Monday, May 19, 2008
"TWIN" Continues To Find Its Footing
Steve Byrnes and company got off to a fast start with This Week In NASCAR on Monday. Joining Byrnes on the panel were Michael Waltrip and Greg Biffle.
This week, before the Coke 600 preview, the panel ran quickly through the All-Star action from Saturday night. They added video highlights and extended the conversation for several minutes.
This allowed Byrnes to ask the right questions of his two guests. Biffle talked tires and Waltrip talked about the COT and clear air. Both guests were emphatic in talking about the struggles of the teams with the COT cars.
Once again, Waltrip used his sense of humor to talk about his own struggles in the Sprint Showdown. Some small changes meant to help the car with performance turned instead into a straight pathway to the back of the pack.
This one segment aimed at the previous race really helped ease the transition to the extended preview of the Coke 600. Beginning with the added test session, the panel then moved into full preview mode. Biffle gave way to Waltrip as an owner about the hassle of the test vs. the reward.
The historic footage of David Pearson was a nice start to the edited feature on the history of the Lowe's Motor Speedway. As usual, the NASCAR Media Group prepared an outstanding feature with footage not seen on other NASCAR TV programs. The follow-up conversation with the panel "paid off" the issue of future champions.
Moving to the review of the All-Star race, it was clear the panel did not like AJ Allmendinger's actions where Elliott Sadler was concerned. The comments were low-key, but the message was clear. It was an interesting way to get the message across.
There had to be a Dale Jarrett tribute, and it was going to be interesting to hear Michael Waltrip's comments. Waltrip chose to focus on the fact that Jarrett has remained a family man committed to the things in life away from racing that are important. His summary was that DJ had remained the same person regardless of the amount of success he achieved in the sport.
The panel finished-off the All-Star discussion with good comments from both panelists. Then, the fun began with talk about the unfortunate burnout competition. As Biffle said, since he was the only one that actually followed the rules the competition was not all that hard to win.
The extended feature from NMG using the scanners, radio and TV announcers from the All-Star race was even better with Biffle on the set. He was the perfect person to follow-up this feature with his comments as one of the race contenders.
After a brief review of the Truck Series, the fan questions brought-up topics like Sam Hornish and his "crab" car. One thing for certain is that between Biffle and Waltrip, almost everything NASCAR can get answered completely.
This program had a relaxed and friendly feel that had been missing from this series. Waltrip seems at ease, and Biffle continues to contribute good information because often times he was in the mix himself. It may have helped that the Producer allowed the panelists to talk a bit more about the race from the previous weekend first.
This one little touch really allowed the show to get "cranked up" and the conversation to begin flowing. Hopefully, this can continue after the Coke 600 and for the rest of the season. There should be plenty of highlights and plenty of stories next Monday on This Week In NASCAR.
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