Monday, July 27, 2009

Monday's Spin Doctors Dominate NASCAR TV

There were only two experienced members of the NASCAR media on the Monday TV shows. Allen Bestwick was the host of NASCAR Now and Steve Byrnes was the host of This Week in NASCAR.

ESPN2's show featured Ray Evernham, Rusty Wallace and Brad Daugherty. That makes two current Sprint Cup Series owners and one current Nationwide Series owner offering comments. Evernham retains his partial ownership role. SPEED's program had Greg Biffle and Michael Waltrip as panelists. One current Sprint Cup Series driver and one current owner/driver.

NASCAR Now put Daugherty in the seat normally occupied by an ESPN reporter on the panel. There is no doubting Daugherty's enthusiasm and dedication where the sport is concerned. The problem is that alongside of Wallace and Evernham he does not have a role.

Bestwick tried to advance Daugherty as "the voice of the fan" last season, but ESPN put a stop to that. When he is in the infield, Daugherty's on-air enthusiasm really works well. Unfortunately, surrounded on a review show by experts, he is left to simply restate the obvious. This program really missed a journalist on the panel.

It's no secret that Wallace and Evernham disagree on almost everything. Each of these men has a super-ego and it is a challenge for them to play well with others. Bestwick did a good job of getting them talking and offering opinions on what many felt was a disappointment of a race from Indy.

Evernham offered what may have been the best explanation of how NASCAR determines speeding penalties on pit road, but once again ESPN had no video to go with it. Just like the race broadcast on Sunday failed to explain the mechanism behind the penalty, NASCAR Now had no video on Monday. Machinery, print outs or even pictures of the embedded wires on the pit road segments would have helped.

"It's definitely a valid penalty," said Wallace. "It's all electronic, it's on a computer. NASCAR doesn't have anything to do with this decision." Wallace went on to say that simply by missing the original manual setting of the pit road speed limit prior to the race, Montoya may have well put himself in the situation of exceeding the 5 mph limit that NASCAR allows for an over-run.

Former crew chief Evernham was pointing the finger at Montoya and his crew chief. With a five second lead on the track, clearly the best car and the race winding down, Evernham questioned why anyone would take a risk of speeding on pit road.

Strangely, TWIN's Chad Knaus was a telephone guest on NASCAR Now. Knaus was interviewed by Bestwick and he first raised the point of limited passing. Unfortunately, that issue was lost among the continued political answers by Knaus about Hendrick Motorsports. Bestwick never asked Knaus if Johnson could have won without Montoya's mistake.

The subject of Kyle Busch got the panel fired-up briefly. Daugherty continues to be eternally optimistic and predicted a "mini-run" from Busch to get him in the Chase. Wallace was clear in his view that Busch was not going to make it. Evernham picked Busch to win the championship, so he was all in.

Give credit to Bestwick for bringing up the COT. Evernham still wants the crew chiefs to have some more adjustments available to them. Wallace wants mandatory weight distribution to stop the crews from building light and moving all the lead weights in the frame rail to the left side. Finally, some real racing talk on this episode.

The best races of the weekend were the trucks and the Nationwide Series. NASCAR Now offered quick highlights, but no driver soundbites. In closing, Wallace offered that the ORP race was "a defining moment" for his son in his racing career. The only time Steven was shown in the highlights was when he rear-ended the leader under caution.

After last week's reporter roundtable, this show was a snap back to the reality of deeply-connected NASCAR personalities walking gingerly through pre-selected topics in a well-scripted hour.

Michael Waltrip set his chaos meter on high and simply dominated This Week In NASCAR from the first moment the program hit the air. Greg Biffle should have just stayed home and called it in. Waltrip's extended rant on the Montoya speeding penalty at the top of the show just started the monologue that this program has become.

Steve Byrnes gets credit for consistently trying to bring Biffle into the conversation by aiming questions directly to him. During these fleeting moments, Waltrip just simmers and then eventually explodes.

Biffle tried to explain how drivers set the pit road speed limit from the pace car prior to the race. "Forget the pace car," said Waltrip. "That's almost irrelevant." Waltrip went on to again disregard Biffle's answer while making sure to plug the fact he would be on Twitter after the show to offer even more of his opinions.

