Tuesday, May 10, 2011

TV Police: NASCAR On FOX From Darlington, SC (Day Three)

"Boys have at it" was the motto of Sgt. Rick Hunter and the rest of his LAPD Homicide detectives long before it became the NASCAR slogan. Along with sidekick Dee Dee McCall, Hunter patrolled the streets for NBC from 1984 to 1991.

It's going to take a veteran team to investigate the NASCAR on FOX production of the Sprint Cup Series race from Darlington, SC. You must be tough, because FOX has decided to go on the offensive and fight back.

Last week the headline was the JGR crew chief swap that never happened and this week it was the supposed fight in the NASCAR hauler between Ryan Newman and Juan Montoya. Darrell Waltrip interviewed Newman as a part of the pre-race show. Chris Myers hosted with Jeff Hammond as the second studio analyst.

Waltrip avoided the topic he made famous last week and instead played the supposed feud for all it was worth. Just like the crew chief swap, the feud story never materialized once the race was underway.

FOX also is suddenly in love with team scanners. This type of content has been featured on shows on ESPN and SPEED for years. FOX ran a scanner-based feature and discussed the language and tension that have suddenly found a place on these telecasts.

This race was part of a special "Animation Domination" promotion on the part of FOX. The opening animation and bumpers into commercial had the special network theme and the music, although horrible, was part of the campaign.

The original centerpiece of the week was supposed to be a combined show featuring characters from Family Guy, American Dad and The Cleveland Show. The theme that combined all three was that they got hit by a huge tornado. That special was wisely postponed due to the recent killer tornado outbreak, but the animation theme stayed with the other programs including NASCAR.

Hammond was back at the cutaway car and showed the foam in the sides of the cars that seems to come into play at Darlington. Once David Ragan hit Brian Vickers, Hammond was again outside and tried to explain with what he had available exactly what happened.

Mike Joy directed traffic with his usual skill, but silence and the lack of old style race calling was the order of the day. Like it or not, casual monotone conversation in the TV booth has become standard for FOX. While cranking it up is nice, an exciting race call from start to finish would certainly be a big change.

It's a sore subject to some, but Waltrip is having a tough time staying on point and remembering what he has said in the telecast. He now contradicts himself constantly on issues from troubles on the track to drivers having a good or bad day.

If this was an occasional error it would be one issue, but it is a consistent problem and often puts Waltrip in a bad light. He seems to not remember in the late stages of a telecast the very strong statements he made in the early laps.

Replays are mandatory to see the action on the track when the "hyper-tight" coverage style of FOX continues. From cutting to single cars and even in-cars during a live wreck to constantly showing two-car battles, the perspective for fans watching on TV is lost. Replays often show things that the FOX announcers never even referenced live.

While Steve Byrnes, Krista Voda and Matt Yocum delivered another strong performance, it was Dick Berggren who seemed to be out of step in the event. From awkward pre-race interviews to little real information in the telecast, the veteran had a tough night. His post-race interview with Kevin Harvick was atrocious.

Pictures and sound were the strong points as the technical side of the telecast delivered flawlessly again. Say what you will about some of the strange production decisions this season, but FOX has been outstanding from a technical perspective.

The restart with five laps to go allowed FOX to finally use an aerial shot to show fans the cars sorting out. When the big wreck occurred, FOX chose to zoom-in on Clint Bowyer and missed the key incident of the race between Harvick and Kyle Busch.

Waltrip was unable to assign blame for the accident, despite the fact that the hard feelings continued through the finish. The unlikely winner Regan Smith had been categorically ignored by FOX all night long. Luckily, Matt Yocum asked a fantastic opening question in Victory Lane and it made up for a lot.

The action after the finish forced FOX to try and follow two stories at the same time. While Smith was heading to Victory Lane, Harvick was exchanging thoughts on the race with Busch. It seems that was a bit much to cover and it made for a strange end to a very long telecast.

It is, however, a perfect example of the strange season for FOX. Cutting live to tight shots and in-car cameras as wrecks are in progress. The producer and director trying to catch some dramatic video instead of showing fans watching on TV what is actually happening on the track. It might be their choice, but we are the ones having to live with those consequences. This season on FOX, NASCAR fans miss a lot.

We invite your comments on this topic. To add your summary of the FOX telecast, 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.


josh said...

even though there are things i dont like about the coverage on fox, i want to thank them for extending their post race coverage to get an interview with both kyle and kevin

Anonymous said...

I love Dick but he fumbled the football on that interview with Harvick.
It kind of summed up the whole broadcast night.
C- on my report card with a few F's mixed in here and there.

MikeC said...

I think Dick got all he was gonna get out of Harvick. At least the attempt was there.

Anonymous said...

I think you're too hard on Dick Berggren. He was swamped by other media and "Happy" was wanting to bolt the scene; evidently the drives take a vow of silence when they leave the NASCAR hauler. I agree thanks Fox for extending the coverage.

Anonymous said...

What a fantastic race, but a horrid broadcast. Great job to the #78 team!

The whole FOX team needs a shake-up, they were asleep all night. Poor camera shots, commentary were stained by factual errors and obvious bias. A long, difficult race at Darlington requires constant energy in the booth. But we had three old men that counted the laps, gossiped, and reflected on 1979. It's sad to see these three struggle, and I still have a ton of respect for them. But these guys are lacking the energy and passion they used to have. The winner of the race was barely covered all night long. The last few laps were complete chaos and FOX lost control. The final caution featured embarassing camera work and analysis. Yocum conducted a fantastic interview in victory lane, but Byrnes lost control of his interview and let Kyle ramble avoiding reality. Harvick played Dick like a fool in his interview.

