Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Day Three: NASCAR On FOX From Talladega

What a surprise when after another amateurish pre-race show, the live race coverage from the NASCAR on FOX gang appeared to be significantly changed.

The pre-race featured the Waltrip brothers again trying to top each other and the results were not pretty. Jeff Hammond dusted off Mr. Pizzi for a tasteless look at the infield happenings. While the pit reporters appeared, the spotlight once again was on the Waltrips and lots of conversation. A delay in the start of the race due to rain only made it seem worse.

After all the recent controversy between Darrell Waltrip and the fans, it was interesting to see him hosting a pre-race feature that recapped the biggest Talladega wrecks from the past. FOX once again sold accidents as the appeal of Talladega.

This Sunday, the pictures being shown to the fans at home were completely different. Gone were the two-car tightshots and instead the entire field was featured on-camera consistently. Also gone were the single views of pit reporters, green flag pitstops and Jeff Hammond's feature reports.

The director used a split-screen continually during the race for a wide variety of content and it was a welcome change. The integrity of the green flag racing was made important once again. The only drawback was the music and the recorded "bumpers" of drivers shown going to commercial under green.

Looking much more like a truck series race on SPEED, the FOX presentation from Talladega gave race fans a preview of just what the sport would look like when the best racing on the track was made the center of the telecast. It was a refreshing treat.

FOX continues to have outstanding pit reporters, but the mix upstairs is still dominated by Waltrip. Joy is simply not allowed to call continuous laps of the race as a play-by-play announcer and that is a shame. He can bring excitement to a telecast in an instant.

Late in the race, FOX began the side-by-side commercials. There were a lot of them. Even with the ability to see the field, the frustration of late commercials after a long day and rain delay was felt in fan comments.

The mess that resulted featured FOX missing a Kurt Busch spin, but rebounding with the correct replays. The green-white-checkered finish was anti-climactic but FOX used the correct wideshot camera and showed the lead lap cars all racing to the finish. A super slo-mo replay was a bonus.

The directing of this coverage was radically different than what we have seen this season from FOX. Whether it is a shift in philosophy or just a practical matter of covering restrictor plate racing is yet to be seen. Either way, it made for a day of solid pictures from start to finish.

We welcome your comments on the NASCAR on FOX coverage of the Sprint Cup Series race from Talladega.


terri said...

FOX's script didn't happen at all. Jr didn't win. The engines didn't implode from the heat. That great restrictor-plate driver, Michael Waltrip, didn't finish in the front.

Maybe they should (gasp!) just let the race unfold.

But then, for all of the follow-up on what WAS going on with all of the broken cars, anything could have been wrong with any one of them.

William said...

I must have watched a different set of commercials than you - I didn't see any change in the commercial coverage with this commercial then I did with last weeks commercial coverage.


KoHoSo said...

The race coverage was certainly a welcome breath of fresh air. Yes, there were some gaffes (no sports telecast is ever prefect) and I fully agree with JD's point that Mike Joy can barely complete a sentence without DW stomping all over him. Still, I was able to stomach a lot more of DW's almost constant yammering when the pictures were so much better and there was some better and more frequent use of the pit reporters.

However, as I said during the race on Twitter, I greatly fear this is an aberration due to the style of racing at Talladega. For any Fox people that might read this, we would much rather love you than complain...please, don't go back to "hyper-tight" next week at Darlington!

OSBORNK said...

I only saw the last third of the race (felt a picnic with the wife and her puppy was more important on a beautiful day). The part of the race I saw had good camera work that was overshadowed by an overload of commercials and Waltrips. DW clealy doesn't have a clue as to what is going on in the race. If they eliminated the use of I, me and my in the broadcasts, the Waltrip brothers would be speechless.

I thought it was the best telecast of the year for Fox but the bar was low.

Anonymous said...

Clearly the only part of the broadcast that matters to most here is the pictures being shown not the actual call from the broadcast team. For me it's the complete opposite. The way the races are shown is fine with me as long as the broadcast team manages to deliver information (full field run down, tell why drivers went behind the wall, interview all drivers involved in accidents and lastly tell the "story" of that particular race as it happens, basically play by play).

With Fox I get none of this. The only 2 people worth a damn on the whole broadcast team is Matt Yocum and Larry Mac. The rest of the team is terrible in every aspect.

You can celebrate the supposed "wide shots" from today and showing the field, but good lord the only reason the field was shown is because THE NATURE of plate racing is all the cars are close together. The broadcast sucked today and sucks like all Fox broadcasts because the broadcast team never seems to be watching and reporting about the actual damn race.