In watching the show, it becomes clear when Waltrip is in this mood that Biffle will never have the last word on any topic. Waltrip will not allow it. Byrnes is a TV veteran and enjoys a good conversation, but Waltrip was the star of this show long before Byrnes came along as host. It's very clear who is driving this bus.

The shame of this is that Biffle is an experienced racer who has good opinions and observations. He has learned to stay calm when Waltrip is like this and just let him talk. Biffle managed to get one good opinion out about Goodyear's tire improvement and that was about it.

Walltrip completely ducked Byrnes asking about the overheating problem on the #55 car and moved into a team promo for MWR featuring David Reutimann. After offering lengthy explanations on topics concerning other teams and cars, Waltrip owed viewers the same on his day in Indy.

One strength of this program from the start has been the pre-produced features from the NASCAR Media Group. This week, in addition to the regular race reviews there were features on a young Bobby Labonte and a rare glimpse into the brief career of the late Tim Richmond. Both were outstanding and reminded us again that the lack of NASCAR Media Group programming like this on SPEED is glaring.

In a way, Waltrip is beginning to experience some of the problems of his older brother on TV. Michael offers some great opinions and has some great perspectives on the sport just like Darrell. Unfortunately, those comments now often come wrapped in endless self-promotion and petulant behavior that is tough to watch.

Both Monday shows walked the NASCAR line and avoided the reality that without the Montoya penalty, only one late race restart might have added a hint of excitement to a track that may well be losing its luster for some NASCAR fans.

Which show did you watch? We welcome your opinion at TDP. To add your comment, just click on the comments button below. This is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind when posting. Thanks for stopping by, have a great week.


Anonymous said...

Sorry SPEED, I have no interest in watching an infomercial about Michael Waltrip and his sponsors.

Nathan Brice said...

TWIN has not been the same since Allen Bestwick left. NASCAR Now has improved its Monday shows with Bestwick. Brad is alright, but cannot offer much perspective not having been as deeply rooting in NASCAR as Ray and Rusty. They could use Marty Smith on all these Monday shows since he is probably the best reporter in NASCAR. Next Monday's show will be with all the pit reporters. That will offer a different perspective. That is something that is needed on the Monday NASCAR Now shows. NASCAR Now has been the better watch for a while.

Anonymous said...

I am not a Rusty Wallace fan, but I really liked him tonight. He livened the show up quite a bit, and was dismissive of Brad in a way that I wish the host would be when he says some of his less-than-thought-out comments.

PS - Gonna start a new Mayfield thread? NASCAR claims in new documents that they have multiple witnesses who will testify they saw Mayfield use meth, and that Mayfield has already contacted one of them to get her to change her story. Priceless! Wonder if they will cover this on Tuesday's show?

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU for saying what needs to be said about Michael Waltrip! He used to be fun and funny. Now he is nothing but a self-aggrandizing NASCAR apologist. He's become insufferable on TWIN and it definitely would be civil of him to let Greg get a word in edgewise. I couldn't believe the way he cut Biffle off on that pace car thing! Do fans want to hear more from the driver who is 11th in points ... or 33rd?

Anonymous said...
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Daly Planet Editor said...

The shame in all of that is many of us enjoy the veteran perspective that Waltrip brings to this show.

His NASCAR experience plus his sense of humor used to be the foundation of this TV series.

I like Wallace since he was moved to the infield. On shows like this, he really needs a Marty Smith or Mike Massaro to get him going in a good debate.


Agricola said...

Sorry, but both shows long ago lost their place in our limited television viewing. Mikey is unbearable when he is in one of his moods, and the ESPN show is just not interesting. We, and I suspect many others, want information and opinion about the last race or current events, and right now twitter and blogs (by various reporters or fans) provide a far richer source of of both. Politically correct responses to hot topics and infantile antics on the set just don't work for us anymore.

earl said...

I must admit, I never watch either of these shows. For me, Sirius handles the Monday (and beyond) wrap-ups quite well.

It's really kind of sad to hear what TWIN (INC,IWC) has become. 5 years ago, this was the definitive NASCAR program away from the track. We never missed a show. Now, I don't even know anyone that's seen an episode in the last two years.

What's worse is that I doubt there's anything they could do to get me back as a viewer. They could have Richard Petty as host and a permanent roundtable of Dale Jr, Tony Stewart and Jeff Gordon and still I'd be tempted not to watch.

