Monday, October 1, 2007

"Inside NEXTEL Cup" Misses Schrader And Biffle


There was no doubt that lots of former fans of Inside NEXTEL Cup on SPEED decided to give this show another try on Monday night. There were two reasons for them to believe that this episode of the long-running series would be top-notch.

Panelist Greg Biffle had won the NEXTEL Cup race in Kansas in very controversial style. Comments televised nationally by both Jimmie Johnson and Clint Bowyer questioned whether Biffle had kept reasonable speed behind the pace car or had run out of gas. Should he have won? INC had the one man who could answer that question. Unfortunately, on this Monday Biffle had other plans.

Original show veteran Kenny Schrader was one of the key stories of the race. His decision to run three-wide alongside fellow panelist Michael Waltrip resulted in a collision that deeply affected The Chase for the Championship race. It was going to be interesting to hear what he had to say.

When Dave Despain appeared on-camera, he introduced at least two of the panelists. Seated alongside Despain were Michael Waltrip and Brian Vickers. On the seat between them was the lifesize Little Debbie display cut-out of Kenny Schrader. That did not bode well for a Schrader appearance. It seems that Schrader had other plans as well.

After Little Debbie was removed, Despain introduced David Reutimann, who would join the panel for this show. There was little doubt from the outset that Reutimann was out of his league with the pace of this program, but he held his own by using his real life good-natured attitude.

This mix proved to be interesting, as Waltrip and Despain handled the bulk of the show, and Vickers filled-in the blanks. Once again, Vickers and Waltrip seem to have mended fences, and worked well together. This left one role for Reutimann, which was to agree with everything that everyone said.

With an action-packed race like Kansas, the format of the program worked perfectly. Viewers saw all the issues and incidents of the race along with the Tony Stewart incident from practice. The panel also addressed the post-race issues raised by Jimmie Johnson and Clint Bowyer.

Waltrip spoke plainly about several incidents, including the Dale Junior vs. Kurt Busch accident. He also took some time out to focus some good-natured needling on Jack Roush and his work neighborhood of Livonia, Michigan. Vickers once again made his way thought the show with a much more mature personality than viewers had known in the past.

Dave Despain was a bit flustered, and several times lost his place. You just don't see that type of thing on the air too often when the show is taped. As The Daly Planet mentioned in a previous article, Despain's nervous laughter is gone, and in several weeks viewers might just find out why.

Hopefully, the original panel including Biffle will be on-hand after the huge Talladega race that already has news and personality stories building five days before the race itself. The next program in this series will be huge.

No matter what the outcome, someone in management has gotten their hands on this show and put things in order. Gone is the sniping and the control issues, and back in vogue is the good-natured fun and the driver comments that add to the understanding of what happened on the track.

That feeling for viewers only comes from hearing the information from the people who lived it. Everything changes when most of the panelists just came back from driving in the race. This week, despite the two missing "regulars," all the information and experience of the previous weekend was on display in a solid program.

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.

41 comments:

Anonymous said...

I agree. This was a good and solid show.

Anonymous said...

I hope the news explains why the nervous part is gone for Despain, not the laughter.

Anonymous said...

I don't want the laughter gone either.

Then again, I LIKE DESPAIN on here unlike many.

Course, if they brought in John Roberts or got AB back, that might be ok with the same panel.

JD has me on the edge of my seat with his despain comment.

(I hate surprises :( )

SOPHIAZ

Anonymous said...

"Despain's nervous laughter is gone".

Dave was hinting at retirement, but I thought that was about two years out.

Despain is serving a life sentence from within the walls of NASCAR television, and I'm sure he would love to trash the set -- kicking Waltrip square in the head.

The show is boring, and one must ask -- how many recap shows do we really need?

jfs-va said...

Like others, I was eagerly awaiting this show to hear what Biffle had to say along with Schrader.

It was still ok, but obviously much was missing without those two there. Reut was there, that's about it. Clearly he was not going to say anything controversial.

Waltrip dominated but I actually didn't mind it as much this time because to some extent he had to do it. I liked how they made fun of Jeff Burton and his fender and also brought a different perspective to what Jr did to Shrub.

