by Steve Wronkowicz
I am co-host of the syndicated radio show: ON PIT ROW. Over ten years on the air and three on the net; see what can happen when I don't let the facts get in the way of my opinions.February 12, 2009 6:19 pm UTC 5 Comments
Much has been made about the Gatorade Duels not meaning much for most of those involved.
After all, there were only seventeen drivers who had a stake in the races. The Daytona Seven were looking for only four spots in the 51st Daytona 500. The Duels were about racing for starting positions, but the biggest stories were about those four spots that needed to be filled.
So why was it that SPEED didn’t focus on those battles to make the race? Mike Joy, Larry McReynolds and Darrell Waltrip kept TV viewers abreast of who was doing what during the races until the last laps of each race. Sure race fans want to see who wins the race, but the bigger story was who was in and who didn’t make their dream come true.
In neither race did the cameras give viewers a look at the battles for the transfer spots. Scott Riggs beat out Joe Nemechek to make the field while Front Row Joe would end up on the outside looking in. It took the results of the second race before Nemechek’s fate would be known, but fans wanted to see the Riggs/Nemechek battle.
The conclusion of the second Duel was just as mysterious for the TV fan as SPEED focused their coverage on the front runners only. Again, the finish of the front runners was exciting and worthy of coverage, but we all knew they would be in the race. The bigger story revolved around Jeremy Mayfield, Regan Smith and AJ Allmendinger.
Lets hope that ALL the TV coverage in 2009 shows viewers everything going on everywhere on the race track, not just the leaders. There are stories and battles everywhere. Don’t short change the TV viewers by showing only the leaders. Let’s do better in ’09.
photo credit: Icon Sports Media