Rain is the affliction allotment of egg-shaped racing. Unlike alley courses, rain is a complete no go. Last weekend was every bit of that in Michigan, not aloof for the Monster Energy Cup Series, but the XFINITY Alternation as well. We’ll awning the LTi Printing 250 afterwards this week. For now, the focus is on Sunday’s FireKeepers Casino 400 and Friday night’s Camping World Barter Alternation chase in Texas.
FireKeepers Casino 400
Sunday afternoon brought the Cup Alternation aback to Michigan for its aboriginal appointment of the year. Unfortunately, the rain showed up as well.
Of course, aback that happens, you get a acceptable cardinal of interviews. FOX did not abort with a cardinal of conversations, including drivers such as Jimmie Johnson, Daniel Suárez and Kurt Busch in the Hollywood Hotel.
Sadly, one of the better takeaways from that pre-race appearance was Michael Waltrip authoritative a fool of himself already again. This time, he donned a Belgium National Team jersey and went on about the accessible World Cup in Russia. He again about fell assimilate Martin Truex Jr.’s Auto-Owners Insurance Toyota aback he allegedly tripped over a box associated with Austin Dillon‘s car. While it’s ambiguous at best that Waltrip’s antics abnormally afflicted Truex’s car, it still doesn’t attending good. There was additionally accidental blame as well. We get it. The World Cup starts Thursday. Should be absorbing admitting the actuality that the United States isn’t involved.
We’ve talked about Waltrip’s amusement actuality assorted times in the past. He has a long-held acceptability as a goof. That was article that bodies acclaimed aback he aboriginal confused up to Cup full-time in 1986. It’s rather adamantine to acquaint how the drivers feel about this behavior during the Grid Walks. Some of them array of aback abroad from him (Denny Hamlin is the best notable example), but they’re affable with him abroad from the clue (especially Hamlin). I feel like if they absolutely didn’t like article that he does, they would accept said article to him by now.
Maybe it’s aloof me, but I appetite to apprentice article about the accessible chase from these drivers. I don’t absolutely appetite to see a 55-year old man act like a moron. I apperceive I’m not abandoned here. By all means, you’re declared to accept fun while accoutrement a Cup race. The affair is, alike Waltrip is technically there to educate. It doesn’t assume like he anytime absolutely does that unless you accede “behavior not to carbon aback on a columnist credential” to be educational.
At 3:41 p.m. EDT, FOX cut from alive advantage to air Beyond the Wheel. Consistently a acceptable watch. Meanwhile, the clue dehydration continued. Chris Myers promised that FOX would acknowledgment intermittently to accord updates. They alternate once, again aired The Year Without a King. By that time, the clue was about dry.
FOX acceptable should accept put some affectionate of bar on the awning that adumbrated aback the chase was activity to start. It seems like NASCAR would accept been added than accommodating to accord that advice to its advertisement partner. Remember, not anybody is on Twitter. A ample cardinal of NASCAR’s adolescent admirers are, but not necessarily those that watch on FOX. As a result, a cardinal of admirers were afraid that the chase started aback it did. Saturday was acceptable worse with the approach change from FOX to FOX Sports 2.
With the abiding precipitation never all that far away, the activity we did get on Sunday was rather furious.
Pit activity was big on Sunday and FOX was appealing acceptable at answer aggregate that went on bottomward there in the pits. In addition, Jamie Little spent some time talking about the new aphorism that requires nitrogen gas for the air guns. Thankfully, that’s cut bottomward on some of the failures that bedeviled the aboriginal allotment of the year.
As you know, the chase concluded beneath attention due to the rain. Given the time of day, it didn’t booty continued afore NASCAR alleged the chase Once that was done, admirers alone got three interviews afore FOX larboard to get to its prime-time programming.
The move was not abominable in the atomic aback there were alone 45 account actual in the race’s timeslot aback it started. It was about 7 p.m. aback the chase was called.
FOX did able-bodied in accoutrement the on-track activity but still aching itself by continuing to accord Waltrip such a high-profile role.
Friday night brought the Barter Alternation aback to Texas Motor Speedway for its 41st appointment to the 1.5-mile quad-oval. The chase was absolutely interesting, but FOX Sports 1 brought its own quirks to the evening.
First of all, there was one abounding hour of pre-race coverage, which about never happens. Here, there were two primary features. The aboriginal of which was a allotment on Ben Kennedy, who acclimated to chase in the series, but now serves as the accepted manager. We apprentice actuality that Kennedy was consistently absorbed in the administration ancillary of NASCAR from an aboriginal age, alike while he was harboring intentions to race. A cardinal of added drivers, including above assistant Johnny Sauter accustomed his ability and how he brings a lot of account to the table.
Jeff Hammond compared and assorted his accomplishments to that of NASCAR CEO Brian France. France formed as a NASCAR Official in capricious capacities. For instance, in 1993, he was NASCAR’s Vice President of Marketing. Actuality he is talking to Dr. Jerry Punch about a new program.
Later on, he ran Tucson Raceway Park (now Tucson Speedway) during the years that the clue hosted NASCAR Winter Heat, again helped to actualize the Barter Series.
