Sunday, February 22, 2009

Does Anyone Miss "Tradin' Paint?"


Since the 2007 season one of the favorite topics here at TDP has been the SPEED TV series Tradin' Paint. This show has been the scene of some of the most memorable NASCAR TV moments in recent years.

Ray Dunlap was suspended from SPEED and forced to apologize after candid comments on this series. While guests like Mike Mulhern, Randy Pemberton and Humpy Wheeler took their turn in the "media" chair, it was the pairing of Kyle Petty and scenedaily.com's Bob Pockrass that provided real fireworks.

On one episode Pockrass dismissed the chances of Juan Montoya winning a race in 2008. Petty forcefully reminded him that racing luck plays a big role and in theory any driver could win on any Sunday. "Does that include you?" asked Pockrass.

Later in that same program, Pockrass basically disagreed with Petty on every topic from Cup drivers in the Nationwide Series to the future of the COT. Petty just lost it on national TV. He said the NASCAR print media was full of BS and that Pockrass owned his own smoke machine. The sole purpose of this device was for Pockrass to blow smoke up the rear-ends of NASCAR fans on a very regular basis.

Veteran journalists like David Poole, Holly Cain and Liz Clarke have negotiated their way through this program with style. One popular guest, however, has used her rather blunt style to become one of the most talked-about media members on the panel.

Jenna Fryer from the Associated Press pulls no punches when she talks about NASCAR. While that style may come across one way in print, it came across in a very different way on Tradin' Paint. Unfortunately, that did not sit well with Petty.

Veteran host John Roberts often did his best to keep things under control, but Fryer and Petty butted heads on a wide range of racing topics. Click here for a recap of one memorable episode.

"When does Jenna get to talk?" asked Fryer after Petty and Roberts dominated the conversation early in a show. "With the stuff you write, go ahead and talk," answered Petty. Kyle took every opportunity possible to advance the agenda that the NASCAR media often created stories just to satisfy their own needs.

This program was more than just fireworks, it was the only regular opportunity to see the print and Internet journalists who work the NASCAR beat on TV.

While ESPN2's NASCAR Now hosts several reporter versions of the Monday roundtable, Tradin' Paint came right from the track with the men and women of the media who had just left the garage area. The news was fresh and the perspectives were diverse.

This season, without explanation or discussion, SPEED cancelled Tradin' Paint . The unofficial whispers were that the show had "played itself out." Normally, that means that the episodes had lost their luster and were repetitive.

Now, the two NASCAR TV partners who supply almost all the news and interview content feature their own in-house cast of experts, analysts and reporters. ESPN and SPEED appear to be the Hatfields and McCoys. Two TV teams talking about the same subjects from the same tracks but never acknowledging the other exists.

SPEED has replaced Tradin' Paint with a game show called NASCAR Smarts. Click here for a brief review of the first episode. Petty and Rutledge Wood star in the show along with two fans chosen from the audience and Roberts hosting.

So, did you miss Tradin' Paint at Daytona and do you care that this TV series got cancelled? Does the Internet and shows like NASCAR Now and RaceDay make-up for the lack of independent conversation about NASCAR from media folks not employed by a TV network?

To add your opinion to this post, just click on the comments button below. This is a family-friendly site, so foul language and hateful speech will cause a comment to be deleted.

Thank you and happy posting.

42 comments:

Wisconsin Steve said...

I don't miss "Tradin' Paint" at all. I always found it to be a watered-down version of "Pit Bull" (which I do miss VERY much).

On the other hand, after seeing the first episode of "NASCAR Smarts", I'm thinking Speed made a big mistake.

Thanks for bringing the blog back, JD.

Gymmie said...

I do miss Tradin' Paint. I loved the chatting with the various media folks and getting everyone's two cents on the topics of the day.

I liked it that Kyle didn't roll over and made his case each week. Some (many) weeks I wished the show was an hour, as some topics I wish they could go more into on.

The old Pit Bulls show was difficult because everyone talked over each other trying to get their two cents in since the show was only 30 minutes.

As I posted in the other thread, I *do* like this show because of the trivia as I do like to learn about things I didn't know before. But I do miss Tradin' Paint :(

Tom said...