Have to think about further comments to add tomorrow.

Matt said...

The questions were just terrible. I do appreciate the fact they focused more on Regan Smith than on the silly feud between Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick. Regan was the story.

Sally said...

Fox apparently has no clue why people choose to watch a race. They cover most of the race as if it was practice, showing one or two cars at a time, seldom (if ever) give a field rundown or updats on anyone but the chosen drivers. Even running up front isn't enough to make Fox deviate from their incoherent coverage by in car cameras. Replays are the only way to see anything that has happened on the track. If the racing today is ' the best racing ever!', you would never know it from trying to watch it on TV. DW continues to blabber incoherently, contradicting himself constantly as he 'reads the minds' of every driver and crew chief. The tight shots chosen by the truck even caused them to miss covering 2 separate wrecks on the last lap! It's astonishing to me that Brian France can allow this 'Death of a Thousand Cuts' to continue.

Roland said...

WOW!!! What a race that was tonite. MRN blew fox out of the water. A good race with an incredible finish. Congrats to Regan Smith on his SECOND career win. Congrats to Kevin for wanting to fight. Congrats to FOX for getting interviews with both. Thats about all they did right tonight. If you didn't like this race there is something wrong with you. It may have been 4 hours long but it was great from start to finish.

Roland said...

Would be nice if Nascar Victory Lane was on right now. Speed really dropping the ball on these Saturday Night races

Anonymous said...

I don't know ~why~ I bother reading this blog, it's always full of xxxxxx!! Are you people telling me that TNT or ESPN has better coverage...... I know___ , because I watch ESPN's NW, that they cut it off with 2 interviews. NO___ Way..... would any of the others have waited on Harvick or Busch.

jerry said...

Almost two hours since the race has ended. Not one thing on ESPN.com

Terrible media partner, Vs., is starting to look like a better option, iMO.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 12:43AM,

No one said anything about another network. Can we get your opinion of tonight's telecast?


Anonymous said...

First, I want to congratulate Smith, especially after Nascar stole one from him at Dega. DW just has to go. I no longer have much use for Joy and Larry Mac. Its just the same 'ol, same 'ol with them. They're calling the final ten laps and they give you a medical status for Trevor Bayne??? I do have a lot of respect for Dick Berggren, he's a real pro. Actually, I thought the interview with Kyle was succinct and to the point. I was surprised that Happy was all smiles with Dick Berggren after leaving the Nascar hauler. Harvick certainly is a hot head. I still chuckle when I think about Ricky Rudd and Harvick on the hoods of their cars going at it a few years ago. Benny Parsons asked Rudd what Harvick said. Ricky said he couldn't understand Kevin's 'yappy little voice'! As for the race, too much focus on the first three cars, too many tight shots, too much BS coming from the booth not related to the actual racing.

Anonymous said...

Agree with Mike I don't care what Dr.Dick asked Kevin wasn't going to talk. With Kevin & Smoke you can tell by their look & their first answer how it's going to go. If it's short it's not going to go well. They may talk later, but at that moment it's going to be like pulling teeth to get something out of them.

Sadly once again the best parts were the last few laps. I'm sure there was great racing going on just rarely saw it :(.

Mike seemed lost for example, with the "what happened there?" when David hit Brian & his side tore off. uhm that's what WE should be asking and YOU answering.

Mule said...

If that's the best FOX can come up with at a legendary track like Darlington, Nascar's numbers will continue to decline.
All the hype about Montoya & Neuman was a non issue. Anybody that has ever attended a race and listens to the scanners knows what the language is like. Kurt Busch is always that way when he's not running well. Here again, non issues. They're reaching so far for stories and issues its turned into a joke.
People that can no longer afford to go to the race tracks, and those numbers are obvious, turn to television for their racing fix.
They get the same old disjointed broadcast, tight shots and in cars, along with DW babbling like an idiot, making a fool of himself and the network. Seriously, they need to put a muzzle on him or feed him lots of cheese 2 days prior to the telecast.
FOX gets a D+ on this one. The extended post race was welcomed, but that too had no continuity jumping back and forth btw Harvick & Busch, then victory lane.
I'm sure it was a good race but we didn't see one. Hope Nascar still has some fans when this current media contract is up.

KoHoSo said...

I just finished watching the race off of my DVR. Last week after doing the same, I was mostly sad. This week, I am mostly angry.

Does anybody else here feel like they have actually seen a Cup race this year? I've seen close-ups of cars, and I've seen replays, but I can't recall seeing a race.

Fox, this is no way to treat a lady. The Lady in Black deserves respect and the best broadcast you can possibly put together, not more random video-game style camera shots and the incessant, useless, contradictory, self-serving, hypocritical verbal defecation that flops out of the mouth of your "chosen one" commentator and his feeble-minded ringleader in the Hollywood Hotel while the remainder of this very professional and competent crew languishes in the wake of constant inane blabbering and goofball comments that are an insult to the hard-working NASCAR fan base and sports telecasting as a whole.

At this point, I'd pretty much say I'd be happy to go back to the days of occasional delayed coverage by Wild World of Sports because at least those telecasts were competent. Fox could have every race from now until the end of time and I'd still know more about an early 1970's running of the Firecracker 400 than anything they have shown in the past two or three years. >:-(

larry said...

I only watched for a few minutes. When they started making excuses for the (sponsored) tires, I turned it off. Didn't really miss it much. NASCAR has finally pushed me out after over 50 years as a fan.

Anonymous said...

