Sunday, March 27, 2011

Live Blogging Sprint Cup Series From California (FOX - 2:30PM ET)


Mark Martin just does not cut it as a Go Daddy Girl, so Jillian Michaels came to the Auto Club Speedway and drummed-up a bit of publicity by working out some of the TV and media personalities in the sport.

ESPN's Allen Bestwick and David Newton were alongside FOX's Krista Voda and SPEED's Rutledge Wood. Three of the four made it through unscathed. Pictures of Wood on the floor in the fetal position beside a trash can were making the rounds shortly after the workout session was over.

Now it's Sunday, Michaels is nowhere to be found and the only thing at the speedway is rain. Luckily, it's a fine mist and the weather is supposed to be clearing. The journalists were grumpy because the free pace car rides were cancelled. It's a tough life.

The conflict between FOX and fans continues. Ratings were down last week and into the awful range. Media members pointed to ticket sales, expensive hotels and the price of gas as the problems. Thousands of fans on TDP pointed directly at FOX.

This season, the conflict between director Artie Kempner and the fan base has hit critical mass. Kempner has completely disconnected from NASCAR fans. When FOX is done, Kempner is off to other assignments and does not return until Daytona in February. Unlike the SPEED and ESPN folks, Kempner can simply walk away from the train wreck he has helped to create.

Many people said that last week's FOX coverage from Bristol was perhaps the worst NASCAR race ever produced by that network. From the start, the issue was the pictures. There is no RaceBuddy for the Sprint Cup Series races. There are no free in-car camera feeds. FOX is the only game in town.

We labeled Kempner's insane approach to NASCAR racing on TV as "hyper-tight" coverage. Single car shots, extended in-car cameras and essentially no perspective on the actual race itself are the hallmarks of his NASCAR efforts. The topper is showing only the winner of the race crossing the finish line.

Kempner has decided that the race is over when the leader finishes. Unfortunately, fans of the other top teams and drivers have made the commitment to watch FOX for four hours. Not seeing their driver race to the finish has caused them to simply walk away from the TV coverage.

Saturday, ESPN telecast the Nationwide Series race from ACS. The coverage was solid and featured one key element. The director kept all the cars racing for position in the camera shot being sent to viewers. In-car cameras were, for the most part, used to embellish the coverage and not provide primary video.

The Auto Club Speedway features passing on pit road and restarts. There is very little passing in the race once the field gets strung out. The stories of the race are fuel, tires and pit strategy. FOX has the best pit road reporters on TV and in Bristol they were rendered useless. This week, they must play a key role or the real stories will never be told.

Darrell Waltrip will have plenty of time to talk with long green flag runs and it should be interesting to see how much he interacts with fans live on Twitter. Waltrip has recently become aware that the fans have strong opinions on the live telecasts and seemingly wants to make things better.

Larry McReynolds and Jeff Hammond have become non-factors this season. Waltrip is the leader and FOX has decided to make him the focal point of the coverage. It should be very interesting to see what topics he decides to discuss and how his opinions on Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kyle Busch are presented.

FOX has all the tools to make this race a treat. A veteran play-by-play announcer in Mike Joy, good analysts and solid pit reporting. Ultimately, with radio offering an alternative to the FOX commentary it may come down to the simple choice of what pictures are being sent to fans.

We will update the rain situation in the comments section and pass along any race delays. As always, we invite your comments on the TV coverage today from ACS. To add your opinion, just click on the comments button below. This is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind when posting. Thanks for taking the time to stop by The Daly Planet.

307 comments:

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Chadderbox said...

When did the network decide they didn't need to call the races anymore?
Week after week the booth neglects to call the race. Lock them in a room with Barney Hall and the boys so these Fox clowns will learn how to call a race! There is no coherent presentation of the entire racing action that is occurring on the track. Pitiful.

GinaV24 said...

JD, if I didn't already follow this sport, I sure wouldn't start based on what I see on TV.

