2023 Cup Phoenix I pack racing II - Ryan Preece, No. 41 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford (Credit: NKP)

Sofa Potato Tuesday: Mike Pleasure defies haters, sluggish response hinders FOX in Phoenix

Given Phoenix Raceways’ standing because the host of the NASCAR Cup Sequence championship race, the March weekend holds nice significance. In 2023, it is much more true for Cup Sequence groups, as new guidelines for brief tracks and street programs make their debut. This could result in a special race.

Racing in Phoenix is ​​all the time just a little disappointing for a lot of racing followers. You do not all the time get the continuous motion that followers crave. It’s doable {that a} pair of drivers will find yourself dominating the affair. That is what you bought on Sunday when Kyle Larson led practically two-thirds of the race by himself.

Nevertheless, the brand new guidelines package deal improved the general racing product at Phoenix. In comparison with final yr’s championship race, there have been virtually 500 extra passes beneath inexperienced with solely 4 fewer laps beneath yellow. The factor is, in the event you do not present as many matches for place as you may, viewers will get bored. For those who attempt to restrict every part, it’s going to damage you.

In truth, there was a FOX Sports activities cross promotion on Sunday. Phoenix hosted a NASCAR Invitational bowling competitors Friday evening on the monitor (aired on FOX Sports activities 1 Sunday instantly previous to NASCAR RaceDay), so we went behind the scenes there. Everybody gave the impression to be having enjoyable there. I admit I watched the bowling on Sunday afternoon. Let’s put it this fashion. There was an enormous distinction between the professionals and the NASCAR drivers.

On the present itself, FOX made a change to its mainstay. For the previous couple of years, FOX has had these match standing strains pop up now and again. Sunday noticed this integrated into the pillar as a technique to present how far we had been within the levels and the race itself.

It wasn’t precisely what I used to be asking for. Most weeks, it’s going to probably be of restricted use. Nevertheless, Phoenix is ​​an exception to the rule. Sunday’s race had irregular stage lengths (60 laps, then 125 and 127). I do not perceive the rhyme or motive for this association, however it’s what we now have. I can not see such a graphic setting having any actual use in a extra customary match, however for extra quirky occasions, it’s going to have a spot.

Sunday additionally noticed a couple of extra points with manufacturing with the ability to monitor the commentators. Just a few laps after the aforementioned pillar reinforcement was revealed, BJ McLeod slowed down on the monitor with what turned out to be a gasoline pump downside.

Danica Patrick was the primary to level out the McLeods’ points, adopted by Mike Pleasure and Clint Bowyer. We by no means noticed something from the monitor crossing or something like that till McLeod bought to 1st on the apron. This isn’t good. On the identical time, they had been protecting Ricky Stenhouse Jr., who hit the wall in Flip 2. They did not discover, however I did. Shortly after, they confirmed a replay of Stenhouses wall contact which we noticed dwell on the overhead digital camera and we did not understand it had occurred. Fairly merely, it was a couple of tough rounds.

The wreck for Aric Almirola was comparable, however not as dangerous. Viewers rely upon the manufacturing crew to rapidly discover the wreck, decide which digital camera captured the incident, and press the button to change to that digital camera. It is a sequence of selections that need to be made in a matter of seconds. More often than not, the manufacturing is in these items, nevertheless it was just a little off on Sunday. That mentioned, it is a very high-pressure place to be in, rather more so than anybody within the broadcast sales space.

The business chaos from the Daytona 500 nonetheless reverberates via FOXs Cup broadcasts. You’ve got most likely observed Pleasure referencing the final full display screen business break beneath inexperienced for the previous couple of weeks and so forth. It appears he took a number of the criticism popping out of Daytona Worldwide Speedway to coronary heart. On an virtually day by day foundation I see Pleasure defending himself and the exhibits on Twitter in opposition to a bunch of jamokes coming after him on this entrance and different points. On Monday, Pleasure wrote this to a Twitter person.

Ouch. I do know I would not wish to get up on Monday after a delayed flight again to North Carolina to search out this ready for me.

The entire scenario bites. Joey has been doing racing on TV or radio since earlier than my dad and mom even met in 1980. I really feel like Joey will get a number of criticism as of late, and not less than a few of it’s undeserved. It isn’t the fault of the manufacturing choices. If something, he is attempting to assist make issues higher.

