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.


Anonymous said...

Well, all right, SPEED!

Thanks for listening to the wishes of your viewers.

I'll be there.

Anonymous said...

Amy in FL said...

Speed, THANK YOU for bringing Mikey and Kenny back. Thank you for listening to the fans.


Thank you for providing us a forum to voice our opinions that the tv networks would actually read.


I am so stoked. As a Mikey fan, I was so down when I realized that INC would not be back. I am now happy. We Mikey fans need our Mikey fixes as I am sure all the drivers' fans need their fixes of seeing them interviewed/ads etc. on tv.


:) :) :) :) :)

Lisa Hogan said...

Thanks for the update, JD.

Good news, indeed. One has to wonder if this was SPEED's intent all along or if the long-time viewers had any influence.

I want to also thank you, JD for the chance for your readers to share our memories of IWC/INC now that it is gone.

I'm looking forward to the new show.

Anonymous said...


A thumb and a half. Glad that Kenny is back.

Kingston, NY

Anonymous said...

Thank You. I'm so happy that Mikey and Kenny will be on "this week in NASCAR" I am looking forward to seeing this new show.

earl06 said...

Just heard the news on Sirius, thanks JD for the article.

I like Dave Despain, but Steve Byrnes will bring better energy to the show, and I'm glad the cast will remain intact. +1 for SPEED.

Deborah said...

The new format of the show sounds very promising! There's so much in the other series worthy of talking about besides just Cup, and that they'll be doing more than just analyzing the race action from the weekend past should lead to some good discussions. Adding a crew chief to the panel is a good idea. Best of all, I'm very happy that Ken, Michael and Greg will be back - those three have a lot of knowledge, insight, and laughs to share with fans!

Rasta Racing man said...

Glad to her Mikey and Kenny are returning. I am sure the Biff will do better this year also, and we can only hope for less ("DEER in the Headlights") looks from him. Now if we can get Wind Tunnel back to a nightly show all the planets would be alinged.


Rasta Racing Man

Anonymous said...

PS.. Thanks JD!! YOU DA MAN!!

Kathy said...

All I can say is, "Thank Goodness!" I was slipping into a really sad state thinking of the new season without my Monday night "fix" of my favorite guys! And Steve Byrnes will be great.

Thanks for the info.

batchief said...

Thanks JD, Steve is so good at being the traffic cop on Trackside and will be just as good with this show. This show will not only be informative but fun too.

snowfaller said...

This is GREAT news! I'm so happy to know my Monday evenings are now booked for the year.

Even though I get a bit sick of Knaus during the race coverage, he is very good on NASCAR Performance and it will be interesting to add a crew chief's perspective to the race reviews/previews.

Thanks, SPEED!!!!!

Dan said...

Here's hoping that they will let everyone have some fun and allow them to breath some life back into this program. The sheer number of comments on this blog every time INC was discussed seems to indicate that it is a very popular program. I really hope they can find a new format that (1) works, (2) doesn't overlap too much with other Nascar programing that is out there, and (3) recaptures the chemistry/magic that made the show so poplar.

haus20 said...

works for me!

RACEDR said...

Great news! JD, you and the people have spoken. It will be really good to see a stock car racing fan hosting the show again. I like how the Speed schedule is shaping up!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like Daly won't get his dearist wish after all. Seems he was a bit premature in his announcement that the show was cancelled.

Anonymous said...

Yeaaaaaaaaaaaa! I agree with Lou in Kingston, NY - One and a half thumbs up!!!!!!

Lisa Hogan said...

Thanks for the laugh Mr/Ms anon 1:29

INC was cancelled. This Week in NASCAR is a new show in that time slot. New format, new host, new name, new panelist. Three people from INC are on the new show. :)

Jeff said...

While John was proven to be wrong in his premature conclusion that INC was cancelled, I'm sure his lemmings will somehow conclude that it was the mighty John Daly who single handedly rescued the show in the same way he has rescued ESPN coverange and NASCAR as a whole...LOL

Anonymous said...

