Monday, March 10, 2008

Monday Morning Quarterback (2nd Update): Atlanta


Update: There is a new column up about This Week In NASCAR, please refresh your browser. Thanks.

Now that things have settled down, NASCAR fans can look forward to the two big Monday NASCAR TV shows.

The one hour "roundtable" version of NASCAR Now will air at 4PM Eastern Time because of college basketball commitments by ESPN2. It is that time of the year, March Madness. I had the pleasure of working at ESPN when the network had the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament and that was a blast.

Allen Bestwick hosts the re-vamped one hour show, and he usually has two ESPN NASCAR personalities with him. It should be interesting to see how a veteran like Bestwick leads the discussions on tough subjects like the Goodyear tires at Atlanta and the 99 Team penalties from Las Vegas.

Update 10:30AM - Bestwick will be joined by Ray Evernham and Mike Massaro. The "guest" on the show will be Johnny Benson.

2nd Update 1:30PM - Johnny Benson will be sitting down for the full hour as one of the "roundtable panelists" for the 4PM Monday edition of NASCAR Now.


Later that evening, Steve Byrnes continues to work out the kinks in the new This Week In NASCAR program over on SPEED. This hour replaced INC and airs at 8PM Eastern Time. This week, Michael Waltrip and Chad Knaus will be with Byrnes. Just like ESPN, SPEED is rotating the cast of announcers on the show.

The other TWIN team members appearing on the series will be Kenny Schrader and Greg Biffle. When possible, Byrnes will be joined by three others on the panel.

Replacing a long-running show is not easy, and drawing comparisons to the old series sometimes makes things even tougher. The new TWIN leans on a lot of fully produced features, as opposed to the continual conversation and banter of the old program. Byrnes is a dynamically different host than Dave Despain, who was forced to follow a tight script for the entire hour. It should be interesting to see what this Monday night brings.

As you look back over the weekend, what topics do you expect to see discussed on both of these shows? What points do you want to see made, and who do you want to hear from about those issues? Tell us now, and then we will see how the ESPN2 and SPEED offerings match-up with the comments.

To add your opinion, simply click on the COMMENTS button below and follow the easy instructions. Thanks again for taking the time to stop by The Daly Planet.

46 comments:

red said...

morning, all. gotta figure the goodyear moment will be one of the focus points tonight. as i posted about the oil tank cover fiasco, the most important part of any inevitable discussion about tires in atlanta needs to start with a fact-based explanation about tires. for example, what exactly is a tire, what comprises a tire? what is a soft tire? a hard tire? what is the effect of a team working with camber? air pressure? how does a tire usually wear at a track like atlanta? assume NOTHING and explain as much as possible. if it cuts into "discussion" time, fine. if you provide people with objective information, you have given them the tools needed to form an intelligent opinion. if you can then add the commentators, that's even better but it shouldn't come at the cost of the initial explanation.

once that's established in a clear way, then and only then should the discussion move toward the actual controversy itself. both sides must have sufficient representation in the discussion and the journalists in the teams must act as mediators so that each side is heard.

it is, for me, telling that a broad cross-section of drivers have a serious concern about what happened in atlanta. i can't recall the last time i read/heard so many drivers call a race "boring"! something is out there: i'd like one of these 2 shows tackle it in a serious way b/c it doesn't sound as if it's going to "roll away'!

earl06 said...

This is the last chance I will give "NASCAR Live!: Monday Edition". I really want a reason to watch this show, but if it's still a rehash of every other show on SPEED, I'm done.

AB and the "NASCAR Now" bunch are most likely going to win this war, and SPEED, at various times over the past few years, had all the pieces in place to be unbeatable. What I don't understand is, how did SPEED let it all slip through its collective fingers?

The best Monday Night NASCAR show would mean so much more to SPEED than ESPN. Nobody ever watches SPEED anymore, ESPN has millions of viewers. It really doesn't make any sense.

Daly Planet Editor said...

earl,

They are calling the new show "This Week In NASCAR," the same title as the old show we used to do with Eli Gold back in the Prime Network days.

It should be interesting to see how it plays out with Michael and Chad. I do not recall seeing them together on a SPEED program series before.

JD

Ken-Michigan said...

