-a-round.

The final rain showers came around 6PM and NASCAR finally called it a day. The winner's interview was solid and having an underdog like MWR win a race made for a good story. There was one final deep breath from the TV crew and then it was done.

This was a bittersweet way to close-out the Fox telecast. The TV team travels to Dover for what is normally a grinder of a race and then is done. LMS was really the last big stage that Joy, McReynolds, Waltrip and Hammond get to share. It will only be remembered as wet, dreary and very long.

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89 comments:

PammH said...

I cannot begin to tell you how disappointing it is to have 2 of our "premier" races rain shortened. I didn't watch much of this one, did see the Tony episode tho-funny!

Anonymous said...

How did Dale JR go from 40th (where he was most of the rain delay) to 38th?!

Haus14 said...

These rain shortened races are the most frustrating things for me as a fan. There is no rhyme or reason as to how they determine wether or not to call the race. They have lights, but obviously that doesn't matter. Hoots decided he was tired and wanted to go home. These guys are in Charlotte, they have waited this long, why not wait some more? I would be especially disappointed if i was one of the fans who waited and waited only to have the race called because the empty suites became impatient.

Anonymous said...

If you all think this was bad, just wait until the Brickyard. I heard Carl Edwards say that in tire testing they had improved the tire over last year, but that the tire still could not hold up past 50% of a fuel run. Between the Daytona 500 rain, the Coke 600 rain and the inevitable letdown of the Brickyard (after last year's debacle and this year's economy I think it will be empty, especially since the Indy 500 wasn't well attended), this is not a good year for NASCAR's biggest races.

Lou said...

Just to add to my comment from "in progress". Did not see the three o'clock scheduled yellow coming. It was a nice thing to do. Thank you nascar and fox

Anonymous said...

So anyways.....about the broadcast things. I was glad to see FOX stick with it expecially since they had so many opportunities to dump the broadcast and show us re-runs of FOX shows. FOX ends next week and TNT starts up after that. There are some clips from the NASCAR on TNT press conference form Charlotte on NASCAR.Com.

red said...

anon: the 88 didn't pit on that final stop so he ended up gaining two spots. believe you me, he did NOT have the car to gain even two spots.

Anonymous said...

WOW
WHAT AN IRONIC TWIST OF FATE AND CIRCUMSTANCE THAT THE RACE SHOULD BE "CALLED' AT 26 MINUTES PAST THE HOUR!!!!
HOW LUCKY FOR FOX THAT THE STARS SHOULD ALIGN IN SUCH A ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME PHASE TO HAVE A WEATHER RELATED CANCELLATION PERMIT THEM A CLEAN SIGN OFF AND TRANSITION TO LOCAL NEWS!!!
GEE WHIZ, ITS ALMOST AS THOUGH IT WAS PLANNED.....BUT GOLLY, THEY WOULDN'T SCREW THE FANS JUST SO FOX COULD GET ITS LOCAL NEWS AND NETWORK PROGRAMMING ON THE AIR, RIGHT?.........I SAID, RIGHT????

Dot said...

To expand on Anons 6:39 comment. Speaking of Indy, and I know I'm going to get heat for this comment, but....maybe the CUP cars are just not meant to race there. With the tire issues and the track the way it is, it isn't that great of a race.

Tony George has said he will not change the surface for the CUP cars. I don't blame him.

NASCAR and the TV partners need to come up with a better rain out policy. Especially when rain is on the way for most of the day and night. When they started showing the drivers already in their street clothes, I knew it was over. As did they. Why did we have to wait?

stricklinfan82 said...

First off, major thanks to the on-site TV crew for hanging in there and major kudos to the Fox television network for staying with the race through its conclusion.

It sure is a stark contrast to compare Fox hanging in there for the race fans through 6:30 PM on a Monday evening to their counterparts at ABC who immediately dump everything NASCAR the second a race runs one minute past their scheduled off time.

As usual the on-air crew was top notch. It was especially enjoyable to see Fox take the shackles off Chris Myers for a minute or two and let him engage the booth in a very intelligent debate on their team grades. One can only hope that those restraints will be permanently removed by the powers-that-be in 2010, because he could be an enormous asset and make this on-air crew even better if what we saw for that brief couple minute period could be allowed to take place all the time.

I still don't understand the decision-making process made by the production crew over how to cover yellow flag pit stops. The 4-box was a disaster so it's definitely nice to have the overall pit road perspective back. I will never understand though how Fox can justify using the left side of that screen to rotate 3-4 second snippets of 3-4 different pit stops in a single box. Never was this glaring issue more apparent then when race leader Brian Vickers fell from 1st to 10th on a late yellow flag stop. We only saw a snippet of the leader's stop live and due to no follow-up were left completely clueless as to what went wrong.

I'm all for innovation when it adds something to the viewing experience. The Fox exclusive of split-screening green flag stops with the on-track leader is a great example of a positive, viewer-enhancing innovation. Using one box to show small bits of 3-4 different yellow flag stops when the other networks use a triple-split that shows all of those stops in their entirety is NOT a positive, viewer-enhancing innovation however.