The best example of all of this was when many drivers were running out of gas and then the first big wreck happened. The Fox team was completely lost and therefore so was I. Yeah they showed the amazing "wide shot", but big fucking whoop if the broadcast team can't clearly tell you what happened who cares what it looks like.

I will never understand this place and the emphasis you all have for wide shots. A superior broadcast team is always better than the best pictures.

James said...

I enjoyed the overheads and wide shots. I agree it was easier to watch. I still maintain, I tune in to watch the race, not to hear what Darel and Duffis "think"!!!
It is better to let the race unfold, with out all the nonsense.

w17scott said...

Mr Editor -
FOX got the message and had better pictures today ...DW's inane comments continue to embarrass himself and FOX, but neither seems to care ...typical 'Dega race ...LarryMac better with timely comments ...DW 'know your place and shut your mouth' ...don't speak until called upon ...we'll see if FOX duplicate the quality of pictures at Darlington, but they'll likely wear out the 'Track Too Tough to Tame' moniker

Anonymous said...

I think the problem today was the director in the booth didn't linger on shots long enough. Just as you could focus on what you were seeing in the bigger pack and found something interesting to see, the shot would change. That is frustrating. The director continues to try to artfully present cinematic moments he thinks will win Emmys when he ought to be letting the action play out and win viewers instead. On another note, yes I did enjoy the wrecks. So sue me.

Buschseries61 said...

Excellent job by FOX today. The camera shots stayed nice and wide for most of the race. That blimp shot came in handy today. There seemed to be more discussion of the race and less side discussion. I felt really into the race today rather than the disconnect I typically feel watching these FOX broadcasts. I was happy to see the whole pack finish the race today. This broadcast gives me the sense they are listening to us, but I'm not buying it yet.

Mike Joy was fantastic updating viewers before each restart. The pit reporters were solid as usual. I liked the infield without Michael Waltrip. Chris Myers ran through the highlights and the coverage moved on. There was no re-discussion of what the booth already talked about. Myers was a pro hosting the post-race and directing traffic, the pit reporters did a good job trying to tie some loose ends of the race like Allmendinger and Almirola.

There were some problems today, but they didn't drag down the coverage too much. The pre-race obsession with the big wreck was a little tasteless, especially after Eric McClure's violent wreck here yesterday. At least promote it as danger, not an exciting wreck. Also, Darrell Waltrip was all over the place, but Mike Joy was quick to correct him multiple times on the broadcast. The ticker barely featured the car intervals in the second half of the race, so it was hard to track who was on & off the lead lap. The commercial load felt very heavy in the second half of the race, but introducing side-by-side near the end made commercial breaks less painful.

Hopefully FOX takes the fan feedback here and works to finish their NASCAR schedule strong.

Zetona said...

Well, for once you're more positive about the coverage than I, JD. I saw way too many commercials and too many unnecessary zooms on single cars at the expense of seeing what was going on in the pack. That's how we missed the start of the first Big One and the Kurt Busch crash. I really liked the zoom in on Kurt Busch's paint scheme—that's exactly the sort of thing you need a zoom button for. I can't comment on the booth, because I was watching with family and calling the race over the TV audio. I WILL say that I spotted Kenseth's bent fender at least 20 laps before DW did, however. Very impressive that he remained that fast despite the damage.

Anonymous said...

Well, I'm glad the Dega weekend is over. The Sprint Cup race had a lot of goofy stuff going on. I suspect they'll have to make changes to the pop-off valve or radiator capacity before we go back to Daytona in July. All weekend long, there were more wide shots. They even showed a bunch of cars crossing the finish line today. Funny that so many folks mentioned the commercials which seemed to go on forever. Worse, it was the same commercials over and over so I'd hit the Mute to keep my head from exploding. When Hammond does a piece during green flag racing, they should use a split screen. To me, every time they broke to Chris Myers, it seemed disjointed from the flow of the broadcast. You have to give Almendinger credit for being consistent. At the very end of the race, he admitted he blocked Hamlin causing a huge wreck. Flash back to Pocono 2-3 years ago. Last lap of the race. Heading towards the tunnel turn he blocked a team mate closing at a higher speed causing a wreck that almost had Casey Kahne going over the wall onto Long Pond Road. Martin,Newman, Kenseth and others were involved. He said he blocked...and would do it again.

Sally said...

One thing that makes plate races better to watch on TV is the fact that, now that there is less 2 car tandem racing, Fox is almost forced to show more than one or two cars in lingering shots. Positions change so quickly in the big packs. Using th blimp shots helped clarify how many of the wrecks happened, and how some drivers got through them. With all that action happening on the track, it's more difficult for DW to babble on with stories about himself. His continual attempts to 'tell us' what a driver is thinking are truly embarrassing. I found myself actually watching most of the race today, instead of finding chores to do around the house so I wouldn't fall asleep. All in all, a definite improvement over what we've been subjected to so far this season.

