“I’ve seen a majority of his career up close. It’s just awesome to see him finally achieve his dream.” – Dale Earnhardt Jr.
“Always great to see a first-time winner. There is nothing like winning that first race.” – Jeff Burton
JOLIET, Ill. – June 30, 2019 – Alex Bowman won his first-ever Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race today in the Camping World 400 on NBCSN, as NBC Sports began its coverage of the 2019 NASCAR season this weekend from Chicagoland Speedway.
NBC Sports’ lead NASCAR race announcer Rick Allen called the race alongside 21-time Cup Series race winner and “The Mayor” of NASCAR Jeff Burton. Racing legend and two-time Daytona 500 Champion Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Daytona 500-winning crew chief Steve Letarte called the action from a second booth.
On Alex Bowman’s first-career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series win:
Earnhardt Jr.: “I’m so happy for Alex. I’ve seen a majority of his career up close. It’s just awesome to see him finally achieve his dream.”
Letarte: “I’m happy for Alex and I’m happy for the fans. We saw some great racing. A great battle between Alex Bowman and Kyle Larson at the end. I was impressed with everything I saw.”
Burton: “Always great to see a first-time winner. There is nothing like winning that first race.”
Marty Snider, Kelli Stavast, Dave Burns and Parker Kligerman reported from pit road.
Coverage began on NBCSN at 1 p.m. ET with NASCAR America, followed by Countdown to Green at 2:30 p.m. ET. Krista Voda anchored pre-race coverage from NBC Sports’ “Peacock Pit Box,” which returns for a second season, alongside analysts Kyle Petty and Dale Jarrett. Rutledge Wood reported from various sites at Chicagoland Speedway throughout the pre-race show.
Following the green flag shortly after 3 p.m. ET, the race was red-flagged on Lap 12 for over three hours due to severe weather and resumed at approximately 6:45 p.m. ET.
Sunday’s pre-race coverage on NBCSN included:
- Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s interview with Kyle Busch and Kyle Larson prior to the race on Sunday about the famous “Slide Job” finish to the 2018 Chicagoland race;
- The first installment of NASCAR America’s “Behind the Driver” series, which showcased former NASCAR driver Mike McLaughlin, who has been instrumental in making Joey Logano a NASCAR Champion;
- Wood and Petty did their best “Blues Brothers” impersonation as they cruised through Joliet to remind fans that NASCAR is back on NBC Sports for the remainder of the 2019 season. Click here to watch.
The following are highlights from this afternoon’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race coverage on NBCSN:
Bowman to Snider during the burnout interview: “It’s all I wanted my whole life. This is a lot of validation for a lot of people who said I could never do it.”
Earnhardt Jr.: “Big day for Alex, big day for Hendrick Motorsports, maybe even a bigger day for Chevrolet in his Camaro. They’ve come a long way with this racecar.”
Allen as Bowman crosses the line to win the Camping World 400: “Alex Bowman has finished in every position in a Cup Series race. He’s never finished first. Working his way through the final turn. Alex Bowman will win at Chicago!”
Burton with 4 laps to go: “Really smart driving by Alex Bowman, understanding he has to do two different things on two different ends of the race track.”
Earnhardt Jr. on the battle between Bowman and Larson with 6 laps to go: “These two guys are really loose right here and are driving with everything they’ve got.”
Burton on Bowman with 13 laps to go: “It’s a huge disadvantage that Daniel Hemric is running the bottom. That’s exactly where Bowman wants to be.”
Earnhardt Jr. on Larson surging in second place with 14 laps to go: “Bowman’s team needs to be telling him about this. Where is he running? I would tell that driver in the lead, ‘You might want to think about changing your line. That guy is coming.”
Allen with 21 laps to go: “Bowman has been in this position before. I think back to Phoenix when he was actually filling in for you, Dale Jr., and looking so impressive, but then it was a late restart that ended up maybe taking the win away – maybe his first win ever – away from him. Could the same thing be in the back of his mind right now?”
Snider on Kyle Larson and his performance’s impact on the playoff standings on Lap 211: “It’s been an outstanding day for Kyle Larson…when they came into the day just plus-18 above the cut line. As it sits, they are plus-36. It may not be the win but it’s exactly what Kyle Larson needed.”
Letarte on Alex Bowman on Lap 202: “He has done something that no one else has been able to do today – break away from the pack. He’s now up two seconds on Jimmie Johnson…if I’m Alex Bowman, I wait for someone to force me into a strategy. That’s why that lead helps him. He now commands the race. But if I’m Joey Logano or someone else back there, force the hand and come to pit road.”
Earnhardt Jr. on flat tires for Kevin Harvick, Clint Bowyer, Kyle Busch and Ryan Blaney toward end of Stage One: “Chaos… a unique situation where these guys were just trying to stretch it to the end of the stage. We might not find ourselves in a situation where we’re trying to push the tires that hard again, but it’s something to keep an eye on.”
Letarte on impact of weather delay prior to restart in Stage One: “At the start, 93 degrees, the track over 120 degrees. Now, it’s a nice – actually, beautiful outside, 72 degrees, track cooled way down. So as a crew chief, I need to be thinking of this: What do I need to do to my racecar to make these adjustments to try to put more speed in it? Dale, as a driver, I need your help. The track is going to be green, but you’re going to have to start giving me feedback quickly. We’re going to have to make adjustments. We can’t wait two or three pit stops.”