Wednesday, January 20, 2010

SPEED Shifts Gears And "TWIN" Is The Casualty


News Update: Michael Waltrip announced on Thursday morning that he is joining the cast of Showtime's new "Inside NASCAR" series. Click here to jump to our Facebook page for more news and comments on this topic.

Well, this is certainly going to be an interesting column to write and it should get equally interesting reactions. No topic in the three years of TDP has ever gotten more email and comments than This Week in NASCAR on SPEED.

In 1996, then SpeedVision Executive Producer Bob Scanlon tried to get some NASCAR programming into the mix for the new cable network. He enlisted the help of the old Sunbelt Video Studios in Charlotte, NC. The result was an iconic show that ultimately became a cult hit for a small audience of hardcore race fans.

Inside Winston Cup Racing was a familiar title. Ned Jarrett had hosted a show by that name on TNN also produced by Sunbelt. But, now TNN was gone. The title moved over to Mondays on SpeedVision, flexing over the years with the changing sponsors and emerged in 2009 on SPEED as This Week in NASCAR.

Monday, reporter Michael Smith of The Sports Business Journal offered an advance peek at SPEED's NASCAR TV plans for 2010. Click here for the full article. One paragraph jumped off the page:

The network's stalwart This Week in NASCAR on Monday nights has been cancelled. The news and analysis format, hosted by Steve Byrnes, Michael Waltrip and a variety of other guests, "just wasn't connecting with the fans anymore," SPEED President Hunter Nickell said.

One original member from this TV series is Waltrip. He addressed this topic on his Twitter feed:

"So TWIN was an incredible 14 year experience. I'm happy I was part of it. Alan, Kenny, Johnny, I'm thankful we had the chance to hang out. Steve, me and you are veterans. I'm glad we got to hang. Greg, Chad, Jimmy y'all were a joy to work with."

SPEED has already rolled out a new Monday through Thursday evening NASCAR news and interview show called Race Hub. Smith reports that the network will also revamp Monday nights with some new NASCAR oriented programming.

From the Sports Business Journal article:

Among the new programming: A show that delves into the lifestyle of the fans who tailgate and camp at the track; a show that recaps the Sprint Cup race through scanner communication between the drivers and their crews; and Jimmy Spencer's own show, a first for the former driver and outspoken co-host of Speed's at-track show, NASCAR RaceDay.

While the tailgating show is new, fans of TWIN may recognize two elements of the old show that are being retained. The "Scanner Chatter" feature where NASCAR Media Group video and audio footage is edited into highlight form was always popular on TWIN. Expanding that content into a stand-alone show is not a new concept, but it's better than losing it all together.

Jimmy Spencer was added to TWIN during the 2009 Chase for the Championship. He was the odd man out from the beginning and never fit in. What he did bring to the table were his passionate and outspoken rants on various NASCAR topics.

It seems that SPEED may believe that Spencer's willingness to put himself on the NASCAR firing line will pay off in ratings. The format of Spencer's new TV offering has still not been made public. One thing is for sure, Spencer does not keep a low profile when the cameras are on. The RaceDay program confirms that.

Most goodbyes in TV are awkward and sometimes they never even happen. Suddenly, something is just gone. The abrupt departure of Allen Bestwick and Johnny Benson from TWIN years ago backs-up that reality. There will be no highlights show from SPEED of the best moments of TWIN over the last 14 years.

The garbage truck emptying the dumpster outside the studio's flimsy garage door. Someone having the bright idea to give Michael Waltrip a slo-mo replay controller. Bestwick about to have a coronary because the show was completely out of control. Kenny Schrader asking Mike Helton every season how much he made, for information purposes only.

Over the years dogs have wandered through the set, hundreds of NASCAR personalities have been guests and thousands of topics have been discussed. While the show had declined over the past several seasons, the efforts to revive it by SPEED and the NASCAR Media Group seemed half-hearted. Maybe, the time is right to move on.

How do you feel about the cancellation of this long-running show? Do you have a favorite memory that made you a NASCAR fan or stuck in your mind forever? Do you feel that this timing is right or would you have liked the show in some form to continue?

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97 comments:

Sophia said...

Well the reason given for dropping TWIN CONTINUES to show how CLUELESS SPEED CHANNEL is:

"just wasn't connecting with the fans anymore," SPEED President Hunter Nickell said.

Many of us STILL loved this show and CERTAINLY would pick it over yet another horrible lifestyle show. I am guessing if Jimmy S is going around tailgaters, they may be drunk and making up drama...ugh. So disappointing.

SPEED gives us N Hub that I can't get into (never mind the Hooter's girl additions!?@#!) and make room for another show while the favorite for MANY of us is yanked off the air. Not even a best of.

Well, it might not have been IWC anymore but it sure deserved better than this.

NASCAR & their tv partners seem to make one good move follow by many more mis-steps.

I won't be watching either new show out or principle.

I LOVED the quiet, calm studio setting of people talking (when they were able to stop the video roll outs) Mikey & Chad truly clicked in the eyes of many and Steve ALWAYS seemed to enjoy himself on the show.

No matter how angry I was over the HORRIBLE camera coverage of BSPN, I could always count on Monday night to help my mood. In these troubled times, that WAS A GOOD THING FOR NASCAR!

I thought Jimmmy S on this show was hot and cold and awkward at times, but the nights I enjoyed him he was terrific. Guess they were testing him for a new show.

I bet poor Mikey & Steve had no idea what was happening right under their noses by some suits.

Waltrip can not be happy to have 14 yrs just gone & no ability to say good-bye.

I can already tell things are going to be very different for me this season. Lots less tv viewing & lots less multi tasking for the races. I hope SPEED doesn't screw up the quals/practice shows now with a new guy running the network. So far dropping TWIN is a HUGE FAIL imo.

Not happy.

Anonymous said...

To be honest, I couldn't care less about this show, and I'm not sure why anybody really does.

Frankly, this show died when Aland and Johnny were unceremoniously dumped. The show quickly transitioned from a fun, humorous recap involving four great personalities to a vehicle in which Michael Waltrip could feed his insatiable ego and kiss up to NASCAR.

I couldn't actually get through one episode of the "TWIN" format with changing the channel out of pure boredom.

Shirley Buttacavoli said...

Inside Winston Cup Racing was 'Must See TV' for NASCAR fans. Allen, Johnny, Kenny & Mikey were the best combo on any network, and still would be today. SPEED (Vision)’s #1 show took a nose dive – I just wish I knew who to blame. (perhaps Chris Long?)

Not only did changing the personalities hurt the continuity of the show, but moving TWIN to 8pm against network TV was the first sign of cancellation.

As a true fan of IWCR/TWIN, I stuck with Despain, Steve Byrnes, Greg Biffle and Chad Knaus. However, when Jimmy Spencer was brought on the panel, I gave it one segment of his debut and switched channels on my remote.

As far as memories, I think I still have them on VHS tape.

The discussion was changing engines during a race and the amount of time it took to do such. Neither Kenny, Johnny or Michael could agree as to the time frame. If I remember correctly, as usual, Schrader had it nailed. Michael called DW and we all listened as Darrell discussed his Chevy engine (I believe by Junior Johnson’s team) being rebuilt in 17 minutes.

