Monday, October 27, 2008

Knaus Plays A NASCAR TV Doubleheader

Monday's NASCAR TV started at 5PM with the one hour "roundtable" version of ESPN2's NASCAR Now.

Allen Bestwick has been ESPN's ironman this season and he played host this week to Ray Evernham, Boris Said and Mike Massaro. While Carl Edwards winning in Atlanta was the first order of business, it was clear that the panel was itching to talk about the big decision made by Chad Knaus late in the race.

After the highlights were run, Bestwick welcomed Knaus to the program by satellite from Charlotte. His interview went well, and Knaus was able to review for Bestwick the decision-making process that helped him and Jimmie Johnson to wind-up with a second place finish in dramatic fashion.

As Knaus talked to Bestwick, there was something very familiar about his surroundings. While NASCAR Now has a bad habit of not identifying the location of the program's guests, this one was easy to figure out. The bright lighting and the red stripe on the wall behind Knaus told veteran NASCAR fans that someone was double-dipping on this Monday afternoon.

Knaus was comfortably sitting on SPEED's This Week In NASCAR set while doing a liveshot with NASCAR Now on ESPN2. That may be the ultimate in guest sharing. The only thing that could have made the Knaus appearance on ESPN2 more fun is if Michael Waltrip had made a surprise appearance.

Bestwick led a tight hour with good conversation, but this panel misses Ricky Craven and that is now very clear. Boris Said is a great guy, but he is not really active in the sport right now and is being asked to comment on issues with which he is not familiar.

The only blemish in this show was ESPN refusing to promote the fact that this week SPEED is stepping-in to covering the Nationwide Series practice and qualifying. Imagine, dumping the on-air promotion for your only exclusive NASCAR series because another network is helping with coverage. Talk about a bad decision at this time of the year.

Knaus then changed into his SPEED shirt and teamed with Michael Waltrip and host Steve Byrnes for This Week in NASCAR. The show is relaxed and this week Waltrip gave Knaus a lot of room to operate. Credit goes to Waltrip for taking a backseat this week and being an asset to the program with his experience.

Byrnes is still tasked with far too many sponsored features including the goofy Chase profile. This week the TWIN gang had a very informative discussion about the Atlanta race because two of the major stories were on the set.

Waltrip had taken the ESPN on ABC crew by surprise with his consistent charges up through the field on Sunday and it seemed that he may finally get a moment in the sunshine.

As fans have seen before with the high-riding veteran, a tangle with the wall ended his day. Byrnes and Knaus were supportive, but let Waltrip off the hook where his multiple late race incidents were concerned.

Tony Stewart's car chief was very briefly profiled in this program and then Stewart's miserable weekend in Atlanta was next. Once again, this strange feature forced both the Nationwide and Craftsman Truck Series highlights to be extremely brief. TWIN should have recapped the new sponsorship of the Truck Series by Camping World, given the fact that all the races are on SPEED.

Humpy Wheeler was along to talk about the huge track called Texas World Speedway that exists in College Station, TX. I had the pleasure of working on both ARCA and SCCA events at that track. It was amazing to see a structure that big in the middle of nowhere. Wheeler's insight continues to suggest a TV series for him in the future.

Monday proved to be a good day for NASCAR TV and a very good day for Chad Knaus. His professional profile is at an all-time high and his first season on TWIN has allowed him to show a part of his personality that most fans had not seen before.

Both shows will be back next week. Bestwick will have Evernham, Said and Massaro returning at 5PM ET. Byrnes will have Chad Knaus back next week but Waltrip is taking the night off. SPEED promises Waltrip's replacement will be a special guest, so your guess is as good as mine. DW anyone?

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


Tracy D said...

Why didn't anyone follow up on MW's throwaway comment (? was it really an aside) that Logano might not be in the 20 next year? I believe he mentioned Spencer as the source.

Sophia said...

I wondered about the Spencer comment, too

Also MIKEY I will so MISS you next week!! What's up with him missing two shows....I LOVE when he is on the show.

Could it be dear Schrader? Nah, we couldn't be that lucky.

Don't know if it was my fatigue but didn't they wait a few minutes to shove, I mean put the Chase piece in the show? I enjoyed the conversation tonight a lot.