Though rain robbed us of a green flag finish there is no doubt here that the Fox practice of shooting the finish line on the last lap with an obstructed view speed shot and putting that shot in a very tiny box split-screened with a huge shot of the winner doing absolutely nothing on the backstretch on his cool down lap is another prime example of this. Obstructing the perspective of the finish line to focus on absolutely positively nothing going on down the backstretch is not a positive, viewer-enhancing experience.

One can only hope there will be some major behind-the-scenes changes in philosophy at Fox this off-season. Being innovative in a manner that takes things away from the TV viewers is not an effective way to be making production decisions, in my personal opinion.

Palmetto said...

Dot, Indy may be good television but it's lousy when you're there live. The sight lines are hideous anywhere except in the corners. Gods forbid you should purchase one of those seats in the infield facing out.

Tony George needs NASCAR more than NASCAR needs to Indy. The 'Brickyard' race sells more tickets than the Indy 500, and F1 doesn't run there any more. It probably costs more to put on the 500 since it's spread over three weekends, instead of the three-day Cup show. The NASCAR TV audience is bigger than the IRL, and the income from TV rights is probably bigger too.

Keep the Truck and Nationwide races at ORP, and move the Brickyard Cup race somewhere else. Kentucky is close, if the lawsuit is ever dropped, and it wouldn't cost SMI or ISC a race.

Anonymous said...

To have the 50th anniversary of the Coke (nee World) 600 be the shortest one ever run seems pretty sad. Also, the officials let the fans sit in the stands in the rain for over 2 hours, with the radar showing they were done - not a good way to reward them either. Loved how they showed Edwards and Burton in street clothes way before the official word was announced. Not exactly the extravaganza it should have been, but, as the saying goes, you can't fight Mother Nature. Actually both CLT winners backed into Victory Lane!

Anonymous said...

JD,
Any word on when/if TWIN will be on tonight?

Jack from PA said...

Here are my thoughts on this "24 Hours of the Coca-Cola 600 (300-something)":

Would have liked SPEED to have showed the invocation and National Anthem on RaceDay, especially with it being Memorial Day.

I thought everyone on the on-air squad did a wonderful job of maintaining a level of enthusiasm that was above what other people (like ESPN) would have showed. I think of the three networks that cover Cup races, the FOX team is the best at covering what I call "marathon" races like today. They have an experienced group that will calmly and methodically dig for stories and interviews, and show them accordingly. I especially liked the discussion of the team report cards.

In the end, I blame NASCAR for yet another debacle at a "crown jewel" event. What they need is to get a spokesman, whether it's Mike Helton, Robin Pemberton, that Randy Poston who I've never seen on camera--ANYONE, to keep us informed every hour on the hour of what they are doing. I cannot stand speculation, especially on a national holiday when some of us can be doing more productive things than watching a rain-delayed race. As I type this, however, I begin to think about the countless number of fans who were in attendance, and the perseverance they showed the entire day. I just wish they would have a more uniform plan that all NASCAR fans know about that would keep us all informed on what is going on, and what NASCAR is thinking.

On to much more positive note, I applaud NASCAR for the very nice and appropriate gesture at 3PM by bringing the cars to a stop and having all pit crew members stand on pit road for a national moment of silence. Thought that was pretty cool to see.

All in all, I think if they still have this meeting tomorrow, there's a large number of topics I can think about to discuss, especially if it involves making the sport better for the fans.

Daly Planet Editor said...

TWIN is cancelled and Victory Lane will run in its place. Obviously, Michael Waltrip, Steve Byrnes and Marcos Ambrose could not get a one hour TV show taped in time for 8PM.

Victory Lane is done and being set-up for the 8PM air time right now.

I have a feeling it is going to be a show to remember.

NASCAR Now popped-up at 7PM with no warning and ESPNEWS is still on the post-race press conferences.

JD

Anonymous said...

HOW LUCKY FOR FOX THAT THE STARS SHOULD ALIGN IN SUCH A ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME PHASE TO HAVE A WEATHER RELATED CANCELLATION PERMIT THEM A CLEAN SIGN OFF AND TRANSITION TO LOCAL NEWS!!!

First, of all, stop YELLING!

Secondly, define 'clean."

The NASCAR broadcast ended at about 36 mins after the hour.

That left 24 mins for stations to fill. How is that "clean"?

Anonymous said...

All right, I'll say it.

I'm just as patriotic as anyone out there, and anyone who says I'm not? Whatever.

To stop the race for that ceremony, under these circumstances (rain clearly on the radar coming shortly thereafter) was one of the most ridiculous things I've ever seen. It just adds more fuel to the fire for people to think that NASCAR isn't really a sport. (CNBC sports business reporter Darren Rovell was so flabbergasted by the fact that we don't complete all laps of the Daytona 500, no matter if the the laps have to be made up the next day or later, that he called the NASCAR PR folks to explain it to him. He wasn't happy with the answers, by the way.)

If the race had been run yesterday, on time, in sunny conditions, then yes to the ceremony. It could be considered a "halftime" in that situation.(Although one has to wonder why you would add MORE time to the year's longest race when you already had an extensive prerace ceremony; why not have the crews and drivers line up before the race?)

