Monday, September 24, 2007

"Inside NEXTEL Cup" Very Different Without Waltrip


It was just another Monday on SPEED as Inside NEXTEL Cup took to the air. Greg Biffle did "the tease" for the show, as he finished second at Dover. Then, host Dave Despain welcomed Biffle and Kenny Schrader to the program. He did not, however, do the same to Michael Waltrip. He was nowhere to be found.

In a somewhat ironic twist, Waltrip's seat was inhabited by the one and only Brian Vickers. These two have spent many shows sniping at each other like school boys, and Vicker's initial season on this series was a lesson in patience for the viewers. Waltrip had some sponsor obligations on Monday afternoon, so this trio was the INC crew for today. Needless to say, there was quickly a different dynamic in play.

After an exciting Dover NEXTEL Cup event in which all three panelists raced, the show took on a very new tone. Each of the three drivers talked about their own race, and then shared views and cooperated in a very conversational manner about many diverse topics. It certainly was an interesting change of pace.

As Despain moved on to the highlights, it was great to hear the drivers react to the video and share information about what happened during the event. The program took on an easy-going and relaxed feeling with Despain leading the way, and the drivers waiting their turn. There was lots of give and take.

Schrader fit-in quite well with the panel, and really took this opportunity to speak-up and offer a lot of facts and opinions about both the racing and the personalities involved. Some of his comments really showed-off his dry sense of humor which is hard to beat. His remarks about "Fatback" trying to get into his race car were great.

Biffle was pumped-up and proud of both his race and his finishing effort. He provided a lot of information about the Roush/Fenway problems for Matt Kenseth, the COT learning curve, and their approach to The Chase. He has worked hard on his TV mechanics, and turned to the correct camera, phrased his answers in complete sentences, and took his cues from the host. He has come a long way from his early TV days.

Vickers was the surprise of the show. He has done a good job of growing-up as both a person and a driver. Gone was the self-serving sponsor babble, and it was replaced by good solid racing comments. Vickers was clearly at ease with this group, and it resulted in an enjoyable performance. Vickers even answered one of the viewer questions about throttle linkage with good technical information. This program certainly affected my image and opinion of him.

The trio had some fun with the Busch Series highlights, and they wasted no time taking Robby Gordon to task for his actions. The continuing focus on the Busch Series makes sense, and it could even use some additional in-show exposure. The Truck highlights were next, and the panel showed they were up on the racing action, even though the Trucks raced in Las Vegas. The first place battle for the championship between Skinner and Hornaday is fantastic.

The panel ended with some comments about Talladega and the COT. All three drivers had concerns about the COT going restrictor plate racing. Despain let them talk with each other and then transitioned out of the program after each driver had made his point. Things were as smooth and relaxed at the conclusion of this show as they had been at the start. For once, even Despain seemed to enjoy himself.

Michael Waltrip has been a polarizing force on INC for some time now. Email to The Daly Planet expresses views going totally toward the negative or totally toward the positive. Somehow, no middle ground exists in the Mikey world. On this night, he was simply away doing sponsor things, so the focus of the night was how things on the panel changed, and were these changes for the better?

It seemed that a lot of information and opinion was given out by the panel in this hour. Without the inside jokes and the sponsor plugs, the show had a different focus. That focus was racing, and nothing else. It was almost like they were actually...Inside NEXTEL Cup racing. Wow...what a concept.

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.

107 comments:

Anonymous said...

You don't like Michael Waltrip.

We know, John.

It must really gnaw at you that he's so popular, huh?

William said...

It really was a better than average show. Maybe Mikey is too big a personality for a show like that because he overshadows the more low-key persons that are there with him? Granted, he's been feeling a little insecure this year and it's come out quite a bit.
This was a better mix.

Anonymous said...

Can't stand Vickers.

Anonymous said...

What's the obsession with Michael? It seems like the same entry over and over again when it comes to Michael. Once I found out Michael wouldn't be on INC, there was no reason for me to watch. I can get race highlights and insights from drivers in many other places.

Tom said...

I like Mikey, but this weeks INC was much better without him. He talks way too much. This week's panel actually held my attention and provided some good information. There wasn;t the constant feeling that Mikey was going to interrupt or start his own conversation with Schrader.

Anonymous said...

Agreed. Didn't even bother to turn on INC last night since Mikey wasn't on the show.

There are plenty of places I can get "serious race analysis." That's not why I watch INC in the first place.

Anonymous said...

I agree, the show was much better without Michael Waltrip. I like Mikey, but he does dominate the conversation and goes off topic way too much.

SlithyBill said...

I guess we now know where NASCAR stands in the world of ESPN since NASCAR Now was pre-empted for the "breaking news" that Brian Griese is going to be the starting quarterback for the Bears this Sunday. What about the breaking news of Carl Edwards losing 25 points? Guess that can wait until midnight.

Oh, and I did watch INC last night even though Mikey wasn't there. Biffle finished second and Schrader raced, making for a good show. It was nice to see the "cold opening" back. It used to go to the panelist who had the highest finish. Guess that applied last night.

It figures that Waltrip had a top-15 finish and wasn't on the show to talk about it.

Anonymous said...

ESPN does not treat NASCAR as an actual sport. They probably never will. Between the talent they choose (for other sports) and the way they pre-empt it for other sports, it is clear that ESPN doesn't care one bit about what interests NASCAR fans.

