Monday, May 5, 2008

Michael Waltrip On SPEED Monday Night


The three hours of NASCAR-related programming on SPEED went by quickly on Sunday night. Nowhere in that time did viewers see Sprint Cup owner/driver, Craftsman Truck Series analyst and This Week in NASCAR panelist Michael Waltrip.

The SPEED Report, Victory Lane and Wind Tunnel all talked about the Sprint Cup race at Richmond. It was only Victory Lane that took the time to recap the Waltrip vs. Casey Mears moment for viewers, and to get an opinion from Jimmy Spencer and Kenny Wallace.

One key person missing from Bob Dillner's post-race interviews on the show was Waltrip. After losing his cool and purposefully running Mears down the track and into the fence, he had been parked by NASCAR. Dillner managed to get both Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kyle Busch after the race, but apparently Waltrip was unavailable.

Now, Waltrip must put on his "other" hat and sit down for an hour of NASCAR TV with Steve Byrnes and Chad Knaus on Monday night. This will be the first time that Waltrip will be seen on TV after his "moment." It should make for some very interesting on-air situations.

Not only will Waltrip have to answer questions about the incident, he will also have to watch the videotape and try to explain himself. After that challenge is over, he will be facing two big hurdles. He will have to offer comments on Denny Hamlin parking on the track and bringing out a caution, and Kyle Busch losing control and taking out Waltrip's former DEI teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr.

When Kenny Wallace on Victory Lane addressed the Casey Mears issue, he simply said that he believed it was the new seat and the lack of vision in the COT cars that had combined to result in Mears squeezing Waltrip into the wall. That easy-to-understand explanation did not fit-in well with Waltrip's actions after the initial hit.

Perhaps, Waltrip will have seen Wallace and his comments by Monday night. With the way that Waltrip reacted, many feel there must have been more to the situation with Mears. One thing is for sure, Waltrip cannot avoid an answer this time.

This Week in NASCAR airs on SPEED at 8PM, and it will be up to Byrnes to get things on-track quickly in this episode. In the past, the program has briefly touched on the weekend race and then begun a twenty minute preview of the next event.

The format does not return the program to the "review" portion until the show is almost half-over. This week, in light of all the events of both the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series races in Richmond, SPEED might consider talking about the present for a long time before sending viewers off into the future once again.

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

88 comments:

Lou,Kingston,NY said...

I agree JD, In light of all that happened this weekend, TWIN should delay the preview of the next race til much later in the show. This would be a great time to change the format of the show. I don't want to see MW squirm. But I do look forward to see his "difference of opinion". And that his issue is not the defining point of the hour.

red said...

didn't i read somewhere that MW's version is that his throttle stuck? (and if so, how come his car doesn't have the mandatory kill switch for just that problem?) i may watch just to see if that version holds or is morphed into something else.

i agree w/you, lou, that w/everything that happened at richmond on saturday, maybe that discussion shouldn't be "the defining point of the hour." however, we've seen/heard/read a ton about the other issues from pretty much anyone and everyone. but on this from M himself ummm, not so much. so, yep, i'd be glad to have them spend a bit of time on it.

Brian said...

"didn't i read somewhere that MW's version is that his throttle stuck?"

Has anyone else noticed that whenever Mikey does something stupid his throttle stuck?

The incar camera doesn't support this theory. Mikey just has a very short temper, you wreck him he'll get you back when his throttle sticks.

SallyB said...

Here's my prediction: Michael, as per usual, will blame Casey Mears previous (unseen by the fans) actions of the track for his reaction. He'll say the Kyle/Jr incident was a 'racing deal' (tru). I can't wait to hear Chad's reaction, since he was reportedly horrified by what Michael did on the track. I wonder if they will say anything about Denny stopping on track and causing the final caution?

Anonymous said...

So Michael got angry and retaliated against Mears for wrecking him.

Yeah, that never happens in this sport.

What's he supposed to do, go on TV and admit it? Sure, everyone does that, too.

He shouldnt have done it. But in the heat of the moment, the guy got angry. It happens.

It used to happen a lot more, and everyone just loved it--but now, drivers are terrified they'll be punished by NASCAR. Y'all wanted drivers to be themselves, not be afraid to have emotions...well, now you got it.

Anonymous said...

Well JD, I see you have stirred the pot once again concerning Michael Waltrip.

The post report from Michael was:“I got run into the wall and then for a split second I lost my cool and hit him back,” Waltrip said. “You can’t do that, so I got parked.” He owned up to his mistake. What else do you want?

I was listening to his scanner when the incident happen and he said "My throttle stuck" and it sounded very tongue and cheek, he then said he was sorry, with a very guilty voice. Give the guy a break, he lost his temper, he was parked, lost 55 pts in owners pts and is now sitting 32nd. He paid his dues and hopefully he'll think again before he looses his temper again.

As for the Jimmie Johnson remark:“He's an idiot. He's trying to kill him. I thought I was seeing things." It was a little dramatic, don't you think?

Yes, I am a MW fan. All I am asking is, give Michael a shot to explain before you throw him to the wolves. And there are a lot of them ready to pounce and rip this guy a part.

Thank you for listening

Dede said...

Jimmy Spencer is the type to say what he thinks, and he said Mears wrecked MW and MW got upset because his season is not going well and over-reacted. This should be front page headlines, NOT, give me a break this happens all the time, its part of racing and I am not for or against MW, but it looks to me that YOU have issues with the man and are trying to stir up some stuff. Stay professional on your personal like or dislike of drivers, its beneath you and don't use your forum to trash drivers, stay on issues.