With a race that long, you need a switch out of the commentators...for their sake and the fans. They used to do it in baseball...call 5 innins and the other crew takes over. I always tuned out till I read this blog, but DW can't do all that broadcasing....he's as confused as Kayne was from the fumes. I actually head DW mention that "grey stripe near the wall" and then the same exact thing 30 min later. The hollywood hotel guys when they use them are so much more focused.

w17scott said...

Mr Editor -
Terrible production values for FOX ...technical tools at hand were ignored ...they may be paid to broadcast NASCAR races, but they missed another one ...producer and director are not being held responsible for doing their job ...Barney Hall and entire MRN team continue to raise the bar to meet every challenge ...FOX check your numbers - you lost one viewer at lap #251 ...other options too worthy of my time ...never heard a word DW uttered, but didn't miss a thing ...FOX will hear from me again on feedback

OSBORNK said...

Like many people, I want the TV camera to be my eyes for the race and commentary to keep me informed as to what is happening.

What we got was a view through a telescope and three old codgers reliving the past and reading people's minds.

I'm almost DW's age and I ain't what I used to be. Folks our age tire more easily and need more frequent breaks to refresh our mind. DW is overworked. His mind jumbles up things and mixes fact with fiction. His grasp of reality was bad enough when he was in his prime but it has gotten out of hand recently. He needs to be selectively used and have someone else handle his current job.

The desired demographic that Fox wants doesn't want to listen to someone the age of their father or grandfather talk about things that happened before they were born. Most of them have never driven a car that wasn't fuel injected or driven a car with a clutch. Both NASCAR and FOX are out of touch with their target audience.

Palmetto said...

I can't say how it was on the tube, but it was great to be there. Nobody in the stands thought Smith would be able to hold off Edwards over two laps; it had only taken one for Carl to get by the Keselowski and the veteran Stewart. The place went nuts. Good for the kid; he's also done a lot of fantasy racing scoring for me over the last two seasons.

Anonymous said...


Our complaints after every Fox race are the same. I agree with the complaints, but think it's time to discuss some bigger picture issues instead of the same old stuff.

A couple weeks ago, some guy who claimed to once work in the Fox compound said the problem with the broadcast is the producer, not the director. He called the producer out a few times yesterday too. I remember you saying in the comments a couple weeks ago you would ask your sources in the Fox compound about the producer. Were you able to do that and what did you find out?

I have worked in the NASCAR compound for all three of the current TV partners, although not in a few years having moved to more lucrative assignments with other networks. I knew the Fox producer a little bit. We weren't friends but we were cordial to each other back in those days. At the time, he was not the producer. I am not here to criticize or defend him, but I think that TNT does a great job of telecasting the races and they use the same producer that Fox uses.

How can it be that the same producer can do a great job on TNT, but a bad job on Fox? I think it says that the problem with Fox isn't the producer. The producer's job is deliver what the people above him want him to deliver. He's going to deliver what the people signing his checks want.

I bet the same is true of the director, who I also knew when I worked in the compound. He has been the Fox director for many years and this hyper-tight, single car, in-car coverage hasn't always been a Fox staple. It's a fairly new thing in the last 3-4 years.

The coverage is terrible, there is no denying that, but I think we are barking up the wrong tree by blaming Mr. Landis and Mr. Kempner and the rest of the truck. I think it's clear that the problem comes from above them. I bet they are probably told to show a lot of in-cars because those sponsors probably buy time on Fox. I bet they are focused on single cars because they are told from above to build up the stars instead of the race. I remember the chat that Mr. David Hill of Fox had with us a couple years ago and from that, I am sure the problem isn't the truck but the people who sign those people's paychecks.

JD, I encourage you to go to Fox and seek a Q&A session on this blog with Mr. Landis and Mr. Kempner to get their perspective on why they deliver the broadcast the way they do. I would ask Mr. Kempner the difference in the way he cuts cameras from a few years ago to now. I would ask Mr. Landis the difference between producing a race for Fox and TNT. And I would also extend an offer to Mr. David Hill or the new president of Fox whose name I forget to do a Q&A with this blog. If they deny the request, tell us. I think it would be very enlightening to all of us, and probably to them as well.

Thank you for your time and God bless.

Anonymous said...

You are certainly right about DW's babbling. At times it seemed to me like he was somewhere else doing something else and just popping in to make some sort of disconnected comment. However, I am not so critical of the post-race coverage. There were at least three storylines being played out: Regan Smith's win, his emotions and the general approval of all about the victory; Harvick-Busch and what neither could or would say though Kevin already had made that clear in-car over the radio when he said that Kyle hooked him (which he did) and that there would be a reckoning (which I take to mean Kevin will be looking for some serious on-track payback perhaps at the all star race) and the finish and the obvious delight of Brad K pushing Smith into the clear past Carl a delight which seemed to me to hark back to his and Carl's "adventures". Payback can be a b****, Carl, and it is true that revenge is a dish best eaten cold. Brad showed he has a long memory and though the past may be the past some things are not forgotten nor forgiven.

Overall, I'd give the race a C+. I might have graded it higher if someone at FOX would learn that a big part of a race is the context of the whole field and the whole track. To them I would ask how interesting would a basketball game or a football game or a baseball game be if most of the time the camera was tight in on the ball and who was holding it at the moment? Not very. You need to see the field or the court to see the context. The ball in and of itself just ain't very interesting.

Anonymous said...