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed the show last night. We got a good mix of info and opinions and everyone got a chance to express thmeselves without Mikey talking over them. Mikey seems like a nice enough guy, but he tries to run the show when he is on here and because of that we miss some good input from the others. Case in point - when asked about the COT and issues at Talladega last night, each of the guys was able to give their thoughts and opinion and express some concerns. If Mikey was there he would have immediately interrupted and said that the COT has no issues and is great. He's done that before on the show when Biffle has tried to express a concern.

I know a lot of people give Vickers flak, but I think he is knowledgeable and well spoken and I enjoy listening to his opinions. The Biff has done quite well on the show also, when he is allowed to talk. I love Schrader and his goony times with Mikey can be amusing, but even he seems to get annoyed at Mikey and his big mouth. It was nice last night just to get some thoughts from Schrader - especially his take on the Petty/Hamlin incident.

I really enjoyed the insight on the show last night - it was enjoyable.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
ESPN does not treat NASCAR as an actual sport. They probably never will. Between the talent they choose (for other sports) and the way they pre-empt it for other sports, it is clear that ESPN doesn't care one bit about what interests NASCAR fans.

September 25, 2007 6:32 PM


Now hold on, Sports Center also continued into College Football Live and now that show will not air until tomorrow. NASCAR Now will still air today at 9 PM PDT.

Anonymous said...

Show's not interesting at all without Michael. Even Schrader wasn't at the top of his game without his old partner on the set.

Anonymous said...

Speed needs to come to grips with reality and give Michael his own show.

Let INC continue without him so folks who actually want to hear about Nascar can watch that.

Michael can have IMW (Inside Michael Waltrip) to hear about whatever it is that sets him off that day.

Everyone is happy.

Hell, if the IMW does well enough, maybe he'll get his own cable channel.

Prospector said...

Sorry I missed it. I did not realize Michael would not be on. If I had I would have watched.

I gave up on INC long ago because I cannot stand Michael's constant shilling of sponsors and NASCAR.

SophiaZ123 said...

Well, I am growing weary of this bash Waltrip wagon. I know he is polarizing.

Frankly, I missed him at first but TOTALLY enjoyed hearing more Schrader, w/o interruption. Does this mean Mikey needs to go? HARDLY. He just needs to be muzzled a bit or somebody needs to yell in his ear to STOP INTERRUPTING and stay FOCUSED!!

And personally, I do not see the distain between Despain and Mikey at all. So I am clueless on that one.

Also I SO ENJOYED THE OPENING with Biffle. I LOVED how the old show used to do that with the different drivers taking turns.

My favorite was a year or so ago when the camera started to soon and Kenny had just taken a bite of cookie in his mouth and had to speak the opening. LOL

Al Neill said...

John --

Ran across your blog for the first time about a month ago and have been enjoying it ever since.

Per your request for comments regarding Michael Waltrip's absence:

I like him in commercials because he makes them interesting and (usually) funny, and anything that can do that is a good thing.

I tired of him on IWC/INC long ago because him primary function seemed to be as a shill for his various and sundry sponsors. I can't blame him for that, but I don't have to watch him either. Therefore, my viewing of INC has become hit or miss as it was no longer "must see TV." I caught the last 20 minutes or so last night and found it a refreshing change.

As a side note:

One of your anonymous commenters [6:32 pm] said that ESPN no longer treats NASCAR as an actual sport. As much as I've enjoyed NASCAR for the past 40+ years, I have to say that the reason may be that NASCAR is NOT an actual sport. In the past decade or so, it has become an advertisement delivery medium with some entertainment tossed in to keep folks interested.

[Sorry to get off-topic]

Please keep up the great work on your blog.

Sincerely --

Al Neill

Anonymous said...

Actually, if you watched the CTS race on Sat and then watched INC on Mon, you'd realize that Vickers did NOT watch the CTS race ... Vickers said that Hornaday & Skinner raced each other all night ... That's NOT correct ... There was only one time when Hornaday & Skinner were racing near each other ... Most of the Hornaday was towards the front and Skinner was mid-pack ...

That said, I cannot stand the Leprechaun (Vickers) ... esp with his gross attempt at growing a beard and his thick NC accent ... He's still sticking up for his former HMS buddies ... And, he just does not add anything to the show ...

Despain also does not watch the CTS races ... This was proven last year after the race at the newly reconfigured LVMS track when a caller into "Wind Tunnel" said something about the narrowing of the racing surface ... Despain was blatantly unaware that the actual width of the track was narrowed as he said the "groove" would widen out as the surface aged ... On the CTS pre-race show, Ray Dunlap had gone to great expense to educate the viewers of just how the race track had been changed (variable banking & the narrower racing surface) and had pictures/graphs to show the changes ...


It took me two attempts to watch the entirty of this week's INC ... because 1) Mikey wasn't there and 2) Vickers was there ... I can only take so much of Vickers before I have to change the channel ...

I have a love/hate relationship when it comes to Mikey ... But, I still think he adds a lot to INC ... You just have to know how to interpret what he is saying ...

Listen closely to Biffle and Schrader as they let a lot of stuff slip about what really happened and their feelings of things ... They talk in tongues, but they know the truth about Nascar ...

Daly Planet Editor said...

The point of this column was to talk about the show, and not to talk about Michael Waltrip.

The show was what it was, and that is what we discussed. It is certainly interesting that some found it more to do with Waltrip than the one hour of show content.

As I said in the article, he certainly is a polarizing force these days. Thanks for your comments.

SallyB said...

I found Monday night's show one of the best of the season., Whether it was due to Mikey's absence or not.... For me, there was enough humor to keep it amusing, but more sueul information than usual. I appreciated drivers being able to question the quality of the COT without mikey talking over them to once again say that anything Nascar does is perfect. Neither Biffle or Vickers are my favorites, but I thought they did a very good job on the show.