CLASSIC!

My other favorite memory was when Dale Jr. was the guest. Schrader brought up going to “the mid-west for a race weekend” when Jr. was a teenager and signing the legendary napkin with Mr. H. However, the events outside the track could not be discussed on air. The conversation was personal, yet, historical. (I so wish we knew how Dale felt about that weekend.)

THAT is what true/loyal NASCAR fans want to watch. Not the scripted, politically correct programming we have today.

The media discusses drivers being “vanilla.” I think that statement could be made toward most programming that is provided to us today.

My first race was the Firecracker in 1974. I’m very thankful I was around when drivers said what they wanted to say, and rubbin’ was racin.’

I will continue to watch qualifying on SPEED, NASCAR Performance (if it didn’t get cancelled) and will give Race Hub a chance. But as far as Jimmy Spencer – the best thing he ever did for NASCAR fans was punch Kurt Busch.

But hey, that’s only my opinion, and you can read more at UWantSomeRacing.com.

Dannyboy said...

Well, they finally killed it. I'm generally not a FOX hater, but I've reserved special venom for the morons who couldn't see the value in this show.

Call me an old coot, but I still play loud rock & roll & can drive rings around most kids: I've been watching TV since the 1950s and this show was a throwback to everything that was good about old-school tv. It was spontaneous and real, in a way that PINKS or WRECKED or (ugh!) MADHOUSE will never be.

RIP IWCR/TWIN and thanks to Mikey, Schrader, Benson, Bestwick, Byrnes, Despain, Knaus, Biffle, Vickers, Herman, Mongo, LaJoie, and everyone else who sat in on the panel over the years.

You are all sorely missed. A pox on the houses of those who killed it.

David said...

This is a sad announcement, but honestly I am okay with it. The show I loved has been dead for years now and the second it became TWIN, Kenny and Johnny and Alan got the boot, I was done with it. I don't tune in, I don't make it a point to watch, I just plain don't care anymore about it. That being said, my issues were not with the new cast as Chad, Biffle, Byrnes and Spencer all added their experience to the program and are all great in their own way. I just lost interest in the show I fell in love with. It lost it's charm. It was never a huge ratings grabbing show, nor a show for EVERYONE to enjoy. Alan, Micheal, Kenny, and Johnny made you feel like they were just hanging out and you were in the group. It was honest, loose, fun, and yes even at times informative. I learned alot from that show, it made me fans of each of those drivers. But alas all good things come to an end.

I credit SPEED for trying to make the formula work, but between VL, NN, Speed Report and Windtunnel is TWIN a necessary show anymore?

IWC/INC/ISC was at its peak when it's only competition was RPM2Night, NASCAR2Day, the old TNN Sunday morning race show, and Totally NASCAR. There wasn't over-saturation like there is now. By the time TWIN airs, you've heard over 2 full hours of analysis of the race, and by the time the race starts Sunday you'll have over 8 hours of preview.

Sucks it had to go, but I remember the great times. My favorite moment was when the guys finally got to mess up Bestwick's hair. I'll never forget that! The old Hot Seat was great too!

Anonymous said...

On one hand, it is sad to see TWIN go. On the other hand, it was stale as three-week old bread. Maybe it could have been fixed, but the fact was that TWIN had become a bore. If I had to watch NASCAR Now or TWIN, it was NASCAR Now, every time -- especially once they started airing their own NASCAR-produced "scanner feature". Now that Showtime is getting into the mix with a show that sounds awesome (Kyle Petty on pay cable will be no-holds-barred goodness) and RaceHub is on daily -- there was no use for TWIN.

Amanda said...

Well this just bites the dust, though we all knew this was coming. Still s**ks though.

Don't even get me started on Spencer getting his own show. Who the heck would tune into that to watch him? I don't know anyone that will. Everybody I have talked to were glad when Speed got rid of him on Nascar Victory Lane. Don't think moving him to TWIN was a good idea either.

Amanda said...

Oh yeah forgot to add: Monday nights aren't gonna be the same without TWIN. In my honest opinion.

I know RaceHub is on monday nights, but um....with them being sponsored by Hooters.....probably not gonna tune in, unless someone I really care to watch is a guest.

Kenn Fong said...

J.D.,

Of the two Monday programs, "This Week In NASCAR" was the one I always played first off my DVR. "NASCAR Now" is consistently very good and informative, but it's always dry. "TWIN" was like a visit with old friends; friends who knew more than I did, but were willing to explain without talking down to me.

Thanks fellas.

West Coast Kenny
Alameda, California

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry... but when Allen was ABRUPTLY taken off the show, that was the beginning of a slow death for TWIN. It went down hill from there.

Anonymous said...

This makes me very sad. I wasn't crazy about the recent changes to Inside Winston Cup/TWIN, but I still enjoyed the show. I really miss Alan trying to control Michael and Schrader. I am so sick of Jimmy Spencer, who I never cared for as a driver and don't like as a commentator. Count me as one viewer that will not watch his new show. He makes so many misstatements and his opinions are often poorly thought out and sometimes downright wrong. Race Hub isn't that great, either. Speed has definitely gone downhill in the past few years.

Mary said...

I'm very sad TWIN has been cancelled - the Monday Mikey show was the only way to get through a Monday. I loved it in the days of Allan, Mikey,Schrader and Johnny and how it was "almost" out of control every week. I'm really going to miss it and I don't think I will be watching Spencer - I only tolerate him on a Sunday morning so that I can see what Johnny and Kenny have to say.

Cathy said...

Mikey, Kenny & Johnny skipping down pit road holding hands.

Anonymous said...

Can't say I am too sorry to see the show go. I wish they would have tried removing Waltrip just to see if that would help. For every person that thinks he's great and love his antics there are (probably) five that don't.

I'd also throw in the fact that the show was best when the majority of time was spent on breaking down the previous Sunday's race. It seemed like in the later years there were a lot of other segments that veered away from that topic.

Kevin said...

Sorry to see "TWIN" go! It was a "must watch" on Mondays at my house. NASCAR is losing media left and right!

Speaking of which, do you know ANYTHING about Directv Hotpass for the 2010 season?

6p010535e43b89970c said...

"The news and analysis format, hosted by Steve Byrnes, Michael Waltrip and a variety of other guests, "just wasn't connecting with the fans anymore," SPEED President Hunter Nickell said."




Could it be that Mr Nickell was NOT connecting with the fans ... ever??

The excuse he uses is SOP ... and beyond LAME ...

Maybe ... just maybe ... IF they hadn't tried to fix what was not broken ... the show would still be on ...

The show was best when it was 90 minutes in length and could show footage from all 3 of the top series ... As well as having "hot seat" guests ... and more time for answering viewer emails ... Only one ep didn't work out too well with that format & it was after the Mexico City Busch race (when the Trucks & Cup had an off week), but it was because someone didn't schedule enough guests nor recap enough of the race ...

I will NOT be subscribing to SHO to watch the other show ... I, like many other people, just do NOT have the extra money for SHO ...

With TWIN / INC / IWC gone, this frees up my Monday nights ... Guess I'll watch FOOD / HGTV / Create / ABC Family / TLC ...

