Thursday, June 3, 2010

The TV Line In The Sand


We've been having quite a spirited discussion about the recent announcement that Phil Parsons will be the new pit reporter for the six TNT summer Sprint Cup Series races.

At some point, there has to be a line drawn in the sand that NASCAR personalities who want to mix business with TV should not cross. In my mind, Parsons is crossing it with the TNT deal.

We all remember that back in 2007 one huge issue was the fact that Rusty Wallace was calling the Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series races for ESPN while owning teams in the Nationwide Series. Wallace tried hard, but his views on topics from Kurt Busch to Ryan Newman were just not balanced enough for TV.

In a move that made sense, ESPN put Wallace in the Infield Pit Studio with Allen Bestwick. Wallace could still contribute, but was no longer the primary analyst in the TV booth. When Brad Daugherty bought an interest in an existing Sprint Cup Series team, ESPN allowed him to remain on the air with the same warning. Offer us opinions from your NASCAR experience, but keep it fair.

While we were coming to terms with those two, the business dealings of everyone from Andy Petree to Darrell Waltrip bubbled up. Even the announcers on SPEED's Trackside series were allowed to sell NASCAR sponsorship space on their official SPEED TV shirts.

So, there is no doubt that most of the current NASCAR TV personalities have business dealings or personal connections to the sport. My issue is just how far is too far?

While SPEED does not ask Wendy Venturini to interview her JGR employed husband, they do permit her to cover the Venturini Motorsports pits during ARCA races. Matt Yocum interviewed Tony Stewart for FOX even as he produced Stewart's Sirius radio show. The list goes on and on.

The Parsons issue is one that has an interesting twist. Parsons has been profiled as building a "start and park" business in the Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series. He brings fast qualifying cars to the track, makes the race and then parks prior to the first pit stop. At Sunday's Coke 600, Parsons made over one hundred and fifty thousand dollars for starting and parking his two teams.

Click here for Terry Blount's story at ESPN.com where Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage accuses Parsons of stealing money and says professional start and park teams should be banned from the sport. Strong words from a veteran promoter.

While Parsons goes about his business of "starting and parking," he also has a TV job. For many years now, Parsons has been the lead analyst for the Camping World Truck Series. Long before Michael Waltrip joined the SPEED TV team on the truck telecasts, it was Parsons working hard and helping to build that brand for the sport.

Parsons has been on other shows on SPEED like Race Hub talking about NASCAR topics, but Sunday in Pocono will be different. As a pit reporter for TNT and a two car team owner, Parsons will literally be a part of the story on which he is reporting. That story will be the Sprint Cup Series race.

Most fans I polled informally on Twitter and Facebook were ambivalent. They had grown so used to conflicts of interest within the ranks of the NASCAR TV crowd that they didn't care. Most just wanted the end product to improve after a rocky stretch with the NASCAR on FOX races.

On one hand, Parsons has worked hard for the sport on the air for many years. His personality and knowledge would be a plus for any telecast. On the other hand, how close is too close? Parsons himself could easily become a part of the story if one of his cars is involved in an incident.

Parsons may be talking to an angry driver who had his championship hopes ruined by one of Parsons' own cars at the start of the race. Perhaps, Parsons will be talking to a crew chief or owner who had a team car sent home by Parsons' two-car effort.

The potential scenarios for trouble just go on and on. In my opinion, things could get ugly fast. This is crossing the TV line in the sand.

How about helping us discuss this issue? To add your opinion, just click on the comments button below. This is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind when posting. Thank you for taking the time to stop by The Daly Planet.

51 comments:

saltsburgtrojanfan said...

Well it is nothing new and NASCAR and the media continues to lose credibility. This is the most obvious example.

As Kylie Minogue says, Je Ne Sas Pas Pourquoi.

B-Flo said...

i am firm against the start and park theory (even though guys like richard childress have done it before)
but phil parsons should be allowed to be on the tnt telecasts, if the mindless brag daugherty can be on espn's telecasts or rusty wallace can broadcast nationwide races, i don't see a problem with phil parsons being a pit reporter

OSBORNK said...

I don't like the start and parkers but I don't see it as a problem with using Phil Parsons in the role they have hired him for. His cars are not a problem because they are in the garage and not on the track. The race he is reporting on has nothing to do with his cars since they were not entered in the race to actually race.