Anonymous said...

I thought INC was great! Lot's of information that you don't get from other shows. I thought it was very interesting to hear Biffle taking Tony Stewart to task over his pit road incident. Hearing Cup racers criticizing Tony is not something you get to hear often. Most just choose to take a "no comment" approach to Tony. To those who say you can get inside racing news elsewhere, I would say that is a great example of what you don't hear anywhere else.

I agree with the post about giving Mikey his own show. If these people like him so much, they can watch an entire hour of content in which he tries to sell them pizza from Aaron's.

Anonymous said...

VERY disappointed when Michael was not on the show, Vickers tried his best but Waltrip was missed. YOU John make it clear you do not like Michael Waltrip, so it clouds anything you have to say about this show, thus your comments are worthless.

pogeyboat said...

show way better without mikey,way better. i am so sick and tired of his self promotion and his need to over ride everyone else on any show he's on. this was a good panel,they all seemed to work together for the show,not themselves. no wonder dave came over as being happier,he got to be the host instead of a time keeper,referee.

jfs-va said...

I just "found" NASCAR and INC this year and haven't missed a race or the show. As some others stated, I felt like last night's show was better simply because of Michael not cutting people off in mid sentence and/or going off on some tangent. I like his thoughts and opinions, but not always the way he expresses them.

I've grown to like Biffle. He has a lowkey personality in one sense but you can tell he also has a burning passion for racing. Definitely like Ken's sense of humor and I liked the opening with Biffle. I'm indifferent about Vickers. Can take him or leave him.

The last two columns about INC have been generally positive, one with Michael and one without. Maybe there is hope that this show will continue.

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed Inside Nextel much better without MW. I'm not bashing Michael Waltrip, but in my opinion he does not belong in a commentary role. He vears off the subject, he monopolizes conversation, and he interrupts constantly. Maybe he should do a program geared more towards his strengths like the "Michael Waltrip Hour" (all Michael all the time)

Anonymous said...

I caught only part of the show, with Waltrip gone wish Ihad seen it all.If Waltrip ran his car like he runs his mouth he might be able to qualify sometimes. He's possibly the most over rated "driver" in NASCAR.

Anonymous said...

People, just because John enjoyed a show without Michael doesn't mean he dislikes him...why is it some fans can't take criticism of their favorites without taking it personally? Most all of us have good points & bad...

I like Michael and have watched the show for some years now, but I agree with those who suggest he ought to have his own show because of how he monopolizes things--INC was easier to watch for me because he wasn't interrupting--I found myself thinking that Schrader never could have gotten through some of his stories if Michael had been there. Not a big fan of Vickers, mostly because of his monotone (not the accent...), but he was the best I have seen him. And Biffle has indeed gotten much better. The knowledge was always there, he just needed to work on delivery. The sponsor-plugging actually doesn't bother me that much--but it just slows things down a bit. I enjoyed hearing an actual race commentary from many views.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone considered the possibility that Dave Despain is the problem? We all keep wishing it was like the "old days", but Mikey isn't the problem, Despain is. Send him back to Wind Tunnel and bring Alan back. Alan, Schrader, Mikey and the Biff. THAT would be a winning combination!

Anonymous said...

For the first time in a long time, I really enjoyed INC this week. Without Michael, the show becomes relaxed and informative. I was sorry to hear it was only temporary. If they hope to keep this show on the air, it will have to be minus the "Hi, I'm Mikey" character.

Anonymous said...

I have not watched INC for a long time BECAUSE of Michael Waltrip! I simply cannot stand to listen to him interrupt and talk over everyone. It's all about him and his self serving interests.

PS That hair has got to go!

Daly Planet Editor said...

The comments that I do not like Michael Waltrip are ridiculous. Who he is in real life, who he is behind the wheel, and who he is on INC are three completely different things.

Here at The Daly Planet, we talk about TV. Please go through the archives for the columns about INC and you should see quite a mix of issues that are going on with this show.

How MW chooses to act on this show is his own responsibility as an adult. In the INC review that appeared on The Daly Planet just a short time ago, things were very favorable and upbeat.

Its a bit weird sometimes that readers continue to confuse their driver favorites on the track with how the same drivers perform on TV.

Step-back and take a good look at the dynamics of this show as "just a TV program" and your opinions might just change.

Anonymous said...

If only I would have know Michael wasn't on the show, I would have watched! Trading Paint has been 100 times better this season with Kyle Petty doing it then Michael. Now of only speed would kick Michael's ass out of the truck series booth. I could go back to watching truck races without the mute on.

I am all for Michael getting his own show and only 1 show. Hopefully on a network I don't get. If I do, it will still be easy for me to ignore. Since it will be just 1 show and not infecting many shows.

toyfan said...

It is about the show! Mikey used to be very good but he has taken the show over now, thus making it unwatchable. If he can adjust, it can be a good show again and I will start watching again. That is the problem. This week was a good show.

Anonymous said...

The comments that I do not like Michael Waltrip are ridiculous.

Empirical evidence suggests otherwise, John.

In the time I have read this blog, I have seen exactly ONE column in which you wrote about Waltrip and did not bash him in some way...and even then, the "complimentary" column, if you can call it that, was left-handed at best.

In every other case, you've taken him to task on a variety of issues, not all related to his TV performance.

You're welcome to have your opinion, but don't try to deny you've expressed it. Either stand by it or apologize, but don't pretend we haven't seen it.

Daly Planet Editor said...