ESPN seems to be doing a much better job emulating the old IWC formula, but their agendas always seem to pervade the shows in a creepy way.

TexasRaceLady said...

I would have enjoyed NN more had Brad not been on the panel. He added nothing to the discussion.

Michael was just flat-rude on Monday night -- disgustingly rude.
Where does he get the idea that every word that falls from his lips is a pearl of wisdom.

Anonymous said...

Mikey dominates too much, the show is better when Chad is on. NN may have had Chad on the phone but we actually saw and heard from him on TWIN. I like that TWIN showed truck and nationwide highlights. I really liked the Bobby Labonte lookback and the feature on Tim Richmond, didn't realize that Bobby peaked and has fallen so fast.

MRM4 said...

"Bestwick never asked Knaus if Johnson could have won without Montoya's mistake."

I could give Bestwick a pass on not asking that because Knaus would have given the mandatory statements of either "Montoya was so much better than everyone else" or "I'd like to think we would have beaten him" or something along those lines.

Deborah said...

I guess as often seems the case I feel like I was watching a different TWIN than others. I thought the first segment was good and that regardless of who was doing most of the talking they did a good job of explaining what happened with JPM and the speeding penalty. Michael had talked with Mike Helton earlier in the day so perhaps that was why he took the lead in the conversation. Given some of the ridiculous conspiracy theories making the rounds about NASCAR giving JPM a penalty because they didn't want him to win the race, I can't blame Michael for being fired up.

Ken said...
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Ziggy said...

Wow! I've been a Mikey fan since the days of the Wood Bros but last night while watching TWIN I was gritting my teeth so hard that I had to flip channels. The Biff probably left the studio shaking his head wondering why the hell did I waste my time coming here today.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Good point about AB. I sure do miss it when the guest is not interviewed by the panel members on NN.

It would have been much better if Evernham and Wallace could have asked Chad about his race strategy.

I am told this is a logistical issue because of limited availability of the guests, so the segment is recorded in advance.


Anonymous said...

NASCAR Now: Happy I recorded the show with the DVR. I wish they spent a little more time facing the reality with the car & attendence. I liked the different viewpoints of Rusty & Ray. Brad served no purpose on the show. Every time he comments I speed through his answer with fast foward. He doesn't have the crediblity & experience the other three have around the sport. His endless positive spin & support for NASCAR, the attendence, the car, the race, the drivers is just his only comfort zone. He doesn't have the experience to make his own comment or criticism.

TWIN: Greg was behind Michael's shadow the entire show. I watched 20 minutes & turned off the TV. His useless rambling about his team & sponsors, disrespect for Biffle, & ducking of questions he doesn't want to answer certainly encourages fans to change the channel. Greg Biffle has the experience to offer comments (14 wins compared to Michael's 4) & deserves respect. The show has some work to do to with the panel to keep the show going in 2010.

Thornton, Colorado said...

Unbearable. Simply mind-numbing. I can't imagine home life at the Waltrips. But anyway, "apologetic" seems to be Mikey's middle name. Of course Biffle didn't fare much better when they both had said the race was "exciting". I guess if I got paid millions, I would say that California needs to have three dates.I wonder if Waltrip (both brothers)get a memo from NASCAR warning that they may never work in NASCAR again if they take the fan's perspective.I feel sorry for Biffle, though. I can just see his wife at home watching and wondering about that omnipresent escape-clause for the show. How embarrassing.

50 yr. fan said...

15 minutes of Jaws Jr. and I changed to the baseball game.
I would love to see Biffle put
him in his place one time by telling him to just shut up for one

Anonymous said...
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Zieke said...

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. That show, TWIN, is unwatchable because of Waltrip. Looks like I'm seeing other fans agree, but of course, the network just goes on their merry way of keeping him on. They should be ashamed to let Waltrip plug himself and sponsors the way they do. Despicable at best.

Anonymous said...

Thank god for DVRs. I was glad I was able to FF to the Labonte and Tim Richmond segments.

dawg said...

Mikey,may, no make that ALWAYS, has the last word, but I have the last word on him at my house. That word is mute. I refuse to watch any show that he is on, & while I'm more, or less, forced to sit through his cutesy,(an act that, surprisingly, many fans still buy) commercials. I don't have to listen to him.

glenc1 said...