So far, TWIN has proven to be more of a preview of whats to come next weekend, than a review of Sunday's 500. If this continues to be the case, it really belongs on a wed / thurs time slot in my opinion. I also believe there should be a monday show for "new" NASCAR fans and I think there is room for and a need for a monday show geared towards those of us who need the real nut and bolts of sundays race.

I've watched or attended races since 1977 and yesterdays Atlanta race was just plain abnormal. The cars were sooooo loose and its not very often that those of us at home can plainly see that they were VERY loose. Usually we hear the drivers complain about being loose, but on TV its real hard to tell, yesterday we could physically see this. It made for a lack luster event and from a TV production stand point, it was hard for the TV crew to get into any kind of rhythm due to the lack of racing on the track.

Things to be covered today :
1) I hope a Goodyear Rep is available to someone today to clear the air.
Is Goodyear in the business to provide a "safe" tire or a tire that will provide "good and safe racing"?
Teams spent a bunch of money for the Atlanta test late last year, all of that testing meant nothing since Goodyear changed that tire compound for yesterday. What made Goodyear change their mind ? During a test do they bring multiple compounds for teams to try? ( ie; soft / softer / hard / harder )
Do they see this being a problem at other tracks?

2) Bump Stops / Rubbers.
We hear gripes about the bump stops.
Cant Spring Rubbers serve the same purpose? Would spring rubbers be any better than bump stops ? Describe what would happen if bump stops were completely removed.

3) Drivers driving style.
Some drivers simply dont like a loose race car, some do, and those that do like a loose race car or can at least adapt to it, finished well yesterday. Was yesterdays situation as rare as I think it was or should drivers get ready for more of this, this year?

4) The SPLITTER.
Cant there be a better solution to help out the front end? It works for the trucks, but these arent trucks. These are cars with a rear wing, totally different in my opinion. Lets devise a new front air dam / spoiler, get rid of the splitter and therefore, get rid of bump stops.

Little lengthy today...but very concerned about the performanceI watched yesterday.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the warning that Evernham is going to be on the show. I won't bother to record it.

Anonymous said...

I would expect to see a discussion of the top 35 in owners points and the drivers currently out or on the bubble headed to Bristol.

Some of those are cars with big sponsors -DLP, Mobil, CAT, who aren't used to being out of the top 35, and McMurray's Crown Royal car is 31st. Bad day at Bristol and he's out. Same with Waltrip, Mears and Mayfield.

-Does that affect sponsorship? I don't believe Carpentier, Franchitti, Mayfield or Regan Smith is fully sponsored and/or sponsored past first five races.

-If the sponsors pull out, what happens to the car and driver?

-How long before drivers start being replaced? For instance, Raines, Stremme, and Sauter kept the 96, 40, and 70 in the top 35 but were let go. Will they be asked to return if those cars drop from top 35?

Anonymous said...

Oh I hope I don't hear "next week in Bristol" during the first three minutes of TWIN tonight. If so, I think I'm out - even though I would love to hear Mikey and Chad.

There is WAY too much carnage from the Atlanta race to even begin thinking about Bristol today.

Anonymous said...

Amy in FL said...

I am one that does not watch Nascar Now because that is usually when my hubby is home and wants to watch other programming on tv (news, other sports, etc.). Therefore, I do not have any way to compare the two shows.

But, I will say that what I miss about TWIN/INC show is the banter between the drivers and getting the feeling like I was sitting in the security booth with all the tv screens and listening to the drivers discuss and talk about the previous race. The fully produced features are nice but it makes me think that SPEED is just wanting to show off their new HD cameras and new toys. I personally like hearing the banter and especially the comedy of Mikey, Schrader, and Biffle(who was really coming into his own last year and was really becoming one of the "Stooges".)

I am a Mikey fan and will watch just about anything that he is on. The format of the show makes it to where if Mikey is not on it then if I miss it, I will not try to watch the replay. I do not have a DVR and don't have time to watch a videotape of it and mostly just forget to record it. I also don't know how to program my vcr.

The above is just my humble opinion.

I like what Red said about the tire discussion. I would like to see the explanation as to what costitutes a tire and the like.

Have a great and Blessed day everyone.

Ken-Michigan said...

Will Mikey take the high road again and not say anything BAD about the racing?

He always says that all a driver wants are "options" on the track. "We want different grooves to be able to race". Well, Atlanta is pretty wide and the race stunk.