The Loose Wheel said...

Only real gripes here were Waltrip being Waltrip and FOX having some ill-timed commercials during green flag runs.

Can't fault that some of the bigger developments would happen under commercial, but felt it would be nice to see the network "break-in" from time to time.

Pretty solid production though. Not a horrible post-race either.

Anonymous said...

You get side-by-side commercials and still moan and groan about them?

Daly Planet Editor said...

No one is moaning. The commercials are theoretically placed in the last hour.

The problem is the races, like this one, often do not run on time.

There seems to be no particular place they start to appear and last week the box with the live racing only contained in-car cameras and single shots of cars.

It's a big step forward that this week's side by side has wideshots of the field and the cameras were cut live as they ran under green.

Next year, either side by side for the entire race or RaceBuddy for the FOX races.


Tony said...

"There were a lot of side-by-side commercials."

A lot? The same 4 and a half minutes they show every week. But there were a lot of commercials in the second half. Without cautions earlier in the race, I don't fault the network for trying to guess how long the race would be and where to insert the commercials. But given the product of Talladega, I thought they did an okay job. The ABC coverage of the NNS race was leaps and bounds better.

Joj said...

Today was good, as far as pictures went. I could actually see racing, more than 1 car, I knew what racetrack they were at, and more than 1 car cross the finish line.

However, way too much Waltrips, DW was a mess & the one thing I wanted to hear Mike Joy say, he didn't. Just 1 time I'd dearly love to hear him say shut up Darrel.He's just too classy & professional - I guess.

Anonymous said...

We are very fortunate at our house.We turn on the Fox telecast, mute the audio, tune in MRN about a half hour before green flag and never have to listen to a blabbering Waltrip. Life is great.

sbaker17 said...

Good broadcast except for DW . He must get paid by the word. If he would just tone it down and cut the number of his comments in half, it would be much better. That would like Mike Joy be Mike Joy.
I don't watch the prerace because of the Double W's.

E-Ticket said...

DW and Mikey need to be car owners and brothers, not announcers anymore.. Whooppee was the phrase that put me over the edge, really liked the coverage but sometimes I think the racing gets in the way of the waltrip family reunion with their close personal friends..

DW don't say fans want wrecks we saw your pre-race hilights from years past..FOX LOVES them..

Otherwise a pretty good job..

GinaV24 said...

first off, let me say I hate restrictor plate racing. Way too much wrecking for me - so no I don't tune in to see them wreck. That said, Fox did a better job than usual in showing us the race. I kept the sound off - sorry, but DW's incessant chatter has become like nails on a chalkboard so I just can't bother with it. I used trackpass, once i switched over to just the scanner so I could get the radio feed. Since Raceview wouldn't come up with sound (pretty poor when I pay for the blasted service).

Fox did good wide shots today that showed the racing in the field and let me get a reference point for a change on the track. They showed the end of the race and the field crossing the line - totally unexpected, but a nice surprise.

Not a bad broadcast, I'd like to see if they could do this more consistently and I'd like to see the conflict of interests out of the booth.

GinaV24 said...

E-ticket - you are right on about WHO likes the wrecks! It is the broadcasters, far far more than the fans. They promote every race with every piece of sensational wrecks they can find - even if they have to go back years in time!

MRM4 said...

Refreshing broadcast showing more than one or two cars at a time.

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed the race today. I would like to see Hammond used more. The Waltrips, whatever. I liked the pit reports, the wide shots. Chris Meyers was on his game as he has been all season. And I even thought the Pizzi segment was good. I know everyone here likes to see hardcore racing discussion in the pre show all the time but sometimes a good laugh works too, and Pizzi did that for me today.

glenc1 said...

I usually comment, but to be honest, I turned on Fox, turned off the sound and put on MRN. It appeared to be some good wide shots, but I fear it was because it was packs and they had no choice.

why are they wasting Hammond? He is good on TV and is not being utilized. ESPN should snap him up.

Buschseries61 said...

@ glen - I was thinking the same thing! Hammond has so much racing knowledge, but his role is diminished to playing Tim Brewer or giving a tour of the racetrack.

He knows more about pit road than Jamie Little and Vince Welch combined. ESPN should give him a call.

AncinentRacer said...

*Tick * Tick * Tick*

(It is what a conductor does before s/he starts

I am content. This week's races showed now ME.


The Needy Me.

The Stupid Me.

The Uninformed Me.

The Incapable of Understanding Me.


