Monday, February 11, 2008

Byrnes Brings Back The Fun On Mondays

Steve Byrnes has led the Trackside show on SPEED for several years. That program has evolved into a free-wheeling and raucous hour with lots of guests and lots of racing talk from the panel. Larry McReynolds, Jeff Hammond and Elliott Sadler can handle almost any topic even in front of a big and very live crowd.

Monday night, Byrnes made his debut on a new show under the best of circumstances. He was on the SPEED Stage with the same TV crew that handles the Trackside production. This time he was at the reigns of This Week In NASCAR, the program replacing the ten year old Inside NEXTEL Cup.

Michael Waltrip and Kenny Schrader have returned to this program, and on this first episode Toyota driver David Reutimann was the third member of the panel. Things worked well right off the bat, because Byrnes knew all the players on the stage and had been working with them for the past week.

SPEED decided to re-name, re-vamp and re-energize this program for the 2008 season. Byrnes replaced Dave Despain, and the entire format of the program was moved to reflect the new reality of NASCAR. The program will now address all three national touring series, and both review and preview the weekly racing.

The best thing about Byrnes is that he cannot be rattled. As the on-air dynamic plays-out between Waltrip and Byrnes, there will certainly be moments where the relationship will be tested. While Byrnes is a long-time professional TV personality, Waltrip has always been a moving target.

On this show, Waltrip was eased out of the Toyota cheerleader role and moved on to general racing issues by Byrnes. Schrader did his best to point out to Waltrip when he was walking on the other side of the street from the conversation at hand.

The best part of this show, and the dynamic that may really re-charge its energy is the potential success of the panelists in racing. Last year, it was sometimes just sad to see Waltrip and Schrader, knowing that they were not in the race and sometimes were not even at the track.

New program elements for this show included two features of past Daytona 500's, which worked well for the fans in reminding them of what was on tap for the weekend. The final feature was tough to watch, as both Schrader and Waltrip were parties invovled in the race that took the life of Dale Earnhardt Sr. Their reactions after the replay of the final lap showed the emotions from that day still lingered inside of them both.

Highlights of the Truck Series put everyone back in a good mood, and things began to take shape even as Byrnes tried his best to keep Reutimann in the conversation. Despite his best efforts, it was the Kenny and Mikey show when it came to commetary and opinion. This points out one interesting issue.

Once the show moves into the SPEED studios, Chad Knaus will be added to the panel. While Knaus is fine on his other SPEED show, it may be a very different matter when he is facing a trio like Byrnes, Waltrip and Schrader. That interaction should be fun to see next week.

This show faced the normal technical problems any outdoor program deals with, including the wind sounds and the variations in the audio levels. The entire panel deserves credit for dealing with the elements, including the blinding sunshine.

Memories of Dave Despain and the "controlled and scripted" approach of INC were swept aside in a smart move by SPEED. By changing the name and the format, but keeping the timeslot and key program elements, they made the best of a tough situation. The new show will serve the agenda of the network and the sport a lot better.

Viewers will get a much better sense of all the program features and the rest of the new wrinkles the network has in store for 2008 when the show moves into the studio after the Daytona 500. Even in the wind at Daytona without a points-paying race in the books, the changes to this program are already paying off.

The Daly Planet welcomes comments from readers. Simply click on the COMMENTS button below, and follow the easy instructions. Thanks again for taking the time to stop by.


Ritchie said...

Mr. Daly, I know you want this to work since you have been advocating this move for several months. However, I don't believe this episode can be qualified as a success. I am willing to give it a few more episodes before coming to a conclusion, however this is an ominous beginning.

The first half of the program seemed to be a Michael Waltrip promotional show. It seemed to be geared toward how he and his team are improving over last year, and contrasting it to the year past. If this show is about NASCAR as a whole, then their should have been EQUAL discussion about the Red Bull teams, Bill Davis racing, the Wood Brothers, Boris Said, etc.. However, those teams were only mentioned in passing.

