Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Monday Night Party Crew Returns


Life is a lot better for the gang producing This Week in NASCAR on SPEED Monday nights. It took a while, but SPEED has solved the TV problems that included audio issues, bad lighting and amateurish make-up.

Finally getting that "TV stuff" out of the way has resulted in some fun shows. Monday, it was the Chad and Mikey comedy tag-team back on the air. This season, Knaus and Waltrip have both been making NASCAR news and luckily for the program, that news is almost always good.

While Jeff Gordon winning after a long drought was the lead story, not far behind was the amazing recovery of the Jimmie Johnson team from running poorly to finishing second. Knaus once again was worth his weight in gold for this show. Waltrip chimed-in with his driver, David Reutimann, starting from the pole and having a great season.

Steve Byrnes has been good-naturedly trying to prod Knaus to share some team secrets, but to no avail. This trio has proven to be the right combination for this program. The only thing missing, for old school fans, is the wisdom and wit of someone like Kenny Schrader. The yin and yang of Knaus and Waltrip makes for good TV, but perhaps having a third voice next season might add a new dimension to the program.

Content is king these days and for NASCAR fans the choices seem to be almost endless. TWIN is battling the NASCAR websites, Twitter and amateur blogs who have access to race video and operate without the issues of footage rights or professional accountability.

Byrnes has taken the role of leading the discussion and his choices of topics normally result in good information coming from Waltrip and Knaus. Each of these two personalities have a wealth of information for very different reasons.

The analytical Knaus may be the top crew chief in NASCAR and Waltrip has put in his time with a long history in the sport and a very diverse journey. Aside from the race-related info, the program also offers a very human glimpse into the reality of a NASCAR life and the very different kind of lifestyle that results.

At the beginning of the year, TDP readers lobbied for a format change in the show and were ultimately rewarded by the SPEED executives. Waltrip has recently been lobbying for more airtime for the wonderfully edited features from The NASCAR Media Group that combine the TV, radio, scanner and natural sound of the races with all the best footage. Next Monday, he gets his wish.

During the Sprint Cup off-week, TWIN will be on at 8PM with the best NASCAR Media Group features from this season. From the dramatic to the hilarious, this is the type of content that SPEED will hopefully present as a weekly series before too long. With all the drama of an NFL Films-style presentation, these features really give the behind-the-scenes peek that many fans love.

The heart of the Sprint Cup season is just around the corner and TWIN has once again put itself in a strong position as a fun and entertaining Monday night NASCAR TV series.

As we approach the break, what are your thoughts on TWIN this season? To add your opinion, just click on the comments button below. This is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind when posting.

Thank you for taking the time to stop by The Daly Planet.

31 comments:

Tracey said...

i personally LOVE TWIN! I look forward to it every monday night! then again...i am a tad bit biased...HUGE michael waltrip fan here...LOL!! I hope it says on forever!

Anonymous said...

A lot more Michael and a lot less Ole DW would be a good deal. I certainly enjoy TWIN and enjoy Michael and Chad.

glenc1 said...

I thought the Geico drawing was funny. I didn't see it all, but what I did see was entertaining....they all worked well together this week.

Dot said...

Just got done watching TWIN. I love this show. Chad and his pit road insight and Mikey with his insights, blown seal, lol.

The Alan Kulwicki segment was wonderful. I wish I were a fan then.

Looking forward to next weeks' TWIN.

Anonymous said...

I'm disappointed in TWIN this season. Byrnes needs to get focused and not get led off-topic so easily. Personally,I like Waltrip but too often he just rambles off topic or focuses on his endless self promotion. I think NN on Mondays is far superior.

SallyB said...

I haven't watched TWIN in a while. While everyone here seemed to find it entertaining, I decided to give it a try again last night. I guess my 'Mikie Overload' is still in effect. While there was a lot of good information on the show, I found my tolerace for Michael and his cheerleading less than fun. Perhaps it's that he's too much like his brother, trying too hard to be entertaining and ending up mostly irrelevant to me. It just doesn't match the 'old show'. But it does free up my Monday evening to watch 'Antiques Roadshow' now!

Daly Planet Editor said...

Sally,

In your opinion, what was Waltrip cheerleading for? His team, NASCAR, SPEED? He certainly is an interesting character.

JD

Anonymous said...

Anything with Mikey, & I start reaching for the remote. The only exception is the Trucks, otherwise, I'm outta there.

dawg

TexasRaceLady said...

Chad is the reason I watch this show. It has been a treat watching him relax and go with the flow. He gives excellent information that's clear and understandable by anyone.

Mikey -- well, he's just Mikey. LOL But, I do have to agree with him. The scanner show next week ought to be fun.

Tracy said...