For some reason got listened to.

And though not Perfect. The Broadcast pleased ME.

For the record, @AllWaltrip I have 243 followers in Good Standing as of this writing and since the 2012 Season began I have won 2 Prizes.

I am a actual fan.

Thank you.

Charlie Spencer said...

Hey, DW, remember that bump-up between Kenseth and Kahne, the one you scoffed as "Just narrowed the front end up a bit"? That's the one that caused the #17's right-front damage you eventually noticed about thirty laps later. If it hadn't affected the aero before then, it wasn't going to start just because you finally saw it.

Garry said...

I think the director in the truck called in sick, and the cast and crew had no choice but to, curses, show the race the way it was meant to be. Darrell, you don't have to say something every second. You're wearing me out, bro.Shut up for a change! The more it started looking and sounding like the K &N race, the more I kept thinking I was dreaming... I thought there was no way they were going to treat the fans with respect. Then the flood of commercials came, and kept coming... Sigh. THe blimp shots were good, the coverage of the whole field was great, and the hyper-tights were gone. I hate to be a naysayer, but I believe this was an anomoly. Next week, the director in the truck won't be sick, and the coverage will return to status quo, Darrell will get to talk about how he invented breathing, designed Darlington, cured cancer, and how Mikey is the best driver since Mario Andretti. Sorry to pop the balloon folks, but better now then Saturday Night...

Andrew Maness said...

The wide shots were reminiscent of those you'll find at any restrictor-plate race.

OrangeTom said...

Much better coverage this week for the most part. Felt like I could see a lot more of the field. Wish they had spent a little less time focusing on MW's car--missed a pass for the lead because of it and rushed away from a hood up car on pit row to talk to Mikey--but otherwise thought they did a good job of giving other drivers attention. Way too many commercials for the last 26 laps, even with the split screen. Really distracting from momentum of race.

Anonymous said...

I posted a comment last night that said: "I liked the Pizzi segment. It showed the crazy scene in the infield and was also pretty funny."

You deleted it.

Way to control the conversation. I guess you have to agree with everything you say to post here. No wonder this page has become little more than an echo chamber.

Daly Planet Editor said...


We demand a little more. How about telling us why you liked it?

What about that segment helped you to appreciate the sport or the risks that the drivers were about to take?

What about that segment told you about the Talladega experience or showed NASCAR fans as anything more than ignorant rednecks?

So, FOX uses a rich kid from Cali to make fun of the NASCAR fans in the infield at Dega. Yep, that is great sports TV.

Sorry, I could not disagree more.

That Pizzi segment is just what NASCAR did not need as the sport continues to deal with lower attendance and ratings.


Anonymous said...

West Coast Diane said:

I decided to give FOX a try, since it was Talledega and just maybe I could watch the full screen of my HDTV. Although I did have HotPass on the DVR, too, just in case.

Just can't do the pre race show. I tried. I use to enjoy both Waltrips, once upon a time. It is just too much with them together. It was an improvement with Mikey not in the HH with Chris, too.

On a positive note, while fast fowarding thru the pre race I stopped for the JR interview. I enjoyed that. You could tell JR was more relaxed and comfortable. I think Mikey did a good job.

I must say the discussion after was uncomfortable & sad. Mikey & DW talked about how difficult the loss of JR's Dad was for him and how a loss affects you for a long time. Chris made a comment that broke my heart as it surely hit too close to home with his son's recent death.

Please, please, music when people are talking. This isn't a production piece. It is someone running down the grid or giving a race update. I can not understand them most of time. Oh...I do not have a hearing problem!!

On to the race. I ended up watching the entire race on FOX. Maybe the wide pics were because of Talledega, but it was enjoyable to watch.

When the pictures were good I noticed the booth didn't bug me as much.

Still not sure wide shots are a thing of the future. Guess we will find out in Darlington.

As always, I will have HotPass DVR'd...just in case.

Jonathan said...

I loved the coverage from start to finish!!! This was the best Fox broadcast in YEARS!!! Reminded me of why I feel in love w the sport in 04,05 I just wanna see if this stays the same for Darlington and beyond!!! This is how NASCAR SHOULD BE COVERED!!! 5 STARS ALL AROUND!!

Jonathan said...

oh and even though there wasnt many comments on here JD I appreciated you keeping this open during the race for us who hate the twitter

Anonymous said...

>We demand a little more.
>How about telling us why you liked it?

Fair enough. I liked it for several reasons. First of all, it was very funny. Second, it showed me how elaborate and extensive the infield party scene is. I knew there were thousands of people camped out there, but I had no idea they brought deep friers, crawfish, huge smokers, stand-alone pools etc. I thought it was a lighthearted way to show what goes on in the infield, which I was pretty ignorant about. Okay, I didn't need to see Pizzi's belly in a pink tube top... but I still thought it was amusing.