Since we got SPEED in 2003, I've found that I'm watching less & less of it over the past few years with the cancellation of the NASCAR-related shows ...

As a female fan over 35yo, I guess I'm NOT part of SPEED's target demographic ... The cancellation of the show and the junk on SPEED's own website proves that they want the 15-34yo single pathetic loser male demographic ...

Christopher said...

Quite honestly I am shocked but not surprised by this. As a hardcore NASCAR fan I hate to see the program be cancelled. I found the program very informative every week and you always got a driver's perspective of the race. I will definitely miss Mikey and Kenny going off course and Alan Bestwick wigging our and struggling to bring the program back on topic. HAHAHA

Vicky D said...

As a number of posters have said, when they dumped AB & JB the show just wasn't the same. They brought in DD who acted like Nascar wasn't important and who only seem to like motorcycle racing or open wheel. I tweeted Mikey to see if we should start another letter writing campaign. It worked before!

PJ said...

Sad to see TWIN go. Although it was best when Bestwick was host they had Kenny and Johnny on. Never understood changing the host although I could see Kenny and Johnny once they weren't Cup anymore. Mikey has been the biggest problem with the show in my opinion most of the time. Was better this past season when Chad was on because he balanced Mikey's goofiness a little but mostly Mikey was allowed to run rampant the last couple years with his OVER promoting of himself and his sponsors.

Speed has been headed downhill with it's Nascar shows for some time. Now I read Spencer will have a show on top of dropping TWIN. What are they thinking? Must not be thinking at all.

Diana Troldahl said...

I will miss it.
It was the one show I watched without fail, every week.
I hated Spencer on the show.
A show all about tailgaters? What is this, football?
I hope Krista Voda does better there (or is gone from the show entirely) than she did when filling the chair for Despain. Nothing personal, but her antics set my teeth on edge, and she was the reason I watched only one Race Hub last year.

JohnP said...

I'm sad to see the final death of the show. Wether it was called "This Week In Nascar" or "Inside Winston Cup" didn't matter to me. I've watched it since it's inception. Glad you brought up the dumpsters. Lol. Had forgotten about that. Funny memory. And so was when they gave the re-play controls to all the drivers and not just Mikey. Mikey just abused it. But, that was part of the humor, yes humor to the serious folks, that made the show. One of the reasons of the downturn of Nascar in the last couple of years is no one seems to have fun anymore. TWIN did not bend much to Nascar's new corporate theme of the last 5 years. RIP TWIN. Speed could of kept it going, using the same plan, just replacing Waltrip if he wanted to leave. As Sophia said, it shows how clueless Speed Channel is, especially when the fact that Race Hub is not on this week after teasing us last week with good shows.

Anonymous said...

I'll miss the original show. What it had become in the last few years--unrestrained Michael Waltrip--turned me off, and I hadn't watched it in two years. Once they lost Kenny and JB as ballast for MW, the show was over for me, though I thought Chad Knaus tried hard and was very informative. Steve Byrnes--well, he was no Alan Bestwick.

My favorite memory, other than Schrader teasing Mike Helton, was the first time Jeff Gordon was the "hot seat" guest. The excitement all show of "Is he here yet? Is he here yet?" and then the teasing of Schrader about Talladega and Johnny trying to get Gordon to come run dirt cars at Berlin was hysterical. It was "Inside Winston Cup" at its best, and that's how I'll remember it, instead of the Ego Show it had become. Many thanks to all the people who worked so hard on it over the years; there were always great highlights, and in latter days, great scanner bytes. That's the part we'll miss the most.

Donna in FL said...

Fresh new programming from NASCAR and SPEED, this is GREAT news!!! Can't wait to see Trucks again!! Look, TWIN had outlived its usefulness. In its current incarnation it was getting more painful every week. It wasn't fixable. I will holdout hope that another show gets race participants' perspectives, cause that was the best part. Another best part was the scanner review.
I can't follow everyone's scanner so I'm especially interested in a show dedicated to it. And one decent recap show every week (the Showtime one?) is all I ask, along with the EXCELLENT Race Hub which takes care of the team interviews I want to see! GO SPEED!!

TexasRaceLady said...

Shirley said --
"My other favorite memory was when Dale Jr. was the guest. Schrader brought up going to “the mid-west for a race weekend” when Jr. was a teenager and signing the legendary napkin with Mr. H. However, the events outside the track could not be discussed on air. The conversation was personal, yet, historical. (I so wish we knew how Dale felt about that weekend.)"

Shirley, that is one of my favorite memories, also. I remember Dale turned as red as a beet when Kenny brought it up. It must have been a FUN weekend. LOL

I'm going to miss the show -- especially Chad Knaus. At first, I wasn't sure about him, but he grew on me. He gave me a lot of insight into a CC's job. He singlemindedness and focus is scary, though.

To be truthful, the show just wasn't the same without Bestwick, Benson, and Schrader.

Donna in FL said...

PS I'm not gonna pass the dis on Hooters. I was a big Alan Kulwicki fan and they were a GREAT sponsor, so much so I definitely want to see them back in a full NASCAR sponsorship, preferably with a race team. It's also fun to note here that I believe golfer John Daly has Hooters sponsorship. :)

50 yr. fan said...

I too became bored with the show
because of Mikey. He is ok in
small doses but tried to be the
center of the program. I don't
know what Spencer has on the
network in order to get a show, but I don't believe
TV fans will put with his pomposity.

Anonymous said...

Michael Waltrip killed TWIN. He constantly interrupted others with silly comments and goofy sponsor plugs.

YES Michael - WE KNOW you shop at Aaron's, live at Best Western and your Toyota Camry is parked out front. Did I mention Darrell is in the room next door? Or was that Lucky Dog making all that noise last night?

Steve Byrnes should have put a stop to Micheal's antics.

Hopefully Inside NASCAR on Showtime will feature a more professional format.

Tracy said...

Add my echo to those who are disappointed about losing TWIN. Listening to Knaus was always a learning experience, and while I know Biffle wasn't a hit, I thought he told it like it was. When we first got involved in Nascar, the predecessors of TWIN gave us what we needed to get the real picture of what had happened on the track the weekend before. I will always be grateful. Shrader, I'm an eternal fan because of your work on TV.

The Hooters girls on HUB just killed that show for me. As a mom with two smart daughters, I can't stand that company's exploitation of young women. Adding that exploitation to the HUB set is revolting. Count me out.

Anonymous said...

Are we really at a point in life that a Hooter's girl is inappropriate?

Have you checked out the crowd at your local Hooter's on a late Friday afternoon watching Sprint Cup qualifying?

No other restaurant in our area gives NASCAR a second thought. Over half the TV's at our Hooter's are on NASCAR on Friday afternoons.

rb218 said...

Curious to see how some of these shows work out. A few of those show descriptions give me pause. Jimmy Spencer just doesn't do it for me, so I know I won't be watching that particular show. However, the one based of the radio active feature could/should be interesting.

RIP TWIN, I'm among the many who'll miss it. Even though it wasn't the same after AB, JB, and Schrader were unceremoniously dropped, it was still a must-see show for me, especially when Mikey and Chad were the night's panelists. (Still can't believe I grew to, I daresay, like Chad Knaus ;-) Thanks to everyone involved with TWIN for all the laughs and info over the years.

