Saturday, April 14, 2012

Post-Race: NASCAR On FOX From Texas Motor Speedway

The NASCAR on FOX gang stopped at the Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday night for a windy race on the fast track. It was a weird night as teams had to deal with a howling wind that was constant from start to  finish.

Chris Myers was back with Darrell and Michael Waltrip. Martin Truex Jr. started from the pole in an MWR entry. Darrell was focused on talking about personalities of the drivers in the pre-race show. It was dominated by on-camera conversation between the Waltrip brothers.

Race coverage was affected by the wind in terms of the camera positions shaking and the effects on the tight shots called by the director were horrible early in the telecast. The director chose once again to slowly get tighter and tighter as the race progressed. This is the mode of production for FOX and they are proud of it.

Long green flag runs and no RaceBuddy online application made the commercial placement tough because fans only had the PRN radio broadcast to keep them informed during the 3 minute breaks in the action. FOX again used recorded "bumpers" to break under green of drivers making funny faces and acting cool leading into commercial.

Pit reporters provided solid information, but the energy in the booth was just not there. Joy's race call was nonexistent and Waltrip dominated McReynolds. It's been a long time, but I still miss FOX turning Joy loose to just call the race and direct traffic. Joy made a lot of classic NASCAR TV earlier in his career.

Give a lot of credit to the technical staff for keeping pictures and sound humming without an issue during the telecast in very difficult conditions. It was very clear the camera operators were just getting pounded by the wind. That was the story of the race.

The character of the race as defined by the TV coverage was of long green flag runs and drivers struggling with car control. There was no attempt to show cars racing anywhere on the track, but the telecast observed and focused on single cars as they raced and talked about that team. Replays of key passes were common.

In the end, there was no drama and the race ended with a thud. Waltrip was once again talking in the closing laps constantly instead of letting Joy call the race. The lead lap cars were shown crossing the finish line and it was over.

Fans were very vocal about the coverage and this post is your opportunity to speak about the NASCAR on FOX telecast from start to finish. We ask that you refrain from profanity, hateful speech or political references in order for your opinion to be posted. Thank you for stopping by The Daly Planet.


Anonymous said...

Martin Truex was on the pole-not his younger brother Ryan,JD.

OSBORNK said...

A truly forgettable race. It was like a really long practice. If it had been a day race, I would have found other things to do. As it was, it was in the background for most of the time as I waited for some action on the track. Never happened.

Buschseries61 said...

I only watched the first 100 and last 100 laps, I'm glad I skipped the middle 134. I'm probably not watching Kansas next weekend - it will just be another version of this.

Hope those cameramen are treated like kings after what had to be a brutal night for them. That's about all I can say about this broadcast.

kbaskins said...

You know what I really hate about a boring race such as this one? DW feels compelled to jabber on to fill the times when nothing is happening. In today's case, it was almost the entire race. It was painful to listen to.


Sam said...

I haven't commented in a while, but my gosh Fox is just unwatchable. The Dueling Waltrips are just too much. If Nascar and Fox are wondering why their ratings are down it's very simple. The broadcast is amateurish and Darrell Waltrip is simply babbling the entire race. No decent camera work, no commentary that provides anything other than nap fodder.

Repost :)

alan8385 said...

I think one of the biggest problems with the broadcast, other than the tight shots, is the need by the booth to analyze everything during the race. In other sports, the action being shown is described in a factual method and left for the watching fan to decide what and how to feel about it. I feel like DW just takes over and doesn't let Mike Joy do his job. We don't need analysis during the race, we need to see racing!

Joj said...

Horrid & no FOX learned nothing from the Masters coverage.

It is inexcusable to show Hammond in the "control center" of the racetrack during green flag racing, however it did show a wide shot in the background.

And then to replay Martinsville which was 2 weeks ( Easter had no racing) ago - and showed in during green again was despicable.

I was at family's' home & had no radio & no internet so it was doubly bad.

Who ever thought 2 Waltrips were a good idea should be fired.

Sophia said...

I DVR'd the race but tuned in a couple times briefly, saw side by side commercials then they went away so I turned the channel.

Turned back for last 14 laps. Shame to read the cam work was same as far as tight shots malarkey still annoying.