Will Mikey place blame on Goodyear or the lack of driving talent or simply say, " I cant wait for Bristol" !!

red said...

so, maybe what we're asking for as fans is yet another show (!) that will dissect technical issues, using crew chiefs and drivers w/a moderator/host. this could also have a segment that explains nascar basics to rookie fans. knowledgeable fans tend to be loyal fans.
we would also like a monday show to review the weekend races, using drivers as much as possible. we want to know what it felt like to be on the track that afternoon. the monday show needs to recap the weekend racing across all series. this is the place for banter and jokes and a "fun" approach (for lack of a better word.) we can't be inside the cars and trucks so tell us what it was like!
sounds like a mid-week show about forthcoming race and any post-monday series' issues is a preference as well. this show could wrap up whatever issues are lingering but would focus on the forthcoming races.
i would add one more: a show that is dedicated to the history of the sport. i truly enjoyed humpy wheeler's show and would like to have more episodes. i can also envision a great show being built around the pre-modern era racing and moving seamlessly into the modern era. there are a TON of great drivers and crew chiefs who have become invisible to the newer fan and those guys could certainly add some perspective.
finally, above all: keep the day and time consistent so we don't have to play "whack a mole" to find our shows: one week it's here, the next week, it pops up over there.
for me, all the of the weekend pre-racing shows are fine but i rarely watch: i'm already asking my family to be patient with these 4 hour blocks that i devote to the racing. and now that i FINALLY know about espn news post-race press conferences, i'll be there after every race!

Anonymous said...

JD, will Johnny Benson be interviewed on NASCAR Now or will he be part of the roundtable panel? He was just on First Take and Dana was asking him about all the weekend events- Kyle, Jimmie Johnson not doing well, the tire issue.

Had on a suit, too.

The only reason I'm going to watch TWIN is b/c Chad Knaus could be interesting. He's the only guy so far I've seen who said there's no issue with the tire. There have been guys like Edwards and KyBusch who said the tires don't matter to them, but Knaus said on nascar. com that everyone was wrong about the tires and it was the car lacking downforce that is the problem, not the tires. he said Goodyear does a good job.

Daly Planet Editor said...

ESPN simply said he would be "the guest."

It should be interesting to see if he is on the panel for the full hour. That would be the ultimate irony for Bestwick after his INC treatment by SPEED.

Good point!

Ken-Michigan said...

It sure would be in the best interest of ESPN if they would confirm ON-AIR during NASCAR NOW that the post-race media center will be LIVE following each race.

Seems like "networks" (FOX) seem to get off the air rather quickly these days after the trophy presentation. ESPN news could prosper from giving us this very informative post race / media center LIVE as it happens, BUT I would also encourage them to use a 7 second delay !!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Thanks for the warning that Evernham is going to be on the show. I won't bother to record it.

March 10, 2008 11:28 AM

I looked at the espn.com chat schedule last night; it was advertised on the chat link that he would be on NASCAR Now today and also participating in a chat. So I didn't DVR before I left for work. Sorry Allen and Mike, I like both of you but not enough to watch Mr. Evernham for an hour.

TWIN should ensure that they have a host and three guests. Two guests isn't enough variety for an hour discussion and maybe that's why they are adding in so many taped elements.

SophiaZ123 said...

Ken Mich

Your first post mentioned all my concerns INCLUDING the SPLITTER that few mention except some drivers in passing.

The TWIN show should have NEVER been compared as a HYBRID replacement for INC. It clearly is not.

Most folks are clearly bored out of their tree with PRE TAPED MAGAZINE format shows.

What good is a new host if LIVE PEOPLE are not there to go 'off script.'

I do not predict this show to do well since many MISS the "fun, conversational, rehashing" of the show.

I will stick with NNow...thanks for the heads up on Ray, though.

boyd said...

We know that tires will be brought up and that's good. I have tickets for the Texas race, and if the same thing happens there, I'll miss the traffic after the race, because I'll be long gone.
The question that I have is: why not do like F-1 and have a hard and soft tires that the teams can choose between. Keeps the same manufacturer, and shouldn't be all that difficult to do IMO.

Dan said...