Anonymous said...

While I’m on the subject of undeserved penalties, what did you think about the parking of Michael Waltrip by NASCAR officials? I thought that NASCAR was supposedly “going back to basics?” If Waltrip’s ramming of Casey Mears’ Chevy on lap 354 wasn’t a throwback to the old days of NASCAR, full of emotion and passion, then I don’t know what is.

Sure, Waltrip’s “jammed throttle” may have torn up Mears’ race car, but it only happened on the heels of Mears’ pinching Waltrip into the wall – which tore up Waltrip’s Toyota


Hey at least this writer from another sports site was objective on the MW issue, expected the same from you and you got in the dirt with it, shame on you.

Anonymous said...

MW giving it to Mears was one of the best moments yet this season. Maybe those who are so horrified are worried that someone might give it back to them when they do something stupid. Mears had the whole track and MW was out in front of him. I thought these driver had spotters. Put someone in the wall because you can't drive = Oh well, Give it back = penalty, explanations, and horror.

Anonymous said...

I watched it on Hotpass, there was a lot of pushing and shoving between the 5 and the 55 several laps before the wreck. Tempers flared, nothing new, it's short track racing.

The man already said "he lost his cool". I don't see any story here, except that it's Mikey. And we all know JD loves Mikey.

Ritchie said...

To Anon 7:22 (Why do all Michael Waltrip fans log on as anonymous?)

The point here (since this is a racing/TV blog) is that Mr. Waltrip is also a TV commentator. On top of that, he tends to be a very outspoken TV commentator who takes it upon himself to point out other's flaws constantly. If he paints himself as being the self-righteous spokesman of NASCAR, then his mistakes become more magnified than someone like Casey Mears, who is very quiet and shies away from the camera.

Therefore, simply saying "I'm sorry" doesn't cut it for him. He puts others under the microscope, therfore he must also subject himself to the microscope. Either that or get off TV.

Michael has gotton a free pass with a lot of questionable decisions for the past few years. Now would be a good time for him to start paying for his behavior.

Anonymous said...

I thought the penalty was severe and over the top, IMO. NASCAR is never consistence with their penalties, it all depends on who the driver is. Face it, Nascar has their favorites, and it's not going to change.

Anonymous said...

MW has passion for his racing, shows it, and gets scorned.

Jr. gets wrecked, plays the "Aw Shucks" card and says "we'll get 'em next week." What a class act.

I'll take a guy with passion for what he has invested everything into.

Jeff in Atlanta said...

The real question is, will Steve Byrnes softball Michael or will he really make him answer the questions. If the past is any indication the race reporters will softball so drivers will talk to them later. Sad but true.

Deborah said...

From what I understand the reason that Michael was unavailable for comment was because Nascar kept him in their hauler until after the race. By the time he left the media that had been assembled there to get a comment from him had left to chase the bigger story which was Junior vs. Kyle.

I don't understand why there's such a focus on Michael, this incident and how Speed is going to handle it. There have been other stories that have involved Michael or others who work for Speed such as Chad Knaus and I don't remember multiple entries picking apart how it would be handled.

Amy said...

Good Morning, Ritchie. My name is Amy (Anon 7:22) I really didn't think my name was all that important to post, but from now on I will, ok?

He was talking to his crew on the scanner, when he said he was sorry. He knew he messed up and he owned up to it in the post report. It shouldn't matter if he is a TV commentator, he's a racecar driver first, he made a mistake because of his temper.

I'm asking you, what would you like for Michael to do? The show hasn't even been aired yet. You don't know what he is going to say. Again, all I'm asking is that give a the guy a chance to response to his actions, before you go for his throat. I read this blog everyday, I know you don't like Michael Waltrip, be fair, just wait until after the show and then you can rip him.

glenc1 said...

I think Ritchie has it right on the money--that's the perspective I've had after watching the show & its predecesor for years now (and I started out being a big fan of Michael's...). And I also agree with Jeff in Atlanta; let's see if Byrnes presses him--somehow I think they have it all planned in advance and they'll make it out like no big deal. Just a guess.

Daly Planet Editor said...

I think some of the posters missed the point. Waltrip can act and do anything on the track he pleases just like any other driver. It is up to him to deal with the consequences.

What makes him different is his high-profile role on TV as a TWIN panelist and the analyst for the Craftsman Truck Series. This is a TV blog.

In fact, it is Waltrip who often calls other drivers in the Cup Series to task for their on-track actions on national TV (TWIN) because he has that forum.

This time, live national TV (Fox)wanted to call him to the camera and let him explain himself and he vanished.

That is a choice made by an adult with a long track record of interesting choices.

Now, he faces the issue of dealing with Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch on national TV and it should be interesting to see how it is handled.

There is no Kenny Schrader to laugh it off this time. This is the first real challenge for the new show to deal with an issue like this.

If TWIN shows footage we did not see on Fox, it might explain a lot more than what many viewers now know. It is a good opportunity to put reality on the table and deal with it.

For those of you who believe I have a problem with Waltrip, please scroll to the columns about TWIN for the past several weeks.

Waltrip and Knaus have been doing quite well, found their rhythm and have been making the show fun again. Thanks.

JD

Jasper said...

Why didn't they get a comment from Casey Mears after the wreck? What, Dillner couldn't find Casey either? I would think if this was such a big deal, I'd go after Casey if I couldn't find Mikey.

This is such a non issue.

Deborah said...