But NASCAR and ringmaster Bruton knew the rain was coming, knew this was a "crown jewel" race, knew these fans wanted to see as much racing as possible...and they STILL had the drivers get out of their cars for a long period time for a ceremony.

The jokes just write themselves.

Very sad; I'm realizing this sport is will never grow any larger than it already is, largely due to the people who put entertainment before competition and racing.

Anonymous said...

I would be especially disappointed if i was one of the fans who waited and waited only to have the race called because the empty suites became impatient.

What? How can empty suites be impatient?

Did you mean they were empty because the VIPs left, or what?

Anonymous said...

Very sad; I'm realizing this sport is will never grow any larger than it already is, largely due to the people who put entertainment before competition and racing.

That wasn't entertainment.

It was a show of patriotism.

And, frankly, if following presidential directive asking for a moment of silence honoring our service members keeps NASCAR from growing, then I'm all right with that.

Anonymous said...

and they STILL had the drivers get out of their cars for a long period time for a ceremony.

Really?

I didn't see this; I saw them stop for a moment, shut down the engines, and then re-start and go.

How'd I miss the drivers out of their cars for a long period of time?

Daly Planet Editor said...

Could you please try to use one post for your comments please?

You do not need to highlight a comment when you are responding to it. We are asking for your opinion, not your response to the opinions of others.

Thanks again,

JD

majorshouse said...

I really liked the caution at 3:00 honoring our veterans. I thought it was a nice touch and I don't remember the drivers getting out of the cars then, and let's face it, NASCAR fans are some of the most patriotic fans alive.

stricklinfan82 said...

anon @ 7:26,

I respect your viewpoint and completely understand where you're coming from. Yes that break ultimately cost the fans several laps of racing, it was a big inconvience to the teams that were never forewarned, it might very well have cost many drivers several finishing positions, and in Brian Vickers's case may have cost him the win.

However, to me it was a very touching tribute and an extremely small sacrifice for us to make to honor the individuals that made a much greater sacrifice to allow us to spend our Monday afternoon escaping from the real world and enjoying the sport we all love so much in the first place.

Major kudos to NASCAR for making that decision, and major thank you to all of you out there who are serving / have served to protect our freedom.

Daly Planet Editor said...

I really do not want to get off on a tangent with this issue.

The President established a national minute of silence at 3PM and other pro sports stopped as well.

It was a strong message of patriotism and made complete sense. Had NASCAR talked about that before the event, it might have made it easier for some.

Still, stepping back and taking a look at the bigger picture, there is no issue here at all.

Now, onto the Fox and SPEED TV coverage....please.

JD

Anonymous said...

It sure is a stark contrast to compare Fox hanging in there for the race fans through 6:30 PM on a Monday evening to their counterparts at ABC who immediately dump everything NASCAR the second a race runs one minute past their scheduled off time.
You got to be kidding. Fox had absolutley ZERO new prime time network programming at risk over this. Yesterday, they had all evening. Today, they didn't have anything until 8pm, and even then, that was all reruns.

It was a "no brainer" to stick with the race. The entertainment side of Fox had nothing to lose.

If American Idol was in jeopardy, Fox would not hesitate to bump the race to SPEED.

BillPear said...

Clearly NA$CAR is not happy with the result of this race if they call it like they should!

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

Anon 8:03PM, last warning my friend. Give us your thoughts and please stop criticizing others.

JD

Anonymous said...

I would have liked to hear something from the NASCAR brass as to their decision process. Get somebody on TV that actually has a clue. Either the Fox reporters were just too lazy, or they were afraid of what they would say ... no racing for at least 1 hour ... which would have driven viewers to change the channel. Fox handled this extremely poorly.

Daly Planet Editor said...

In the past, Mike Helton has just walked down the hall from the NASCAR suite to the TV booth and explained the decision.

As you referenced, that sure would have helped.

glenc1 said...

I didn't like the Fox people ignoring the radar we could all check on our computers. How stupid do they think we are? That said, I don't know that other networks would do differently.

My only concern at 3pm was that the cars wouldn't restart (and the 48 didn't, apparently, did they ever mention that?) But it was certainly the right thing to do (and they'd have looked foolish if they didn't, plus it gave the loyal fans a special moment.) I have sat through rain delays, it is no fun.

The report card bit went on too long, but it was nice to see a serious Chris Myers....even with the predictable Berggren age jokes.

I agree with Jack in PA, a regular update from Helton or Hunter would be a plus....even if you just say you 'don't know'. When they lugged out the Coke Bottle, the jig was up though, lol. I did grow tired of DW going on about Michael, even though I was happy for their win.

Anonymous said...

Mike Helton in the booth would have been nice, that was a long race broadcast today and the guys really didn't fill us in as much as they could have. I loved the military tribute but since the crew chiefs couldn't plan around it, what if this affects the points at the Chase cutoff? JD, you said this happened in other pro sports today. I'll take your word for it because I was watching the race, but did their moment of silence in the other sports possibly affect the results of the events?

Dot said...

