NASCAR on FOX Championship Week Q&A



As NASCAR heads to Homestead-Miami Speedway this weekend to crown a champion in the Championship Round of the 2014 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, NASCAR on FOX analysts Jeff Hammond, Larry McReynolds and NASCAR Hall of Famer Darrell Waltrip, a three-time champion, break down Sunday’s race, including who the favorite is to win the title, which driver has the mental advantage and the implications of a driver winning the championship without winning a race, among other topics.  


“I’d probably feel just as confident in my prediction if I drew a name out of a hat.  It’s a tough call because performance is fairly equal among these teams, but I tip the scales toward Harvick.  The No. 4 team has been fast everywhere. Joey Logano, however, is pretty good on the mile-and-a-half tracks, which may play to his advantage at Homestead.  But I hear Harvick was very fast at the Homestead test. When he started testing for Stewart-Haas Racing last December, they were in a class by themselves, and that speed has held all year.  He has won four races, but if you count the ‘almosts,’ there’s no reason he couldn’t have eight or 10 wins this season.”

–Larry McReynolds 

“Kevin Harvick probably is our next champion.  He and Rodney Childers are on the same page, and their team has come together at the right time. They are doing an exceptional job of communicating and adapting to every track.  They have fast race cars and I expect them to be the class of the field at Homestead.”

–Jeff Hammond 

“Harvick would be my pick for a couple of reasons.  Tony Stewart won a championship for Stewart-Haas Racing, so that organization knows what it takes to get the job done. Stewart’s crew chief was Darian Grubb, who now is Denny Hamlin’s crew chief, so Hamlin has solid experience atop his pit box.  Joey Logano’s teammate won a championship for Team Penske, so he can draw on that.  The only guy left out in the cold, to speak, is Ryan Newman, who has a rookie crew chief. Newman hasn’t outrun these guys all year, and I don’t expect that to change this weekend.  And I cannot discount how fast the No. 4 car has been.  Put all the pieces together and Harvick should be able to beat those other three guys on Sunday.”

–Darrell Waltrip 


“I don’t see how you couldn’t consider the new Chase format a ringing success.  My only hope is that NASCAR doesn’t tinker with the format.  Watching Kevin Harvick win at Phoenix in a must-win situation and watching Jeff Gordon finish second but not advance to the final round was amazing.  You couldn’t ask for anything more dramatic.  The only thing I’d like to take a second look at is the win factor.  When Brian France announced the new Chase format, he emphasized winning.  Ryan Newman has done everything right but hasn’t won a race this year. But competing for the title at Homestead seems a bit counterproductive to the ‘winning is everything’ philosophy. I don’t think that was the true intent of this format.”

–Larry McReynolds 

“There is no question the new Chase format has been a success.  For so long, we wondered how to capture the drama of the fall Richmond race, the last race of the regular season, once the Chase started.  How do we get 10 ‘Richmonds’ in the Chase? This format has done that.”

–Darrell Waltrip  


“Newman said the championship trophy doesn’t say how many wins you have.  It only has your name on it. Does it make a casual sports fan wonder how you win a championship without a race win? Sure.  But the hardcore fan knows that team and driver were the best in the 10 Chase races.  But I don’t think anyone thought a driver would advance to Homestead without a win.”

–Larry McReynolds 

“Ryan Newman is the perfect underdog. He has done everything right, played by the rules and made the system work for him and his organization.   The true measure of a champion isn’t always wins but what takes to get yourself in a winning position. Being a purist, it would be a little frustrating for me if he didn’t win a race but won the title, but he has done everything necessary to keep himself in the hunt.”

–Jeff Hammond 

“Months ago, when Matt Kenseth couldn’t seem to win a race, I said it would be ironic if he went to Homestead without a win but won the championship because NASCAR basically created the Chase on the heels of his championship year.  I never thought about Newman being that guy.  But I don’t care if he wins the championship without winning a race.  You play by the rules you have been given, and if he can win the title without cheating and without winning a race, then so be it.  But it’s a bit of an affront to say the championship is all about winning and that a driver has to win to get in, if the guy who wins the championship after 36 races didn’t win a race.  I don’t think that will sit too well with a lot of people.   That’s the one fallacy in the Chase format.  I’d like to see the four winningest drivers in the first nine Chase races advance to Homestead.”

–Darrell Waltrip



“Homestead will be a huge mental challenge not just for the drivers but especially the crew chiefs and pit crews.  The engine tuners will sweat it out knowing their product must be flawless for 400 miles. The crew chiefs must make smart strategy calls. Homestead will be mentally taxing on every player involved with those four teams.  But nobody handles that stress better than Kevin Harvick.  While he hasn’t exactly been in this position before, he has won two Nationwide Series championships and has experience with pressure.  Harvick is calm, cool and collected.  He’s always thinking ahead, so judging from his experience and mental fortitude, I give him the mental edge.”

–Larry McReynolds

“Harvick has the mental advantage because he is coming off of a flawless weekend at Phoenix.  I like the attitude and position the No. 4 team has going in.  They enter Homestead with confidence because they’ve had the fastest car all year.  Once the No. 4 team got its mechanical and pit crew problems fixed, Harvick was happy, and that’s when you get the most out of him behind the wheel.  And you can bet he doesn’t want to lose the title to the No. 31 car.”

–Darrell Waltrip

“The guys who have been in this type of situation before — Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin — hold an edge.  No one has been in this exact scenario, but Harvick has come close to winning and losing a championship, so he probably has a better mental understanding of what needs to be done. The adversity he faced earlier in the season helped temper him, much like it did Hamlin.  But the advantage goes to Harvick.”