>What about that segment helped you
>to appreciate the sport or the
>risks that the drivers were about
>to take?

Nothing about the risks the drivers were about to take, but I don't need every segment to be about that. It did help me appreciate how passionate the fans are, what a fun time they have, what a party it is, and how over-the-top NASCAR fans are. I have been to a lot of NFL tailgating parties in the parking lot of NFL stadiums, but I have never seen anything as elaborate as the cook outs and party set-ups in the infield of Talladega. Again, maybe this is common knowledge to others, but I didn't know about how far it went until I saw the segment. And, honestly, it made me really want to attend a race from the infield. I called my brother in law and we might see if we can find some people and round up an RV and go back during the Chase.

>What about that segment told you
>about the Talladega experience or
>showed NASCAR fans as anything
>more than ignorant rednecks?

Well, I said above what it showed me about the Talladega experience, but I disagree that it made the people look like ignorant rednecks. I really don't know where that is coming from, and I don't think the people who were shown would appreciate that. I saw people making really elaborate food, all smiles, and having the time of their lives. It looked super fun to me. I would honestly like to know what you thought made them look like ignorant rednecks. There was no ignorance on display and I didn't think it made people look like rednecks, which I take to mean hillbilly-style goofballs.

>So, FOX uses a rich kid from Cali
>to make fun of the NASCAR fans in
>the infield at Dega. Yep, that is
>great sports TV.

First of all, what does it matter if Pizzi is rich from California or not? I never judged Rutledge Wood's upbringing or financial status when watching him do silly non-racing-related segments, of which he has done hundreds. Second, it was about a two-minute piece out of a really long pre-race show. It was funny. I can definitely see how some people might not have thought it was funny, but I did and others have commented that they did, so I don't see this as having any major impact on the sport or the broadcast. If it is that bad, use it as a chance to run to the fridge.

>That Pizzi segment is just what
>NASCAR did not need as the sport
>continues to deal with lower
>attendance and ratings.

Well, we can respectfully disagree on this point... but I will say again that it made me seriously consider attending the next Talladega event from the infield. I wouldn't be surprised if there were many more like me. I can see why you were turned off by it, although some of your animosity towards Pizzi (rich kid from Cali? who cares?) is personal and may bias your opinion. But we are all entitled to our opinions, and I for one liked the segment. Now if it were 10 minutes and really insulting, I might be more likely to see your side of it... but it was a short funny look at the infield. Stuff like "What's your name? Ricky! What's your name? Bobby! That just happened!" could easily have been done by Rutledge. Is it silly to have an obviously pre-planned pratfall that splashes Hammond? Yeah, pretty silly. But we all laughed. I don't see the harm.

Daly Planet Editor said...


If you are a new fan some of your comments make sense.

Several years ago NASCAR fans were subjected to Pizzi in a series of tasteless and subsequently cancelled features the purpose of which was to embarrass the drivers he interviewed and show the "FOX attitude."

Pizzi went on to star in online videos that featured porn stars, strippers and pandered to teen sex topics while masquerading as FOX Sports website content.

This is his second Talladega video since that time. Both featured only rednecks and food. None of the families and/or the familiar Talladega Blvd. buses were included.

Pizzi is a rich kid from Philly. He has no history in NASCAR, no interest in the sport and is not an on-camera personality who has appeared on the NASCAR on FOX telecasts in years.

Just like SPEED used Rutledge Wood to play the fool, FOX dusted off Pizzi for that same purpose.

Had one of the pit reporters put together a professional piece on the Talladega infield, it would have shown the incredibly loyal fans and traced the families who for many years have returned annually to the very same parking spaces.

I appreciate your comments, but truly believe that many of the current problems with the NASCAR on FOX telecasts can be traced to just this kind of content being offered to fans.


The Loose Wheel said...

To be fair, I have never cared for Rutledge either. I have a friend who is a huge fan of his but personally the whole gimmick they use him for just rubs me the wrong way.

As for this Pizzi guy, useless. They seem to have finally gotten Meyers off of his "ignorant to NASCAR" bit which is somewhat nice. The guy is pretty sharp if you'd just let him be.

Paul said...

I missed the Pizzi segment from this past weekend, so after reading some comments on the segment, I decided to look it up for myself.

This segment has left me in amazement for several reasons. All I can think is "who's idea was this?", "what purpose did this serve?", and "who was the target audience?".