Reut is now a member of the three different series wins club. His win is a big deal. There's even an AP story about it on my local newspaper website.

I accidentally caught N Now and the interview with Reut and CC (can't remember his name). Even the CC seemed surprised at the win. If he is cynical like me, I'm sure he thought NASCAR would restart the race no matter what the weather was going to do.

It's refreshing when someone other than the golden ones win. This needs to happen more often. Without the two plus hour rain delay.

Why was FOX all cloak and dagger about the impending rain. Like glenc1 said, we could look it up ourselves. Funny thing at NASCAR.com's leaderboard. When you clicked on "weather" it took you to CNN. OK, but it was showing Homesteads' weather. Went to Charlotte and the map did not show any green at all. Conspiracy? Just kidding.

Anonymous said...

The only other major sport going on at this time was baseball. Pausing a baseball game doesn't affect the competition. In any event, I really don't view this differently than another random unplanned caution that could happen due to a wreck or debris.

Jimbacca said...

Helton used to appear in the booth during races or during times like this. Are they keeping him away incase someone tries to hit him with questions about current issues?

If they knew the race wasn't going to restart they should have just called it instead of having it drone on. The booth was tapped out on things to say. It did allow the lowes paint piece which was cool. But other than that nothing groundbreaking.

The stoppage for the military salute was top notch. I don't see how it would impact the race it was basically TiVo of the race. They hit the pause button and went on. Simply a competition yellow. Plus it's the military. No matter what those people in harms way and elsewhere deserve the respect.

Sophia said...

with all the stopping and starting I had NO problem with the brief pause for 3pm.

Heck what if it had been a bad wreck and red flag. Same thing. So the 48 didn't start, it was a RARE moving moment and in the grand scheme of things, not a big deal if it affected a couple of points. Mother Nature caused more problems than anything.

I am sure the boys in the booth were muzzled to share real feelings from NASCAR suits as far as rain delays and had to do their jobs.

What I want to know is if Robby g is going to get a penalty for the rear axle issue. That STINKS since he came in third...no TWIN to hear them speak of that and not known/mentioned on VL or I missed it.

Dot said...

@ dear Sophia, I just read a small blurb (no details) about Robby. Man, what are the odds of him finishing 3rd and then having an inspection problem?

I had to record VL because Digger loving Dan has control of the TV. Good thing he goes to bed early. I'm still sad that TWIN was canceled. I hope Marcos will be rescheduled.

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

Lesley,

Unfortunately, it rarely works that way. If you have been over to other sites, vulgarity and personal attacks dominate the comments.

Our rule is simple, give us your thoughts. If you want to disagree with a comment, do so by telling us your opinion.

It's been working pretty good for a couple of years now, so it will remain.

How about your comments on the race coverage?

JD

Daly Planet Editor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Reutimann hadn't even claimed his first Cup trophy yet and DW had already decided on air where it will be housed. Not in the Franchise's collection, but at Waltrip racing. Classy.

Richard in N.C. said...

Wouldn't talking to TV and radio about the rain delay be part of Jim Hunter's job? I don't mean to be flippant, but what else does he have to do during a rain delay?

At the same time, I don't watch as much baseball as I used to but I am always amazed to see that sometimes rain is rain (game stopped) and sometimes rain isn't rain and play continues in what sometimes appears to be a downpour - but I don't recall hearing the announcers give a real explanation for playing in the rain.

Wisconsin Steve said...

I was happy to see FOX stick with NASCAR all day without dumping it for other programming or a rerun of an old race.

In my opinion, Chris Myers was especially impressive this weekend. He seems to be more comfortable talking about NASCAR than ever before. This is also the first time I ever remember him sticking around for a Monday race.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Richard, he is over in the infield, and usually handles rule and driver issues.

Helton is in Race Control (remember the NASCAR Confidential show) and can just walk right down the hall. He has many times in the past.

Steve,

When Myers got permission to shift gears he is the one that kicked-off all the good discussions on NASCAR topics. I think he really opened some eyes this weekend.

JD

Haus14 said...

my original post at 6:38 did have a typo. It should have read "empty suits" not "empty suites"

my apologies to those who were a little confused.

Dot said...

Right when FOX is going off the race air, Myers shines. Go figure.

I always laugh at his Dick "older than dirt" Berggren jokes.

Jack from PA said...

Guys, I just wonder if Myers was this way because FOX and our boy David Hill let him talk about serious issues rather than his Comedy Central bit, or if he is finally starting to take this sport seriously. With only one race left until 2010 we probably won't know the answer, but he did impress me as well as others here and elsewhere I am sure.

DW's favoritism down the road got a little annoying, I'll admit. He was calling it at 5:45, long before it was official. Even if he had said it "looked" like it was David's race, it would sound better than him declaring him the winner. I know it's hard, but you've done this for nine seasons now.

hal76 said...

I have to admit I was a bit torn about the stoppage at 3 pm. While I appreciate the sentiment to a deserving group, I don't think it should be done during a race.