–Jeff Hammond 


“We’ve been focusing on the drivers but we need to look at the men who helped get them there.  The crew chiefs will play a big role in the outcome by virtue of how well they handle pressure, make pit calls and keep their driver calm.  I like the fact Rodney Childers has driven before because he can relate to Harvick and keep him where he needs to be mentally.  At the same time, Darian Grubb is the only crew chief with a championship, and he also subbed in for Chad Knaus and won the Daytona 500 with Jimmie Johnson.  It will be interesting to see the crew chief battles play out and how the less-experienced crew chiefs handle the championship race.”

–Jeff Hammond 


“I don’t know if it matters anymore how a driver has performed at Homestead in the past.  While it’s still the same track, the rules packages have changed quite a bit.  I put more emphasis on a team’s performance this year across-the-board than I do on previous Homestead stats.”

–Larry McReynolds  

“It doesn’t matter to me. It may make the driver feel better if he likes the track or runs well there historically, much like Harvick had at Phoenix, where he has always run well.  But I’m really looking at recent performance, and with his performance at Texas and the win at Phoenix, Harvick is the guy getting it done lately.  That’s a huge momentum roll and mental advantage.”

–Jeff Hammond


“It’s great that we’ll have a first-time champion in 2014.  Any of the four will represent the sport well, and they all have a great story of how they got their starts.  It’s also nice to have four different organizations represented in the Chase with a good mix of manufacturers.”

–Larry McReynolds


FOX Sports Welcomes Jamie Little to NASCAR on FOX Family in 2015


NASCAR_on_FOXVeteran Pit Reporter to Cover NASCAR Sprint Cup,

XFINITY Series & Special Events

Charlotte, N.C. — FOX Sports announces the addition of veteran motor sports reporter Jamie Little to the NASCAR on FOX family beginning in January 2015.

Little serves as a pit reporter for NASCAR on FOX’s 15th season of NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES coverage and its first year televising the NASCAR XFINITY SERIES.  Her assignments also include select additional races and special events throughout the year.

“Bringing Jamie into the NASCAR on FOX fold is a huge addition for FOX Sports,” said John Entz, EVP, Production & Executive Producer, FOX Sports.  “While her versatility is remarkable, her ability to think on her feet and report not only the news but also the sport’s human-interest stories, with a down-to-earth presentation, makes her a perfect fit for FOX.”

The move to FOX after multiple years with ABC and ESPN represents a “homecoming” of sorts for Little.  She covered a variety of motor sports events for FOX Sports’ SPEED in 2002 and 2003, including the network’s live coverage of Daytona Supercross.

“Of all the racing events I’ve covered in my career, one of the most special was my first-ever live national broadcast in 2002 when I covered Daytona Supercross for SPEED,” Little recalled.  “At that time, most of the shows I worked were pre-packaged and tape-delayed, so being live on a national broadcast was a reporter’s dream.”

More than 12 years later, Little remains equally grateful for the opportunity with the FOX Sports family.

“Jumping over to FOX will be a big change for me, but this is the perfect time in my life and I welcome the challenge,” Little said.  “For some broadcasters, NASCAR often is a steppingstone to where they want to be in another sport or realm of entertainment.  But NASCAR is my NFL, and the Daytona 500 is my Super Bowl.  All I’ve ever wanted to do is cover racing, so the fact FOX approached me with the opportunity to continue covering the sport I love so much is a true honor. I’ve covered 11 Indy 500s and eight Brickyard 400s, and now I’ll have the chance to cover my first Daytona 500 in February.  That will be a huge feather in my cap.”

The versatile broadcaster has covered the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series for ESPN since 2007, and the IZOD IndyCar Series since 2004, in addition to extensive work with the Summer and Winter X Games. She was the first female pit reporter for the television broadcast of the prestigious Indianapolis 500, the first female to cover a televised Supercross and Motorcross event, and was one of the first female reporters in X Games history. Little, who has worked for ABC, ESPN, SPEED, NBC and TNN, has hosted non-racing sporting events ranging from Paintball Championships to the Great Outdoor Games.

Little embarked on her broadcasting career in 2002 as a motocross and motorcycle reporter, and credits her passion for the sport and affinity for dirt bikes as the springboard for her entry into television. The Las Vegas resident is well-rounded outside the four corners of a race track, as well.  In 2013, she released her first book, entitled Essential Car Care for Women, and has worked the red carpet for the ESPYs, in addition to hosting numerous NASCAR events away from the track. Furthermore, the popular racing video game “MX World Tour Featuring Jamie Little” bears her name and likeness.  She also held a cameo role in the 2005 feature film, Fantastic Four, which included an X Games-themed scene.

The San Diego State University graduate got her television start on ESPN2 reporting on various motor sports while interning at a local news station, in addition to live announce work for Supercross as a college student.

In 2013, FOX Sports extended its media rights agreement with NASCAR, ensuring the FOX family of networks’ broadcast of the first 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races each season beginning in 2015, as well as the first 14 NASCAR XFINITY Series races of the season and all NASCAR Camping World Truck Series events, through 2024.

Note:  FOX Sports will announce its full 2015 NASCAR on FOX on-air lineup in the near future.