GinaV24 said...

Well the biggest problem is that as you pointed out, ALL of the analysts, reporters, and broadcasters have personal or financial ties to the sport. I guess that its a two-edged sword. To have informed people talking to the teams, they have to have knowledge of the sport, otherwise we have the problem that ESPN ran into when it tried to put Kuselas and Suzy Kolber in front of the NASCAR audience and they just didn't get it.

I do object to having the "owners" in the booth and on pit road. Moving Rusty to the infield helped out some, but I still don't like it and I'm sorry, but Brad adds nothing to the Nationwide broadcasts. Heck if they want a "fans" perspective, I'll sit in the booth and talk - I can make as much sense. Phil Parsons making a business out of gaming the system does take this into a place where I don't like the idea of him doing Sprint cup telecasts from pit road.

The biggest issue for me is that none of them are impartial. It makes for biased and unprofessional broadcasting.

JohnP said...

I have no issue with Parson's Start & Park. Might sound funny coming from me so I want to explain. I though Nascar solved this issue late last year by declairing that no money would be given to a team that didn't complete 25% of the race unless they were already in the top 35 in points. Guess I was wrong. I do not agree with start & parks, but if Nascar is to helpless to protect there very own product, then let the chips fall where they may. This will ultimately hurt Nascar. This is clearly the "lowest common denominator" thinking from Parsons. But allowed. And it's Nacars's fault.

Daly Planet Editor said...

John, those are great points!

Ziggy said...

Correct if I'm wrong .....

Mr Parsons also sits on The Board of Directors of MWR.

I'm assuming that he can be impartial when commenting about the 00 & 56 teams too ???

Anonymous said...

At the risk of being redundant, the conflicts of interest in Nascar are endless. I don't have a problem with Parson's role at TNT. Nor do I have a problem with 'start and parkers'. I WOULD have a problem with them if they got in the way or caused accidents, but they don't. If you look at the stas for the last 2-3 seasons, the Cup 'crashers' have been Hornish,Stremme and Speed. They often jumbled the races with their accidents and then there would be cautions for incidents where drivers drove over their debris and had flats after the race resumed. The announcers should earn the right to have and to keep their jobs based on how they conduct themselves in my opinion.

Matt17 said...

In 'my' perfect world, no one in the booth/pits/radio would be allowed any financial connections to any team/sponsor on the track for RACE COVERAGE productions (pre/post or daily shows I don't care).

It really wasn't that bad until the Waltrip's showed up, now it's just beyond ridiculous with the two of them leading the pack. (I have a lot more choice words for the W's but will keep them to myself for now).

I prefer my announcers to be as independent and unbiased as possible during the race coverage. That's just not reality with the current setup, especially with the two W's leading the way.

Not sure who's to blame on this, the TV Networks, or Nascar?? Would be interesting to see if either care or if there's been any strong arm tactics used to get these guys in the booth/on TV.

glenc1 said...

I would hope that if one of Parsons S&P car was involved in a wreck in those 5 or 6 laps they run, they would send another pit reporter to cover it. I know they have 'assigned' teams, but...hopefully they would have sense to cover it that way. I don't like the 'conflict of interest' situations, but I don't see how you get around them and still have 'experts'. BTW--I personally think Rusty was not a great broadcaster, but my issues were not with any 'bias'...frankly, I think he did much better with that than either Waltrip does. He didn't endlessly plug Steve or his sponsors or manufacturer.

West Coast Diane said...

JD said:

"Most fans I polled informally on Twitter and Facebook were ambivalent. They had grown so used to conflicts of interest within the ranks of the NASCAR TV crowd that they didn't care. Most just wanted the end product to improve after a rocky stretch with the NASCAR on FOX races".

I say: DITTO!

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Parson is a great guy. If start and park is so easy, everyone would do it. Don't begrudge a man for making a living. After all, the other teams he is beating in qualifying don't deserve to be there - if they did, they'd be faster.

JohnP said...

Anon 11:16

Fox Stats for first 12 races in 2010, not including Charlotte Motor Speed during the 600.

Average viewership per race:

2009: 8.502M People
2010: 8.033M People

Fox has lost on average 469,000 viewers per race during a recession where more people are staying home. GOOD JOB TV EXECUTIVES!! Nothing like having a product loosing sales.