I wish this show were on year round. Monday nights with Steve and Mikey and company is fun.

Matt said...

Random note here, but that Texas track looked awesome.. too bad they don't race there.

Entertaining TWIN tonight.. I also wonder about the Logano comment.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Here is my total guess short list:
Jimmie Johnson

Anyone else?


majorshouse said...

That track in Texas was awesome and it is a shame that we don't race there. I would rather see Ricky Craven anytime over Boris Sedd. I think that Boris tries to be a know it all and knows little or nothing and his ego is right up there with Rusty Wallace's. I did not get to see TWIN tonight and would like to know what they mean by Lagono not being in the 20 car next year. I thought tht was a done deal with sponsorship and everything else that goes along with it. If the source is Jimmy Spencer, I would suspect its validity.

Anonymous said...

I was happy to see Krista and Ralph Sheheen co-hosting The Speed Report last night. They worked very well together a few years back on a Speed show and they still work well together. :)
I heard or read somewhere that Logano would probably be part-time next year in Cup and I cannot think of who they were matching him with...? (If it comes to me I will add it here.) :)
Dave Despain was on a roll last night with his election campaign and celebrating Robin Miller's birthday with Junior taking him around Charlotte Wednesday for "ragging on" Nascar. :) Sometimes you would just like to be a fly on the sun visor, but I don't think that they make helmets and firesuits that small. :) Marybeth
PS I liked Stacy Compton on NN last year as a guest.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Greg Biffle again, but Greg seemed a little upset with Jimmie with the start of yesterday's race. So maybe not. Probably another Chase driver, I'd personally love to see Tony.

rb218 said...

Those are all good guesses JD. In my mind, Jimmie Johnson makes the most sense for the special guest out of those you listed. It'd be interesting to see if he and Chad have a different dynamic away from the racetrack.

Glenn said...

Didn't watch NN. Kinda glad I didn't, I really had my fill of the ESPN love affair with the 48Sunday.
Mikey's comment about the 20 car was probably nixed. It had already been clarified by Bob Dillner on the Speed report Sunday. Mikey must have opened mouth before getting the story.
Not to exciting a show for me this week. I usually think Mikey is to loud and over the top, but the show is kinda dull without his excitement.
The special driver/crew-member segments seem out of place. Could do without them and replace with more on the trucks and Nationwide cars. I now know why Tony was so quite on the radio. You could hear crickets chirping most of the time.
It would have been classy to had a clip of David R. after the race. Following up on Mikey repeating DR's comment. David was disapointed, but showing someone on tv with those values, I think, would have been good for the sport and tv.
I do agree Steve has TOO many promo's to do. Does it really cost that much to get Chad and Michael to do the show? I guess they get paid, but I wouldn't think it would be much. They both should get more in sponsorship than the job would pay. (just my thinking)
As said elsewhere, TWIN had another opportunity to promote the only NASCAR races they show, and with the news of a new sponsor it would have been an excellent time for it. But they blew it, again.
I'll still take a good or bad Speed program over any ESPN show. Well racin' related show, I still don't watch anything on Speed during the week.

Doug Richert ?
Humpy Wheeler ?
Dale Jarrett ?
Larry Mac ?

Anonymous said...

My guesses for next week's TWIN, in order, are Humpy, DW, or Robin Miller. Wonder if next week could be a try-out for Humpy?

Karen said...

ams fan,

Can't be DJ. He works at that other network.

Karen said...


Will Speed let you know on Sat or Sun who it's going to be? What's your guess about that?

Anonymous said...

I know this is the wrong place for this, but I read TDP every day, and just now got the chance to read todays post.
I think was was last week it was said that PE would get back the #44and if Kyle even ran a part time deal it would in the #45, and I thought if Chad got the ride it would be in the #44. This would be the respectful thing to do for Kyle, and Adam. I guess BV said no.
I like Kyle, and he wants to still drive, but I think he should get on with the TV stuff, and the camp. Great comments by all on this Petty deal.

Dot said...

TWIN was really good tonight. I'm really liking Mikey & Chad. I forgot to DVR NN. Since I read here earlier that Boris was on, I'm not sad that I missed it. Let's hope he finds a ride (not NASCAR) next year and we won't have to see him. Craven would be a good fit. And doesn't he live up there somewhere? I agree w/Majorshouse about his comment about Boris. Btw, did he wear a tie today?