That comment is hilarious. What this man has done is appear on a TV show for ten years. Obviously, he has done something right.

Since the changes in personnel on the show, and the ownership status of MW personally, things have been very different.

Because he is your driver on the track does not mean he is going to be a continual success in TV land.

His actions earlier this season were not funny or good-spirited. His slamming of Greg Biffle several weeks ago led to a meeting that changed the show the following week.

Just because you have a keyboard and get to post anonymously, it allows you to shoot at the messenger, instead of engage in the conversation as the others have.

Instead of sniping, stand-up and make your point. What does he bring to this show right now and did you enjoy this show without him?

Anonymous said...

What does he bring to the show? A sense of humor, for starters. Honesty, too--he's not afraid to say he likes the COT, even though it's "in" to complain about the car. A willingness to talk about his own failures. A sense of history of the sport.

The show was not as good without him.

You want to replace someone? Put Bestwick back in the host's seat and watch the show get better instantly.

And I'd love to hear more about the incident you mentioned and the changes the resulted.

Lisa Hogan said...

I agree that INC has been different the past two shows. Mikey mentioned that they had learned a new word, suppress. He said that he wasn’t at liberty to explain. I think the viewers understand.

The shows have been calmer and not as amusing. They have gone to one shots, having only the speaker on camera for most of the show. This shows the imbalance of Mr Despain talking more than the panelists and having more camera time. The panel should be the main focus of this show, not the host. Having Mr. Despain’s face fill up my TV screen for that much of the show was not pleasant.

My favorite has always been Schrader. I will continue to watch to see how it goes.

Joe Dunn said...

Sounds like I missed a good show. I used to like this show, but as this season has gone on I have found Mikey to be more and more annoying. It IS because of Mikey that I no longer watch the show.

haus20 said...

My wife sighed when we sat down to watch INC and realized that Mikey wasn't on the show. He makes the show entertaining. As long as you have Mikey and Schrader on the show, you can put any body in the third seat - it doesn't matter.

SophiaZ123 said...

Well, I like Mikey but could NOT take a whole hour of JUST HIM! I like Chocolate but not for meals and snacks!!

I also LOVED hearing more of Schrader and think if HE would stand up to Mikey (monopolizing the talk) more the show would be more fun.

As far as Despain, from the couple years I saw INC with AB, Mikey REALLY hogged the camera time and would make gestures while others spoke while panelists spoke. AB just laughed and lost control though I LIKED him on the show. I remember once, MW took his SHOE OFF to examine it and the CAMERA GUY went to Mikey and ALLOWED him to INTERRUPT.

Does MW plan this? There has to be somebody in the PRODUCTION booth allowing this to happen.

Again, I enjoy Mikey and he makes me laugh but his antics CAN BE A BIT MUCH.

If Schrader is NOT ON INC, it's RARELY worth watching imo. If Schrader is too laid back to stand up to Mikey on camera, SOMEBODY NEEDS TO ADDRESS THAT IN A MEETING. Most of us appreciate Schrader and find him very amusing. And MORE IMPORTANLY, we RARELY SEE him on tv, unlike MW.

So this show has potential amd I think the panel as is is fine... IF they would bring in a guest panelist for the last half of the show. And put an invisible fence collar on Mikey to hush him WHEN he is interrupting Schrader.

;-)

This show STILL can have a sense of fun.

It's the over saturating of MW that can get wearying even on those of us who LIKE HIM. I can imagine it's more upsetting for those who do not like him at all.

But I still love this show.

Sorry, race fans...I hope it stays around. Get rid of Shrader and i will most likely BE GONE.

Steve L said...

I enjoyed the flow of the show. It did feel calmer and more organized. I am waiting for the day when Dave AND Mikey are absent. That would be a good show.

I cringe every time Dave says "on the other side". Why not just say "when we return from the break, ...". He says it every time before commercial, every time. It's a pet peeve with me.

I don't watch Wind Tunnel because of that 'wind bag' and only watch INC to see Kenny.
It's time for this show (INC) to go.... sorry, MHO.

Anonymous said...

Get rid of Mikey and I'll be gone as viewer.

Anonymous said...

I had much trouble watching the show this week...was horribly disappointed to see Vickers sitting where Michael belongs... The only reason I stayed tuned in was Shrader.... Yes they reviewed the race...but hey, I watched it, I knew what happened.... I don't need a play by play... I think the problem is that some tune in for entertainment and some tune in for a race review.... anyone can do the review...I want the entertainment! I agree with the people who say that you don't like Michael, I too have never seen anything positive. What exactly are your credentials that your reviews mean more than other viewers....just curious....not trying to be ugly, I just was curious what makes you the expert...
It seems to be a "get rid of Michael campaign"....get rid of Michael - get rid of me! :)

Joe from Philly said...

wow. these comments certainly have proven without a doubt how polarizing a figure MW truly is.


I really believe that if John were to submit an article that simple said:
"Michael Waltrip. Discuss." there would be 40+ comments in a day and half of them would accuse John of Mikey hatred for bringing him up even though he did nothing wrong....

Oh well. I guess it's hard for people to understand why anyone would ever disagree with them.

I did enjoy the show this week. I'm not a big Mikey fan but I have liked his silliness on this show thru the years. He really is different this year and has effected the show.

Anonymous said...

What's with the disliking of Vickers? I don't get it. Red Head from Carolina with a southern twang... sound like anyone else in NASCAR, like that #8/#88 guy? The guy is extremely smart, articulate and a good driver who's only getting better. The problem is he is pretty dry and still really young. That combo really doesn't work when you pair him with the brash Waltrip, who is constantly in need all the attention and never really serious about anything. I like them both, but can easily see someone like BV getting really annoyed (or intimidated) by a class clown like Mikey.

