Steve Letarte on Martin Truex Jr.: “Think about his year! Martin Truex Jr. right now needs to be absorbing every second of this. He was inches from winning the Daytona 500, dominates the Coca-Cola 600, wins the Southern 500, those are all the crown jewels.”
Jeff Burton on Martin Truex Jr.: “You are going to have to consider this team as one of the two or three favorites for this Championship.”
Steve Letarte on Tony Stewart: “While he doesn’t appear to have the great fairy tale send-off that Jeff Gordon was lucky enough to have last year, it is still a great finish to a career.”
DOVER, Del. — October 2, 2016 – NBCSN presented the first elimination race of the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase this afternoon from Dover International Speedway. The fall afternoon culminated with Martin Truex Jr. securing a second victory in the Round of 16. Tony Stewart, Kyle Larson, Jamie McMurray and Chris Buescher found themselves below the cut line and will not be moving forward towards the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship.
Inside the NBCSN broadcast booth, race announcer Rick Allen and analysts Jeff Burton and Steve Letarte called the action. Working the pits were NBCSN reporters Marty Snider, Kelli Stavast, Mike Massaro and Dave Burns.
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ROUND OF 12 CHASE DRIVERS
|Martin Truex Jr.|
The following are highlights from this afternoon’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race coverage on NBCSN.
Brad Keselowski to Burton via radio communication before the green flag: “It’s a good feeling (to lead by 35 points) but it’s not a guarantee. You can’t take anything for granted in this sport. Unless you are locked in, you have to make sure you give the most of it each and every day. It is called the Monster Mile for a reason. Something could jump up and bite you. I just need to be good, and run a smart race, and it will all take care of itself.”
Letarte on Chase contender Kyle Larson’s penalty on lap 45: “That is compounding errors, compounding mistakes. The battery was the biggest issue, but then when the No. 42 came to pit road they had too many guys over pit wall. One lap was recoverable. When he serves his penalty and comes down pit road he is going to lose at least a second lap, maybe a third. It is going to be a steep hill to try and climb back from this.”
Burton on the end of Jamie McMurray’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship hopes: “You know the disappointment is huge for this race team right now. They had such a solid year, not a great year, but put themselves in position. They talked about maybe going to the garage to fix it and didn’t do it so eventually (the engine) erupted.”
Burton on the penalty for Chase contender Jimmie Johnson, and the No. 48 team, for being over the pit wall too soon: “At the two races this year that Jimmie Johnson has led the most laps, Dover and Chicagoland, they have had penalties on pit road. They had one for speeding and now they have one for over the wall.”
Letarte added: “Clearly before the No. 48 (entered the pit box) there was already a crew member touching the concrete. I know that seems silly but that is the rule…There is no judgment call. It is very simple, if you are more than a box away and a crew member is touching concrete, that is too early, that is a penalty.”
Letarte on rookie driver Chase Elliott: “Remember how fast this No. 24 car was in Chicago. Everyone thought he was going to end up in victory lane. He lost a spot on a pit stop and (Truex Jr.) beat him off pit road and ended up winning the race. That could have very easily derailed a young driver like Chase Elliott. But instead he just stayed focused, came back didn’t run great at New Hampshire finished 13th. But he is doing what he needs to do to advance. He races like a wile veteran, not like a like a 20-year-old young first time rookie.”
Burton on Martin Truex Jr.: “When this team gets on a roll you better watch out…You are going to have to consider this team as one of the two or three favorites for this Championship.”
Burton on first time Chase driver Austin Dillon: “I think Austin Dillon and his team are feeling really good about what they have done here today. This is the race, when I talked to Austin, he was nervous about. A solid run today, at times in this race they had the fastest car but they never really had the track position to take advantage. I think this team has to leave this race with a lot of momentum.”
Letarte on Tony Stewart’s final Chase race: “I think it has already been great that Tony Stewart was in the Chase. At Daytona in February he wasn’t even in the No. 14 car, and had a back injury. No one knew how long he would be out, there were questions about how much he would even run his final year, and he comes back and wins at Sonoma. He gets into the NASCAR playoffs. While he doesn’t appear to have the great fairy tale send-off that Jeff Gordon was lucky enough to have last year, it is still a great finish to a career.”
Letarte on race winner Truex Jr.: “Think about his year! Martin Truex Jr. right now needs to be absorbing every second of this. He was inches from winning the Daytona 500, dominates the Coca-Cola 600, wins the Southern 500, those are all the crown jewels.”
Burton added: “Who would have thought a team based in Denver Colo., could bring it every single week and compete. When this team was first started everyone said, ‘it would never work, you can’t make that happen.’ Well, Barney Visser’s vision has proven to be correct.”
Race winner Truex Jr. to Snider: “I love this race track. It has been considered a home track for me for a long time, since I won here. I’ve also had a lot of heartbreaks here.”
– NBC SPORTS GROUP –