I'm very sad to read Indycar's ratings are so low on the obscure channel they are on (NBCSports formerly unheard of Versus)

They are better cars & races this year. If only they could be on a major network. Great show last week.

I'm deleting the race as usual. Fox can't show a wide shot for more than 5 seconds apparently.

Lemme know when TNT comes back. Then I'll watch from Green flag to checkers or at least DVR & watch :)

Anonymous said...

I don't know how many times it happened tonight, but it seemed like a thousand. I am referencing Mike Joy talking about one thing, the cameras showing another. Mike Joy asking pit reporters about one driver, the pit reporters talking about a completely different driver. And for the love of god get rid of Doc Dick, I don't know what he adds, he's about as useful as Hammond walking all over creation.

Jay said...

The Danica Patrick hype about darlington was enough for me...she is just a driver, can we please get over her being a women driver who is the solution to all our troubles? She will prob smack the wall in darlington and all will be over with..ughhh couldn't believe I heard that, that was rock bottom.

Anonymous said...

The race at TMS was at least twice as long as it should have. The race was terribly boring with most passing done on pit road. The segments with Hammond during Green Flag racing is just insane. His involvement seems like an after thought. Between the Speed and Fox coverage of Nascar, I'm just sick of DW, Larry and Mike. It was like a breath of fresh air listening to a different team in the booth covering the NNS race Friday night. DW is just a blathering fool. Nascar TV coverage needs an infusion of new blood with different points of view, experience and perspective. Sadly, we have a lot of long races coming up on these mile and a halfs. There's no place for 500 to 600 mile races. Its not racing. They're just filling time.

RPM said...

Nobody has mentioned attendance numbers. It looked much fuller than the Nationwide race, but TMS was far from capacity tonight.

Anonymous said...

Since it was night, I turned on the race for watching in background mode. Around lap 120(?), I heard DW say Gordon's car was set up for the long run and gets better and better. Around lap 125, Gordon starts falling off badly. I wish someone with the ability to listen to him for the full race could write down every mistake, contradiction, mind reading, etc. this sad guy makes in a race and give us a recap. He is hopeless and for the sport needs to step down. MC

Sally said...

I watched only the first 75 laps and the last 50...because I nodded off during the 'coverage'. If anyone needed more proof that faster and wider doesn't make for compelling races, tonight should have proved it. Nascar's heyday happened when the majority of the tracks they ran on were short. I don't care how much 'character' the cookie cutters supposedly have, but they all have the same type of racing...a nad scramble to make passes on restarts, followed by interminable laps of single file, widely spaced cars. If Fox can't find a way to shut down the Waltrips and concentrate more on the racing on track, they will never again enjoy the popularity they once had. After 2 weeks off, this is not going to help.

Michael said...

The new Hammond role is ridiculous. Completely distracting from the broadcast. Reminds me of 20 years ago when CBS did the same thing to David Hobbs after removing him from the booth: sent him into the infield, the stands, luxury suites, the Unocal 76 Ball and family motorhomes during the Daytona 500. It was silly then and is silly now too.

earl06 said...

This was the second race this year where everybody on FOX just mailed it in. What an embarrassment. I am so sick of this unprofessional, boring team make races seem worse than they actually are.

The impression I am left with after this stinker was 3+ hours of commercials broken up by Darrell Waltrip making things up out of thin air and blathering incoherently like some 5-year-old narrating his trip to the barbershop.

I can't imagine how a new fan could tune into a NASCAR race on Fox and come away with anything positive to say about the sport, and I really worry about the future of it.

Anonymous said...

Last night I had the race on the whole time, and switched between it and The Weather Channel. I listened to the broadcast now and then, and noticed how often the camera showed-one car. And when I listened, I heard D Waltrip. Then there was M Waltrip.

They went to commercials and there they were again. If I was a new fan, I would think Michael or Darrell were the greatest drivers in the history of the sport. Or they are a parody of the hick stereotype many people have of NASCAR. Otherwise, why would they feature them so prominently?

I am sick and tired of the high profile role of the Waltrips. 1 was pushing the limit, but 2 has to be driving people away.

I am sad to see such terrible coverage of a sport I love.

53 yr. fan said...

Stale product; even more stale presentation. I spent most of the
race watching some MLB games. It seems some of their presentations
are now tight shots of only one player prior to the pitch. I don't understand the concept especially with the advent of HDTV.