Honestly, I cannot think of any other reason other than "just to do it." It didn't present the fans at Talladega with the proper respect, showcase the rich history of NASCAR infields, or spark my interest in attending a NASCAR infield in the future.

In short, this segment was a true fail on Fox's part, as it did nothing to help promote the NASCAR fans. If the goal was to make Pizzi and Hammond less charismatic than before, mission accomplished.

Anonymous said...

I am curious why you think the Pizzi segment showed only "rednecks"? I just saw people cooking and having fun. I didn't see any ignorance on display, and what exactly was so rednecky about the people they showed?

Vicky D said...

I see where other tracks coming up are advertising wrecks as an incentive for "fans" to watch the races on tv. I don't particularly like that but I guess they need more viewers and according to Fox Business yesterday, there were a lot of empty seats at the track.

bobbydjr said...

There's always been people (I don't consider them fans) who go to races, especially Talladega, for the party. All the years I went to 'Dega, most of them were so hung over on Sunday, they slept through the race anyway. But they had a blast partying in the infield on Saturday. Sounds like anon is like that. All he seems concerned with is cookouts and partying. Not once did he mention he wanted to go to watch the race, hence his choice of the words "Talladega event" instead of "Talladega Race". If he thought last Sunday looked like fun, he should have been around back in the 90's.

Garry said...

I still love the "legend" that Darrell Waltrip can't even go to the infield, because some years back, he was,let's just say, "not welcome" there.

bobbydjr said...

As for Pizzi, I'm sure FOX didn't want to waste their pit-reporters time. You don't need any knowledge of racing for a segment like that. Which is probably why they dug Pizzi with his silly Digger t-shirt out of his hole. I think Hammond said it best: “I thought we got rid of you?”

Anonymous said...

I did not see the Pizzi segment as I did not watch pre-race, but just for some perspective...many NASCAR fans get tired of the sport having the 'redneck, hillbilly' stereotype. That isn't to say there aren't *some* people who are like that, which is fine, but there are also doctors, accountants, PC geeks...etc, just like any other sport. No one 'assumes' NFL or MLB fans are rednecks because they tailgate, yet there are still many people who call this sport 'Neckcar' and think we're *all* a bunch of drunken partiers yelling 'git r done' and 'Junior!' all day. It doesn't do the sport good to have people think that's what it's like, *if* that's what this segment did, for it to come from the 'media' covering the race is kind of pathetic, and that's why people might take offense to a segment like that--especially someone with a history of mocking the sport. Perhaps if someone hadn't seen the other 'reports' it might not seem so bad. Wasn't it Danielle who did a Racehub segment last fall on long time tailgaters; I forget which track--asked them about how their traditions came to be (and with a respectful tone....) It was just a 'color' piece but was more in the vein that Paul suggests.

Anonymous said...

That's twice that you have mentioned that Pizzi is a rich kid. Who cares if he has money or not? Honestly, what does that matter?

Second, I disagree that he was brought on FOX to embarrass drivers. None of them looked really embarrassed. I remember Jeff Gordon playfully carried Pizzi around on his back, and Carl Edwards gave as good as he got when it came to insults or jibes.

Slice of Pizzi wasn't just a NASCAR segment. Yeah on Cubed (his old show), they sometimes had strippers and porn stars, but they also had A-list Hollywood actors on all the time, like Denzel Washington and Hugh Jackman. I don't think the actors or the drivers were insulted by him. He did a pretty funny schtick with them where he asks inane questions, tries to get them to eat old pizza, etc. It was silly, and maybe not everyone's cup of tea, but I for one always found it funny.

I don't think a little comedy is all that bad on a NASCAR pre-race show. Besides, I'd rather have my comedy come from a 2-minute comedy segment like Slice of Pizzi or the Talladega piece instead of comedy from Chris Myers and Michael Waltrip. As a NASCAR fan, I am way more insulted by their routine than Pizzi.

Daly Planet Editor said...


The reason I mentioned it is because the other members of the FOX TV team are there because of their hard work and TV experience. That is not the case for this man.

The entire point of the "pizza" interviews were to push to the limit and embarrass the personalities involved. That is why it got old fast.

This is a pre-race show for a top professional sport that will race 35 times this season. There are plenty of stories to tell and interviews to conduct, especially before a race like this.

I appreciate your comments, but disagree that his presence has a place in the NASCAR on FOX telecasts.


Ron said...

Personally, I think Pizzi is the village idiot son of a TV executive with way to much influence and power within his sphere and has no place on television anywhere. His schtick was stale on it's debut and has not aged well at all. I sensed most people who came in contact with him would have loved to cold-cock him mid sentence. I believe his defenders are more like his persona than they would like to know.


Daly Planet Editor said...


