Sunday, July 19, 2009

Darrell Waltrip Will Surface On "Wind Tunnel"

This is going to be a week to remember in NASCAR TV history. The chaos of the Mayfield saga is going to be mixed with the pre-Chase races and the switch of Sprint Cup TV coverage to ESPN.

Sunday night SPEED has put together a dandy little line-up for Dave Despain on his Wind Tunnel show at 9PM ET. Co-hosting will be Robin Miller, fresh off breaking the story of Tony George getting the boot at IMS. Miller was the subject of a lot of derogatory comments across the Internet, but when his report turned out to be accurate the silence was deafening.

Miller also has very definite opinions about NASCAR and that fits in well with Waltrip. When seen and heard in the non-Fox season, Waltrip has been outstanding in his comments and opinions about the issues of the day. Unfortunately, neither Fox or SPEED offer even one NASCAR-oriented weekly TV program in which Waltrip can participate.

It will be up to Despain and his producer to select the topics that he can cover with Waltrip in the time allotted. Hopefully, that will include his take on the Mayfield saga, the S&P issue and whether Indy will be a success or debacle again.

It is a shame that Waltrip is lost to most NASCAR fans after the final race on Fox. Sirius radio and Internet posts just do not take the place of a quality NASCAR TV series that lets topical conversations happen without highlights or endless sales features.

Perhaps, you could suggest some topics that you would like to see Despain cover with Waltrip and then we can follow-up on what they actually ended-up talking about.

We welcome your comments. To add your opinion, just click on the comments button below. This is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind when posting. Thanks for stopping by, please return after the show and share your views as well.


SquidBuzz said...

Does DW deserve all the accolades that are given him? I feel that he is part of the reason that the FOX broadcast has turned into what it is....boring. Like you have stated in the past week or so, TNT rocked the house with their coverage. Maybe he needs to look in the mirror and rethink his profession.

Daly Planet Editor said...


Keep in mind that the same TV producer handled the TNT races after ending his Fox gig.

I think Fox makes the TV folks do a lot and say a lot that they would not normally do on their own.

In the past, DW has been great on Wind Tunnel and ESPN's NASCAR Now.

How he goes from smart and opinionated to being a hype-driven shill on the Fox telecasts might not be all about him.


Anonymous said...

Love the DW. He's an important part of the complex fabric of NASCAR. We don't need a legion of corporate echoists doing all of the delivery.

Anonymous said...

If as you say, that Fox makes TV folks such as DW say things that they would not normally say, then DW and the bunch have either sacrificed their true beliefs for money, or do not have the guts to be honest with themselves. For someone who has been around NASCAR for so long, that is a shame.

Dot said...

JD, did you notice that the word shill has "Hill" in it? I think that's the big problem with FOX. Until someone reins him in, DW & CO will have to do his bidding.

When DW has appeared on TV shows as himself, he really tells it like it is. That's the DW I love. I can't wait to hear his take on the world of NASCAR.

How is it that the same producer can show two different race coverages? Does Hill's mere presence taint that too?

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 12:59AM,

Just like in your workplace, there has to be a balance between what you want and what your boss wants.

We all go through it and I have been on both sides of the fence.

If Fox says promote Digger and hype Dale Junior and Kyle Bush, whatcha gonna do? Quit?

That is why so many of these guys are incredibly different away from the TV booth. No boss, no agenda.


The Loose Wheel said...

I agree. DW away from FOX cameras is something else. Honestly.

I would love to see what DW honestly thinks of the state of the Truck and NW series right now. Start and parks are obvious but so are blank race cars and only handfuls of competitive, race-winning quality teams in each series. Would enjoy hearing his take on what he thinks should be done if anything to improve both products.

Also, seeing as its next month I think...The Whelen Modifieds on Bristol...Not sure if he himself has addressed that before.

rob said...
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50 yr. fan said...

JD, You are right about DW's wearing of two different hats. It's
this chameleon personality that has
caused fans to be tired of him.