I really miss Ken Schrader. He could rein in Mikey with one funny line and a raised eyebrow. The history of the sport is where MW excels, as did Schrader. Those behind-the-scenes nuggets are very cool.

Knaus is growing on me. I like Biffle - the man tells it as he sees it. Why did he sell the 'copter?

It's such a nice change from the buttoned-up ESPN guys.

cvt said...

Knaus may not have spoken of team secrets but his brief discussion about "tight/loose" was an important disclosure: there are leading drivers who don't really know what the car is doing and the crew chief is really guessing at adjustments.

I am convinced a large part of the success of the 48 team is due the fact that Knaus spent considerable time and resources (including telemetry)with JJ behind the wheel making sure they were on the same page,that the car is really doing what JJ says it's doing.

banzaibonnie said...

michael is the show.without him it wouldnt last a year.im sure speed tv knows that by now.to those who dont appreciate subtle humor, why watch?maybe just to whine?

SallyB said...

I DO appreciate subtle humor. Perhaps that's why my tolerance for mikey is waning. His cheerleading for anything and ecverything Nascr, media, or cookie cutter track related is what I find hard to take. Any one or any thing that doesn't support the Party Line is immediately put down as stupid and/or uninformed. The only opinion that is right is his - and Nascar's by default. He's so predictable.

Deborah said...

Seems to me some are guilty of the same thing they accuse Michael of - only wanting to hear the opinions they think are right. I'm not sure it's as much that Michael cheerleads, it's that he has opinions different from what some fans want to hear. Michael's entire life dating back to when he was a small child and his brother was racing has revolved around NASCAR and even more so now that he's both an owner and driver. He truly loves this sport and it should be expected that his opinions about it are going to be positive. Michael shouldn't have to be negative on TWiN just because some fans want him to be.

I thought it was a good show overall, as they mostly always are these days. I enjoyed the way the panel comfortably joked around with each other and there were some interesting comments such as Michael's analysis of Sam Hornish and his speculation that perhaps Stremme spun himself to bring out a caution when his tire was going down or Chad's explanation of how the #48 team made a bad day into a good day.

GinaV24 said...

This was the first time I had watched TWIN in a while and I enjoyed Knaus' explanation of why the car will be loose then tight and then loose again. It has to be baffling for a driver and crew chief sometimes, but Knaus seems to have it all figured out -- and sometimes that makes me really dislike him! LOL But that's personal. A little bit of Mikey goes a long way for me, but I was able to sit through and listen to the show without wanting to scream last night. I miss Schrader's sense of humor a lot!

Sophia said...

I agree with the positive comments of the show but also MISS KEN SCHRADER!

I heard they cut back on the panel due to the economy thus only two on each week with Speed.

I look forward to next week with MORE scanner information as well.

I also wish I had been watching back in the day of Alan K...that was a nice segment.

I think we need to make NASCAR fun and informative, now more than ever. Thus I still enjoy this show the best on Monday nights.

I used to enjoy NP but putting it on Sun morning was a bad idea imo. Needs to be on Sat. I want to watch the race and POST shows on Sunday not more PRE RACE, but that show DESERVES a better time slot.

I also wish on TWIN they would answer more than just "TWO EMAILS" a week. I am sure if the suits behind the show would relax and LET Michael and the gang answer maybe 4 or 6 questions a week, that would be more fun than seeing video of Hammond or Rutledge bits. Nothing against them.

I still haven't heard why Steve and Hermie got their hair cut so short!!! I understand when drivers do that, it's hot in the cars. Just curious.OK, nosey. (Still wish I had seen Ingrid's major haircut change! Maybe it's a girl thang :) )

I think they should have Ken Schrader guest on the show with Mikey before the end of the season so we can see what we've been missing for so long.

Anonymous said...

Love Chad

Mike is the worst driver in NASCAR but entertaining on tv

Steve B - is OK but he's no Bestwick

When I'm done watching the show i fell entertained but 5 minutes late I can't remember anything specific - would be better with some more substance

Just One More said...

TWIN is the highlight of my Monday's - even more so than 24. Mikey is comic gold and his fascination with TV commercials is just insanely funny.

I keep waiting for Geico to send them a stack of money with eyes. If I were a sponsor, I would want to sponsor this show because you get so much more than other shows because the hosts talk about your product (Remember "How far'd I go???" from last year?).

Steve and Michael go way off topic sometimes, but it's usually the some of the best bits of the show. I think what makes it so appealing is that you feel like they are sitting in your living room, cutting up, and talking NASCAR.

Chad adds a good balance, but I wonder why they don't bring Biff and Chad on every week. There's plenty of content for 3 perspectives.

Dannyboy said...

Count me in the group who appreciates the fixing of the production issues like audio mix, etc.

