Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano, and Ryan Blaney Overcome Embarrassing Moment During Drivers-Only Broadcast and Expose Fox Sports for Issue Fans Have Complained About for Years
On Saturday at Charlotte, Kevin Harvick served as the lead announcer in the booth for the drivers-only broadcast on Fox’s coverage of the Xfinity Series race, with Ryan Blaney and Joey Logano working alongside him. The three drivers all displayed how they have a promising future in broadcasting if they so choose when their racing days are over.
Interestingly, the trio was put in an embarrassing situation late in the race and they all handed it professionally, and, in the end, collectively exposed the network during the moment and highlighted an issue fans have complained about for years.
Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano, and Ryan Blaney work Xfinity Series race in broadcast booth
Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano, and Ryan Blaney aren’t broadcast rookies. Each has worked up in the booth multiple times before, and it shows. Both Logano and Blaney have become regulars on Fox’s Xfinity Series coverage this season.
On Saturday at Charlotte, the two Penske teammates worked well with Harvick in describing the action and providing insights on what was happening on the track.
The trio described an exciting race that featured a pair of JR Motorsports cars in Justin Allgaier and Josh Berry pulling away from the field and battling for the win, and the latter coming away with the victory.
Fox doesn’t show action and Kevin Harvick calls them out
With just over 40 laps remaining, Noah Gragson took the lead when Allgaier and Berry made green-flag pit stops. The broadcast showed a split-screen with Gragson in one box and the leaders pitting in the other. When Allgaier completed his stop and began to leave pit road, the drivers in the booth were discussing his return to the track and how close it might be between him and Berry, who had surged out to more than a 10-second lead on the field.
However, when the broadcast ended the split-screen, it exclusively showed Gragson. And that’s when things got embarrassing. For the next 40 seconds, the drivers talked about the race leaders in Allgaier and Berry while Fox showed Gragson.
“It’s going to be close. It’s going to be tight,” Logano said of Allgaier returning to the track.
“It’s going to be a lot tighter than I thought it was going to be ,” Blaney admitted.
“The momentum of the 7 coming off of Turn 2,” said the 2018 Cup Series champion.
“The 7 is going to get him,” Blaney said.
“There’s the 18 coming down pit road serving his penalty,” Logano described, as Fox went to a split-screen again with Trevor Bayne in one box and Gragson still holding down the other spot. “Down the backstretch, you can’t see it right now but he just took the lead when this whole thing cycles out. Justin Allgaier just passed the 8 getting stuck in lapped traffic.”
“Great battle between the 8 and the 7,” Blaney said, as if pleading for Fox to show the action. Instead, the network went back to one shot of Gragson only.
Harvick didn’t say anything the entire time. However, he said something in the background that was audible and revealed his frustration.
“They’re not showing the 7 and the 8,” he said.
Less than a second later, the broadcast switched to show Berry and Allgaier racing side-by-side.
“This is going to be the battle for the lead and possibly the win if it continues to go green. This is what we were seeing outside our window here,” Logano said, blatantly calling out the network for not showing what they had been describing. “These guys came off pit road side by side.”
Fans complained about Fox NASCAR coverage in past
If Fox’s Adam Alexander was in his traditional spot, he might have steered away from describing the race between Allgaier and Berry as Logano and Blaney focused on and instead talked about what the camera was showing with the temporary leader in Gragson.
However, Logano and Blaney weren’t concerned with Gragson because he was effectively a non-story. They understood the ramifications and correctly highlighted the action between Allgaier and Berry.
The drivers’ actions and words revealed a major disconnect between the director calling the shots and what the experts in the booth were seeing on the track. And that’s been a complaint from fans for years about Fox’s lackluster coverage.
Camera shots that focus on another car or driver not being discussed, camera angles that are too close and zoom in on one or two cars instead of getting the bigger picture have produced negative feedback from fans in the past. That’s not even including prerace shows on the network that have been cringeworthy, including one skit about the watermelon seed that ended up on Ross Chastain’s facial hair in his postrace celebration at Circuit of the Americas coming to life. Yes, that happened.
Saturday’s drivers-only broadcast produced a prolonged embarrassing moment for the network. And the drivers exposed it for just that.
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