Monday, November 3, 2008

Chad Knaus Watches His Pain Again

Host Steve Byrnes did his best to make it as pleasant as possible, but there was no way for Chad Knaus to escape it. In his new role as a panelist on This Week In NASCAR, Knaus gets to watch the Sprint Cup Series highlights and offer his veteran comments.

Needless to say, from the green flag to the checkered flag in Texas, there was nothing but pain and frustration for Knaus. "How many times do we have to see this?" said a smiling Knaus as the footage of Carl Edwards passing Jimmie Johnson rolled by from several angles.

Normally, regular panelist Michael Waltrip would be on-hand to assist Knaus with his painful journey. This week, however, Waltrip was very busy playing golf in California and it was NASCAR veteran Dave Blaney on the set. Blaney has a great dry sense of humor and it worked quite well on this program.

To add insult to injury, the ridiculous "Chase profile" this week was actually on Carl Edwards and the 99 team. These video profiles have served absolutely no purpose and taken valuable time from this heavily sponsored show. The Edwards footage was re-purposed from an earlier feature on Edwards visiting a children's cancer hospital.

The remainder of the feature followed Edwards through the televised practice and then the Texas race. It was the scanner chatter mixed with the radio and TV call of the race that fans have seen in each program. It included the mandatory shot of Edwards' mom but did not offer anything new.

Again this week, TWIN recapped both the Craftsman Truck and Nationwide Series highlights. A new feature popped-up with the SPEED truck announcers offering a preview of the Phoenix race. This is the type of synergy that SPEED should be employing for every Truck Series event with this program.

The preview of Phoenix offered Blaney's comments that this track reminded him of Richmond. Room to race and two grooves were the key elements of the track from the driver's perspective. Knaus got to smile when Byrnes led to the highlights of last season where the #48 team won the race.

Humpy Wheeler was again featured on the show, this time with a background profile on Phoenix International Raceway. He tried hard to tie-in the Native Americans who originally lived in Arizona with the current crop of NASCAR drivers. Somehow, he ended up lobbying to get the Polish victory lap back in the sport.

Programs like this remind regular viewers of the role that Waltrip plays on this program. Several times, both Knaus and Byrnes referenced Waltrip in this program and it was clear they both missed his personality and enthusiasm. The only original remaining member of this long-running Monday night series returns next week for the final two programs.

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AMS fan said...

Not impressed tonight.
The more I hear Humpy Wheeler, the more I hope he gets a show. HW was the highlight for me tonight.

Alan said...

I thought it was a great show, I loved Dave's idea for a victory celebration of rolling the car down the banked turn. It is nice to get a break from Waltrip sometimes.

Matt said...

I love Blaney and his sense of humor.. also liked the Polish victory lap mention..

Robyn said...

I'm biased. I thought it was an excellent show. Steve did a GREAT job making sure that Dave was included in the conversation. As we found out, it's not only Mikey that has off the wall ideas that can make Chad shake his head. Dave's wicked sense of humor came out, and that was great to see from someone whose future is uncertain at this time. The hour flew by for me, but then again I can't get enough Dave.

The review of the race was good and both Dave and Chad had good insights. I was disappointed that there was no question for Dave to answer.

Once again, this shows how comfortable the drivers are with the SPEED crew. For someone who has not been in front of the camera too often over the past 9 years, Blaney appeared really relaxed and comfortable on set. I attribute that to Steve, Chad, and the rest of the crew.

Mindy said...

The show was okay. I am a fan of Dave Blaney, love his dry sense of humor too. But the show, Chad and Steve were definitely missing Michael. At times they looked a little lost without him. Let's face it, Waltrip makes the show fun.

Newracefan said...

Enjoyed the show, yes I missed Mikey but thought Dave did an excellent job. The video piece on Carl took too much time and thankfully they had the boys from the track about the truck race because I'm not sure Chad saw any of it. So is anybody buying the air pressure as the reason for the 48 to be running so bad at Texas. Me not so much.

Sophia said...

