Rick Allen on Race Winner Denny Hamlin’s Impressive Final Run: “41 laps he was able to make on that last fuel run.”
Steve Letarte on ‘Win and You’re In’ Chase Strategy: “These guys are trying to go 41 laps at Watkins Glen, because they already have a win.”
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – Aug. 7, 2016 – NBC Sports went road racing this afternoon with comprehensive coverage of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Cheez-It 355 from Watkins Glen International on USA Network. NBC Sports’ lead broadcast team of Rick Allen, Steve Letarte and Jeff Burton called the race. Krista Voda, Kyle Petty and Dale Jarrett hosted Countdown to Green along with post-race coverage. Marty Snider, Mike Massaro, Dave Burns, and Parker Kligerman reported from pit road.
At the conclusion of the sellout race, Denny Hamlin secured his first road course win, and second victory of the 2016 season. In an aggressive final lap, the No. 2 of Brad Keselowski got into the back of Martin Truex Jr. sending the No. 78, who was running second, spinning off course.
|8||Martin Truex Jr.||78|
The following are highlights from this afternoon’s Sprint Cup coverage from Watkins Glen International on USA Network.
CHEEZ-IT 355 COVERAGE
Allen on race winner Hamlin’s impressive final run: “41 laps he was able to make on that last fuel run. The fuel window was going to be between 28-30 laps, but he was able to save fuel under the caution laps.”
Current race leader Hamlin to Burton via radio communication during the red flag caution with six laps to go: “The goal is to start first and finish first.”
Burton on Chris Buescher’s current Chase standing after his involvement in the crash with seven laps to go: “The thing that he has going for him is that David Ragan has also had trouble in this race…Though Buescher has had a bad day, he is fortunate that people around him have had bad days as well.”
Burton on the crash with 7 laps to go: “Kevin Harvick could not see the start of the crash and had no idea anything was going on. The chain reaction starts when you can’t see, just like on the interstate.”
Burton on Allmendinger’s aggressive racing with under 10 laps to go: “The guy that we keep talking about that has to win this race to have a chance to get into the Chase is AJ Allmendinger…He has to make an aggressive move. They have nothing to lose and a ton to gain.”
Letarte on how the Chase affects fuel strategy at Watkins Glen: “This is the evolution of NASCAR. This is why a ‘win and you’re in’ makes a difference. Let’s look at the field, Brad Keselowski, Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch all have wins. Tony Stewart, in fourth place, also has a win. These guys are trying to go 41 laps at Watkins Glen, because they already have a win.”
Letarte on AJ Allmendinger’s reaction to his pit road speeding penalty: “I don’t like what he said, how he said it, or the delivery. He is saying ‘that is what I have to do, I have to push it,’ making it sound like an excuse for speeding on pit road. I understand the pressures on this young man, but he is the driver. It is his job to perform. I know that is hard to say, but to be the leader of this team he has to lead his way into the Chase. If he wants to compete in the Chase he has to find a way to deal with the pressure and I have yet to see it with AJ Allmendinger this weekend.”
No. 88 driver Jeff Gordon to Snider before driver introductions: “I never thought I would get to 800 (starts) and I never thought 800 would come quite like it is going to come here today at Watkins Glen, filling in for Dale Earnhardt Jr.”
–NBC SPORTS GROUP–