I also wonder who thought it would be a good idea to have Mr. Reutimann as a panelist? My guess is that that decision was made by Mr. Waltrip. Frankly, I don't believe that this show should be a sponsorship platform for Michael Waltrip Racing. This show reminded me of those coaching shows that college coaches have. Sort of like Roy William's Tarheel basketball program that comes on every Sunday here in North Carolina.

On top of everything else, we spent two minutes discussing wheter or not the camerman looked like David Letterman! Some might find that entertaining, however I doubt those who do would be in the majority.

Bottom line is that this show is a mess, just like it was last season. The only difference is that it has turned into a Michael Waltrip Racing infomercial.

Newracefan said...

The show wasn't quite what I expected although I think much of that was because they were outside on the Speed stage. That said I still enjoyed the show very much. Seeing the tears in Mikey's eyes when discussing what should have been one of the happiest days of his professional career was saddening. Steve was able to respectfully deflect that saddness and transition back to the fun of racing. Mikey was fun to watch but it was Schrader who gave me the laughs this time. "Tony's my all time hero if he punched Kurt in the trailer" was hysterical and that's just the one I can quote the closest (I never realized how DD keeping things so ridged shut down Schrader) he's as funny as Mikey just in a different way. Reut didn't get much in but that was ok. I agree it will be interesting to see how it goes with Chad, he and Bootie can be pretty funny on Nascar Performance so hopefully he'll fit it. Steve Byrnes is definately a good fit for this group and I will keep watching

Daly Planet Editor said...


I agree that is it not until the show moves into the studio will we finally see what real changes SPEED has made.

My relief is just from the deep breath of not having a scripted format and timed answers.

After the transition from zero to hero, I think Waltrip can be given a little freedom, but I did think Steve and Schrader worked hard to reign him in.

I am not sure who they had for drivers on-site, but Reutimann certainly was a story. What he is not, however, is good on TV.

This could get very interesting if Waltrip tries next week to dominate. Byrnes has been around for a while and worked with a wide variety of folks.

I was hoping for more guests, and more feature reports from SPEED announcers, but we will apparently have to wait until next week to figure out how it looks in the studio. It should be fun to watch.


GAgirl said...

The show was a little stilted at first but seemed to loosen up as time whent on. Guess that's to be expected since some of the players have changed. I will be very glad to see them in the studio next week. Taping at Daytona made it seem too "Trackside" for me.

And count me as another one who feels the best line of the night belonged to Schrader...the "hero" line was priceless.

Anonymous said...

Well, the Mikey bashing has begun in earnest, Just couldn't wait could you ritchie,

This episode I believe gave us a glimpse of what's to come, just a glimpse.

I enjoyed the energy of the show, didn't feel like a death march.

Steve has the energy and the rapport with drivers and crew members to make the interaction between all involved controlled chaos. It was fun again.

I'm posting early, so for all you Mikey haters, please do us a favor, we know how you feel.

Why do you insist on watching? this show is what it is, it's been 10 years some things (Mike) don't change.

Some of us prefer it that way.

Dave in Milwaukee

Steve L. said...

Production wise I thought the show was very elementary and immature.

It also seemed like one big commercial for the 'duals' coming on Thursday. David looked like a kid in front of the class giving his first speech. He couldn't look at the camera because he was so nervous.

Since the track was closed today there was no real need to shoot outdoors in such windy conditions. They could have shot it in the infield studio or even the media center. I'm sure they shot it there because the equipment was already setup, but it just looked and sounded strange with no crowds and the windy conditions. I believe I would have waited until next week for the regular studio taping to get off on the right foot.

I hope it gets better in coming weeks.

Billy Delyon said...

I thought it was a big improvement over DD's hosting last season. Kenny B did a great job keeping Mikey in check most of the show. It was cool they talked about the turn around of MWR, cause it is a big story during this speedweeks. Kenny Schrader has a great dry sense of humor. And he let it rip tonight I thought. David was quiet, and like JD said, he's just not good TV.
I have high hopes for the show over all. I give em credit pulling the thing together down in Daytona. I thought they did alright today considering they hadn't really planned to start till next week.
Look forward to next week.