I hope all the Waltrip cheerleaders could at least *recognize* how rude he was to Biffle AGAIN last night. I nearly shut it off completely, and if it's just those two again I probably will. I think there are probably more 'animated' people than the Biff who could do this show, but who would bother with the way Waltrip treats everyone? I, like many, started out liking him, but he's just become unbearably self serving and impolite.

NN was not the best episode I've seen from them. I admire Brad's enthusiasm, but his knowledge is so limited, and his endless cheerleading for Busch is tiresome. There are others who would be more useful.

banzaibonnie said...
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Dot said...

I think it should be up to Steve to rein in Mikey. Isn't he the traffic controller?

I have questioned in the past as to why Brad is on NN. One of us Planeteers could offer the same insight as a fan. His seat should be filled with a more knowledgeable participant. Same thing applies to Boris.

Props to Rusty for mentioning the car and the lack of racing it provides.

Anonymous said...

Mikey's 2 Daytona wins have inflated his ego to the point he thinks he is a great driver. Wrong Mikey. You won those races in DEI equipment when their cars were dominating plate races to the point anyone driving them could have won in it. Please stop your endless drivel and give us your 10 second opinion of the race as its viewed from the back of the pack or from the garage.

Anonymous said...

Brad Daugherty gets way too much respect from the NASCAR world - he doesn't seem to know anything more than the average fan. Often less!

I understand Daughtery was the NBA #1 draft pick. I understand he is a college basketball legend. I understand that he has the racing bug many of us has. But what does that add up to him being a commentator.

Most priceless moment of NASCAR Now (and if you have this on DVR still, it is well worth looking up again and re-watching)... during the discussion of Montoya's speeding violation... Daughtery makes a really dumb point and Wallace puts out his hands and goes "Wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute". But the best part is after the last "wait a minute" at the moment everyone stopped laughing, he cocks his head at Daughtery and rips off the most dismissive laugh. It was basically a "you don't know the first thing about racing" gesture, and it was AWESOME.

I hope a few of you have this on your DVR so you can play it and back me up -- what a classic moment!

I'm not a big Rusty Wallace fan. As a racer and on-air personality, he always kinda had an aura of being a part of the body I can't type on a family blog. In other words, a major jerk. But this is the second time he's been on the NASCAR Now panel where he came off really well. There were a few times he dominated the discussion a bit, but that's the moderator's job... his insights and analysis were the best part of the show. (Ray, also).

West Coast Diane said...

Just read the piece on pit road speeding on Stockcarscience website. Probably more detailed than TV would be willing to show, but certainly some of it could have been discussed to clarify the process (sort of like the drug testing process). Why NASCAR doesn't work with TV to help dispel some of the black helicopter stuff is beyond me. Realize some people will never be convinced, but as I believe "red" has said, "go with the science" (or similar :-)). And cars definitely less complicated than drug testing.

Regarding Ray E. The piece on Wind Tunnel this past Sunday was great. No ego there, or a very good actor. So cool what he is doing with his dirt track. Also, his comment that he reached the "Peter Principle" by promoting himself to his level of incompetency was too funny. Dave D. did a great job. Nice that it was at Ray's track and not in studio or by satellite.

Anonymous said...

Comparing Brad to Boris is not even close. Boris has actually *raced* in NASCAR events for nearly 10 years. I'm glad at least his peers respect him. Road courses actually take more talent than other tracks, that's why the winners read like a who's who of champions.

Sophia said...

I also LOVED the segment on Ray on WTunnel. Great to see Dave out of studio for a story about local tracks. I could've done without the MTV CONSTANT changing from color to B&W, to color & B&W.

Just like the races, gotta spoil things with odd video or music. Totally enjoyed the Tim Richmond piece..would like to see an HOUR on that driver.

NN & Twin were not their best for reasons already mentioned. Also too much video on the show. Be nice to have more panel, more talking, evenly balance, no domination.

Bring back Kenny Schrader who's old stories could draw REGULAR VIEWERS. Don't care if he is not current Cup driver; he's great insight, humor and does not pretend to know everything. He also has rich history. Sorely missed.

Though I know he is not under 30 thus useless to SPEED's taste for people on TV.

Anonymous said...

I used to feel bad for Greg Biffle -- he just gets run over in this show.