Having gotten some sleep, I've replayed the end of last night's race a half dozen times. One point that bears taking a look at is the post-race interview with Kasey Kahne. He complained that the crush panels broke loose when he hit the wall and he was breathing exhaust fumes. Listen to Kasey as he tried to talk. He was clearly affected by the fumes. It was all he could do to form a thought. Check out the dazed look on his face. The second point involves Kyle just after the last restart. There was plenty of coverage of what happened between Kyle,Happy and Clint, but back up a lap to just after the last restart. The cars will be coming at you on a straightaway and Kyle will move down the track. Mike Joy made the comment that Kyle went down low(not to be confused with when Kyle went low to hook Happy). Look carefully and you'll see a black car that forced Kyle low (#29?). Like many of these skirmishes, they often start laps earlier and things escalate. I don't know anything about putting a Nascar race on television. What I do know is that I'm very tired with just about everyone in the booth across the Networks. I know that's a sweeping indictment,but they all leave me disappointed. You hve people trying to make themselves look good (DW stepped on Joy as Mike tried to call them going over the finnish line last night),people that show their biases, people afraid to take an unpopular position and others that are just incompetant. You have pit reporters who are either never called upon or like last night, when called upon, relate a phone conversation they had with someone earlier in the week! Its hard to get a feel for how well people are doing through the field when they stay zoomed in on a couple of cars or the tracker just shows the position of the cars and not the time interval. Fourth sounds could until you realize they're 12 seconds back. You can't see that because the camera is so tight on the leader. For all our complaints, someone at the Networks obviously wants it that way. Why don't they give Craven,LaJoie and others a chance? We need some fresh thoughts and faces....bad!

James said...

After a lot of thought I am still unhappy with the way the end of the race was handled by Chris Myers, he stays quiet when you need him to comment(when the booth runs out of gas)and he sounded like the "Grand Wizzard of Wrestling" actually trying to incite a problem with Harvick and Busch! IMO he belongs in wrestling, not NASCAR.

On the pit stops at the latter part of the race, the most exciting part is to see who rises to the challange they used no split screens on the top three cars? Instead we get three second shots of in cars of guys pulling out on the track? They completely screwed up the end of the race because the camera guy must have been on a break.

They missed the opportunity to showcase Regan Smiths first win, a big deal, NASCARs underdog team beats the 99 to the flag, the little guys can be competitive. What are they thinking? How can NASCAR continue to allow their show to be destroyed by the terrible production of its races. The show is as good as it can be, and FOX finds a way to blow it time after time.

Anonymous said...

I used to watch races from beginning to end and felt bad if I had to miss a race. The terrible broadcasts from Fox and ESPN have turned me into a part time viewer. If I miss a race now, it's not much concern. I usually catch small parts of the race now while watching another program or working. I tune in every fifteen minutes or half hour for a couple minutes just for an update.

I made an exception Saturday evening because it was Darlington and I thought I'd see if broadcasts have improved. I watched virtually the whole broadcast. It seemed things have gotten worse if possible. Maybe it was just that I chose to endure the entire four hours.

I agree with others who criticize the constant closeups, in-car cameras, bumper cameras, etc. It leaves me frustrated and angry not to be able to see the race. The booth monkeys add nothing, and I spend much of my time pointing out their errors and ignorance. I don't know what happened to Mike Joy, but he has really gone downhill.

DW has become an embarrassment to himself and the sport. He overstayed his time as a driver relying on past champion's provisionals just to qualify and ride around at the back of the pack. His performance as a broadcaster now matches the end of his driving. He can't perform, and his attempts are showing signs of sundowning. Someone needs to get him out of there while fans can still recall his better days.

If Fox is trying to build star personalities of certain drivers, it is failing miserably with me. There seem to be about 5 or 10 drivers who suddenly become the best ever if they get anywhere near the front. That includes several who still have never won a championship. DW's mancrush on Kyle Busch is the worst but certainly not the only example. Even Mike Joy seems to have signed on to this approach whether by desire or by order. This blatant favoritism prevents them from providing honest commentary, and they ignore facts and make excuses. For anyone with eyes and some knowledge of the sport, the commentary is a joke.

After one effort to watch an entire race, Fox has convinced me to return to my previous part time status.

I have been a NASCAR fan for many years. My goal at this point is to maintain some level of interest until the end of this TV contract. I now get more enjoyment from reading The Daly Planet than I do from watching a race on Fox or ESPN. My hope is that the TV rights will go to someone else who respects the racing and the fans. Ideally, they would even like the sport they are covering.

At my age, I am sure the networks and NASCAR don't care whether I stay or go. If TV coverage doesn't change, their indifference will be returned in kind.

AncientRacer said...

Well, I was there and it was big fun. Both nights. I really have to say, since I have been a lucky duck; indeed, a luckier duck than I have ever been in any season past (and there are beau coup seasons past -- but not to many -- there can never be too many) that the racing, the at-the-track racing, this year at the four races I have attended has been as good as I might have wished. The "product" (lord, how I loathe that word) is good. But the TV is wanting.

Ya know, gang, I'll be stuck in my living room for Dover, and I am flat-out dreading it. I am because at least so far this year I know what IS as opposed to what is SHOWN.

"When Will They Ever Learn?"

Jus' sayin' ;)

The Mad Man said...

Once again, Faux sort of missed the boat by sacrificing a Cinderella story with Regan's win to help promote violence and the "have at it boys" agenda.

In the pre-race show, they were promoting possible violence between Newman and Montoya. Once Busch spun Harvick, Faux immediately started trying to promote the violence from that. It had all the trappings and hype of a WWE event. But then NA$CAR has admitted they are sports entertainment, just like the WWE.

The Commentating Clowns bias was showing from the drop of the green flag to the waving of the checkered flag. Why DW doesn't just wear a Toyota t-shirt with the team logos for all their teams on it and a Hendrick Motorsports hat?

The camera coverage was horrible. Could we get a few more roof cam and TV Panel cam shots to make things even more disjointed and show even less of what's going on with the rest of the field?