Awesome. INC actually help win my wife over to become a Nascar fan years ago and it will be nice to get her back to watching this show again. I hope they bring non-panel drivers on too!

Thanks JD and everyone who voiced an opinion. Maybe they are listening.

SophiaZ123 said...

Well I am GLAD to see Kenny and Mikey on the show.

But I am confused why this was "canceled". I mean we ALL KNOW NEXTEL is not in the title anymore..but if Waltrip said at Daytona fanfest INC had been canceled, you think he would've known if they were changing the format.

Either way, I am thrilled the boys are back but frankly, get sick of Knaus on tv so much..but at least I have KENNY!!

slithybill said...

Well, all I can do is take my hat off to the executives at SPEED and shout out a great big THANK YOU! I'm very excited about the show returning, whatever they call it. I'm glad that the Biff is returning as well. He was really starting to seem more comfortable toward the end of last season, especially after he spoke his mind about the Edwards/Kenseth incident.

I'm also glad that Steve Byrnes will be hosting. He'll definitely fit in as they move to a more open-ended format. His time at the track each week should add some perspective to the show.

Adding Chad Knaus is a great move. Having a weekly voice from the Hendrick Motorsports team should make for some great insights. I can already hear Mikey and Kenny giving him a hard time for winning so often!

I'm especially glad that Kenny and Mikey will be back. It should be a good season, especially for MWR. But I just have three words of caution: The Humpy Show. Humpy Wheeler has his own show now too! Who's going to be the biggest loud mouth now on SPEED? Mikey or Humpy? Or Kenny Wallace? Or Kyle Petty? Or...nevermind.

I'm just glad the show is coming back!

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 1:29PM,

Who said the show was cancelled? Do you ever read my columns and the other comments before you type?

Inside NEXTEL Cup was ended. The new program is in the same timeslot and will hopefully use elements of the old show.

The new program will review all three series, include bigger previews, and also incorporate crew chiefs like Chad in the mix.

As the person who created the original "This Week in NASCAR with Eli Gold" with producer Tom Hoch, I think you owe me a little more repsect that that.


Anonymous said...

I like Dave Despain on his Sunday night program, but quit watching INC because he and the format were just not a good fit. The "Hot Seat" was a good segment and allowed for the program to have someone with current involvement in racing on the program without making a long term commitment to it.

There are so many positive changes being made in programming. I hope we all don't get super critical of everything. It appears Nascar wants to get back some of its old fans. My watching of Nascar programming declined 50% last year. It ceased being must see TV. I look forward to giving all the new programming a chance.

But, I hope Steve Byrnes doesn't get burned out. He's involved in a lot of programs.

Chad Knaus I can totally do without, but it will be interesting due to his affiliation with Hendricks to hear what he has to say.

Is Nascar Performance coming back? I know I read Tradin' Paint is.

Is there any video on demand available of the Speed programs? Sometimes, especially Tradin' Paint, is on at so many different times, it is hard to catch it.

Thanks for this source to comment.

Rich in MA said...


I'll give it a shot for a couple weeks but I hope Steve Byrnes can rein in Waltrip. A little Waltrip goes a long way.

billy delyon said...

Hurray!! Great move by SPEED. Steve Burns is the perfect host. As was posted above, he keeps 'Trackside' in line despite their tendency to get off topic during that show. I really look forward to seeing the new show/format. I too am happy they keep Mikey-Kenny and Greg around, being a HMS fan I look forward to the addition of Chad.

I don’t care what the hater’s have to say above either JD, I believe The Daly Planet, the fans who have posted here and many other web sites had a lot to do with the changes we’ve seen in NASCAR TV land all over the place. All of the positive changes that have been made, were pretty much all discussed right here in the pages of The Daly Planet last season.

I’m pumped even before the season has started. I look forward to seeing how it all works out!
Keep on keepin on JD!

Newracefan said...

WOW WOW WOW. THANK YOU SPEED. This is fantastic news. Steve Burns should work well if he can rein in DW he can handle Mikey and Schrader. I though the Biff improved every week so glad to see him back too. I enjoyed listening to Chad on Nascar Performance and have learned much (perhaps Bootie can be his back up, if both he and Mikey get started look out), I like the idea of having a crew chief on this show.