And also add me to the Schrader fan list. His appearance on Wind Tunnel a few weeks ago was mighty welcome. Hope SPEED takes the audience approval to heart and gets him back where he was so successful. He once told me at an autograph session that he really enjoyed doing the old "Inside" show.

Mikey is "the worst driver in NASCAR"? Clint Bowyer has already withdrawn that comment, after being shown the video of what actually happened, and also the fact that Mikey whupped his butt a race or two later, IIRC.

And 21st in points is not exactly chopped liver this many races into the season.

The show has really grown into itself, and the ESPN alternative, though informative, still lacks a personality. The more Ricky Craven and Randy LaJoie (sp?) they give us, the more I like it, but I still prefer TWIN, "acronym" and all ;-)

Dan

Anonymous said...

Kenny S. is a great guy but I do not miss him. I like listening to people with teams that run up front. I watch the show every week this year now that MWR is doing well.

Anonymous said...

The show is sometimes good, sometimes not so good. I will not be among those watching next week as the chatter thing with MW does not intrigue me at all.

I miss Kenny S and Biffle. What I see from MW is his endless self promotion along with whatever agenda he wants to push for at the time. Best thing tv has done lately in reference to him was at the last truck race when he asked if he should sing and Phil P. emphatically said no and Rick A said no, don't. Hooray for them!

Ind14 said...

What ever happened to these three guys and Tony Stewart? It seems like for them to say his name is awfull. Here is a guy that is in 5th place in points and for the whole year it is like pulling teeth to hear about him.

Geeze said...

Mikey is a shill. He always has been. But at times he's a funny shill. It doesn't really bother me. Sometimes I even get a kick out seeing how he works a plug into the conversation, and I don't think the show would as good without him.

Comparing TWIN with Nascar Now is like comparing Meet the Press with The Jon Stewart Show. Apples and oranges. I watch this show to get a chuckle and maybe a little information.

The show is now the closest it's been to the old one, although, like others, I would like to see Kenny back.

Newracefan said...

Love TWIN and Mikey works for me, but Chad pulls the show right over the top. The tech glitches appear to be worked out and that is a major improvement. Schrader would be a fun 3rd member but I really think we are all beating a dead horse asking for that one. I was worried when we had depressed Mikey 2 years ago that the show was doomed but he's pulled himself up and the show improved but adding Chad as a straight man makes it perfect. Don't get me wrong I like Biff too but Chad is so straight laced it makes it really fun. I also think the driver and crew chief combo is the way to go. How about Biff and Bootie when Chad and Mikey are not avail. I can't wait for next week it should be hysterical

Anonymous said...

Mike is the worst driver in NASCAR but entertaining on tv

He's 21st in the points, which makes about 43 guys "worse" than him.

Sophia said...

ok maybe it's me but did Blogger change the fonts for the comments section? the font looks like it's faded and hard to read?

I have enlarged stuff a lot in Firefox, as always...just wondered if something was changed?

Get to be my age you get paranoid. :)

I still love this show..and like when they stray off topic briefly. The old INC was a hoot when they did that.

NorCalFan said...

@ Sophia,
Ingrid looks so different with the short hairdo but even though her hair is now shorter than Jeff's, IMO it is very becoming on her.

I always DVR TWIN here on the west coast so I can laugh while eating dinner. I still miss Alan Bestwick as host but Steve, Chad, Mikey and the Biff have resurrected the show of old and made it their own. I'd like to see a 3rd panelist--Ken Schrader could represent the fans as a spectator only he would have the added benefit of insider knowledge and history of the sport.

I agree with Sophia that more e-mail questions would be good. I find the question and answer segment very informative.

Anonymous said...

nope,nope,nope,nope,nope,nope

This show is nothing like what it once was.
Bestwick,schrader, benson and waltrip

everything else is a cheap imitation

Sophia said...

I can not believe Ingrid has such short hair cut. by the time I see her it will be grown out a lot. I can NOT imagine her hair being shorter than Jeff's but some women like the buzz cut look and can carry it off.

i also find the email segments informative and interesting. IF they are going to show more video, I am with Mikey that I would like to hear more radio scanner chatter. I never get to hear that so it's a kick for me.

:)

Vicky D said...

I really like TWIN too, although sometimes Knaus goes over my head technically speaking. I like Mikey because he keeps it the show light and Steve Byrnes is really doing a good job as host. Keep this show on the air!

Anonymous said...

I'm so excited to see I'm not the only one that was being driven NUTS by the bad makeup!

I like the show a lot. Didn't think I was going to enjoy the weeks Biffle was on as much(He kept throwing his crew under the bus last year, which I found distasteful), but have to say I've been pleasantly surprised.

Besides, I have to thank him for my favorite scanner bit:

"Its. Blowing. Up. ...Comprende! Comprende?"