But it's up to Greg Biffle to step up. He's been on TWIN a lot now - he is no longer a guest on Steve & Michael's show, he is a co-panelist. So he should step up if he wants to get a word in edgewise. Knaus is not afraid to call Waltrip on some of his stuff, but Biffle just sits there looking frustrated.

He needs to be on this show the way he is on the track - I bet if the 55 "interrupted" him on the track, there'd be a different response. He needs to show it here, or else Waltrip can't be to blame.

Anonymous said...

Nascar now is head and shoulders above Twin. Waltrip is impossible to watch or listen.For a person who is a bottomfeeder in Nascar he sure gets a lot of airtime.

Karen said...

Dot said ...

Props to Rusty for mentioning the car and the lack of racing it provides.

Yeah, that's b/c he's going to have to build a ton of them for NW soon and if he moves Steven to Cup (perish the thought), he will have to there, too.

Richard in N.C. said...

I learned a lot about the pit road speed monitoring I did not know before - in particular that it is automated. It seemed to me that Mikey might have been PO'd about the NASCAR bashing about the speeding call on Montoya, of whom I am a fan, and wanted to get that off his chest. It did seem to me that he was more relaxed in the second half of the show.

I might have missed it, but I found it refreshing to not hear about the Mayfield saga.

Anonymous said...

All that Waltrip sillyness was worth seeing highlights of Tim Richmond. Man I miss him driving a race car. As far as NASCAR Now, why in the world isn't Marty Smith on every show? In my opinion, he is the proverbial "bridge" between corporate ESPN and the good ol' boy NASCAR.

Anonymous said...

I fast-forwarded through both shows faster than normal this week.

TWIN: Mikey talked way too much as usual. I would have like to have heard more from Biffle. Chad seems a bit more adept in the studio than Biffle, but I always like hearing Chad's view on things.

NN: At the beginning of the show, I thought AB was getting a dig on Brad about thinking the race was over way before the finish. At least it seemed that way to me. Later on when Ray and Rusty were arguing about the JPM penalty and being conservative vs driver being juiced up, Ray brought up the point that it just makes sense to talk to the driver to back off and not screw up. Rusty wondered about the audio between JPM and his crew chief. Good point Rusty, let's hear it. Well ESPN? Nothing. Time to move on.

Anonymous said...

I contacted Speed years ago about the "ME" agenda of Michael Waltrip. They sent a thank you and never seemed to take it serious. I am sure others have contacted them as I see these type of comments all over the racing news and blogs. There will be no change and as usual I will ff through MW and select only the segments where there is some unbiased discussions and no "Me, Me, Me" or Napa & great Nascar decisions....


Anonymous said...

Michael can be funny and entertaining in small doses. Monday eve he was out of control and downright rude.

I would have liked to hear a lot more of what Greg had to say. Steve would turn to him, but after 2 words, Michael cut in. RUDE RUDE

Doc Hosteteler said...

Here is an interesting thought: Get Jeff Gordon or Dale Earnhardt Jr (as if they would sign up for a train wreck), and I guarantee you would hear crickets next to Mikey's chair. I am not a fan of either driver, but the ratings would skyrocket (which is what part of it is about), and bring back Shrader (who could just waylay Jeff Gordon with his wise, fatherly figure stories from when Jeff started) and you would have the makings of one heck of a fun, entertaining, and RACE oriented show. Go back to the Hot Seat guest, and actually bring in top guests, or at least the ones that ran good on race day, and you couldn't go wrong.As far as ESPN's Nascar Now, the Evernham connection just tells me there is a back story there as to why he is a guest. Maybe no Southern accent during the week? I don't know, but I think they have went the right way recently, but still could use a little tweaking here and there. TWIN has morphed into unwatchable, much like RaceDay for me. What do we know, we're only the people that watch and buy the sponsors' product. I gues we have no say.

PammH said...

anon 11:42, I did as you suggested & you were right! Rusty's look & chuckle at Brad was priceless! Brad brings NO valid pts to the table, imo.
TWIN is close to unwatchable these days. I only had it on for background noise & was taping it, but I noticed I heard WAAAY more Mikey than Greg. However, the pieces on Tim & Bobby were terrific!! Glad I taped it, so I could rewatch it. That's the kind of programming we need more of.

Vicky D said...

