Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Bestwick's "Lost Episode" Is Worth The Wait

The Martinsville review version of NASCAR Now had to settle for 1AM and 8AM Tuesday Eastern Time airings after losing the original 6PM Monday timeslot to live Major League Baseball.

For viewers who taped the show, or caught it as it aired, this program again delivered from top-to-bottom. Host Allen Bestwick welcomed Mike Wallace, Johnny Benson and reporter Mike Massaro as his "roundtable" panel.

The show immediately focused on Denny Hamlin, and recapped his day on the track. Bestwick led a discussion that broadened into recap of the entire race, and then reviewed the results.

The best way to cap a race review is talk to the winner, and the program welcomed Denny Hamlin by satellite from his home in North Carolina. Hamlin settled into a friendly and honest conversation with someone that he knew personally, and that is what has been making the difference this season. Bestwick is known to the NASCAR personalities and it shows in his conversations on-the-air.

After a sampling of soundbites from various Cup drivers, the panel did what they do best. That is offer their opinions and comments on the stories of the weekend. From Hendrick Motorsports to the single lane Martinsville track, it continues to be refreshing to hear NASCAR veterans talk racing.

A good example of the unexpected was the discussion of rookie Michael McDowell. After Jeff Gordon and Jeff Burton "tag-teamed" McDowell in comments after the race, Bestwick led a discussion of the issues involved. Benson, Wallace and even Massaro offered specific opinions on this issue that were nicely diverse.

The understated Benson once again showed fans his experience when he spoke about the issues of bumping-and-banging at Martinsville. Without ever mentioning his own experience in the Craftsman Truck Series race, Benson spoke to the issue and kept his comments focused on the Cup Series. For veteran fans, this was a sutle reminder of what is missing on the current This Week In NASCAR offering on SPEED.

This Monday program continues to offer great music-video style edited features that present footage and behind-the-scenes audio that was not heard on the live telecast. Both the ESPN in-house staff and the NASCAR Media Group contribute content to this program and the results are outstanding.

Most viewers were waiting for Bestwick to lead the panel into the discussion of the Truck race at Martinsville. After the highlights, the focus was on Benson and his incident with Kyle Busch. The reality of racing and the issues associated with a driver's actions on the track were quickly put into perspective by Benson.

In his normally well-spoken manner, Benson explained that the incident was detrimental to both drivers and was not going to help Busch to win the race as the battle was for second place on the last lap. Benson also cleared up what TV viewers did not see, which was the fight on pit road after the event.

While the video rolled, Benson explained that an obscene gesture from Busch to Benson's pit crew set the incident in motion after the race. As the full-time Truck racer Benson added that Busch's actions cost him twenty-thousand dollars in prize money and several spots in the points, the reality of "Truck-whackers" like Busch was brought into focus.

In closing, the show paid a nice tribute to MRO's Max Helton who recently passed away, and wrapped-up the program by teasing Massaro about his "rain curse." This Monday NASCAR Now show has worked hard to cover all the bases of both a review and preview program, and the rotation of panelists has been one of the most interesting aspects so far this season.

The Daly Planet welcomes comments from readers. Simply click on the COMMENTS button below and follow the easy instructions. The rules for posting are listed on the right side of the main page. Thanks again for stopping by.


Tracy said...

Tony Stewart's televised comments about Chrissy Wallace's future obviously affected Mike Wallace in a very touching way. Nicely done, NN.
Another good show. Glad my Tivo got it.

stricklinfan82 said...

Another great Monday Night NASCAR Now. The roundtable continues to be an excellent format and they never seem to miss a relevant topic that came from the weekend's racing, regardless of how controversial that topic may have been.

It continues to be great to hear new soundbites from drivers, owners, crew chiefs, etc. and not just a replay of the same interviews we saw on the original race broadcast or on Sportscenter.