JD it's too bad the flamers have found this site perhaps a site that required log in and you can block the crazier ones. Don't feel the need to respond to them we know better.

darbar said...

Yeah, I'm happy the show is returning in some form, and with Steve Byrnes. I think Steve is one of the most professional members of the Nascar TV media. He manages to hold together Trackside, especially in the face of so many large egos. And, I'm happy to see Kenny, Michael and Greg returning. Kenny and Michael for the laughs and Greg for the information.

penny said...

THANKS SPEED for bringing back Kenny Schrader. Love to watch the show when he is on. Thanks for giving us a show simular to the old INC. Can't wait for it to start.
THANKS JD for all your hard work to keep us informed. I never miss reading your columns.

stuck in 200 said...

Glad to see the retooled show is coming back. It's probably a good move to get the series sponsor's name out of the title - given what's happening with Sprint as a company, there may be more "rebranding" in '09.

I hope there aren't too many weeks when Biffle is the only panelist who actually drove in the race this year.

Brian said...

Excellent choice Speed Channel. Steve is awesome, he's the man and they have selected a great lineup. This new management staff or whatever they got has really been a great choice. Best news I've heard in awhile!

Aven said...

Darn! I thought we might be rid of one Waltrip. I don't see what people see in him (of course I feel that way about a lot of celebrities with little or no talent).

Steve L. said...

Yeaaaaaaaaa!!! The 'WindBag' is gone!

I'd trade a whole sackfull of Dave's for one Steve!!
(visualize cartoon please)

Thanks Speed, thanks JD!

Truck Serise Fan! said...

Glad Kenny & Mikey are coming back. Like someone else said - I can do without Knaus - he sounds too much like a robot to me. And I think Biffle was actually getting better throughout the season. Speed needs to either have a show before or after this new show dedicated to the Nationwide & truck series with AB as the host. Anyway, it looks like Speed actually listens to viewers.

Anonymous said...

Linda from FL said....

Monday I was really bummed about the thought of no more INC. I was thinking that those folks over at Speed didn't have a clue about what they were doing to the Nascar fans.

Tuesday I heard rumors that all might not be lost ~ maybe our prayers have been answered??

Today we got the wonderful news that our 'boys' will be back along with a new host and format. I'm thrilled with this news and can't wait for Feb. 18th. Bring it on!

Again, a big thank you goes out to JD for providing us all with the format to make our voices heard. We have no proof that SpeedTV or ESPN reads this blog but somebody must be because of the changes we are seeing in the past week.

I know Feb. 1st is just around the corner here John......keep up the good work, please???


Anonymous said...

Thanks SPEED! Shouldn't have doubted you would make it better in the first place.

Glad that Mikey & Kenny are sticking around for a bit longer. I also agree with some of the other posters here, Biffle appeared to get better as the season went on, especially after his wedding had past. He seemed much more relaxed in the final episodes of last season.

Anonymous said...

It sounds like a touched up paint job on a show that should have ended. Heck, even MASH only made it so many years. Why not do an RPM 2 Night show instead of this type of show that is similar to so many other shows on Speed. Not trying to offend anyone, but first we had too much Mikey on the air, now it looks like we exchanged MW for someone else.
Nashville, TN

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

One word............YAY!!!!

Anonymous said...

So, fan hysteria aside, the sky is NOT falling.

The new format sounds very promising. With Speed Report, Victory Lane, and Wind Tunnel all on Sunday night the last thing we needed on Monday was a 4th time through the highlight reel.

I expect it will be a little rough-edged as they sort out how to accomplish their new goals, but I'm looking forward to seeing what they come up with.

Ritchie said...

The success of this show will depend on how well the three panelists work together. It was obvious that many people felt that Mr. Despain was too structured and controlling to fit with the carefree attitudes of the panelists. This may be true, however when the INC panelists consisted of Mr. Waltrip and Mr. Schrader we were forced to suffer through episodes of drivers that were experiencing some of the lowest points of their careers. Even with structure, we were subjected to sermons by Mr. Waltrip preaching to the fans that they were not intelligent enough to understand what was REALLY going on in NASCAR.