JD, please explain your comment that Michael "vanished." For one thing Nascar Scene managed to get a comment from him, so he couldn't have vanished that completely if they were able to get a comment from him. Second, Nascar kept Michael in their hauler for quite some time so part of the time he wasn't available for comment because of them - was Michael supposed to tell Nascar that their chat with him was going to have to wait so he could do a live interview with Fox? Third, once the race is over there is a rush by all the drivers to leave the track as quickly as possible - unless a driver finishes up front they are under no obligation to hang around and answer questions whether they're involved in an incident or not. Fourth, Michael does the Monday night show and the XM show, if he knows he's going to be speaking about this then, why would he hang around after the race and wait for the media to stop chasing Junior and Kyle Busch when he could just make his comments during his regularly scheduled TV/satellite radio appearances?

I agree with the person above me - where the entry about how terrible it was that Casey wasn't available for comment? I suppose the excuse will be that he doesn't have a Speed show, but as the other person involved in the incident where was TV to ask him what happened from his point of view?

Michael has never shied away from talking about anything that relates to him or his teams before, even when it's been about the Daytona mess or partgate or anything else, why would he not discuss this now, particularly when drivers lashing out in anger and retaliating is something that's been part of the sport forever?

Daly Planet Editor said...

Jasper,

How is it a non-issue? Mears does not have two high-profile TV roles and own a Sprint Cup team.

If Mears was on TV, then he would be on this blog right beside Michael.

As you can read from my column, the issue at hand is how SPEED and TWIN go about addressing this incident for which a Sprint Cup team owner was parked.

This is not the old Inside NEXTEL Cup, and the challenge for any new TV series is to develop its own character. This will be one of the moments when TWIN chooses to either do just that or not.

JD

Daly Planet Editor said...

deb,

Read your own comment. Michael has never been shy about being on TV, especially when there is an opportunity to get some sponsor exposure despite the issue at hand.

The national TV broadcast is #1. Not radio, NASCAR Scene or anything else. Maybe Michael will say that no one from Fox was around as he left. We will only know when the show airs.

That is the whole idea of this column and the headline. It is unique that TV viewers will only be seeing Michael on this show. I made the point about Bob Dillner because he was not working the Fox broadcast as a pit reporter.

JD

Brian said...

I record Michael's scanner every week as he is my favorite driver, and you hear a lot of interesting things.

He said at first his throttle hung, in the hopes NASCAR was listening ans that they would somehow believe him. He later then just said he was confused from the crash, and pressed the wrong pedal. Basically he knew it was a frustrating day, and he knows he got the best of himself, just didn't want to say much there.

NASCAR wanted him at the trailer, and had him wait at it until the race is over which was probably where there was no interview.

So he lost his cool, I know most people including myself would have too. He's my favorite driver and always will be.

Jasper said...

Sorry, I forgot it was a picking on a Michael Waltrip because he is a TV commentator blog. Just Kidding.

Was Fox really running around trying to get an interview with Mikey? And said they couldn't find him? I guess I must of missed it. I never heard anything else about the wreck, after it happened. I just figured Fox thought it was a racing incident and moved on.

Deborah said...

JD, first you say that Michael "vanished" when Fox wanted to put him on live TV, now you're saying that maybe they weren't even around? Do you even know for sure that Fox actually wanted to interview him? If they were denied an interview what were the circumstances - did he have somewhere to be? Do you know if Fox waited until after he came out of the hauler? Michael made himself available to Nascar Scene, where was Fox then? I'm trying to pin down why you think there is an issue here and so far you haven't given anything other than Fox is a national TV broadcast and Michael likes to plug his sponsors. What does that have to do with the specifics of why Fox didn't end up with an interview with him?

Ken-Michigan said...

Mikey will say something like....

" This is what makes our sport great"

" I'll get a NEW throttle cable at NAPA this week"

" Thanks to Dr. Sicking for those soft walls that Casey and I hit "

Also, I'd love to see them find the file footage of Mikey punching Lake Speed at Michigan years ago following a Cup event.

What he did on saturday night was totally out of line. Parking him wasnt much of a penalty since he tore up the car anyway.

PARK HIM this week at Darlington for actions detrimental to the sport.

Daly Planet Editor said...

jasper,

You seriously believed Fox thought this was a "racing incident" and moved on? That is a Sprint Cup Series owner, my friend.


Deb,

I think you are losing it just a little bit here. There is no way around the simple fact that the first time TV viewers will see Waltrip is on Monday.

It will be interesting to see what Waltrip says and what he relates about why he did not comment about being parked to the TV audience.

As to whether or not Fox wanted to interview him? I think the answer would be yes. Accountability is going to be the issue when he speaks about both his incident and the Hamlin/Busch situations.

JD

Ken-Michigan said...

I've noticed a huge lack of "journalistic responsibility" from the NASCAR on FOX broadcasts this year.

They dont follow up on many stories.

Maybe I missed it on saturday night, but i dont think they even talked to Denny Hamlin after being one of the major stories of the race.

Did they talk to Casey Mears ?

One show and one host has stepped up in a professional manner to talk about the important and sometimes controverial issues..... Allen Bestwick and NASCAR NOW.

I'm watching.

itsbry said...

Michael Waltrip blatantly used his car as a weapon. It's borderline criminal and he should be EXCLUDED from racing until further notice.
Specifically ramming someone is a much different thing than a bump and run and we saw the former Saturday night.
I don't know how many times this kind of thing has happened before, but each one of these kind of instances should be dealt with severely.

Geez said...

Seeing that he has admitted what he did was wrong, Here is how I think the Mears incident will play out tonight.

He will be asked about it, they will probably show the incident, and Mikey will say something to the effect that he lost his cool and did something stupid and got parked for it.