JohnP said...

Donna in florida said
"PS I'm not gonna pass the dis on Hooters. I was a big Alan Kulwicki fan and they were a GREAT sponsor, so much so I definitely want to see them back in a full NASCAR sponsorship, preferably with a race team. It's also fun to note here that I believe golfer John Daly has Hooters sponsorship"

I second that Completly Donna. Saw the show with them on Race Hub. Two Hooter girls were on for about 15 to 20 seconds promoting the sponsor of the show. It was NOT over done in any manner. What's the issue? And if I recall correct they just sat there between the two host and didn't say anything, if they did, very little. Better then sponsor plugs throught the show. At the end of the day, someone has to pay the bills, and Hooters is doing that. Guess if it was the Gillette Young Guns there would be no complaint.

Statboy said...

I've got a few good memories from TWIN. The first obviously was Schrader asking Helton how much he makes. That was CLASSIC and the look on Helton's face was priceless. I wonder if Kenny actually knew what he was doing when he asked the question.

The second was I think back in 2001 when the show was not on the air for a year. They had like a special episode or something and Schrader was talking about Earnhardt's death and all.

The final is I think when Michael was talking to Junior on his Nextel phone and they aired the conversation. That was great.

Anonymous said...

I think Mikey single handedly killed TWIN. I think for every fan that adores him, there are many more who are sick of his act. I used to like him, but now won't watch anytime he's on. DW is pretty much the same way. I used to root for him, now I hate listening to him as well.I hope SPEED gets the point here, we like fun in broadcasting, but this has ceased being fun.

Anonymous said...

One less hour that I will be watching speed. Don't watch speed at all in between the end of race season(any race season) and the next. Speed is becoming almost totally irrelevant.

Anonymous said...

I just don't get it and wonder if the people in charge really understand us ~ the NASCAR fans.

I loved TWIN and all the previous names they called this fun and informative program.

By the time Monday night rolled around and we had seen the race, listened to all the re-caps it was time to sit back, relax and have some fun. Once in awhile we learned something new too but most of all, we JUST enjoyed the show....craziness & all.

Mikey, Steve, Greg, Chad, Johnny, Kenny S, Alan & Kenny W.....thanks for the memories! 14 yrs of fun, you will be missed.

I'm very disappointed in SPEED on the way they have handled this and doubt that Jimmy Spencer's new show will do it for the fans.

don said...

was sorry to hear TWIN is gone....loved mikie,chad,allen and kenny...will not buy showtime for nascar show over there.....spencer is a joke....his own show???...stupid

Anonymous said...

The show had chemistry with Alan, Mikey, Benson, and Schrader. Benson was too quiet, but they really had something special and like all network execs they ruined it. I can only imagine that in the old days the whole network had such low ratings that they gave IWC time without a bunch of focus groups and graphs/charts of ratings segments. Where they realy screwed up was thinking that those 4 guys had to be driving in the race to contribute to a highlight show. As they lost their rides they bounced them and ruined it.

Anonymous said...

I am truly going to miss TWIN. If there was something you missed during Sunday's race, you would usually hear about it. The guys really made the show funny. And the addition of Jimmy Spencer brought new light to the show saying things that most of the NASCAR uppity-ups didn't want to hear. Hopefully SPEED Channel will be reading our posts and rethink their decision - but I doubt it. It seems like NASCAR is getting less & less fan friendly. Maybe if we're lucky, we'll see the guys back on another show.

Anonymous said...

I hope that you will please indulge this NASCAR fan who dates back to 1975 for a moment.

IWCR was a good program, but not exactly great television. Still, for a LONG time, it was all we had, and our memories are probably colored in favor because of that fact.

Time passes. Television changes.

There is little dispute that I Love Lucy, The Andy Griffith Show, MASH, Gunsmoke, and even Marcus Welby, MD were all memorable shows. Yet, none of them live anywhere except in syndication.

Just as the clock passed by those programs, so it goes for TWIN. Its day has passed. And any way you cut it, in broadcast terms, 14 years is one h*ell of a good run.

It's time to thank those involved over those 14 years for their efforts. Then as Jed Bartlet used to day on The West Wing . . . "What's next?"

One final thing . . . I'm not sure I buy all the threats to boycott any new, future programming. If you watch even ONE SECOND of the new product, you've nullified your own threat. And, it's going to be just like the famous potato chip . . . you can't watch just one second. So, the threats are pretty much meaningless.

David Hill is not Satan. Neither is Hunter Nickell. Give them a chance to develop the new programming. Give it a fair viewing. Then, if you're so inclined, sharpen up the pitchforks. But, before you do ask yourself if we would be better off in an age where there was only one program paying attention to our sport.

West Coast Diane said...

Agree it seems that they are going for the 18-35 demographic. Not my demo.

While Mikey drove me nuts at times, with his antics and interruptions, TWIN was the only place to get some inside info on what was going on in NASCAR. Wasn't that the idea? To give fans an "inside" perspective on things from the race weekend and NASCAR in general from the participants views.

Sometimes you needed a decoder ring to figure out what was going on. But that was part of the fun.
That is what interests me.

Other than the scanner show, the other shows, based on what I read, have no appeal to me.

Oh well...will allow me to do other things, instead of being glued to the TV...LOL!

lynn said...

TWIN was my favorite NASCAR show. Steve was great and love him or hate him Mikey is entertaining. Add Chad to this equation (it was like watching Oscar and Felix) and as far as I am concerned nothing but fun. It was informative but not in the ESPN stuffy way. Race Hub did not impress me even before we knew TWIN was canceled. Very disappointed!!! Thanks guys for making me laugh every Monday while keeping me up to date on the weekend happenings at the track. You will be missed!!

Anonymous said...

In reading these comments it's obvious that there is a division between what fans wanted out of this show. Some wanted "fun" above all else and others wanted a professional, informational show (for the record I was part of the latter group).
Perhaps this is why Waltrip was such a polarizing figure. Those that wanted fun loved him, those that wanted information couldn't stand him because his comments often derailed the delivery of that information. Personally I had as much fun as I needed watching the buffoons on Sunday - prerace, race and post race - that by the time Monday came around I was all yucked out.
Maybe the current state of NASCAR also worked against TWIN. While I still watch every race, things on the track have been lacking since all the changes (mainly the COT and chase). If I watch the race on Sunday and walk away feeling I just wasted a Sunday afternoon because the racing sucked I am much less likely to want to waste another hour listening to others talk about that same race on Monday night. Afterall there are sox to sort.

My favorite memory was (I believe) Schrader, Waltrip and Biffle discussing a blown engine and one of them saying "they blew a seal" and all smiling. If you don't understand why they were smiling then you don't know the joke with that punch line.

Ryan said...

The show was dead to me when Bestwick left

Anonymous said...

As stated previously, TWIN became a non-factor when it became This Week of Mikey. I enjoyed the days of Johnny and Kenny (including Kenny calling his M&Ms car the W&W car after he flipped at Talladega)because they pretty much kept MW in check, while Byrnes became nothing but his foil. It was simply time for this show to go. As for new programming, I'll wait and see what happens.

KoHoSo said...