Go ahead and Bow to the TV Executives, because your probally an insider anyway.

As for me, NOT!!

Jimbacca said...

Phil somehow has, to me at least, kept his business and his job separate. He isn't cheerleading his team or trying to bring attention to them. He does his announce duties and unless someone points it out you would never know he was an owner. Others are blatant fanboys for their groups. Brad, Rusty, DW, MW all shill for their perspective teams. Wendy? You wouldn't even know who she was married to or related to unless it was put out there. She's impartial on interviews and updates.
Phil found a niche'. He even grew it like some teams do. Start in the NW and move your way up. Sometimes it can be annoying when his cars get in and teams that want to run the race don't. But his teams are starting to run farther.

BTW. I don't post thinking the networks read it. I doubt many do. Just interesting to read peoples views on subject.

Spaw said...

I have always found Phil to be one who never seems to get the businesses mixed but it really isn't the point here. This needs to be a black and white issue. It is allowed or not allowed. Period.

We all complain about the gray areas in NASCAR. Here's a chance for one to be black or white.

Spaw

Anonymous said...

I don't have an issue with the start and parkers. I do have an issue with the conflicts of interest or the idea floated that these people hired are the only ones qualified to do their jobs. There are a whole lot of out of work media personalities probably a lot more qualified. Heck, I'm in the media...I'm attractive, know the sport backwards and forwards but the difference is I'm not hooked into the sport where I can be pressured by NASCAR to "play ball" and soft pedal stories and not dig into areas or cause 'trouble'. No, I've never applied for such a job and probably won't anytime soon, but I think NASCAR likes it just like it is. If Wendy Venturini digs up a story NASCAR doesn't like and she refuses to back down, NASCAR will find a way to shut her down faster than you can say "Jeremy Mayfield". The good ole boy network is alive and well in NASCAR.

Melissa said...

I really don't see any championship contenders' days being ruined by the Prism cars. Ever since the incident and Bristol last August, I believe that most of the time that the cars have qualified in the top 30, they have dropped to the back before the green flag. They then tend to run in the mid 30's until they park. Those that are championship contenders won't be hanging around the same part of the track they they are racing. On short tracks, eyes are kept on the leader. As soon as the leader is there, the cars are off the track.

As for Parsons being a pit reporter, I guess that TNT felt that they didn't want to look outside of NASCAR for a new person. Anyone who has been involved in NASCAR will have some ties and biases. Obviously some are worse than others.

@Ziggy- You are correct. Parsons is on the board at MWR and doesn't mind showing his face at big announcements.

@JD- Wendy Venturini does an excellent job of reporting on Venturini Motorsports. She doesn't hype them and just gives the facts of what is happening during the race. She may have an advantage of having "inside" personal information on the team, but she doesn't give out more than any other pit reporter does. When the team wins, she is very professional on camera and does not celebrate when the viewers are watching. (I can't say what she does after the cameras are off.) I'm sure that if SPEED needed someone to interview someone in the engine department at JGR and her husband agreed to do it (she has mentioned that he doesn't want to be on camera), she would do a very professional job.

Anonymous said...

Phil Parsons is okay as long as he is not around Michael Waltrip. Start and Park is no big deal for me. But biased broadcasting is and we hear it all the time, especially at Fox. Now that Speed is keeping DW on Trackside, it will still have less viewers like me, because of that. Read the blogs and they will prove that point big time.
Biggest problem I see for the future is that these biased announcers are forming fans for their favorite drivers and conditioning fans that their version of what happens(ed) on the track is the only way it is, especially when DW jumps to conclusions before any replays.

SRQ Mike said...

Face it, NASCAR is sleazy and low class from the current France administration to the Waltrip/Parsons fiasco to the conflicted on-air personalities, to the soap opera production values. Only a fool would place any value on the words of all these self-promotors. NASCAR-FOX/TNT/ESPN are usinge "stockcar" racing as the bait to attract the demographic the advertisers want. Looks like their act is drawing fewer and fewer fish.

Anonymous said...

I would really like someone to point out ANY writer or broadcaster who has no biases, no agenda, and no perceived conflicts.

I would like to think that NASCAR fans are, by and large, fairly intelligent people. As such, they have the ability to process information, recognizing biases or conflicts, and place a value on that information accordingly.

