Tuesday, August 7, 2007

"Tradin' Paint" Needs Better Exposure On SPEED

Earlier this season, Michael Waltrip departed the Tradin' Paint show on SPEED and was replaced by Kyle Petty. Since that time, the show has begun to build a solid fanbase by continually offering interesting conversation and strong opinion. The only problem is, it needs a bigger stage.

Over the last several years, SPEED has tried many types of programs that contained opinion, with the most high profile being Wind Tunnel. Veteran fans may remember when Dave Despain was brought-in as the "Larry King" of SPEED and given a one hour show basically seven days a week.

The theory was that Dave's broad racing knowledge could serve to welcome Jeff Gordon one day, Marco Andretti the next, and then Cruz Pedregon. Unfortunately, SPEED was in the middle of a difficult transition, and the new management chose to move the network into "lifestyle" programs and away from the hardcore "real" racing.

It sometimes seems ironic that the actual NHRA guests like John Force and Whit Bazemore were basically "replaced" by drag racing created by entertainment producers and staged for the cameras.

The "PINKS" crew has actually made drivers re-race because the first time was "not exciting enough." Makes you wonder if they have ever seen an NHRA Nitro Funny Car at speed. "Not exciting enough" is a phrase that has never been used.

Many SPEED fans remember "Pit Bull." That show threw together several journalists and discussed NASCAR-related topics during the 2004 season. SPEED tried to give the media itself a forum to express issues about the current events in NASCAR, but things did not work out.

In "TV land," we joke around that some people have a "face for radio." Essentially, this means that TV brings with it some criteria that is not necessarily fair to all, and makes certain people more "TV friendly." Needless to say, most of the NASCAR traveling print and radio media does not "do" national TV on a regular basis. Its just not "their job."

Pit Bull quickly became a personality driven show, with the same writers harping on the same issues and sometimes competing to see who could be the most outspoken. Since they were not writing, they were not editing, and this show certainly appeared to need a lot of editing. Unfortunately, it was done live.

After Pit Bull was cancelled, Tradin' Paint became the focus of the fans attention for in-person access to members of the NASCAR media. Since SPEED has its own stable of "TV guys," the media is relegated to their columns and news stories. This show gives one media member at a time a national TV forum to express their opinion.

The versatile John Roberts is the perfect host for the thirty minutes of Tradin' Paint. Each week, Roberts and Kyle Petty bring another guest on the show and talk about NASCAR issues. This season SPEED has used Jenna Fryer from the AP, the veteran Randy Pemberton who is doing the Hot Pass package, and this week the guest is Bob Pockrass from NASCAR Scene. Those are to name just a few.

If is fun to put a face with a byline, and also fun to hear how these writers and general media people do without a laptop or a script. Sometimes, accidents happen. Poor Ray Dunlap did his best Don Imus imitation in trying to honestly describe the lack of minorities at the track by saying the only ones he sees are working there.

That got Ray to give a public apology, a suspension from the network, and a week off from work. Good thought, bad execution. As Imus knows, everything on TV has a risk involved.

Now, SPEED has sorted Tradin' Paint out at the track, and fans enjoy a feisty and honest discussion with a rotating guest each week. Kyle Petty has proven to be much more than many people, including myself, had given him credit for in his TV presence. This "formula" is working for the network, but there is a problem.

To see Tradin' Paint, you have to stick it on your DVR or try to catch its weekly air schedule, which changes by time zone and race details. Taped on site, the show is a "tape delay" that normally appears on both Saturday and Sunday, but at widely varied times. This show needs a re-air later in the week in primetime.

SPEED has been dealing with this issue for a while, but this show is no longer the "throw-a-way" show of the weekend. Fans understand that Trackside and RaceDay cannot re-air during the week, because the information they discuss is now "dated." The race is over, and it would make no sense to re-air what is basically preview programs.

Tradin' Paint, however, is different. The topics talked about on this show have "legs." Maybe only for a few days, but the "legs" on this show would allow it to be re-aired after Inside NEXTEL Cup on Monday nights. This would give fans an opportunity to be exposed to both the show itself, and the type of on-site programming that SPEED originates at the NEXTEL Cup venues.

Creating a show like Tradin' Paint took guts, and SPEED should get full credit for that. This series is gaining rapidly in stature among both fans and the media. The key improvement that SPEED could make to commit to this concept fully is giving the show a regular "home" on the schedule.

A little later this season, The Daly Planet fully intends to lobby for this program to be one hour in length for the finale at Homestead. It would be a good test to see if the entire series can move to a one hour format in 2008. The way things are progressing this season, the potential certainly exists.

The Daly Planet welcomes comments from readers. Simply click on the COMMENTS button below, or email editor@thedalyplanet.tv if you wish not to be published. Thanks again for taking the time to stop-by and leave your opinion.


Anonymous said...

I enjoy Tradin' Paint. JR and Kyle Petty do a good job, and most of the media guests are interesting. I give the guests a bit of a pass if they are print writers not accustomed to TV.

I really have to look for the show. It does move around.

Get Ed Hinton or Robin Miller on there, then promo the show so we don't miss it. That should draw a crowd.

Good idea to put it on Monday nights.

Anonymous said...

Pit Bulls was a great show because they asked a lot of questions about what was wrong with the sport, questioned decisions being made down in Daytona, and really was enjoyable for the serious race fan. But because it didn't praise NASCAR or its' leadership, NASCAR had the show killed off despite it's high ratings because Pit Bulls embarrassed them. They need to have a show like that again, especially in light of everything that's going on and going wrong with the sport.

Sal said...

With the departure of Michael Waltrip, Trading Paint gained some real credibility. No longer having a shill for Nascar makes the show worth watching. I wish I had an easier time finding it. Withtthe weekly guest and Kyle apparently unafraid to voice their opinion, things have gotten very interesting.