I feel he is beginning to slip just a little bit, and I am certain he is not blissful about it. It isn’t like he does not put together for exhibits. He has an entire desk filled with notes from all these years that he can go to every time he desires, plus all the brand new stuff he will get each week. Belief me, there’s a number of work that goes into these exhibits that you just by no means see. He most likely reads every bit of data he will get.

The crux of what this Twitter person instructed Pleasure is that she ought to be pulled from broadcasting. Do I feel that ought to be the case proper now? No. I do not suppose Joey ought to depart straight away if he does not wish to.

Pleasure nonetheless has loads of upside in his present play-by-play position. Nevertheless, FOX Sports activities’ strikes over the previous two years are definitely trying to the long run. At 73, Pleasure will not be round ceaselessly. They need to plan accordingly.

That is why you’ve got seen FOX Sports activities spotlight Jamie Little in a play-by-play position, first with the ARCA Menards Sequence in 2021 and now with choose NASCAR Craftsman Truck Sequence races. Vince Welch was additionally probably within the dialog, however they determined to not renew his deal after final yr.

I really feel like if 2023 was going to be Joys final yr on the stand, we might most likely already know. A extra pure time to go away could be the top of subsequent season’s FOX phase. 2024 is the ultimate yr of the present TV deal that dates again to 2015. That mentioned, we already know that Kevin Harvick is ready to affix the printed subsequent season full-time. Possibly this might reinvigorate Pleasure after she needed to undergo the earlier yr and alter with virtually fixed sales space change.

For what it is value, if Joey had been to retire, Adam Alexander would probably get the Cup play-by-play job proper now. He has earlier Cup expertise with TNT and appears to be on the rise for the time being. I do not see that taking place anytime quickly.

With Hendrick Motorsports teammates William Byron and Kyle Larson dominating the race a lot, there was little or no likelihood of seeing battles for the lead. Byron handed Larson within the 2nd lap. The subsequent one did not occur till the final 50 laps. That is precisely what occurred in the course of the single-player portion of Crank it Up.

In contrast to business breaks, I do not imagine that Crank It Up is particularly scheduled each week. It isn’t sponsored, to allow them to put it wherever they need. Throughout the phase, Harvick raced previous Larson for the lead. Bowyer selected to unilaterally finish the phase to speak in regards to the lead change. I feel it was an excellent transfer, however simply with the phase there was a foul thought at first.

At this level, I feel Crank It Up could have outlived its usefulness. In 2001, it was a brand new idea as encompass sound was uncommon and HDTVs existed however had been extraordinarily costly. Now, that is par for the course. It definitely should not detract from the precise battle.

Submit match protection was about common. Viewers noticed interviews with the highest 5 (Byron, Ryan Blaney, Tyler Reddick, Larson and Harvick) and the most recent model of Denny Hamlin wanting payback for Ross Chastain.

General, I felt like Sunday’s broadcast made the battle look just a little extra boring than it truly was. Not good. To draw viewers, that you must make the race look thrilling. If you’re caught in entrance for a lot of the day, will probably be tough to do that.

Sunday was additionally Patricks last sport within the FOX sales space for the yr. They did not say who could be within the stand for the upcoming Cup video games. I assume I ought to discover out later this week.

Subsequent weekend is a really busy one on the earth of motorsport. NASCAR has a triple at Atlanta Motor Speedway with the Cup Sequence, the NASCAR Xfinity Sequence and the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Sequence. At Sebring Worldwide Raceway, you might have the Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring, which is able to lead the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. They are going to compete in most IMSA assist courses, in addition to the FIA ​​World Endurance Championship. Lastly, you might have Method 1 making its third go to to the Jeddah Corniche Circuit. You’ll find TV listings right here.

We’ll have evaluations of the Cup and Xfinity races within the subsequent weeks version of Sofa Potato Tuesday right here at Frontstretch. The Critics’ Annex will cowl Saturday’s United Leases 200 race and Friday evening’s ARCA race from Phoenix, the place we encountered silly strikes, Austin Cindric sneaking in and a first-time winner.

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