Loud Music is a $40 Fine

Just my personal blog.

July 10, 2007

NASCAR: The Last Pepsi 400

Since I got burned out on weekly NASCAR racing a few years ago, about the only races I try to make an effort at watching are the restrictor plate races, since they usually have more excitement than the others. Saturday night’s Pepsi 400 was one of the better races Ive seen in a while. Here are some random thoughts I have about it:

  • Isn’t there a “big one” supposed to happen at plate races? I think the most number of cars we saw in a wreck Saturday night was two or three. What happened?
  • TNT debuted their Wide Open coverage. They touted that viewers were getting the 16×9 “letterbox” view on regular 4×3 screens. I switched back and forth from high def to regular a couple of times, and the high def picture still showed more than the regular picture. Plus, on the high def side, they wasted a LOT of space at the bottom with their info box or ad box or whatever.
  • I will give kudos to TNT for at least trying something new. Putting the crawl at the bottom of the picture was interesting, but, like ESPN, the crawl doesn’t go all the way across, stopping on the left side where a regular 4×3 picture would end. Couldn’t someone have watched a Fox broadcast to see how they do it? TNT and ESPN/ABC neither make full use of the high def screen real estate; they both have a lot of wasted space. And what’s with the non-high def in-car cameras? Fox had those.
  • The main goal of TNT’s Wide Open coverage was to get people to watch commercials. Didn’t work on me. I set the race to record on the Comcast DVR, and started watching it about an hour and a half after it started (the only live viewing I did was to compare the picture against the regular TNT channel). About half way through the race we decided to go see a musician friend play, so I watched the rest of it after we got back. I did see one commercial though, and it was pretty funny. It was the one where Larry MacReynolds hopped on the golf cart to go get a Subway sandwich. The rest of the time, when a commercial came on, I hit the macro buttons on my remote that skip 30 or 60 seconds at a time. I guess the most effective “commercials” were when Bill Weber announced that the segment was “brought to you by” whoever.
  • Kyle Busch is definitely a man without a team. He’s a diamond in the rough, and once he matures I predict he’ll be one of the better drivers on the circuit. It’s critical for his career to get with the right team next year.
  • NASCAR and Sprint officially announced the name of the Cup series for next year. As predicted, it’ll be called the Sprint Cup Series. I wonder if the Sprint car folks have any concern about that name?
  • Tony Stewart once again opens his mouth and inserts his foot. Why can’t he just do what his teammate did and say “I haven’t seen the replay yet” and if they show him a replay, say something less insulting about his own teammate?
  • Dale Junior is looking for a new driver. Hey Dale? Why not help someone who helped you when you were wrecking cars at Nashville Speedway USA? Casey Atwood would be a good choice. Put him in some decent equipment and he can get the job done.

I’m not sure where the Cup cars are racing next week. That’s a shame. I used to be so into this sport, my whole weekends were planned around it. If NASCAR doesn’t figure out that they’re losing long-time fans at the expense of getting new ones (who won’t stay around as long), they’re going to be in deep trouble.

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