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Why Are Fans So Upset at the FOX NASCAR Broadcast?

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What’s Happening?

Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Gateway was memorable for all the right reasons, but many fans were less than enthusiastic about how the race was presented to them. Why were fans so upset with the NASCAR on Fox broadcast on Sunday?

  • The issues with the Fox broadcast mainly boiled down to three moments on Sunday. One was before the race, the next was during the race’s closing stages, and the last was after the race.
  • Fox is returning to NASCAR as part of the next media rights deal through 2031, albeit in a slightly reduced capacity. This means Fox will continue to broadcast NASCAR for years to come.
  • Fans are unhappy with Sunday’s broadcast. They hope for something better when NASCAR on Fox returns to Sonoma this Sunday and next year for the first 14 events of the season.

The Last Lap Battle

Ryan Blaney and Christopher Bell were battling for the lead during the race’s closing laps. As that happened, Fox cut to a double box shot, then a full-screen shot showcasing a Blaney fan and a Bell fan sitting next to each other. Eventually, they cut back to the battle for the lead.

Lucas was incensed at the cut, saying “There’s no defending it”.

Brock Beard, however, was a bit more measured in his critique. He explained that he saw what Fox was trying to do but felt Fox was overextending themselves.

Fox was trying to put the fans in one box with the battle in the other. Whatever the story, something went wrong, whether a technical glitch or a mistake in the production truck.

Some people will like things like this, as it showcases the multiple perspectives of a moment on track. However, others would prefer to see what is happening in the race and keep the focus there instead of cutting away to something else.

Regardless of what side of the fence you are on, something went wrong here, whether within the control of those working on the broadcast or out of their control. Either way, the final product did not look right.

Wrong Names on the Ticker Post-Race

Brakehard quickly pointed out another issue in the post-race. The ticker on the bottom of the screen showcasing the unofficial results included three incorrect names: Justin Allgaier was in the No. 5, Shane Van Gisbergen was in the No. 16, and Kaz Grala was in the No. 15.

Ethan Waller said he is waiting for NBC to start broadcasting the races, hopefully avoiding these mistakes.

Aeropush 5 claims that Fox never has “Banner days” that Brakehard alluded to.

Once again, it’s important to note that we do not know exactly what happened here. Each driver was in the Coca-Cola 600 last week, and the graphics were updated with no issues during the race.

How connected the post-race graphics and race graphics are is uncertain, but how did they change? Was there another technical glitch the graphics operator had no control over, or was it an oversight? Either way, the graphics were factually incorrect, and the issue must be addressed.

The Pre-Race Pyrotechnics

Gateway has a tradition of lighting pre-race pyrotechnics before the race. However, Fox did not showcase it as it was happening. Rather, they chose to showcase it later under an early caution flag. Eric Estepp was one of those upset about the decision.

The color commentators, Kevin Harvick and Clint Bowyer, both noted the pyrotechnics during the broadcast, but the explosion wasn’t shown immediately. Depraved CoT Apologist pointed that out, saying he feels the production and commentary crew are not aligned.

JJsax notes that Fox did eventually show the explosion, but not until after the commercial early in the race

The video below shows Fox eventually showcasing the pyrotechnics.

Now, Fox was in the middle of pre-race coverage, with multiple things to take care of. They interviewed two drivers, showcased the starting grid, talked to pit road reporters, and got the race analysis from Larry McReynolds.

Each of these segments is a staple of the pre-race, giving vital information to the fans about the race. This includes the race length, stage lengths, the starting order, and the storylines to watch out for. These will take priority in most circumstances.

Kevin Harvick specifically mentioned the pyrotechnics during the pre-race interview with McDowell, so it’s understandable that it felt weird not to see them when they went off. However, they were eventually shown on screen. Is there a right or wrong way to go about it? That will be debated.

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Joshua Lipowski

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