This is kind of like when a relative with a long-running illness has passed away -- it is both sad and a great relief. One more time I will say in these comments that this is what happens when one tries to fix something that was not broken. The Despain era was painful to watch and, afterward it ended up not being the traditional old visit with friends but, instead, a holier-than-thou lecture to fans.

There are too many great memories of the original lineup for me to select just one humorous moment to highlight. Overall, I would pick almost any time that Ken Schrader opened his mouth.

The time was more than right to cancel the show. That might be as much due to how the NASCAR scene has changed as it is how the show itself and especially Mikey changed (going from lovable loser to total NASCAR shill). Besides maybe Tony Stewart, who is left that has a good sense of humor that is also willing to take the occasional trip to the dreaded trailer for his truthful comments on the show?

As for the thought of Jimmy Spencer getting his own show...well, I just wish that I had not read that so early in the morning because it has made me nauseous and put me off my breakfast. Other than Mikey, I cannot think of one person that has gone from fun to watch to far too irritating to stomach as badly as Spencer.

Sally said...

Since I wtopped watching TWIN early on, I can't say I'll miss the show. Once they changed the original cast, I never could get interested in it. Mikey overkill had something to do with that, but the whole tone of the show changed. I don't get Showtime and won't spend the extra money to take a chance on a 'maybe good, maybe not' show. Things change. Just look at the cars, the championship, and the racing these days.

Joey said...

what can I say that hasn't been said? Many of us won't miss TWIN, because we stopped watching it after SPEED pulled Bestwick, Benson and Schraeder. That's the show I miss. The type of seat of your pants programming that networks fear these days. Just like "stock car" racing, these programs are a thing of the past.

24space18 said...

I think it sucks, always watched TWIN, even the wife liked it, it was better with Kenny Schrader though

GinaV24 said...

I won't miss TWIN. I mourned the loss of the show Inside Winston Cup when Allen and Johnny were unceremoniously dumped. My happy memories are of that show with Kenny digging at Waltrip and watching Allen trying sometimes desperately to herd the cats into some form of order. It was fun!

And FUN was what was so utterly missing from TWIN. Too much time was spend on being NASCAR shills (Waltrip was most often guilty of that) or being SO politically correct and NASCAR-centric. Plus they kept disparaging the fans and it teed me off. I tried watching it when Despain took over and although I like Wind Tunnel, he didn't work as the host, so I didn't watch. Steve Byrnes is a great guy, so I tried watching it when he took over as host, but the show itself just didn't inspire the same enjoyment. I just plain didn't like the show in its new format, so I stopped watching completely so I guess the statement that "it didn't connect with the fans any more" is correct in my case.

My favorite memory is when Jeff Gordon came on as the hot seat guest and they were showing replays and the one of Gordon and Schrader getting together at Dega was shown (back when they were teammates at HMS) and the kidding that he got from all the panelists was just great fun. Watching Gordon and Kenny together was great. I think I have that on VCR tape somewhere. Those are the shows I will remember with fondness.

I hope that Speed finds its way. I like RaceHub at least enough to watch it during the week. I don't know that Spencer will inspire me to watch him - I gave up on RaceDay last season. I'll give it a shot - who knows? Maybe they'll surprise me and bring the fun back into the sport. It's one of the biggest things missing -- good coverage and FUN!

Anonymous said...

I'll not miss it. The old IWCR with classy Ned Jarrett was the model they should have kept. Having the increasingly annoying Michael Waltrip on, who brought absolutely nothing of substance to the program, week after week defies common sense. Bestwick indeed let the inmate(s) run the asylum and he is too good for that. I had hoped that Byrnes would be better but he too succumbed to the endless drivel that emanated from Waltrip until he, too, was no longer in control. I stopped watching live in 2008 and stopped suing the DVR last year and never missed it.

Buschseries61 said...

TWIN will be missed. The glory days of IWC were wonderful. I have been critical of a few elements of the show in the past. However, there were more positives than negatives. It was the exactly opposite of Nascar Now's Monday roundtable. The fans that did not like the awkward suit & ties had TWIN to turn to. It was impossible to listen to MW, but it was a joy to listen to Steve and Chad.

If there is anything to learn from this, I learned change isn't always good. The suits firing AB and JB started the downfall of the show and began to alienate the fans. Further changes by the suits continued to hurt the show until it was cancelled. It seems NASCAR and all its TV partners change all the wrong things and are stubborn to change what needs to be fixed.

I am very upset Speed feels another lifestyle show, now its tailgaters, will better 'connect with the fans'. Completely clueless. Jimmy Spencer's own show seems interesting, but its success depends on which Jimmy Spencer personality we will get. Nascar shrill, resonable critic, or obnoxious critic.

Anonymous said...

Unbelivable. SPEED's on going effort to drive away it's loyal viewers scores another success.

Michael Waltrip has more personality in his little finger that all the stooges on Race Hub could gin up together.

How do you replace a weekly one hour interview with the likes of Chad Knauss and Greg Biffle? With nightly 30 minute interviews with unknown crewchiefs and second rate drivers? Good luck.

Anonymous said...

I have been a faithful watcher of IWC and TWINs for more than ten years. They should have never given up Alan Kenny and Johnny but I still watched because I loved Mikey and his wit. Won't be watching these new show sounds to bland and boring.

Marylee from Richmond said...

I am really sorry to see the show end, and extremely disappointed that it was done in such an off-hand, below the radar method.
Yes, sometimes Mikey was hard to stand. But that was usually when Alan (or even Steve or Chad) showed some real personality in trying to rein him in. I've missed Schrader weekly since he left. When ABC was broadcasting races this fall at tracks I don't like anyway (read California or Talladega) I usually skipped the race, knowing I'd get the "best" parts of all 3 series (although not enough time was spent on Nationwide or Trucks) on TWIN.
I find it sad that even SPEED seems to have lost focus on what real race fans want - a close up, personal viewpoint on racing from those who are closest to it.

Sophia said...

Anon 11:58 said

There is little dispute that I Love Lucy, The Andy Griffith Show, MASH, Gunsmoke, and even Marcus Welby, MD were all memorable shows. Yet, none of them live anywhere except in syndication.

Except for Marcus Welby those "old tv shows" are all over cable. Either TVLAND or some other station. We've watched them all and MASH is on during the dinner hour or used to be around here last summer. :)

We didn't get SPEED Ch here until the last year and a half or so of IWC. So I didn't have the years or memories but my brother used to send tapes of this show to me after I started Watching NASCAR in 2004.

I used to love the little opening remarks before IWC would start... I remember the camera suddenly was on Schrader with a MOUTHFUL of cookies..he looked surprise and started mumbling about the show...but said something like

"Had I known we were going to start so soon, I wouldn't have taken such a big bite of cookie"

:-D Removing him from that show was a bad idea. he could say more in a "look" then many could say in a sentence! He should've been the rotating guy when Chad couldn't make it but it's all a moot part now. :-(

hotaru-raganbaby_6 said...

Sad, just sad.

The AB and co version not only informed, it entertained. Those guys just worked well together.

Spencer? Ick. Tailgaters? Why. And did you read the part 'bout the possibility of a 'AmId' type show live from the track... ack, no!!!

To be honest, I would've watched NASCAR Wives than any of this new slime.

