Monday, September 15, 2008
Bowyer Steals Biffle's Thunder
The theme of this week where TV is concerned might simply be "expect the unexpected." This Week In NASCAR on SPEED has worked hard all year to make itself into a program that fans can once again enjoy.
This Monday, TWIN had a very unexpected pleasure. Loudon winner Greg Biffle was on the panel with Michael Waltrip and host Steve Byrnes. Biffle had been struggling and this was going to be a great moment for him on SPEED. Then, a strange thing happened. His name was Clint Bowyer.
After a brief conversation with both Biffle and Waltrip about the weekend, Byrnes normally turns to the race highlights and the fun begins. This week, Byrnes introduced a two-segment feature on Clint Bowyer. Fans first saw Bowyer at the NASCAR media day in New York City and then a second segment aired following Bowyer through his weekend in Loudon.
It was not until twenty minutes into the program that Biffle and Waltrip finally got to participate in their own show. This was especially ironic because once again the pre-recorded segments really took the momentum out of the episode. A panelist had actually won the first Chase race and TWIN viewers had just spent a long time watching a feature about Clint Bowyer.
Byrnes led the team through the highlights and Biffle talked about a lot of interesting topics where Roush-Fenway Racing was concerned. Changes on the pit crew and sharing his set-up with Carl Edwards for the race were two good notes. Once the highlights were over, the gang was back in good spirits but thirty minutes of the show was now gone.
A shot-in-the-arm for this Monday was the second appearance of Humpy Wheeler. His pre-recorded monologue about Bob Bahre and Bruton Smith was something only veteran NASCAR fans could understand and this was the right place for it. The NASCAR Media Group should have fun expanding and working on Wheeler's role in this show. Hopefully, he will return for 2009.
Waltrip had fun with the Truck highlights and that is exactly what the series needed. An taped interview with Ron Hornaday should have been included, especially after what Hornaday dealt with during the week before he dominated and won the race.
The two veterans on the set then talked about Dover. It was very informative and showed exactly why this show fills a void. Waltrip was fun and entertaining even as Biffle added the facts about today's racing at the Monster Mile. The panel had a good feeling that Biffle might have a shot at making it two in a row.
A look back at the 2007 Dover race was well-edited and showed-off once again what The NASCAR Media Group does best. Reminding viewers of what is coming up next by using the images and sound from the media coverage of the event has been a trademark of NMG.
It still is not clear why the Bowyer segments were in this show or even what they meant. Biffle should have been front-and-center and the highlights from Loudon should have lead the program. After a long battle this year to show the race review before any other program features, it certainly was an interesting call to change the order this week.
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