Daly Planet Editor said...

You know what is weird? They never seem to use that cutaway car outside of the Hollywood Hotel anymore with Hammond.

GinaV24 said...

I am watching re-runs of one tree hill because the times I have switched to the race, all I've seen are commercials, digger, replays of practice and maybe a few minutes of cars actually racing.

GinaV24 said...

Ugh a friend of mine just called to razz me about Kyle leading and Jeff being 20th -- and this is a guy who doesn't follow the sport. He just called to bug me.

AncientRacer said...

@GinaV24

Obviously you have a good friend; a wise and perceptive friend! :)

Anonymous said...

When I was Racing, I couldn't afford to have someone build my engines so I had to do it myself. A professional engine builder friend of mine investigated the JGR problem a couple of years ago involving worn cam lobes/lifters. Problem was the DLC (Diamond Like Coatings) coatings. Several suppliers were doing that new process, but the details were jeasously guarded. Could say more...but won't/can't.

Jonathan said...

i FEEL FOX cant wait for 2014!!! Speed please save are sport this is wrong im getting sleepy and im the biggest die hard you will find! ESPN did a much better job w this race last year FOX you better wake THE F*#@ UP

Chadderbox said...

I am just asking for a coherent presentation of the race. Is that too much?

Anonymous said...

Fox is really missing some passes based on fox trax while promoting their own agendas

Anonymous said...

Can this get any worse?

Anon/J said...

Glad I have ADHD and just like to have noise to stave off the worst of my supposed disability.

Ancient...wasn't asking for specifics, as security with regards to powerplants resembles something from the CIA.

If - if you can, and are patient enough, gimme a quick run down on what *might* result in this. Still learning.

Far as getting fans...I'm swiftly losing interest in the Cup series. There's great racing there, for sure, and some of the best drivers in the biz...but three quarters of 'em get ignored on TV.

If ESPN hadn't stepped it up, you could probably count me out for NW too.

I wish to heck Nascar would release and license old race footage. Before ESPNCL disappeared from my provider for this ESPN3 stuff, they had a couple old races I could catch.

It was waaaay cool seeing those.

Now? Cover my room in ads and go away. I'm not buyin' this stuff.

Daly Planet Editor said...

They are disconnected from what is going on. Lots of angry radio traffic, folks making pit stop decisions and NASCAR looking at some debris.

No clue why they just phone it in.

GinaV24 said...

Ancient, I have a friend who never misses a chance to bust my chops! Wise and perceptive - not so much

slander said...

As long as Fox is willing to pay more than the others, Brian Z. France (i swear the Z. is for "Zombie") will continue to sell out what's left of the sport's integrity.

It's like he's on a mission...

Anon/J said...

Anon 518: Sounds like vapor deposition still isn't an exact science. ;)

Jonathan said...

FOX misses a lot now a days a shame!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



FOX******** DO YOU HEAR US?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Vince said...

JD

I love all the gay NASCAR drivers...Kenseth....Hamlin...Ragan.

But Kyle Busch turns me on so hot i'm on fire.

Go KB All the way

Oh what a dreamboat

AncientRacer said...

@Anon/J

See Anon 5:18

That is a good comment, sure, by golly is.

PammH said...

the ticker is sooo hard to read. and when I finally get up to read it, they close it & go to comm'l or it turns into some Coke advertisement. it's maddening!

GinaV24 said...

look at that aerial coverage -- so far away that you can't SEE the cars on the track. Just another excuse for a commercial.

Anonymous said...

My guess on how this finishes out: I say they throw a yellow that sets up a 5-lap crazy shootout to the finish, and then they'll be able to say "the entire race was like that!". Like they've done so many times in the past.

Chadderbox said...

Fox has turned the broadcasts each week into an infomercial meets a video game.

Jonathan said...