Despite Faux best efforts not to show the grandstands, there were some empty seats but not nearly as many as Bristol or Richmond. It was closer to a sell-out than either of those two tracks.

All of the Booth Buffoons missed out on the origin of the Darlington Stripe and why it's still called that is beyond me. There may be a stripe of the retaining wall but there isn't one on the cars.

Despite the botched attempt at a race broadcast, the race had to rate as a tie with Martinsville for excitement.

Anonymous said...

Watching a live event through replay is not good.
If not for replay Fox would have had nothing to show on TV.
I watched the last 25 laps with MRN & had a better view. Nuff said?

Zetona said...

Last night really showed the commentary strategy FOX employs. Mike Joy would tell us which car was displayed on the screen, but then he'd sit back and let DW tell us more. In the early part of the race especially, everything out of DW's mouth was hesitant and/or didn't really add anything. He was surprisingly timid, and with Joy stepping aside to make him the main analyst, it was really bad.

Watching the video of the final laps again, DW just sounds tired, unassertive, unwilling to pass judgment as to whether Busch turned Harvick deliberately. This race has become my Exhibit A for getting DW out of the booth, and he doesn't bother me near as much as most people here.

As for the rest of the race, FOX clearly has an agenda to show single cars near the lead (or their sponsored cameras) over battles back in the pack, but at least they covered the last few laps very well, replayed the last-lap wreck and the finish, showed the fight, and interviewed Busch and Harvick.

RTMAC0028 said...

at least you got to see the finish. FOX 24 in Odessa lost the program about 2/3rds the way through - didn't come back on until after the checkered flag. The regular channel and high-def both went off air. We had to listen to the end of the race on Sirius in the car. Typical crappy FOX programming. NASCAR really needs to some someone more competent for race broadcasts.

Anonymous said...

The best part of the race was seeing Harvick taken out .Have seen him use the chrome horn many times on drivers he had no business touching, like causing Lagano to wreck last year.He has a real bad attitude and deserves to be taken out more often. Pretty good race even though Fox did their best to screw up the telecast. We were fortunate to get the audio from MRN and didn't hear any Waltrip nonsense all race long.

Anonymous said...

Dick Bergren at least TRIED to get something out of Harvick. Who was the pansy who soft pedaled Busch at the hauler? The question he should have asked was "so why did you hit Harvick the SECOND time after the 33 spun"? But he never did. But I guess he was afraid of Kyle. Or gave him a pass because he at least came out to talk. Skairt of Kyle getting mad or clamming up in the future. Either way it was disgraceful. Ought to have his man card AND his hard card pulled. But this is the inexcusable bush league coverage we get from FOX. They miss the action and then show us these long long shots of nothing, nothing, nothing and then 2 seconds of kinda something obscured by smoke. Yep. All smoke and mirrors. But they're trying SO hard to rehabilitate Kyle's image they won't even ask the hard questions. And after the race when Mike Joy asked Hammond who was the cleaner driver, Hammond shoulda just been honest and said "Ya know I simply don't have the stones to answer that question honestly so I'm going to wimp out here and say something like let the video speak for itself". Great outcome for Regan Smith, but overall it was one of the worst performances of the year for FOX.

Anonymous said...

what a great race and telacast, people fox gave a rundown every green flag run they cut to the passes that were happening and every network that has ever covered a race zooms in on a single car thats wrecking and relies on the other cameras to keep watching the rest and letting the director cut to the best shot

Anonymous said...

i thought not only did berggren do a good job with a cagey Harvick, but FOX's post-race was very well put together given the challenges they had... and it was great for them to stay on the air as late as they did.

the first 75% of the telecast was pretty mediocre, however. still don't understand why their pit reporters are so woefully underused.

Anonymous said...

Is there a stat for commercial vs. race air time? I was frustrated at the number of commercials being shown. Oh well, at least more commercials mean less DW ...

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 10:54PM,

Total minutes of program: 205

Minutes of race broadcast: 157
Minutes of commercials: 48

You can get the total breakdown of every Sprint Cup Series race from our friends over at cawsnjaws.com!

Mule said...

I hate to say this, and I really don't know why it's just becoming apparent to me since I've been reading here for 2 years. Talking to myself,"Dude, does a skid of bricks have to fall on your head before you get it?"
I'd be willing to bet a good deal of the people that blog, post, or read here are outside the age demographic that Nascar tries to appeal to. As on the upper side.
That really s**** for us because in Nascar's eyes, we are no longer important. FOX and ESPN have obvious agenda's, although I'm not sure what, but it ain't like they don't know there's a problem. More like they don't care. This is what you get. Take it or leave it.
I'd thought maybe Nascar had wised up a couple years ago when they started bringing some of the old timers back from the south to some of the larger events. I won't say that Junior Johnson or David Pearson were insulted, but it was pretty obvious they weren't impressed with the new Nascar. I'm not surprised either due to BZF's comments a few years earlier about the south and the Flag of the Confederacy.
Just because we're older (not old just older) doesn't mean we don't have computers, DVR's, and portable electronic devices. We want it anyway we can get it like most others.
The folk's here are way to creative, running the blog for the events, listening to MRN and muting the TV to put a little more fun in the races. I don't Tweet or Facebook due to terms of my employment, or I would be there as well.
I still stand by my earlier post, the broadcasts of the races leave a lot to be desired.
Nascar would do well to partner with SPEED and become the sole broadcaster of their events. Just use DW, MW, Kenny Wallace, and Jimmy Spencer in metered amounts.
One can always hope! I'll shut up now, go take my Geritol and erase my DVR.

terri said...

