The view from my couch
NBC Coverage of the Ford 400
by Cheryl Lauer
December 4, 2005
I haven't done a race review since August, so I felt I ought to do one to close out NBC's portion of the 2005 race season. I realize that this review is coming over two weeks since the broadcast, but the Thanksgiving holiday, other racing, and work delayed me finishing it until now. I figured since I'd taken a ton of notes during the broadcast and my fans were clamoring for me to write something (okay only one), that I'd go ahead and finish this review. I still think it's important to give the networks feedback and hopefully, someone from NBC is interested in reading how one fan felt they did their final broadcast of the season.
As is the case this season, there were a lot of things I liked and a lot I didn't like about this broadcast. What bothers me the most is NBC focusing on the Chase contenders so much. Just as they did every week since the Chase began back in September. Also, their incessant need to show us the points "now" really was out of control during this broadcast. I counted at least eight times NBC showed us a graphic of the points standings as they changed throughout the race. This began at lap 11. As ESPN used to say "if the race ended now..." Well, the race certainly wasn't ending at lap 11, lap 111 or even lap 211, so why does NBC feel they must bombard the viewers with these meaningless stats so often?
Since only four drivers remained mathematicly capable of winning the championship, NBC spent a lot of time covering these drivers. The lead-in to the show had a montage on Tony Stewart who was leading the points and Bill Weber told us that he only needed to finish 9th or better to clinch the championship. This was followed by a live interview with Stewart by Allen Bestwick. NBC also had highlights and live interviews with Jimmie Johnson, Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle. We were also told that Edwards had won the pole for this race.
NBC had highlights of last year's race showing Kurt Busch losing a wheel, Greg Biffle winning the race, and Busch winning the championship. Bill then talked about Busch's suspension from Roush Racing for the last two events this season and how he'd spoken to Kurt on the phone the night before. Bill told us that Busch said he thought he'd matured a lot behind the wheel, but he obviously needed to mature more outside the car. Bill told us that Kurt also said he would be a the Awards Banquet and his speech would be prepared by Roush Racing, but that Jack Roush had still not spoken directly to him about last week's incidents. This was interesting information and nice to see NBC make the effort to get some direct quotes from Busch.
NBC had a very nice feature on Rusty Wallace, who would be retiring after this race. They first showed some remarks he made earlier at the drivers' meeting and an amusing personal anecdote from Weber concerning him getting on Wallace's wrong side a couple of years ago. There were also highlights from Wallace's career, including Mark Martin talking about running with him in the ASA. Michael Waltrip talked about how hard Rusty was driving when he got his first Winston Cup win at Bristol in 1986. There was also an amusing story from Dale Earnhardt, Jr. about racing against Rusty at Atlanta in 1999. Other drivers comments on Rusty were included with Kyle Petty saying he thought Rusty had become a leader in the sport these days. NBC then cut to Allen live with Rusty right before drivers introductions and showed Rusty autographing Dale Jarrett's uniform and others to commemorate his final race.
I found the highlights from Wally's World in 2005 to be the low point in the pre-race show. While those rides were often humorous, they were normally just a way for some Hollywood type to get some TV time and had very little to do with racing. Seeing highlights of them seems even more ridiculous to me. But it was nice that the ride for Homestead was given to a member of the broadcast team: cameraman, Chuck Mills (from camera one). That was a nice touch, so it went a long way in me forgiving NBC for a Fox-like self-indulgence.
Next came more highlight video; this time each winner from 2005 crossing the finish line and celebrating his victory. Bill told us there were 15 different winners this season. Dave Burns was hanging on the fence near the flagstand and talked about the different styles of celebrating which became such a big part of the 2005 season. Highlights are fine, but there were just a few too many of them in this show. It sometimes made me feel like I might not have bothered watching the prior 35 races this year. As usual, I couldn't help but feeling like an hour-long pre-race show was just a way to kill time for a late race start. Sort of like wading through an "option menu" when calling a business these days. I know NBC lobbied for later race starts and NASCAR gave them what they wanted, but as far as I can, tell there are still more race fans in the eastern time zone. I still resent the races ending so late on Sunday nights that it interferes with supper and our normal Sunday routine. Trust me, having them lead up to a remake of the Poseidon Adventure in NBC's primetime didn't make me any more likely to watch that movie.