He will then apologize to NASCAR and Mears and that will be it. Never to be brought up again. Now if Kenny was on the panel, It would probably be different. I'm sure Kenny would poke Mikey a little bit about it. But I don't think Chad will go there.:)

As far as the Junior/Busch incident goes, his reaction will be whatever NASCAR's reaction was.(wink). He's not in a position to throw stones.

Just my take of course.

A little off topic, But I have to say having Rick Allen show up to discuss the ARCA race situation was impressive. Maybe it's working JD.:)

Jasper said...

Oh, come on, JD. If Fox thought this was the "big story" why didn't they stake out all the entrances to the Nascar hauler and wait for Michael, the owner/driver to come out for a comment. They knew he was there, Fox even announced it. That's why I am saying they thought it was a "racing incident" and thought it was no big deal. Fox never really spoke about the wreck after it happened and they didn't really concern them about later. It's Fox's problem they didn't get an interview, not Waltrip's.

Anonymous said...

Y'all want rivers to show emotion like 'the good old days," but when one actually does it, then you want him punished.

Can't have it both ways.

Anonymous said...

Michael Waltrip blatantly used his car as a weapon. It's borderline criminal and he should be EXCLUDED from racing until further notice.

You ain't been following stock car racing all that long, have you?

Geez said...

ken-michigan,
They did talk to Denny. The problem was, he wasn't asked the big question. Why did you stop on the track? I couldn't believe they had him there and didn't ask.

JHD said...

Ok, apparently I'm the only one on this board who listens to Mears' scanner during races. =)

To Anon 8:08am - Casey thought he had plenty of room since his spotter forgot to mention that someone was coming up on his outside. Once Casey was done yelling at his spotter, Casey took full responsibility for wrecking Waltrip.

If Casey had been interviewed, I'd bet dollars to donuts he would have said as much on air and apologised once again to Waltrip. But once Kyle Busch wrecked Dale Junior, I doubt anyone in the media much cared what happened between Mears and Waltrip.

Amy said...

Thanks jhd, for the update on Casey's scanner. I am sure all is forgiven between the two of them by now.

Maybe that is why Fox didn't feel the reason to follow up with an interview, makes sense now.

Deborah said...

JD, please don't tell me "I'm losing it" - if you don't want to be questioned about something, don't write about it. What I was trying to get at was whether anyone at Fox had specifically told you that they wanted an interview with Michael and that he refused - from your last entry the answer seems to be "no." You're talking as if Michael owes people an explanation as to why he didn't give a TV interview on Saturday when it appears you don't even know if Fox (or anyone else) even wanted an interview with him in the first place.

stricklinfan82 said...

It should be interesting to see how Speed and Michael handle this situation. Last year in a Truck race Ted Musgrave got suspended one race for a very similar retaliation, so it will be interesting to see if that file footage and the word "suspension" are brought up.

When you consider that Michael is a repeat offender...

- 2003 Darlington he did the same thing to Todd Bodine after a crash and also gave the "throttle stuck" excuse on the radio, which Wally Dallenbach laughed at on TV, saying something like "well a driver would never shift gears with a stuck throttle".

- 1995 Michigan he punched Lake Speed after an incident on the track

- 1992 Martinsville he punched Dave Marcis after an incident on the track

... it should also be interesting to see if Steve Byrnes brings up any of these past incidents, in the interest of journalistic integrity.

Since NASCAR dropped the hammer last year on another driver that had no history of doing such a thing, I'm sure Michael will be very careful to tip-toe through explaining this incident.

Ritchie said...

Thanks stricklanfan82, your points are dead-on. For us to not take Waltrip's history into account with this incident would be silly. It would be like Jimmy Spencer not addressing his history when commenting on Kyle Busch.

Past behavior is always relevant. If Waltrip wants to be a commentator, he will have to be honest and forthright with no mention of sponsors. His normal reaction would be to laugh and tell everyone that he was demonstrating the Aaron's bulldozer move of the race. He cannot be allowed to play this incident up in order to increase sponsor exposure.

SophiaZ123 said...

WOW. I am stunned at all the comments about MW...he sure is a hot button for many.

As a fan of MW I HEARD the in car cam and engine after the crash.

Crash... lifting off the throttle to slow down..pause and then ACCELERATION by Mikey to hit Casey on purpose. Busted! He lost it.

What about when Stewart was griping a few years ago how bump drafting at Daytona was going to get somebody killed. Then Tony raised cain with NASCAR. THEN during the race, got mad at Kenseth and punted his car across the track and into the infield?? Tony was not parked or suspended.

Casey and Waltrip were on a short track. How is Waltrip's situation is a lot worse?

I don't get this issue either (although I get he is an owner and TV person) but the guy made a mistake and it happens a lot. Oh and I thought JJ's comment was a little over dramatic. Punting somebody on a superspeedway is scarier.

Funny Lepage did not get hammered for causing the big on at Talladega (for long) like Waltrip is here?

And NOBODY commented anywhere (except briefly on SPEED and Mike Joy) about Gunselman SLAMMING into Dario when G was 8 seconds behind him. One of the worst damages to a roll cage yet little media attention???

Yes there are accidents, but some could've been prevented if people just think. BUT after a crash, we know tempers flare and people react.

Mikey got parked, and if in the hauler all night but gave a comment to some people, I don't call that vanishing...We never got words from Kurt and Tony after their hauler incident either, immediately after the fact.

This has been an interesting morning coming here and seeing the reaction.

