Nick Bromberg

Martinsville on TV: Split-screen now, split-screen forever!

Nick Bromberg
From The Marbles

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Fox is having absolutely terrible luck this season when it comes to caution flags. Without fail over these first six races, multiple cautions a race have come out while Fox is at commercial.

I'm not blaming Fox for this, as many cautions come out of nowhere. (On the other hand, a pass was inevitable at Vegas, when Fox cut to commercial as Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon were dueling for the lead in the waning laps.)

The only real solution to the problem is side-by-side like the IRL and ESPN/Versus have done, and while the idea has been pitched, NASCAR isn't too keen on the idea. (My guess is that executives feel that advertising rates would decrease, and if that's the case, my counterpoint is that more people may stay engaged during the commercial break if there was a side-by-side feature.)

But Fox missed something else entirely Monday, something that's made for TV. Fox loved showing Marcos Ambrose use seemingly every other car in the field as braking assistance in the corners. After Ambrose did that to Biffle, spinning Biffle out, Biffle came over his radio and demanded that Ambrose let him by on one of the next cautions, or he was going to do the same to Ambrose.

Perfect for television, no? Instead, we never heard anything about it from the television broadcast. (And yes, Ambrose did give the position to Biffle.)

The Good: The mugshots of drivers in the order they finish the race returned, however that was before the green-white-checker finish, not as Hamlin crossed the finish line. Digger was nonexistent. Was there even a Digger cam? Rain-delayed broadcasts are usually frill free, and sometimes that's a good thing. In this case, it certainly was.

The Bad: The pattern of missing cautions. Other drivers were threatening payback as well, but we never heard a peep about it. We never got a replay of Scott Speed's incident. It looked like he slammed into the back of someone/something, but we never found out who or what that was.

Overall Grade: C+. Like I said, there's not much you can do at times to make sure cautions happen while not at commercial, but if Fox would have interspersed a little radio chatter of all the drivers mad at each other (and thus, creating some fun short-track story lines) this would have been a very solid broadcast.

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