Gina I was thinking the same thing such a usefull camera shot wasted!!!!!!!!!

btw how are you

AncientRacer said...

@Slander

I refer you to my 1st post for the Nationwide yesterday. I did not make another because I got back too late to see the race (which someone won...um I forget who...) That post refers to the lates BZF initiative for fans.

Anon/J said...

Ancient, I did. Through a bit of underhanded research I did, seems the coatings they use - whether on camshafts or valves - are constantly an issue and contribute greatly to the costs for a motor...

Still, assuming iffy batches, etc...it's just weird that out of three people on the CUp side alone, two have their engines go bang, and one doesn't.

I'd be demanding the same QA on any components or motors that came into my shop, period.

That said, they use some real exotic stuff. I was surprised.

GinaV24 said...

Jonathan -- soo frustrating that a shot that could tell us so much about the race was wasted.

Other than being highly annoyed with Nascar racing (esp given how my boy in the 24 is running), I'm good. the snow missed us today!! Spring may get here eventually I'm tired of being cold.

Sally said...

Yup. That's the new philosophy...as long as there's a frantic scramble for the last 2 laps, it made a 'great race!'.

That's how stupid they think we are.

Anonymous said...

Caution is out for Lally

Daly Planet Editor said...

This from Jeff Gluck: FYI @TheDalyPlanet and TV critic nation: I'm at the track and I PROMISE you, you're not missing any action. Can't blame this one on FOX.

What is up with that guy?

Anonymous said...

Caution is out and FOX went to commercial!

AncientRacer said...

@JD

Denial. It is not just a river in Egypt

GinaV24 said...

JD, I think someone "got" to Gluck - since all of a sudden he has changed his tune

Chadderbox said...

It's a crime the laziness and lack of effort being put forth to inform the viewers. You would think they would be motivated to broadcast an organized presentation of all of the events of the race. Fox really sucks! It's sad!

Anon/J said...

IMO, JD - I'll keep this civil...I think he's been kicking it with Sheen a little too much.

Or those fine individuals in the bad parts of Detroit.

I strongly advise you keep him away from MIS. Too close to sources for drugs.

Or, maybe, he's just a hack. Meh.

Sally said...

JD, I think that's his way of saying the race is just as boring 'live' as it is on TV....without getting his hard card pulled by Larry Mac for being too negative!

Vicky D said...

Spring has arrived in Houston it's 87 today! Wow, all those cars missed Lally!

Anonymous said...

If Joey Logano is going to teach the world to sing I would hope that someone would teach him how to sing first. That commercial makes my skin crawl... But not as much as the Viagra one that was on after it....
Cathy in NJ (earlier Anon, going gopher hunting with Gina)

OSBORNK said...

Maybe the race is truly boring in person.

slander said...

@AncientRacer:

I saw it. I guess you can call it a follow-up?

I truly am beginning to think that BZF and Bernie Ecc. were separated at birth. How long until Bernie's sprinkler idea makes its way into the NASCAR think-tank? or should I say, drunk-tank?

Vicky D said...

Anon, we're watching a commercial for Viagra and there's action on the track. I don't like that Martin Truex or Joan Rivers commercial either!

Chadderbox said...

A boring race still has a lot going on. I don't accept excuses like it's a boring race. There are cars on a track going close to 200 mph...there is something happening! Cover the race FOX. Just call the race FOX! Gluck's a weenie!

larry said...

Wife and I just returned from the funniest stage production I've ever seen. Glad I didn't stay home and waste time watching Fox. From what I've seen here on this blog, I didn't miss much.

Just turned on the TV for the end of the race...muted, of course.

Anon/J said...

Slander - as someone who is deliberately trying to get intoxicated, I am offended by this drunk tank comment.

I would never voluntarily sit in a drunk tank with these yahoos.

A retraction is expected post haste. :p

saltsburgtrojanfan said...

If i did not know any better i would have thought BZF is running a prostiution ring.