This might be a make-or-break week for TWIN. There are a number of substantive issues in the sport right now. Many of us would like to hear the opinions of some of the people directly involved and not just the spin from the media or Nascar's PR machine. As others have suggested, I'm afraid that TWIN is going to open with Bristol then hype the carnage and hot tempers that the track is known for. I'm far more interested in a what happened and why discussion about the last race than a pre-produced preview hyping the next race. That is what I'll be looking for in tonight's show. It may still be early in the run of this show, but as far as I'm concerned, it's getting close to decision time about wether or not to stick with it.

Geez said...

As far as TWIN goes,they said right up front that this would be more of a preview show than a Highlight show, So I am not surprised by that.
Kenny not being on again this week is bothersome though.

I don't even try to compare this to the the AB era. That was chemistry and it will never happen again. I'll give it some time.

darbar said...

I cannot wait to see TWIN. Chad Knauss has gotten very verbal about the COT and how bad it's performing, so hearing his perspective will be very interesting. I hope they also touch on the Goodyear tire issue. With many of the big names chiming in to complain about the tires, some more diplomatically than others, I would love to hear what these guys have to say.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Story is updated 1:30PM - Johnny Benson will be on the show as a roundtable guest for the full hour with Allen Bestwick, Ray Evernham and Mike Massaro.

JB for the full hour.

Newracefan said...

TWIN- start with Atlanta then move on to Bristol. Please address why there was limited passing- tires, cars, bump rubbers/shock packers, driver or ? It would be interesting to hear the discussion between Mikey (get rid of the packers/rubbers) and Chad who is using them. I am not sure I want to hear any more about the 99 it's getting old news for me. Mikey should be allowed to crow a little Toyota did win the race. The discussion about Bristol should include top 35 concerns, further car discussion. In general less packaged stuff and more discussion

Richard in N.C. said...

JD- Would it be fair to say that at this point in the Cup season NASCAR NOW has about a 24 hour head start on its Monday panel show over TWIN on SPEED since the SPEED people are all tied up with doing the Cup race Sunday? Also, on Monday's N-NOW almost everyone is a "broadcast professional," while only Steve B. is a broadcast pro on TWIN. In other words, SPEED has less lead time and fewer "pros" involved in putting its Monday show together. I do enjoy both shows, but they do have different focuses and so far ESPN's Monday show is smoother. I would expect the "quality" of the shows- at least the preparation- might narrow when ESPN starts having the Cup races.

Tracy said...

As someone else said, less of the packaged material, more discussion. Ken, where are you? The chemistry, even when it's edgy, between him and Michael elicits some truly droll, and often, illuminating statements about the past weekend's race. Biffle doesn't wear a muzzle, either.

I'd like to hear what Knaus says about Jr. carrying the HMS banner these days. Why is it happening? Another driver discussion that would interest some of us is the status of the open wheelers. Hornish, despite falling out of the top 35, seems to be making faster strides than Carpentier or Franchetti, but it's hard to tell since none of the three are given much air time during the races. What's the drivers' perspective on how they're adapting?

Chad has a great way of describing tech issues for those of us who aren't techies. How he handles the tire issue will determine how he'll be received by TWIN fans from the glory days.

I'm giving TWIN one more try.

SophiaZ123 said...

I think it's fair to say between here and about 30 post I read other places the KEY MISSING on TWIN

Live talking!!

They can 'manufacture' pre taped bits but that is not what is WANTED.

SPEED could easily do a live panel and then show this TWIN deal on Thursday.

We have information OVERLOAD on Sunday and do not need looking forward to next race when we STILL don't know "what happened" in the most RECENT race...inside scoop, feelings about the race, funny things said on radios, wins, losses, battles, etc.

:-) I realize my two cents if adding up to a dollar so I will stop.

But if tonight's show is limited to only FIVE MINUTES or less of "real conversation",

COLOR ME GONE.

Kevin in SoCal said...

Red at 11:55am:

There is a show for NASCAR fans who want tech information explained to them. Its called NASCAR Performance and its on Saturday nights on SPEED. Its hosted by Larry McReynolds, Chad Knaus, and Bootie Barker.

kenn said...

For those who missed "NASCAR Now" when it was live, ESPN.com lists a replay at 2:30 AM EDT Tuesday morning.

Anonymous said...