Anonymous said...

In my opinion, less Mikey with his suck butt NASCAR views and his constant sponsor plugging and politically correct verbage is a wonderful and refreshing thing. I wish and probably along with Toyota, Mikey would just "boogety, boogety, boogety" off the racing scene. Racing is about competition and not about trying to fill big brothers shoes!!!!

Anonymous said...

I really believe that if John were to submit an article that simple said:
"Michael Waltrip. Discuss." there would be 40+ comments in a day and half of them would accuse John of Mikey hatred for bringing him up even though he did nothing wrong


Read his previous columns, though, and you'll see where he stands on Waltrip.

I found it mighty high-handed that in a previous post John used the phrase "shoot the messenger," as if his blog's entries are unbiased facts, which they are not--they're opinion.

Now, if we disagree with John, well, we must be wrong, because he's just the "messenger," giving us the news, huh?

Daly Planet Editor said...

Let's not get too far off track, you guys can bash me anytime. What about the show? Better? Worse? You never watch it since AB left?

All I said in this one column was that the dynamic was very different, and it certainly was.

Did that make it better for you, or did it point out just how much Waltrip really means to this show?

Anonymous said...

Michael Waltrip does one thing well, promote Michael Waltrip. He is like the comedian who has a great routine but by the 10th time you hear it you are sick of it. There is not enough race analysis anymore, that is why NASCAR Performance is so good. Monday nights show was refreshing and it was the first one in awhile that I did not turn off. It time to let Michael RIP and put the focus back on what the show should be focused on, the racing.

Anonymous said...

After the stint a few races back when "Mikey" pulled the stunt on the track of blocking the leader to get his car on TV, I am no longer a fan. Maybe Teresa needed to tell Mikey instead of Jr that he "needs to decide if he is going to be a rock star or race car" driver! Spend more time at the office Mikey..then you wont need to find the extra "attention".

Anonymous said...

The show was DEFINITELY MUCH better! I get tired of the "Mikey Show!"

Anonymous said...

Did that make it better for you, or did it point out just how much Waltrip really means to this show?
It wasn't the same without him, and that's not good. The show's not as good as the Bestwick version on its best days, but without Mikey on board, there'd be no reason left for me to watch it at all.

Anonymous said...

What's with the disliking of Vickers? I don't get it. Red Head from Carolina with a southern twang... sound like anyone else in NASCAR, like that #8/#88 guy?
Superficially.

But that doesn't make him good at being on a TV panel show.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Just a quick heads-up for everyone in this thread. There is a new post up about the ABC problem where they re-aired NASCAR Countdown in the middle of the Cup race to the Mountain and Pacific Time zones.

It also contains a new video from Joe Foster, with a direct link.

Now, where were we? Oh, INC was better or worse without MW? Have you ever seen such diverse opinions on the same topic? Wow.

Anonymous said...

About the 'fact vs. opinion' issue--I learned long ago in school; you can't interpret something based on your own imagination--you have to go by the substance of what you read/hear--the facts of who said what are indeed, facts, and you have to recognize certain things based on those facts and only *then* can you express an opinion intelligently. You can't read a poem about birds and decide it's really about airplanes unless you have some kind of factual basis on which to make that leap. I bet if someone took a Caws & Jaws type of approach weith INC, and sat there and analyzed how many times certain people interrupted others on the show and how many minutes of words they said, how many times sponsors were mentioned, etc through a season...even a die hard Waltrip defender would have to admit that what many of us have said is true. It's not based on a like or dislike of Mike--it's bsed on what we've seen and heard on the show this year. Michael brought a lot of this on himself, IMHO, by his overexposure. I get that you want to do what you enjoy, but if the viewers see too much of anyone (Truck commentary, Tradin' Paint, INC, commercials, etc it gets OLD, especially when it's someone with a very noticable personality. Michael's had a difficult year, and I can understand that he's probably not happy everyday. But you can't carry that with you onto a TV program and be rude to your cohosts (something he never used to do, at least not that I recall.) Teasing, yes, but not the rudeness we saw toward Biffle (and no, I'm not a Sniffle fan either.) It's not about who your favorites are. Perhaps Michael himself didn't even realize how intense it had become. But the show without him there still had moments of humor--I do miss Michael's 'goofiness' because we haven't seen it much lately even when he's been there. Schrader's humor has been more subtle but still my favorite part of the show--that and hearing the interesting points that make me say 'gee, I never thought of that.' I'm not saying Michael should be kicked off, maybe he just needed a little reminder of what he used to be like. I'm still not sold on Vickers, but again, he was the best I'd seen him so far. AS for Despain--I think he's great on WT but I'd rather see Alan back, mostly because he's more devoted to stock car racing.

SophiaZ123 said...

Wow, I knew MW could rub folks the wrong way but the diversity is amazing.

I am one who enjoys him immensely at times but gotta be honest, he does hog the show and INTERRUPT too often as posted earlier.

And where ELSE do we get to see Schrader beside the little Debbie commercial (Just NOW running again with him back in the 21)

I do enjoy Mikey's recent NAPA commercials making fun of his rough year. And as a Mikey fan I have to say I LAUGHED OUT LOUD at the letter where Mikey responds
Something about

"No, my head has always been located between my shoulders" LMAO, sometimes you just gotta lighten up.

:-)

Anonymous said...