Anonymous said...

Tradin' Paint should stay at a half-hour. Every show on Speed is a half-hour too long already.

Anonymous said...

tradin' paint is by far one of the best shows about racing...loved Bootie barker this past weekend. They need to quit moving it around.

Jo said...

I'd be happy if they just had Tradin' Paint at the same time every week, so I could find it! Same with NASCAR Performance (especially when Chad Knaus returns). Both these shows provide insiders' insights that no other racing program provides. Since SPEED likes "block" programming, how about this: A Monday night NASCAR block with Tradin' Paint, NASCAR Performance, a repeat of Victory Lane, and then INC to wrap up the whole story. That would be a solid, regular 3 hrs of programming that they could build around--without using the bimbo du jour as a come on, either.

Prospector said...

Agree that Tradin Paint is one of Speed's good ones and needs its own consistant time slot with appropiate re-runs to satisfy fans various schedules.
When it first appeared I didn't watch because of M.W. When Kyle replaced him I missed several shows without realizing how good it is.

Daly Planet Editor said...


What a great idea to include NASCAR Performance in a Monday Night NASCAR block on SPEED. That is a show I always try to watch, but almost always end up missing. That certainly would be a great addition to the line-up. Great suggestion.

Anonymous said...

I agree 100% with the writer who said create the Nascar block on Mondays. I miss Tradin Paint a lot due to the jumping around in when it is shown. Pit Bull was a good show but revealed too much of what is wrong with Nascar. Hopefully SPEED will hear the fans and continue to air TP. Next we need to get the races started at decent times again, it would be interesting to know how the tv ratings on the east coast drop when people go out on Sunday evenings and to church. I know personally I miss the finishes of most every race now because I attend church on Sunday nights.

Richard in N.C. said...

I do really enjoy Tradin Paint, when I can find it. It is far, far superior to the thankfully-gone Pit Bulls, which had a frequent problem of a lack of objectivity. Certain frequent panelists on Pit Bull have a grudge against NASCAR which constantly colors what they write and say to this day.

wickedj said...

i agree with the first poster who said put Robin Miller on this show..when hes on Wind Tunnel hes always got something hilarious to say

batchief said...

This is a very good show, but I hope whoever produces it is not taking too much credit for the concept. A couple of years back when Totally Nascar was on for a half hour five nights a week one of the nights would have a roundtable with Krista, Marty Smith and a guest nascar beat reporter. I enjoy it a lot. Too bad TN got transformed into Nascar Nation. This was the demise of our weeknight nascar fix on Fox or Speed.

Anonymous said...

to batchief...Totally NASCAR got cancelled for a reason...

Anonymous said...

I hope whoever produced Totally NASCAR is also not taking too much credit for the concept of a roundtable show involving the media...

batchief said...

Totally Nascar was, unwisely, morphed into an hour "Hollywood" style show that was a mistake. TN was not treated kindly by Fox. Case in point, one year they were on both Speed and Fox which in my area was Speed first. This would bring the Fox ratings down because if you watched it on Speed why would you watch it on Fox? Then the next year it was on Fox only but in my area it was pre-empted for local sports or moved to a time not listed many times. Hard to build a consistant viewership. I personally thought it was an excellent show.

Anonymous said...

I agree. Tradin' Paint needs to be reaired during the week. I'd be happy if it ran a total of four times throughout the week at different times.

As for not re-airing other shows like Race Day, I actually wish they would run them later on that night or Monday. Seeing 'dated' news does not bother me at all. I usually record it if I have things to do on Sunday and then I'll watch it later on during the week.

One thing I really like about Tradin' Paint is that Kyle Petty is on. He's got a ton of knowledge to share, a terrific sense of humor and is very self-effacing.

Austin, TX.

Anonymous said...

"A Monday night NASCAR block with Tradin' Paint, NASCAR Performance, a repeat of Victory Lane, and then INC to wrap up the whole story"

GREAT Ideal Jo, I agree 100%


Why isn't Kyle Petty in the Top 10 of Votes for Most Popular Driver?

I'm a Dale Jr. fan, but I vote for Kyle Petty every third time I vote, because he deserves it for all he does for the kids!!!

2007 Top Ten
(Listed in Alphabetical Order)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
Jeff Gordon
Kevin Harvick
Dale Jarrett
Jimmie Johnson
Kasey Kahne
Matt Kenseth
Elliott Sadler
Tony Stewart
Michael Waltrip

Let's get Kyle Petty into the Top 10!!!

Anonymous said...


Most Popular Driver website.

cwebs said...

I'm not quite convinced that Kyle Petty is all that great on this show. He seems like a nice guy, but his comments are often rambling and incoherent. He'll start off like he's making a certain point, but by the time he's done, you're left scratching your head trying to figure out exactly what the heck he was trying to say! This doesn't happen all the time, but often enough to be annoying. Sometimes I get the impression that he wants to say something forceful, but ends up beating around the bush in an attempt to be diplomatic. Still, he does a fairly decent job, and I'm sure he'll improve over time as he becomes more comfortable in the role.

Bootie Barker, on the other hand, doesn't seem bashful at all when he wants to express his opinions. I think he shows great promise as an on-air commentator, and I've been quite impressed with him. Some of his early appearances on Nascar Performance were a little rough around the edges, but he really seems to be catching on fast. I'll be setting my DVR to record both NP and TP on a weekly basis.

Desmond said...

I agree with the Monday block idea with Tradin' Paint and NASCAR Performance. I have seen each show only once this season, and I would love to see more of them.

Thanks also for the information about Pinks. So much for so-called "reality TV."