Anonymous said...

Amy in FL said...

I thought that the show was pretty good. I thought, though, that as soon as Mikey showed the tears and the way that Schrader looked when they were talking about Big E's death dampened the show until they got to the trucks and by the end of the show it got more lighthearted. Mikey still seems upset by Big E's death.

I do think that Mikey tried to give all the star cars that have a legit shot at the race their day in the sun.

By the way, John, is that you pictured with Steve Byrnes at the top of the column? If so, cool. That is so cool to be able to meet all the Nascar insiders and celebs.

Thanks for reviewing the show so quickly. I too look forward to seeing what changes that Speed has done once they get back to Charlotte.

I loved the jet noise and the airplane either taking off or landing in the middle of the show.

Photojosh said...

Just got through watching the show on the DVR.

I thought it went really well. You are going to either like Mikey or think he's a shill. Yeah, he hypes his sponsors, so what. That's just him, at least he does it with a wink and a smile. A lot better than the monotone read-from-a-script lists you get from other drivers.

Reutimann is a young guy. He hasn't spent much time in the Nascar spotlight. He did better on this show than he did during his guest shots last year. But his shy-guy aw-shucks personality is a nice difference from what the other guys project. Mikey is mikey, we all know his sponsor plugs are coming, the other guys bust his chops for it, and the show moves on. If people are so worried about the show being "MWR promo hour" tell them to start writing their favorite driver and telling them to stop chasing fashion models and get in the studio themselves.

Schrader is truly my favorite guy on the show. I like his sense of humor, I like his enthusiasm for racing, and I like how much of the history of the sport he has experienced. Give me that over the current "young gun" any time.

This particular had the same problems that any "outdoor on location" episode will have. Daytona 500, Superbowl, etc. On-location shows all are slightly more disorganized and low-rent than a studio show. So I'm not going to give a full judgment until I see them back in the studio for a few episodes. I'm curious how Knaus will fit into the whole feel of the show. With the best known non-driver at Hendrick on the show, perhaps that will shut up the MWR complainers.

Steve Burns did a fine job. Miles better than Despain ever did. For one thing, he seemed like he actually wanted to be there. But again, to be fair, I'll have to watch a few more shows to make a full opinion.

Bottom line, if you are a fan from years past (when AB was the host), you'll like the show better than you did last year. If you were never a fan, you aren't going to like the show better than you ever did.

SallyB said...

aybe it was because they were taping at the track, but I found myself thinking that the show was like watching 'Raceday' with different bodies in the seats. Padding the hour with so much old footage didn't impress's the same stuff we see on every other show. Steve is a definite improvement over Dave Despain, and Mikey and Kenny are always interesting. Poor Reutiman was in over his head here. While there were some things that were good, in general I was disappointed. Maybe when they get back in the studio and have a few shows under their belt it will look less like just another race wrap up.

vette32693 said...

I gave the Show a look and was so turned off at the same old MW self-promotion I chose to re-watch the latest Trading Paint...on Tivo

Daly Planet Editor said...


That is just Steve taking a picture with a fan.


Truck Series Fan! said...

I was a little disappointed with the show. Perhaps when they get in the studio it will be better but Chad Knaus will not add anything to it. They need another driver and one that'll give snappy and funny answers. It's a wait and see with me I'm hoping Steve can turn it around but he went a little overboard for my liking. The tribute to Earnhardt's win was great though.

Speedcouch said...

I watched the show, but thought it was a total waste of my time! I didn't think it was possible for SPEED to insert more commercials into this show, but they managed to do so. It seemed like they had 3 minutes of the show and then 5 minutes of commercials. I was so bored, I ended up dosing off a bit around 9:30-9:45.

Other than that, it just came across to me more like another version of Trackside - fortunately without the obnoxious fans (though you could see a few in the background). I understand this was just a special version taped at the track, so hopefully, the studio show will be better. But the content was just so-so IMHO...too much taped stuff of prior year's races and an entire recap of last year's 500. Do were really need that??? With so much video that wasn't really related to "this week," I kind of felt a little like I was watching NASCAR Nation.

