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The Wrecks You Didn’t Get to See on TV This Weekend

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What’s Happening?

The finishes to each race this weekend at Martinsville featured wild and frantic sprints to the finish. However, the TV broadcasts were unable to show some of the incidents that happened in the closing laps of the races. Thankfully, we have the best photos and videos we can find of these incidents here. These are all the incidents that TV crews missed.

  • Broadcasting the end of the race is much different than broadcasting during the middle of the race. The focus, especially when a race is close, is almost always on the leaders, which means that incidents in the back of the pack often get missed during live action. However, there is usually a replay shown from a camera somewhere that was able to catch the incident.
  • Both the Xfinity Series and the Cup Series saw major incidents in the closing laps. However, TV broadcasts either could not find a good angle of the incident, or they did not have the incident at all.
  • Fans were miffed at the lack of coverage for these critical moments of the race. They instead saw damaged race cars without any certainty of what happened.

Xfinity Series Multi-Car Crash

The Xfinity Series race ended under caution at Martinsville due to Riley Herbst being backed into the wall in turn one, or so we thought. In the ensuing replay, which is highlighted above. we see Herbst crash before two other cars pile in when the replay cuts away. No one knows or was shown exactly what happened.

Adam Alexander theorized that Ryan Ellis was the one who piled in at the end, and he was proven right by the below social media post. Alpha Prime Racing posted the photo below of the torn-up No. 43 car confirming it. While there is no video of the crash. we do see the aftermath. Brandon Jones was the other one involved in the crash, but, no photo of his car could be recovered.

It’s important to remember what the focus of the broadcast is on at this point. The focus is on the battle at the front at the end of the race, and that’s where cameras will be pointed to. When Herbst crashed, there was a good angle on him, and the camera followed him as the camera was supposed to. Unfortunately, more cars piled in well after Herbst crashed, and the camera was out of position to catch that.

Cup Series

During the finish of the Cook Out 400, the Fox commentators acknowledged that there was an incident coming to the white flag. NASCAR never flew the caution flag, so, it was never shown on TV. Thankfully, NASCAR released in-car camera footage of the last lap incident.

This footage is from the on-board cameras of Justin Haley and Austin Cindric. Cindric does a half-spin and after a bunch of contact, he is turned back in the right direction and moves forward. The race ends under green with no one stopping on the track.

RFK Racing also released this photo from after the race. This showcases the damage that Brad Keselowski got after the race.

Again, this can partially be blamed on Fox focusing on the close battle for the lead on the final lap, but, also on the nature of the incident itself. Every car in the incident ended up being pointed straight and finished the race. A director of a broadcast, when having little time to react, likely immediately thinks nothing of contact if no cars are turned around backward. By the time it was acknowledged on the broadcast, the incident was over.

All that to say that a director is juggling a lot of things at one time. Unfortunately, on the last lap, the focus naturally turns towards the front, which can cause things at the back to be missed. Regardless, why there was no replay of this incident live is uncertain.

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Picture of Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

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