Monday, April 21, 2008
David Poole: New Knight Of The "NASCAR Now" Roundtable
Part of the change in ESPN's commitment to the sport this season is the continuation of the one hour NASCAR Now show on Mondays. Even when there is no Sprint Cup race, Allen Bestwick still brings together a panel for the weekly "roundtable." This has been a great investment.
While This Week In NASCAR will take Monday off over on SPEED, Bestwick and company will once again talk racing for the full hour. Taking advantage of the off-week, ESPN2 has put together a panel of three reporters to talk about a wide variety of news-related topics involving NASCAR this season.
Joining the show will be Angelique Chengelis. A regular reporter on NASCAR Now since its inception, Chengelis is a veteran of the Detroit News Sports Department with a long history of writing about racing. She graduated from the University of Cincinnati and currently contributes NASCAR-related coverage to the many media elements of ESPN.
Also on the program will be Tim Cowlishaw. A graduate of UT in Austin, Cowlishaw is perhaps best known to ESPN viewers from his regular appearances on Around The Horn. He joined the Dallas Morning News back in 1984 and has covered a wide variety of college and professional sports since that time.
The first year of NASCAR Now was not kind to Cowlishaw, who often saw himself put in the position of being forced to create hype or controversy in the sport where there was none. Drivers and team owners did not respond positively to his Around The Horn-style comments about the sport and the personalities involved in it. An "Insider," he was clearly not.
This season, Cowlishaw has been used sparingly on this TV series and when he appears things are very different. Much like Brad Daugherty, Cowlishaw is there to simply offer his opinion on various NASCAR topics and that role suits him quite well. It should be interesting to see him interact with Allen Bestwick in conversations about the sport.
Finally, NASCAR Now has opened the doors once again to new things and asked the one-and-only Mr. David Poole to appear on the Monday program. Poole is featured above (center) receiving the Russ Catlin Journalism award back in 2007. Bringing in a writer who is not associated with ESPN for this show is a great idea.
Poole and Bestwick go way back, and those two should have some fun with the myriad of topics on the table from drug testing to the Top 35 Rule. Poole is very creative on his Sirius radio show, his Internet blog and his regular news articles for the Charlotte Observer.
Once again, NASCAR Now has taken a good step forward in turning what had been a boring news day into what could be a TV program talked about for some time. Making sure that the DVR or the VCR has ESPN2 on Monday at 5:30PM Eastern Time programmed on the record schedule would be a good investment.
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