While France could alone accompany the accumulated angle into active a series, Kennedy brings both the accumulated viewpoint, the driver’s angle and the owner’s angle (remember, he was added or beneath an owner-driver in the K&N Pro Alternation East). The accord is that Kennedy’s captivation should be article to watch. We’ll accept to see what it ultimately looks like.
The added was Todd Bodine’s time at Charlotte Motor Speedway with Jake Olson, the long-snapper from USC. This allotment was teased during FOX Sports 1’s advantage from Charlotte during All-Star Weekend. The takeaway actuality is that Olson may be blind, but he doesn’t let it ascertain him.
By all indications, he appeared to accept the time of his activity with Bodine active him about in one of Ken Schrader’s old trucks. Later, with Bodine’s coaching, Olson collection about Charlotte Motor Speedway in a Toyota at speeds of up to 70 mph. It’s not exceptional of for a dark disciplinarian to drive on a chase clue in an exhibition accident with a sighted guide. In 2007, Albany, N.Y. archetypal bedrock radio base PYX 106 captivated the Eye Bedrock 500 at Lebanon Valley Speedway that featured a cardinal of drivers with agnate altitude to Olson. Car and Disciplinarian entered a Volvo 740 and wrote about it. It was…a thing. I accept that was the alone time it was captivated at Lebanon Valley.
The end of the allotment showed article that previewed the blow of the evening. They cut to Bodine to get added thoughts about Olson. Admirers saw Bodine in advanced of a awning with the FOX Sports 1 logo on it. It was at that point that I accomplished that the berth commentators did not accomplish the cruise to Texas. Granted, this was not as arrant as FOX Sports 1 not absolution Kevin Lee and Phil Parsons alarm the Accepted Tire 150 ARCA chase from the clue (they alleged it from FOX Sports 1’s architecture eight afar away), but it abandoned me. It takes abroad from the advertisement to not accept the commentators on site.
If you don’t go to the track, you cannot absolutely get the beating of aggregate activity on. That can aftereffect in some rather awful broadcasts. Anyone who watched the Accepted Tire 150 would acceptable accede with that. Absolutely simply, that advertisement was asperous for a cardinal of reasons.
Thankfully, Friday night’s barter chase wasn’t anywhere abreast as bad as that. Admirers got a acceptable bulk of activity for position. In addition, the commentators seemed to be adequately able-bodied in blow with what was activity on.
Having said that, they were still a little apathetic on the uptake at times. An archetype of that was aback Jordan Anderson smacked the bank aloof afterwards a backward restart. Viewers could see the acquaintance on the acceleration attempt camera, but there was no advertence to the bank acquaintance for a brace of laps. Alone already cameras zoomed in on Anderson putting bottomward the backstretch with smoke billowing from the Chevrolet was it acclaimed that he smacked the bank (while active a stout 12th at the time).
I cannot vouch whether or not this was the case for everyone, but the video was rather inclement at times during the chase Friday night for me. It came and went. Every now and then, the augment would apathetic down. Strange.
With no Waltrip in the booth, Bodine took his abode there. I would be in favor of Bodine demography that atom full-time. He’s actual abreast about the series, accepting fabricated 220 starts and won two championships. He knows what absolutely works and can aback that to viewers. Absolutely honestly, he’s underutilized at FOX Sports 1.
For a acceptable block of the broadcast, Stewart Friesen’s achievement was a accepted topic. The accord is that he’s activity to win ancient soon. He won’t charge to depend on active anybody at Eldora to accomplish the playoffs, but he’s accepting balked these canicule with advancing so close.
Another instance that absolutely resulted in berth altercation was the Dalton Sargeant–Myatt Snider–Jennifer Jo Cobb crash. Basically, neither Parsons or Bodine could accede as to who was at fault. You be the judge.
Post-race advantage was a little added abundant than what admirers got on Sunday. FOX Sports 1 aired three post-race interview, after-effects and some assay afore abrogation for MLB Whiparound. Nothing special, but they did try to blanket up what they could.
Overall, Friday night’s PPG 400 was an agreeable chase to watch. The chase actual able-bodied could accept been actual altered had there not been two cautions in the final 15 laps, but you can’t do annihilation about that. Not accepting the commentators on-site does account a disconnect, no amount the account involved. Activity forward, I would abundantly adopt that FOX Sports 1 accomplish abiding their berth commentators are on-site at a bald minimum.
That’s all for this week. Father’s Day weekend is the additional off-week of the division for Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Alternation teams.
Just because Cup is off doesn’t beggarly that there isn’t any racing. The better sports car chase of the year is this weekend. The 24 Hours of Le Mans is appointed to go blooming at 9 a.m. EDT Saturday and the chase will air alive on Velocity.
Back actuality in the United States, the XFINITY and Camping World Barter alternation will be in activity at Iowa Speedway for a brace of standalone events. For XFINITY teams, it is the aboriginal standalone chase of the year (if you don’t calculation the Dash 4 Cash races). Finally, the ARCA Antagonism Alternation will be aback in activity at Madison International Speedway. We will accommodate critiques of the Camping World Barter and XFINITY contest in abutting week’s copy of Couch Potato Tuesday actuality at Frontstretch.
For the Critic’s Annex in the Frontstretch newsletter, we’ll awning Saturday’s rain-shortened LTi Printing 250. Was the amalgamation up to snuff, or did it booty the accomplishment out of the race? Find out on Thursday.
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