By "Dawg" Chapman
Lately NASCAR Cup broadcasts, on Faux, seem to be a lot more hocus, than pocus. A lot of this, I attribute to the presence of two, count‘en two Waltrips in the booth, but that’s another story, for another time. We’re subjected to a constant barrage of Mikie, shilling for his sponsors, DW, shilling for Mikie, & both shilling for Toyota.
While the Waltrips may be the worst example of the conflict of interest, it’s by no means the only one. We’ve had RAY Evernham, Rusty Wallace, (that had to have been tough for Rusty, at times,) Brad Daugherty. Sort of a special case, is Kyle Petty, aside from the family connection, Kyle is pretty much separated from RPM. Does a very good job in the booth, & I don’t think we can count him.
With all the people to choose from, I’m surprised that the TV partners continue to allow this.
While I’m thinking about it, what’s up with Jeff Hammond? They don’t seem to have a clue, what to do with him this year. So he goes to different spots around the track, big deal. What does this add to the broadcast? It’s kind of like a Where’s Waldo segment. With as little time allotted to actually showing the race, between commercials, I find this a total waste of time.
I love to go to races. I love the sounds, & the smells, my absolute favorite being the smell of methanol. There’s no experience quite like being there. My personal “bucket list” includes some tracks that will involve some long distance travel. That having been said, I just don’t go to Cup races. There, I’ve said it. I want to drive in find a parking spot. Walk up to the ticket window, buy my ticket. Walk in, find a seat, (I prefer high up at the entrance to the number one turn) plop down my cushion, & enjoy the show.
I don’t enjoy sitting in traffic 2 hours to get in, then doing it again for 4 hours, to get out. Not to mention, paying 350. a night, with a 3 night minimum, for a 75. room. I strongly suspect that I’m not alone in this.
That’s why I satisfy my NASCAR jones, in front of the TV. There is, however one pretty serious fly in this ointment.
We can only watch what the TV producer chooses to show us. When I’m at a track, it’s a very rare race that hasn’t got something interesting to watch. It might be two guys racing each other hard for tenth place. Whatever it is, it’s there, if you look for it. As a TV fan we just don’t have that option. We can mute the sound, & go with MRN, or Serious, I know many people do. We can use Hot Pass if it’s available, but the vast majority of fans can only watch what the TV chooses to show us.
I’m a fan of the split screen, during commercials, but I remember one race earlier this year. When the split screen mostly showed us the wall, while the camera searched around for something to show. About the time they finally locked on a car, they changed to another camera,& it started all over again. A small glitch, to be sure but these guys are supposed to be professionals. What the TV cameras mostly show is the leader. Makes no difference if he’s being challenged, or cruising around with a 20 car lead.
When Faux first came onboard, they tried the heavy handed method of hi-jacking the sponsors, by blocking out the hood logo if the sponsor hadn’t paid them “mention money.” They caught so much flak, that they backed off almost immediately. They still lean toward showing cars, whose sponsors are buying adv. space but it’s not so blatant.
It’s not that every race doesn’t have elements of interest; it’s just that the TV producers don’t allow us to find them.
The Truck races, on Speed should be mandatory viewing for anyone associated with the Cup broadcasts. Another series that they should watch is F1. Not so much for the TV coverage, but to listen to the announcing crew. Week in, week out, they’re the best in the business. David Hobbs,Is a particular favorite of mine.
I’m not going to stop being critical of NASCAR, when I think they have it coming.
But I think that NASCAR could be much better served by its TV partners.
If the coverage were better, NASCAR would come off, looking better.
A great race, could overcome lackluster coverage, but pair that coverage with a below average race, & they tend to highlight the flaws in each other.