I liked Byrnes as the host over Despain, but would still prefer Bestwick. He did a good job, but the setting and all just made me think of Trackside (which I don't watch).

But overall, if this is the revamped show, I can't see me even bothering to record it in the future (like I'd done with IWCR ever since they moved it to 8 pm). The 7 pm timeslot was so much better IMHO.

What a total disappointment IMHO...

Anonymous said...

Every time one of these columns appears, people who don't like Michael Waltrip feel the need to post about how they don't like him.

Look, you knew he'd be on the show. If you don't like they guy, then don't bother to watch, because you're just going to be unhappy with it.

It's like watching "NASCAR Performance" and complaining about not liking Chad Knaus. You know he's on the show, so if you don't like Chad, you know in advance you won't much like the show.

Michael has a solid fan base. They will watch.

If you don't like him, you aren't expected to watch a show featuring him.

Ritchie said...

I may be paranoid, but I feel like a lot of these comments are directed toward me, so please allow me to respond.

I have been a NASCAR fan for a long time, so I understand the tendency to defend your favorite driver. I commend all of the Michael Waltrip fans for that. However, this isn't about Michael Waltrip the driver, this is about a show called This Week in NASCAR and it was promised to be an improvement over Inside Nextel Cup. In my opinion, it wasn't.

I have already posted why I feel the program wasn't any better than last season and yes I feel like a lot of that was because of Mr. Waltrip. However, its nothing personal. I enjoy him as a driver, but if I see a program titled This Week in NASCAR, I have the right to expect a program about the week in NASCAR. When they rename the program This Week in Michael Waltrip Racing, then we can all enjoy an hour of Mikey's comedy act.

racer47 said...

I have to agree with what someone said earlier...If you don't like Mikey...don't watch!! I am one of those people who thought Blazing Saddles and Airplane where great movies. Mikey and Kenny provide me with that same kind of laugh. I hope the show returns to its comical side to loosen up what is becoming a high dollar, uptight, politically correct sport. IF YOU DON'T LIKE IT...DON'T WATCH IT !! Most satellite company's provide many channels to choose from. Pick a show that you can live with, and leave mine alone !!

Lefty said...

I think they did quite well for the first show out. Anything is better then last year. I stopped watching after the first couple of shows last year. I'm not a Mikey fan, but with Shrader and Byrnes there to reign him in, it works. Everybody calls it the Mikey show but as far as I'm concerned, without Shrader, it would crash and burn.

glenc1 said...

I think the Waltrip fans need to be a bit objective and try to understand that criticizing him doesn't mean people hate the guy; I'd criticize my OWN favorite driver if he acted like Michael does sometimes. I thought Steve did a good job reigning in the usual self promoting Michael. In this case, I understand it was because he really wants NAPA to enjoy this week so I'm willing to let it slide. Sometimes Michael is funny and personable, sometimes he's obnoxious and annoyingly repetitive. I like the first version & not so much the 2nd (and he's certainly not the only one; they're multi-dimensional people.) Not only that; there *are* other people we like to watch on the show, particularly Schrader, who seemed quite comfortable last night.

I thought overall it was good considering the technical challenges with the sound & all. I wish they could get David to talk more when he'e on, but he's just not a chatty guy. Hopefully it will be better when the Biff is back. I don't know about Chad--like him on NASCAR Performance but I'm not sure this format will work for him. Bootie woulda been funnier. Anyways, it was a good start. I think Steve knows these guys well enough that like Alan, he will fit in better.

Anonymous said...

I agree it did seem like a different version of Trackside. Byrnes is a better host than Despain and Kenny is a classic who I hope ends up in a TV deal whenever he hangs up his helmet. Waltrip is what he is. If he misses a race shortly he'll revert back to last year very quickly.

Reutimann has no real business being on TV in my opinion.