Sometimes you just have to keep a little bit of faith. In this case, it would be faith that Phil would not stick his nose into anything directly involving his team, plus faith that the Turner broadcast pit producers wouldn't ask him or assign him to do so.

Where's the conflict line? IMO, Parsons has not crossed it until he gives us a specific violation on air to deal with. Until then, we should leave the guy alone to do the job.

Richard in N.C. said...

To be blunt, I believe Phil Parsons is a parasite - in N-wide and now Cup only for the money. There are drivers and teams in the sport to make a living, which I don't believe is Parsons' purpose - and, as big a fan of the sport as he was, I doubt BP would approve. On the bright side, being in the pits Parsons might get confronted by someone his S&P'ers have knocked out of races and have to defend himself mano-a-mano.

Trying to be as objective as possible, how is TNT going to address the issue of S&P'ers when it has the king of S&P'ers as a so-called reporter?

Anonymous said...

Let's not be stupid here, we are looking for what used to be called journalistic integrity from our announcers. They are there to report to the fans the events that happen on and around the track, not make them. No one can be unbiased when you have that many conflicts of interest, just the information alone you gain from your conflicts of interest makes it impossible to fully understand the situation from an unbiased point of view let alone allow you to be able to report on it in an unbiased fashion. The issue with this is that it is just how NASCAR has always operated, once you become of the inner circle; they take care of you and make sure you are making money(tow the company line and it we will reward you). All this behavior is now catching up with the “sport” as the public is seeing it for the blatant collusion and manipulation that it is. It always gone on but it is just so much more out in the open now. The sport used to have a commanding and respected figure head, as Brian Jr. took over and his lack of leadership became apparent (not mentioning the afterhours conduct), everything else has been crumbling around him. The lack of credible broadcasters is just another example in a long list of how the sport is now eroding into a mere show rather than a true contest. The fans see it and are leaving in droves, 500k on average per race this year per the number in the above post. Unless you work for NASCAR or are part of the inner circle and see your bank account going up as they do, the issues and solutions are obvious.

The Mad Man said...

The whole conflict of interest thing starts right at the top. You've got the Frances who own both NASCAR and over half the tracks that NASCAR races on. The head of NASCAR, Brian France, also owns a marketing company who has Sunoco (the official fuel supplier), Goodyear (the official tire provider), Dodge (one of the car brands racing on the track), Smoke BBQ Sauce (owned and named after a Cup driver), Armor All (a team sponsor), Kingsford (a team sponsor), several TV networks who compete against the networks broadcasting the races, and even another sport which competes against NASCAR for fans and TV exposure as customers. So if you want to end the conflict of interest problems, you have to start at the top. Fat chance of that happening.

As to the start and parks, unless the sanctioning body actually does something about it, it's going to continue.

There are some former team owners, drivers, and crew chiefs out there that could easily work the races and have no ties to any teams, sponsors, or car manufacturers. However, you have NASCAR mandating that certain products and teams who will be mentioned. So even with totally unbiased folks in the booth, we're still stuck with mandated shilling because of the sanctioning body and its mandated storylines which were dictated at the Charlotte Media Tour.

GinaV24 said...

Melissa, you know you make a great point especially about Wendy V. Professional is the key and she does that very well.

there are a lot of people in the broadcast booth who could learn from her example.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Its a conflict of interest, for all of about 10 laps. By then Phils cars will be loadin up and the conflict will be resolved. I dont have a problem with start and parks, because they would run the race if they had the money too. I dont think anyone with a sponsor would park it after 10 laps. there trying the best they can. id like to see cars that are running the full race get into the field tho, its not fair to them to sit home while someone start and parks, but phil would race if money was there.

Richard in N.C. said...

The NASCAR world and those covering it for TV are far from the only areas where there are conflicts of interest - but in the NASCAR world most of the conflicts in the TV world are more out in the open. There are also multiple conflicts in what passes for the press, which of course the press would never admit or address.

Lisa Hogan said...

Any respect I had for Phil Parsons has gone.

I know that "Start and Park" has been around forever. Mr. Parsons has brought it to the lowest. He is thumbing his nose at drivers, owners, etc. Most of all to the fans of our sport.

Anonymous said...