NASCAR America On NBCSN Expands To Present 60-Minute Monday Editions Throughout The Chase For The NASCAR Sprint Cup

NBCSN_LogoExpanded Shows to Present In-depth Coverage of Weekend Action and Developments Impacting the 2014 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup    

STAMFORD, Conn. — September 4, 2014 — As the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season races to a dramatic finish this weekend at Richmond International Raceway, NBCSN’s NASCAR AMERICA is gearing up for an expanded set of 60-minute Monday shows that begins on Monday, September 8 at 4:30 p.m. ET, and will continue each week through the 2014 playoffs. In addition, NBCSN will present a 60-minute NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase special on Thursday, September 11.  The announcement was made today by Jeff Behnke, VP of NASCAR Production for the NBC Sports Group.

“The new Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup format, which expanded the field and introduced three shoot-out style postseason elimination rounds, has greatly increased the number of storylines and overall intrigue,” said Behnke. “We’re excited to give fans an expanded and in-depth examination of all the turning points, strategies and personalities in play each Monday throughout the remainder of the season.”

NASCAR AMERICA premiered in February, following Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s Daytona 500 victory and NBC Sports Group’s multi-platform coverage of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi.  The weekday 30-minute news and highlights program is hosted primarily by NASCAR on NBC lead race announcer Rick Allen and features regular appearances by NBC Sports NASCAR analyst Jeff Burton, reporters Marty Snider, Kelli Stavast and Nate Ryan, as well as guest analysts such as Kyle Petty, Bobby Labonte, Wally Dallenbach and Frank Stoddard.

Upcoming expanded episodes of NASCAR AMERICA can be found on NBCSN at the following dates and times (All times ET):

Monday, Sept. 8          4:30-5:30 p.m.

Thursday, Sept. 11     5:00-6:00 p.m.

Monday, Sept. 15       7:00-8:00 p.m.

Monday, Sept. 22       4:30-5:30 p.m.

Monday, Sept. 29       7:00-8:00 p.m.

Monday, Oct. 6          4:30-5:30 p.m.

Monday, Oct. 13        4:30-5:30 p.m.

Monday, Oct. 20        7:00-8:00 p.m.

Monday, Oct. 27        7:00-8:00 p.m.

Monday, Nov. 3          7:00-8:00 p.m.

Monday, Nov. 10        4:30-5:30 p.m.

Monday, Nov 17         4:30-5:30 p.m.


On July 23, 2013, NASCAR and NBC Sports Group reached a comprehensive agreement that grants NBCUniversal exclusive rights to the final 20 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, final 19 NASCAR XFINITY Series events, select NASCAR Regional & Touring Series events and other live content beginning in 2015.

With this partnership, NBC’s 20 Sprint Cup race schedule includes a designation as the exclusive home to the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, when the elite national series races through its final 10 events of the season.  The Chase culminates with the season-ending championship event, which returns to network television in 2015 for the first time since 2009. Of NBC Sports Group’s 20 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events, seven will be carried on NBC annually, with 13 airing on NBCSN. Four of NBC Sports Group’s 19 NASCAR XFINITY Series races will air on NBC, with 15 airing on NBCSN.


NASCAR and Comcast Reach 10-yr deal on series title sponsorship

nascarComcast’s XFINITY Brand to Become Only Third Title Sponsor of the Series ‘Where Names Are Made’

DAYTONA BEACH, FL and PHILADELPHIA, PA –– SEPTEMBER 3, 2014 ––  NASCAR and Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK)announced today a historic agreement that will make Comcast’s XFINITY brand the title sponsor of what is now known as the NASCAR Nationwide Series through 2024. The 10-year term matches the longest single agreement around title sponsorship of any NASCAR national series in history, and is the longest entitlement sponsorship agreement in this series’ history.

Beginning January 1, 2015, the property will be known as the NASCAR XFINITY Series. XFINITY will become only the third title sponsor in series history following Anheuser-Busch (26 years) and Nationwide Insurance (seven years). The agreement also makes XFINITY an Official NASCAR Partner in the multichannel video programming distributor (MVPD) and broadband ISP categories.

The announcement was made during an event at the NASCAR Hall of Fame – where the sport’s history is celebrated every day – and was the first series entitlement sponsorship ever announced at the venue.

XFINITY is Comcast’s residential service brand and is the nation’s largest video and high-speed Internet provider. The company has increased Internet speeds for existing customers 13 times in 12 years and recently introduced XFINITY on the X1 Entertainment Operating System. The company also offers XFINITY On Demand, the most robust video on demand platform in the world. Comcast serves business and residential customers in 39 states and Washington, D.C.

“We’re proud to welcome XFINITY to the NASCAR community as title sponsor of the NASCAR XFINITY Series for the next decade,” said Brian France, NASCAR Chairman & CEO. “NASCAR and XFINITY are each leader brands with much in common. Both are focused on innovation and have products built for speed. Together, we will work to take this series to new heights and elevate one of the most unique and powerful partnerships in all of sports.”

What will soon be known as the NASCAR XFINITY Series is the property where names are made and is like nothing else in major pro sports. It features the most talented young drivers regularly competing side-by-side against NASCAR’s biggest and brightest stars.

“Technology lives at the heart of NASCAR, just as it does for XFINITY,” said Dave Watson, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Comcast Cable. “NASCAR provides an exciting environment in which to showcase our video and Internet products and we look forward to further enhancing the fan experience at home, at the track and on the go for years to come.”

The series also has a large, highly engaged and technology-connected television audience. It races in some of the nation’s largest markets – from Chicago to Los Angeles to Miami – and at the sport’s biggest and most iconic tracks – from Daytona International Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway and Atlanta Motor Speedway, to Talladega Superspeedway and Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

According to NASCAR Fan Engagement Tracker 2013 (commissioned by NASCAR and conducted by Toluna), NASCAR fans spend an average of four-and-a-half hours each week watching NASCAR on television and an additional two-and-a-half-hours each week following the sport on digital platforms.