I was very disappointed with Waltrip hogging the answers when Biffle is explaining things and he never gets to finish his thoughts. Why doesn't the director or Steve Byrnes try to talk to him after the show to remind him not to do this in future shows. Yes, too much testosterone on Nascar Now last night.

Dot said...

@ Karen,

Too funny. I didn't even think of that. Good point.

Anonymous said...

West Coast Diane
If Nascar would get with the time and record cars with ET. instead of
MPH. between timing lights on pit
road, they would stop the speeding up and slowing down between lights.
Tks.JD. Ron Il.

Newracefan said...

NN was ok but Brad was out of his element and did not really not contribute much to the show. I didn't realize unti this show how much Ray and Rusty do not enjoy each others company. Rusty seems to have moved on from his hatred of Jeff and dumped a double dose on Ray, it's like he's blaming Ray for helping Jeff beat him. Get over it already.
Yes Mikey was over the top today, he had way to much coffee. Chad has learned to stomp on him so he can get a word in Greg needs to learn to that same stomp. My other question is there usually someone talking in Mikey's ear telling him to stop was that person off on Monday.

Anonymous said...

To those that think Brad Daugherty knows little of racing and is just some sort of token ex-NBAer there to earn a paycheck, please do some research on the guy. His dad took him to races as a kid and the bug bit him hard at an early age - I've even seen a photo of Brad hanging at Daytona with Richard Petty when Brad was 14 YEARS OLD! He's every bit as much into the sport as any of the supposed "expert reporters" you guys want in place. So what he chose to take advantage of his physical abilities to get him a scholarship to college (UNC no less) and an NBA career. My bet is he would've been a driver or crew member had he not followed his basketball prowess through to his retirement. Well, that is, if a nearly 7' person could've fit into a car.

Cut the guy a break. When you have to follow up behind such apparent "NASCAR royalty" as Rusty Wallace and Ray Evernham, could any of YOU sound like you belonged there? Didn't think so. Do you guys throw Tom Hammonds under the bus for trying to drag race (as an actual driver)?

Just because Brad is new to the scene "to you" doesn't mean he hasn't been enamored with, closely followed, and well educated about stock car racing for several decades now. Blowing him out because he can't hang with the likes of Evernham and Wallace is very short-sighted and IMHO, very unfair to the man.

PammH said...

anon 9:21-I understand Brad is a am I. I'm not just "famous" for some sport. He's only added because of his race, imo. And I've only been a fan since 2001 when DE died. Bet cha I know waaay know about the sport than BD, cuz I delve head-long into something I'm interested in. jmo, of course..

Anonymous said...

I love Greg Biffle and only watch twin to see him ♥

Daly Planet Editor said...

anon 9:21PM,

You are a little late to the party. We know Brad's history quite well. As I said in my column, Brad is a blast in the infield studio and is a good guest during the weekday NN shows on specific topics.

The point I was trying to make is that in this setting, Brad was an outsider. While Ray and Rusty were earning their NASCAR credentials, Brad was playing basketball.

IMHO this show needed a journalist like Marty Smith, Mike Massaro or Ryan McGee to add in an expert media opinion rather than Brad's well intentioned fan perspective.


Old Fan said...

I can't watch either Waltrip. Also, I feel SPEED loses credibillity with the audience when their personalities have sponsors on their shirts. How does that lend to their objectivity? It would be nice if the broadcasters would treat this like the sort that is, and not an "entertainment" event. Although, NA$CAR most likely wants it that way.

God I miss Ned Jarrett and Benny Parsons!!!

bknotts said...

I generally like Michael Waltrip on TWIN, but I have to agree about this episode. He had a lot to say without saying anything, and he has an annoying tendency to to parrot the company line on anything regarding a NASCAR ruling.

At least Greg Biffle will sometimes take a contrary position.

Also, Mikey really needed to explain his early exit from the race.

Lesley said...
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Dede said...

Sheesh is this the bash Michael Waltrip site? He was his usual self on Twin and its up to the Biff to step up instead of sitting there like a lump on a log. Certain personalities work better together than others and the Biff and Mikey don't work unless the Biff steps up and doesn't allow Waltrip to run away with the show. Waltrip just gets excited and has such a passion for Nascar in general, so chill everyone and have a nice day.

Daly Planet Editor said...


When drivers take roles as on-air announcers either on other races or studio shows like TWIN they are open to review just like any other media celebrity.