I can't wait for The Rock today.
A real race track. Hope M.Waltrap isn't there to babble it up.

Anonymous said...

As much as I dislike the Fox broadcast team, I don't understand why Mikey is actually tolerable (well, almost) calling the Truck races yet comes across as a complete Dufus with the Cup broadcasts.

E-Ticket said...

The races on Fox are unwatchable anymore, between the tight camera shots and DW never shutting up and just running on at the mouth. Last night was no exception, throw in a cookie cutter 1.5 mile track, tires that don't fall off and it was a snoozer. I used to look forward to watching night races but on these 1.5m tracks and Fox Broadcasting I am doing other things.

Also let me stat for all those media types that troll this site and twitter that race fans are not idiots. Please don't think we have no idea how things work broadcasting a race. We understand that someone has to pay for everyone to show up and put the race on TV and that is why there are commercials during the race. We have commercials during NFL, NBA and MLB games, heck the NFL and the Superbowl even make an event out of the commercials. We have seen races broadcast before with commercials that we actually got to see the race and understand what was going on unlike what FOX is doing now. We know it can be done and done well.

Also those media types don't send the pre-requisite message on twitter to me would I like to have PPV broadcasts of NASCAR races we have to have commercials. Once again you don't understand your audience or what they are asking for, you have lost your audience.

Garry said...

The truck race HAS to better today... An after thought: Sure was interesting to see when Truex got the pole, that Larry Mac said, "Well at, least they're in the Shootout next year!" Hmmmmm, why would that even be a thought this early in the season? And then they intervew Truex, and he says, "Well, at least we're in the Shootout next year." Hmmmmm. Inside information amongst the Toyota Faithful? Sure is... Again, Larry Mac, Hammond, DW, and of course Mikey all have HUGE ties to Toyota.... This self serving, sucking up has to stop. It destroys an already battered reputation of NASCAR.

Zetona said...

@Garry, didn't they change the Shootout format so that only pole-winners are eligible? I see no conspiracy there.

As for the race last's like Speedweeks used up all the drama from the first quarter of the season. The broadcast wasn't very good. One thing I really noticed is that when FOX showed a wide shot (and there were a few, after the restarts) they tended to hold it only long enough to show the first 6-10 cars passing, which meant very little coverage of racing deep in the field.

But there's a greater underlying problem. How can a Formula 1 race run its entire length caution-free and stay interesting throughout, and yet long green flag runs in NASCAR are snorefests? I commend NASCAR for not throwing debris cautions during long green runs this season, but it meant that FOX had to feed on scraps as far as on track action.

w17scott said...

Mr Editor -
Wish I had a job like the FOX team ...collect a paycheck without doing my job - (i.e. - produce a race telecast without allowing it to turn into an 'ego-fest') ...PRN coverage was also lacking ...professionalism has been lost on FOX Sports

MtnVwJay said...

Someone summed it up last night on Twitter - Benny Parsons, Ned Jarrett - the older broadcasters - made the race the show. DW and Mikey make themselves the show. I don't care what their records are, they are NOT reporting on the racing. As an avid Nascar fan for a mere 18 years, I am finding myself watching less and less Nascar programming in general and specifically race coverage. I've been listening to PRN or MRN streaming via the computer - with the tv on - and only because I've been to races can I even begin to image what is actually happening at the track. The FOX coverage is absolutely dismal with the lack of pxp and horrible camera angles/shots. Just now watching start of Truck race on Speed and OMG!!! there are several vehicles on the track at the same time - what a novel concept!! Nascar, as the governing body needs to pay more attention to the product being presented to the tv fans. There are a lot fans who cannot make trips to the track but because of interest in the sport do spend $$ buying Nascar merchandise. But, if the fans never get to see or hear about a driver, why bother? Know this is a bit rambling, but am totally annoyed at Nascar the governing body for allowing this crap to continue.

MortonGroveDon said...

The little bit of the race I saw last night was enough. Hammond up in the Nascar box "This place is the heartbeat of the race right here" dead silence in the room. Looked like Mike Helton righ tbehind him doing all he could to stay awake. PRN made the race at least listenable, judging by what everyone here is saying. And as much as I rip the Alltrips, truck series announcer Mikey is not the same boob as he portrays on Fox.

nomopls said...

