“Larson was either going to bring it home with a wrecker or bring it home with a checker.” – Jeff Burton
“One move, one restart made the difference for Kyle Larson.” – Krista Voda
“Kyle Larson made Martin Truex Jr. change his game.” – Kyle Petty
BROOKLYN, Mich. – August 13, 2017 – NBC Sports Group presented its seventh week of live 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup and XFINITY Series racing, with over 17 hours of trackside coverage from Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, in Lexington, Ohio, and Michigan International Speedway, in Brooklyn, Mich. Coverage was highlighted by this afternoon’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race on NBCSN. Kyle Larson and the No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet won the race, after taking the lead from Martin Truex Jr. in the final restart.
Veteran NBC Sports Group motorsports announcer Leigh Diffey, 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 1:30 p.m. ET with NASCAR America, followed by Countdown to Green at 2:30 p.m. ET. Krista Voda anchored pre-race coverage alongside analysts Kyle Petty and Dale Jarrett.
|2||Martin Truex Jr.||78|
The following are highlights from this afternoon’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series coverage on NBCSN.
Voda on Larson: “One move, one restart made the difference for Kyle Larson.”
Jarrett on the final restart: “I could tell that Martin Truex was going to do something different that last restart. It just shows that even though Larson hasn’t done that much today, knowing he was back there, caused Truex, who had the dominant car today, to change his strategy.”
Petty added: “Kyle Larson made Martin Truex Jr. change his game.”
Letarte on race winner Larson: “Sometimes you have the fastest car, sometimes it is strategy, and sometimes it is lucky breaks. But sometimes you just take the victory away from someone else. That is what Kyle Larson did right there. Restarting in the second row, he just took the victory away from Martin Truex Jr.”
Burton added: “Larson went three wide, and was either going to bring it home with a wrecker or bring it home with a checker.”
Diffey during the final restart: “Kyle Larson with a blinding restart. With less than two miles to go, there is a hat trick on the line!”
Burton on the red flag before the overtime restart: “The drivers are going to have to sit back and think about the finish that much longer. ‘What did I do wrong last restart? What can I do better this time?’ This gives you a little bit of an opportunity to think it through. To use this time to try to apply what you just did wrong and to try and do it better.”
Letarte on the restart with 10 laps to go: “As soon as the No. 78 got into the restart zone, he was on the gas accelerating, and was able to clear the No. 77 into turn one. I think that gave him a huge advantage. It gave him both lanes to use through turn one and two.”
Burton on the crash involving Kasey Kahne and Daniel Suarez: “It is not clear to me if Kasey thought he was clear, and was trying to go up the race track and get in front of the No. 19, or if he was free.”
Letarte added: “You can hear Suarez lift out of the gas. He knows the No. 5 is coming, and he knows he isn’t clear. He tries to lift out, but it is too late, and the No. 5 comes across his nose.”
Diffey with two laps to go in Stage 2: “Martin Truex Jr. is looking down the barrel of his 15th stage win of this season.”
Letarte on Derrike Cope’s decision to immediately exit the race track after experiencing trouble on the backstretch: “That is a classy move by Cope. He has every right to stay on the race track, bring out the caution, push to pit road, and try to repair it. A really classy move. He knows his day is done, so he is getting off the race track to allow these guys to continue under green.”
Burns on the pending birth of Denny Hamlin’s second child: “He is on baby watch. No phone calls from Charlotte yet, about girlfriend Jordan delivering. But just in case, Christopher Bell is on standby. He is 22-years-old, from Norman, Oklahoma, and is part of the future of NASCAR. He is currently running in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, and finished second yesterday to Darrell Wallace Jr. He is ready if needed.”
Stage 1 winner Brad Keselowski to Burton, after leading every lap: “It feels really good to be leading with 60 laps on the board. It is also good to get that playoff point.”
Letarte with three laps to go in Stage 1: “We have talked about the playoff bubble drivers Logano, McMurray, Kenseth, but we haven’t said much about Erik Jones. He is up to the fifth position now. A win by the No. 77 would continue to squeeze the remaining playoff positions available.”
Petty on Kevin Harvick’s statements about Dale Earnhardt Jr., earlier this week: “There is no way that any of us, Kevin Harvick included, can put the weight and the future of NASCAR on one man’s shoulders. It wasn’t on Richard Petty’s shoulders. It wasn’t on Dale Earnhardt Sr.’s shoulders. It wasn’t on Jeff Gordon’s shoulders. It by no means should be put on Dale Jr.’s shoulders. I think that comment is the one that stepped over the line.”
Jarrett added: “It is totally unfair. Dale Jr. did not come into the sport, wanting the sport on his shoulders. He came in wanting to be a competitor, just like everyone else. It doesn’t matter if your name is Petty, Jarrett or Earnhardt. Dale Jr. has been given a big platform, that not a lot of others have been given. He has done a tremendous job of helping this sport through a lot of difficult times. He has been the man to stand up, and take responsibility, in situations that very few of us have ever had to go through.”
Petty on what fueled Harvick’s comments: “I think Dale Jr.’s comments about driver salaries, from the week before, helped fuel this. I think it rubbed a lot of the veteran drivers the wrong way. Dale Jr. is getting ready to retire. He has made his money. Now he is leaving the garage area, saying ‘hey you guys shouldn’t make this much money.’ I’m guessing that is how Harvick interpreted it. Harvick can say Dale stunted the growth of the sport all he wants. Dale Jr. still has a legion of fans that hang on everything that he does.”
Michigan native, and pole-sitter, Brad Keselowski joined Krista Voda, Kyle Petty and Dale Jarrett live on NASCAR on NBCSN’s pre-race set before climbing into the car for this afternoon’s Pure Michigan 400. Below are quotes from Keselowski discussing comments he made earlier this weekend about Toyota race teams.
Petty to Keselowski: “What is your motivation, and what are you hoping to accomplish by making these comments about Toyota? Are you looking for something from NASCAR?”
Keselowski in response: “We are starting to get to the Playoff stretch, and the Toyota race car, right now, is a good three-to five-tenths faster than the other cars. There is not going to be much of a battle if it keeps up the way it has been the last few weeks. It takes more than speed to win races, but it is a great place to start. Those guys have the field covered on speed. We would like to see them on a more equal platform, so it can be about the drivers, strategy and execution. If it keeps up the way it was at Pocono and Indianapolis, it isn’t even going to be a show.”
Jarrett added: “How do you say that when you come, run great speeds, and win the pole?”
Keselowski in response: “This is an interesting weekend. NASCAR typically takes the best cars from the field and checks to see where everyone is performance wise, about three-to-four times a year. Usually those weekends are Indianapolis, Pocono or Michigan. They could not do it at Indianapolis because most of the field crashed. There were not any cars left to check. I’m not sure why it was not done in Pocono. So the whole field knows today that the cars are probably going to be pulled and go through some extra inspection. That does not mean anyone is cheating, but it is a time for NASCAR to level the field and see who is where in the development cycles. I think everyone knows that, and surprisingly or not surprisingly, the Toyotas are on the same page as everybody speed wise, through qualifying.”
Brad Keselowski’s entire interview is available here.
–NBC SPORTS GROUP–