Well I missed my Mikey but I MUST TELL YOU, if we could not have on Schrader, it was SO REFRESHING to have a driver that's rarely mentioned on tv! I loved seeing "Phantom Blaney" as I have dubbed him, on my tv for an hour...I loved his humor, he seemed relaxed. Steve was great at including him into the conversation....Chad did well...I thought Dave blended nicely.

Frankly, I LOVE seeing a seldom scene driver on my tv!!

While not an active Blaney fan, I always respected him as a driver and after tonight, really saw more of his personality. Plus since big issues during his race never makes it to ESPU, I have an email buddy that keeps me updated on the Blaney scoop and LOVE IT.;-)

I love many of the drivers and even if they can't always be in the Chase or young guns club, they are still worthy of face time aka 'car time' during a race.

I did find it ironic, when Blaney had that FRIGHTENING wreck a couple months ago, it was virtually overlooked, even in replays. ALL FOLKS SPOKE OF was how "lucky" Carl Edwards was to miss the wreck?!?!? To find out later, Blaneys' car was wrecked badly and lucky he was not hurt. So who won yesterday and featured in two segments? Carl.

I liked this show tonight except too many canned pieces again...sigh (sorry Steve & gang, I know it ain't your fault) but when will those fat cats in suits realize we want to hear more of the voices on the panel.

This Chase two parter stuff is a complete waste of time and I did not appreciate the promo of NAS CON either but I know the guys on the show are JUST doing their job.

Sadly, I have decided, I am tired of the races and ESPN's coverage, but I am going to miss GREATLY, that they finally have the show in order. Or the SPEED guys in general but glad they will be home with family for a couple months.

I am gonna miss Steve, Mikey, Chad and Greg. Oh, and personally, I think Dave Blaney would make a good sub.

Anonymous said...

I like Dave Blaney,but he's a poor fit on Twin. Twin started out badly this season,improved steadily and now appears as fluff. Comparing Twin to Monday night's Nascar Now is telling. Twin desparately needs Bestwick or someone like him. And enough of Mikey. Byrnes seems to lose focus and just goes through the motions.

ri88girl said...

Twin has always in my mind been the 'old school' answer to ESPN's NN. I was really happy to see Dave Blaney, what a refreshing choice. I agree that Mikey was sorely missed, but I have always thought they need to get rid of the set pieces and have a 'hot seat' guest again each week. This would bring us back to the race shop feel of IWC which is what I think we all liked best. Some times change is good, but if it aint broke...

One question I had was does anyone else sense that rather than trying to compete with NN, Twin is instead trying to dove tail? Which I think is the best answer to the compatition, if there even is one.

Deborah said...

I like Blaney and I liked that he was the guest panelist as opposed to a more higher profile driver - it's good to hear from a mix of drivers including some that don't always get a lot of media attention like Blaney. However, I found the show lacking without Michael and I ended up not paying too much attention by the end of the show.

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed the show last night. Any Nascar program with a respite from Michael is a good thing. It was amazing to watch Chad squirm without moving a muscle.

Anonymous said...

The show was ok. It really needs Mikey. Blaney has a nicely warped sense of humor ( rolling the car for a victory celebration lol) But it still missed something (Mikey & Schrader)
HW needs his own show. I didn't quite understand the Indian connection to the track.
JD you are so right about those "driver/team" spots that have been stuck in. Odd Wads.
Don't fit. Hopefully those won't be back next year.

I wish they had talked about "secret signals" or did I miss it?

Steve L. said...

Personally, I thought Dave Blaney looked like he had that deer in the headlights look. Not very good in front of the camera. Just my opinion. If Chad and Steve didn't try to include him in topic discussion, he would have just sat there quietly in his chair.

With all the pre-taped segments on the show, you could almost close your eyes and think you were watching ESPN.....Yuk!

Not impressed with this one Speed.

Anonymous said...

@steve - Biffle had that same deer in the headlights look when he first started.

Vicky D said...

I missed Waltrip also but thought at least that Dave Blaney kept his end up. Chad is really getting animated I laughed at him several times when he joked about some things. And Steve seems comfortable with the show now, I thought it was a pretty good show.