Sunday, June 8, 2008

Monday Night NASCAR TV Match-Ups

Here we are already into the TNT portion of the Sprint Cup Series schedule. Pocono is now in the books along with the Nationwide Series race from Nashville and the Truck Series event from Texas. The Monday NASCAR TV shows will have a lot of content from which to draw.

First-up will be Allen Bestwick hosting the one hour edition of NASCAR Now on ESPN2 at 5:30PM. This week, Bestwick will be joined by Ricky Craven, Mike Massaro and Boris Said. That means Bestwick will once again be dealing with another first-time combination of panelists.

Craven and Johnny Benson have quickly become popular guests on this show. Craven has proven to have a solid presence on TV with a quick wit that matches-up well with Bestwick. Craven also works well with Massaro, who has really come into his own this season through this program.

The new card in the deck is Said. Once one of the most popular sports car racers in North America, Said's limited NASCAR experience has been working against him this season. Then came "the incident."

Once considered an affable and fun-loving type, Said's memorable rant against Marcos Ambrose earlier this season on NASCAR Now was a shocker.

With Ambrose on the program, Said refused to publicly make-up with Ambrose, who even wore a "Said-head" wig when he appeared on the show. Said went on a rant that contained information and emotion that did not need to appear on TV. Even the show host tried to get Boris back on the right track, but to no avail.

Regardless of the reality of Said's feelings, NASCAR Now was not the place to unleash a torrent of anger. Eventually, Ambrose had some choice words back for Said and even removed the wig. Ultimately, Ambrose charged Said with being a part-time racer with nothing to lose. That was a tough one to take.

Since that time, Said has kept a low profile and his return to this program after an oval race at Pocono is a surprise. It is even more surprising given that Craven is already on the program. Said's role is going to be hard to define.

Give the Coordinating Producer of this TV series a lot of credit. He stirs the pot on a weekly basis and challenges Bestwick to handle a new crew for the full hour. This mix of characters has been one of the most intriguing aspects of the Monday show.

Over at SPEED, This Week In NASCAR is showing signs of new life as the on-air dynamics of the panelists get sorted-out. Steve Byrnes has bravely plowed ahead with this program and is finally making headway.

This week, Michael Waltrip is back and will be joined by Greg Biffle. This combination has a very different relationship than the Waltrip and Chad Knaus pairing. Biffle is still very serious, and Waltrip continually drives him crazy by interfering and changing topics.

Byrnes has done a good job with these two of stepping-in and keeping the mood light even if the discussion is sometimes a bit heavy. This week, he may have to do a lot of stepping-in. Waltrip and Biffle both had big issues in the Sprint Cup race.

SPEED has kept this program "flipped" with the preview of Michigan coming first, and then the Pocono highlights and commentary coming after the first thirty minutes of the show. Some things just defy explanation.

Last week once again there was an added feature in the closing thirty minutes instead of allowing the panel to simply talk. This is the Achilles Heel of this program. There are three veteran NASCAR folks on the set and they are not allowed to simply communicate for any length of time.

This Week in NASCAR comes along at 8PM EDT for one hour on SPEED, and both NASCAR Now and TWIN repeat for the West Coast. TWIN re-airs at Midnight and NASCAR Now at 12:30AM Eastern.

If there is ever a problem with this re-air being dropped, please take a moment and email us here at The Daly Planet with the details. There will be full columns up about both these programs immediately after they air on Monday.

Feel free to offer your comments about the on-air talent line-ups or any other topic covered in this column on this post.

To add your opinion, just click on the COMMENTS button. The rules for posting are located on the right side of the main page. Thank you for taking the time to stop by.


Ritchie said...

I'm not holding high hopes for this Monday's shows. ESPN's choice of Boris Said is strange. As Mr. Daly stated, I can't see what he will be bringing to the disscussion. They usually have a very good mixture of guests on ESPN, but this week's discussion may sputter.

As for This Week In NASCAR, I have to disagree with Mr. Daly a bit. He said their should be more time alotted to discussion. I think with the panelist that TWIN puts together every week, they are better off with less time for discussion. Nothing good comes from having Mr. Waltrip talk more. If they change the panelist I could see giving more time for discussion, but since Mr. Waltrip has apparently earned tenure on the show, keep the talking to a minimum.

Lou,Kingston,NY said...

Good Morning JD,
Again, look forward to watching or doing the VCR deal w/NASCAR Now. I am sure that no matter who is on in what ever combination, Mr. B can handle it. And he has so far. TWIN is not on my schedule til I read on this blog that they are done flipping it, done wasting my time w/SPEED on this. As Paul H would say "Good Day".

Joan said...

A.B. is sure to have his hands full with Boris there tonight wonder if folks will be on edge.
Boris is a strange choice is putting it mildly, why bring him back? I understand having him for the Infineon, Watkins races - an oval? Hmmmm....
With the right mix like last year
TWIN with Ken Schrader & Waltrip talking was interesting - Mikey just talking is scary.Bif hasn't the quipability/humor of Ken to get Mikey back on track.
That "flip" thing is weird hopefully that science experiment doesn't come back.

SophiaZ123 said...


I MISS PAUL Harvey..they took his noon news off my local radio station recently but I digress.

I know some say get over it but the flip in TWIN is still the most annoying thing on that show so few even see the first 30 minutes..and if they fill the last 30 with canned video, useless.

