Monday, May 18, 2009

"This Week In NASCAR" Sticks To Basics


The evolution of this season's new Monday night show on SPEED continued this week. Steve Byrnes hosted an hour of This Week In NASCAR that stuck to the basics for several different reasons.

Michael Waltrip and Chad Knaus made up the expert panel. These two have settled into a comfortable relationship on the air. Knaus offers his analytical style of commentary and Waltrip does his best to offer opinions in support of the sport.

This week's review of the All-Star race gave both panelists an opportunity to provide a lot of what they do best. Knaus broke down the strategy and details that contributed to Stewart's ultimate win. Knaus always references his #48 car and team, but has done a good job of keeping things in perspective for the viewers.

Waltrip sang songs, emotionally talked about the history of NASCAR and generally had a good time. He has been doing exactly this same thing on Monday nights for a very long time. This season, even his over-the-top commercial plugs have become more humorous than annoying.

TWIN producers have allowed the panel to discuss off-track topics in the past, but have avoided the Jeremy Mayfield suspension completely. This program focused strictly on the review and preview elements mixed with the frequent sales features.

Right or wrong, this is the approach they have taken. It certainly suggests that Mayfield's name and part-time status played a role in this decision. Had the driver suspended been named Johnson or Waltrip, there is little doubt it would be a topic up for active discussion.

It seems that Walrip and Knaus are also content not to offer their opinions of the Mayfield issue on TV. This show stayed within the comfortable walls it has established over this season and offered a program full of good racing information mixed with some fun. Whether that is enough to please the NASCAR fans or not can only be determined by the viewers.

TDP welcomes your comments on this program. Just click on the comments button below and add your opinion. This is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind when posting. Thank you for taking the time to stop by.

26 comments:

Tracy said...

I'm fine with TWIN laying off the Mayfield deal. In a way, it's a relief. I loved Waltrip reiterating how Tony put on his owner's hat today and was thrilled with the million bucks, while Tony the driver was tickled to win for his crew members who'd never been to VL.

Anonymous said...

You know, I think they made the right choice. TWIN doesn't have anything new to report. No new interviews or quotes. They don't have reporters. Waltrip and Knaus are only going to voice generic support for NASCAR. It would be a waste of a segment as they danced around it. All the SPEED guys were working the race so they don't have new tape.

They should have handled it more in-depth and better on NASCAR Now, but not having it on TWIN works for me.

Grover said...

Mikey god love him, just makes the show worth watching every week.

Having Chad there to offer the "Sane" opinion and analysis provide the perfect counter to the antics. I miss the weeks hes gone, and I'm a Biff fan!

I'm kinda glad that they did not go into the Mayfield situation. As its not a news show. Now if they don't cover it on Race Day then it would be an issue.

TexasRaceLady said...

Another delightful show.

I couldn't care less that Jeremy wasn't mentioned --- it would have taken away from the point of the program.

Chad continues to really tickle my funny bone. His reactions to Mikey just make my day.

elena, chicago said...

I agree with all that not talking about Jeremy was a good decision. I don't see why this story still has legs. There is nothing new in substance. Of course there's the stunt over the weekend, but that is not worthy of this program

Anonymous said...

This show has gone so far downhill since Despain and Schrader departed I can't put my disappointment into words. Schrader would have put MW in his place for his rude ego trip when CK was trying to tell his story about crashing a racecar. I wonder how the show's ratings compare with the past. If the number of comments tonight are any indication, ratings are probably down.

Dot said...

I echo the comments by the Planeteers about no Jeremy coverage. TWIN just isn't the show for this type of discussion.

Mindy said...

Fun show! TWiN is one of the best NASCAR shows out there. Keep up the good work boys!

My 2 cents. I agree with the others, the Mayfield story doesn't belong on TWiN.

majorshouse said...

I definitely miss Schrader on the show, he has a definite wit about him that Mikey will never have.

Craig said...

Keep ignoring the Mayfield situation. After all, NASCAR won't even reveal to the public what the substance was. Why speculate any further? If the substance stays in secrecy, why beat a dead horse? TWIN is such a great show, and that is what makes me look forward to Mondays. (Although I wouldn't mind *cue John Robert's impersonation* DAVE DESPAIN coming back to host)

Anonymous said...

TWin is not intended to be the kind of show that addresses issues like Mayfield's; as far as I know, it never has been.

Why should they start doing so now?

Anonymous said...

Roger Elswood said...
TWIN is a great show with a great host and panelists. I love the laid back format. Don't fix what's not broken. I like Dave Despain on Wind Tunnel (another good show), but was almost to painful to watch him host TWIN. It was so awkward and uncomfortable.

Anonymous said...

I thought last night's Twin was really lame. Just more of Mikey getting paid a lot of money to chit chat and show the same highlights(?) we saw on the Speed Report,Victory Lane, Wind Tunnel and Nascar Now. They dodge the Mayfield issue and the ongoing meltown with the #88 Team.Micheal Waltrip has got to be the most overexposed driver in Nascar.

Sophia said...

I enjoyed last nights, show as well.