I was just thinking this morning: Nascar IS just like "professional" wrestling!

It's the SHOW, not the race, that counts.

It would be funny if it weren't men driving 3800 pound, 900hp machines that are essentially weapons in the wrong hand.

Allison J said...

I thought that Fox did a great job overall, especially for a race that was twice as long as necessary. Everyone looked exhausted ... drivers, broadcast crew, everyone. These epic, endless races have got to stop ... Formula 1 has the right idea. Of course, NASCAR and its partners want every possible opportunity to milk cash, so it's not going to change.

One thing that I am tired of is the constant anti-DW bashing that is the trademark of TDP and most of its commenters. Please, give it up. No one wants corporate robot announcers ... be careful what you wish for ... when you get it, you'll be complaining about how lifeless they are.

Anonymous said...

I agree... we miss a lot. I want to see the racing action, cars side by side... cars setting up to pass another car... in short, the race. Everything else is 'extra'.

MRM4 said...

I was not at home Saturday night and recorded the race. But unluckily, someone on Facebook gave away who won the race when I got home before I got a chance to see it. So I actually skipped through the biggest part of the race. But for such a long race, that might not be a bad thing.

I will say DW not putting any kind of blame on Kyle Busch for wrecking Harvick shows how big of a shill he is. It was plain as day what happened, but he said he'd need to look at it again, maybe twice, to see what happened. Even after seeing it a few more times, he still couldn't offer what happened.

Anonymous said...

I agree. Nascar is like professional wrestling. I'll bet Nascar popped a bottle of bubbly in the Hauler for Harvick. All the promos showing him taking a swing are probably in the can. You could do a whole hour show on the three dirtiest drivers in Nascar (Brad,Harvick,JPM). JPM even had the audacity to spin Johnson yesterday, essentially laughing at Nascar. Nascar gave up on "Racing" a long time ago. The guy running the Company now is just a bozo. The good news is we can all avoid all the pre race stuff this week unless we want to see 752 replays of Harvick and JPM. Not me. Nice weather----better things to do!

Fantasy Nascar Geeker said...

I've been critical of users on here in the past for coming into each broadcast with such bias that they could not see the good points in the broadcast through their own pre-determined opinions. However I was pleased to see the comments below were well thought out and gave the entire broadcast a chance with a clean slate before forming opinions, good stuff!

Overall the broadcast was a flop, and yes we expect that going in, but its unfair to not at least give each individual race a chance. There were a couple of high spots that I enjoyed:

First, going through the field under green. This used the normally under-utilized pit reporters, and talked about drivers who we don't normally see (both Ambrose and Labonte were having decent runs for their teams, and were mentioned in the through the fields). The X-Mo camera caught some great action off of Turn 2, especially the Vickers foam-explosion, that was brilliant camera work. Also there was good use of aerial shots, showing the Junior/Kenseth commitment cone violations (overall there still was just a little shortage of aerial shots for my taste).

However the bad far out-weighed the good. The typical hyper-tight shots, 2 car battles, and on board shots were prominent. Kurt Busch at one point spun, the booth caught it and talked about it for what seemed like an eternity before the aerial shot finally got on Busch's car, as it was driving away from the spin. It's one thing to miss the shot live and cut into it in progress, it's another to miss it all together while the booth yells about it.

The dependency on replays to catch action was none more apparent than when David Gilliland cut a tire and hit the wall right in front of the leader....and no one even noticed. The booth has become so replay dependent that they were caught off guard and basically blind to the fact that it happened live on camera.

The booth was exceptionally terrible tonight, and it was squarely on DW's shoulders. FOX has become the DW show, and when DW is lacking energy and enthusiasm, it becomes a total meltdown in the booth. I felt like they all took ambein before the broadcast. But I don't blame Joy and Mac, who have basically given up to the fact that it's all about DW and they are there to fill in the spots when DW doesn't feel like blurting something out. I don't blame them for bringing nothing to the table, but neither of them seemed interested in stepping up while DW was painfully out of gas most of the broadcast.

There was minimal excitement over the Busch/Harvick incident, and the booth handled it with kitten-paws instead of calling it like the pictures obviously stated. The closing laps with Regan Smith had zero enthusiasm, which is a huge disservice to that organization. Kudos to Matt Yocum for absolutely crushing it in the post race interview, he hit all the points that the booth failed on, the historic win, the strategy call from the team, exactly how much of an underdog this team is, Yocum nailed it.

The interviews with Harvick and Busch is hard to blame on Dick, as a journalist, you don't want to frame questions to instigate anger on purpose. It's the NASCAR corporate culture that will be here forever that is to blame. The second these drivers get out of their cars, they are briefed by their PR representative that is in their ear with all the right things to say "or else". Unless you force drivers to get out of their car, have no contact with anyone else and go directly to the media cameras, you won't see that raw "I want to punch him in the mouth" emotion anymore, you'll get the filter/muzzled responses both of them gave.

Anonymous said...

My biggest issues are the announcers, they need to get their act together, more so DW. His lovefest towards Toyota and KyBu is bias. I swear I did a doubt take when I heard him squeal like a pig when his boy Kyle bounced off the wall. Just what is Toyota doing for DW to be the Toyota pitchman? He forgets there are 43 cars, 43 sponsors and fans for 43 drivers. If you can't be fair to all drivers, please get out of the booth, because you are insulting the fans of Nascar.The others aren't the brightest bulbs in the box either. The ramble over each other and place blame before they know what has happened. And then "debate" who's right. It's called screwed up broadcasting, what you see, is not what you hear. Ricky Craven's broadcast of the Nashville NW race was professional, informative and he mentioned all the drivers and did not focus on one driver. That's how you call a race. Plus Ricky did not ramble about "his" racing days. FOX could do much better on the tech. end, they make me dizzy when they bounch from shot to shot. Are the other networks better, that depends on what your standards are, but FOX is below SHOULD, way below SHOULD!

