Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Waltrip And Schrader Stay With SPEED
This time, it's official. SPEED has finally released word about the re-design of the Monday night "franchise" show for the network.
Inside NEXTEL Cup Racing will become This Week In NASCAR. Dave Despain steps aside as host, and Steve Byrnes will take that role.
In a widely anticipated announcement, SPEED has decided to return Michael Waltrip, Kenny Schrader and Greg Biffle as the regular panelists. This season, they will also be joined by veteran crew chief Chad Knaus.
“Although much of what viewers have become comfortable with Monday nights on SPEED will remain, This Week in NASCAR will no longer be all about ‘yesterday,’ “ said SPEED SVP of Programming Steve Craddock. “We want to do more than review Sunday’s race … we want to get NASCAR fans ready for what’s coming next.”
The new show will debut February 18th at 8PM Eastern Time. As expected, the program will shift in emphasis from focusing on the Sprint Cup Series to more of a balanced approach between all three of NASCAR's national touring series.
SPEED also hinted that other crew chiefs would guest on the program. What they did not address was a return of the Hot Seat, a weekly NASCAR guest or any other additional show features that may be new to this program. It is certainly possible that those additions are being worked on right now.
Steve Byrnes has served in a wide variety of roles on SPEED, including taking time to answer questions during the off-season for Daly Planet readers. Byrnes hosts the popular Trackside program and practice and qualifying shows with Larry McReynolds and Jeff Hammond. He also hosts from the studio The Chase Is On with Carl Edwards.
We expect SPEED to release more details about the show over the next two weeks as the original air date approaches. At least NASCAR fans and SPEED viewers now have one big question answered.
Michael Waltrip and Kenny Schrader will once again bring their very interesting personal dynamic to the fans, now on a new set with a new host and new format.
We will keep you updated as details become available. Please feel free to add your comment about This Week In NASCAR by clicking on the COMMENTS button below. Thanks again for taking the time to stop by The Daly Planet.