XFINITY is among the premier sponsors in sports today and a robust sponsorship activation program is part of the new agreement with NASCAR, with aggressive planning already underway.

Comcast’s involvement with NASCAR is expanding rapidly. In addition to the NASCAR XFINITY Series announced today, Comcast’s NBC Sports unit will begin broadcasting NASCAR race events in July 2015.

After a successful seven-year run as series entitlement sponsor, Nationwide Insurance pivoted its marketing programs to become a NASCAR team sponsor next season. Nationwide also is the official auto, home, life and business insurance partner of NASCAR.

The NASCAR Nationwide Series will make its return to Richmond International Raceway for the Virginia529 College Savings 250 on September 5, and will be aired on ESPN2. The first race of the 2015 NASCAR XFINITY Series season, and of the new partnership, will be during Daytona Speedweeks on February 21, 2015, at the famed Daytona International Speedway.


The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, Inc. (NASCAR) is the sanctioning body for the No. 1 form of motorsports in the United States. NASCAR consists of three national series (the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series, and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series), four regional series, one local grassroots series and three international series. The International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) governs the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, the premier U.S. sports car series. Based in Daytona Beach, Fla., with offices in eight cities across North America, NASCAR sanctions more than 1,200 races in more than 30 U.S. states, Canada, Mexico and Europe. For more information visit and follow NASCAR at and Twitter: @NASCAR.

About Comcast Cable

Comcast Cable is the nation’s largest video, high-speed Internet and phone provider to residential customers under the XFINITY brand and also provides these services to businesses. Comcast has invested in technology to build an advanced network that delivers among the fastest broadband speeds, and brings customers personalized video, communications and home management offerings. Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) is a global media and technology company. Visit for more information.

FOX Sports Unveils Expanded NASCAR Coverage for 2015

NASCAR_on_FOXFOX Carries 10 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Races,

Four NASCAR Nationwide Series Races Over-the-Air

FOX Sports 1 Adds NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Race Coverage;

Increases Already Strong Motor Sports Lineup

Charlotte, N.C. – FOX Sports, the leader in televised motor sports, today unveils its expansive NASCAR race schedule for 2015, including the first eight NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES point races on FOX, plus six coming to FOX Sports 1 for the first time.  The season kicks off from Daytona Speedweeks with the SPRINT UNLIMITED, DAYTONA 500 POLE QUALIFYING and 57th running of the DAYTONA 500 all on the broadcast network.

The FOX over-the-air schedule, which boasts more races than any other outlet, features point events at Atlanta, Las Vegas, Phoenix, California, Martinsville, Texas, Bristol, Talladega and Charlotte. In addition, six NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES point races are scheduled to air live on FOX Sports 1 for the first time, joining the BUDWEISER DUEL and the NASCAR SPRINT ALL-STAR RACE.

As part of the new 10-year television package, NASCAR on FOX delivers, for the first time, the initial 14 races of the NASCAR NATIONWIDE SERIES season, with four events – Phoenix, Talladega, Charlotte and Dover – on FOX, and the remaining 10 on FOX Sports 1. The NASCAR NATIONWIDE SERIES is second only to Sprint Cup as the most-watched racing in the country.

”Everyone at FOX Sports welcomes the NASCAR Nationwide Series, and is pleased with the changes that NASCAR made to the Sprint Cup schedule for 2015,” said Bill Wanger, Executive Vice President, Programming, Research and Content Strategy, FOX Sports.  “We worked closely with NASCAR to have a strong second race and Atlanta fits the bill beautifully.  We now have a powerful 1-2 punch to start the season with Daytona and Atlanta before heading out West.”

In 2015, the NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES returns to FOX (Talladega) and FOX Sports 1 for a full 23-race season of competition, beginning in Daytona. FOX Sports 1 also continues to deliver live coverage of practice and qualifying sessions across all three national series and the popular programs NASCAR RACE HUB, NASCAR RACEDAY, NASCAR LIVE and NASCAR VICTORY LANE, as well as live updates to viewers of FOX SPORTS LIVE, the network’s flagship news program.

In addition to extensive coverage from Winter Testing and Daytona Speedweeks, NASCAR on FOX also continues its 10 DAYS OF THUNDER campaign, highlighting the back-to-back Charlotte race weekends in May that culminate with a Memorial Day Weekend salute to our troops.

All races on FOX and FOX Sports 1 also are available through FOX Sports GO, the app that provides live streaming video of FOX Sports content.

2015 NASCAR on FOX/FOX Sports 1 lineup:

  • 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series on FOX (10 point races): Sprint Unlimited, Daytona 500 Pole Qualifying, Daytona, Atlanta, Las Vegas, Phoenix, California, Martinsville, Texas, Bristol, Talladega, Charlotte
  • 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series on FOX Sports 1 (6 point races): Budweiser Duel, Richmond, Kansas, NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, Dover, Pocono, Michigan, Sonoma
  • 2015 NASCAR Nationwide Series on FOX (4 point races): Phoenix, Talladega, Charlotte, Dover
  • 2015 NASCAR Nationwide Series on FOX Sports 1 (10 point races): Daytona, Atlanta, Las Vegas, California, Texas, Bristol, Richmond, Iowa, Michigan, Chicagoland
  • 2015 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series on FOX (1 point race): Talladega
  • 2015 NASCAR Camping World Series on FOX Sports 1: Remaining 22 races

For a look at the complete 2015 NASCAR television schedule, please visit

The NASCAR on FOX lineup highlights a strong commitment to motor sports, which includes coverage of Monster Energy Supercross, the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the MotoGP™ World Championship, the ARCA Racing Series and, beginning in September, the inaugural season of the FIA Formula E Championship.