The best part of INC and a Truck race is when self-promoter Michael Waltrip is not on them.

Anonymous said...

Amy said...

I will say that the show seemed much more subdued than usual. I only got to watch the last 35-40 minutes of the show and noticed that Schrader was missing his funny man. To me, it appears that Schrader is like Dean Martin and Mikey is like Jerry Lewis. The show missed that Martin/Lewis-Schrader/Waltrip dynamic. Yes, there appeared to be a lot more of the race analysis but it missed the entertainment value.

Michael means a whole lot to the show and can carry the show on his shoulders. If you look at the show in the last 10 years, who is still on the show? I only became a Nascar fan in 2004 but have done alot of reading since and have realized what Michael can do for the sport. After all, who helped carry DEI when Sr. died. I believe that Mikey was the glue that helped DEI stick together and keep going. JMHO.

The statement about the race coverage going into the Countdown show, how could the racers have known about it since they were actually in the cars at the time? I personally did not catch that as this time of year I am at church at 4:30pm and only get to watch the first 1/2 to 3/4 of the race.

I agree about the year being tough for Michael but as I said in a post on another column, Michael learned who is true friends were in the garage after Daytonagate. I truly wonder if some of the panelists other than Schrader are some of those who really are not friendly with Michael and behind the scenes are trying to get him in trouble.?. JMHO.

I hope that this post does not offend. I am just stating my opinion.

Mike24 said...

Know one loves Mikey more than Mikey, he just cant get enough of hearing his own voice. His alter ego could use a little humility and if he would only once and awhile allow other guest to talk without his out of the blue stupid comments I could probably tolerate him a little more. For some reason that wont happen as Mikey is in love with Mikey (-:

Anonymous said...

It was nice for once not to have Micheal cramming his opinion about every other driver out there, and or about one of his sponsors. I could only imagine what he would have said about the Robby / Tony deal in the Busch race. Also why is it that they all seemed to blast Robby for what he did? You meea non of these guys have ever had a loose car off of turn 4 and got into the back of someone? Robby admitted it was his fault as he was trying to hang on while running 6th and he meant to tuck in behind Tony and not to hit him. Anyways it was a nice change not having MW there. I usually dont watch the show anymore because of MW and his laim comments. But I caught the end of the show and saw he was not there. So I watch the replay later on that night.

Also Micheal not being there because he was speaking to sponsors? Yah right! He was at his attorney's office going over his Toyota "AKA sock walk" roll over earlier this year. His court date is later this week. Mikey's trying to convince his attorney that he should use the "I was just trying to get my first pole this year judge!" Theory! And his attorney thinks he should use the OJ trial comment. "If the sock does not fit you must acquit!"

What a loser!

Anonymous said...

His alter ego could use a little humility

"Alter ego"? Does he also work as a superhero during the week?

Anonymous said...

Also Micheal not being there because he was speaking to sponsors? Yah right! He was at his attorney's office going over his Toyota "AKA sock walk" roll over earlier this year.
Nie try, but he had a two-day NAPA sponsorship event/sweepstakes prize deal. Lots of people saw him there.

Don't just make stuff up when you don't really know what you're talking about.

Anonymous said...

Without Mikey there is no show. Its just monotone boredom.

Anonymous said...

I liked the show this monday but I don't want to always hear tech. stuff about nascar. I like to hear funny jokes from michael and kenny and get a little tech stuff. The show just wasn't the same without michael. Plus Vickers is so lame.

Anonymous said...

Waltrip is like kids, Some need to be seen and not heard.. Go to your room Mikie

Anonymous said...
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Busch Series Fan! said...

We enjoyed INC Monday. I don't usually care for Biffle but this show he did fine and Vickers was a good guest too but I thought sitting in Mikey's spot was funny since last year they always got on each other's nerves and it was difficult to watch. Schrader is a hoot but I would prefer AB as the host. I think the show should show more Busch & truck races but I guess they want to show more wrecks instead.

mant2003 said...

John, you can't talk bad about a guy in the rest of your blog post and then say you’re not being a Mikey hater in this post. This is just another bad attempt to make Mikey look bad. Please stop it's getting old. I like your blog but stay off Mikey.

Daly Planet Editor said...

mant2003,

Go read my column. It was about the show, and the content from that Monday night. Find me one moment where I criticized Waltrip other than he and Vickers sniping.

If you want to post, read the column. If you have a problem with me, use the email address on the main page and tell me what it is.

Otherwise, what did you think of the Monday show? You forgot that part.

Anonymous said...
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mant2003 said...

John,
I wasn't talking about this particular column. In other columns you have blasted Waltrip and now you’re saying that you’re not a Waltrip hatter. We all know how you feel about the guy; I just think the only reason why you wrote the column is for viewers/readers to say that they don't like Waltrip. We know how you feel you don't have to get people behind you to express your hatered for Mikey.


By the way I thought the show was fine, it was a little bit too technical for me. Although, I watch INC for a good laugh not for an update on the NNC race. I like it when Michael and Kenny tell inside jokes and goof off, if I wanted hard hitting NASCAR commentary then I would just watch the other 3 million shows about NASCAR.

Anonymous said...

NASCAR commentary then I would just watch the other 3 million shows about NASCAR.

September 26, 2007 5:12 PM

Please tell me where those are. As far as I know there are only 2 different nascar shows Monday - Thursday.

Daly Planet Editor said...

mant2003,

I blasted Waltrip because he was acting like a spoiled child. The ratings were in the tank, the chemistry on the set was horrible, and the tension could be cut with a knife. The show stunk.

