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Cheryl Walker · Monday July 18, 2005
Does anyone recall a very funny Stacker2 commercial awhile back? One which featured the up-until-recently-sponsored-by-the-product Kenny Wallace, as well as the charming Allen Bestwick? In the ad, while Wallace is momentarily distracted by a member of his crew, Bestwick sneaks a sip from a can of Kenny’s Stacker2 drink, and the
results featured Allen’s hair spiked out in a freakish way.
Only followers of NASCAR would realize the extent of how humorous this scenario would be, as anyone who can identify a driver besides Jeff Gordon knows that Allen Bestwick’s hair is always in the same pristine condition, with nary one out of place.
In addition to the perfect hair, Bestwick is also well-known as the host of Monday night’s ‘Inside Nextel Cup’ on SPEED TV. His ability to maintain the pace of the show while keeping the likes of Michael Waltrip, Johnny Benson, and Jimmy Spencer lassoed up and reined in is truly a skill that not all show hosts can provide, especially with such a brilliant smile.
Many NASCAR fans were surprised to hear, then, of the recently announced plans to replace Bestwick on the show with the venerable Dave Despain, of ‘Wind Tunnel’ fame. The chemistry of Bestwick with his trio of sometimes bawdy but always entertaining ‘panel of experts’ is what has kept ‘Inside Nextel Cup’ a consistent favorite of NASCAR fans everywhere.
With the patient guidance of a beloved college professor, Bestwick steered the show through race recaps and interviews, eliciting knowledgeable responses from his show’s panel, while curbing wild forays into silliness. With his feigned ‘what am I going to do with these incorrigible drivers I have here’ attitude, the end result has always been a fun yet worthy show about the prior weekend’s racing action.
Fans of Bestwick had just been getting over his recent replacement in the announcer’s booth by Bill Weber, a move that put Bestwick in his new position as a pit reporter. This has seemed to go down a little easier with fans, however, as Bestwick’s ability to get a great
interview with a driver and thinking on his feet cannot be denied.
Still, many folks with an affinity for Allen’s talents behind the mic are disappointed with these current events. Some are even equating it to another one of those ‘NASCAR is just a big evil corporation who doesn’t care for its fans’ conspiracy theories.
While I do not view things so hysterically, I do wonder how things like the ‘sprucing up’ of ‘Inside Nextel Cup’ will pan out. And while I enjoy Bestwick’s pit road interview abilities, I do miss his participation in the announcing of the races.
I mentioned to a few fans on the Frontstretch.com message board how I am inspired to start an ‘Allen Bestwick Fan Club’, and the response was immediate. “Hey that would be great!” and “If you
start it, I’ll join it” were the posted replies.
Therefore, if this article happens to pass across the screen of Mr. Bestwick, I would like to proposition you with an offer to start a fan club for you. It might not be the most exciting proposition you have ever been given, but it does come straight from the heart. Every star needs a fan club, and in the eyes of many, you are definitely a star in the NASCAR galaxy.
I am already working on a catchy name for your fans (‘Allen’s Besties’, perhaps) and have a few ideas for a logo, which would include the profile of a perfectly coiffed head and a microphone. So if anyone reading this feels that Allen Bestwick deserves his own fan club, please let me know. I know there are a lot of Besties out there, and it’s time to bond.
©2000 - 2008 Cheryl Walker and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
Bill Weber, another move that shouldn’t have happened. Doom and Gloom personality and has anyone else noticed the job the plastic surgon did to his eyes? Looks like they put a bunge cord around his head to pull the wrinkles out.
I do know one thing, if Kevin Harvick becomes a regular on that show I will never, ever watch it again. Harvick is a punk…I can hardly stomach the obligatory two-minute interview with him each week during the pre-race show. I don’t even want to imagine having to look at that smart-alic grin on his face for an hour and a half!
I’m still not sure why they switched Allen and Weber on NBC, but Allen may have wanted the change himself, too. I’m getting used to Weber, but it’s just wierd. I do enjoy Allen in the pits.
As for INCR, from the look/sound of his little announcement last night on the show about things changing including him, it’s obvious that one wasn’t his idea. The show will not be the same, that’s for sure. I will give it a chance, but who knows. It will have a different feel with Despain, that’s for sure. As for Harvick joining in, it could be interesting. Sure, he can be a jerk, but I think he’s fun. And he’s not Mr. Politically Correct, which could make some of the race review discussions interesting!
As for NASCAR Nation, the sad thing is that I kind of like it better now. I could do without the hosts (I miss Ralph and Voda), but the format runs a little more smoothly and 30 mins is definitely enough. But I like the drivers and their personalities and sometimes enjoy seeing their lives off the track.
Shame on Speed channel everyone should e-mail them in protest!
Last year when Allen broke his leg & Bill Weber filled in, I noticed a definite improvement in the on air race coverage. However, this year I am thoroughly dissapointed in the three man NBC/TNT crew. I always felt that Wally was very knowledgeable but had a very bland personality. Benny, this year, seems to be suffering from “Ken Squier Syndrome”. By that I mean he has forgotten more about NASCAR than most of us will ever know. He frequently gets names, places, numbers, etc. wrong. Then he has the nerve to correct Weber when he makes a mistake! Benny was at his best when he was paired with Ned Jarrett! Bill Weber has not lived up to the standard he set for himself in the few races when he filled in for Allen last year. Arguably, he might be doing a worse job than Allen ever did.
Maybe Speed(or ESPN) will create a new nightly NASCAR news show with Allen as the host.
Give us some credit and respect. We like Allen, leave him where he is.
The speed channel has lost me as a viewer of INC – David Despain is like nails on a chalk board.
I have Watched INC since the begginning and am afraid it will go in the toilet with the new changes.
I do like Dave’s show but what was someone thinking putting him in.
Good luck Allen and I’m sure you’ll be back soon with a handsome raise.
As for INC, I like Despain but think he is a bad fit for this show. Alan is the glue that holds the group together. Without him, it will likely fly off in all directions and the only direction it will have is down…and out the door. Ten years of faithful viewership down the drain.
Count me in for the fan club.
I watched the first Nascar Nation show and haven’t watched another one. Why Speed Channel felt it necessary to make changes is beyond me and it sounds like a whole lot of other people too.
As far as putting Kevin Harvick on INC that’s a mistake too. He’s obnoxious on and off the track.
Ill gladly join that fan club! I love Allen
As for INC, I would make sure I was home just to watch all four of the quys doing the show. The chemistry was amazing. I really wish SPEED TV would listen to the fans. I hope Allen does get a new show and Dave goes back to what he really likes. I like Dave’s Windtunnel but he doesn’t seem to have a real passion for NASCAR. He also doesn’t seem to appreciate Mikey so I wonder who’ll take his seat?
I’d join Alan’s fan club in a heartbeat….
Dispain has said he don’t even like Nascar and they want him to host INC.????
http://speedtv.com/feedback/ (Sorry it doesn't work as a link, just cut and paste)
I used to watch all the ancilary shows, but not anymore.
one playing off of the other – and poor Alan trying to keep the show going – the most entertaining show they have !! Without this group we won’t be watching !
Despain is like watching one of his bobblehead dolls on his show on speed(the drug) – too too much!!!
If something isn’t done then we won’t be watching either!
Cheryl is no longer a contributor to the Frotnstretch, having branched out on her own, starting CawsnJaws with her son Josh. If you'd like to see more of Cheryl's Frontstretch articles, check out her bio and archive page.