“It has been complete domination by Truex Jr. and the No. 78.” – Jeff Burton
“They have proven race-after-race that they can not only win, but they can dominate.” – Rick Allen on Martin Truex Jr. and the No. 78
“He made it look easy. They have something others don’t.” – Dale Jarrett on Truex Jr.
SPARTA, Ky. – July 8, 2017 – NBC Sports Group marched into its second week of the 2017 NASCAR on NBC season with more than 16 hours of trackside coverage from Kentucky Speedway, in Sparta, Ky. Coverage was highlighted by tonight’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Race on NBCSN. Martin Truex Jr. and the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota won the race in overtime, after leading a race-high 152 laps.
NBC Sports Group’s lead NASCAR announcer Rick Allen, 21-time Cup Series winner Jeff Burton, and Daytona 500-winning crew chief Steve Letarte called the race. Marty Snider, Kelli Stavast and Dave Burns reported from pit road alongside features contributor Rutledge Wood.
Coverage began on NBCSN at 6 p.m. ET with NASCAR America, followed by Countdown to Green at 7 p.m. ET. Krista Voda anchored pre-race coverage alongside analysts Kyle Petty and Dale Jarrett.
Position Driver Car #
1 Martin Truex Jr. 78
2 Kyle Larson 42
3 Chase Elliott 24
4 Denny Hamlin 11
5 Kyle Busch 18
The following are highlights from this evening’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series coverage from Kentucky on NBCSN.
Jarrett on Truex Jr. and the No. 78: “It wasn’t very tough for him. It was hard work, but he made it look very easy. They have something that others don’t.”
Allen: “It has been a perfect 10 for Martin Truex Jr. His 10th career win will come in Kentucky. What a race for Truex. That is the third win in 2017 for Martin Truex Jr.”
Burton on Truex Jr. with 12 laps to go: “The helicopter can’t get high enough to capture the length of his lead.”
Letarte on Truex: “This has just been an impressive performance.”
Allen: “I don’t think you can say enough about the team. The entire 78 team has been dominant. They have proven race-after-race that they can not only win, but they can dominate.”
Burton on Truex Jr. with 30 laps to go: “This has not even been close in regard to speed. It has been complete domination by Truex Jr. and the No. 78.”
Burton on Kyle Busch falling from second place to ninth: “When your car is driving that bad, it’s hard to drive it any better. You see when he tried to step up the speed, the car got away from him.”
Allen on Truex Jr. winning Stage 2: “Martin Truex Jr. will get it again. That’s four times now that he has swept the first-two stages in a race. That is why he is leading in playoff points. His point totals continue to escalate. Two times he has won races already in 2017. Can he put Kentucky on the win list?”
Letarte on the collision between Brad Keselowski and Jimmie Johnson in Turn 3: “That corner has no grip. It’s a virtual replay of multiple wrecks we saw last year. That inside car gets down in there, and with the car on the outside… it takes away the side force and some of the downforce. Jimmie Johnson has nowhere to go.”
Allen: “What a run for Martin Truex Jr. The stage-winner and stage-leader from Kentucky. He has been the dominant car and the dominant driver in stage-based racing.”
Letarte on Martin Truex Jr. (two laps prior to Truex Jr. taking the lead in Stage 1): “I think the 78 has a better race car, he’s just waiting for Kyle Busch (race leader) to make a mistake.”
COUNTDOWN TO GREEN PRE-RACE COVERAGE
Jarrett on Matt Kenseth: “It’s unfortunate for Matt Kenseth. He’s a tremendous driver, a future member of the NASCAR Hall of Fame, and still has a lot of good racing to go. Where is he going to land? That’s what you have to look at. Not many people expected this, so it’s going to open up a lot of eyes and opportunities for Matt. If this is money driven, then I’m sorry, Joe Gibbs Racing has well over 400 employees and you need to have the dollars to make all that happen. I understand sponsorship types of situations, but Matt’s too good of a driver to not land somewhere. He still has a lot of good years to go. He is capable of not only winning races, but winning a championship. Matt Kenseth is going to find a good ride, but I’m not sure I like the way this whole thing was handled from that side.”
Petty on Kenseth: “Welcome to big-time motorsports and NASCAR in 2017. It’s all about the Benjamins. That’s what it’s about right now. You have to look at it that way. Kyle Busch, whether he meant to or not, let that part slip out. That team has been underfunded. I personally don’t like the way some of this has been handled. I think that Matt Kenseth deserved more respect from Joe Gibbs Racing. They should have made a comment like, ‘Matt has been a huge asset for us. He has won races and contended for championships, but we have decided to go in a different direction.’ That’s all you have to do. Just say something. But that silence, those crickets out there, that’s not good. Matt Kenseth is a championship-winning driver and a guy who can win races.”
Wood on Governor of Kentucky Matt Bevin rappelling out of a helicopter over Kentucky Speedway to deliver the green flag for tonight’s race: “That is the coolest Governor in the world right there.”
Jarrett on Bevin: “That is what I call a grand entrance.”
Petty on Wood’s interview with Bevin outside the helicopter: “You know what’s impressive, Rutledge’s hair never moved during the entire interview. Not a hair out of place.”
–NBC SPORTS GROUP–