Now, all of a sudden, we have a kinder and gentler show. Someone layed down the law. MW even mentioned it on the air.

Monday, fans tuning in to see if this ship was righting itself found MW gone for a sponsor gig. I wrote an article about this show, and asked for comments.

As you can tell from the views of the fans across the nation, things are either totally positive or totally negative about him, as I mentioned in the column. That is called "polarizing."

If he comes back and continues to enjoy himself and smile and have fun like he used to, the show may take a breath. If he returns to his old ways, I would set the DVR because this series is going to be as dead as a doornail.

When a network leaves a show like this alone with nothing around it but hip lifestyle shows like PINKS, Unique Whips, and Payback, it is the TV equivalent of the vultures slowly circling until death comes. Two re-airs of PINKS All Out and INC will be a memory.

mant2003 said...

John, Now that we really know your true feelings about the show. I can see how non bias you are when asking for comments. yea? Thanks for the back and forth and not deleting by comments. Where did you get the shows ratings numbers from?


Please tell me where those are. As far as I know there are only 2 different nascar shows Monday

By shows I mean radio programs, (all the drivers have them now) blogs on the internet, news articles and of course Nascar.com, FSN, SI and so on. There’s a great blog on random thoughts you can find it on a search engine by typing in your favorite driver and random thoughts. With all that you can find out anything you want to know about the race or you can just watch it. Nascar Now is a good show when ESPN thinks it’s relevant to air it and not news about the struggling Bears.

Paul T said...

The show needs a straight-man for Schrader and a leash and muzzle for Mikey but little else. I have always loved Michael, but this year has been punishing on him in all manner of ways. A vacation from TV until his program rights itself would save the INC show from being cut. The host, whomever it may be, should elicit plenty of humor from just under the surface of Kenny Schrader's skin. The is enough there for more than an hour a week. Rotate the two drivers on a bi- or tri-weekly basis and presto. Perfect show.

Anonymous said...

I watch INC because of the 3 panelist, Michael, Kenny and Greg. So yes, I watched it Monday night, but I saw that something was missing right away. The fun was gone and although the show interesting, it turned in to another NASCAR review show. Schrader looked lost with out his buddy, Michael. I think they make the show what it is, it's supposed to be a fun show. Greg got to spread his wings a little and that was great to see. Brian Vickers has shown no personality for TV and he should stay with his day job. As for Dave, I can take him or leave him, he doesn't help the show, but he doesn't hurt it either. I hope the show continues with Michael, Kenny & Greg. JMO

nancy vh said...

must agree with other poster--ESPN doesn't treat Nascar as a sport becasuse for the last 5 years it no longer resembles a sport--one long commercial interrupted by a few scenes of fast moving billboards-and by the way Mikey can stay home--but Ken Schrader--now that is a driver we can relate to!!!

Anonymous said...

It is apparant from the opinions that people watch INC looking for two different shows. Some watch it for what the name suggests, getting some additional insight that Cup drivers may have to share about the races. Then there are those who watch it purely for the entertainment value. Since these two reasons for watching the show are from two totally different areas in the viewing spectrum it only makes sense to have two seperate shows. Leave INC as what it's name suggests and have it run in a fashion similar to this weeks show for those who want the insight. Develope a new "MW's Circus" show for those that simply want the entertainment his antics provide. This also helps with the one fairly consistant theme amungst both groups, Schraeder. No reason he couldn't be on both shows thusly providing twice the opportunity to for all to enjoy him.

Anonymous said...

wasn't there a show or segment on a show called "Mikey Mic'd" or something similar with Michael Waltrip?

Daly Planet Editor said...

I think that comment contains a great suggestion. During the off-season, one of the things we will be doing on The Daly Planet is asking for your suggestions about what type of NASCAR TV programs you would most like to see added to the network line-up for 2008.

Put your thinking cap on, that one will be coming up in early December. Expanding the INC concept to two shows is certainly interesting. Thanks again for your comment.

JD

Jared said...

That show was so good without POS on there- It was actually about racing instead of Hair racing and shameless sponsor plugs for his car that didn't make the show. I would actually enjoy him making the show on Sunday if it meant I could watch INC on Monday without having to listen to his idiotic rants...

Anonymous said...

The show is better without Mikey. While they will lose some fans if he gets the boot, I suspect they will gain more with him gone.

Jennifer said...

I'm naming my next dog Little Kenny Schrader!

Anonymous said...

I gave up watching INC a long time ago due to the obnoxious egocentric ramblings of Michael Waltrip. Purely by accident I scanned past SPEED on Monday night to see Vickers in the third seat. It was very different and actually enjoyable for a change.

If the powers-that-be at SPEED channel got a clue they'd realize than more race fans would probably tune in if Mikey had lots of sponsor comittments on Mondays and was unable to participate.

Anonymous said...

No Mikey, no me. Do you really need someone to tell you what happened with Cars going around in circles? Mikey is funny, we need more funny in this World.

Anonymous said...

Mikey makes the show!!

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

I hated the show on monday. Vickers is so dull

Anonymous said...

Dude I wish you would stop blasting Michael Waltrip. Get a life. INC is the best program on speed.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

I agree the show was so boring Monday and it did kind of look like both Kenny and Despain were looking for waltrip. They kept bringing him up every chance they got. Even at the end of the show Kenny brought up Michael.

nncfan85 said...

Daily Planet Editor,

I don't read your blog a whole lot but I have gone back and read some of your archives. What I have learned is that you really don't like Michael Waltrip. I think the only reason why you wrote this column was to sarcastically blast him. I know this is just a blog but can you show me some evidence that people aren’t watching INC. From all the comments, somebody’s watching. I’m a blogger myself and we all state conjecture, but your kind of conjecture is misleading people about what programs they should watch and that’s just wrong.