About FOX Sports

FOX Sports is the umbrella entity representing 21st Century FOX’s wide array of multi-platform US-based sports assets.  Built with brands capable of reaching more than 100 million viewers in a single weekend, FOX Sports includes ownership and interests in linear television networks, digital and mobile programming, broadband platforms, multiple web sites, joint-venture businesses and several licensing partnerships.  FOX Sports includes the sports television arm of the FOX Broadcasting Company; FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports 2; FOX Sports Regional Networks, their affiliated regional web sites and national programming; FOX Soccer Plus; FOX Deportes and FOX College Sports.  In addition, FOX Sports also encompasses FOX Sports Digital, which includes, FOX Sports GO, and  Also included in the Group are FOX’s interests in joint-venture businesses Big Ten Network, BTN 2Go and a licensing agreement that establish the FOX Sports Radio Network.


Notes from TNT NASCAR Sprint Cup Summer Series – Sunday, July 13, 2014

nascar-on-tntNASCAR Sprint Cup Series from New Hampshire

Countdown to Green served by Sonic

Adam Alexander (host), Kyle Petty (analyst), Wally Dallenbach (analyst) and Larry McReynolds (analyst)

Larry McReynolds on drivers to look out for to win leading up to the Chase:

“I personally think in these eight races before the Chase, we’ll have two more winners, which will give us 13 drivers that have a win that will make the Chase… Two drivers I’m looking at, Jamie McMurray, 22nd in points; Tony Stewart, 20th in points.”

Outtake from NASCAR President Mike Helton joining the TNT crew:

“I join the rest of the industry, and, oh, by the way, speak for the fans, saying ‘thank you’ [to Turner Sports] very much for covering our sport and bringing our sport to us.”

More from Helton on Turner Sports relationship:

“This is about thanking your organization, going back to Buddy Baker and Ken Squier and Dick Berggren, and the first crew, right all the way through to everyone that’s covering this race for TNT [today]. Thank you from a fan’s perspective. You gave us the ability to see things that we didn’t think we’d see back in the 80’s or didn’t have an opportunity to see. In today’s world, with the technology and everything that you brought to us, the personality and character, today’s our day to say thank you.”

TNT reporter Chris Neville with No. 2 Brad Keselowski, on whether today’s car is as dominant as the one he had in Kentucky:

“It’s hard to know, Chris… The Redd’s Apple Ford Fusion was extremely fast in practice. But we’ve been that way a couple races this year, and only really in Kentucky have we been able to carry that over… I’m very, very optimistic and proud of the efforts so far this weekend.”

Kyle Petty reflecting on the end of 32 years of NASCAR on Turner Sports:

“All these people behind the cameras… they’re the ones that put the show on. We’re just blessed to be the face of it.”

**** **** **** ****

TNT NASCAR Sprint Cup Series from New Hampshire

Adam Alexander (host), Wally Dallenbach (analyst), Kyle Petty (analyst), Larry McReynolds (analyst) and pit reporters Chris Neville, Ralph Sheheen, Marty Snider, Matt Yocum

Petty on No. 48 Jimmie Johnson’s tire issues early in the race:

“These guys have won so many races, and yeah they can gamble, you take that, but you know what, after you have that issue three or four laps into the race, you would think you would be safe. Let me put some air in this thing, just be safe, get me to the first stop, the first green flag stop or regular stop and let’s see where we’re at.”

Outtake from TNT reporter Snider’s interview with No. 48 Johnson on his car’s tire issues early in the race:

“We’ll try to dig in it and learn more, but I can promise you one thing, it wasn’t the tire pressure. I’ve been out here two days running around and haven’t had a flat.”

Petty on No. 4 Kevin Harvick and his team:

“Since we were at Daytona in February, these guys, Kevin Harvick and that team, have been the top two or three fastest cars at every practice, every weekend, every qualifying session, it seems like, and had a shot at winning multiple races. And it’s well documented the pit road issues that they’ve had, that have kept them from winning more races this year.”

Outtake from TNT reporter Snider’s interview with No. 40 Joey Logano:

“Slowest car on the race track took us out, go figure. We had a pretty good AutoTrader Ford. We were just doing what we could to hang in there. We were obviously running second, Brad [Keselowski] is really, really fast, he’s got the car to beat right now… [I] felt like we could have a Penske one-two [finish] again and, to get taken out by the slowest car, [I] feel like there should be a driver’s test before you get out in a Cup car and make sure you know how to drive before you drive one, but I don’t know, guess there isn’t.”

Dallenbach on No. 2 Brad Keselowski:

“Brad [Keselowski] has been about two or three tenths of a second faster than everybody… and now that things have stabilized, he’s still that much faster than everybody else.”

McReynolds on the Toyota Test Car employed during NASCAR coverage on TNT:

“We’ve taken you places hopefully that you have not seen before, from the inspection process we did at Michigan, for a pit stop last week at Daytona, in the rain I might add. I know it’s been fun for me and I hope the fans have truly enjoyed everything we’ve done with this Toyota Camry Test Car this year.”