The 600 and the Indy 500 are gigantic displays of reverence to our military and those who sacrificed. The playing of "Taps", the military personnel at the tracks, the moments of silence. This is done pre-race. The 600 pre-race show is a giant salute to the troops. Did they need to do it again in the middle of the race, especially one that was fighting rain all day?

If the race had gone on without stoppages for rain starting at 12 noon, three hours from then those teams would have been in the thick of their race strategy for the last 100 miles. Doing it then would have had a significant effect on their race strategies as opposed to it being on lap 158 or so.

Again, no disrespect intended to the thought behind the gesture.

Daly Planet Editor said...

hal,

As I said earlier, when the President asks us to stop what we are doing to remember the reason we are able to do it, that is what we should do.

Take a deep breath and a step back and your perspective may change.

JD

bevo said...

The positive part of the Fox coverage. The behind the scenes guys did a great job bringing us the race and the non-race. No technical glitches.

There appears to be a struggle though between the announcers and the Producer/Director as the season has progressed. However you felt about the tone of the broadcasts in previous years the one constant on the screen was synchronization between what they were talking about and what we saw. My guess is that something gives by the time they come back with the Daytona 500.

Which leads me to my final observation. Mike Joy is for me the voice of NASCAR on TV. Larry McReynolds, despite his butchering of the English language at times, has great insight and can be counted on to explain race strategy. He did a great job doing play-by-play on HotPass last year too. Darrell Waltrip for me is fine when he gets serious. Not so much the other times. However... their constant harping about ending the race was as unprofessional as I can imagine. They are more than handsomely compensated for their time on camera. They are highly skilled and no I couldn't even think about doing that job. We don't want to hear about how much they want to go home. Why should we as an audience sit here and listen to guys who don't want to be there?

Just like a race is often remembered not by the action during but by the finish so is this broadcast by me. My lasting impression of the 600 is of an announcing team that acted like a bunch of seven year olds in the backseat constantly asking "are we there yet?"

Yes. Next weekend you'll be there and then you won't have to get back in the car until February.

elena, chicago said...

NASCAR telecasts have always been proud of being patriotic. That's even from drivers and teams that are not sponsored by the military.

I think it's great to have the fighter planes overhead, the honor guards, and guest service personnel promentaly honored.

There was a time in our nation, where all the rage was to be disrespectful to anybody in a military uniform. I remember those days when my husband came home from Viet Nam. Thank goodness things have changed over the years.

Great thing to do, NASCAR.

PS. The 3pm thing was not a President Obama invention. That used to be a tradition that was done all the time. Also, the flags were flown at half staff from 6am to noon (not at 3pm).

Anonymous said...

Best part of the telecast: No Dale Jr.

Anonymous said...

My expectations for a 600 mile Cup race were low, but even with that, I was greatly disappointed with the Nationwide and Cup races this weekend. I love Reutimann,thought he would win this year, but not when he was running 12th and is one of a couple of drivers not pitting. I knew something was up as we approached Prime Time. The comments from the booth were consistently in favor of throwing in the towel.I noticed on VL that pictures of the track showed that it had stopped raining. I'm against 600 mile "races". I just wanted to see the leaders race to when the race was called. The experts on VL always claim that the drivers race all out,all the time. Then Stewart gives an interview cricizing Reutimann for racing too hard early in the race.Then Spencer of all people says that "Billy Bad Butt" was just running his mouth!?! I've overdosed on Joy and DW. McReynolds,Dale Jarrett and Petree consistently do the best job. Nascar fans got shortchanged this weekend (not to mention Carl Long).

majorshouse said...

I too thought that Chris Meyers did a great job this weekend and was happy to see him start to come out of his shell, but DW has got to go. He may know the sport, but his constant hyping things like Digger or Kyle Bush or even declaring the winner before NASCAR ever decided to call the race was totally irresponsible and I am frankly looking forward to TNT's coverage and hopefully it will be as great as it was last season. I ahve a feeling that many of the reasons that the lack of viewship of the races this year clearly has to lie on the shoulders of what people have either seen from the broadcast booth and are tired of it and are tired of just seeing the cars in the front and seeing bad racing from the COT. Now it is a safer car but let's face it, the racing has gotten boring until the last few laps and I am enjoying watcyhing someone that will race the entire race and not just ride around.

Anonymous said...

The reaspn we didn't see or hear from a NASCAR official was because they had decided to call the race just before 6 pm, but didn't want FOX to lose audience.
Carl Edwards and Jeff Burton were just 2 of the drivers seen exiting the track in street clothes shortly after 6 pm. On Tivo, I went back and saw haulers pulling out of the infield. What a sham

GinaV24 said...

