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The latest update as of February 21, 2017

These short months really fly by.... just like the longer ones

Even though I'm still working on the Winternationals report and photos, the next event on the calendar is fast approaching. The NHRA (no sponsor yet) Arizona Nationals is set to start in just three days. Including the "Spring Training" test session at Phoenix's Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park at the beginning of the month, that will be three events in just four weeks. And I'm still working on getting all the coverage done on just one of them. Time to kick into high gear and git 'er done.

One thing that has been slowing me down is wading through the FOX network television broadcast of the Winternationals. It's been slow going because it's hard to watch more than half an hour or so at a time (thank someone for inventing the PVR) without zoning out. For all the hype surrounding the changeover last year from ESPN to FOX, the broadcasts have gone backwards in my oh-so-humble opinion. The reasons are simply myriad, starting at the very top with Ken Adelson (Vice- President, Executive Producer, and Chief Content Officer - he must have a huge desk to be able to put a sign on it with all those titles) dumbing down the show in an attempt to appeal to a much wider audience than ESPN reached.

While the viewership numbers showed substantial increases last year, I have a difficult time understanding why. The show - yes, THE SHOW - the actual on-track action of supercharged nitro-burning race cars - keeps being interrupted by "educational" interludes, personality profiles, inane pit reports about the latest (insert something that has nothing to do with drag racing), and other such ephemera. And don't get me started on the "LIVE" broadcasts, as I'm more than two hours into the Winternationals coverage, and haven't seen the broadcast catch up to the actual event. I presume that we will see the final rounds broadcast live but to sit through nearly three hours of canned coverage to get to that point is really asking a lot of a serious drag racing fan.

That might be part of the reason I'm not enjoying the show that much: the serious drag racing fan is not the target audience and instead, the producers are aiming for a much larger, mainstream, viewership that will help sell the products (mostly non-automtive) that will provide the advertising revenue necessary to support the broadcasts.