NASCAR: Daytona and Phoenix Finishes Overshadow Pothole and TV Coverage

Ashley McCubbinAnalyst IApril 13, 2010

PHOENIX - APRIL 10:  Ryan Newman, driver of the #39 Tornados Chevrolet, celebrates with a burn out after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series SUBWAY Fresh Fit 600 at Phoenix International Raceway on April 10, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

When you think back to a race, what stands out most to you?

The round of pit stops mid-race? The type of racing that took place? The guy who wrecked on the first lap? Or the finish?

Most people would answer that question as the finish, which brings us to the point of discussion.

In the races this year at Daytona, Las Vegas, Martinsville, and Phoenix, the finish has been the point of discussion. Though in that finish being what we’re talking about, have we missed other key points that should be discussed?

When we left Daytona, the media was all over the fact that Jamie McMurray won after making the big move to Earnhardt-Ganassi. They were also talking about the big run to the front that Dale Earnhardt Jr. made at the end.

What about the pothole? That lost discussion pretty quickly. The only talk that was created of that was a statement from NASCAR and the track stating that they’d make sure the problem is fixed.

My question is: what if this becomes a problem when we go back in July? Isn’t there blame to push around then?

Now I bring you to Phoenix, since Las Vegas was okay for its standards and Martinsville I didn’t get to see due to no TV access, though heard it was a good race overall.

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At the end of the race, everybody was discussing the fact that Newman won since it was his first win since the 2008 Daytona 500. They were also discussing how it was the first win for Stewart-Haas racing in where Tony Stewart wasn’t driving.

Though the underline situation, what about the TV coverage? What about some of the questionable calls during the race?

The calls were something that mostly 80 percent of NASCAR Nation looked. David Yeazell was the first person to point it out to me as it was something that I overlooked.

Though what about the TV coverage?

FOX’s crew was one of the most respected and recognized for a long time. However, with their antics this year, they are quickly becoming the worst. 

To start, their commercial breaks are at the point of too many and to add to that, they sometimes include missing key action that happens.

Secondly, their commentary continually makes the races boring as they don’t have the same enthusiasm that they had before. With how they were calling the race, it made me want to go into “nap time” in the middle of it.

Thirdly, as pointed out by Yeazell, they missed pointing out these key aspects, which is why they flew over my head most likely.

Lastly and most importantly, their post-race coverage was terrible. At the end of the race, they interviewed the top three finishers and that was it. What about Kyle Busch? What about Denny Hamlin?

As seen with other networks and news articles, sure Busch took off as normal, though crew chief Dave Rogers shed some light on the issue.

Hamlin was also open to discussing how he was feeling and why he ran the whole race.

Though due to the type of finish, this discussion will be take place a couple days after though by mid-week, it will be forgotten and all that will be left is Newman.

Is there something wrong with that? Absolutely! True issues that face the sport aren’t being addressed and then the ratings will continue to go down.

In the end, I have to admit that it’s amusing that this is happening when before, I believed NASCAR had one of the best systems of reporting. Though now, it looks like it’s gone down the drain.

NASCAR says that the decrease in ratings is due to Dale Earnhardt Jr. not winning and Jimmie Johnson’s domination. Though in truth, why aren’t they taking a look at the internal structure and TV coverage?

Simple. They think things are perfect the way they are due to the money. They are making money from the TV contracts, and the TV people are making money from the advertisers.

Money has taken over the world due to the economic downturn and due to the change in shift of how the world runs.

Hopefully, with new people coming into the sport’s media, they can change this image and put things towards the upswing.

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