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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