Vince said...

TWIN/IWCR or what ever died for me when AB and JB were dumped from the show. I've watched it maybe once or twice a year since then.

Mikey? He's just plain annoying. He needs to go sell Sham-WoW or something.

AB, JB and Kenny were the best. I miss those guys.

Anonymous said...

IWC was good when Bestwick, Benson and Kenny S were on. I watched TWIN for a few shows but got so very tired of MW touting his own agenda and interrupting or disagreeing with the other panel members. It became a "It's all about Mikey show" and it died for many people when they let that continue for years. My favorite was when Kenny would ask M Helton how much he made...

Shirley Buttacavoli said...

Anonymous said... (January 20, 2010 11:58 AM)

"One final thing . . . I'm not sure I buy all the threats to boycott any new, future programming. If you watch even ONE SECOND of the new product, you've nullified your own threat. And, it's going to be just like the famous potato chip . . . you can't watch just one second. So, the threats are pretty much meaningless."

When I say and/or write I will NOT watch something, I will not.

My first race was the '74 Firecracker. For many years I listened to races on MRN, and was pleased to watch anything and everything provided. Networks finally realized viewers would watch stockcar racing, and subsequent programming. I was guilty of watching every single program, sometimes two at the same time, which included RaceDay on SPEED Channel.

Thanks to Mr. Jimmy Spencer, I have not watched RaceDay in over a year. The reasons are simple:

1) Speedweeks, February 2007: Michael Waltrip’s 55 Camry was issued for a fuel-tampering violation by NASCAR. This issue at this time is not the violation, but Mr. Spencer’s statement after. I don’t remember nor can I find his exact quote, so am somewhat ‘paraphrasing.’ He criticized Michael for the infraction, said Michael was a disgrace to the sport and should be banned from competition.

2) Dale Jr. Contract, May 2007: We all know how the press handled Dale Earnhardt Jr’s contract negotiations when he announced he was leaving DEI. Listening and/or reading reports from media that knew nothing about NASCAR let alone the Earnhardt family history was brutal at times. However, Mr. Spencer did not fit into that category. As a participant in NASCAR for 20+ years, Mr. Spencer should have known the relationship between Kelley and Dale Jr. The statements he made on RaceDay, which were chronicled by The Daly Planet, were as my mother would say “the final straw.”

TDP, Sunday, April 15, 2007: "Theresa Earnhardt gave Dale Junior his opportunity to race." It was with those ominous words that Spencer began his comments. After making sure that Junior knew his place, Spencer moved on to Dale's sister, Kelley Earnhardt Elledge. "I am shocked that she kept her middle name. Why keep Earnhardt? I think her ego is so big and she is backing Theresa and Max (Siegel) into corners. She's not a good negotiator. If she was working for someone else they would probably fire her."

Spencer continued his comments with "I think she is using ego to control this direction, and Dale needs to be careful about it." Now done with Kelley, Spencer switched his aim back to Dale Junior, and was very eager to invoke the name of Dale Earnhardt Sr. as the basis of his argument.

"There are a lot of true Dale Earnhardt Sr. fans who will lose respect for Dale Junior (if he leaves DEI)." Spencer stated "I don't think Dale Junior needs to leave the organization. I don't like what Kelley (Elledge) is doing...how she is putting them (Theresa and Siegel) in corners."

Spencer closed with "Dale and Theresa and Max need to sit down and get this worked out. If the old man was still living, he would kick Earnhardt (Junior's) butt. I would hate to see that organization fall apart."

--------
For those two reasons, and no other reasons necessary, I will not watch and/or listen to anything associated with Mr. Jimmy Spencer. If I am listening to Sirius NASCAR channel 128, and Jimmy Spencer is on, I either turn it off or switch to another channel. I have no respect for the man, nor care to watch and/or listen to anything he has to say.

The only positive out of all of this is that I’ll be able to watch RaceDay and Victory Lane again. I guess I should thank David Hill and Hunter Nickell.

Anonymous, I hope I made my point.

Anonymous said...

This show hasn't been any good for years unless you enjoyed Michael Waltrip's drivel or Chad's know it all attitude, both of which I detested by the way. It *used* to be a good show. That's what's so sad, a once great show turned into useless television...unless you like those obnoxious personalities.

I haven't watched it in years and it won't be missed in our household for sure.

David said...

Bestwick brought the best of both worlds. Serious, yet light. The guys could have fun and give their insight, joke around, but he kept the ball rolling along. Every week this was the case. No one person dominated the show. Once that left, it was dead.

I'll remember it for the good times and hope the execs at SPEED find a quality replacement. Thanks for the memories though guys!!!

Anonymous said...

So in the last few years SPEED has canned their best shows - TWIN, Trading Paint and the daily Wind Tunnel - for a terrible joke of a "game show" and per NASCAR.COM shows featuring fans doing stuff at the track and an American Idol - like reality show.

A great deal of damage had been done in recent years and it's obvious Cartoon Hill is now here to put the final nail in the coffin and lay what was previously the best channel on TV to rest for good.

I really miss the old Speedvision - nothing but racing for the racing fan; not a bunch of corny goofy quasi NASCAR-related shows mixed in with shows about wreckers, garbage trucks, auctions and whatever other crap has come to the channel since I stopped watching it in Novemeber.

John said...

In the old days (Allen, Johnny, Kenny and Michael days)I never missed it. Last year I might have watched part of 1 show.

SPEED destroyed it and I'm glad they finally put it out of it's misery.

Anonymous said...

Cancelling This Week in NASCAR because it "wasn't connecting with NASCAR fans" and in the same press release gloating over bringing back the "popular game show" NASCAR Smarts is criminal, period. Then again this comes from the same people that think "Digger", "Scooter", and a glowing hockey puck have revolutionized sports TV coverage so I'm far from surprised.

If a NASCAR Channel is coming please make sure Fox and ESPN have no influence on it. PLEASE!

Sophia said...

Shirley

OUCH! I didn't catch all those bitter Comments JS said...(Still wincing!) After seeing your reasons of specificity re: Jimmy S comments, it's another example of modern tv giving Tv shows that those who provoke & shock, I guess. :-( Much like the lifestyle/staged fake reality shows that have bred like rabbits in the tv industry.

Just.Plain.Sad

Also I'm getting madder by the minute hearing somebody mention SPEED IS ADDING 8 NASCAR SHOWS this season?

They could've easily given open conversation back to TWIN (maybe given Mikey a shock collar to correct his "excess barking" but in general, I enjoy the guy :) ) I never heard MW say anything so incendiary as what JS said.

Or maybe given Steve & Chad a rolled up newspaper to hit Mikey on the arm with if they needed to interrupt.

I loved hearing tidbits about what really happened on the track or scanner chatter TV is too busy talking over on most channels.

Wow, i think I take back my comments about enjoying JS on TWIN reading the detailed HISTORY of his comments I missed. (That's what happens when RDay went to 2 hours, I tune most of the show OUT. Too much minutia but then, I missed some key things.

.
.
Obviously.

Even more depressed about the upcoming season.

goat said...

There were problems with it, but it was still a great show, and I will miss it.

I really think they need to reconsider this decision, as it was a unique show that really needs to be on the air.