Anonymous said...

JD, one issue I wish DW would talk about is sponsorship--and how the economic issues are affecting Silly Season. We've been used to hearing about changes starting in it's almost August and we don't know a lot of what is going to happen next year yet. Would be interested in what Waltrip can offer about what's going on with team, manufacturer, and sponsor changes.

Anonymous said...

All I want to see is the real DW --- I want to hear his real opinions on the sport.

When you get DW talking candidly, his vision for NASCAR and opinions on issues in the sport are nothing short of fascinating. I don't always agree with him, and in fact sometimes think he is crazy, but I love listening to a candid DW. If Despain can get that person as a guest (as opposed to politically-correct-Waltrip), then it will be a great show. Thanks for the heads-up!

Anonymous said...

I am sure Darrel the shill has his scripts already approved by Toyota and that rental place. He will also bring up Mikey for no apparent reason. He is the main reason I listen to the radio instead of watching Fox in the first part of the season. You can not blame others for his commentary; he alone is responsible for what comes out of his mouth.

votetheday said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Richard in N.C. said...

It seems to me that when DW is on FOX he is expected to be more entertaining. I think he's still honest, but some topics are not to be addressed, or not to be addressed in too much depth. I always thought NBC did something similar to BP, and made him obscure his Southern background. BP on PRN on Monday was different than BP on NBC on Sunday.

I really look forward to seeing DW on Wind Tunnel. It seemed to me last year when the Dale, Jr. - DEI situation was going on that sometimes DW would drop hints about things he had learned, and he has an awful lot of contacts.

When I have remembered to check, I really have enjoyed the post-TV internet extension of Wind Tunnel, but I thought it was longer than 30 minutes at first.

Sophia said...

Richard in NC

Compared to TV/commercial breaks, Wind Tunnel EXTRA online does seem longer...full 30 get your snacks and hit your pit stops before tuning in. I love WT Extra :) Though use it as radio as the constantly rotating camera is annoying.

Sophia said...

DW's bromance with Kyle B is ova! Too bad he wasn't on longer.

I've been saying for MONTHS KyB is a brat.

I also feel JM is after money now and may get payoff. Why because DW said so, too? No because Jeremy is DOCUMENTING EVERYTHING.

He may be guilty indeed but as mentioned, one judge overturned NASCAR's suspension, and Jeremy is collecting lots of ammunition.

And as a savvy attorney type posted here, would cost a fortune for this to go on in court and take MONTHS to even get to court. THINK how many more interviews JM could do before then.

I do wish Dave would've asked about TV coverage of the races to DW but he did not.

DW is always fun on WT but this needed to last longer.

Love Robin Miller, too.

kbaskins said...

Wow. We got a great glimpse of DW tonight, and I was impressed, mostly because I agreed with everything he said. :-)

Too bad contemplative DW doesn't often show up on TV during the FOX portion of the Cup schedule. He's much better than product-shilling DW.

OK, I've revised my Wind Tunnel co-host line-up. It should be one week per month each for Miller, Shrader, DW and Varsha. Dave Despain is very good on his own, but he absolutely comes alive when he has a co-host.

I thoroughly enjoyed DW and WT tonight.


kbaskins said...

And I should mention that I don't much enjoy DW when he's on FOX.


Sophia said...


Love your list!

AGREE about Cohost for Dave. He is going on vacation a couple more times this summer,I think, I wish they would ask Robin to co host again...with SCHRADER! IMAGINE those two together and the stories!:) And on extra...they could be more off the cuff

The TV SHOW needs to be TWO HOURS THOUGH. WT is the fastet hour in tv on nights like tonight.

TexasRaceLady said...

Dang that hour went by in a hurry. Just when DW was getting good -- it was over!

Glenn said...

That was better than fresh air.

Daly Planet Editor said...

There is a new post up to continue your comments on Wind Tunnel and DW.

Thanks as always!