Back to the pre-race show! NBC had a feature on former champion Jeff Gordon's season and how he was racing for 11th position. They showed Ricky Rudd posing for a picture with the Wood Brothers team prior to making his final Cup start, followed by a live interview with Dave. Allen had an interview with former champion, Bobby Labonte, who would be leaving Joe Gibbs' Racing after eleven years there. Matt Yocum had a few live comments from former champion, Dale Jarrett, about the condition of the Homestead track and what he expected to see during the race.
Finally, NBC moved to Weber, Dallenbach and Benny Parsons in the booth! I was very happy to see the announcers show a graphic and introduce the first 16 rows of the starting grid. Although, after those 16 rows, we were left to read the remainder of the field while Benny talked to a driver on the radio. This is still a silly feature in my opinion. Benny always asks them how they think they will do in the race and we get the same optimistic answers. I pretty much started tuning this out a few years ago.
NBC did show a nice graphic reminding us of what the point distribution was in NASCAR per position. I do enjoy being reminded of this from time to time. NBC also had their usual interesting "last minute thoughts" from the pit reporters and the announcers told us the teams had expected the track to be very tight, but that it had loosened up during the practices on Friday.
After a few laps into the race, Allen told us that Gordon had reported his car was very loose. Allen said that everyone thought their cars would tighten up after the sun went down.
As I mentioned earlier, at lap 11, we got the first graphic of the points "as of now" right before NBC broke for their first commercial. Let's talk about commercials during this race. Yes, there were a lot, but surprisingly, I found the interruptions did not bother me very much. First, I will say after watching the truck race on Saturday morning, nothing could compare to the absurdity of the number of commercials Speed showed during that event! A member of the Speedcouch Forum did an analysis of the commercials in that race and reported that Speed only showed 48% of the actual race. This certainly explains why I was so disgusted at how frequently Speed broke for commercial. I don't have the statistics on the Busch broadcast on TNT, but there was a ridiculous amount of breaks in that race as well. Thankfully, I recorded it on Tivo, so I could fast-forward through them all. So maybe that's why I didn't notice an usual amount of commercials during the Cup broadcast on Sunday. More likely, as TV hopes, I'm starting to just become immune to them or something. I certainly hope that is not the case! Also, the fact I now have XM radio and could switch to the MRN broadcast every time NBC was away made me at least feel like I could follow what was happening whenever a commercial was on TV. Not a truly good alternative for TV inundating the viewers with commercials and only showing about 61-68% of the races during their portion of the season though, but it's become a race fan's only recourse these days. I will give NBC credit for appearing to "break-out" of at least one commercial when Labonte spun on the track. Although NBC is famous for doing this in past years, I don't recall them doing it very often in previous races this season.
NBC did have good timing in returning from their first break at lap 16, just as Scott Wimmer wrecked. They showed several replays of the incident, where we saw that Brian Vickers and Denny Hamlin were also collected when Wimmer's car got away from him. NBC covered the pit stops during this caution and Matt reported that the 24 and 16 cars had been the fastest on the track prior to the caution. NBC did seem overly concerned about if any of the four Chase contenders were affected by the incident.
I want to talk a bit about NBC pit stop coverage during this event. Initially, I was extremely disappointed that NBC showed Biffle's stop first under every caution and then switched to the "triple-split" always showing Stewart, Johnson, and Edwards. It didn't matter who was leading the race for a long time, NBC didn't seem to care if fans might want to see that person's pit stop featured. Eventually, when Johnson fell out, they did insert Gordon into the triple-split since he was the leader at the time. Late in the race, they even included Kevin Harvick who ran in the top ten most of the day. As in past years, the coverage limited to the top four in points much of the day showed NBC's agenda was the points championship over coverage of other drivers having strong runs in the actual race. This continues to frustrate myself and most other viewers. Each time after pitstops, NBC did show the race out of the pits and a graphic of the top 10 out of the pits, including how many positions they gained or lost on pit road. This was excellent!
After another commercial, NBC came back to show us a replay of an incident on pit road. The in-car radio from Rudd had his spotter telling him to leave his pits and that he was "clear outside." The replay showed Rudd almost colliding with the 66 car of Kevin LePage which caused Rudd to hit two of Scott Riggs' crewmen while trying to avoid the 66 car. Later, Marty Snider reported that one crewman was "limping" to the infield care center, but the other man was okay. We never heard any further updates on the injured man though.
