Sunday, June 19, 2011
TV Police: Sprint Cup Series On TNT From Michigan
Nothing says Detroit horsepower like the 1975 Ford Gran Torino used in the Starsky & Hutch TV series. It was supposed to be a Chevy Camaro, but a last minute switch led to some quality exposure for the Ford brand.
David Starsky and Ken Hutchinson were two street-smart detectives who used "Zebra 3" on the radio. Huggy Bear and Capt. Dobey kept things interesting between car chases and a wide variety of stunts that mostly involved crashing non-Ford brand vehicles.
While there was not much crashing at MIS, the investigation into what went on is going to require high speeds. Once again, the only real battle on the track was for clean air and all the other passing was on pit road. Tensions were high on green flag stops.
TNT presented a clean and neat pre-race show. Solid interviews with Jeff Gordon and Carl Edwards mixed with a nice Pride of NASCAR feature on AJ Foyt. Lindsay Czarniak is not a NASCAR person, but uses her TV skills to direct traffic and keep things flowing. This show was well-paced and loaded with information.
Adam Alexander has more a a conversational tone in the TNT booth as opposed to the excited style of Rick Allen on the truck series. Alexander meshes will with Kyle Petty and Wally Dallenbach, but the continuing perspective of having two drivers in the booth leaves a bit lacking perhaps.
Larry McReynolds used to contribute a lot more during the race itself, but this season he just seems to be pointing at the cutaway car and speaking with Czarniak during recaps. His perspective on race strategy is missed.
TNT has done a fine job of showing large groups of cars during the racing action and going very wide on the restarts. The scoring ticker is easy to read and runs at a nice pace. Pictures were not as nice as Pocono, but perhaps the overcast weather played a role.
Alexander and company hit a flat spot about two-thirds of the way through the race. Without Larry McReynolds to pump-up the group, the energy level plummeted. This was also the stretch that featured two minute plus commercials almost every five minutes. If not for RaceBuddy, it was kind of a challenge to stay focused.
The TNT pit reporters did their best to add drama and excitement to the final series of green flag pit stops. It was lucky that the race itself was able to crank-up the strategy issues with a late caution. The TNT pit reporters have been solid.
TNT went to a late commercial under green with 14 laps to go. They hid the lap counter when they returned. Then, a caution came out. TV commercial break luck was not good at the end of the race.
Once again it was a wideshot for the finish, but TNT cut to it late. At least the network has erased the memory of FOX and the "drama" of just the winner. Fuel mileage races are certainly not exciting, but there is usually a little bump of excitement at the end. We can be sure that MIS is going to be on the schedule forever.
The final moment for TNT was the decision to leave the air seven minutes early to play the same preview reel viewers saw last week for TNT shows. Lots of key interviews were not done. While RaceBuddy presented a post-race show, that left TV-only viewers out in the cold.
This post will serve to host your TV race recap comments on the TNT presentation of the Sprint Cup Series race from MIS. To add your opinion, just click on the comments button below. Thank you for taking the time to stop.