• Jul 31, 2007
Excessive on-screen graphics and sports telecasts seem to go hand-in-hand. While some truly are innovative, there will always be crap that we can all do without. Some examples are more hideous than others -- the relentlessly annoying "FoxTrack" puck that made its debut in NHL telecasts back in '96 immediately leaps to mind. This week, ESPN introduced something that could become irritating in a hurry if overused. It's called Draft Track, and it's a graphical representation of the airflow over the race cars in the net's NASCAR Nextel Cup telecasts. Nice idea, but it happens to make the cars look like they're on fire in some kind of videogame. Sigh. Just because you can, doesn't mean you should, you know? Since we're talking TV graphics, we'll conclude by taking this opportunity to state that the inventor of the yellow first-down stripe used in football 'casts should have had a new Nobel Prize category created for him.

If you want to see what the Draft Track looks like in motion, head over to Jalopnik by clicking the image above or the "Read" link below. They captured some of the action and have video hosted at their place.

[Source: Jalopnik]


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  • 23 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      Betcha FOX is wishing they came up with this first...
      • 7 Years Ago
      At least you gave props to the first down line. I have no opinion on the Nascar thing as I won't watch car racing. I've never been one for watching people doing things I'd like to be doing (car racing, porn, etc).
      • 7 Years Ago
      "You're right Jon. Too bad 99% of them are fat drunks who live in trailers. Oh well."

      So that means the majority of the U.S. are fat drunks who live in trailers, right?

      I won't really watch NASCAR unless they're on a road course, but you can't deny that it IS more popular than most other sports and obviously a HUGE money machine, which means it has a HUGE number of fans. Saying it is only popular to drunk rednecks or a single demographic is basically living in denial.
      • 7 Years Ago
      wish my car did that as i drove down the road.


      this is kind of dumb, and even though its easier for the kids to follow hockey, i hate the puck trail too.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Drivers turned sportscasters can be a disaster. Dale Jarrett?? I bet he wished he'd never seen a Toyota. Wallace, a great driver just tone it down. Give NASCAR back to Fox. I can handle Waltrip.

      I did the same- worked on the car in the garage and listened to the radio.
        • 7 Years Ago
        As a non-NASCAR watcher for the most part, I'm just curious: do you listen to the satellite radio feed, or are you in a market that actually carries the races over-the-air? Who does the radio call?
        • 7 Years Ago
        MRN is Nascar's broadcaster on radio. It's usually on the AM, but here it's on an FM talk station.

        Except for Indy who has their own coverage with Bob Jenkins and gang, MRN is the 'Voice of NASCAR'. They said it, not me.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The Draft Track was more gimic than it could have been. Only shown during replays, what can't they do it live? I'm guessing not, its somehow calculated after the fact, now if they could show it will all the cars around, not just 2, that would be neat to see at like Daytona or Talladega.

      I did however enjoy ESPN's in CG Motor animation that they showed when Dale Jr's motor went south.
      • 7 Years Ago
      ESPN's coverage can be summed up with the same word as Draft Track, lame. Now if they could do it in real time with the accuracy of wind tunnel models, that would be cool.
      F1Mikal
      • 7 Years Ago

      Silly graphics.

      Use it in a pre or post race feature ONLY.
      nuff said.

      Go JPM, bring on more open wheel racers.
      In its current form, nascar is for the common masses.
      It could get better.
      But not in my lifetime
      • 7 Years Ago
      all of the graphics take up 2/3 of the screen to begin with just another gizmo to ignore while trying to enjoy our sports
      • 7 Years Ago
      It should be stated that the people that created the yellow 1st down marker (and the the other markers such as the line of scrimmage, etc.) are the same ones who created the "draft track". Personally, i didn't really like it...it wasn't even used that much and if it was...it was during replays only.

      I wish they'd do more of the car cut away stuff....that is FAR more interesting. NASCAR should have a program like Formula 1 has. I think its called Inside F1...this is an awesome show where they go over all sorts of topics relate to the REAL stars...the cars. i couldn't care less about what driver A said about Driver B's wifey...or that Driver X is now part of DNF Racing....NASCAR has its moments...but the soap opera it's trying to be isn't one of them.
      • 7 Years Ago
      "but it happens to make the cars look like they're on fire"

      They should set ALL the cars on fire at the start and then the last one rolling is the winner.

      Now THAT would be fun to watch.
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