Sunday, March 30, 2008

Monday Morning Quarterback

The two Monday NASCAR TV shows will be back in full force this week. NASCAR Now on ESPN2 and This Week In NASCAR on SPEED will both have the usual one hour shows.

First-up is NASCAR Now at 6PM Eastern Time. The network has a rotating panel of analysts and this week they have hit on a great combination. Whoever arranged late last week for the guests on this program should make sure to play the lottery this week.

Host Allen Bestwick will be joined by Johnny Benson, Mike Wallace and Mike Massaro.

Benson is fresh from being spun by Kyle Busch on the final lap of the Truck Series race, and then having some post-race festivities on pit road involving the crews. He is also the subject of much speculation about a future Cup Series ride.

Mike Wallace just spotted for his daughter Chrissy as she piloted her way to a top twenty finish in her very first Craftsman Truck Series race. Mike flew directly to ESPN after the race, and co-hosted the one hour Sunday morning edition of NASCAR Now with Ryan Burr. ESPNEWS viewers then saw him on-the-air with post-race analysis and commentary Sunday evening.

Mike Massaro is the journalist on the panel, and has been a great spark for discussions when he has been included in these "roundtable" programs. Massaro has a great perspective as the only ESPN employee who stayed on the "NASCAR beat" during the entire time the sport went away from the network.

This group should really set the table for Allen Bestwick to cover a lot of ground on Monday. Bestwick has come into his own since being upped to a high-profile position on the NASCAR on ESPN package. For those fans who used to enjoy Inside NEXTEL Cup on SPEED, the irony of Bestwick on ESPN2 hosting a one hour show with three panelists is not lost.

Speaking of SPEED, they are up next with the new This Week In NASCAR show hosted by Steve Byrnes. This week, Chad Knaus and Michael Waltrip will be the "expert panel" for the full hour. Max Siegel from DEI will be a featured interview.

This is a new program that is more driven by video highlights and features than by the conversation of the panelists. The new dynamic of spending an extensive amount of time previewing the next race at the top of the show has been a tough change to swallow.

Byrnes is a TV veteran, and he will work until both the program format and the personalities are right. This may take some time, as the current format is scattered and the series is currently searching for an identity. The off-beat antics of the INC show are gone, and with Kenny Schrader no longer a panelist, things are very different.

There will be columns up shortly after both of these programs are over on Monday that will serve to host your comments.


Matt said...

I'm excited for NN, especially with Johnny being on. It's great to see him and Allen on Monday nights again.

And JD, what's the future Cup ride that you're referring to for Benson, if you don't mind me asking?

Daly Planet Editor said...


Just got a little buzz that something might be in the works. You never know with these in-season issues.

Just keep in mind that being outside the Top 35 is making things rough for some folks, even the part-timers who would like to have their car make a race.


Daly Planet Editor said...

I am looking forward to seeing Mike Wallace on NN, he has been doing a very good job at ESPNEWS.

Andrew S. said...

No Schrader means no reason to watch TWIN

Daly Planet Editor said...


You would be surprised by the amount of email I get that says exactly the same thing.

He is a key ingredient in making this show work, and his presence is sorely missed.


Anonymous said...

I laugh at the commercial SPEED runs for TWIN where they show clips Mikey, The Biff, and Chad talking and then hit you with the tag line about "we have the drivers" or something like that...

If potential viewers only knew the drivers only got to talk for about four minutes out of the 44 minutes of the show.

becki4jb said...

This is the most anticipated show amoungst the Johnny Benson fans. They really want to hear what JB has to say and to find out alittle about the scuffle. I'll comeback after the show...

Crissy Wallace must have made her daddy so proud. He looked so nervous up there watching her.

Anonymous said...

Mike Wallace was good yesterday on ESPNews, but I'm a little uncomfortable with three brothers being TV personalities/analysts on two NASCAR partner networks when:

*They all analyze the same sport
*They're all still involved in the sport as either drivers or owners
*Their children are driving and attempting to advance to the top level in that sport.

Makes no sense to me. I like NASCAR being a "family" sport to a point, but that type of conflict of interest goes over the top even for NASCAR which is full of conflicts (witness DW talking about Mikey and Toyota yesterday). Just makes things look kind of cheesy and not quite legitimate, especially when they don't excuse themselves from topics they are involved in.

FYI: NASCAR Images/Media Group has a new show starting on April 9 on GAC (country music network). It's called "Drafting Partners" and there are 12 episodes. A country singer and a driver will talk about their favorite music videos.

stricklinfan82 said...

I look forward to Monday's NASCAR Now but based on the delay in the Cubs game we might be in serious jeopardy of losing the 6:00 airing. Keep your fingers crossed guys.

I would definitely suggest that you all DVR the re-air at 1 AM and then at least an hour or two extra because that airing is also right up against live baseball.

Wisconsin Steve said...

From the video clips on Jayski, it looks like Mike Wallace was on First Take this morning answering TERRIBLE questions from the lady hosting. He's had a busy weekend.

Vince said...

I have to agree with Annon@2:05. I'm already tired of the overexposure of the Waltrips on TV and now it's the Wallaces.

Spring said...

I agree with stricklinfan, the 6PM ET airing of NN is in serious jeopardy right now with the baseball game's rain delay. As of right now, the game is tied in the bottom of the 7th, so extra innings is a real possibility. I wonder what ESPN's contingency plan is with yet another live baseball game scheduled directly after NN.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Have they ever said if NN will air?

Daly Planet Editor said...

There is a new post up about NASCAR Now vs. Baseball.

Anonymous said...

I know you haven't blogged on tonight's installment of TWIN but why in the world are they talking about the races in Texas this weekend already? I appreciate it since I will be there but I'd rather hear about Martinsville first. Seems to make more sense to preview the upcoming race at the end of the show.

Daly Planet Editor said...

There is a new post up about TWIN.


Andrew S. said...

..but Schrader was on Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody today.