Interesting tidbit about Logano. Are they finally figuring it out that he may not be ripe enough for Cup? I think it's a good move to pair him with a vet. Who might that be? My first thought was Bobby Labonte. He may need a ride next year with what's going on w/Petty and Dodge. I don't think he burned any bridges at Gibbs. Stranger things have happened.

My dream guest for TWIN would be Ken Schrader.

Anonymous said...

What's the deal with Evernham? Don't get me wrong, I like Ray but how can a man with the knowledge he has sit back and watch the 2 drivers he recruited, that showed loyalty to him through the most difficult year of his life, drop like rocks and not do anything to help these guys with their race teams? If he is still part of GEM, and he says he is, he needs to get over the "Jeff Gordon" loss he seems to be reverting back to and fix the problems happening to #9 and #19. These guys handed their future to him and he has dumped them in the trash and as a fan of the teams I am sickened by his praises of the other drivers while these drivers fight ill-handling cars and spin-out across the track. Thanks for the returned loyalty Ray! The fans appreciate it.

Elisabeth said...

Hello from Yerevan!! (I was in Moscow earlier, but now you can add Armenia to list of readership countries!!) I can no longer get the SPEED channel from here (was using TVU in Moscow), so rely totally on your posts to "watch" the show. If any of you have any ideas (or know of other online sources) to see the show, I'd love to know.

As I'm a huge MW fan, I guess it won't be so bad for me when I miss next week's show.

Anonymous said...

"the only thing that would have made Knaus appearance more fun was if Michael Waltrip would have made a surprise appearance"

Come on guys, whenever Mikey doesn't manage to get in front of any camera, is a surprise!
It may come as a surprise, but there are those of us that hit the mute. Any time this no talent shill is on.


Anonymous said...

My first guess for next week's TWIN guest was Jimmie Johnson...I believe Chad had said he would bring a special guest. What a treat it would be to get a little insight on how the 48 works its magic. Hey, guys, this year's championship battle is history making...why not spotlight a driver who had been doing his job under the radar for so long. He deserves it!


majorshouse said...

It will be kind of nice not seeing Mikey. I used to be afan, but he seems to think that he has arrived and let's face it, He is not his brother and his blantant goffiness is just too over the top and I have better things to do than listen to that.

Anonymous said...

If you all feel that two from the 48 would be too much, then Johnny Benson, Ken Schrader, or DW would be great. DW, as a past Cup Champion, would bring a lot to the table, and it sure would be good to hear his views while history is being made. The fact that someone is even in the running for a 3-peat is history making in itself.

Ricky Craven is another one I would like to see, but he is on another network.


Anonymous said...

I would like to see Jimmie interviewed. I would like to hear more of his personal life. We got a lot of insight into Jr thru his "Changing Gears", it would be fun to know the real JJ. By the way, did he ever sign a long-term contract with HMS?

Their whole garage is kind of interesting--there don't seem to be any prima donnas. Is that because of Rick?

Daly Planet Editor said...

I really enjoyed when Jimmie Johnson was driving in the Truck Series race for Randy Moss and he decided he would be Jim. SPEED interviewed him as a new driver from California and I thought the whole thing was hilarious.

Maybe the fact that Chad has tried SPEED and found it to be a comfortable home will spread a little bit in the #48 camp and Jimmie will be on the show.

Just a guess!


Anonymous said...

What a treat it would be to get a little insight on how the 48 works its magic.

Yeah, because we haven't heard that 27 times already on every single NASCAR-related TV show, radio show, and website this year...enough.

Anonymous said...

If the source is Jimmy Spencer, I would suspect its validity.

Agreed. He has a track record of speaking without thinking and mkaing his opinion sound as if it's fact.

Anonymous said...

It was a solid show last night. When Michael made the comment about the #20 and Spencer, I wondered if there was some sort of inside joke or reference to something the others on the panel understood even if we didn't, but not necessarily that he was literally saying that according to Spencer Logano wouldn't be in the #20 next season.

Sure will miss Michael when he's not on next week! Jimmie Johnson was very loose and relaxed on the XM show he had last season - he showed not only a lot more personality than he usually does at the track but a great sense of humor as well. So I think he'd be great as a guest panelist on TWiN... but only if he was as willing to show that much personality.