Things are sure heating up in the Chase and while this show was ok, it could have been alot better with all the regulars.

Busch Series Fan! said...

I enjoyed the show last night. Mikey wasn't his usual spouting self. I would have really like to hear Biffle's story about pulling into the grass!!!! Reut was thrown in and seemed to do ok but he needs more experience to stand up to the other 3.

Anonymous said...

Based on how Kenny's been treated this year, I wouldn't be surprised if his new attitude is, "I'll do what I want when I want."

Anonymous said...

I didn't see his "Livonia" comments as good natured, especially after he'd already slammed Jack once...Mike calling him a whiner is surely the pot calling the kettle black...and reeks of his usual Toyota vs. 'the others' jealousy...(and I personally don't care much about manufacturers.) I'd rather hear Jack whine than Michael's usually 'suck up to NASCAR' slant, but that's just me (and I get that they have to be careful about slamming NASCAR, which is their associate employer, after all.)

Other than that, it was okay--a little boring for me without Ken. And aren't we all a little tired of Mike ragging on the fans of WT? I like the show, and I'm not 'angry', but obviously people who call in to ANY talk show are going to be the ones the most upset, duh. They ought to give Dave his 2 hour Wind Tunnel back. And get Alan back on this show.

Anonymous said...

And aren't we all a little tired of Mike ragging on the fans of WT?

No, and sometimes I think Despain would like to rag on them, too.

Anonymous said...

As long as Michael is on this program, it's a tanker. If he could just get his ego in control, the program might be worth watching. You might as well have a member of Nascar as a panelist.

Anonymous said...

What's wrong with having someone who agrees with NASCAR on the show? I didn't realize the title was, "Slam NASCAR."

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Don said...

I thought this was the most boring INC yet, I missed Schrader And Biffle, Mikey I can take or leave, but Biff has grown into a pretty good part of the show, and it seems to me every time they bring on a new driver, he is sort of left sitting there more as a prop.

Anonymous said...

to anonymous 10:38--there is a huge area in-between slamming NASCAR and sucking up...as I said, I don't expect anyone to seriously criticize a 'sort of' employer. But the 'NASCAR is always right' thing gets a bit old. He admits he has reservations about the Biffle thing, I'll give him that, but at times he defends them to the point of absurdity. Even NASCAR will come out and admit it makes mistakes (and they have a difficult job; most of the time I agree with them.) But Michael acts like the viewers need to be scolded by his superior knowledge of them as if we're ignorant little children...it's just arrogant.

and anonymous 10:09--you DO have a point, lol! I like it for the interviews, not necessarily the callers...

(from anonymous 10:04)

Anonymous said...

It was a good show. If you watched Windtunnel on Sunday, Dave did say that David and Brian were going to be on INC. And Mikey slamming Jimmy Spencer (but not naming him specifically) outrageous!

Lisa Hogan said...

John-
Nice little tease. So, what is happening in a few weeks?

I would hope that the announcement that INC ,sans Despain, will be back next season with the regular panel.

Although, with my luck, the new host would probably be someone else who mistakenly thinks they are the star of the show. Like Steve Byrnes.

Anonymous said...

I'm a Waltrip fan and watch the show mostly to get his take on the race, but I too was very disapointed to see Schrader and Biffle MIA. I think the chemistry between Biffle, Schrader and Waltrip has gotten very good and the show provides a very entertaining recap of Sunday's events. Even as a Waltrip fan I can agree that his attempts to be goofy and funny get a little tiresome sometimes. But the banter between Michael and Kenny is often priceless. Better than most network sitcoms.

pogeyboat said...

if you were looking at mikey when he went on about roush and several other things you quickly saw that it was anything but "good natured" ribbing. mikey does have a bit of an evil streak. his constant suck up to nascar is getting old,old,old. a lot less of mikey would be a very good thing. hasn't anyone noticed how the show tends to flow easily without mikey,everyone is more relaxed, especially dave.

Richard in N.C. said...

