Saturday, April 5, 2008

"Tradin' Paint" On SPEED: The Petty Edition


Fans of Tradin' Paint knew this was going to be an interesting show.

Since the departure of Michael Waltrip in the Spring of 2007, Kyle Petty has been a regular on this TV series. Along with host John Roberts, Petty and company welcome a different media guest to each program. The results often make for good TV.

Over the course of the 2007 season, Petty had many memorable differences of opinion with several of the biggest journalists in the sport. While notable names like Liz Clarke from the Washington Post and David Poole from the Charlotte Observer negotiated their way through the show with success, that was not always the case.

Both Jenna Fryer from the Associated Press and Bob Pockrass from scenedaily.com proved to be journalists that were not interested in negotiating. They had their views, stated them clearly, and they were not going to give any ground. That simply did not work well for Kyle Petty.

Often, it seemed that Petty was trying his best to talk about another time in NASCAR without facing the grim reality of the superteams and the superdollars involved in the sport today.

Petty stood-up for truth, for personal relationships among drivers and for a sport where any team could make the field and contend for the win. In Petty's mind, his views were right and he was not going to give any ground to "the media."

On this Saturday, it was a very different Kyle Petty that sat on the set of Tradin' Paint. Across from Petty was Richard Durrett of The Dallas Morning News. In the middle was Roberts and the first words out of his mouth sent the show in the very direction that many thought SPEED would not go. It was time to talk about the troubled Petty Enterprises on national TV.

We all know the story. The sponsorship of the 43 car will move to Childress for 2009, the 45 car failed to make the field at Martinsville and even after Petty stepped aside, the car failed to qualify for Texas. This weekend, rumors of driver Bobby Labonte leaving the 43 car for Childress Racing after the season is over are rampant.

Petty did his best to explain that stepping-out of the 45 car was a group decision. Earlier that weekend, he told Mark Zeske of the very same Dallas Morning News that vacating the car was not his decision. Even as Petty talked about the team and evoked memories of his late son Adam, the reality still had not sunk-in.

John Roberts has seen a whole lot of Kyle Petty and his temper on this show, especially in 2007. After allowing Petty to explain his views on the situation at Petty Enterprises unchallenged, Roberts soft-peddled a question to Richard Durrett about teams and sponsorships. Durrett was having none of it, and began to ask Petty his own questions directly.

Durrett asked how Petty felt stepping out of the car. He asked about the very future of the Petty Enterprises organization. He quietly took the host role and left Roberts in the dust watching from the sidelines. It was a good idea.

Petty did a good job of recapping the concerns of the company as they continue through this season and head into 2009. He mentioned the need for an investor and was honest in bringing up the Bobby Labonte issue. Petty once again used his new favorite term in saying Petty Enterprises has "a lot of balls in the air."

Roberts brought-up the BAM issue with Kenny Schrader being absent from Texas, and Durrett immediately pointed the topic right back at Petty for comment. Citing the "new world order" in NASCAR, Durrett asked if there was any option to the superteams. Despite the political talk from Petty, the answer seemed to be "no."

It was Michael McDowell's accident that quickly changed the tone of the show. Petty talked firmly about the safety components of both the track and the COT from a perspective few share. Durrett challenged NASCAR to mandate the SAFER Barrier all the way around the track at high-speed ovals like Texas. Both men made great points.

For some reason, John Roberts was off-balance in this program from the start. Perhaps, he was surprised that Durrett took the ball and asked his own questions to Petty. For whatever reason, his casual approach to the McDowell accident and his extended comments on several topics were just not fitting for the host role on a program structured to feature the other two panelists.

While Petty worked his way through this program with a very cooperative media partner, things are going to get interesting as the saga of Petty Enterprises continues to unfold. This is the risk that active drivers and team owners take when they commit to TV series. They are instantly put on-the-spot for issues that may not be very pleasant. On this day, much like Michael McDowell, Petty made it through unscathed.

The Daly Planet welcomes comments from readers. Simply click on the COMMENTS button below and follow the easy instructions. The rules for posting are located on the right side of the main page. Thanks for taking the time to stop by.

21 comments:

John B said...

Maybe now that he isn't driving anymore Speed will get a real race car driver to be on this show. It is time for Kyle to get on his motorcycle and ride into the sunset.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

OK, now we got it . The delay was on purpose so those who missed the show last night, will not see the issue of Kyle and the 45 issue. That is not good NASCAR TV coverage. Shame on SPEED if this is true.
Lou
Kingston, NY

Gymmie said...

I missed the deleted comments, so I'm not sure if they're related to anon's comments, but anon 10:43 very interesting.

I let the DVR record and saw that TP wasn't on yet and didn't think much of it so flipped it back to NN. I saw it Saturday and erased it, but I let it re-record because I was going to re-watch in light of a few things JD said that I apparently didn't see in the same light.

But yes now I can see the conspiracy theories going on after that.

Daly Planet Editor said...

I will ask SPEED about that issue on Monday.

JD

Gymmie said...

Thank you JD! It'll be interesting to hear what they say.

Anonymous said...