Greg said...

First, I remind everyone that Spencer was the first to break the news about the Chase on Inside Nextel Cup after a conversation with Brian France and Alan Bestwick thought he was nuts.

I know who the special guest is!!!

Kazoo from the Jetsons!!


Anonymous said...

First, I remind everyone that Spencer was the first to break the news about the Chase on Inside Nextel Cup after a conversation with Brian France and Alan Bestwick thought he was nuts.

What's that phrase?

Even a blind squirrel sometimes finds a nut.

Yeah, that's it.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe there's no discussion about the changes at MW's team. They hire Hallam from McLaren F1, a talented experienced guy in F1 but no Cup experience, then fire Warren...yet no mention of any of this!

Daly Planet Editor said...


I can refer you to several TDP columns talking about this "wall of silence" for guys like Waltrip, Ray Evernham and Brad Daugherty.

As one earlier poster said, how can you have Ray on NASCAR Now on Monday and not talk about GEM? The whole thing is crumbling, rumors are everywhere and yet he is talking about other drivers as if he is not connected with the sport. It is just flat-out unfair to the viewers.

Same goes for MW. He gets a free pass this season on the new TWIN unless there is something he wants to promote and I just think that is also not right.

The final example is Kyle Petty. The reason I wrote the article about his hat is because no one asked him about it.

If ESPN hires Ray next season again, the network will have three fulltime owners in the Infield Studio. Something has to change.


Anonymous said...

It is my humble opinion that listening to Ricky Craven or Boris Said is the equivalent of watching paint dry....

Anonymous said...

How could Michael be asked about Nick Hughes replacing Eric Warren as technical director at MWR when the announcement wasn't made until today and TWiN tapes yesterday? And just how many fans actually even care about personnel moves that don't involve drivers, crew chiefs or owners? As a fan of Michael and MWR I'd love it if TWiN had an entire segment or more every single week devoted to nothing but discussion about Michael and MWR - after all, they're involved in every Nationwide and Cup race so technically they make news every single week, and Michael certainly has plenty to say on his XM show about what's happening for himself and his teams so he seems more than willing to talk at length about everything. But I'm just guessing there would be quite a few complaints from those who already think Michael talks too much about his own interests from his teams to Toyota to his sponsors. Seems to me this is one of those things that no matter it's handled, whether the questions are asked or not, and no matter how forthcoming the answers are, someone will say they're still handling it wrong.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 2:29PM,

Seriously? You don't like Craven?


Anonymous said...

I'll watch twin next week now I know Waltrip won't be on, best news I've heard in a long time.

Anonymous said...

Every time I am channel surfing and come across TVLAND and The Beverly Hillbillies are on , I can't help it but Michael Waltrip comes to mind. He would have fit right in on that show.

Dot said...

Kazoo was on the Flintstones, not the Jetsons. Just wanted to clear that up.

Mikey is the only original from IWC, INC and now TWIN. It wouldn't be the same w/o him. I like Mikey.

Anonymous said...

Okay, but he's actually Gazoo, not Kazoo, which is a musical instrument, sort of.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 5:52PM,

Waltrip reminds you of Mr. Drysdale?


Newracefan said...

I thought I recognized the chair Chad was sitting in but couldn't believe they would film him from the Speed set but the shot was very tight which is unusual so I was really wondering. NN needs Ricky Craven or JB to be there and not Boris he just doesn't know what going on anymore. I though TWIN was great, I was surprised since Mikey's day ended badly and Reut's wasn't much better. Did enjoyed the car chief piece(I always wondered what they actually did) but it didn't belong on TWIN and shortened the NW and Truck coverage. I would be thrilled to see JJ as the special guest but some how I doubt it, but maybe Jim from the Truck race can make it.

Anonymous said...

Hello again,

"Anonymous said...
I heard or read somewhere that Logano would probably be part-time next year in Cup and I cannot think of who they were matching him with...? (If it comes to me I will add it here.) :)
October 27, 2008 10:29 PM"

In the article I read, it speculated that Martin Truex would be in the #20 next year...which I thought was odd as he just resigned with DEI, still don't remember where I read it though.