Despain brought Casey and Mike up in passing, and said Waltrip would probably have more to say on TWIN to which I thought "HA! they never talk about the previous race except for 9 minutes total" then go to scanner chatter and video.

Interesting debates here.

:)

Daly Planet Editor said...

jasper,

You can only find someone if they want to be found, right? Guess we will hear about it tonight.

geez,

It should be interesting to see if Steve Byrnes handles this in that manner. As I mentionded in my column, this is going to be the first test of what this program really is going to be when it grows up.

Deb,

No one at Fox has emailed me that Michael refused an interview. Nowhere in my comments or column did I say or intimate that.

You need to step-back and pretend that this is another driver. Would you have the same sentiments if this was Carl Edwards and he had run Michael into the wall?

Both Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kyle Busch "manned-up" and spoke to the TV crew when their day was over.

As you can see from the comment above from Brian, Waltrip first said his throttle hung and then said he just mashed the wrong pedal because he was confused.

The TV issue tonight is about someone who denied a TV interview after an incident and now is set to pass judgement on his fellow drivers on a one hour TV show for their actions on the very same track in the very same race.

You are not going to get me off-topic with your anger and questions. This is a big TV deal, and there will be a lot of people watching who work in NASCAR and in the media.

No one said the life of an owner and driver in this high level of racing was going to be easy. It just seems sometimes that Michael Waltrip makes it harder on himself.

JD

Geech said...

Everyone wants Michaels head over this who isnt a 55 fan. Thats fine but what about some consistency here for starters if this was Jr. oh god forbid it if they would park Jr. Didnt Jr. practically run Michael over at charlotte one time. and they were Teammates at the time. Everyone loses there kool. Please correct me if Im wrong but has T.Stewart been parked K.Busch or even the angel of nascar J.Gordon when he took out Rusty at bristol years back its Racing tempers flair. Michael had just gotten four tires and Mears obviously Mears knew he was near him not saying his spotter didnt screw up but part of a spotters job is to let the driver know hey New tires behind ya High side I hear it all the time. bottom line is its NO CONSISTENCY it was a Hendrick car and if your Name isnt T.Stewart J.Gordon D.Jr. or you get the picture. But M.Waltrip K.Petty R.Gordon = Park yeah thats consistency consistently Wrong. Michael Knew the retaliation was wrong but he didnt spin the guy into traffic or something he just rode with him He's a man with a lot invested in his team he lost his kool thats all it was.

glenc1 said...

Just a comment on Michael and the media--I am not a 'fan' specifically, but I don't particularly dislike him either. His enthusiasm can be good and bad; I find him amusing at times and annoying/disagreeable at others. I *used* to be more of a fan, but honestly, his constant overexposure of himself & his family (in the past) kind of turned me off. I think he may have done it with good intentions--to assure his and his children's future by making sure his team was successful...and I can't totally fault a guy for that. There was a huge risk starting a team as he did adn it took courage on his part. On the other hand, he can't be surprised if others find his media exposure 'over the top', shall we say? But I think part of what gets those who tire of him a bit riled is that he always manages (or tries to) to use his media exposure to benefit himself but decries it when it hurts him (a lot of celebrities 'use' the media in this way--it's a bit of a game. A celeb complains about paparazzi but has a publicist alert them about appearances...) But the difference is that Michael is PART of the media--and it irks me to no end when he or Kyle Petty or whoever try to claim they're not 'the media' as if it's some alien race...if SPEED is signing the checks, then guess what, you're media. And as JD says, Michael does 'call out' his competitors quite frequently on their mistakes. I think this forum has allowed people to vent a bit on the topic, but to be honest, I doubt it will be more than a blip on the actual show. I can't see Steve pressing the issue, although Chad's take might be interesting. And thanks to all for the informations we didn't get on TV, this was interesting.

Geez said...

Again, if people expect Steve and Chad to grill Michael over this tonight, I think you will be disappointed.

While not excusing what he did by any means, he made a serious error in judgment, admitted it, and was penalized for it. NASCAR has said they parked him and they are done. So bringing up past incidents makes little sense. I expect tonight to be very anticlimactic.

Deborah said...

No one from Fox told you that Michael refused an interview but you say just a few paragraphs later "The TV issue tonight is about someone who denied a TV interview after an incident..." Which is it? My questions about whether you know for fact that he denied an interview and what the circumstances are absolutely are on-topic if you're going to make statements like that. And I would have the exact same questions no matter who the driver was that was involved.

Kyle Busch and Dale Jr. spoke with Fox because a camera crew came over to interview them. Would they really have chased down Fox for an interview about a negative incident if they weren't approached first?

The incident itself, that Michael got parked, is a big deal and worthy of discussion. But I find it hard to believe that there will be a lot of people working in Nascar and the media who will be watching TWiN tonight to find out why Michael didn't give an interview to Fox on Saturday.

Ritchie said...

If this much controversy doesn't stir up ratings for This Week in NASCAR, they might as well shut the show down and sell the set.

stricklinfan82 said...

And just for the record the purpose of my post was not to bash Michael Waltrip. I happen to like him and enjoy him on TV, and I'm very happy for him now that he's gotten all three of those cars in the top 35 in owner's points.

I'm just pointing out that considering his past history with similar incidents, and NASCAR's rather harsh suspension of a comparatively "sqeaky clean" driver in Ted Musgrave for doing almost the exact same thing, I can't help but feel that a similar suspension could be a possibility if NASCAR is truly consistent.

And as such the TV show has a responsibility to bring these facts up when reporting the details of this incident, in my opinion.

I'm not saying that he should or shouldn't be suspended, just pointing out that the possibility should be brought up, considering the factors I brought up earlier.

tom said...
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batchief said...