Monday night's show was OK - but no where near the average when JB and Alan Bestwick were on the show. However, even as damaged by the SPEED geniuses, INSIDE NC is stillALWAYS better than anything on ESPN with Erik Klueless.

Mike24 said...

This show was ok but nothing to write home about. Im not a Mikey fan to say the least but I thought it was funny when he made a refrence about the Track Side post race show. He was of course talking about Jimmy Spencer taking issue with NASCAR re-starting the race after the red flag due to rain. Spencer was quite irate that NASCAR would restart the race knowing they couldnt finish it before dark. I couldnt figure that one out. What a crock!! Fans pay to see as much of the race as possible Spencer get with the program. I only wished Michael would have pursued the subject further but at least he brought it up.

Anonymous said...

everyone is more relaxed, especially dave.

Then get rid of Dave.

Bestwick had no problem with Mikey--they got along great.

Anonymous said...

I haven't seen this show for some time, basically because of Despain & Waltrip...Can't understand why they can't get someone that actually likes stock car racing to host the show...as far as Jimmy Spencer's comments, I thought it was strange too and the only thing I can think of is that he seems to be a huge T. Stewart suck up and when the race was red flagged , Tony was leading and it would have given Stewart a huge advantage in the points if they would not have got back on the track....

Anonymous said...

If Waltrip could race as good as he talks he would have won a few championships by now.

Anonymous said...

Why is it, MW's name can NEVER be brought up without people getting meanspirited and hateful. It's like people have a fixation on kicking him ALL THE TIME.

it seems to be encouraged here and I do not get it. lots of drivers I do not like but never get so personal as people do with Mikey.

And Jr is the same deal.
I think people are just miserable in their own lives they can only feel better when chopping down others.
Besides, we have all seen bosses in management that have NOT made it on skill but either good BS or great personality. If Jr and MW can do that, more power to them.
That said, Despain clearly said who was on INC monday, on WT, and he has never been wrong yet. No clue why SPEED website was used unless they wanted more people to tune in so they lied.

Should've had on Bif and KS to liven it up.

Anonymous said...

If Waltrip could race as good as he talks he would have won a few championships by now.

Yep. So?

Anonymous said...

I watched last weeks show and it was very good. Schrader is an untapped talent, he is really smart , witty, and funny when he gets to talk.I started to watch this weeks show and ran into the big mouth, shameless sponsor plugger and poor excuse for a so called comedian Waltrip, and as much as I like NASCAR and racing in general,I could not watch.I don't know what people see in him, but I also thought O.J. was guilty also.Please send him to his shop on Mondays to improve his teams performance and replace him with anybody except his brother!!

Anonymous said...

Here we go, with the Michael Waltrip bashing again.

He's been on the show for ten years.

People like him.

Deal with it.

Anonymous said...

Dale Jr. wrecked Kurt Busch too?

Anonymous said...

I agree with another post on here-I'd like to see Allen Bestwick hosting a show. He's one of the best out there and is rarely on the air these days. Same with Krista Voda. She's relegated to trucks now which is fine-I like the trucks-but she's so personable and self-effacing.

Anonymous said...

I love David R. and will make a point of watching Trackside if he is on. He seemed nervous at the beginning of the show, but by the end he was relaxed and being his usual up-beat self.

Contrary to what some others may say, I think that, after the pitiful start, DeSpain has been pulling for Mikey.

Anonymous said...

interesting fact: Clint bowyer said on NASCAR Now he watches Inside Nextel Cup.

Anonymous said...

Despain is best on Wind Tunnel where he can bash NASCAR ... But, since he doesn't even watch the NASCAR races, it's idiotic of News Corp to have him host a show about NASCAR ... But, SPEED has turned into a junk pile since Chris Long showed up and started making changes to everything under the sun (including firing Allen Bestwick & Johnny Benson) ...

This week's show was lame ... No in-car or head-on video from the restart prior to the "Big One" which did NOT exonerate Mikey (How convenient that particular footage vanished) ... Reutimann added nothing ... Vickers is too hard to understand & has a bad hairdo/facial hair that creep me out ... Three toyota drivers is too lopsided in their personal biases, esp when two are on the same team & one is the owner ...