No. 2 Brad Keselowski on winning at New Hampshire and the success of the Penske team:
“It’s a privilege to have cars like this, and a team that’s just clicking. I guess you can say we’re red hot. It’s a thrill, I can’t believe it, [to] win both races. I thought we’d be pretty good here at Loudon. We’ve been really good here the last few years, but just haven’t been able to close out. And today we were able to do that.”

Adam Alexander wrapping up Turner Sports’ final NASCAR race on TNT:

“We’re laughing. What a fitting way for us to wrap it up because everyone says to us, about our coverage, ‘it seems like you have a great time,’ and I think each and every week we do.”


Notes from TNT NASCAR Sprint Cup Summer Series – Sunday, July 6, 2014

nascar-on-tntNotes from TNT NASCAR Sprint Cup Summer Series – Sunday, July 6, 2014

Coke Zero 400 at Daytona Powered by Coca-Cola

TNT will conclude its NASCAR Sprint Cup Summer Series coverage Sunday, July 13, at 1 p.m. ET from New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon. TNT’s Countdown to Green served by Sonic will precede race coverage at 12 p.m.

****    ****    ****    ****

Countdown to Green served by Sonic Adam Alexander (host), Kyle Petty (analyst), Wally Dallenbach (analyst) and Larry McReynolds (analyst)

Wally Dallenbach on racing at Daytona in the summer vs. February:

“It is tougher because the track is usually a lot more slippery so you are moving around a lot…there is a lack of grip.”

Kyle Petty on the importance of the spotter at Daytona:

“You want that calming voice…you want to know (where the other drivers are on the track).  It’s not like when I drove…you can’t move around a lot (in the car and get a good feel).  You depend on the spotter to let you know when someone is inside and outside…the most important thing is, they help you avoid wrecks.”

TNT reporter Marty Snider interviews AJ Allmendinger:

“We’re building something strong; it’s going to take some time…each week, we get stronger and we’re going to win some races.  But, more importantly, we just have a lot of fun.”

Dallenbach on racing at Daytona:

“It’s a mental race.  It’s like a mental chess game, but it’s a lot of fun to drive.”

Petty on Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s chances of winning a championship this year:

“Yes, this more so than any other year because they have that consistency…when you look at the overall status of where that team is, they have risen way up the ladder.  The No. 48 team is still the team everybody is measured (up to) but they are knocking on that door a little.”

Dallenbach on Earnhardt:

“I think he has gotten to a point now where he has a shot at this…he knows, it’s always been a consistency problem with him…and that’s what they are working on and it looks like that is paying off.”

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TNT NASCAR Sprint Cup Racing – Coke Zero 400 at Daytona powered by Coca-Cola

Adam Alexander (host), Wally Dallenbach (analyst), Kyle Petty (analyst), Larry McReynolds (analyst) and pit reporters Chris Neville, Ralph Sheheen, Marty Snider, Matt Yocum

McReynolds on the 16-car accident early in the race:

“When I look at the drivers involved in this wreck, we’ve had 10 different winners in 2014 and it’s been a long time since we’ve had someone new win a race this year. When I look at the drivers involved, this opens the door to get our 11th winner.”

TNT reporter Snider interviews Ricky Stenhouse Jr. following the multi-car accident:

“We had a good head of steam run going towards the lead there and No. 33 pulled up in front of us and slowed up a little bit…[I] got a little bit loose off the corner, got it saved and was going straight for a little bit and then it looked like the No. 24 kind of checked up and moved down, maybe thought I was going to spin it out, and got into the outside of the No. 14 and turned him around…our car was really fast; I hate that it ended this way.”

McReynolds at lap 55:

“There is no question…we are racing to lap 80 [the halfway point, due to the weather].”

Outtake from TNT reporter Ralph Sheheen’s interview with Greg Biffle, following the second multi-car accident of the day:

“I watched the replay and it’s just close quarters racing…right there, [it] was just a matter of a chain reaction.”

Snider interviews David Gilliland following the wreck:

“I knew there was going to be trouble there and probably should have given myself some more room…with the track as warm as it is…handling is becoming an issue and cars are sliding around all over.”

Kyle Busch on the accident, which left his car upside down:

“It felt like a slow carnival ride.”

Danica Patrick during the rain caution following lap 112:

“The car is fast. It’s just been a matter of attrition and being a little lucky and making it through things.  We’ve been in two crashes and the car has been ok to keep going…we’ve been really fortunate from that perspective…here we are though with less than 50 to go and there’s only now 13 or 14 cars on the lead lap.”

Kyle Petty on the significance of No. 43 potentially taking the checkered flag on the 30th anniversary of Richard Petty winning his 200th race [during the last rain caution]:

“He always loved this place…it would mean so much, with my mother’s passing this year, with so much going on, this would mean a lot to him.”

[Race called due to prolonged weather delays and became official]

No. 43 Aric Almirola on winning the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona:

“To get this [car] into victory lane today, 30 years to the weekend that Richard Petty won his 200th win, is really really special…I’ll take them any way we can get them…this race team deserves to be in the Chase.

“I’ve said time and time again how bad I want to win here. This is my home race, two hours away from Tampa, Florida, and I grew up sitting in those grand stands…dreaming about what it would be like to race here and I just took the 43 car to victory lane at Daytona.”


TNT’s 2014 NASCAR Summer Series Coverage Continues with the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona Powered by Coca-Cola on Saturday, July 5, at 7:30 p.m. ET

nascar-on-tntPre-Race Coverage Includes Behind-the-Scenes Access with AJ Allmendinger and his No. 47 Team

Turner Sports continues its exclusive coverage of the 2014 NASCAR Summer Series with the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona Powered by Coca-Cola from Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, July 5, at 7:30 p.m. ET.  The network will present the final 30 laps of the primetime race without commercial interruption courtesy of sponsors Coke Zero and Sprint.  TNT’s NASCAR Summer Series coverage will begin with the pre-race Countdown to Green served by Sonic at 6:30 p.m.