Some on here have said that Fox must not have thought it important to interview Michael. Considering they have 4 pit reporters and each was doing an interview(Boyer, Jr., Kyle and Denny) with the top of the hour close at hand is it possible they just couldn't get to Michael before they went off the air as opposed to not wanting an interview?

Anonymous said...
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Daly Planet Editor said...

batchief,

It certainly would have helped if they told us that. BTW, Krista Voda did an outstanding job on The SPEED Report last night. It was nice to see her back in the studio. Pit reporting and hosting in the same weekend, that is not easy.

stricklinfan,

I like him too, and in person he is hilarious. Walking the fine line between ownership and a TV career like Rusty Wallace and Ray Evernham is a tough one.

deb,

The reason they will be watching is simple. Michael will be commenting on their actions on the track on national TV. He will be affecting their careers, public perception and sponsors. That is the power of TV. That is the reason for this original column and all the comments. If Waltrip was not on TWIN, this would not be an issue at all. But, he is and it is.

glen,

There is one more point to be made, which is what Deb is mad about. Waltrip could have a great show, talk candidly about his incident and be 100% successful in handling the entire thing. The upside for this exists equally with the downside. It is all a matter of choice, which is why we are discussing it today.

geech,

It that was the case perhaps he will step-up and say that and it will be over in a matter of minutes. Remember my point, if he had spoken to Fox at the track like he spoke to an Internet site, this would already have been behind him.

Thanks for all the great comments and different points of view.

JD

Geech said...

Ok Mr anon and on what driver are you speaking behalf on the squeaky clean image of T.Stewart J.Gordon or Jr. maybe please if your gonna comment or bash atleast get the facts straight. If this was Dale Earnhart would you feel the same way. Oh no that was just Dale and People moved out of his way. Well before that premadonna Jr. ruined D.E.I Michael was hired by the man and learned from his best friend Dale that if you get pushed up against the wall every now and then your gonna get the bulls horns. Michael is a smart buisness guy he knows how to act in the media but he's also a Driver and an Owner with a lot riding on his teams. But the truth remains he's Not Hendrick ,Gibbs,or Roush, So the field is not even he paid his due im sure Parked = 56 Owners pts maybe he and Mears have already spoken and its water under the bridge. but if anyone looks at this situation objectively there should be no criticism because every driver out there wears there emotions on their sleeve when you lose your passion and dont get angry because some guy just put you into the wall then you know what its time to go to the booth fulltime.

Anonymous said...

J.D just read what you wrote good comments all around I believe Deb makes some good points and so do you. Im just upset with the bashing and going off track with this Michael is no angel. It would have bothered me more to see him say ok were done lets go back to the shop. I honestly liked from a fans standpoint that he showed some emotion on the track. Because if you listen to his Scanner He lets them boys know hey we need to get our selves on track here. No More B.S but he is also a public figure what do they want him to act like on t.v. but thanks for the thread bud. GJ

Geech said...
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glenc1 said...

And JD--didn't he *used* to handle it better? I mean, it just seems like I never had an issue with how they discussed these things on TV til the last couple seasons. They used to laugh about incidents like this more often. Maybe the ownership thing is when he changed. He has a lot of responsibility for a lot of people's jobs. And he has a lot going on all around. Gotta be harder to keep a sense of humor.

Daly Planet Editor said...

glen,

That is one big reason why so many folks feel that Kenny Schrader should be a part of the TWIN panel on a weekly basis.

You need an "elder statesman" who can put things in the broader perspective, irregardless of whether or not he has a current Cup ride.

No matter how hot things got, or how embarrassing for the panelists, Schrader could always bring things back to center with his good humor and plain talk.

Now, with only Knaus and Byrnes on the show, it should be interesting to see how they deal with the three issues: Waltrip, Hamlin and Busch.

JD

Anonymous said...

Again, if people expect Steve and Chad to grill Michael over this tonight, I think you will be disappointed.

While not excusing what he did by any means, he made a serious error in judgment, admitted it, and was penalized for it. NASCAR has said they parked him and they are done. So bringing up past incidents makes little sense. I expect tonight to be very anticlimactic.


I agree with this post. I think all the folks who are expecting Steve Byrnes to turn into one of the 60 Minutes guys grilling MW and MW to spend 5-10 minutes apologizing for something on track are dreaming. I also don't believe a ton of NASCAR folks will be watching it either, there's huge testing going on in Charlotte today. After they test they're going to go eat. Will they catch a repeat? Maybe, maybe not. They don't care what Michael has to say.

Overblown reaction here today by a MILE.

And:
JD, please don't tell me "I'm losing it" - if you don't want to be questioned about something, don't write about it.
Well said.

Anonymous said...

"No one at Fox has emailed me that Michael refused an interview. Nowhere in my comments or column did I say or intimate that."

Yes, you did. You said:

"This time, live national TV (Fox)wanted to call him to the camera and let him explain himself and he vanished."

and

"The TV issue tonight is about someone who denied a TV interview after an incident.."

Kim Roberson said...

JD,

As someone who was behind the NASCAR hauler waiting for Mikey to come out, I can tell you that while he did not say anything on the walk from his car to the hauler, I am pretty certain I saw no one left behind the hauler to talk to him after the race. We media types were not informed that he had been "benched" inside the NASCAR hauler for the remainder of the race until well after the fact, and we waited from the time he entered the NASCAR truck until the time Denny parked himself in turn 4. At that point, most of us realized he wasn't going to be coming out any time soon and left to go cover what else was happening. When I made my way back to Juniors car post-race, I noticed there was no one behind the NASCAR hauler...which is the time that Mikey was finally allowed in to say his peace. So, while I will admit he did not answer questions in the walk from his car to the Oval Office, I don't know that there was anyone waiting outside for him post race to make a comment to.


