Sunday, June 15, 2008
An All Wallace Monday On ESPN2
Rusty Wallace and his brother Mike spent Sunday at ESPN's headquarters in Connecticut. They appeared on NASCAR Now in the morning with Nicole Manske and then followed that up by helping ESPNEWS with the post-race analysis of MIS.
Monday night, brother Kenny will join the crew to make-up the three person panel that comprises the "roundtable" edition of NASCAR Now. Allen Bestwick hosts this fast-paced and very popular show that features a new line-up of panelists every week.
The program airs at 5:30PM Eastern, but in the past guests like the Wallace's have made appearances on First Take, ESPNEWS's The Hot List and ESPN Radio when they are in the building for NASCAR Now.
With this family not exactly known for their shy and quiet nature, it should be a rather raucous time to see this trio on-the-air. Kenny is well-known as the host of RaceDay and Victory Lane on SPEED. In ESPN's first season, this would have stopped the Wallace brothers show idea right in its tracks.
One of the most positive elements of this season's NASCAR coverage on ESPN has been the network's embracing of the multi-network concept for the good of the sport. Since February, there has been no problem mentioning SPEED or Fox or any of the other NASCAR media partners. In fact, many shows on SPEED and ESPN make a point to promote the other networks race offerings.
The brothers Wallace should be fun for Allen Bestwick. He has known this family for a long time and is currently in the middle of his best season on TV. Bestwick is the captain of this show, and his ideas and suggestions have resulted in a wonderful mix of NASCAR personalities parading through the set this season.
Bestwick has already made ESPN's position clear on the pending civil lawsuit against NASCAR. He and other ESPN announcers have carefully stated the known facts and then told viewers the network would follow-up when something new was known. This is not an issue for the Wallace gang, and certainly Bestwick will not offer it for discussion.
In each Monday show, there are usually two guests interviewed by satellite. One of them is often the winner of the Sunday race. If NASCAR Now can land Dale Earnhardt Jr. and let him be interviewed by the three Wallace brothers, the results could be memorable. A good suggestion for a second guest might be Mike's daughter Chrissy, who wants to make a Nationwide Series start as a driver this season and compete against dad.
Over on SPEED, it will be Michael Waltrip and Chad Knaus who will be joining host Steve Byrnes for another edition of This Week in NASCAR. Waltrip and Knaus have just started to jell, and because of their very diverse personalities have a lot of potential on this program. Regardless of your feeling on the preview before review issue, the show has started to come along nicely. It airs at 8PM.
Both these shows should make for some good viewing as everyone continues to talk about Junior and his win. Certainly, there will be some more stories developing from the race before these shows get recorded for air on Monday. There will be columns about both shows posted here shortly after they finish airing.
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