I had looked at the weather radar for NC on Sunday and decided that it was definitely NOT worth changing my plans to stay home and watch it rain, so I didn't. I then made a point to get home on Monday in time to see the start of the race. Did Fox really need to do a half hour or whatever before the cars rolled off? And I was having trouble with trackpass yesterday which didn't help my decision to watch the race. Basically, I ate my lunch watching the race, but hit the mute key pretty early on and when they started going into little rain delays, well, it all became background noise. I caught the 3 p.m. stop to honor our veterans which I thought was very nice, but it also caught me by surprise since I didn't realize NASCAR was going to do it. It had become fairly apparent that once they reached halfway it was all going to be a crapshoot to see who won. Personally, I was disappointed to see them do this. The 600 is billed as an endurance race and while I understand it was a marathon for the drivers, crews and TV and heaven help the people who were in the stands, it seemed pretty anti-climatic to me. Reutimann is a nice guy and all that, but I wouldn't be all that excited about this win if I were him. If you've already won a cup race, then winning one for weather or whatever seems to be the way it goes, but to win your first one just doesn't seem all that much "wow". I probably like Fox best of all the TV partners, but honestly I'm ready for a break from DW and Digger. If the broadcast that we saw from ESPN in the Nationwide race is any indication, watching the races when they take over won't be any better.

Ken said...

I think the way both races were handled this weekend will speed up the drop in attendance and viewership of races. When mid-pack non-contending drivers are declared the winners, the rules need to be changed. Rain stoppages should be handled differently. A rain caution should not allow the pits to open until it is clear that the racing will resume. That would keep the race on track and not give the race to someone who has nothing to lose by taking a chance. We attend or watch the races to see the best driver win and not to see someone simply get lucky.

glenc1 said...

Ken...as they correctly explained on TV, that is ALL part of the strategy. Kyle Busch & his cc could have decided to stay out and chose not to. Strategy is always a part of racing, whether it's fuel mileage or bad luck, the best car does not always win. Nothing needs to be changed there (and frankly, I wanted them to restart so I could see the 9 pass the 18 on the track, but it just didn't work out....)

But Fox/NASCAR dragging us on for hours, now that should change. I think having Helton explain what they're looking at on the radar would have been more helpful than DW hyping his brother's team and handing him the win before it was over (I thought it was unprofessional). I was wondering why they weren't interviewing more drivers, then I realized they were probably all gone.

Ratings are never that great for rain delay races, I don't think this would indicate a trend (other than the one we already have). People just don't have that much patience and they flip the channel.

Let's hope for good weather (and better coverage) for Dover. The racing there is just fine, if it looks boring, that's TV's fault.

Speedcouch said...

John Daly wrote:

NASCAR Now popped-up at 7PM with no warning and ESPNEWS is still on the post-race press conferences.
Actually they came on a the schedule time of 5 and said they would be back as soon as the race ended. So I kept my 2nd tuner on ESPN2, so I could watch it when the race was over. Kept tuning to SPEED after 6:30 and there was nothing but those stupid reality shows on at 6:30 and 7:00, so I gave up on their promises Sunday that a special Victory Lane would follow "immediately" after the end of the race.

Ken said...

Glenc1...I know it is part of the strategy but one should earn what they get in life. The winner was determined by the same "strategy" used by a person that got rich by winning the lottery. Both had no chance of winning with their circumstances but a they took a very low risk shot in the dark. I also like the rich guy that earned their wealth instead of the rich guy that inherited it.

West Coast Diane said...

As I said yesterday, some people think the race should have been cancelled earlier, some later. NASCAR, no matter how you feel about them, was in a no win situation.

My first reaction to the pause at 3PM was, hmmmm...rain coming, was that wise. Then, I thought, how foolish and selfish me. Men and women have given their lives so we can sit around and complain about NASCAR for 36 races. I think it was a classy move.

Also, maybe NASCAR didn't tell the teams about it so that the stop was equal for all. If the teams knew, that may have alter the outcome more than not knowing. (Trying to time pits stops before/after pause.)

Someone had to win the race. I like that it was at least due to a decision having to be made at the time of the rain caution. Any of the other drivers from Kyle Bush on back up to David R. could have stayed out and been the winner.

Anon 6:39 - We were at the Indy 500 and it was packed, as was Carb Day on Friday. I am sure the seats in the Pit Row Terrace behind pit road looked sparse. We were across from them. Many of those fans in those seats were standing in various places. We sat in those seats for Carb Day to check it out. At 200mph you are too low to focus on the cars going by. My husband and I at first were thinking of changing our seats until practiced started! The rest of the stands were packed as was the new Snake Pit in turn 3 and the camping sites around the track, ours included across from the track.

HarpAmy/Amy in FL said...

My take on the coverage is that after all the rain, FOX pretty much ran out of stories to tell. I do know that having Dale Jr. running badly this year has really hurt NASCAR and its ratings.

I am a huge Michael Waltrip fan and a fan of his organization. That is my disclaimer. I personally had no problem with DW prematurely calling David the winner as he was seeing Carl Edwards and Jeff Burton in their street clothes and probably knew that the race was pretty much over at that time and that is when he was declaring David the winner. He didn't start doing that until he saw other drivers in street clothes.

I think that it is good for the sport to see other drivers winning races. It gives us someone else to cheer on when the stars retire or go elsewhere.

I don't know what NASCAR could have done differently as they were honestly trying to get the entire race in to its full length.

As far as the stories that could have been told by the FOX crew, if the meeting that is happening today had taken place last Tuesday, then they would have had more to discuss.

I hope that this makes some sense.