I was a disappointed with NASCAR Now tire discussion so far - no real effort from the panel to explain tire wear and problems other than from Mike Massaro, who tried to explain it in more basic terms than the others and came across the best.

They do the roundtable in the studio set in front of the Home Depot car, they should have brought some tires in and done an visual explanation instead of talking. They have Ray there, he should be able to get down there with a closeup on the tire and give an explanation. Hopefully Chad will do better.

Per another question suggested here today, there's no Goodyear rep there. They had a clip from an interview with him, I assume from yesterday.

They are going live to Darlington for testing coming up, maybe more tire information or Goodyear information from there.

And Allen said - at this point, he really doesn't care whether the 99 had the oil lid tank off or not, he's more interested in the tone and quotes coming from the other drivers like sadler and Lee White.

Maybe he was just trying to justify that they're talking about when it's old news, but it rubbed me the wrong way when he said, at this point he didn't care whether they broke the rules. Sounded strange.

Anonymous said...

Very good report by Marty Smith live from Darlington Goodyear tire test. Talked to Biffle, Newman, Gordon about the tires (Gordon much more conciliatory today than yesterday's quotes, saying the COT is hard to make tires for) and then talked to them about the new surface. No interviews with anyone from Goodyear.

Per suggested question here about about discussing top 35, they showed who's just in top 35 and who's out, but no discussion.

Overall, this show was pretty "meh", in my opinion. I feel the time could have been used more wisely. They only seem to discuss 3-4 topics per hour and really no depth and a lot of dancing around topics. Ray, who has of course been penalized by NASCAR numerous times, said only NaSCAR and Roush know what happened and the rest was speculation. Fine, but maybe you should advocate that the process should be more open so drivers (and fans) won't speculate.

Rusty was missed because I'm OK with his blunt style. I'll repeat: I wasn't comfortable with Allen, the host/reporter, saying he didn't really care about whether the 99 penalties were valid or not.

The panel does their best to come across as relaxed and friendly, and they do. So that's a plus. But pacing needs to be improved.

Geez said...

I think AB was alluding to the fact that we will never have an answer as to whether having the cover off was intentional or not. It's a moot point.

Anonymous said...

After the race this weekend and the tire issues and so many unhappy drivers, I wish I had an episode of INC to look forward to tonight. I miss getting the driver perspective of the race as it happened as well as the in car radio snippets. I was flipping through team radios yesterday - Eury Jr. and Steve LeTarte both had some hilarious comments and stuff that was going on on the track. I caught a bit about someone flipping the finger - I know it involved the 11 and I'm still curious what that was all about. I don't know that I will even tune into TWIN tonight. It's been a huge disappointment to me and I don't feel like loooking forward to Bristol when there is still so much to digest from yesterday. I watch enough NASCAR Live on Friday.

Ken-Michigan said...

ALL those Goodyear engineers and experts at Darlington for the tire test......

Did ESPN / Marty Smith invite Goodyear to be part of the segment, did Goodyear decline or did the producers feel it wasnt necessary ??

Over the years it seems that stories like these get swept under the carpet, never to be heard from again.

Daly Planet Editor said...

There is a new post up for Monday's NASCAR Now.

JD

red said...

kevin in socal in re:nascar performance: copy that. i should have been clearer in my post. what i was trying to do was a recap of all the various sorts of shows that folks were asking for across a wide variety of posts. some of the shows already exist -- like this one -- and some don't.

but as long as you bring it up? it is, in my opinion, one of the strongest, most consistent nascar shows on the air. i try very hard to catch it every week b/c i respect how well knaus and barker explain what they do each week and mcreynolds really shines in this format. aside from the race itself, nascar performance is my "must watch" racing show. thanks for adding this show into the discussion!

SophiaZ123 said...

Only recently have I seen the adds telling me when NasPerf is on.


It DESERVES a REGULAR TIME SLOT and is the best SPEED has to offer NOWADAYS imo.

If you don't care about car details, skip it. :)

Anonymous said...

I'm so over the Speed/Fox guys. They're on non-stop. IMO when they're on both Speed & Fox it dilutes the importance of the actual Fox Race broadcasts.

I can no longer watch Steve Byrnes. Just can't do it.

Anonymous said...

WTF?

On twin within 2 minutes they have mikey and chad and start talking of the race, then Byrnes goes to Bristol and then Bristol from last year. WTH?