Daly Planet Editor said...

This just in: Fox' NASCAR Sprint Cup at Darlington gets 3.5 overnight on Saturday night, down 10% from race last year.

The Mad Man said...

No surprise there JD, but is that a comparison to the race that was held at the same time as last year or against last year's Darlington race? They seem to be juggling the races around to come up with the ratings this season.

sue said...

Kudo's with Fox for staying with the Harvick/Busch story until the very end. Nascar which does not make the news here in Chicago detailed Smith's win, the dangerous happenings on pit road which Fox caught along with the Harvick/Busch malady.

Ben in N.C. said...

Did anyone else catch the pit reporter who said montoya was "pissed" at the world after he spun Johnson? Made the booth freeze for about 5 seconds....

ZIEKE said...

We don't bash Waltrip on this blog because he is good or even acceptable. Most of us feel he is terrible, and does not belong on the broadcasts. We bash him because we have heard GOOD announcers and color men doing race broadcasts in the past. (Benny Parsons, Wally Dallenbach,) come to mind personally. I've been hearing alot of hockey playoff games. Cannot think of 1 announcer I don't like. They do their homework like a professional, and it shows. Waltrip does none of this. If you need an example of a good race analylis, I suggest you listen to Krista Voda's work. And there are others. The announcers can make or break a race broadcast as they did on Sat. nite. Didn't seem real pretty to me. Hence, the blog.

K. Lee Davis said...


I generally let things go, but your poster jerry posted an outright lie on here that went unchallenged.

ESPN.com had comprehensive coverage of the race posted within 30 minutes of the finish, including photos, the race recap, results, and a full transcript of the four-plus hour running chat we did for the race. All of that minus the race recap was avialable within one minute after the race was over.

We even had video highlights posted within 45 minutes of the end of the race. And I have the email threads to back that up.

Keep on keeping on and thanks,

K. Lee Davis
Motorsports Editor

K. Lee Davis said...

Tried to post earlier JD, and if it went through, you can forget this one I suppose.

But what jerry posted at 12:44 a.m. on Sunday was a complete fabrication. And I have the email threads to back that up.

By my clock, the race ended at 11:41 p.m. ET.

A full transcript of our live four-plus hour race chat (which must be moderated and we continued until 11:56) was available the instant the race was over.

Race results were available within one minute of the race's finish.

The race recap (it has to be edited and formatted) was posted at 12:03 a.m.

A full coverage NASCAR top with all the above links and fresh art was posted at 12:25 a.m.

Video highlights (which have to first run on SportsCenter before they can be cut and used online) were posted at 12:28 a.m.

So, jerry is very, very wrong. No idea what his agenda is.

Keep on keeping on, and thanks.

K. Lee Davis
Motorsports Editor

Anonymous said...

JD, I'm not surprised by those ratings. The stats show this season is very competitive and interesting, but the broadcasts have been the opposite. It's clear this comic book, personality-driven, hyper-tight presentation of the sport hasn't improved anything. I don't know who to assign full or partial blame for FOX's struggles: Hill, producer/director, or the on-air team. But it's just not working.

I'm less angry now than I was Saturday night. I applaud FOX for their extended post-race show. But the deflated Waltrip-centered FOX booth needs to change ASAP. Waltrip is out of control and needs to learn his limites. He should not dominate the booth if his bias is as obvious as it was Saturday night. McReynolds needs to have the larger role he used to have. Joy needs to be able to call the race without playing second string to Waltrip.

bowlalpo said...

For this year's FOX coverage, I think I've found a good analogy!

It's like watching a World Rally event, showing cars as they come to the checkpoints!

Obviously the tight shots give no perspective to track position. But I have a feeling that FOX is using the close-ups because car sponsors are screaming loudly about the inability to see their names (which means WE can't see their names) on wideshots.

For 11 seasons now, sponsor mentions have been muzzled unless you pay extra, and FOX must be "paying off" as many teams as practical by using the tight shots.

I too have finally joined the "DW, please retire!" club. I love his passion and know that he's forgotten more about racing than I'll ever know. But that's also the problem. He's forgotten a lot.

Anonymous said...

One thing that I am tired of is the constant anti-DW bashing that is the trademark of TDP and most of its commenters. Please, give it up. No one wants corporate robot announcers ... be careful what you wish for ... when you get it, you'll be complaining about how lifeless they are.

= = = = = =

Allen Betwick

Daly Planet Editor said...

Kevin, sorry about that buddy. Had a big volume of comments and that just slipped through.

No clue what that was all about!


Anonymous said...

I watched Nascar Now and Race Hub Monday night. What profiles in Courage (not)! Not a word of cricism on either show about JPM's and Harvick's actions Saturday night. My jaw dropped when they had Larry Mac on Hub stating that Nascar would be watching JPM " under microscopes". Yes, Larry's still struggling with English. Both shows were a complete waste of time. If you saw the race and post race stuff, you got nothing additional tonight except a breath of fresh air from a kid named Regan Smith.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone truly believe that a drop in NASCAR tv ratings has anything to do with the coverage by Fox? The sport has been in a steep decline for years and will never again reach the above-average popularity it enjoyed 4-5 years ago. It just does not and never will appeal to the nation as a whole.

AncientRacer said...


Iz d post from K. Lee Davis true? Jeepers Creepers when us, the noodling masses. seem to be having an effect!

Callooo!, Callay!, he chortled in his joy!

