Motorsport News

FOX Makes Questionable Production Moves at Gateway

Nascar Cup Series

As far as NASCAR venues go, World Wide Technology Raceway is fairly unique, and not just because of the 1.25-mile egg-shaped oval. You have a different vibe at the track.

It’s not every day that T-Pain and Ludacris perform at NASCAR races.

For FOX Sports, its portion of the NASCAR season is starting to wind down. There is just one more Cup weekend remaining for it. That doesn’t mean that it can’t try new things.

Sunday saw FOX Sports post Regan Smith and Jamie Little on the pit boxes of Denny Hamlin and Chase Elliott’s teams for their first pit stops. That gave them a different view from which to call their stops. Under normal circumstances, they’re calling the stops from ground level in their stall (or a neighboring one), or via the video on a flat screen.

Afterward, they interviewed both crew chiefs (Chris Gabehart for Hamlin and Alan Gustafson for Elliott), discussed what went on during the stop, the changes made (if any) and more. It was a little more insidery than normal.

The race will likely be best remembered for two things. One is the duel between Ryan Blaney and Christopher Bell that was cut short due to Bell’s engine deciding to turn traitor.

This was an excellent fight for the lead in the closing laps that FOX Sports covered well. Despite relatively new pavement, the track is conducive to side-by-side racing. That bodes well for the future.

Now, do I think this was the best race for the lead all season? I don’t know about that, but it was still pretty good. I can understand why the booth was so bummed out to hear that Bell’s engine was acting up. That news came straight from Bell’s radio as neither of the pit reporters reported on it. As of this writing, we’re still not sure what happened to the engine.

The other thing is how the race finished. Seemingly no one knew that Blaney was going to run out of fuel. Not even Blaney.

There was no real discussion of fuel mileage in the final portion of the race other than when they referred to drivers who chose to run long like Brad Keselowski, Kyle Larson and Michael McDowell. The difference here is that everyone knew those drivers couldn’t go the distance.

There were some things that I didn’t particularly like. One example occurred during the final round of stops when Ty Gibbs nearly wiped out his front tire changer. Mike Joy and Clint Bowyer noticed it immediately and…

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