Adam Alexander will call the race and host the studio show alongside analysts Kyle Petty, Wally Dallenbach and Larry McReynolds. In addition, veteran reporters Ralph Sheheen, Marty Snider, Matt Yocum and Chris Neville will patrol pit road.

TNT’s Countdown to Green served by Sonic will feature all-access coverage of AJ Allmendinger leading up to Daytona, along with an interview with Danica Patrick. Additionally, Sheheen will catch up with No. 24 Jeff Gordon and his stepfather at Daytona International Speedway about Gordon’s career and their over 35 year racing relationship. TNT’s Toyota Camry Test Car — a new addition to this year’s race coverage — will continue to bring fans closer to the action in a pre-race segment with McReynolds.

Country music star Lee Brice will perform prior to the race with the performance of his hit single “Hard to Love” shown during TNT’s pre-race coverage.

TNT will also continue to celebrate Turner Sports’ top moments from 32 years of NASCAR coverage with a special thematic feature each week during Countdown to Green served by Sonic.


What to Look For: Kyle Petty

For this week’s Coke Zero 400 at Daytona Powered by Coca-Cola, TNT NASCAR analyst Kyle Petty offers his opinion on “What to Look For…” during the race:

–          “In our sport, Daytona is like Augusta National for golf, Churchill Downs for horse racing or Boston Garden was for the Celtics and basketball …it’s where we race. It is the place. That’s the way people look at it. It’s where my grandfather raced, my father raced, I raced and my son raced. It’s our whole family history. For me personally, it holds a lot of childhood memories. It’s a special place for all race fans.”

–          “All of the TNT races at Daytona over the years have been exciting, with an unexpected finish and an event somewhere in the middle of the race that changes everything. It’s not your typical race. Expect the unexpected.”

–          “I think Daytona in July is so unpredictable that you can’t predict a winner. You might say one guy is fast…but just because you’re the fastest at Daytona in July doesn’t mean you win the race. If I had to pick somebody, I’d pick Matt Kenseth. I think those guys are about to get back on top of their game, and he needs to win.”


TNT’s Upcoming 2014 NASCAR Summer Series Schedule:

(All Times Eastern)

Saturday, July 5  
6:30 – 7:30 p.m. Countdown to Green served by Sonic
7:30 – 11 p.m. Coke Zero 400 powered by Coca-Cola (Daytona International Speedway – Daytona, Fla.)
Sunday, July 13  
Noon – 1 p.m. Countdown to Green served by Sonic
1 – 4:30 p.m. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series from New Hampshire

(New Hampshire Motor Speedway – Loudon, N.H.)


TNT’s 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coverage Continues with Toyota/SaveMart 350 on Sunday, June 22, at 3 p.m. ET


Pre-Race Coverage Includes Behind-the-Scenes Access with Marcos Ambrose

Turner Sports continues its 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Summer Series coverage with the Toyota/SaveMart 350 from Sonoma Raceway on Sunday, June 22, at 3 p.m. ET.  TNT’s NASCAR Summer Series coverage will begin with the pre-race Countdown to Green served by Sonic at 2 p.m. Adam Alexander will call the race and host the studio show alongside analysts Kyle Petty, Wally Dallenbach and Larry McReynolds. In addition, veteran reporters Ralph Sheheen, Marty Snider, Matt Yocum and Chris Neville will patrol pit road.

TNT’s Countdown to Green served by Sonic will feature all-access coverage of Marcos Ambrose leading up to Sonoma, along with an interview with Kevin Harvick. Additionally, the Toyota Camry Test Car — a new addition to this year’s race coverage — will continue to bring fans closer to the action on race day. Dallenbach will take the car on the track to highlight elements of the road course, while McReynolds will put his crew chief hat on for a pre-race segment.

Throughout the NASCAR Summer Series, TNT will celebrate Turner Sports’ top moments from 32 years of NASCAR coverage with a special thematic feature each week during Countdown to Green served by Sonic.


What to Look For: Ralph Sheheen

For this week’s Toyota/SaveMart 350, TNT NASCAR veteran reporter Ralph Sheheen offers his opinion on “What to Look For…” during the race:

–          “What I love about Sonoma is that it’s a very aggressive race. It has become a very physical race behind the wheel, with drivers leaning on each other quite a bit, bumping and banging, with a lot of torn up sheet metal and hurt feelings at the end of the day. So as a race fan, that is something I love. I know the drivers really look forward to it. That’s what has become the image of what to expect at Sonoma each and every year…and boy they haven’t let us down lately.”

–          “Because of the new Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup format, where you really have to win to get in, there are some drivers who are going to see this as a golden opportunity to get themselves in the door…guys who feel like they are really good road course racers. There are some drivers who maybe feel like they’ve been denied the last couple of years and have missed out on that opportunity to win, such as No. 9 Marcos Ambrose. This is an opportunity for those drivers to really get up on the wheel and get the job done and maybe get themselves in the chase.”

–          “I think this year’s race is going to be even more aggressive than it has in years past. My prediction is, who do you think is the hungriest? That is the guy who is probably going to be the most aggressive.”