Yes JD, Your follow up on this may be important as far as the type of NASCAR TV coverage is concerned. As we all know that is why you started this blog. Even though at times we get carried away.
Lou
Kingston, NY

Tom said...

What happened here? I missed both deleted comments.

Tom
Inverness, FL

stricklinfan82 said...

I always DVR re-air the Sunday morning airing of Tradin' Paint since the Saturday air time is never constant and tends to be delayed when live Saturday racing runs long.

So I fire up the DVR and they cut out the first segment of the show on the re-air. I got 5 minutes of some other show and then the "regularly scheduled programming", Tradin' Paint, was joined in progress. And now reading this blog they obviously took out the most compelling of the show - the discussion of Kyle and the 45 car!

What the hell was that all about?????? I'm assuming that's what you guys are talking about as well and I really hope JD gets to the bottom of this because that is absolutely total BS!

I am totally disgusted by this, and from my perspective this certainly smells fishy. I guess it's possible this morning's live F1 race ended late but if that's the case why wouldn't the program immediately following that race have been "joined-in-progress"? I clearly saw 5 minutes of some other show before Tradin' Paint started so there was obviously at least one other show that aired between the F1 race and Tradin' Paint, and to air that program in its entirety on a 5 minute delay and conveniently save the joined-in-progress designation to the controversial opening segment of Tradin' Paint was completely inexcusable.

As I said JD, I'm anxiously awaiting an explanation if Speed updates you on this situation.... I'm certainly hoping for more than "This happens all the time and was a complete coincidence, wink wink."

Anonymous said...

Yes strklnfan, I was the one who was deleted in the begining of this blog. JD did explain to me why they were deleted. And I understood that. But yes my intent was as you and others have found. And I hope JD can give us an answer. I feel this is important in NASCAR TV coverage.
Lou
Kingston,NY

Daly Planet Editor said...

We have to give them the benefit of the doubt until we get things straightened out.

The program previous to Tradin' Paint could well have been delayed by F-1 and contractually obligated to be carried in its entirety.

This was the morning re-air of Tradin' Paint that originally aired on Saturday night.

I dropped a line to SPEED, let's see what they say before we start the conspiracy theory ball rolling.

JD

stricklinfan82 said...

JD,

Fair point on the contractually obligated stuff. I don't know how many shows aired between the F1 race and Tradin' Paint but if ALL of them were contractually obligated to be aired in their entirety I guess that would be understandable.

I've been DVR'ing this show on Sunday mornings for at least a year now and I personally can't remember having this program "joined in progress". I've seen it start 2 or 3 minutes late but they always just delayed the start of NASCAR Raceday in those instances as a recall.

So you can probably forgive me for being a little suspicious when the first occurence of this to my knowledge conveniently ommitted a controversial opening to the program, where as you described the other panelist sort of "went against the script".

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ritchie said...

I also was surprised by the segment you described being cut out of the Sunday show. However, you recapped the show well and brought up a good point about John Roberts throwing softball questions at Kyle.

This seems to be a problem at SPEED. For all of the great inside information that should come from the on air talent being freinds with the drivers, it seems that they tend to protect the drivers (even when the drivers subject themselves to a show like Tradin Paint). This happens on many of their shows. The only exception that I can think of is the always candid Jimmy Spencer.

This is becoming an issue with me. SPEED is on the air for the enjoyment of the viewers, not for the promotion of drivers.

I may be the only one that cares about this, but I do have to pay a premium for SPEED so I deserve to have a voice.

Tracy said...

I wondered why no one called KP on his earlier statement that it wasn't his decision to put Chad in the car at Texas. The quote I read had him calling Robby Loomis a liar, in essence. Guess it's not good form to add fuel to the fire at Petty Enterprises, at least not on Speed TV.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Well, the conspiracy theory is dead. SPEED was obligated to carry the previous programming in full length, and joined TP in progress.

The Sunday morning version of Tradin' Paint was a re-air, so it became the point where the network got back on time for the remainder of the day.

JIP stands for joined-in-progress and that is what happened. Shame folks who missed the re-air also missed Kyle, it was certainly an interesting first segement to the show.

JD

Anonymous said...

Thank you JD for the update
Lou
Kingston,NY

stricklinfan82 said...

Thanks for the update JD. I guess that was just an extremely inconvenient time to have the first "joined-in-progress" re-air of Tradin' Paint in the many months I've been watching this particular airing.

Based on your description of how "against the script" the opening segment was and how bad John Roberts was apparently made to look I guess the pre-emption of that segment in question seemed like more than a very convenient "coincidence" to many of us, myself included.

Coffee said...

JD, I know this is regarded as a news program, but is it really? I have always seen it as an insight into the NASCAR family of drivers and media people. In this light, we get what we would from friends or the glossed over "our-side" version of events as we see it.

Coffee

Gymmie said...

Darn! I was hoping to continue the conspiracy theory! j/k

Thanks JD for the update! Like Stricklanfan I've watched/recorded all these shows and can't recall them being JIP. All the "controversy" over whose idea was it and Kyle being "heated" with Bobby on Friday's interview. But yes you did describe it well :)