I miss ANY show that allows free opinions and allows people to debate issues! I am not surprised that this show is gone, I have noticed this year that aside from the "unplanned" trackside segment, SPEED has chosen to start drinking the KoolAide in large quantities. Comments made by hosts on that network about this blog in particular, have made it clear that they are with NASCAR and how dare anyone question what they do. The loss of this show is just one less opportunity for real ideas, and more opportunity for "come to NASCAR meetings"

Tom
Inverness, FL

Lisa Hogan said...

Yes, I miss Tradin' Paint.

I only lasted a few minutes with NASCAR Smarts. Although I enjoy John and Kyle, I won't suffer through Rutledge and this format to watch them.

Since Rutledge has been inserted into all the other SPEED shows, I expect to see him sitting on the TWIN set next. :)

JD said...

Yes I miss it!

jgreat said...

ithink they should do away with all the talk shows, all they do is blow smoke.lets get back to getting the races on ,so us the fans can see the whole race.get nascar back to the good american stock car racing

ri88girl said...

I miss Tradin' paint for the same basic reasons as Gymmie said, and I think the game show is an insult to KP. I think if SPEED wants to use him to both of their benefits they should put him in the garage and pit road with Randy and Dillner et al.

NASCAR can not control the spin anymore, the internet has stopped that kind of BS. The Hatfield McCoy anallogy is a great one, and if SPEED puts its foot on the necks of the few people the Fans do respect they will kill their advantage.

For the good of the sport there has to be at least one place where people can openly discuss what we are all buzzing about in the ether.

Why does NASCAR not see that all the critiquing is aimed to BETTER the sport not harm it in some way?

midasmicah said...

If anybody at speed tv thinks that nas$car smarts is going to succeed, they're crazy. It's moronic at it's best. Yes, I do miss tradin' paint. It was entertaining. And did I say that nas4car smarts was moronic?dro

Colorado said...

I miss Tradin' Paint also. At least you got a NASCAR veteran paired with media members, so you can get the "three" sides to the stories. The truth, the lies, and the NASCAR way of doing things. Although sometimes it could be wince-inducing, with the frustration and anger, it was still refreshing to see people talk about the same things that we as fans are talking about.
I wonder if the economy, auto company bailouts, declining ratings, and attendance dwindling is viewed as "playing itself out."
God forbid we hear about the "real" world....

Julie said...

YES.

I have no idea who thought replacing it with a game show would be a good idea, but that's one less half hour of NASCAR programming that I'll be watching.

Given NASCAR's history of meddling with any coverage that challenges them, SPEED may not have had a choice...

Rosemary said...

Not really. Lost interest in it. I thought the new show, NASCAR Smarts, would be interesting, but it seemed a little disorganized, and it's probably going to be another show I might watch if it's on, but no big deal if I miss it.

What I did miss was TDP. It's good to see it back again.

Aven said...

I lasted abut 15 seconds when I turned on NASCAR Smarts. Dumbest show I ever saw. I don't expecially miss Tradin' Paint but it it 100 times better than the replacement. Tradin'Paint lost itself when it decided to drink the Kool Aid hook line and sinker.

Anonymous said...

I miss "Tradin' Paint" quite a bit. It was one of my "can't miss" NASCAR programs. I enjoyed the fact that the opinions of the writers and Kyle Petty were never sugar-coated.

NASCAR Smarts is entertaining and I do enjoy the trivia, but not near as much as I enjoyed the dialogue on "Tradin' Paint" each week.

BTW: I missed this blog more than anything and am so glad to see it back.

Anonymous said...

Do I miss "Tradin Paint"? YES I DO!!! I think Speed should bring it back. I loved the friendly and the unfriendly discussion. KP is not a DUMB GOOD OLE BOY, he's got NASCAR running in his viens. Get REAL, he told it like it was!!! Some of the media needs put in their places and he could do that. Don't tell me they don't make their own rumors, most of them in the media make me sick!

Judy from Florida

TexasRaceLady said...

While not a Tradin' Paint regular, I will NOT under any circumstances watch that idiotic, moronic replacement.

