It’s blasphemous to speak badly of NASCAR on road courses in the year 2018 but I’m about to do it.
NASCAR at Sonoma this season SUCKED. It did just suck it was one of the worst races/presentations you will ever see. FOX capped off their portion of the broadcast season with their worst performance to date. For the second straight year, the nearly two-decade-long broadcast partner did an atrocious job of presenting the race in an appealing manner.
No Stages On Road Courses
This is an easy thing to complain about but it’s the truth. NASCAR implemented stages last season and it drastically changed the two road course races on the schedule. No longer are you planning your race backward from the start, instead, it just makes it through the first two stages and then work your strategy in the third stage.
Like we saw on Sunday the leaders don’t give a damn about stage points, instead, they’re still working their strategy as if the stages don’t exist. So what’s the point of the stages then? They’re just pointless cautions at that point that disrupt the flow of the race.
Disparity Between Good Road Racers And Bad Ones Is Bigger Than Ever
There are three maybe four drivers that are good on road courses in NASCAR currently. The rest of these mouth breathers can’t figure it out. Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr, and Clint Bowyer were the class of the field and spent most of the day within 3 seconds of one another.
The rest of the field was 7 seconds or more behind 3rd place nearly the whole day. These guys have no idea what they’re doing even though Fox tells us they went to so and so’s driving school in the offseason. Well, Mike Joy, they wasted their money because homeboy can’t turn and shift at the same damn time.
Combine that with a number of crew chiefs struggling to work strategy and you have a very non-compelling race that left even the die-hards nodding off towards the finish.
Fox, What The Hell Are You Doing?
Sunday at Sonoma Fox appeared to attempt a “how bad can we make this race” campaign. And I’ll be damned if they didn’t do a good job at executing that plan.
From completely missing passes for the lead to tight shots on the leader running 13 seconds ahead of second, to using onboard cameras way too much, Fox showed everyone how not to do a broadcast.
While the TV was focused on showing the leaders run away here are a number of things they missed. Cole Whitt hit the tires in the esses, Ryan Newman spun at the top end of the race track, Jimmie Johnson dumped Suarez and Hamlin passed Johnson in the final corner. You had no idea any of that happened because Fox didn’t show it.
There were so many mistakes in the broadcast it would take 1500 words just to transcribe all of them. One of the best, however, was when they tossed it to Larry Mac and his virtual engine to show us where the power steering pump is located except the virtual engine didn’t even have one. While they’re showing us where this non-existent pump is there was a pass for the lead they had to show us in a replay. Talk about dropping the ball.
Sonoma wasn’t a good race and Fox did it no favors by trying to attempt to make it entertaining.
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