Hyperlinks do not work in Blogger comments. Fans can go to the Fox Sports website to view this content.


bobbydjr said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jonathan said...

Just wanted to throw this out there from
Overnight Talladega TV Ratings: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing from Talladega Superspeedway drew a 4.7/11 for NASCAR on FOX coverage of the Aaron's 499. Sunday's 4.7/11 is +34% better than the 3.5/7 FOX earned for racing from Darlington Raceway on the comparable 2011 weekend, and it's +2% better than the 4.6/11 the Talladega race delivered last year when it fell two weeks earlier. For the entire season, NASCAR On FOX trails last year's pace by -4% (4.4/9 vs. 4.6/9).(5-8-2012)


Anonymous said...

I will ask again: why did of bring up twice that pizzi is rich? And what relevance does that have?

Also, I will ask again which specific parts of this video either portray the infield fans as ignorant or portray the as rednecks?

Daly Planet Editor said...


Please check my response above and those of other readers.


procarry23 said...

I've either been missing something or have just gotten good at tuning out the coverage, but I noticed Mike Joy ending statements with, "Right, Darrell?" or something like that... All that does is open the door to the obnoxious DW rants about nothing. Seriously, Mike, call the race and make DW work to interject his comments. Unless Mike has been told by FOX to let DW talk so much??

GinaV24 said...

I no longer watch any of the pre-race shows so fortunately missed Pizzi's return. I was embarrassed when they did that segment with Jeff Gordon and I will usually watch ANYTHING with Jeff on it.

I've been to a lot of races, but generally not in the infield. I've met all kinds of people at the track and the fun is in getting to meet a wide range of individuals. As others said, NASCAR made a big deal of trying to shed the "redneck" image and yet what does Fox play up all the time? Oh yeah, the redneck deal AND wrecks in the promos.

Richard Allen wrote a good article about the drivers getting into the act of chastising the fans via twitter. He makes many of the same points as you did, JD, along with the other posters here. The drivers, broadcasters and NASCAR management are entitled to their opinions, but I think they need to give a lot of thought to whether or not they are willing to alienate MORE of the fan base.

When ratings and attendance are both down from the "good" years, it is a BAD choice to abuse your customers. There are other things to do in life besides watch and attend racing.

Anonymous said...

Jonathan...I'll bring up the obvious. How would people have possibly known in advance the broadcast would be better? Two percent over last year's 'dega...not that big a deal; possibly to do with what else was going on against it.

OSBORNK said...

Anon 1:24PM

Maybe the ratings reflect that people watched more of the race and didn't switch channels or turn in off like they did last year.

Anonymous said...

I'm seeing the word redneck tossed a lot around here, and even a from a few people who admitted they didn't watch the Pizzi segment yet still think it in some way portrayed the infield as rednecks.

I would ask again: how did that segment portray the infield as rednecks? I still have yet to hear a specific example of anything from that segment - in which Hammond and Pizzi are comparing on-track and off-track activities. There are very few fans at all featured in the segment (almost none), so I think a lot of people are throwing around a criticism yet they don't even know what was aired.

Anonymous said...

I could be wrong, but I think Nielsen counts anyone on at the beginning a ding. They may have some other way of calculating those who leave, or maybe the other show just gets a ding.

AncientRacer said...

Ok, JD, People seem overall to have appreciated a better broadcast.


Here is the $64,000.00 question. Can They? / Will They? do it again?

And NO not "Do it again" after there is a near riot, but "Do It again" this coming week simply cause it seems to work with the

... Um ... Um...


E-Ticket said...

It appears that labels are being applied by media members, I am now a tinfoil hat wearing negative person.. Just because I think that we would like to see the race and not hear DW.

Dick Bergren was on Sirusxm today and basically said he couldn't figure out why noone was showing up to the race tracks, blaming people for missing a great product. Everyone is listening making improvements and noone is showing up to the races. He implied the fans didn't know what was good for them, then said everyone is having attendance problems all sports.. Well except for the one that plays on Sundays in the fall.. He never mentioned that..

Boy's have at it applies to media VS. Fans now.

anon 11:44 said...

okay, I went and actually *watched* the Pizzi segment. It was stupid. It wasn't funny; there wasn't even anything interesting about it. It wasn't 'offensive' but I don't see how it contributed anything. It was a few minutes they might have spent on something more useful.

GinaV24 said...