Daly Planet Editor said...

It might not be what some folks want it to be, but this is exactly what the racing at this track has been every single time we have been here.

Reality check.

Anonymous said...

Auto Club Speedway just doesn't lend itself to great racing.

Thankfully it's only one race a year now.

Anon/J said...

Saltsburg, he'd have to sober up long enough to at least be charming, or compelling, or a solid businessman...'fraid this mess has probably got to be his underlings running stuff like Soviet Russia before the fall.

GinaV24 said...

I wish the weather was nicer in NJ today -- I'd go gopher hunting AND not be inside. sun is shining but it is cold.

Gee split shots - someone finally catch a clue? Oh wait - getting hear the end of the race, gotta have an exciting finish so the fans "think" they saw a good race.

Anonymous said...

NASCAR got a little too excited with crowds and TV ratings after the first three races.

Bristol and California have brought us back to reality and the same old problems.

slander said...

Er, sorry?

AncientRacer said...

@SBTF

Too easy. I won't go there. Shooting deer in a baited field.

You are far better than that! Gimme some heat that is challenging. ;)

Charlie said...

15 laps to go.

Charlie said...

I would rather see a close up of a coin then cars racing under green.

Anon/J said...

Assume you're referencing me, Slander - was being sarcastic and joking.


As a certified weekend drunk, you wouldn't see me in a drunk tank with BZF or his Monty Pythonesque crew (sorry, Monty!)

Further, as a lazy and often stupid person...I still can't compare. I intensely dislike being lumped in with him, and with my NASA Slim Jim Evil Conqueror Nuclear Bazooka, I feel this season we can rectify this disconnect.

:p

GinaV24 said...

Ancient - just so you know, I'll root for Kylie rather than Johnson!! ABJ!

slander said...

@Charlie:

To see that, you'd have to get a camera inside a JGR car during official NASCAR dyno tests. You'd see a whole stack of them, right under the gas pedal...

Sally said...

What insight from DW...the added caution laps could bring a change for the better...or for the worse. Wow.

Anonymous said...

Good to hear from Mike Joy that "next week will be a completely different animal". Hopefully watchable but we can't hold our breath....
Cathy in NJ....

AncientRacer said...

@Ginav24

That's my girl!

Remember I was all in for the 24 @ Daytona! :)

saltsburgtrojanfan said...

Gina

Best post of the day

Sally said...

Realizing the coverage will probably kill it, the racing at martinsville should definitely be 'old school'. Thank heavens!!!

GinaV24 said...

Ancient - that's true! Turnabout is fair play.

slander said...

Wow... a lot of sensitive boozers on the board today. Y'all should be more like me - drink until I'm too numb to care.

Tracy D said...

Finished celebration VCU's win. Richmond is one happy town. Has Larry Mac been this loquacious all afternoon?

Hate to miss Martinsville next week, but the fiasco in the parking lot last spring turned us off to that race. Just a disgraceful way to treat fans who had hung on for an extra day.

GinaV24 said...

Wow all that and Gordon will still restart 17th. ugh.

go kyle!

Daly Planet Editor said...

This should be interesting. Let's see if DW screams overtop of everyone.

saltsburgtrojanfan said...

Of course at first when people called him Kylie. I thought you were refering to Kylie Minogue. Now i realized it is addressed to KB.


Nice......

Anon/J said...

11 to go! Recap! Graphics! Silliness! Irrelevant chitchat! One wide shot with sports promos!

I'm better off with the zombie game, or pirated tv shows, or something, entertainment-wise.

Truth be told, if I could expect this kinda coverage racing, I'd get a job flipping burgers. Not worth the hassle.

AncientRacer said...

Lord Voldemort is conjuring, conjuring, conjuring.

"How." he wonders. "can I get Weasley to the front?

Anon/J said...

Much wider shots for a change. Kinda impressed. Wish they'd lay off the in car shots. We don't need that much perspective on speed and distance.

slander said...

