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Shane van Gisbergen has consistently been in the NASCAR headlines over the last month since his surprise win on the Chicago street course. As expected, he was the talk of the town this past weekend, competing in both the Truck Series race at Indianapolis Raceway Park and Cup event on the road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

A large number of international viewers tuned in to both races to see how the New Zealand driver would fare during his second run in NASCAR. They saw dramatically different coverage from Fox, which carried the trucks on Friday, and NBC, which showed the Cup race on Sunday, and how one network’s coverage and professionalism clearly outshined the other.  

Fox misses crash during NASCAR Truck Series race at Indianapolis

On Friday night at IRP, many international race fans got their first taste of the NASCAR Truck Series, and the Fox coverage that comes with it. And it didn’t take long for them to get on social media and start asking questions like, “Is it normal to have commercials this soon?” The first commercial break came at the five-minute mark and just 12 laps into the race.

When the broadcast returned from the commercials, there had been a three-truck accident involving the sport’s most popular driver, Hailie Deegan. It was bad enough that fans watching at home had to miss the accident live, but it was even worse when Fox showed three replays of the incident and none of the angles showed how it started. Not a single camera around the short .686-mile track caught it. 

Phil Parsons noted it on the broadcast.

“Our cameraman (driver) Daniel Dye usually gets us good views of that, but I think he was ahead of all that when that happened,” he said. It’s never a good sign when you’re relying on an in-truck camera to capture the action instead of numerous trained camera personnel strategically positioned around the track. 

By comparison, there was a crash on the second lap of the Cup Series race on Sunday at Indianapolis between Joey Logano and Justin Haley. The NBC broadcast actually showed the No. 31 car live a split second before it violently crashed in Turn 6. Within seconds, the replay showed Logano go out wide over the curb and send the Kaulig Racing car into the grass before it made a hard impact with the tire barrier.

Fox doesn’t send broadcast team to tracks

For years, Fox has carried the first half of the NASCAR Cup and Xfinity Series seasons before handing off the reins to NBC for coverage on the back end of the season, including the playoffs. Fox broadcasts the Truck Series for the entire season. This season was no different.

However, this year there was a notable change in Fox’s coverage of the trucks once that transition was made in June. During the first half, with trucks going to the same tracks as the Cup and Xfinity cars, the broadcast team has always been in attendance at the track up in the booth. 

Interestingly, since the Cup and Xfinity races moved to NBC, Fox has sent its pit road reporters to the Truck Series venues, but the booth announcers have not traveled to the track. Instead, they remain at the Charlotte studios and try to make it appear that they’re at the track by standing in front of a wall of TVs with the track showing in the background.  

Fox officials declined to comment for this story. 

What makes that decision — one can only assume is a cost-cutting measure — even more embarrassing is just a few weeks ago when the Cup Series raced at Richmond and Xfinity raced at Road America, NBC sent broadcast teams to both venues. Meanwhile, the trucks ran at Richmond and the Fox team stayed home. 

With the Truck Series starting the playoffs this past weekend, did Fox send its broadcast crew? Nope. It didn’t happen.   

Doesn’t treat other sports this way 


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What’s interesting is comparing how Fox treats its NASCAR coverage to other sports on the network. When you turn on an NFL game on Fox in the coming weeks, you will see all the announcers live and in-person broadcasting from the booth in one of the 32 respective venues.

The same can be said for the current FIFA Women’s World Cup. All announcers are on site. And it’s being played on the other side of the world in Australia and New Zealand, or the home of a certain driver who was racing in the US over the weekend. He finished 19th in the trucks and 10th in Cup.

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