While some fans add a line or two about Waltrip's on track issues, that is not the focus of this topic.

We have seen him as informed and funny for many years. Monday night, IMHO he was out of control.

The theme of the comments above is pretty clear, being respectful of a fellow panelist and his opinions when there are only two on the entire panel is something rather fundamental.

Our goal as fans is not to get this show cancelled, but to get it back to an interesting and informative hour that we all want to watch.


Anonymous said...

Waltrip is a strong personality on the show, and he requires a strong personality to be on the show with him. Chad has learned how to deal with Mikey, as have other drivers that have been on the show. Somehow Biffle just can't keep up. We all love the entertainment that Mikey provides, he just needs a stronger partner to keep up.

Anonymous said...
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Dannyboy said...

It's just like they say about Manny Ramirez: "He's just Mikey being Mikey."

I don't have a "man crush" on MW, nor ANY kind of crush. I like his schtick - he cracks me up. Partly because he cracks HIM up. If he were a musician he'd be a virtuoso soloist because he's got the "stream of consciousness" thing down pat. But that can get out of hand too.

The chemstry in this version of "The Mikey Show" - (PLEASE! No complaints: I've watched it for over 10 years and SCHRADER always used to call it that.) is different and not quite up to MW's level of intensity. Steve Byrnes is a genuinely nice guy, and so are Biff and Chad, but they're just not on Mikey's level when it comes to "winging it".

I always regret when a show comes off like this past weeks' because I do very much enjoy Biffle's take on the action. But truth be told, when Mikey poo-poohed BIff's take on the JPM speeding issue, he specifically referred to the tach/pace car aspect of it as being irrelevant. I know why he said that. I agree with him. Just about every other commentator from Ray Evernham to Rusty (JD: They definitely agreed on THIS one!) have said what Mikey said - that JPM was up against the limit and didn't need to put himself in jeopardy that way. Maybe he's used to the Champ Car and F-1 systems which are tied into the track's sensors and fully automatic. You push a button and it limits your RPM according to the track's system. He trusted the technology too much and got burned.

But Mikey's take on it was valid and I felt he made it more clear to me than other explanations.

Nevertheless, the show needs a stronger personality like Dave Despain to keep MW in check. But even Dave used to crack up at Mikey's antics.

Anonymous said...

Sadly, Michael's constant pushing of his own agenda has led me to avoid any show where I know he will play a major role (which is why I can still watch the races.) TWIN is nothing but a distant memory - I miss the days with Kenny Schrader.

I also appreciate Brad Daugherty's enthusiasm, but still can't really see his role other than a cheerleader. But, I would still take him over either self-aggrandising Waltrip.

And, I'd like to echo Old Fan's comments about the commentators having sponsors on their shirts - it makes me wonder how biased their opinions can become.

BTW - thanks for this forum, and for your blog - it's nice to see some of the things we think during the broadcast shared by others.

Anonymous said...

There wouldn't be as many people doubting the speeding violation had NASCAR not black flagged them at Phoenix for the same issue then apologized and admitted they were wrong about it.

Patrick said...

When I first saw who was on the NASCAR Now panel, I thought to myself, this is the three I wanted to see the LEAST. I could'nt have put it more succinctly myself. Well done, John. I think the format almost demands a different occupation in each panelist. We need a reporter, just about any reporter will do, but I prefer Marty or Fryer.
Just once I'd like to see the Biff and Knaus without the over-the-top Waltrip. I doubt that'll happen, but someone should pay for a vacation for Waltrip.

Sophia said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

There wouldn't be as many people doubting the speeding violation had NASCAR not black flagged them at Phoenix for the same issue then apologized and admitted they were wrong about it.

July 29, 2009 3:24 PM


BINGO! Ding, ding, ding. That's been my gripe also from the get go but can't remember if I posted here or on another thread about that. THUS my questioning at IMS..and if they were wrong in Phoenix, why not cut JPM some slack last week.

They say NASCAR would LOVE JPM to win for diversity...I have heard others claim NASCAR doesn't want the connection to OW.

Not to mention all the folks pooh poohing the conspiracy theories have NOT given specificities as to how the NEW FANGLED FAULTLESS scoring system was correct at Indy and held up..but later determined wrong in Phoenix.

NA$Car Etch-A-Sketch rules again.

Anonymous said...

MW makes TWIN worth watching.