I saw about 30 seconds of that "show" and in that short amount of time felt my brain shrivel and leak out my ears. Hopefully, I've stopped the leakage and repaired the damage.

ri88girl said...

Don't know where to put this so am adding it to this thread.

On Trackside last night (which I only saw this AM) DW did a good job laying out the actual rational behind calling the 500 for rain. He also acknowlaged the heat they have all taken for seemingly carring water for NASCAR FOX/SPEED. This itself reinforces for me his credability becasue, I just want him to give me his opinion, unvarnished even if that means agreeing with NASCAR or the TV partners. Credability does not have to mean impartiality. Maybe others think it should, but I don't see it that way.

Part of my problem with the whole 'koolaid' drinking thing is if we all know they do it, doesn't it lose its effect anyway? It becomes background noise like Mikey doing a sponsor plug in the middle of 3 wide truck racing.

Anonymous said...

I miss Trading Paint, but it was getting a little repetitive.

Also, I'm not sure how Kyle Petty would hold up as a host this year. Ever since he lost his ride, he was been so overly bitter and angry in virtually every public statement that I wonder if he could keep it together for a full season of this show. You mention how Petty "lost it" last season. Well, he's been losing it ("it" being his temper and sense of tact) in so many recent interviews, that putting him on the air in a confrontational discussion show would be asking, if not begging, for a controversy.

I like Kyle Petty and felt that last year on TNT he grew as a broadcaster. But his off-the-track attitude lately is probably better off being benched until he can cool off. As it is, I'm still not sure he'll be cooled off by the time TNT takes over the races. That might make him a good guest, but I'm not so sure that's what you want in a host.

hotaru said...

I may not have watched TP (I was more of a Pit Bull fan), the replacement is horrible.

I guess they seem to think no one cares about the 'issues' any more.

Nascar Momma said...

I miss Tradin' Paint alot. Although I did like Pit Bull, however you could almost never hear what the reporters were saying because they yelled over each other all the time. Tradin' Paint may have been watered down, but you at least could hear each person's opinion on any given subject.

As to NASCAR Smarts, I am truly befuddled by this one. If you are going to ask questions on the history, ask good ones. Not the easy questions that just about anyone who knows NASCAR can answer.

The first show had a question on how many holes are in a restrictor plate. The correct answer is 8. There are 4 holes to "attach" it to the carb, and then an additional 4 to slow the engine down. Did anyone else come up with that answer? I would have argued til I was blue in the face, and I would have been right!!!

Dot said...

Maybe they cancelled TP because Kyle was no longer driving. If he was pissy last season, how would he be this season? You know the Petty/GEM deal would need to be discussed at some point, as well as the other M&As.

I watched the first show of N'smarts. Some of the questions seemed unfair. It kind of reminded me of the joke: Team 1, how many passengers died on the Titantic? Team 2, name them.

OT, What happened to NASCAR Live this AM? It was listed on the guide.

superkenny said...

Absolutely not! At what point did racing become not about racing and just entertainment? Let me watch a race on Sunday, without the 4 hours of pre-race trash.

stricklinfan82 said...

I personally enjoyed having a weekly NASCAR TV show that wasn't afraid to tackle the issues of the week head-on. I especially enjoyed hearing the perspective of an active driver that wasn't afraid to be honest and willingly throw NASCAR, the media, or his fellow drivers under the bus when he felt it was warranted.

I was very disappointed that my hopes of an expanded time slot with an expanded panel for this show in 2009 were dashed and the show was cancelled altogether in favor of (in my opinion) a lackluster show with two random people plucked from the audience answering trivia questions for 30 minutes.

It sure is a shame in my opinion that in a week after countless storylines emerged at Daytona - should NASCAR have called the race that quickly?, should the Daytona 500 be allowed to be rain-shortened?, are these later and later starting times killing this sport and robbing the fans of complete races?, did Junior, Vickers, or NASCAR's out-of-bounds rule cause "The Big One"?, etc. - Speed Channel will turn a blind eye to these issues and spend the 30 minutes previously allocated to such discussions having two random fans from the audience trying to guess how many turns the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has, how many lugnuts a NASCAR tire has, and what the penalty is for getting caught speeding on pit road in a NASCAR race.