I am so happy for David Reutimann and Michael Waltrip Racing in their win on Monday. David and Michael brought Toyota their first win at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Also, this is Toyota's first win from the original teams that came in with Toyota. Pretty awesome if you ask me.

GO MWR!!!!!!!!!!! :):):)

Anonymous said...

Jack from PA said...
"DW's favoritism down the road got a little annoying, I'll admit. He was calling it at 5:45, long before it was official. Even if he had said it "looked" like it was David's race, it would sound better than him declaring him the winner. I know it's hard, but you've done this for nine seasons now."

May 25, 2009 11:05 PM

I think DW had already gotten the word it was over, like many of the drivers had>

Anonymous said...

The NASCAR commentators know racing. They know NOTHING about weather. The producers of these telecasts know neither. Throughout the weekend showers were coming into the Charlotte area from the south due to a subtropical low that was spinning counterclockwise over the southern US. Yet Larry Mac kept talking about the showers coming in from the west with a big green arrow on the map. In my Texas living room with my laptop I pull up a animated weather radar from a Charlotte NBC affiliates website and could clearly see the showers developing and moving in from the south. (Our weekend showers in Dallas were from the same system that spun showers in from the north and east. I'm no metorologist, but I do watch the weather.) Larry Mac is my favorite analyst and I don't expect him to spend his time becoming a weather geek, but who is the dimwit producer of these telecasts who lets his talent give the WRONG information two, three times in a row? Finally toward the end of the broadcast they came up with a suitable radar graphic displaying the correct direction of impending showers. With all the weather FOX had to deal this past weekend and the resources they have at their disposal I cannot believe how badly they fumbled this basic piece of information. If they intentionally misled people in the hopes they'd stay tuned in, then there's simply no hope for FOX, NASCAR or the integrity of the announcers who would knowingly partake in such deception. Personally I hope it's the former and not the latter.

glenc1 said...

Ken, I take your point, but I always ask myself...who deserved to win the Daytona 500 more, Dale Earnhardt or Derrike Cope? I think most of us agree on that answer, and yet, Derrike can still stand up there with his name on the trophy. The best drivers often don't win the race, neither do the best cars (and the same is true of other sports). Some days you're the windshield, some days you're the bug...

I will say, if FOX knew a decision was made and was keeping it a secret, why *did* the cameras show those guys? And I will also say, DW was cheerleading long before that was shown...yeah, he kept saying 'if', but...considering his interest, it still was inappropriate.

Anonymous said...

As for the ending...I have been to many races and been in weather delays. Using a scanner and listening to the NASCAR officials, you can pretty much know well in advance of when the race is called. I envision something like the officials saying decison will be made at 6:30 and your sitting in the stands at 5;45 with no jet dryers going...you can pack up and try and beat some traffic!!!!

Anonymous said...

Good point. JD failed to mention at all on how Larry Mac made a fool of himself trying to show what is happening with the rain on the radar. An analyst on another network doing the same thing would surely have been bashed.

Anonymous said...

I think the message is clear to Bruton Smith: It's time to put a retractable roof on Lowe's Motor Speedway!

You wanted to put up lights, and they said it couldn't be done. You did it.

Now they say "You can't put a retractable roof" over LMS! Prove them wrong again.

Just imagine next year -- the rain comes, Smith pushes a button, the roof closes, and we race indoors.

Dare to dream! :) :) :) :) :) :)

David said...

Fox had plenty of bright spots, but a dark cloud still lingers from Sunday and into Monday. Their mis-information and desire to have the race called before the red flag even came out confuses and disappointed me. I cant come out of this race upset at NASCAR a bit. They put 2 days into trying to get this race to run 400 laps but it was not to be. At 6:15 when the rain picked up and the crowd around Reutimann grew, everyone knew this one was in the books. As a die-hard I would have loved to see them stick it out all night just to give us a full race but that was probably the opinion of the minority. FOX again dropped the ball with yellow flag stops. Until they bring a triple split in consistently, I will not be thrilled with them. Also the lack of desire to want to give a field reset by running down the grid and telling brief stories of many of the drivers again disappoints me. What in the world happened in the many hours of rain delay between Sunday and Monday? We got alot of interviews Monday but it seemed Sunday they just blew it off.

Being a little more straightforward and putting a little less spin would go a long way for this group.

DW did very well aside from the final rain delay. Can you tell he LOVES to stick Larry with that Darlington race though?

With one to go I hope FOX "gets it" and goes out on a high note. Shame weather marred this race but it happens in this sport no matter how hard you try to minimize it.

Lastly, less "show" more sincerity. It goes FAR.

Anonymous said...

concerning some of the news bits....really glad to see Riggs leaving not wanting to play Baldwin's start and park game!

Anonymous said...

I have no problem with how things were handled either by NASCAR or Fox.

I swear, sometimes it seems like, for some people, saying you're a race fan means you also have to find something to complain about, no matter what it is.

Conspiracy theories about when the race was called, complaints about Fox--yeah, expect that the people making the claims have no way to know what went on, have never worked in the track's control tower or the production truck...but they sure do know all about how it works, don't they?

Anonymous said...

