NASCAR On FOX: The Best In The Business

Mark Eckhart Jr.Correspondent INovember 6, 2008

Mike Joy has been a staple in the NASCAR community for over 30 years now. He is well respected among his peers, the other drivers, and by fans across the country as being one of the best. He's only one-third of the best trio in NASCAR in my opinion, that consists of himself, former crew chief Lary McReynolds, and former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Darrell Waltrip.

Add to that Jeff Hammond and Chris Myers from the Hollywood Hotel, and Dr. Dick Bergeren, and NASCAR On FOX gives us the best coverage for the races they're scheduled for.

Don't we just wish they could do the whole season?

There's just something about a race on FOX that gets me excited. When the field is coming off of turn four and I hear Larry Mac say "Reach up there and pull those belts tight one more time!" which is quickly followed up with Darrell saying "BOOGITY BOOGITY BOOGITY LET'S GO RACIN BOYS." I'm already filled with excitement, and there's still a whole race to be run between 43 of the very best in the world.

I believe that together FOX offers the best coverage, as well as the best pit reporting, and the best analysis both during the race, and when it comes to technical aspects about the cars. Having two former crew chiefs in Larry Mac, and Hammond certainly helps, but they definitely know their stuff even when it comes to the COT. You can tell that they definitely do their homework before each race.

Back in 2003, when i first became a fan of Nascar, I was extremely upset to hear that FOX only did half of the season, and that they had to turn it over to NBC for the second half. I did end up growing accustomed to their broadcast team which consisted of Allen Bestwick, and former drivers Wally Dallenbach and the late Benny Parsons.

I really liked Bestwick because at times I saw a very young Mike Joy. Bestwick brought such energy to the broadcast booth, and NBC needed it.

I didn't think Wally was all that great, and although BP was a legend, there were times i was asking myself why he said some of the things he said because at times they didn't make sense. Bestwick helped make up for it because he understood that NASCAR attracts new fans every week and he took the time to explain certain rules about the sport, that the casual fan might not be aware of.

It's a shame the NBC took him out of the booth and replaced him with Dick Weber because Bestwick was the best man on the NBC team, and now they've digresses even more.

Now onto the move that I still can't make sense of. NASCAR gave ESPN rights to the second half of the season, including all the chase races. I can't understand this move except from a money standpoint because I believe ESPN has the worst coverage of all the networks.

There are to many times I'm yelling at my television wishing I could listen to Mike Joy and company, but then I realize I have to wait until February so I'm stuck listening to Andy Petree give five different diagnosis for a tire problem, and Dale Jarrett giving five more.

Don't get me wrong, Dr. Jerry Punch is fantastic. He is the only reason I don't sit through the races on mute because he keeps me entertained. He has the ability to get you excited about the finish of a race, and then Petree will come in with a pointless statement and kind of ruin the moment for you.

I honestly don't know how Tim Brewer got a job handling the cut away car. He looks like that fan in the garage area that looks under the hood, and gets completely lost. Half the time I don't even understand his technical explanations, and the other half I assume I won't understand them so I don't pay attention.

Obviously I believe FOX is the best of the three stations that cover NASCAR racing, and it would be really nice to give FOX a bigger piece of the schedule. Even if they alternated Chase races with each other and gave FOX half the schedule, that would be a step in the right direction.

I mean Larry Mac, Jeff Hammond, Steve Byrnes, and DW are already at the track every weekend because of their Trackside committment, and I'm sure it wouldn't be a problem to get Dick Bergeren and Mike Joy to fly in for a few more races, and give us fans a chance to listen to a truly gifted commentary team.