Anonymous said...

TWIN was must-see for me. The TiVo couldn't determine first-run so I often ended up with 3 copies of the show each week, and I didn't mind one bit. If I had to choose only one show to watch other than the race, TWIN would be it.

The only thing I didn't like about TWIN was the addition of Jimmy Spencer last season. My FF button was already worn out from trying to ignore him on Raceday, and there was nothing good about having him on TWIN. I hoped he was only temporary. Now I get him instead of the others? No way. Won't watch that, not even once.

I appreciate the NASCAR shows I do get on SPEED, like Trackside and Raceday, Victory Lane if I like the winner, but otherwise TPTB are clueless. That's been clear from all the garbage such as Pinks and auctions that run constantly. Just like this week -- they tease us with Race Hub and then show auction garbage instead when everyone is chomping at the bit for racing to start. What are they thinking? You have to turn to the internet to find out what's going on.

I haven't watched for as many years as others. I would have liked to see Johnny Benson as a regular. I really enjoyed Ken Schrader and Mikey having so much fun while Dave D tried to be serious. I was happy when Steve hosted because he had a better relationship with everyone. I was surprised how much I ended up liking Chad and enjoying his banter with Mikey. Even when a race left me feeling down, I could count on TWIN to make me giggle out loud. What a joy it was to see drivers and crew chiefs being themselves and having fun just talking about what they loved. I'll really miss all that, and especially Mikey. I'm glad I have a few shows saved to DVD from when my driver won the race.

I always have mixed feelings at the start of each season. I'm excited for racing to start but I hate the way there are so many changes that suck. This one really sucks.

kbaskins said...

I was one of the people who, when the possibility of TWIN's cancellation first appeared, commented that I really didn't care one way or the other.

When I first became a NASCAR fan, this show, whatever its name, was a must-see for me. But after years of watching Mikey's behaviour deteriorate into downright rudeness and buffoonery, I couldn't take it any more.

I went from being glued to the TV during the show on Monday nights to recording it on my DVR for playback when I had nothing better to watch, to finally erasing it off my recording schedule last year when I found Mikey really offensive at one point.

I feel badly for all those who enjoyed the show and wanted it to continue, but for me it was already dead. I didn't necessarily want it cancelled, seeing the show still had its fans, but honestly, I was driven away (no pun intended) a while ago. I wasn't rabidly for or against cancellation, because this show had already fallen off my radar.

--KarenB

Wisconsin Steve said...

Here's an idea for the good folks at NASCAR Now. How about a monday roundtable show this year featuring Bestwick, Waltrip, Schrader and Benson? It wouldn't have to be permanent, just a one-time thing like they do with the pit reporters. Anyone else like this idea?

Richard in N.C. said...

I always enjoyed TWIN and will miss it even though in the past couple of years it has not been what it once was. It has always seemed to me that TWIN really started downhill when Kenny S. left or was put off the show. It always seemed to me that he was the perfect straight man for Mikey and could, and would, deftly get Mikey back in line when Mikey started overboard. Also it does seem to me that Hunter N. has a much, much longer list of bad decisions than good decisions. I guess it is just a coincidence that SPEED begins reporting to David Hill and suddenly SPEED reverses course and decides to expand its NASCAR programming.

Anonymous said...

My wife and I have been faithful fans for the life of the program. Now there's one less reason to turn on SPEED. Race Hub doesn't cut it. Mark

Anonymous said...

When Bestwick was sent packing and Dave Despain took over the show jumped the shark! Bestwick kept the show together, and is perhaps the best NASCAR anchor out there. I don't know who he ticked off, but he should be in the big chair at ABC's NASCAR show.

Newracefan said...

I for one am very saddened that TWIN is gone. I only saw 1 or 2 of the early days as IWC so I can't compare. I thought the change over to Steve was a great improvement and the addition of Chad was just fantastic. I was able to hear the point of view of a brillant active crew chief on a winning team, how could this possibly be considered out of touch. Yes Mikey can go over the top at times but that can be somewhat controlled, heck give Chad the ability to mute Mikey it would be hysterical and effective. Someone posted that those who want fun like TWIN and those that want info did not, I somewhat agree but I think I can get both with a little work. My Mondays will never be the same, even if my drives had a bad race I could count on TWIN to make me see the up side and get ready for the next race.

I'm interested to see what they are doing with the scanner chatter but concerned also since last season what was on TWIN was also on NN. They need to use different clips or it's a waste, unless of course it's Chad and Mikey giving us the insider point of view with each one. Now the infield one Oh Good Lord, I can see it now, let's find the most sterotypical white trash redneck fan and put them on TV, great. Jimmy Spencer- not happening for me.

PammH said...

I will miss TWIN somewhat, but Mikey had really turned me off from it in the last few yrs. It was just god-awful when DD hosted, to be homest. But the hot seat from days old was priceless! I remember the one w/Jr best. Show had had its heyday, and was a shadow of its former self.

Anonymous said...

I only watched Spencer on TWIN because I liked the unscripted moments Mikey took the conversations. I now have no reason to watch Speed except maybe for the Daytona and Taledaga practice sessions. When Spencer joined TWIN, I complained. I have never seen what makes Spencer so worthy of being on tv.

flatheadjake said...

As an old time and also current fan I know things have to change for both good and bad. Think of Tiny Lund and Marvin Panch in '63, I saw it live, it will never happen again. TWIN or IWC just ran their course, If I like them, marketing just has to appeal to some younger group. Over the years there are plenty of personalities to brighten our day and TV is so much better for the whole of motorsports that we have to expect some bumps. Lets see what "Mr. Excitement" can do. I'll watch.

Shirley Buttacavoli said...

Wisconsin Steve - LOVE THE IDEA! Hopefully someone's reading this and will find a place for the original IWC panel.

RvNGrammy said...

I am disappointed, angry, and promise I WILL NOT WATCH the Jimmy Spencer show, no matter what the format, no matter who is on the show. Even if it is my favorite drivers and no matter what kind of advertising they use. I don't like Jimmy Spencer and his attitude and it is my belief that his appearance on TWIN is the reason for any drop in viewership.

Sorry, but they can only do so many shows about tailgaters before that gets old. A segment in a regular show would be fun, but a half hour every week? And will the show respect the fans or try to make fun of the things they do at the track? Some of us are a little crazy when we get away from home.

As Sophia said....SPEED management is CLUELESS!!!

Carol

Anonymous said...

I am said to see this show end. I was really hoping Dave Despain and Ken Schrader would be brought back. I also enjoyed Brian Vickers as a cohost mainly because the others gave him such a hard time and he took it in stride. I will miss TWIN but more than that, I miss Inside Nextel Cup.

Anonymous said...

For me, the show ended when Chris Long dumped Bestwick and Benson and DeSpain leaped in over the dead bodies. I haven't watched since.
I will give any new SPEED Nascar program a chance...we need as much Nascar on SPEED as possible.(as long as Michael Waltrip is nowhere around.)

Makiki
Honolulu

Anonymous said...

I am sorry to see TWIN go as it was an enjoyable show-for the most part. I'm thrilled about Jimmy Spencer getting his own show. I sure hope he'll have some of the old-school drivers on and they will share their stories and race memories with us fans. That would be neat!