Only thing annoyed me was Mikey INTERRUPTING Chads story about driving a race car and wrecking it? never heard the end of the story..that would've been nice.

I think they need to put the CHAIRS CLOSER together so that Chad can hit Mikey on the arm like he used to so he can get his stories out.

Just saying'. The two yakkers SHOULD be closer to each other anyway for viewing purposes.

Not that folks running SPEED would know what 'looks good on tv'..shirts, makeup, glowing/flashing images all the time. MEOW HISS.

(ok, that was not directed at the guys on TWIN but in general.)

I agree this show should've avoided the JM story which frankly, I am weary of until we get DETAILS HANDWRIT IN STONE.

:-)

majorshouse said...

Let's face it, NASCAR runs the rules and policies and the only time it is going to change is when they allow it too. I thin that Big Bill used to call it a benevolent dictatorship.
I am tired of the Mayfield story and we just need to go on. I am glad TWIN ignored it because that show is more fluff than news anyhow. Jeremy knew the rules and he is trying to put his spin on something that obviously has been told to him otherwise by a very scientific methodology.

Anne M said...

I'm yet one more person who didn't mind the lack of Mayfield discussion on last night's TWIN. When/if there are more facts on the table, I'll be interested to hear their opinions. For now, I was just happy to enjoy the chaos.

Like Sophia, I was extremely disappointed at MW's interruption of Chad's story at the end. I'd heard it before, but not from Chad's POV, and I was enjoying it. Chad was surprisingly animated as the comic storyteller for once -- it could have been a wonderful TWIN moment.

I blame Steve to some extent. He's sometimes a little too entertained by Michael's antics, and he loses track of what other panelists are contributing. Then he forgets to go back and pick up on what they were saying. It's often frustrating, but last night it made me crazy .

I like Michael a lot, but Chad's the main reason I watch. (And the two of them together are like peanut butter and jelly!) If Steve can be a bit more of a traffic cop, I'll be a happy camper.

GinaV24 said...

I saw this in its re-run version in the middle of the night since I was having an insomniac kind of night. I watched at least part of it before I went back to sleep. Mikey still drives me crazy but he was very animated and sort of funny last night. I would have liked to hear the end of Chad's story as well and that constant diarrhea of the mouth that Mikey has is one of the reasons I seldom watch the show any more. I miss Schrader big time. Since there isn't any new information about the Mayfield situation and honestly, I wouldn't take anything that Mikey said as fact anyway, it was fine with me that they didn't talk about it.

Newracefan said...

I would have been disappointed if TWIN tried to get into the Jeremy issue, it just doesn't belong there. I though the show was hysterical this week, I too would have liked to hear the rest of Chad's story but I'm not sure there was going to much after he stuffed it into the wall ;)

Peanut Butter and Jelly is a perfect analogy, goes together great but sometimes sticks to the roof of your mouth.

Anonymous said...

I thought last night's Twin was really lame. Just more of Mikey getting paid a lot of money to chit chat and show the same highlights(?) we saw on the Speed Report,Victory Lane, Wind Tunnel and Nascar Now. They dodge the Mayfield issue and the ongoing meltown with the #88 Team.

Apparently, you don't get it: That's the point of the show.If you don't like it, don't watch, but your complaint is like saying "this week's 'American Idol' is just a bunch of people singing and getting critiqued, and they dodged the problems of using auto-tune."

glenc1 said...

that business with Chad was exactly why Mikey drives me over the edge...I wanted to hear the story, and it was as if Mike was being benevolent to allow him to tell it, like it's his call. Other than that, I thought he was funny and fairly 'un'obnoxious last night. The bit about the brakes working while the car was on fire, for example.

Michael said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vicky D said...

I thought TWIN was a good show last night but didn't like Mikey interrupting Chad's story. Mikey had done it several weeks ago with Greg Biffle and it got my goat the same way as yesterday. I like the panel that's usually on the show but never did like Dave Despain when he was on.

Regina Ellison said...

Stuff a sock in Mikey's mouth and let Chad talk for a chance. Not everyone had heard the story about Chad wrecking the car. Would have liked to heard the end of it, but then Mikey went off on some stupid tangent as always.

Sophia said...

I was going to suggest a pair of socks but somebody beat me to it...or a piece of duct tape.:) ( I have the same thoughts when I go to the grocery and it's "bring your screaming kid to the store day" but I digress.

Indeed, I love Mikey but he needs to learn ETIQUETTE and stop interrupting. I'd never heard Chad's story either.

Anybody got an email for that show? Next time Chad is going to be on, maybe we can email Steve and the gang and ASK them to LET Chad finish his story.

First time TWIN left me with a cliffhanger and gotta admit, it was annoying.

Anne M said...

I love Sophia's idea -- A little write-in campaign for "Let Chad finish a sentence!". :)

I do hope Chad can rearrange his plans for next week and be on the show again. Interruptions aside, it's been a treat to see them together for several weeks running.

Anonymous said...

The sport needs to get rid of that talentless hack, Michael Waltrip. I can't even watch the truck series due to his lisping and annoying voice!