Beside the Rising Tide: The Finish You Didn’t See

By Matt McLaughlin of FrontStretch–There were plenty of last lap dramatics in Saturday’s truck series race at Martinsville. But if you were watching the race at home you never saw any of it … not live anyway.

With two laps left to run and a three truck battle at the front of the field, FOX Sports lost its TV feed. This has happened a few times already this season with both FOX and NBCSN during NASCAR races, but in the other instances the interruptions were corrected in less than a minute — save for one that did stretch on around five minutes by my count. As best I can recall, none of those other outages caused fans to miss the end of a race. Face it, if you’ve invested a couple hours of your time watching a race, even if the finish is abysmal, and this one wasn’t, you want to at least see who won…

…Mobil 1 has been around auto racing for a very long time. They know how the game is played or at least how they expect it to be played. Their crisp logos and signage on the race cars they sponsor will be shown on TV for X amount of minutes and seconds clearly and in focus, a figure that will be tabulated for them by the nice folks at Joyce Julius and Associates that hyper-analyze each and every nano-second of each race broadcast to a degree that would probably send most of us diving off the side of the Brooklyn bridge before we finished the task. While you’ll get some Joyce minutes even if your driver doesn’t have a particularly good race, when you win, you hit the jackpot.

Sponsors are getting harder and harder to find. Going by the amount of unsponsored or self-sponsored trucks that compete, sponsorship must be particularly hard to obtain in the Truck Series. If the new reality is TV networks covering NASCAR racing aren’t even going to show the final laps, much less interview the winner in victory lane, where’s the upside to sponsoring a vehicle?…