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Was Sunday a Turnaround for the FOX NASCAR Broadcast?

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Cody Williams

Cody Williams

Cody Williams is the author of BUNNY BOY and THE FIFTH LINE. He lives near Bristol, TN.
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With many complaints from the "keyboard warriors" aka fans on Twitter, FOX bounces back with a pretty decent broadcast for Atlanta

What Happened?

For the last several of years, much has been said about FOX’s ability to broadcast NASCAR races. The chatter has been mostly negative. With their tendency to perform silly skits and Bowyer acting as a clown for most of his tenure in the broadcast booth, many in the industry as well as many younger NASCAR fans have grown tired of the same old silliness, wanting their favorite sport to be taken on a much more serious level.

This, in turn, has led to many fans preferring NBC’s race coverage to FOX (which was unheard of 15-20 years ago) while still not totally loving it (NBC). For the race in Atlanta, however, could FOX actually be listening to fans and taking their criticism to heart?

You Need To Know:

  • For many years in the early 2000s, FOX was the preferred channel to cover NASCAR races. The tide started to shift, however, in the later years of Darrell Waltrip’s career as a broadcaster. The inclusion of Michael Waltrip’s Gridwalk, silly skits, and shying away from the emphasis that NASCAR is, indeed, a sport, has rubbed a lot of fans the wrong way, causing them to either lose interest altogether or crave for a new TV contract deal, which could possibly leave FOX out of the running. Not to mention a lack of side-by-side breaks and refusing to cut back to the action as a wreck breaks loose, which is a recipe for disaster, at least when it comes to fan enjoyment.
  • Some comments made by none other than NASCAR on FOX veteran, Mike Joy, during coverage from Phoenix as he called out the “keyboard warriors” indicated that FOX might actually be listening to fan complaints. While the line was originally meant to be a jab most NASCAR fans watching took offense to, it was clear that something was different this time around for Hotlanta coverage. Most commercial breaks were side-by-side’s, there was a very noticeable reduction to the silliness that, these days, tends to come with as a side of NASCAR broadcasts aired on FOX, and some new features (such as the caution light cam and the progression bar) which were created to capture the “keyboard warriors” attention.
  • As the race was getting ready to start, it seemed to be same old, same old over on NASCAR Twitter as fans reacted to Bowyer’s silly no-practice opinion but the tide quickly turned. As the race went from very boring for over half to actually quite enjoyable in the final stage, the overall morale of the fanbase and NASCAR on FOX viewership seemed to get a little better, indicating that NASCAR on FOX might actually be heading in the right direction.

The improvement of the broadcast wasn’t the only improvements on the weekend, however. After two nightmarish races on Saturday, Sunday’s 400-miler seemed to be a snooze fest as follow-the-leader started to set in.

In the final stage, though, the boys got race-y. There was a lot more side-by-side action and that wasn’t hindered by constant cautions, like the races on Saturday were. This led to a clean, thrilling finish between Bad Brad in his No. 6 Mustang and Joey Logano in his No. 22 Penske Ford – which stole the show.

The Main Characters

Everybody involved in the NASCAR on FOX crew has to considered a main character. The FOX news coverage was a huge improvement over the last several weeks and they’re hoping to continue that success.

Today it was announced that Tony Stewart would return to the NASCAR booth for Bristol Dirt, Talladega, and Charlotte. With any luck, the chemistry the three seem to have will carry over.

The fans are just as much of a main character as the FOX crew. It was the complaints of the “keyboard warriors” (Mike Joy’s words!) that seemingly pushed FOX in the right direction this weekend. With any luck, the turnaround will continue throughout the FOX portion of the 2023 season.

In The Stands

Dirt racing enthusiast, Richard Allen, applauds Tony Stewart for informing FOX of their choose cone graphic mistake.

Brett criticizes FOX for their overuse of onboard cameras.

Early on in the race, not much was happening…so CarnationTM calls out Bowyer for applauding the “best of the best” for simply running in a single file line.

Rob Taker feels sorry for Tony Stewart as it appears that every time he joins the broadcast team, his co-owned Stewart-Haas Racing has nothing but misfortune.

Ben Schneider tweets this funny comment about full-screen commercials with a nod to the John Travolta ad.

VN criticizes FOX for cutting away from real action for Larry Mac and his cutaway car gig.

Brian Fletcher criticizes Joy for calling out the keyboard warriors yet again…over nothing they’ve ever commented about…

Chloe approves of Clint and Tony working side by side, feeding off each other’s personalities.

On Your Screen

Jaret of The Iceberg on YouTube points out that practice makes 100% difference when it come to race performance…

OOTG’s Eric Estepp digs the pit box cam. Yeah, it’s pretty GROOVY!

JettMDK of YouTube applauds NASCAR on FOX for acknowledging their fans who are persons of color.

Black Flags Matter host thought it was hilarious when Regan Smith apologized to Tony Stewart for his team running poorly in Atlanta. Can’t say I disagree…

The Iceberg loves his Tony Stewart salty!

Black Flags Matter found Joy’s keyboard warriors comment to be quite humorous.

Brock Beard, a great NASCAR documentarian on YouTube, applauds NASCAR for cutting back to the action from commercial when an accident occurs.

Eric Estepp feels the same. Great job with that, FOX!

From The Pressbox

Steve Luvender ain’t no keyboard warrior, he’s a keyboard worrier. There’s a stark difference.

Ben, The NASCAR Guy, really digs the race tracker. Same, bro.

Rob Blount didn’t care for the amount of time NASCAR on FOX cut to show people in the crowd.

Steve Luvender, our resident keyboard worrier, captures Kathy’s one shot.

Alan Cavanna digs the caution light cam, particularly for the closing laps.

Matthew Owens feels the same. It’s a pretty neat addition to the broadcast viewing experience, I must say.

With NASCAR on FOX making huge improvements to the racing coverage (at least compared to where we were), will the trend continue? We at The Daily Downforce certainly hope so.

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Cody Williams

Cody Williams

Cody Williams is the author of BUNNY BOY and THE FIFTH LINE. He lives near Bristol, TN.
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