Hopefully the show seems 'different' in the studio.

GinaV24 said...

I think the title of your article "Byrne brings back the fun" says it for me. This was much more like the old days of INC when they were guys talking about racing and having fun instead of Despain being a mood-killer for the show. Yeah, Mikey gets on my nerves, but he has for years, but whatever, Mikey is Mikey and I'm not going to let that spoil the show for me. I like Steve B and Schrader a lot and I'll grit my teeth and deal with Mikey's shilling because of that. I'm not really a fan of the outdoor settings since I do think it has a lot of production issues involved, but that is just how it is. Overall, I thought it was a good first effort and an improvement over last year, so I'll stick with it as they get their "legs" under them.

Anonymous said...

I for one have been a fan of this show for years and will never ever budge on my thoughts that no one can make this show what it was like Allan Bestwick, he was the man for this crowd of drivers.

This being said, Byrnes is just about as close as we are going to get to getting a great job done with these boobs on stage.

The fact that the show was more a Waltrip show than anything else yesterday is ....Well...Maybe because it's Mickey's show, he's won two 500's and one of those he lost a dear friend + he shucked last year and he starting in 2nd this year....I dunno, maybe he deserved the attention!!!

I personaly loved the show, I always have, it informal, unscripted and Mickey is just plain hillarious....Not to mention the faces that Kenny makes when Mickey talks...Those are priceless!!!

Keep on talking boys....I'm listening!!!


SrRaceFan said...

Being an old INC fan, I was somewhat skeptical at the start of the show. However, it quickly became entertaining and informative. I thoroughly enjoyed all 4 of the guys, even quiet David. You just have to feel sorry for David - he gets so nervous, he has the urge to throw-up before a race. Being on a TV show probably has the same effect!

I'm not sure how I'll feel about Chad. He's too serious for me. But maybe when he's with Kenny & Mikey, he'll "let his hair down". At any rate, I'm looking forward to next week's show - such a breath of fresh air after dry DD!

waltripfan55 said...

I only got to watch the lst half or so, problem with my DVR. I am a Mikey fan. Does the constant sponsor shill get old, yes, but it is probably the only thing that kept his team afloat after their growing pains last year. It gets old for me too, but I realize that is part of his "schtick". I was initially disappointed, but I want to wait until they get in the studio and have a few weeks to work out the kinks. When they use the speed stage (same one they use for trackside), and have the same host, (Byrnes), sitting in the same chair, it lacks its own identity. Give it a few weeks folks. Also don't forget the track was closed Monday/Tuesday, and if you listened, you know that many teams had actually set up practice dates at other places, so when thinking about the guest possibilities, they may have been pulling from a very limited talent pool.

amy said...

I didn't watch the show and probably won't. I stopped watching it last year, not because I thought Dave was doing a miserable job, but because, in my opinion, it is nothing but the Michael Waltrip show. I tire of Kenny and the host taking up valuable time trying to keep him on track while he is constantly talking over them.

I'm sorry if I have offended the Michael fans on here, but I had my fill of that type of personality when I was teaching. They are annoying, 'it's only about me' egoists in the extreme.

snowfaller said...

Well, I'll give them the benefit of the doubt this week because of the location, etc. but last night's show was not good.

Last year, the show seemed to be over before I even knew it - lots of energy and laughs.

Last night, I felt like it had to be about over and I checked the clock and it was only 30 minutes into the program.

Maybe it was all of the commercials. How many times did Byrnes hype the Tony/Kurt discussion? Then they run commercials. Then they come back and hardly even get started and then they go right back to commercials.

Maybe it was the death dirge music they used going into/out of breaks. Talk about setting a dour mood for the whole thing.

Thankfully, the show was rescued by Schrader's "hero" quote about Tony. The show should be full of stuff like that and even with Despain last year you were guaranteed to laugh at least 6-10 times.

Hopefully, with the crew back in the studio next week and The Biff back things will settle into a more relaxed and fun environment - but in my opinion last night was a total dud.

