Saturday, May 12, 2012

Sprint Cup Series From Darlington On FOX

This is going to be a very big night for the NASCAR on FOX team. It's been an up and down season on TV with the addition of a second Waltrip and the ongoing struggle between the "hyper-tight" coverage and showing viewers the actual racing.

Last weekend in Talladega, FOX surprised many of us by returning to a classic style of NASCAR TV that focused on the groups of cars racing for position and then used tight-shots and in-car cameras to emphasize the speed and danger. It worked like a charm.

What did not work like a charm was the commentary from the Waltrips. Michael continues to be conflicted by his team interests, sponsor mentions and over-the-top promotion of the sport. Darrell is having a tough time focusing on the specific issues on the track and the details of the race.

Many fans told us they used the MRN radio feed which is streamed online for free and muted the TV, keeping the pictures but shutting out the audio. That is really a blow to FOX, a network that features the best group of pit reporters and one of the best play-by-play men in the business in Mike Joy.

Darlington is a great opportunity to finally get the TV pieces together. Mike Joy should have lots of work to do in calling the action on this tough track. Hopefully, he is allowed to do just that. His performance will work much better if we are seeing wideshots and the groups of cars rather than just a chosen one or two.

As a reminder, Darlington features single file racing in the corners and the passing is done down the straights. At the end of the straightaway, one car must yield for the corner and that is where the incidents have traditionally taken place. Keep an eye on whether we see most incidents like or replayed.

There is a blimp cam and Josh the cameraman supplied the picture on this post. Hopefully, especially on restarts, we will see an aerial shot and let the night pictures tell the story of the racing. The darker it gets, the better these pictures look.

We put this post up for your comments during the race, but we chat live this season over on Twitter. Please join us by typing #TDP1 into the search box at or tagging your tweets with #TDP1 to be included in the live stream. Twitter is easy to figure out and there are hundreds of NASCAR information sources that provide content during the live race.

There will be a post up immediately after the race for your long form comments. We appreciate you taking the time to stop by and hope to see you on Twitter tonight!