How could Biffle been at a birthday party for his brother-in-law ... unless it's his sister-in-law's brother (IF she even has one) or Nicole's brother (& Nicole's not married to Biff yet)??


SPEED has consistently dropped the ball this season by not having all three "experts" of Mikey/Schrader/Biff being on every show ... Throw in the wasted time at the front of the show used in the opening tease as well as the poll, emails, photo giveaway and you've lost a lot of time that could've been used to review stuff during any & all of the races ...


It would so much nicer if the show was on the amount of times that like it used to be ... The noon Tuesday airing was sometimes a lot easier to catch than the 5/9pm Monday airings on the West Coast ...

Daly Planet Editor said...

Krista Voda hosting INC, there is an interesting thought. Good comment.

Anonymous said...

I hadn't seen this show in a long time, but happened to catch a little bit Monday night. What's wrong with Michael Waltrip? I always liked him, and he was always a little nuts, but in a fun harmless way. He started in on some subject that I don't even remember now, maybe he was objecting to some fan opinion somewhere, but it was this incoherent angry babbling that really made him seem like he was on drugs or just mentally had lost it. It was really uncomfortable to watch.

Amy

SophiaZ123 said...

AMy

I feel like you and I watched two different INC's monday night?

But I take it by your tone, you have mixed feelings on Mikey. I thought he was fine and fun with vickers and Reut was good when he spoke up.

STILL the show MAJORLY missed the boat by not having Sniffles and KS there.

When Dave announced on WT who was on the show I IMMEDIATELY was disappointed. I like Mikey but TWO KEY PLAYERS were going to be missing in lieu of the crash AND the most talked about controversial finish in memory.

Wonder if the outcome of the race woulda been the same if Robby Gordon was in da Bif's place. That we shall never know.

NASCAR already erased their Etch-A-Sketch rule du jour.

:-)

Anonymous said...

How could Biffle been at a birthday party for his brother-in-law ... unless it's his sister-in-law's brother (IF she even has one) or Nicole's brother (& Nicole's not married to Biff yet)??


Uh, if biffle has a sister and his sister has a husband then that would be his brother-in-law.

You get it now????? Are you from Kentucky?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Despain is best on Wind Tunnel where he can bash NASCAR ... But, since he doesn't even watch the NASCAR races, it's idiotic of News Corp to have him host a show about NASCAR
October 3, 2007 4:26 AM


How can you say that with out facts? Are you in his office on Sundays? Every episode of INC, he makes comments about the race broadcast, that prove he actually watched the race broadcast!!
...check you facts before you type...
I agree he is not a favorite among NASCAR fans, but even on his show Wind Tunnel, he slams down crazy conspiracies theories against NASCAR.

Andrew S. said...

Original show veteran Kenny Schrader was one of the key stories of the race. His decision to run three-wide alongside fellow panelist Michael Waltrip resulted in a collision that deeply affected The Chase for the Championship race. It was going to be interesting to hear what he had to say.

Nice spin, too bad it was Mikey who made it three wide and got into Schrader.

Andrew S. said...

And for those who care, the mother of Ken's business partner at I-55 Raceway passed away and the funeral was on Monday.

Anonymous said...

Biffle doesn't have a sister ... He's got a brother ...

Despain reads the race threads at the Speedtv boards ... So do Mikey and other Speed on-air talent ...

hairyjim said...

Put a fork in AB - he'll never get back to the booth, much less host another show. DD does a good job on both shows. KS is what makes INC. MW is still funny, but Toyota has changed him for the worse, especially now that Gibbs is in the mix. MW needs to get out of the car.

Roush is dead on about Toyota outspending everybody, predicting exactly that, long ago. Doesn't make him any less a whiner, of course ...

Anybody besides me see Biffle steering side to side to pick up fuel, before dropping down? Any other time, I'd call it scrubbing tires for restart. It's not in any of the replays.

I'm not thrilled he lied about running out of gas ...