After the restart, Wally pointed out smoke coming from Kyle Busch's car, but said he thought it might be simply a low air pressure issue. After Busch got sideways, Matt reported that he'd had some contact with Mike Skinner on pit road. When Busch's tire eventually blew and he hit the wall, NBC has several good replays of the incident, and pointed out that Johnson had to go down on the apron to avoid the incident. One of the announcers seemed to be talking about something that they hadn't shared with the viewers at this point. When they returned from commercial, they showed a close-up of the left front corner of Johnson's car. They said when he had to go down off the banking to avoid Busch's wreck, he probably got this some damage. Wally thought this would probably help tighten his car up a bit though, which at this point when everyone was so loose, was probably a good thing. Bill told us that Busch had taken his car to the garage and we were told when he returned to the track many laps later.
After the restart, NBC kept the cameras focused on the front of the field for once because a great battle for the lead between Gordon and Ryan Newman was more compelling than constantly showing us where the Chase contenders were running. At lap 35, Benny told us that the computer showed Jeff Gordon and Ryan Newman were tied with the interval showing as 00 between them. Of course a few laps later, NBC did feel the need to display the "points now" graphic lest we forget about the points battle (like we ever could with them focusing on it so much).
Marty reported that it took Edwards' car a lot of laps to come in, and Wally said it looked like Newman's car had all of the sudden lost the handle as he had dropped back several positions. Then NBC showed Newman, but were playing the radio from Greg Biffle. No one could understand what was said, but Matt explained it was Biffle, who thought he was losing his brakes.
When NBC cut out of commercial for Labonte's spin, Bill told us that Gordon was three seconds ahead of Edwards before the caution came out. Replays showed Bobby just lost it coming out of the turn and get into the wall, and then NBC covered pitstops. After they returned from another commercial, NBC had the members of Edwards' team "introduce" themselves. I always enjoy seeing this feature.
After the restart, Dave talked about Johnson's team telling him he needed to get past Jamie McMurray on the track since he was pitting in front of him. That way they could avoid him blocking Johnson getting into the pit stall. Allen reported that Greg Zipadelli was reminding Tony to be careful on pit road because of all the contact they'd seen there already.
Around lap 53, NBC showed Casey Mears racing Gordon for third, and at lap 55, they showed Newman catching Carl for the lead. The announcers talked about how good Mears has been at the 1 ½ mile tracks this year and pointed out how good he had been at Texas until he had some problems. The also mentioned that three out of four of Edwards' wins had been on this type of track.
At lap 65, NBC did a Through the Field (TTF) of the top 16 drivers. Bill told us 39 cars were on the lead lap and that Carl had a five second lead as they went to commercial at lap 73. In past years, I've normally liked TFF because it was one of the only times that we got to see many of the drivers during a broadcast. But this year, I have to say that NBC has done what I cautioned NBC about in past years; they've finally succeeded in thinking TTF substitutes for actual race coverage! Each time NBC does this feature, they simply focus on one car running on the track at a time. Yes, it's nice to see drivers not running in the top five, but why does NBC zoom in on that one car? What ends up happening is that doing this feature causes the viewers to miss most of the actual racing going on elsewhere during the time it takes NBC to cycle through the 15 or 20 cars they are featuring. Only if there happens to be a pass for the lead, does NBC cut away to show that, and then only right when the second place car is about the pass the leader. The viewers want to see how that person caught the leader; how he closed the interval and what led up to the pass. Maybe that sounds like I want it all, but it is possible to use a split screen to show good racing or someone closing in on someone while still featuring the TTF in the other half of the screen. As a matter of fact, I noticed that NBC rarely used a split screen this season and I'm not sure why. It's a wonderful technique that allows the viewer to see more than one thing happening on the track. Overall, I have to say I was extremely disappointed with the way the producer used TTF this season as well. It was sandwiched between two blocks of commercials and really did make it seem like NBC thought this was an acceptable substitute for real coverage. I understand that the feature requires great teamwork and coordination among the pit reporters and announcers, but I don't want to see it be the only coverage we get between commercials for long periods in the race.
