NASCAR & Auto Racing

Speed's weekly 'Inside' show morphing, but Waltrip and Schrader still in lineup

Put down the pitchforks and flaming torches, Michael Waltrip and Ken Schrader fans, you don't need to storm the gates at Speed after all.

The cable network announced Wednesday that while it is changing the name and format of the weekly Monday night show formerly known as "Inside Nextel Cup," Waltrip and Schrader will still be part of its new incarnation.

The show will now be called "This Week in NASCAR," with Steve Byrnes taking over as host. The season premiere will be Feb. 18 at 8 p.m.

Waltrip, Schrader and Greg Biffle will remain as regular panelists on the show and will be joined by crew chiefs, including two-time champion Chad Knaus from the No. 48 team at Hendrick Motorsports.

The show will no longer consist mainly of a review of the previous weekend's racing action. It will, a Speed press release said, "move away from a NASCAR Sprint Cup race recap and analysis show, moving into a 'handoff' position between events, reviewing topical items from previous races in all three NASCAR national touring series, while also looking forward to upcoming events."

"'This Week in NASCAR' will no longer be all about yesterday," said Steve Craddock, Speed's senior vice president of programming.

"We want to do more than review Sunday's race - we want to get NASCAR fans ready for what's coming next."

The network's weekly Sunday night motorspots news show, "The Speed Report," returns at 7 p.m. on Feb. 17. Bob Varsha, Krista Voda and Leigh Diffey will be among a group of hosts for that show.