And finally it was great to hear Johnny Benson's side of the pit-road "fight" with his crew and Kyle Busch. On Fox Kyle Busch made it sound like he was the innocent victim in the situation and Benson's crew just ran at him to pick a fight for the on-track incident. It was nice to hear the explanation that the crew initially only gave Kyle an innocent but sarcasitic round of applause and only after Kyle flipped them off did the crew members react violently towards Kyle. JB definitely handled this whole situation with class, both Saturday and on this program. The other driver involved in that incident could certainly learn a lot from how a true profressional like Mr. Benson handled himself.

It sure is nice to have one Monday night program that ties up all of the loose ends from the weekend's happenings.

Daly Planet Editor said...

There is a new post up about the Tuesday edition of NASCAR Now.


SallyB said...

This show has been the most poeasant surprise of the season. AB continues to 'direct traffic' expertly, no matter who is with him. It was certainly timely to have mike Wallace and JB on set, since they both had major interests in what happened this week on the track. ESPN has done an outsanding job of delivering what the fans asked for.

Newracefan said...

Great show as usual, I actually watched it twice.

Matt said...

I already posted my comments in the other topic, but on a random note, I love how you can read Allen's script when you click on his picture, haha.

I'm easily amused..

Daly Planet Editor said...


You just have got to get out a bit more....it's worth the effort.


Billy Delyon said...

To be fair to the other drivers from the Cup series that race in the Truck series, its really ONLY Kyle Busch among the "Truck-whackers" thats costing the Truck Regulars points-money trucks/equitment and their lively hoods.
The truck series pays far less than both the Nationwide or Sprint Cup series, its hard for some of these teams in normal (non recession) times to make it without some 'wild thing' running wild through out the series wrecking truck regulars who are racing for the championship. Then calling it your 'hobby', and being totally unapologetic about the havok you've wreaked in interviews after the fact.
I mean seriously, the gall of that kid to flip off a team he WRECKED. He's very lucky he's got a team to get between him and harm in the situations he cause's like last saturday night.

JHD said...

On Mondays, NN is the show to watch. (Never EVER thought I'd say that.)

I hope that they keep Mike Wallace and Johnny Benson in the rotation for the roundtable. It's funny how Mike is the one best suited for TV, and yet it's not his regular gig.

Regarding Benson's comments about Kyle and the fight, if you go back to the footage they show of Kyle driving down pit road, you can clearly see Kyle flip off Benson's crew. But I never noticed it until Benson said something.

I'm glad I DVR'd this episode. Oh, and Mike Massaro, if you truly are a "rain curse", perhaps you should head to your next assignment via Atlanta and the Southeast where they are in dire need of rain. ;)

Keep up the good work guys!

Daly Planet Editor said...

I have some good news coming shortly about the Monday show that will be a pleasant surprise to fans. Look for that in a column tonight.


Anonymous said...

I have watched Inside Winston Cup and all the names that have followed and enjoyed the laugh's the drivers gave. Last year it was painful to watch and I stopped watching. This year I started again and am now watching anything except Speed's program.

I started watching EPSN2 this year and am Excited that Allen is back. He handles things well and helps each person shine (a good interviewer) as well as help them recover if they fall.

As you might guess, I do not watch Speed on Monday nights.

Anonymous said...

I watched the NN show on Monday night and had major flashbacks to when Johnny Benson and Allen Bestwick were on IWC.
The longer the season goes, the more Allen is getting back in the groove of hosting a show like IWC. He's just great.

Mike Wallace did a good job of not promoting Chrissie too much either

Wisconsin Steve said...

I enjoyed the Monday show as usual. The panel this week was great, especially Mike Wallace. The only thing I found strange was that Allen did not allow the panelists to ask Hamlin questions. Allen's questions were good, but I was hoping someone else would jump in as well.

becki4jb said...

"It sure is nice to have one Monday night program that ties up all of the loose ends from the weekend's happenings." from stricklinfan82 YES! YES!! YES!!! You are sooo right! And I will say, that is what IWC used to be when JB and Allen were with Mikey and Kenny. But, NASCAR Now has brought it back. Yes!
Hey, maybe they can grab Kenny and Mikey, too? Nah, ya know what, I LOVE what NASCAR Now has done, and I am just thrilled to have a show to watch on Mondays again!