TexasRaceLady said...

I was both entertained and disappointed in the show. The entertainment was provided by Kenny and Mikey being themselves.

After thinking it over, the disappointment was centered around the location. The SPEED stage out in the sun and obvious wind, made it seem thrown together at the last minute.

I do believe when they get back to Charlotte in the studio, the show will get much better.

No matter how much Mikey was Mikey, Schrader stole the show with his "hero" comment. I almost fell out of my chair I was laughing so hard.

I do believe with Steve in the chair the show will return to the unrestrained mayhem and fun of the early years.

batchief said...

I for one enjoy the light heartness of Trackside and if that can be brought to TWIN then I say GREAT!! There is enough stress and sadness in this world and at 63 any thing fun just makes my day that much better. Thanks guys.

Deborah said...

Michael's success this week and that of his teams is a huge story because of what happened last season - every other motorsports media outlet has discussed it, to not do so on a show that Michael's on would be a major oversight. Red Bull Racing, BDR, Wood Brothers etc... didn't put a car on the front row for the Daytona 500 - a major accomplishment - or lock a second driver in. Having David on the show makes sense because of how big of a story MWR's rebound from last season has been so far this Speedweeks. Some are determined to see everything Michael does and says as "shilling" but as in this case he is legitimately part of the story of Speedweeks. I enjoyed the banter between he and Kenny this week.

Although I thought that the show jumped around too much from topic to topic, once they move into the studio and get into a rhythm I think it's going to be pretty good. I suspect there are some fans who will never be happy with this show unless the only opinions that are expressed are ones they agree with from drivers they like, but it seems to me that there is a lot of potential for a solid show here.

Vince said...

I'm another one of those long time viewers of IWC who quit watching the old version of this show after AB and JB left. I could see after two shows that DD was gonna suck the life out of the show and I quit watching until last nights "new" show.

I thought the show was ok, but nothing more. Byrnes is a vast improvement over DD in this format and I think he did well and will improve as time goes along.

I'm not a big Mikey fan. I used to be years ago, but as a long time fan of Nascar I grew tired of his act long ago. I feel he deserved some air time after his and David's good showing during qualifying. still seemed like there was too much MWR infomercial in the show for me. I thought David was a strange addition to the show. Did all the other drivers leave town and because David worked for MWR, he was available? It seemed like he was added as an after thought. They sure didn't give him much of a chance to say anything.

Kenny was great. He makes this show for me. His "hero" comment about Tony was a classic. Greatest quote in Nascar so far this year.

It'll be interesting to see the regular studio version of this show. I'm wondering how Chad will fit in. Personally I see and hear enough from Chad over the weekend and I don't know if I want to see him on Monday night or not, but I'll give him a chance.

As for the content of most of the show, I wasn't impressed. Too much rehashing old news and too many commercials. I DVR'd this and found myself FF through a lot of this show.

I'll check it out next week to see if improves any.

granny b said...

I'm not ready to make any final judgements on this until there has actually been a race in all 3 series for them to discuss, and there are back in the studio. It's hard to have anything but old tape when there hasn't even been a race yet. As far as I'm concerned, SpeedTV was the biggest shill on that show, promoting their speed weeks coverage every 4 minutes. Mikey at least got toned down a little. Hopefully this will be better after Daytone is over with. Kenny is the best thing on this show - I had to replay his hero remark several times just for the laughs. Don't know if anyone saw the arca race over the weekend, but Kenny was in the booth for it, and did a good job. And Steve is a big improvement over DD for this show.

Anonymous said...

Linda from FL

I was happy to see the new show come on the air and thought John Roberts did a great job. I love his enthusiasm and know he will let the boys be boys but will also take control when needed.

What some of you don't remember is that after so many programs all weekend long giving us all the re-caps, gossip etc. We just need this program on Monday nights to make us smile. Life isn't all that serious folks - lighten up some of you!!!