Newracefan said...

I liked Tradin Paint but am also not sure if Kyle meets it's criteria anymore since he is no longer an active driver and how he lost his ride was pretty ugly in my opinion. The show itself was losing it's shine and just needed to be repolished; perhaps with a different "Nascar representative". I will say that perhaps the concept of a Nascar trivia gameshow may have some merit the execution is terrible and I will not be watching it. So Speed bring back Tradin Paint it was a much better show.

Coffee said...

yes.

SallyB said...

While Tradin Paint wasn't always the greatest, it was one of the few placed I had a shot at hearing a real opinion that wasn't pre approved by Nascar. Even though Kyle could get hot under the collar, his perspective, coming from being involved so long in the sport had value. With a few tweaks, it should have been kept.

As for the moronic (I seem to use that term frequently in relation to Nascar programming on television lately) 'replacement'...who are they trying to kid? I think they put it on to 'compete' with the Fox rodent.

bevo said...

Speed should bring it back with Jeff Burton taking the place of Kyle. He's smart and not afraid to voice his opinions, great presence in front of the camera and he's still a competitor.

Anonymous said...

The reason it was cancelled is just as you said, "it played itself out". the last few shows were not tradin paint, it was all "I agree with you Kyle", it got boring so much that I had to turn it off.

Anonymous said...

so what would your perfect friday pm nascar talk show format be? how long? with whom? me, i'd opt for a new three-man 'pit bull' show, anchored by jimmy spencer. but the real problem of course is not on the set, but in the fox-speed executive offices, where david 'digger' hill is apparently more concerned about sponsorship dollars and gimmicks than letting the hounds loose. hill, remember, was the man who created the original pit bull show and coached those guys. what happened? Cant believe the big guy who is doing the wall street journal thing and the new york post stuff and all that other newspaper/media/whatall stuff isnt paying more attention to this nascar gig himself. wonder what the bottom line is on this whole nascar picture is for fox anyway -- news corp just lost $6 billion overall. is the problem just that with advertising dollars getting more scarce that tv people are too worried about ticking off advertisers. but then isn't tv journalism really just an oxymoron? oh, and would you accept a gig on the friday night set yourself?

darbar said...

Considering the bad blood that appears to be between Kyle and his daddy Richard, over the merger of Petty Enterprises and GEM, Tradin' Paint would have been more than interesting if Kyle had been allowed to discuss that he was apparently shut out of the merger, and King Richard admitting that he "forgot" to include his son in the decision making. For me, Tradin' Paint was the one show where no one seemed to be afraid to speak their minds and ignored the politically correct "I love Nascar beyond anything" mantra. Nascar fans need a show like Tradin' Paint.

Anonymous said...

I miss anything pertaining to NASCAR that is halfway decent. It's a mystery to me why we don't see more good NASCAR content on SPEED.

Speaking of Speed, I have a real bone to pick. Last week on their pre-race Daytona show, the music over interviews was unbearable. It was impossible to understand dialogue because of loud music. Not only was the music loud it was totally unnecessary.

Apparently Speed has hired some incompetent artsy girlie man who is "supposed" to spice things up that need no spicing up.

On top of that, the Speed website would not accept a complaint.

Speed is hurting.

GinaV24 said...

I don't miss Tradin Paint. We were at the Childress museum before the Martinsville race last year and Kyle Petty said that "Nascar doesn't need the lunatics running the asylum". That statement was made in response to the question should NASCAR pay more attention to what the fans say about the sport. I was very disappointed to hear Kyle have such a low opinion of the fans who pay good money to attend races, buy souvenirs and ARE the reason why anyone gives a darn about racing. Without the fans, there is NO NASCAR. After that, I never watched the show again. The "game show" that replaced it, I didn't tune into that because Kyle was still on it and that type of programming doesn't interest me.

Vicky D said...

I don't like Smarts at all. Like many of you, I also miss Pit Bull.

Richard in N.C. said...