TNT’s Upcoming 2014 NASCAR Summer Series Schedule:

(All Times Eastern)

Sunday, June 22  
2 – 3 p.m. Countdown to Green served by Sonic
3 – 6:30 p.m. Toyota/SaveMart 350 (Sonoma Raceway – Sonoma, Calif.)
Saturday, June 28  
6:30 – 7:30 p.m. Countdown to Green served by Sonic
7:30 – 11 p.m. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series from Kentucky presented by KFC (Kentucky Speedway – Sparta, Ky.)
Saturday, July 5  
6:30 – 7:30 p.m. Countdown to Green served by Sonic
7:30 – 11 p.m. Coke Zero 400 powered by Coca-Cola (Daytona International Speedway – Daytona, Fla.)
Sunday, July 13  
Noon – 1 p.m. Countdown to Green served by Sonic
1 – 4:30 p.m. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series from New Hampshire

(New Hampshire Motor Speedway – Loudon, N.H.)


Notes from TNT NASCAR Sprint Cup Summer Series – Sunday, June 8, 2014

nascar-on-tntNotes from TNT NASCAR Sprint Cup Summer Series – Sunday, June 8, 2014

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series from Pocono presented by the Dodge Charger

TNT will continue its NASCAR Sprint Cup Summer Series coverage on Sunday, June 15, at 1 p.m. ET with the Quicken Loans 400 from the Michigan International Speedway. TNT’s Countdown to Green served by Sonic will precede race coverage at Noon.

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Countdown to Green served by Sonic
Adam Alexander (host), Kyle Petty (analyst), Wally Dallenbach (analyst) and Larry McReynolds (analyst)

TNT Reporter Ralph Sheheen interviews No. 48 Jimmie Johnson on his approach leading to the Chase:  “You have to be aggressive. This garage area is so competitive that what is working now there is no guarantee that it will work in August. You ideally hope you peak when the Chase starts but we all have to keep working hard and see where we end up.”

Sheheen interviews No. 11. Denny Hamlin on his success at Pocono: “Since the repave, we haven’t been quiet as strong but we still had some pretty solid runs. Obviously we haven’t gotten a pole since 2006, when we won the race. Hopefully this is a good sign that things are heading in the right direction for us.”

Dallenbach on Jeff Gordon: “I think the win in Kansas and some of the runs he’s had is refreshing for him.  A lot of people are saying he’s going to retire because of his back. He’s having as much fun now as he had for a long time. He gets around this place pretty good.”

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TNT NASCAR Sprint Cup Racing — Nascar Sprint Cup Series from Pocono presented by the Dodge Charger

Adam Alexander (host), Wally Dallenbach (analyst), Kyle Petty (analyst), pit reporters Chris Neville, Ralph Sheheen, Marty Snider, Matt Yocum
Petty on the strategy to attack the track at Pocono: “It is incredible smooth. The last time I was here you had the rough surface. It is a very technical race track and you have to hit your marks and, from a driver’s point of view, that’s all you can do – hit your marks and do the best you can. Pit strategy will play out.”

Dallenbach on the advantage to win at Pocono: “Pocono is a horsepower race track. I think you need a lot of engine here. The Hendrick Motorsports have an edge over everyone else. I think when it comes down to the end of the race, the horsepower is going to shine.”

Petty on Pocono on the fifth lap: “Track position is so important here. It is really hard to make ground early in a race. This is not a Charlotte or a Texas, a place where you visually see someone making massive progress. Pick them off one at a time, run your lap times and get position to pass them…that’s more important at this point in the race.”

Petty on Kasey Kahne and his car not being where he wants it to be: “I felt bad for him the other day. During an interview he did during qualifying, he seemed lost. They’ve struggled and they have been lost finding speed. As they go through this race, he’s at least been able to maintain and climb to the front.”

Petty on No. 48 Jimmie Johnson and Hendrick Motorsports: “You have got to be impressed with Chad and what those guys have done on Pit Road with 48. That’s why they are a championship team.”

Petty on hitting walls at high speeds after the Kasey Kahne crash: “The first hit knocks the breath out of you. The second hit is the one that hurts…the most.”

Petty on the surprises at Pocono: “This race had a little bit of everything. Pretty good racing on the race track, six or seven strategies on pit road. No one knew what it was going to shake out to be.”

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TNT NASCAR Summer Series – Post-race Remarks

TNT reporter Marty Snider interviewed No. 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr, winner of Nascar Sprint Cup Series from Pocono  presented by the Dodge Charger:

Earnhardt on not letting Brad Keselowski get close to blow debris off his grill in the final five laps: “He knew I wasn’t going to do that. I was trying to win a race. We had temperature on our car too. Brad had a better car, I’m owning up to that, but we won the race. It goes in the books and helps us towards the Chase.”

Earnhardt on winning for the first time at Pocono: “I’ve never won here. I’ve never been here (Victory Lane). I can mark this one off.”

TNT reporter Chris Neville interviews No. 22 Brad Kewlowski on his team hitting their stride:

“We are hitting the summer stretch with a lot of momentum. I’m really proud of team. I wish I could have executed better and get the win. Dale and I were pretty equal but he just made the right move at the end.”

TNT reporter Ralph Sheheen interviews Jimmie Johnson on fighting through adversity on the track at Pocono:

“We started deep in the field and then got ourselves up towards the front. We made contact. I don’t know who it is on the 51 car but God was looking out for him today. My car pivoted around him and didn’t hit anyone. I was scared to death I was going to hurt someone. I couldn’t get it done with my Cobalt car but I’m so stoked for my teammate Dale Earnhardt, Jr., to be in Victory Lane.”