That’s of course if you don’t have evidence of your statement.

“I blasted Waltrip because he was acting like a spoiled child. The ratings were in the tank, the chemistry on the set was horrible, and the tension could be cut with a knife. The show stunk.”

Anonymous said...

Hey, do you subscribe to Nielsen or something? How do you know INC ratings?

Anonymous said...

What happened here? I thought this area was to discuss the SHOW?

Anonymous said...

I can't believe I missed a show with no Mikey.

If they could give Mikey his own show and have a reasonable discussion I would make sure I actually watched each week.

Best comment in the stack:

Mikey's trying to convince his attorney that he should use the "I was just trying to get my first pole this year judge!" Theory! And his attorney thinks he should use the OJ trial comment. "If the sock does not fit you must acquit!"

Daly Planet Editor said...

Thanks again for all the great comments. Before you comment, please read both the column and the rules for commenting on the right side of the main page.

Please reference the topic of the column in your comments, and state your opinion of the issue at hand.

Thanks again.

JD

Anonymous said...

What I have learned is that you really don't like Michael Waltrip. I think the only reason why you wrote this column was to sarcastically blast him.

Exacly. It's sad that John won't own up to his previous comments (thanks for showing us one of them) and admit they're biased against Waltrip. And to keep saying "Stay on topic" is a cop-out; MW is the topic, John, and you made it so.

This kind of writing is passive-aggressive: you write things that are critical off Mikey--not always about his on-air performance--and then want to keep us from commenting on what you wrote by saying it isn't the point.

To us, the readers, it IS the point.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and one more thing--why don't you answer the posters who're asking you how you see the ratings numbers and what they are?

You keep talking about them, but then you sidestep when asked to substantiate your statement.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Since February there have been hundreds of columns on this site about a wide variety of TV topics.

Michael Waltrip is not even in this column. The entire point is to comment on the show without him.

We have many first time posters who confuse their loyalty on the track to a driver with the comments on this site about their TV performances.

I was a project manager for SpeedVision when the network started, and have enjoyed INC for ten years. Most of the time, people bash me for being SPEED friendly and anti-ESPN.

Its pretty funny that now I am anti-MW. The best thing about TV is that it is subjective. Two people can watch the exact same thing and come away with two different opinions.

This is certainly the case with INC and the current cast. It will be interesting to watch them close out the season over the next several weeks.

In regard to ratings, there is no mandate to make them public. Most networks release only what they contract for, or what they want to promote.

I have a large email base that consists of hundreds of media friends and fortunately they continue to provide me support and information about their activities, and the other TV issues that we discuss here.

This is one key way I can identify topics to be discussed in a timely fashion. Its been a great help this year. Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

It was great to actually be able to watch the show. No interruptions, no cute little inside jokes with 'snack cake Kenny'. No self promoting mono logs. It was a show about racing and racers, not Darrel's brother. Added to his absence in the booth for the truck race made for a decent motor sports TV weekend.

Anonymous said...
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Ian said...

Best INC I've seen in awhile.....sorry Micheal

Anonymous said...
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Daly Planet Editor said...

The rules for posting are on the right hand side of the main page. You can bash me all you want, I have been around way to long to take it personally. The bottom line is, if you have a problem with me, please email me directly.

Since February, thousands of comments have been logged about hundreds of topics. If you have a point about an issue, make it. If you have a problem with the site, myself, or another site member, just email me.

I have yet to receive one email from the person on this thread who has such a personal problem with me. This is my site, and I will operate it in the manner in which I see fit.

Hiding behind an anonymous tag must add credibility to some poor folks out there. Next season, as thedalyplanet.tv rolls out as a stand along website, there will be a members forum for posting comments and starting new threads.

It takes all kinds to make a world.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for proving my point, John.

Daly Planet Editor said...

My friend,

You are not going to take over my site. You are not going to dictate the conversation, and you are not going to continue to harrass me instead of emailing me directly.

Thousands of people don't have the big problem you seem to have. Either email me directly or get lost.

Anonymous said...

60 minute "Inside Nextel Cup" = not long enough to show Cup / Busch / Trucks

90 minute INC = best, except when the only race was the Busch race in Mexico City

INC needs to cover all three series since SPEED got rid of the IBS (Inside Busch Series) and NBS 24/7 shows ...

INC with Michael = very good

INC without Michael = bad

INC with Vickers = very bad

INC with Stremme / Sorenson / Mears = barely tolerable

INC with Allen Bestwick = very good

INC with Dave Despain = tolerable, but he's best on Wind Tunnel (Bring it back to a Mon - Thurs show) ...

"NASCAR Nation" = Started out decent, but went horrific with the on-air "talent" change

"NASCAR Now" = Not even watchable, as there's too many stick & ball people on the show who treat NASCAR like the redheaded stepchild


ESPN needs to dump "NASCAR Now" ...

SPEED needs to bring back "Totally NASCAR" as well as "NBS 24/7" and / or "IBS - Inside Busch Series" ... Plus, hire show hosts & reporters who actually know what they're talking about (and not Shannon Spake / Jamie Little, etc) ...

SPEED needs to force Despain to actually WATCH the races live ... IF the host is not up-to-date on the subject at heand, he's useless as a host ...

Anonymous said...

Sounds like tomorrow's INC will have Despain, Waltrip, Reutimann & Vickers on it ...


Count me out!!