“Kurt Busch has a six-pack of Monster Energy in Bristol.” – Rick Allen
“He made a statement tonight.” – Dale Earnhardt Jr. on Kurt Busch
BRISTOL, Tenn. – August 18, 2018 – NBC Sports Group presented a twin bill of Monster Energy NASCAR Cup and Xfinity Series races under the lights of Bristol Motor Speedway, in Bristol, Tenn., this week. Coverage was highlighted by this evening’s Cup Series race on NBCSN, which saw Kurt Busch and the No. 41 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford take the checkered flag. The win marked Busch’s sixth career victory at Bristol Motor Speedway.
NASCAR on NBC’s lead race announcer Rick Allen called the action, alongside Daytona 500 winning crew chief Steve Letarte, from NBC Sports’ traditional broadcast booth above the start/finish line. NASCAR icon Dale Earnhardt Jr., and 21-time Cup Series race winner Jeff Burton, provided additional insight from NBCSN’s “Drivers Booth”. Marty Snider, Kelli Stavast, Dave Burns and Parker Kligerman report from pit road alongside features reporter Rutledge Wood.
Coverage began on NBCSN at 5 p.m. ET with NASCAR America, followed by Countdown to Green at 6 p.m. ET. Krista Voda hosted pre- and post-race coverage alongside auto racing icon Kyle Petty, and Hall of Fame driver Dale Jarrett.
The following are highlights from this evening’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race coverage on NBCSN.
Earnhardt on Busch’s victory: “He’s been talking about how he hasn’t felt like he’s been too respected over the last several weeks. Well, he made a statement tonight.”
Burton added: “To win a race like that, by taking advantage of a late-race restart, just shows that Kurt is capable of getting it done when it counts.”
Allen on Busch’s victory: “Kurt Busch has a six-pack of Monster Energy in Bristol.”
Earnhardt on lead changes following the final caution flag: “Who’s going to take control of this race? There’s been so many different leaders tonight. After all these pit stops and restarts, there seems like there’s a different guy up front each time we see it.”
Burton added: “It is every time … who can take advantage? Who can push the issue and make something happen to put themselves in this race?”
Earnhardt on Martin Truex Jr.’s crash: “That hurt. Also hurt his feelings, running second there with a shot to win this race … Just hard wrecks (at Bristol). These short tracks going 150 miles per hour. Those are hard, hard shots.”
Earnhardt on the battle between Chase Elliott and Ryan Blaney: “They might not be going on vacation together. That’s what you like to see. Two great friends, but they race hard on the race track.”
Letarte on the conclusion of Stage 2: “There were eight different battles taking place on the track. That was some great racing.”
Earnhardt added: “There was so much going on … Amazing job by Kyle Busch to go up against one of the best in the business and get the Lucky Dog.”
Burns on Paul Menard’s hard crash: “Such a disappointment for Paul. He had a Top 5 car in speed, before the rain came. He was a legitimate Top 3 racer, so they were really optimistic coming into tonight before all of this.”
Snider on Mike Bugarewicz: “Mike’s wife is expecting literally any hour now, but he made the decision to stay here. He said, ‘We’ve had such a terrible weekend, we’ve thrown every setup at this car. I’m hoping it works tonight.’ So far, it’s worked.”
Petty on his “Driver to Driver” interview with Clint Bowyer: “Make no mistake. There is a switch that goes off, and he flips it when he gets in that car. You listen to his in car radio, you listen to the conversations he has with his team, and it is about winning races. What I love about this guy is that he loves life. It is about the race car, but it is also about living life and he loves it now.”
–NBC SPORTS GROUP–