You know everyone is now seeing 2 big flaws in the FOX Race shows. #1 Hammond's role, now that he's out to infield,(pasture) allows his lack of talent to stick out and only serve to interrupt the race. The producers allow him to miss important issues in the garage as they promised to use him for at the start of the season.
#2 MW now has all the time in the world to let his "ego approach" to the sport hang out for all to see during the four hour broadcast.
Bottom line:
Fox is all about THEIR talent and not the talent and the story that is going on around the race track.
Just give us the race dudes and forget about trying to impress us with your announcer "stars".

GinaV24 said...

I forgot the race was scheduled for Saturday night early in the week and had made plans to be out with friends. Sounds like I made the right choice by not staying home to watch it on TV.

In the past, I have seldom been impressed by the "racing action" at Texas, California, Kansas, Chicago or Michigan - of course my impressions are solely based on r TV coverage so if they do a poor job of showing me a race when I watch it from home, it doesn't make think I should go see it in person OR even tune in again the next time it's on TV.

I remember a time when I would have canceled plans to make sure I was somewhere I could see the race. That doesn't happen any more.

Roland said...

Not even worth the time to type the same thing I typed last week, and the week before that, and the week before that. The broadcasts suck, FOX knows they suck, yet they simply do not care. The product they broadcast is embarrassing to the sport. Dont even get me started on how bad the racing was.

MRM4 said...

Terrible race (unless Fox wasn't showing us the racing) and a broadcast that matched the race - boring. I watched it on a recording and managed to watch the whole thing in just over an hour. And that was watching the first 50-60 laps without skipping ahead.

Bobby O said...

Will someone Please call me when and if they ever decide to cover the race?

I just can't watch the drivel anymore.

Sad, very very sad!

Anonymous said...

We always enjoy Nascar racing no matter which track they are at.We tune in about 30 minutes before green flag then mute the sound and turn on MRN for a good professional rendition of the action on the track. We just cannot understand why Fox/Speed keeps these Waltrips around but we don't have to listen to them.Sorry to have to miss out on all the prerace stuff but Waltrips have spoiled that also.

Brian said...

I believe there was racing going on in the pack at Texas, the problem was that it wasn't shown on TV. Jeff Gordon made it from 34th to (I think) 4th with mostly green flag racing. To do that means there was passing. Watching on DirecTV's hotpass channel I saw passing from the onboard cameras during the race but the fox coverage would have you think it was non existent.

The sad part is I believe FOX can do it, they just refuse to do so.

I have grown to despise the camera facing the driver inside the car. It shows absolutely no action on the track and is a view I wish they would do away with. For me I would rather have a camera mounted at driver eye height to see what they see out of the front windshield. That would be better then watching someone turn the wheel left full screen during green flag racing.

Anonymous said...

West Coast Diane said:

Oops. Posted in wrong place :-/.

After watching the previous 5 races on our small non HD motorhome TV I was looking forward to our big screen TV.

Fired up DVR. One minute into pre-race fast forwarded to race. I do not dislike the Waltrips. Enjoyed their books. They must make them take caffeine pills. Just too much. Saw an interview with Michael on Speedcenter as the owner. Where is that person on the race broadcast? DW is same. I've seen him on Wind Tunnel. Where is that DW?

The race. Watched 40 laps and just couldn't take it. So I gave up watching one picture on my big screen for 2. Switched to HotPass. Just so much more entertaining even though the focus is on one driver.

I see tweets to DW from fans (I guess) saying how much they enjoyed the race broadcast with him and Michael. Maybe we are in the minority.

Not watching RaceDay, Victory Lane, Trackside either. Just can't take the yelling & juvenile stuff.

Oh well. The TV life of someone not in the "golden" demographic!

Ps...I tried to watch the Daytona 500 when we got back, since we had never watched it on a big screen HD TV. (Directv has an app where you can program your DVR from your iPhone). What a difference being at the race, listening on scanner. I couldn't believe that even with the packs, the cameras were using the jumping bean technique. Watched a few minutes, checked out the jet dryer incident and hit delete.

Zieke said...

It was so nice to have something worthwhile to watch (hockey playoffs)rather than listen to the constant blubbering from the Waldrips. One would think they had never driven a race car the way they carry on about nothing. Victory Lane was just fine to supply me with race coverage. Try it sometime.