MortonGroveDon said...

As much as I am DW critic, I will defend him to the people that say he needs to retire.To say he is too old or too removed, let me remind you that Ned Jarrett was further away from his career behind the wheel when he was announcing. You dont have to just outof the car to be good, Dallenbach and Parsons are proof of that. Darrell had charisma whenhe started,he lacks that now.

Anonymous said...

I do not believe the ratings are any reflection of the TV broadcasts themselves, or NASCAR in general. I feel NASCAR is heading in the right direction, and is stronger than ever considering the economy. The TV broadcasts have been strong, and will continue to build.

Its only a matter of time before the ratings reflect all of the hard work NASCAR has done making the sport better, and what the TV networks have done presenting all of the action.

A quick ratings snapshot is not a cause for concern.

Daly Planet Editor said...


Those ESPN.com guys have been great with us for years. Wish they could get more video content online due to the continuing struggles of NASCAR.com, but they do the best they can.


Daly Planet Editor said...


Did you watch the final laps of the Cup race? The reason this post has been up for days is because Waltrip could not even bring himself to say that his Toyota boy Kyle Busch drove across the track and spun Harvick.

Waltrip is a conflicted mess of a salesman who is taking full advantage of his TV pulpit to offer slanted opinions instead of analysis.

If you have it on DVR, go watch it. Waltrip almost chokes instead of simply describing to us what we were seeing on the screen.

Hall of Fame or not, that was a defining moment for me and his credibility is shot.


AndyPandy said...

Not that anyone should care about AndyPandy, but after several years of following this blog religiously, lately I've stopped by about as often as I catch a Nationwide race (maybe once a month), and I post even less.

Everyone has an opinion, as do I, but it's sad to see a good back-and-forth discussion of the broadcasts turn into nothing but The DalyDWBash. Nobody here knows me, so no one will miss me, but I miss what used to be in the same manner as when I'd look back at IWCR while watching TWIN... before I quit that, also.

Time to search those Interwebs for a new go-to site. Have fun, folks, but don't take it all too seriously. It's only a race.

James said...

If you caught the Hub, Kyle Petty hit a home run when he asked the question, where was NASCAR on pit road? Now they fine them $25,000, they should pay the fine for the press they got. Just another botched effort of the FOX team.

Anonymous said...

I'm no fan of Kyle Petty, but he was right on. Nascar chose not to take control of the situation. Harvick is and has been his own worst enemy. Tonight on Hub Spencer refreshed my memory on the half dozen incidents where Harvick made a fool of himself. I remembered the Ricky Rudd deal,but had forgotten about Biffle, Nemecek, Montoya,etc. If Happy hadn't stopped on pit road, his crew wouldn't have run up there. If he had stayed in the car, it couldn't have rolled 25 feet into the wall. Like Jimmy Spencer said, what Harvick did out on the track caused not only his own headaches,but spoiled a good finish for Bowyer. But Harvick will never change. I used to feel sorry for Delana, but she's just as warped as he is. I'm sure what really scalds Harvick is that Kyle ruins his day in Trucks and NNS. Hiring Rick Wren and a top Engineer from Harvick's Truck team has to really sting. I find it interesting that you have 43 drivers in emotional situations, yet it's always Harvick, Montoya and a few others who lose it.

KY1WING said...

Congrats to Regan Smith and the team for a magnificent win. They were up there all night and a gutsy call put them in the position to win . . . which is great because with Fox coverage he had to win to get a call.

I appreciated the great pit road reporting before the lap 363 restart when they asked crew chief Pete Rondeau about his decision to leave Regan on the track taking no tires. His soft spoken honesty and confidence in his decision and in his driver's ability to hold off the better funded and fresher-shod Roush entry was a classic moment in Saturday's broadcast.

Coupled with the instantaneous and insightful analysis of the 18-29-33 incidents made this one for the ages. Ol' DW knows a hook job when he sees one recalling how the Intimidator stuffed him in a Turn 3 Richmond Fairgrounds wall with a similar move, but the 18 is a superior driver as Busch pulled off the move and didn't get collected in the melee, unlike Earnhardt.

The broadcasts team's professionalism instills so much confidence in me knowing that if the situation had of been reversed and the 29 had hooked the 18 the coverage and commentary would have been just as even handed as what we saw when something apparently went wrong on the 18 Saturday night.

And the camera work . . . outstanding! Just like being there. With the coverage FOX provided, if I just had five other people crammed on the sofa with me, another pouring beer down my back, chicken bones sailing over my head and someone to stand up and let Jeff Gordon know he's number 1 ever time he showed up on the screen, it would be just like the last race I attended live.

Scratch the bird-flipper as Jeff Gordon wasn't even in this race. Couldn't have been - never saw him that I can recall. . . Not that I was looking though.

Regan Smith wasn't either . . . No wait, he won, but you wouldn't have known he was there watching the first 350 laps or so. Guess that makes him the opposite of a Start & Parker, maybe Appear & Winner. Where did he come from?

And what a finish, with Smith and Edwards racing across the line, with all the other great races to the line and all those cars wrecking in the background. Outstanding!

All kidding aside the coverage was atrocious. I can't say it is the worst as they are all starting to run together now - same thing week after week -Sorta like the movie Groundhog Day ... uh make that Digger Day.

Had Regan Smith not won, it would have been up there.

AndyPanda, you're wrong about it's just a race. It quit being just a race a long time ago.

It's now just a show ... a terribly produced show, but a show.

w17scott said...

Mr Editor -
Great to see your credibility recognized by ESPN.com and their response to correct errors ...thanks for the continuing follow-up and follow-through ...much appreciated