At lap 87, Bill mentioned that Newman and Kasey Kahne were in 2004 Dodges. Not sure if they ever said the name Intrepid as the 2004 model and Charger as the 2005 model though. Fans realize that the NASCAR versions of the cars are pretty far from the production versions; however, it seemed like NBC didn't want us to know the names of the different models Dodge marketed in 2004 and 2005. I can't believe the manufacturer could be very happy with them not mentioning the models they are trying to promote through their participation in NASCAR. Benny did point out that Mears was running second, and said maybe the 2005 "model" was better after all.
As NBC went to commercial at lap 88, Bill told us there was a 5.3 second interval from Edwards to Casey Mears in second. When they came back, Bill told us the field was under caution because of a crash by David Stremme. They showed pit stops before any replays of what happened to Stremme. They eventually got around to showing a replay and told us that Stremme's right front went down before going back to commercial. When they next came back, it was only briefly to show graphic of Coke drivers (which was just another commercial). Bill told us there were 28 cars on lead lap and then back to commercial. When I went to MRN, instead of being in commercial, they had an interview with Stremme. NBC never talked to Stremme at all. Instead they showed us a Cingular Poll question when they returned (yet another commercial.)
Thankfully, I believe NBC only did one "race recap," during this broadcast. That's certainly down from earlier this year, but maybe I just didn't switch back from MRN if I saw it was a recap since MRN was actually providing new information. They don't "dumb down" their broadcasts for new viewers, you know.
NBC played the radio from Johnson's team where his crew chief told him that Edwards was running close to wall and asked Johnson if he tried that, but the driver said it made him too loose. Wally said that when the track cooled off, the tires might grip more and make the cars even more loose since the track was not reacting the way everyone expected. Allen reported that Gordon said the track seemed to get slicker as the sun went down.
Around lap 100, NBC showed a replay of Scott Riggs' wreck which showed he just got loose and hit the wall. They didn't tell us who pitted before going to commerical, saying the leaders stayed out. MRN, on the other hand, stayed around to cover the pit stops of the cars that did pit.
After the restart, Allen relayed a conversation on the radio during the caution where Jeff Gordon said he wanted to try and lead most laps to prevent Edwards from doing this, which would help out Gordon's teammate, Johnson, in the points. NBC played the radio from Edwards where his crew chief cautioned him not to race Gordon too hard right then so as not to wear his tires out so early in the run. This was all great information!
Around lap 114, the cameras followed Johnson and the announcers speculated he had a problem since he'd dropped from 10th to 22nd since the last restart. Next, they played his radio where his crew chief told him to try and stay off the brakes going into the corners. At lap 119, NBC told us Gordon was now about two seconds faster than Johnson and would be coming up to lap him soon. Matt said that Biffle's spotter reported it looked like Johnson's right rear was going down and Benny said he thought so too. NBC went to commercial at lap 121. They came back right after Johnson wrecked and Benny said his right rear "exploded." The replays showed the 48 wrecked right in front of Gordon, the leader.
During the pit stops under this caution, with Johnson out of the race, the leader of the race (Gordon) actually made it to the three-wide split on pit coverage.
At lap 133, NBC showed another graphic of the "points as of now". I had no problem with this one since Johnson falling out of the race had a significant impact on the point. Again, NBC finally got around to showing us the leaders just as Newman was catching Edwards for the lead.
At lap 143, Weber told us that if Edwards led most laps and won, Stewart would only half to finish 20th to win the championship. Then we had yet another points graphic at lap 150
NBC covered the top twenty in another TTF and told us there were 27 cars on the lead lap before breaking for commerical. When they returned, they played some stupid music while showing highlights of Johnson wrecking and him being interviewed. Do the viewers really need this kind of music video instead of showing the race?
When a caution came out for debris, NBC was all agog telling us how this "saved" Stewart from going a lap down. There was a graphic showing he was running 16th at the time and if there were 27 cars of the lead lap, there were 9 cars between him and the leader. Wasn't this claim a bit overly drammatic?
During this cycle of pit stops, NBC actually included Kevin Harvick in the three-way split and told us that Casey Mears got out of the pits first. The pit reporters also told us that Stewart's team put a spring rubber in his car to try and improve it's handling.
NBC came back from commercial for just a minute with a graphic of how many lead changes there had been and told us who the top three drivers were and then went back to commercial. When they returned, Allen reported that Stewart's team had picked up two spots on pit road, even while making the chassis adjustment. He also interviewed Greg Zipadelli who explained that they'd started with a conservative set-up because Stewart had spun the car out during Friday practice.