I don't think giving Mr. Waltrip even more freedom is going to help that. In fact, I am bracing for another season of speeches and sermons by the most self-righteous driver in NASCAR.

Anonymous said...

Where oh where has Alan Bestwick gone. I look for his name in all the channel lineups and he seems to have disappeared.

Ron P said...

Thank you God!!!
and Thank you to who ever at SPEED made this decision!!!
I just hope they don't try to tie down Steve and just let all the people be them selves, this show should be a Hoot! I wonder what impact this will have on the 48 with Chad not being there for a few hours on Monday??
I don't have a problem with the format changes or name change, now no matter who sponsers Cup Races ( With Sprint loosing tons of money,I would expect the series to go to another sponser at the end of the year anyway)The name of the show can stay the same.
At least I have a reason to watch SPEED on Monday Nights again.

Anonymous said...

I don't think giving Mr. Waltrip even more freedom is going to help that. In fact, I am bracing for another season of speeches and sermons by the most self-righteous driver in NASCAR.

Perhaps you'd like to listen to Kyle Petty tell everyone esle on Tradin' Paint why they're wrong and stupid and he's right before you make that statement.

Prospector said...

It's good so many of you are happy with the change.

I will still pass on this show as I have INC for the past few years.

Got my fill of Michael and just can't stand to listen to him any more.

I do like Steve, Kenny, and Biff but even those positives cannot out weigh the Michael negative.

GinaV24 said...

I'm glad to hear that the show will be back, even with some changes. I like Schrader a lot and Steve Byrnes is a lot more upbeat than Despain, so I look for a more fun vibe to the show. I can do without Mikey and Chad, well, Chad is not a fave of mine. However, I'll tune in and give it a look. I'm glad that Speed is going to put this type of programming out there for the fans. Someone will need to tell Mikey though that it's not ALL about him!

Anonymous said...

Am I the only reader old enough to recall that this "new" plan for the show is precisely what the started out to be when it was Inside Winston Cup! Bestwick and the three drivers talked about all things NASCAR, not just the cup race.
As the song goes, will the circle be unbroken?

Anonymous said...

Am I the only one tired of Waltrips endless interuptions and total lack of focus?

Desmond said...

This news is reassuring. I was afraid that the replacement for Inside NEXTEL Cup was going to be a show heavy on features and fluff, as NASCAR Nation was (especially late in 2005).

Biffle is a new voice on the show and very promising. And he's also one of my favorite drivers, so I have a special reason to hear what he has to say.

Also, the Nationwide and truck series will get a lot of airtime each week, which I like.

Now, the only thing I want to see is to see Michael Waltrip reined in. His endless shilling of products and arrogant attitude turns me off!

Kevin in SoCal said...

I went to update my TiVo with the new show title, and found it had already changed Inside Nextel Cup to Inside Sprint Cup! But my TiVo only goes 10 days forward and this show is more than 14 days out, I cant program it to record yet.

Anonymous said...

Am I the only one tired of Waltrips endless interuptions and total lack of focus?

No, but there are also a lot of us who really enjoy watching him.

Anonymous said...

Thanks SPEED and you, JD for this fantastic news.
For Mikey haters, there wouldn't be a show without him.
Grami Girl

Anonymous said...

This is awesome news! It gives me something to look forward to on the way home from work on Monday nights. Gotta love Tivo!

Kenseth_Fan said...

Unlike most people, JD, I like Dave Despain and Wind Tunnel, but I do admit that the chemistry between him and the panelists just wasn't there. Steve Byrnes will be good as the host of this show, and should work well with Kenny, Mikey, and Greg Biffle. However, my feelings toward Chad Knaus make me say that I will not watch the show with him on it. Chad is a very poor representative for NASCAR given his history of suspensions. Bootie Barker would have been a much better choice. Besides, what will the show producers do the next time Knaus is suspended? Sorry, but that is how I feel.

And JD, keep up the great work! I read your blog every day through Jayski!