Just wanted to offer the thoughts of someone who was there. :-)


Kim Roberson

PS: Thanks for the kind comments on my Speed article today.

Jasper said...

Thanks, Kim. Well, there you go folks. Michael was finally let go by the race officials after the race and he stepped out of the hauler ready to answer questions and no one was there, so he went home. Guess it wasn't such a "big deal" after all.

Daly Planet Editor said...

jasper,

"he stepped out of the hauler ready to answer questions."

Where did you get that from? I appreciate Kim telling us where he was and what he did, but you are sorely naive if you think individual drivers just walk around unaccounted for during a race. Do you know that each one has a personal PR person at the track?

Go back and see where this thread began and how it has been twisted by fans for one reason. That is to somehow defend Waltrip from something that they believed was a conspiracy.

The reason this story was created, and the reason the comments are numerous is because Michael Waltrip is a lightning rod of controversy and that is what TV loves.

The two sides of his personality meshed for years on INC and over the past couple of weeks, he and Chad have done well on TWIN.

Once again, this will be the first time Waltrip is going to comment on his incident on TV. How Byrnes and Knaus choose to deal with it will point the show in a direction for the future. It's that simple.

JD

Anonymous said...

"How Byrnes and Knaus choose to deal with it will point the show in a direction for the future."

Not that simple at all - and a little dramatic, don't you think? I doubt how they deal with this will effect TWIN one bit -nobody is going to remember this next week!!

There have been controversies on this show many times over the years, people were spittin' mad about something, and then - it blew over. news flash: Dale Jr says he can't get mad at Kyle Busch because he did the same thing, spun him out, to Kyle in a Chase race last season. that's from Dale Jr's mouth this afternoon. See? The controversy is over if people will let it be over.

Tonight's show will not make or break TWIN. I'm at a loss to see why The Daly Planet is taking this so seriously. That's why you're getting so many responses, because you keep replying to all the "twisted" fans in a very detailed and somewhat personal "I'm right, you're wrong" manner. Very strange.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 4:37PM,

For the past sixteen months, we have waded into TV issues across the board in NASCAR.

Along the way, we have upset some people and also affected (because of the readers) a lot of the TV issues associated with the sport.

Unlike a message board, or an ESPN.com site, you get to debate and come back and watch the flow.

If you search back through the TDP archives for Mr. Waltrip, you can see many positive and negative stories about his TV career as it had big highs and also big lows.

Some of the responses drew comments from reporters, TV folks, fans and team members today. This is a dynamic and active conversation.

There are now almost one thousand stories and hundreds of thousand visitors involved in this effort.

Thanks for taking the time to comment. If you want to suggest a topic for the future, just email me like many of the regular readers do.

JD

Anonymous said...

... it should also be interesting to see if Steve Byrnes brings up any of these past incidents, in the interest of journalistic integrity.

You mean, it'll be interesting to see if he brings up an incdient from five, 13 and 16 years ago--as you did--in referring to soemthing that just happened.

16 years ago.

You ever do anything nearly two decades ago and have to defend it today?

Deborah said...

JD, so far you've said that "I'm losing it," that I'm angry in spite of having no idea what my mindset actually is or the first thing about me, and now you're saying the people are twisting things to suit some sort of agenda. In reality I'm asking you questions because I'd like to know some actual facts about why there was no interview with Michael on Saturday as opposed to opinion and assumption. I wish you would check with your contacts at FOX or with Michael's PR rep, to find out exactly why there was no interview and then tell us what they have to say before making it into such a big issue. But maybe the actual facts and an explanation from the people who were there and involved would be less interesting than all this drama.

JHD said...

You ever do anything nearly two decades ago and have to defend it today?

You do if you've ever had to apply for a job, or take the Bar Exam (or any other specialized license).

Regardless, I doubt they'll mention any of the past incidents. I'll even be surprised if the discussion we've been having all day lasts more than a minute or two on the show tonight. Aside from a few LJ blogs, or the driver's own fan boards, this is the only place I've seen where the main topic of discussion is what happened between Casey and Michael, and not what happened between Dale Jr. and Kyle.

Jasper said...

It was sarcasm, JD.

He was accounted for, Kim reported that Waltrip was in the hauler til the end of the race. And yes, I do realize most drivers have PR people. What does that have to do about with this debate?

That's all right, you don't have to answer. I'm sure you will put a spin on this anyhow. Have good night.

red said...

well, i wrote something like this earlier but refrained from posting it. however: for me, the issue is not what MW did/didn't do on the track. it's not even really about whether anyone was around to interview him after his trip to the hauler. it's not about what he has or hasn't done over his many years in the sport.

for me, the point is that we have a current driver who is also paid to be an analyst on a weekly basis. he is one of several who hold that duel role. what, then, becomes the role of these drivers when something happens on the track and they are involved? it's the same discussion we started to have in re: boris said recently and i have been pondering it since. when they respond to their particular incident, does it effect their credibility when discussing another driver's behavior later in that same race or later in the season? as an example: the recent boris said incident. his response on the air well after the incident itself has diminished his credibility for me.

and actually, it goes beyond just being an active driver. what about active crew chiefs, knaus and barker, being in the same position? and what about the retired drivers who have strong connections to a manufacturer (DW) or a child (Rusty Wallace)?
see, for me, the lines are being seriously blurred and i'm not certain it's a good thing.i'm having difficulty thinking of any other sport in which a current participant in that sport is simultaneously an analyst for that same sport. not saying it's a bad thing, i'm just not sure.

that, for me, is the crux of the MW/Mears situation in Richmond -- at least, as far as this board is concerned!