He opened the show clearly stating this is like the old INC with changes. NOT. More old rehashed tape crap.

sorry, this show sucks.

And no offense, I am tired of SB. They could have conversation but run dead air time to show last years racing.

Jeez...what about yesterdays race that still has people up in arms.

Speed, you truly killed monday nites.

Thanks for the memories

PammH said...

NO, NO, NO!! I understand they are trying to be different on TWIN, but it's just NOT working! I heard the TV's clicking off all over the nation...:(
Plus, they HAVE to stop showing the best of the wk before in their previews..just dilutes the whole thing.

SophiaZ123 said...

15 minutes into TWIN (the new version of INC, Steve Byrnes words not mine)

And no talk about yesterdays race. No talk about so many cautions, no passing, no side by side, tire problems, no bump rubber mentions.

I thought it started off hopeful with Mikey talking about driving with Tourette's...then boom bang. On to Bristol. and last years bristol????????????????????

Talking of weather for Bristol on Monday night. shrugs, I give up.
Pretaped highlights from RaceDay on a promo showing a Rutledge bit?!

So much for this show. They have their own SPEED agenda and that's it. Shame, shame, shame.

Anonymous said...

Man, it sure started off great. Insight from Mikey and Chad about Atlanta and then the mood is killed by going on to Bristol.

Chad and Mikey are doing great. Imagine that. The good parts are when the panelists are talking.

I'm going to turn it off when they show the "highlights" from SPEED's coverage from the weekend. THere is NO excuse for that.

Anonymous said...

Wow! I actually smiled for the first time this season. No laughs yet, but at least the Dow Chemical exchange with Mikey and Chad injected some humor into this thing.

Please, SPEED - MORE on-air time for the guests who took part in the race yesterday!!!!!!!!!!

Newracefan said...

I am actually liking this TWIN better. I can only assume they have things they want to cover and therefore do it first but I still prefer past race first and then the upcomming race. Here comes the tires now don't disappoint me

SophiaZ123 said...

Mikey and Chad TALKING about the RACES!! VERY GOOD. Race day highlights, lame.

DOUBLE LOGO SPEEDNASCAR clutter in rt hand corner showing RACEDAY CLIPS, bad editing?? What was up with that mess?

Premature Bristol talk at beginning did KILL THE MOOD as somebody said. 20 minutes into the show was good.

I loved the piece on the truck series not being so PC and overly busy like CUP. serious drivers.

I said elsewhere SPEED or TRUCK RACES should be available to all with BASIC cable. Deserves to have a wide audience.

If this show would KILL the 'next race and last years race extrapolation/rehashing' tonights show would be GOOD. :-)

Not enough talking but when Mikey talked I did LAUGH.

And Chad has good sense of humor about the SUSPENSION jokes, lol.

Anonymous said...

I can't stand the 48 but Chad is fantastic on TV. He is great on NASCAR Performance and he was great again tonight on TWIN. Too bad he didn't have very much air time since a majority of the show seems to be preproduced features...

The piece on KHI was good but shouldn't that be on NCTS Setup?

SPEED really needs to give their guests more time to talk.

From here on out, I'm just going to DVR TWIN and watch the parts where the panelists are on.

The parts with Mikey and Chad were so good tonight it is a shame they had their momentum killed continually by the agenda of the show.

Daly Planet Editor said...

There is a new post up about the Monday edition of This Week in NASCAR on SPEED.

JD

PammH said...

Nice production piece on KHI, but it didn't belong on this show, imo! This show has LIVE folks there, USE them, for crying out loud!! SB needs to stop talking about IWC/INC now, since it has NOTHING in common w/that show so far-except Mikey shows up now & then. I'm MAJORLY disappointed in the direction this show has taken & btw, I LOVE SB!! But this concept is NOT working for me!

SophiaZ123 said...

Anon 9.09

You are dead on with your 'agenda of the show'.

Too little talk but I guess for folks who want to watch this show, being force fed pre produced shows will be ongoing.

But I almost got ill when they jumped into Bristol within the opening minutes and then LAST year's bristol.

Then hyping the program on SPEED this week. And wasting time on the weather.

PamH

I TOTALLY agree with your sentiments. This whole show could be in the can since the fun talking is used randomly and in between VIDEOTAPED bits.