Monday, September 21, 2009
Mike Helton To Guest On "TWIN" Monday Night
This season, Monday Nights on SPEED have featured an island of NASCAR amid the hours of lifestyle shows. Those programs involve everything from a family that tows trucks to a guy driving cars that absolutely none of us can ever afford.
This Week in NASCAR is the island and it has been suffering from the blahs. This year the program was reduced to two panelists, no guests and racing highlights that have already been seen many times. Host Steve Byrnes has done his best, but it seems that change is once again coming to this series as SPEED looks to freshen things up.
Last Monday, Jimmy Spencer suddenly appeared from left field under the guise of sitting in for Michael Waltrip who was on vacation. Instead, it was then announced that Spencer will now join the show as a third panelist for the remainder of the season. That puts Waltrip and Spencer with either Greg Biffle or Chad Knaus on the panel every week.
Adding yet another wrinkle, SPEED recently announced that NASCAR President Mike Helton will visit the program by joining the panel on Monday. All of this sets-up what should be a very interesting episode. 8PM will find Byrnes with Waltrip, Biffle, Spencer and Helton. This marks the first time for this combination of panelists in recent memory and the first time this season for a live guest in the studio.
SPEED and the NASCAR Media Group, who produces the program, have also tinkered with the format of the show. Remember, this is the program that clung to previewing the upcoming race and then reviewing the weekend highlights for months. After sorting that out, things began to flow.
This show has tons of potential as the alternative to the formal and scripted NASCAR Now program that ESPN offers on Monday afternoons. Embracing the informality and casual feel of SPEED's NASCAR coverage is the key. Adding Spencer to the show is a step toward putting someone on the panel who will challenge Waltrip's views on various topics.
Watching the interaction between those two will be fascinating. Perhaps, the presence of Helton and Biffle will serve to keep things calm. Either way, Byrnes will have a handful when things get underway.
Before SPEED gets on the air, ESPN2's show at 5PM will feature Ricky Craven, Boris Said and Ray Evernham talking with host Allen Bestwick. It's always interesting to watch the formality of ESPN in suits and ties as the lead-in to the polo shirts, jeans and sneakers of the SPEED gang.
TDP invites your comments on this topic. Just click on the comments button below to 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 The Daly Planet.