(and now! off to a great mexican place for cinco de mayo and yes, i know it's a bogus event but we enjoy hanging out at that place regardless! catch up with all this on the flip side, well after TWIN!)

Lou,Kingston,NY said...

Kim, Thanks for stopping by w/your comments and explaination. Nice article on the SPEED stage

Newracefan said...

With practice in Charlotte today I wonder if both Chad and Mikey will be at the studio or at the track. This could throw everything off. I know last year the guys were at the track with Dave in the studio and it was not a good show. Hopefully they are all together

Newracefan said...

Thanks Kim we always enjoy hearing from those that are there.

Richard in N.C. said...

JD- I have 2 maybe contradictory points.
1. There is no way to get the attention of a driver more than to tell him to go stand in the corner and we will get to you in our own good time. It sort of sounds like NASCAR might have given Mikey a lesson in who is in charge before they sat down to discuss his actions on the track.

2. At the same time, maybe Mikey has learned enough about the media that he wanted to keep the story of his on track run-in for "his" TV show.

I am not sure I have ever seen anything like what Mikey did to Casey M Saturday night. What he did was clearly, grossly wrong - and he deserved the punishment NASCAR gave him. At the same time, the statement he made that I read said to me that he realized and accepted that what he did was wrong and wholly unacceptable. I'm not sure that there is much more he can say - but he does need to repeat it before talking about the transgressions of others.

Maybe Mikey's incident will have a long-term benefit by forcing SPEED to first address the past race on TWIN before discussing the upcoming race.

Daly Planet Editor said...

richard,

Good points!

JD

Richard in N.C. said...

red- For better or for worse, if you want good information, you need to have knowledgeable people doing the commenting - and people who are in or have been in the sport are the most knowledgeable.

It seems to me that this aspect of NASCAR "reporting" is not really different than Dick Morris, Newt Gingrich, and George Stepanopolous doing political commentary, or Bill Parcells doing NFL commenting (right before going to the Dolphins), or the former Ind. Pacers coach doing commentary on the NBA for ESPN and now reportedly being considered for another NBA head coaching job.

KPChick said...

JD said on May 5, 2008 12:00 PM:

No one at Fox has emailed me that Michael refused an interview. Nowhere in my comments or column did I say or intimate that. =


Three paragraphs later he said:

The TV issue tonight is about someone who denied a TV interview after an incident and now is set to pass judgement on his fellow drivers on a one hour TV show for their actions on the very same track in the very same race.

Last I checked, "refused an interview" and "denied a TV interview" mean the same thing. Maybe "WAS denied a TV interview" - meaning the choice wasn't Uncle Mikey's?

Until we have a definitive answer, making speculation is unfair to all involved.

Lou,Kingston,NY said...

Ok, Steve starts w/ the KB/jr issue. And Chad and MW disagree, WOW. Next. MW did not say much about the C.Mears deal, not suprised I guess. More to follow I guess.

Lou,Kingston,NY said...

Ok, MW did ok w/his explaination. He was not happy. And expressed his opinion w/the gas pedal. Close the book and we all move on.

Lou,Kingston,NY said...

Good news, Kenny Schrader will be on next Monday night. yea.

Kim roberson said...

Mikey's comment was "Can't fix stupid" in regards to himself...think he is pretty clear on the fact what he did was wrong and unacceptable.

SophiaZ123 said...
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SophiaZ123 said...
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AMS fan said...

Can't fix stupid was pretty good. Mikey could have been a little less boisterous when critiquing everyone else. He wasn't that willing to do himself like that.
from a mikey fan

Daly Planet Editor said...

There is a new post up for your comments about TWIN from Monday night. Thanks.

JD

red said...

hey richard: i agree with that to get the best and most knowledgeable commentary, it's often best to use former competitors. so, that means having to compromise some level of objectivity to get that unique perspective and your examples are will presented.
still and all, with the exception of politics (and i agree that's a sport!), i find it another unusual aspect of our sport that current, active competitors are also employed as commentators on a regular, on-going basis. AND -- that's one of the parts of the recap shows that i miss so much: letting the drivers talk about what it was like from their perspective. i know what i think i saw, either on tv or at the track. what i enjoy is learning what the driver -- and now crew chief -- saw.
finally, i completely support your use of the quotation marks around the word 'reporting' when it comes to these guys. i think some mistake their commentary as objective and forget that they are, in fact, competitors, first, last and always. that simply HAS to color how they review what happened and how they talk about the other drivers involved.

Anonymous said...
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Geez said...

There is a new post up for your comments about TWIN from Monday night. Thanks.

JD

JD. I am unable to find it.

Karen said...

Geez said...

There is a new post up for your comments about TWIN from Monday night. Thanks.

JD

JD. I am unable to find it.


As of 3:58 p.m., it's the first post. This Week In NASCAR with Mikey and a NAPA dude.

Danny Guthrie Tallahasee Fl said...

I guess no one remembers mikey spining out Robby Gordon at New Hampshire a few years ago under caution - destroying Gordons car, which he owned and paid for. Mikey gets a day to think about what he will say on his tv show, and has his gang to back him up - Rustys brother, Shrader, Spencer? There is a reason these guys are on tv - they can't race on sunday. mikey really is a piece of @#$%^ like Gordon said.