I have been a Petty fan (and still am) since the hemi days and have a great deal of respect for Kyle and RP, although I have been a little disappointed in both of them recently. Tradin' Paint, Monday NASCAR Now, and The Speed Report were my favorite non-event racing shows last year. However, if I had to choose between Tradin' Paint and TDP, my vote would be for TDP.

Charlie Turner said...

Thanks for the link to Steve's post about the awful replacement to Trading Paint.

The NASCAR internet is a better place with the Planet in it. Hang in there J.D.

Anonymous said...

What races are the best to actually listen too each season? I'll tell you: its the six races called by Kyle Petty and Wally Dahllenbach. When those guys start talking, you listen because you have 2 guys who know what they're talking about. Same goes with Tradin' Paint. Cancelling that show was the dumbest move Speed could have made. It's called sucking up and that's too bad. I'm a huge Kyle Petty fan and believe it or not, the shows that had Jenna Fryer on were my favorites. They're like fire and gasoline and I love it. Nascar smarts or whatever they call it is idiotic. I am pretty sure that Roberts and Petty are on it just because their contracts said they had to do whatever Speed told them to do. What a shame. Its not the first time though. Remember Ned Jarrett's show? Newer fans probably don't but that was the best nascar news on television. The best always go away. I hope Tradin paint isn't gone forever though.
Rick

glenc1 said...

I miss Tradin Paint. I finally saw all of NASCAR Smarts & now I get it. It's just an advertisement for Ask.com. I'm glad to see new sponsors in a sport, but...pretty obvious.

To pair Kyle with Rutledge is laughable. Sad, really, no way could Wood compete with a guy who lived through the last 30 years.

Jo from SC said...

I miss "Tradin' Paint", though I preferred "Pit Bulls" to it. But I'll gladly sacrifice TP to have the Daly Planet back--glad you're back, JD!

Anonymous said...

I do miss Tradin' Paint, but I do not, however, miss the episodes that had Jenna Fryer in them. Never cared for her columns. Certainly cared for them even less after seeing her on Tradin' Paint and hearing her on various radio shows. Little genuine content with way too much attitude - of course that is about par for the course given her employer, the AP. They seem to just want sensationalistic pieces of late, true ot not, researched at all or not.

Pamsey said...

I would like to trade NASCAR Smarts and get Tradin' Paint back. NASCAR Smarts is laughable, for all the wrong reasons.

Anonymous said...

Kudos to Glenc1 for pointing out the advertising tie-in for Smarts. (I like the ask.com NASCAR commercials but their in-race promos may be a little too much).

Yes, I miss Tradin' Paint and I miss Kyle Petty. The fact that he doesn't have a ride would have given him even more freedom. I'm kinda new to NASCAR but clearly there's no other sport that so tightly manages its image, its athletes -- everything. Tradin' Paint was a refreshing counter-balance to that. Plus, the credibility of Petty and media figures was a nice counter-balance to Speed's own tendency to get a little clownish with their coverage. If Tradin' Paint was played out as a stand-alone show, it certainly should come back as a segment within Trackside or pre-race programming.

Patrick said...

Too bad I'm 3 days late commenting on this column. Relatively speaking, I miss "Tradin' Paint", when the alternative is the ironically named "NASCAR Smarts" (I still can't grasp how Rutledge can possibly be a part of anything with "Smart" in the title; Can anyone explain his value?). Does "it played itself out" mean Kyle played himself out of a ride? bevo, raised an interesting alternative substituting KP with Jeff Burton (many active drivers are competent, knowledgeable candidates, such as, Smoke, Elliot Sadler, Bobby Labonte, Harvick, Mayfield). I think Ray Dunlap could be a better host/anchor/mediator for a Tradin' Paint/Pit Bull style show. If Speed insists on programming more reality/game shows, a la Pass Time, Pinks, etc., then make a contest out of the Petty Driving Experience. If Speed won't bring back Tradin' Paint, then I'd rather see a Friday/Saturday wrap-up like NASCAR in a Hurry because I'm sure there's many like me that miss most of the Friday activities because of work.

Anonymous said...

I very much miss this Trading Paint. Wish SPEED would reconsider. BTW so glad you are back.
Kendria