At lap 198, NBC showed Gordon and Newman getting together and the announcers pointed out some tire smoke from Newman's car. The director played some interesting radio chatter from Newman's team and then showed us a couple of replays of the contact. NBC covered when Newman was forced to make an unscheduled pit stop because of tire problem and the announcers told us he lost a lap in the pits. NBC went to another commercial at lap 200.
At lap 211, the announcers told us Edwards' car was a lot tighter than it was in the earlier part of the race and then were back at commercial at lap 212. They returned at lap 219 and showed the leader, Mears, in a lot of traffic trying to lap several cars. They also showed us how Mark Martin was catching him because this was slowing him down. NBC made sure and kept us updated where Stewart was running.
At lap 222, NBC showed Kahne making a pit stop and Allen reported he came in early because he had a vibration. Next, they covered other green flag pit stops, including Gordon and Mears. Coincidentally, Benny yelled "don't spin" as Mears entered pit road. This led me to believe possibly the coverage of pit stops was recorded earlier, because Mears did spin on the pit access road. Allen told us that Stewart's team decided to come in with Edwards so they would stay on the same lap if a caution came out. This was good information.
After pit stops, we were told this would be NBC's "last commercial break" before the checkered flag. Yeah, right... When they returned, we got [yet another] points graphic and video highlights of Stewart. This was the beginning of NBC really starting to rachet up the "excitement" for the championship. They even went so far as to show Stewart and tried to tell us he was in 15th place "racing for position" with McMurray and another driver, both of whom I knew were a lap down. Eventually, the announcers figured this out and admitted they weren't racing for position after all. Next, they told us that the leader, Mears, was on the same straightaway as Stewart and the Pace Chase showed that Stewart was 28 seconds behind the leader.
Then we had more "drama" when Matt reported that Edwards may have made some contact with Nemechek earlier. The announcers tried to point out some doughnuts on his car and said that it didn't take much to upset the balance of the car. I seem to remember someone (maybe Wally's voice of reason) saying that the area where the doughnuts were wouldn't make that much difference.
What a surprise! A mysterious debris caution came out at lap 251! The announcers quickly point out that this "protects" Stewart from getting lapped. A very defensive sounding Bill Weber tells us that "we just want to point out that this caution is for debris between turns 3 and 4," but it sure did seem like it took a very long time for the NBC cameras to find a spring rubber on the track to show us. Things like this continue to make the viewers feel like "TV timeouts" have arrived this season.
When pit stops began, Bill asked "Did Tony Stewart stay out?" and no one answered him for a very long time. The announcers did tell us that Newman got back on the lead lap, but I'm not quite sure how that happened. The Lucky Dog or what? NBC told us that Edwards took four tires and Wally speculated this would probably not help him when everyone in front of him took two tires. Allen thought Stewart was coming in later so there would be less traffic on pit road. Then he said maybe the 20 team was trying to get five bonus points for leading during caution. We were then told they heard on the radio that others stayed out, so that strategy didn't work and they were coming in after all. The announcers pointed out they had nothing to lose since they were the last car on the lead lap anyway. Initially Bill told us that Mears held the lead when he crossed the line going to his pit stall. But later, we were told that Dave Blaney was the leader since he didn't pit. Wally pointed out pit lane was more busy when Stewart came in than if he'd come with the leaders because there were so many cars laps down at this point.
Bill reported that Edwards had dropped from third to twelfth by taking four tires. Marty interviewed Edwards' crew chief, Bob Osborne, who said that they were always better on four fresh tires, so he felt it was worth the gamble.
After the restart, NBC showed Edwards passing Gordon and move up to ninth position, and Bill told us he was now 2.4 seconds behind the leader. Benny told us that Blaney was moving away from these guys, but the camera was showing Stewart instead. This is where the coverage of the championship battle versus the race really became ridiculous! NBC didn't get back to the front of the field until 9 laps to go and when Martin was already under Blaney to try and get the lead. Then all of a sudden Benny was screaming "WHERE DID HE COME FROM" as Biffle went between them and got the lead instead. Well, Benny, he'd been running in the top 10 all day, I believe. It wouldn't have been such a surprise if the director had not been worrying so much about Stewart, who was running alone during this time. Eventually, the announcers got back to telling us about the top five in the race; saying that Matt Kenseth had moved up to third, so Roush cars were now running 1-2-3.