The example of Wendy V. is an excellent one. She shows that it can be done if you make the effort. She does an excellent job as do some others without showing favoritism and schilling .DW and Mikey are examples of people who cannot do it, to a point of being sickening. I may be wrong, but I think Phil can do it and do a good job, at least I hope so.As for his start and park, I'm sure he would love to have full sponsorship and have his cars running the whole race and finishing up front.I think Phil may be good, lets give him a chance before we judge him.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Great comments. Lots of different opinions on this topic.

I really enjoy Phil's TV work on the CWTS and have for years.

JD

Anonymous said...

I am amazed that they always have someone associated with the Walmouths or MWR in the booth!

We know that there is a kozy realationship between Fox/Speed David Hill and STALIN France and that is why The Walmouth's and their associates are always somewhere on one of the channels.

Either B. France owes the Waltrip's for some mysterious reason or this LOVE affair extends beyond all reason!

MWR has the same Official Sponsors of Nascar and Nascar Stalin muscles dictates there constant promotion on the TV and in most of the Stalin controlled media. They dont care if most of the fans despise the obviously insecure and backward Mouthpieces.
Phil has more class in the booth but he is showing all of the signs of laying with the dogs!

Anonymous said...

I like Wendy V. a lot. She does a great job and generally keeps her overt biases to a minimum on camera. However, if you pay attention, you do see them. Her reports from in front of the JGR 20 hauler seem to outnumber reports from anywhere else in the garage. When she's calling pit road for an ARCA race, she seems to update the Venturini cars way more than others.

She shouldn't be taken off these broadcasts, but the producers should minimize these obvious conflicts of interest by not allowing her to cover those teams.

No on-air personality should wear any sponsor logos on the air. Anyone with an on-track interest (team owners) should be in the booth as an analyst. If there are such persons involved in a telecasts, it should be disclosed in an up front and honest way.

Yes NASCAR racing runs on sponsor money and the prevailing train of thought is that we should scratch their back as often as we can. But those sponsors should stop at the retaining wall and not infiltrate the booth and the telecast. Will Jeff Hammond say anything remotely critical of Brad Keselowski since both are getting paid by Discount Tire? What about Michael Waltrip being critical of Mario Gosselin? It's not going to happen, even if it's warranted. The broadcasts are hopelessly broken and we the viewers suffer.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Why don't you change the name of this blog to The Whiny Planet.

All you do is whine!

When was the last time you wrote a column about how great something was? Every day, it's just nitpick, nitpick, complain, nitpick, lambaste, nitpick, and complain. It's getting OLD.

Richard in N.C. said...

Now I have a bias and I sometimes get exasperated, but I find far less whining here than I do in what passes for the press. From what I see there are many in the NASCAR press that would have nothing to write if they did not criticize someone or something. If NASCAR controls the press, they're doing a p*** poor job of it.

George P. said...

I am from a different 'planet' I assume...I feel as though Phil should be thanked to field cars and compete for a qualifying spot. He is NOT getting rich and I am sure, if not for the genuine love of the sport, he would invest his resources in something more lucrative. I was part of the 3 man crew on the 28 team, Phil, Andy, and myself, worked our asses off, spent countless dollars and hours at the shop only to be turned away at Orange Co. because NASCAR changed the rules at the last minute...sound familiar? I think Phil is a true professional and, like I said, should be thanked for his contribution to the sport. Hell I bet you critics would think a bit differently if there were only 30-35 cars showing up every week. I, and I'm sure his brother would be, thankful for his investment in the sport.

Anonymous said...

5:07 must've missed all the NW races we enjoyed, the praise for the pit reporters, the coverage of the HoF, the improvements on NNow and Racehub....funny how that happens.

George P--Phil is getting rich. And no, anon 4:32, Parsons has never sought sponsorships from what we've been told and has no intention of doing so, unlike other go or go homers (like Nemecek, Baldwin & the 13.)

Anonymous said...

So mr. daly planet which telecast do you like the most, and how can parsons be biased as a pit reporter, all he will do is report.

George P. said...

I guess it depends on your own definition of "rich"...and I can only hope you are right as there have been many, many more go broke than are able to carve out a living in this highly competitive sport.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 6:16PM,

I said as an owner he could also be part of the very story he is trying to cover. No suggestion of bias for two start and park teams.

Fnas seem to have grown used to this practice from the NASCAR TV personalities, as the majority of the comments reflect.

JD

Richard in N.C. said...