This isn't looking good for my fantasy roster. I picked Helmeton, The Other Gordon, and The Geezer. I should have stuck with The Mexican, Bug-Eyed Fool and Boyoyo...

Oh well. Maybe next week.

AncientRacer said...

Now Booth Monkeys are comparing Harvick to Goose Gossage. "Best closer in the business"

Gimme a break

Sally said...

Too bad WE don't get to see the 29 car coming.

GinaV24 said...

thanks, Salt! but it may not be enuff - as ancient says - voldemort has conjured.

Sally said...

GO KEVIN!!!!

GinaV24 said...

cmon harvick or kyle!!

Anon/J said...

Go Johnson - some expert blocking and a smart line. Hang in there.

Sally said...

YEE HAAAAAAW!

GinaV24 said...

oh man, that was pretty awesome driving!

Tracy D said...

Harvick!!!!!!! Wow what a last lap.

slander said...

Wow

Debby said...

KEVIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Daly Planet Editor said...

One car finishes on FOX after four hours. Come on man.

Sally said...

Too bad we didn't get to see anyone else cross the line....again.

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

Did you see your driver cross the finish line.

Daly Planet Editor said...

For those of you who might be leaving, the TV Police post is up for your post-race comments.

Thanks as always for stopping by, it's not easy to be a NASCAR fan these days.

larry said...

nice finish...glad I didn't waste the rest of the day watching TV.

Anonymous said...

Sorry about my language, but I'm just pissed off devoting a Sunday afternoon watching the race from start to finish, only to have it end like that.

AncientRacer said...

Dang! Booth Moneys were right!

Voldemort is uncontent. I am dissappointed.

Ah, but that is racing, guys.

Nice finish even if the right and true was not served today.

See you guys at Martinsville!

AR, Out.

PS It is stll hard to be humble! :D

Don said...

Hadn't been paying much attention to the race, just looked up for the last six laps. That's the best finish I've seen in a long time! Real racing.

If that had been the Daytona 500 it would have been all over the sports shows but California doesn't get covered as well.

Anonymous said...

And DW just said it "The entire race had racing like that"

Sally said...

I swear JD, if ti wasn't for this site and all the Planeteers, I wouldn't watch a race again. Being here is like having a whole bunch of friends over to watch the race and socialize together. Thanks!

James said...

Just goes to show you, know matter how they louse it up, the racin is just incredible

Daly Planet Editor said...

Just repost it, we agree with you.

How can you cut out the fans of all the other drivers battling to the line to see the winner's helmet, the pit crew and the crew chief?

That was absolutely awful.

larry said...

@Charlie...I don't have a driver any more. I stopped caring when they implemented the "top-35" rule and stopped showing my driver at all...

AncientRacer said...

@Sally

Like I said when I mounted the soapbox. Racing is a social thing as much as it is a competition

PammH said...

Sally, I feel the same way!

Daly Planet Editor said...

Man, I am getting some fan email about that finish. Some PO'ed folks.

Anonymous said...

What a fantastic finish. It was so great to see the emotion of Harvick and his crew in the moment. Thanks, FOX!

Vicky D said...

Congrats to Kevin Harvick and the 29 team!

Sally said...

JD, I suppose we should be used to it by now...Fox never shows anyone but the leader cross the line. But it stinks.

slander said...

Oh, that's good. The feed switches to a blimp shot of the whole track while Happy's still doing his burnout, but you can still hear the P.A. system. Until they start to interview Fryin' Ryan, then they cut off the sound.

That doesn't surprise me. One. Bit.

Sally said...

Talking about Hamlin...how many times now has the pre season favorite tanked out of the gate?

Sally said...

Yeah, Harvick is 'Back in Black'. Works for me!

Daly Planet Editor said...

Going to move comments up to the TV police post. Thanks again for hanging in with us.

Something needs to change and change soon.

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