At five laps to go, the announcers gasped and told us Nemechek had gotten real high on the track, but it took quite some time for the director to get around to showing us anything about the incident. But Bill did make sure and update us on the fact Stewart was running 15th. Funny, the ticker showed he was in 14th.
After Biffle crossed the finish line, the announcers told us that he had asked his crew chief if they had gotten second in points. Wally said he thought he was tied with Edwards. Bill confirmed this, but said that because Biffle had six wins in the season, that would break the tie and give Biffle the position.
Allen quickly interviewed Stewart's crew chief and then we saw Stewart's burnouts and on-track celebration. Finally, NBC went to Victory Lane with the race winner, Biffle. They had a graphic showing that Biffle's six wins was the most this season and then showed a really good slow-motion replay of the race to the line during Biffle's interview. Next, Marty interviewed second-place finisher, Martin, and said the margin of victory between them was 17/1000s of a second. NBC quickly switched back to Stewart holding up the championship trophy. Poor Allen had to put up with having an entire bottle of Coke poured on his head by one of the 20 crew. We got shots of Stewart being congratulated by his crew chief and by Jeff Gordon. Next, NBC interviewed Edwards and told us he finished fourth in the race and then showed a graphic of the final top 10 in points.
After several Sprint commercials, Weber came back with Stewart's car owner, Joe Gibbs, on the phone and then the "formal" presentation of the trophy to Stewart by Mike Helton. The announcers also told us that Stewart was the 14th driver to win two championships.
NBC had taped interviews of Marty with Kenseth who finished third in the race, Dave with Rusty Wallace, and with Gordon. They had to make sure and ask Gordon how he felt about finishing 11th in the points. Then Dave interviewed Casey Mears whom we were told ended up finishing fifth in the race. I was impressed that Dave asked Mears what he thought about the debris caution that came out while he was leading. Mears said he felt robbed of the win (I couldn't agree more).
NBC showed us another graphic of the final season's points, but not the race rundown. Then they went away to some stupid football "update" for about 10 minutes. I'm sorry, I thought I tuned into a race post-race show, not a football scoreboard. When they eventually got back to the race, we saw Stewart climbing the fence. This really seemed to be staged for TV, so they'd have something flashy at the end of the broadcast. NBC finally got around to showing us a graphic of the race finishing order right before they went off the air at 8 p.m.
I have to say that while there was good coverage of certain things during this race as well as good insights by the pit reporters and Wally Dallenbach, overall, I was extremely disappointed in NBC's almost complete obsession with the championship contenders. Examples of this were NBC showing only the top four contenders during pit stops in the early part of the race, to so much coverage of Stewart after the last restart and checked flag. It just seemed to me that the guys actually racing for the win in this race were a complete afterthought as far as NBC was concerned. I understand that NBC wanted the Chase to help them keep viewers tuning in during the latter part of a race season, but speaking for myself and many long-time race fans, we'd prefer to see coverage of the race, with only occasional updates concerning the championship battle. As this race progressed, NBC nearly missed the actual pass for the win, with their constant need to show us where Stewart was running on the track. As always, I wish I could say completely positive things about the broadcast team. I'm sure the announcers and pit reporters are trying to do a comprehensive job covering everything in the race, but the powers that be at the network appear to have their own agenda. As a result, the viewers at home feel increasingly short-changed by the coverage we get. Besides the fact, we were only seeing an average of 65% of the races during NBC's portion of the season, in general, it just seems to me that this was one of the poorest years of coverage since NBC and Fox took over NASCAR broadcasts in 2001. I continue to hope things will get better, but even my usual wish that "things have to get better" took a severe blow this season. I'll try to be optimistic and hope that NBC will do an honest and critical review of how they did this year, and hopefully provide us better coverage with the 2006 Daytona 500.
I will try to do a season-ending comparison of the broadcasts on Fox and NBC/TNT sometime during the off-season. In the meantime, I encourage other fans to visit the Speedcouch Forum www.SpeedCouch.com/forum to review this race themselves and exchange their thoughts with other race fans. Read the RULES, sign up now, and jump into the discussion to let the networks know your thoughts about the race coverage.
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