I don't recall Rusty or Brad dodging a question about their cars or EESPN failing to cover a story because their car was involved. No one is gaming the system like Parsons and, as far as S&P'ers, his cars often are the story. Will the TNT booth point out the early S&P'ers when the culprit is a TNT pit road reporter? Maybe the Parsons S&P'ers will get as much attention as Steven Wallace.

Anonymous said...

I don't see why Parsons should be castigated because of the way he does business. NASCAR set up the rules and the pay structure, not Parsons. He is just making the most out of the situation. He is an innovator and a top businessman... so many try to do what he does and fail.

OOOOH, we're supposed to give the other no hoper teams a pass because they go out and beg for detergent money or insurance decals or some other sponsorship cash. Would it make you feel any better if Parsons took an extra $150,000 a week from Skoal for some stickers? NAH - he's figured out that what the other start-and-parkers can't figure out: you gotta hire a marketing guy to get the sponsorship, you gotta entertain the sponsors, you gotta listen to them gripe about getting their logo on air. That all costs cash. Parsons is smart enough to do what every other team is trying to do: MAKE MONEY. Do you think Ganassi shut down Dario's team because the guy can't drive? NO, it was because of money.

The only difference between Parsons and the other start-and-parkers like Tommy Baldwin is that five years from now the others will be broke and out of the sport, and Parsons will still be making money.

In America, we celebrate this, we don't castigate it.

Anonymous said...
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Richard in N.C. said...

I hope Parsons pushing S&P to the extreme will finally get NASCAR to moderately change the purse payout so that teams that compete stand to earn more than those that just show up to take advantage of the system.

Anonymous said...

Richard, I think you're right...they've already made it clear they're not fond of the practice. The way I look at it is, as a fan, I paid to see 43 cars on the track. Yes, we all know they all won't last, but I don't pay my money to watch 3 guys park their cars. It's ripping off the fans, imho. But honestly, I really enjoy Phil as a broadcaster, and this made it harder for me to like him....

Anonymous said...

I would love to see everyone involved on the media side of nascar have no direct financial ties of any kind to the racing side. Nascar will not buy this idea, but it would eventual lead to a better sport. And a better sport would eventual lead to more money all around. Nascar's decisions to allow conflicts of interest in order to reap more money now only shows that greed is more important than the sport. Consequently, the sport will continue to go downhill.

Darcie said...

While I can see some conflict of interest on this, I'm not convinced that it would be a problem. But even if it is, wouldn't it be interesting to see a driver/owner/crew chief have at it if one of Parsons' cars messed with a championship contender? Might make for some interesting fireworks.

I think there's been a lot of conflict of interest in Nascar, but it seems to be handled rather well. But I do have a question---all the Pemberton's in Nascar, are they related to each other? If so, how do they handle what could be very obvious conflicts?

Daly Planet Editor said...

Darcie,

The Pembertons are brothers. Robin has been a NASCAR exec for a long time and was a crew chief before that.

Ryan is a crew chief and big brother Randy is the TV personality.

Randy has interviewed both of his brothers several times before and kept everything very professional.

Just another great example of family and business ties in the sport.

JD

Anonymous said...

i don't have a problem with the Waltrips or Phil Parsons being a reporter or TV broadcaster. i think that if you bring in someone that has no ties to the teams or the sport, they don't know what's going on with the sport. i think you have to have people who have been in the sport long enough to know the sport inside and out. As far as Phil's teams, maybe they should just make sure he's not assigned to cover them and trade with Yocum for an interview with a driver that the 55 or 66 took out.

Anonymous said...

I don't have a problem with teams like Tommy Baldwin Racing and TRG that actually try to pick up sponsors to race and DO race when they have enough money, but this team just steals from the sport. How many times have they gone the distance in the past two years? 5? PRISM is just wrong. This is just a disappointment. Record number of start-and-parks at Pocono this year. About the TV, I really don't think that this setup is right. No offense to Adam Alexander, but it doesn't seem right without Bill Weber calling the races. Phil Parson should stay in the SPEED booth calling the truck races. He isn't that good of an interviewer in the first place. There won't be a change in this pattern. This article didn't even mention the headache we go through on FOX listening to Darrell go on about his little brother that has done absolutely nothing in his career. Until a situation actually occurs when Phil has to interview Jimmie Johnson who was wrecked by Michael McDowell, expect no change.