E-ticket, I think I'll join you in wearing that tin foil hat, but it will be to protect my independent thinking from the various mouthpieces, and I will include the drivers in that group, going on radio and TV and once again, completely missing the point - the "product" is NOT that great. Over the past several years, I've been to races at Martinsville, Dover, Charlotte, NH, and Daytona, so I feel that I can speak to whether I've seen a good product AT the track or not. We really like Martinsville and this year IMO I saw a great race - I have no idea how it was broadcast because I didn't bother to record it which is something I would have done in previous years - because it is no longer worth it to me.

Quite honestly, Dover can be a serious snooze for the majority of the race. They've had some great finishes but by golly I'd love to be able to take a nap through about half of the race. Charlotte is another track like that - the night race in October - they shilly shally around with all the chase hype pre-race instead of just getting on with what we came to see. And they tend to spread out in parad laps there too, or someone hits the setup and runs away with the race, so to my mind there isn't a lot of side by side racing going on.

I'm tired of being told by drivers and media alike that I'm too stupid to figure out what is good racing. No, I am not in it for the wrecks, but when watching the cars go fast in circles makes me think I have more excitement in my commute than at a race, there is something wrong with this picture - and it isn't the fans problem to resolve.

NASCAR created its own problems, they need to fix them and they have taken entirely too long to get with the program.

1. Ditch the Chase
2. Get rid of the ugly car - obviously it didn't fix the aero problem
3. Fix the TV issues

Anonymous said...

I don't think the new car was designed to fix the aero problem, it was a safety thing; bigger greenhouse, all that. I'm sure they tested the aero, but maybe it didn't have the effect they thought it would. They need to try out some of the suggestions from the crew chiefs & drivers--including the tires. FYI, I went to Richmond regularly in the 'heyday' where people have said the racing was better, late 90's, early 2000's....and there was nearly *always* a long green flag run (or more) in the middle of the race where very little happened and guys just worked on handling. I find Dover to be like that also. It doesn't bore me as long as I have my scanner & can follow what they're up to. That's just the nature of racing. And that was *Richmond*, it's a stronger likelihood at the mid-size tracks. But enough happened at the beginning & the end that people forgot that part. But tracks like Kansas, Fontana--that beginning & end part doesn't exist. I think the races are too long, but the ISC & SMI do not seem to want to wise up about that. So you add all that up & a poor TV poor that you can't actually see what's going on...and well...we keep saying the same things and we're told we're the problem. Sigh.

Anonymous said...


You all are making way too big a deal out of the Pizzi piece. The fact that it is so polarizing will undoubtedly prompt Fox to bring it back again next year. You gs have discussed that more than any other aspect of the race!

You guys are making way too much of it. The piece looked to me like a humorous look at the racing/non-racing events of Talladega. It was a comedy piece. The familiar chorus line here is that "they'd never do that with the stick and ball sports!" but you're wrong. Fox devotes 2-3 minutes on their NFL pre show on a comedy piece where Frank Caliendo does an impersonation of some celebrity and makes jokes about the players/teams in the NFL. You guys complain about all the features that are promoting some product and claim stick and ball sports don't do the same, yet every year on CBS I am subjected to Dan Marino and Boomer Esiason eating sandwiches with Jared the Subway guy.

I know everyone here wants nothing but hardcore racing discussion, but I for one don't think there's anything wrong with a few minutes of joking around on the show.

Anonymous said...

Daly Planet Editor wrote:

"The reason I mentioned it is because the other members of the FOX TV team are there because of their hard work and TV experience. That is not the case for this man."


But maybe if you keep repeating that inaccuracy it will magically become true.

Daly Planet Editor said...


We went through these issues completely the first time FOX tried "slice" features that were roundly rejected by fans.

His history is no secret to anyone and you can continue to complain all you want.


Anonymous said...

The Waltrip huksters single handedly ruined Dega for me, again.

Anonymous said...


I'm not the one complaining. You are, as are others here. I'm perfectly fine with the Pizzi stuff. You're the one who's not, and not only are you and others complaining about the Pizzi stuff, you're also complaining about those of us who find them enjoyable.

I'm not asking you to like the Pizzi stuff. Everything is subjective. We all have different tastes. I'm just having a hard time understanding why some people have a difficult time understanding that some people do like it. You said that Pizzi was roundly rejected by NASCAR fans. Not by this one. I enjoy him. Does that mean I'm not a fan?

saltsburgtrojanfan said...


Please go away

Daly Planet Editor said...


I never complain. Just like you, I voice an opinion and invite your to voice yours.

We have been down the Pizzi road before and his appearances on the NASCAR on FOX telecast were cancelled.

In the time available for pre-race, fans have been increasingly demanding content that makes sense and informs.

Pizzi's attempts at creating and delivering content to NASCAR fans, readers and FUEL viewers have all ended in the same manner.

Appreciate you taking the time to continue the discussion and flush this issue out.