By the way, also amusing: People who admit "I'm no meteorologist, but I watch TV" and then complain about Larry Mac's weather forecasting.

Jim Dice said...

Thank God for Tivo. What a disaster of a race.

Jim Dice
Fresno, CA

Anonymous said...

Yeah, the invocation and the National Anthem were not televised on either NASCAR Raceway nor the race itself. Any thoughts on this?

Anonymous said...

NASCAR doesn't feel the invocation or national anthem are important. They can go without them. Though, they made sure Coca-Cola was happy with the drivers start your engines command, which really ended up being a Coke commercial.

Richard in N.C. said...

JD, Thanks. I thought Jim Hunter was head of communication, so I thought he would be the one whose job it would be to communicate with the broadcasters. I am always impressed by Mike Helton and it seems to me that it would almost always work to NASCAR's benefit to get him on Tv, or radio, whenever possible. Thanks.

Vicky D said...

I think the last people to find out the race was called because of rain yesterday were us viewers!

Anonymous said...

This race really tested my patience and I did not pass. The last caution for rain finally forced me to leave to run a couple of errands that I'd put off doing Sunday because of all the race coverage. I couldn't believe they still hadn't called the race when I got back after being gone for almost two hours. That was too much for me.

d said...

A few thoughts....
Any time a race is delayed until the next day the tv coverage starts with the command to start engines, they never cover the prerace the second day no matter what station it is....

Thought the 3 p.m stop was a great idea. I was listening to a driver's scanner at the time,they did not know what the stop was for but were VERY happy that Nascar had thought to do it. They were very moved by the tribute. I thought Fox did very well "filling" in a lot of non racing time. It's tough trying to find something of interest to fill the time.

As for DW and the boys knowing that the race was over long before they called it, that isn't true. I was listening to the Nascar Officials scanner channel during the delay, every 10 minutes or so they would ask the spotters positioned around the track the condition of the track and the density of the rain. They called the race and made it official about 30 seconds before Reutiman got the news on the tv screen. So, no they weren't filling time for Fox.
I thought they could have called it a lot earlier but I also know there are those who feel they should have waited to make the call, its a big track to dry and takes quite a while....

Anonymous said...

d said...
"As for DW and the boys knowing that the race was over long before they called it, that isn't true. I was listening to the Nascar Officials scanner channel during the delay, every 10 minutes or so they would ask the spotters positioned around the track the condition of the track and the density of the rain. They called the race and made it official about 30 seconds before Reutiman got the news on the tv screen"

Sometimes you can read between the lines when at the track...even though they checked every 10 min....if no jet dryers and drivers getting into street clothes...guess what!!???

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

It was great that the drivers cooperated with talking with the pit reporters during the rain delays but couldn't the pit reporters have come up with better questions? Come on Dick Bergren, don't you think we all already know the answer to the questtion "What would winning the 600 mean to you?" It's time to retire if that's the best question you can come up with. What might the drivers have in mind to talk to NASCAR about in the big Tuesday meeting? What's their take on drug testing? Where would they like to be able to test? What do they like about their sponsor's products? Take us on a tour of the inside of the motorcoach. What do they like to grill on holidays? Reminisce. Dish. But enough of the same lame questions you guys (and gal) ask week in and week out! Maybe the drivers are just dumb as stumps. Maybe NASCAR has an approved list of questions. I dunno. Maybe I should consider a career change, but I can't kiss nearly as much hiney as DW.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
KY1WING said...

Surprised no one compared/contrasted the Indy 500 coverage with the CC 600 coverage. IMO, I thought ABC threw down the gauntlet showing what race coverage could be while FOX gave us . . . well, what FOX gives us.

As far as e goes, I think Rick Hendricks needs to hire Teresa Earnhardt as a special consultant for racing operations of the 88. e got all but one of his wins with her at the helm, Hendricks brought everything over from DEI but her and he's tanked (with his one win a spineless no-call by NASCAR).

Maybe she is the missing piece of the puzzle? (note-tongue in cheek)

David said...

Hendrick...there is no S, X or any other letter that could be construed as his last name ending in an S sound.

Sorry, that just irks me.

Anonymous said...

NASCAR doesn't feel the invocation or national anthem are important. They can go without them.

What are you talking about? NASCAR doesn't decide whether to air these things--the networks do.

And they get aired every single week, so there's no problem at all.

Dot said...

Correct me if I'm wrong but, didn't they do the prayer/anthem on Sunday? If I am correct, I don't recall a second one being done if the race is postponed until the next day.

Karen said...

Dot, you are correct.

Anonymous said...

What are you talking about? NASCAR doesn't decide whether to air these things--the networks do.

And they get aired every single week, so there's no problem at all.
Its NASCAR's decision as to when the invocation and anthem take place. They knew Fox will start their broadcast at 12pm. NASCAR chose to have the anthem and invocation at 11:55pm, prior to Fox going live. They could have easily pushed that back by 6 minutes.

NASCAR just doesn't think the prayer and invocation were as important as the Coca-Cola promotion during the command to start the engines. NASCAR made sure that would happen in front of a TV audience.