Monday, February 25, 2008
I'm not even talking about the fans watching on television that got dragged around by FOX and NASCAR but the fans who actually went to the race and got there early for the festivities were completely screwed.
Get this. Not only was the race delayed three times due to rain, crashes, and Michael Waltrip leaking oil onto the track, but NASCAR officials told fans at 10pm that the race was going off at Midnight. It didn't but fans had to wait until Midnight (PST) to get the final word.....
By the time they completed 87 laps and had to stop again at 6:11 p.m. -- this time for more than four hours -- race officials had issued seven cautions because of bad weather or debris on the track.Okay, that's a little over the top, but I can understand the frustration. And mind you.....that's West Coast time. All in all fans at the track could have ultimately waited over 12 hours as NASCAR and FOX strung fans along.
The race was scheduled to resume at 11 p.m., and only a handful of fans remained in the stands huddled under ponchos or makeshift shelters crafted out of plastic sheets. NASCAR officials finally decided just before 11 p.m. to postpone the race until this morning.
Those officials should be grateful that the day's casualty list was limited to dented sheet metal, sheared off bolts and shredded rubber.
That list could easily have included broken bones and battered bodies.
You can't ulimately say if FOX was involved or if this was entirely NASCAR's decision, but with the Oscars happening on ABC it really seemed like they were trying to get people to stick around and watch the race. Just a horrible decision in regards to fans and it's drivers to try and finish one race.
I think Larry Brown sums it up best....."FOX had the viewers by the balls if you’re a NASCAR fan. If you made the choice to commit to watching the race, you hung around the extra two hours. And what’d they tell you on your local FOX channel? Sit around and watch our post-Oscars coverage in the meantime."
NASCAR Crapped on Race Fans Sunday (Larry Brown Sports)
Decision to go ahead with auto race is all wet (LA Times)
NASCAR's Debacle in Cali (The Sporting Blog)