I will watch NNow if I remember but I wish i would have never seen Said's rant...a few days after the racing incident and to be so angry,it was cringe TV.

after seeing Schrader do a report on SPEED Report last night and he was funny and delightful, it drove home how much TWIN has ruined Monday nights for me.

Jo from SC said...

I agree with Sophia. Seeing Schrader last night reminded me of what TWIN is missing--and just reinforced my impulse to skip TWIN, check here to see if something good happened, and videotape it on the overnight. (I do the same w/ NASCAR Now.) SPEED has programmed against the grain before with great success (who'd have thought Jimmy Spencer would make a good commentator?) and I wish they'd get the courage up to turn TWIN into something worth watching, instead of letting Mikey brownnose his way through the hour.

Lou,Kingston,NY said...

Yea, Soph123,
I did enjoy Kenny last night on SPEED Report. It does give us a different light on our sport. And you and I may be the few who enjoy it wo/the commerical aspect of the sport. Stay cool today.

Anonymous said...

@sophia--if you go to Mr. Harvey's site, they have links to listen to the shows :).

Yes a lot of people were and still are *very* disappointed in that rant and some still are. He didn't have to accept the apology but he at least could have acted like a decent human being. He didn't need to keep beating Marcos down like that.

I do wish they'd let Schrader play reporter more often. I really enjoy him when he gets to! He's a hot mess!

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

I'm looking forward to TWIN. To be honest, I am kinda liking the "backwards" format. With TNT's two pre-race shows, plus additional SPEED coverage, I'm a little done with "Pocono, Pocono, Pocono." I find it nice to look ahead and and get excited about next week, then when I'm amped up a little bit, we can get back into the details of the race that just happened with the second half of the show. I think if it was flipped around and the first half hour just picked up where the weekend coverage left off, I'd get bored and then skip the preview as just a commercial. So I like TWIN.

PS I don't work for Speed and Speed has not paid me to post this comment. :)

SophiaZ123 said...

Well I may have to tune into the first 3 minutes or at half past the is all over Jayski MWR is laying off people due to finances. Whether you are a MW fan or not this should come as depressing news. It's becoming more difficult for ANYBODY to keep up with the ludicrous rules of NASCAR...I wonder if NN will bring this up...not to mention the horrible COT that caused more heat exhaustion probably than most cars in recent history.

I wonder how Biffle survived with no fresh air in his helmet? :(

Lou,Kingston,NY said...

Thanks Soph123, I also may have to do the 3/30 deal.Hey JD, that is it for those of us who do not care for the flip on TWIN. It is the 3/30 deal. Yes, I know I should get by this. lol. But it is becoming a weekly joke. Will read about it later or see it later on NASCAR NOW. Thanks Soph, have another cup, nice comment on TV coverage.

Anonymous said...

Do you think that Boris is on NN because of contract obligations? I can't see any other reason. The Marcos incident should've kept him off the air at least until a road course. I'm taping it to watch later, so I don't have a commemt about the show yet.

SophiaZ123 said...

Ok somebody help my Swiss Cheese brain...but didn't Mon N Now used to be all conversation?? This video filler stuff and interview in the middle of the show is breaking the momentum?

Or have they done this all along and I am too spaced to remember? I thought they spoke with the winners on Tuesdays' show?

Also their discussion on the fire responders was more confusing than the statement read on TNT...wonder why they did not just read NASCAR's release on TNT....AB justifying it but I think they TOTALLY missed the point most of us had....but Boris Said thought in the end the response was slow...I felt like they were arguing different aspects than we were on the board yesterday.

NOW they are going to have on Vickers???? But until then more video of the races.........ZZZzzzz this heat and humidity is making me a crankypants.

I wanted CONVERSATION but somebody at ESPN is tweaking this show to resemble TWIN.
Not good.

ph, Thanks for the comments, Lou.
And gymmie, I need to find Paul Harvey's site again..but it's not the same as having it on in all the radios in the house as I putter around. :-)

p.s. about 15 minutes of video stuff?!@#$%^? as of 6.14pm

Richard in N.C. said...

JD- I must disagree with your characterization of Boris Said's previous appearance on N-Now -- and I am a Boris Said fan.

I do not believe he ranted. As I recall, he was very calm and never raised his voice. His point was that Ambrose wrecked him on purpose, which a review of the tape will show as Said said.

Ambrose clearly won the PR war - but he was not being truthful from my re-viewing of the incident. Clearly Ambrose should have been turning right for the curve, but he continued to turn left and ran Said off the track. Ambrose apologized for the occurence, but not for having caused it purposefully. Not having full-time sponsorship, Boris Said had much more at stake in Mexico than Ambrose.

I have not seen the show yet, but I am looking forward to it. At the same time, I do think it would have been well to have a crew chief on the show to speak more knowledgeably about technical and strategy matters. I'm not sure any of the panelists were at Pocono.

Daly Planet Editor said...

There is a new post up about the Monday edition of NASCAR Now.


Anonymous said...

Boris hasn't learned that most NASCAR fans don't like bullies. I have been a Said fan for years, still am, but I want to see good sportsmanship in my man. The totality of the racer is what makes us their dedicated fans.

I like Michael Waltrip, but he does need to be paired with Ken Schraeder, who should be a regular part of the weekend broadcast crews. KS is great! And needs to be around until MS stops the owner-driver madness and retires to the booth ... he's too stressed out right now to be at the top of his game.

Anonymous said...

I guess as long as I am blowing smoke up someones butt my posts will show up but if I give my true opinion and the blog administrator don't agree with he just removes my post. he to must be a jerk.