I am just so happy to see Dave D gone and the new format. I'm sure it will get better once they get into the studio and they all get comfortable with each other. Poor David R, he always looks like he hates being interviewed...he just wants to race....guess others were busy and he was available. I do NOT believe this was a MWR promotional show as ritchie stated, sorry.

Enjoy the racing this week folks.


Anonymous said...

Linda from FL

OOOOPS........I meant Steve Brynes not John Roberts......I'm old, forgive me.


Anonymous said...

Frist off I almost missed the show because of the name change. But I have to say that the show was so much better without Dave Dispain. It will interesting to see how will the show developes. Mikey and Ken are solid and adding Chad will be interesting. I hope the show continues to get better as it has always been one of my favoriate shows. But I must say that the show was so much better when Alan Bestwick was on the panel.

Kathy said...

It seemed pretty obvious to me that this particular show was meant as a trial run and "infomercial" for the events leading up to the race Sunday, so I'm not sure we should judge what the regular Monday night shows will be like.

I did like Steve Byrnes in the role of moderator...he was upbeat, informed, obviously familiar with the other panelists, and kept the show moving.I think that does bode well for the season.

I own a DVD of the race in which Dale Senior died and I am always touched by the juxtaposition of the joy the Waltrip brothers were experiencing as Darrel watched Mikey cross the finish line, with the tragedy that was unfolding behind him. I'm sure everyone involved with that race still experience the raw emotion of that afternoon every time they come to Daytona...including Kenny, who, I think, was the first to know what the outcome of that wreck was.

I am a fan of all those involved with the show and look forward to a great season of Monday nights on Speed.

Speedcouch said...

Kathy said...

It seemed pretty obvious to me that this particular show was meant as a trial run and "infomercial" for the events leading up to the race Sunday...

Excellent description, Kathy! I think that was my biggest complaint - I felt like I wasted my time last night watching an informercial for SPEED and the Twin races on Thursday.

snowfaller said...

Thanks to some of you for helping put some of my issues with last night in better perspective. You hit the nail on the head about last night's TWIN being largely a SPEED infomercial.

Maybe I'm in the minority, but I've watched most of the 100 hours SPEED has broadcast from Daytona so far so I have seen all of the promos hundreds of times.

When TWIN came on, I was looking forward to a "different" hour from the rest of the available NASCAR programming on SPEED and other networks. I mean - my goodness - how many Daytona 500 history lessons do we need?

Anyway, I'm sure next week's show will be great. I enjoyed the show last year even though JD and others continually ripped it. When they have a race to discuss and aren't rehashing the same stuff they have been talking about for 100 hours like this week I'm sure the show will be fine.

darbar said...

JD, while I appreciate your review and agree with many aspects, I have to say that the show for me was somewhat disappointing. I greatly respect Mr Byrnes, and he's truly professional all the way, but the show just seems to be Raceday or Trackside just on Monday. Perhaps that was due to the fact that they used the same set, but it still felt like a repeat of the past weekend's shows.

Reutimann is a nice enough guy, but not for TV. He seemed overwhelmed by the strong personalities of Waltrip and Schrader. I'm one who doesn't mind the goofiness of Waltrip, as I find his personality funny, but I wish this wasn't one long Toyota commercial. JD, why was Biffle shut out of this show? He seemed to become more comfortable year as the season went on, and was a nice respite from Kenny and Michael.

The remembrance of Dale Sr was heartwarming and provided an interesting tone to the show. I don't think any of us realizes what an impact his death had on the other drivers.

I'm not writing this show off, yet. I'll wait until they get to their studio to see how things go.

slithybill said...

Thanks for the heads up, John. This must have been a last minute decision by SPEED because there was absolutely no promotion for the show this past weekend. It seemed like all their promos were for Humpy's show and the Gatorade Duels.

I enjoyed the looser format, but the real test will be next week after the 500 when they don't have as much time to fill.

I really enjoyed the NASCAR Images highlight packages of last year's 500 and Truck races. It'd be nice if they are able to show these each Monday for the races that were just run that weekend. I think I'd rather see that than a crash-by-crash breakdown like they used to do on INC. Then the panel could focus on a few incidents instead of speeding through all of them. Is one day quick enough turn around time for NASCAR Images to produce these for the Cup races?