Anonymous said...

How is that gonna work?...Kyle Petty on RaceDay, VL, Yeah I can see that...but that stupid game show Tradin' Idiots???

Talk about losing credibility...sheesh

nascarpaula said...

I will really miss this show. It was the one NASCAR show every week that I made time for. It was so relaxing and fun to hear the jokes, see the expressions, and try to figure out the innuendos. It was sitting around the living room listening to "friends" discussing their weekend. Not talkng media heads putting their interpretation on what happened but people who were really part of the sport. NASCAR and the media have stopped being "FUN". This is entertainment. Let's keep the shows that understand that. I will truly miss my Monday night buddies.

RPM said...

I loved the original IWC. I bought Primestar just so I could get Speedvision and watch the show every week. Allen, Kenny, Johnny and Mikey were a perfect mesh.

IWC died when Bestwick and Bensen were fired. Steve Byrne brought back some of the chemistry, but it was too little too late.

They should have just left the show alone in the first place. But as Allen always warned us they would only be back, network executives permitting.

Speedcouch said...

No loss at all IMHO. I never watched TWIN and Inside Winston Cup was never the same after Bestwick left. 10 years ago, this was the only show I watched religiously, but that Hunter Nickell guy seemed determine to drive the fans away. MW used to funny, but his arrogance and me, me, me attitude became too much to take after Bestwick left. Putting screaming Spencer on a show of his own is the dumbest thing I've ever heard of - I have to mute the TV now when he talks on Raceday. Much better stuff on network TV to watch on Monday nights anyway.

Anonymous said...

anon at 11"58 wrote:

David Hill is not Satan. Neither is Hunter Nickell. Give them a chance to develop the new programming. Give it a fair viewing.

Huh? Hey, its these two dolts who screwed the show up in the first (and second, and third, and fourth) place!!
Hill put some egomaniacal jerk Chris Long?) in as producer, and this genius promptly fired bestwick and benson.
Nickell is just another in the line of Hill's "yes-men/buttboys"

Mr Nickell says the show "no longer connects with fans".....REALLY? wow, there's some insight! Look in the mirror and see why that is!

rich said...

R.I.P. TWIN
Just wish we had a best of show going way back.
Remember the only thing constant is change itself.

Anonymous said...

So disappointing. The chemistry between Steve, Mike and Chad was always funny and entertaining to watch. Spencer is annoying, not funny and incredibly opinionated. I am hopeful there is a possibility something similar will come back, but if it is hosted by Spencer our house will not be watching.

Jim said...

TWIN was the only remaining reason for me to watch Speed Channel.
Speed's dedication to the farce called "Pinks" and hours of car auctions speaks volumes about those who call the shots.
I've about had it with NASCAR; I've already had it with SpeedTV and ESPN.

Anonymous said...

Thank you SPEED for giving me 36 more hours of free time this year.

It is evident that you do not want me watching your programming.

"SPEED attempts and succeeds at becoming ESPN Lite."

Anonymous said...

Really loved the show esp when Schrader was on. TWIN had TO MUCH M.W. trying to be NASCARS buddy the last 2 yrs so his credibility is gone . I agree with those who say Speed Channel is clueless the show was still good (because of others). While I probably would check out any Jimmy Spencer show I don't see me given a (you know) about peoples tailgate partys. Get Schrader for somthing ..the guys hilarious

Leno said...

The show will be greatly missed. Where else could you get such an in depth recap of the previous race. I always looked forward to hearing what the panel had to say about a particular incident. You knew you were going to get an honest opinion, not some prescripted robotic cliche like you hear from so many drivers these days.
I would have liked to see Waltrip and Steve Byrnes stay as regulars but rotate a different guest driver and crew chief each week. It would have been nice to hear opinions from guys like Stewart, Johnson, Gordon and so on. Or how about having 2 drivers that had an altercation, have them on to discuss it!!
That would be great TV!!

Kirk said...

I'm a relatively new NASCAR fan and I'll have to say that TWIN was one of the things that got me hooked. Sure, I fast forwarded through some of the show, but I'm really going to miss those guys and their chemistry. Sad to see them go.

Anonymous said...

Good job Nascar and Speed! Way to alienate your fans in one more aspect of Nascar. Take the best recap show, change it and put it in on a pay channel that some or most of us don't subscribe to. Just one more reason why I cancelled my season tickets for California Speedway this season!

Anonymous said...

I agree with many of the others how clueless SPEED was regarding the statement of TWIN "connecting with viewers."

My wife and I looked forward to the show EVERY week, especially to hear the panel debate the events of the past race. Really didn't care much for Jimmy Spencer, doubt I will watch his show at all. Always enjoyed them picking on Mikey, and hearing Chad's in depth analysis from the crew chief perspective. Schrader and Biffle always added to whatever theme was on the show that week. Sad to see it go.

I also agree with others in my dislike of new show RACE Hub. I just don't like the format (all over the board) vs. recap of past race. SPEED you really missed it big on cancelling TWIN.

Todd in Canada said...

Been watching Nascar racing for over 30 years now. IWC/TWIN was hands down the best companion debrief show for Nascar fans (IMO). Shame on Speed and Nascar for fiddling with it until it broke, wish they had kept their hands off it. Nascar is neurotically mega marketing their product into a spin so frenzied that few of us can keep a comfortable long term grip on it. The old school solid long term fans are being forgotten for "MORE". More new fans gained/more new and old fans lost at a rate that makes it impossble for Nascar and Speed to really get to know their fan base.
The casual "review last weekend/preview next weekend" format was great for older fans and newer fans especially. The personalities on IWC worked well, it was entertaining with relevant info provided in a refreshingly less scripted manner. No other show fills that box. Had they planned a farewell best of show, they have rediscovered what used to make the show work so well. Instead it, figuratively, now lies in that dumpster that we never saw but all heard several times being emptied outside their studio's garage door. Doesn't it always seem that it's your favorite show that gets canned and all the crap you've never heard of that gets the viewership? Hmm...RIP IWC.

Anonymous said...

I am dismayed that TWIN was cancelled! Where else can you get the recap of the race and the analysis.

I've watched TWIN for a couple of years. Apparently, it was a lot better before, but I thought it was pretty good. One thing I noticed was a decided unwillingness to take on NASCAR. That's pretty understandable for the drivers and crew chiefs but the hosts should have made it their business to make a point of it. Despaine always made a few waves but Byrnes didn't. And I actually liked him as host quite a bit.

I actually thought that the show was sponsored by NASCAR because of how carefully they would talk around the issues. Not that I cared for Jimmy Spencer's approach, though. He didn't fit and I don't like his new show either.

Nope, what they needed was just a little more head to head on the issues. MW couldn't talk about them because he owns a team and can't annoy NASCAR. Talking out of turn isn't Chad's style, but I did enjoy listening to him explain their approach. And Biffle was fun but in the last year also seemed to clam up a bit.

Even with the flaws, I think the only reason it stopped connecting with the fans is because they stopped talking about stuff the fans were interested in. The problem with this show is that the livings of the hosts and guests depend on the whim of NASCAR so they can't say what they really mean.

I don't think NASCAR had quite that level of influence with IWC.