My biggest criticism is that the Nationwide series was only mentioned in passing by David Reutimann. I realize the Nationwide cars haven't been on the track yet, but neither have the trucks.

As for it feeling like a MWR/Toyota commercial, I really didn't get that feeling after the first segment. I wonder if they decided to do the show yesterday just because of the success of MWR on Sunday.

Next week will be the real test, but for this old fan it appears as if the magic really is back.

network said...

Sorry JD
I didn't like it, and I really wanted to.
Byrnes gets in the way, and Reutemann had no business being there. The set, if you can call it that, was ridiculous. The table they sat at came up to their chins!! And at 9pm, they are gonna get buried by network tv.
Maybe its first day jitters, but by now they ought to know what formulas work. Like the name.
This Week in NASCAR was a ned jarrett show in the 80's and 90's. Inside (sponsor name here) Cup Racing was about the experience from THE DRIVERS PERSPECTIVE!!! The fact that the show got laughs at all is a tribute to Mike, Schrader and Benson and to the host (bestwick) knowing how to play the straight man. This is so frustraing, when networks like FOX SPEED and even ESPN start believeing their own hype and think that they (and their lists of "talent" are more of the story than the sport is.

SophiaZ123 said...

I thought the show was ok and Kenny's "Hero" quote the best part..and his enthusiasm as he said that, lol.

I thought the part about talking of the dichotomy of Mikey winning the Daytona/and Sr dying was appropriate and did not consider it a buzzkill at all. Schrader probably has the worst scene stuck in his head forever since he went to the car, pulled down the window, saw what had happened... and I remember a video of him waving frantically to the EMS guys....this sport is not always kind and it's important to remember everybody who has lost their life racing imo.

The fact Jr can win there makes his wins more poignant.

On another note, I just wanted to say I HATE ALL THE OUTDOOR set shows on SPEED. They may be cheap and popular, but I grow weary of the sign waving, the noise, and screaming crowds that make it IMPOSSIBLE to hear at times.

The first year I watched NASCAR Fox still had on NASCAR this morning, IN STUDIO that had remotes from the track. Sorry to be in the minority but I liked that show better than Raceday.

Yes, I watch RD and it can be fun but come on, it does not need to be 2 or 3 hours for shilling HOME DEPOT and stupid nonsense.

Yes, the guys can be funny but the show would be better served to EDIT.

Thus like others said, I felt last nights show was TRACKSIDE with Kenny and Mikey and DR added....

So I hope they get back in studio SOON.

I am all for natural noises when they replay cars on the track (as opposed to LOUD MUSIC where I can't hear the talking)

But when the announcers and bands and other things (rowdy fans) spoil the outdoor shows, it's just not my thing.

I hope TWIN stays in studio the rest of the season.

SophiaZ123 said...

P.S. By "announcers" I meant when you can hear the loudspeakers at the track, talking over the talking heads on the outside tv shows.

Sound is an issue for some of us to understand and turning up the volume does not help. And on SPEED, the close captioning is often at THE TOP OF THE SCREEN covering the faces of the hosts/guests. Not helpful.


Richard in N.C. said...

I found the show entertaining, but not as good as I had hoped for - but, it was just the first show. SPEED and Steve Byrnes had been on for many hours with NASCAR coverage since Friday, so there was not a lot of fresh news on a day when the track was closed to the teams.
I suspect David R may have been a last minute substitute since some teams were going testing Monday & Tuesday and both PRN and MRN are having expanded, live radio coverage this week in Daytona.

Lisa Hogan said...

I enjoyed the show. I thought David did a good job. Schrader always make me laugh. Looking forward to seeing the studio version.

Anonymous said...

I love David Reutimann and I thought he really warmed up after he forgot that he was on the show. With the two-day lockdown, I think that most of the drivers were gone and Reutimann did everyone a favor by appearing.