Kyle Petty on what makes “Thunder Valley” so special: “Night racing takes you back to your roots. This is where most of these drivers grew up, on Saturday and Friday night short tracks.”
Clint Bowyer to Marty Snider on the recent MWR news: “There are a lot of good racing years in me still. I love this sport. I love being a part of it. It is just going to be interesting as we go through this to see what the future holds.”
Bristol, Tenn. –August 22, 2015 – NBCSN presents NASCAR Sprint Cup Racing from Bristol Motor Speedway this evening. Pre-race coverage began with NASCAR America Sunday presented by DraftKings, followed by Countdown to Green, Served by Sonic. Krista Voda hosted the pre-race action alongside NASCAR on NBCSN analyst Kyle Petty and Dale Jarrett. Kelli Stavast, Dave Burns, Mike Massaro and Marty Snider reported from pit road leading up to today’s green flag. Inside the NBCSN broadcast booth, race announcer Rick Allen, 21-time Sprint Cup winning driver Jeff Burton, and Daytona 500-winning crew chief Steve Letarte offered their perspectives.
NBCSN’s pre-race coverage included a feature voiced by 2004 Bristol Cup winner, Dale Earnhardt Jr., discussing the countless moments his family has shared at “Thunder Valley.” NBCSN’s specialty reporter Rutledge Wood broke down how the “Last Great Colosseum” will be transformed into a football venue next year, hosting the Virginia Tech Hokies and Tennessee Volunteers in September of 2016. In his weekly feature, Burton showcased the high-banked, quarter-mile race track from behind the wheel of NBC Sports’ Toyota Camry On Track Car. “The World’s Fastest Half-Mile” hosted a variety of incredible pre-race festivities including a skydiver aerial arriving into the speedway.
The following are highlights from this evening’s NASCAR Sprint Cup pre-race coverage on NBCSN.
Petty on what makes “Thunder Valley” so special: “Night racing takes you back to your roots. This is where most of these drivers grew up, on Saturday and Friday night short tracks.”
Jeff Gordon to Massaro before the race: “Unfortunately we didn’t have a great race at Michigan. But I feel like we are coming up to tracks now that really fit my style and fit our team’s style. There are some tracks we can really get some great results at.”
Clint Bowyer to Snider on the recent MWR news: “We are all in this together. You owe it to these men and women who make up MWR and work hard to make it possible to do what we do…There are a lot of good racing years in me still. I love this sport. I love being a part of it. It is just going to be interesting as we go through this to see what the future holds.”
Jarrett on Bristol’s difficulty for drivers on the Chase bubble: “I don’t care what you have done here in the past, don’t show me numbers about what you have done here. Your Chase points, hopes and dreams could go out the window and not by any of your making. That is what this racetrack brings, you have to get around here 500 times and somehow stay out of trouble.”
Burton on passing during his ride along: “A very effective way to pass here is the old fashion slide job. Drive deep in the corner, let the car go straight up to the wall, then go back to the throttle. It makes a guy mad that you passed him but it seems to work.”
Jarrett on Bristol’s pre-race festivities: “The pre-race is just unbelievable. And it is just a lead in because the racing is always exciting.”
Burton on the electricity in the air at Bristol Motor Speedway: “There is so much excitement around this racetrack. The patriotism that we see here, there is really no other pre-race which can match it. Ultimately the drivers and the teams are so close to the fans, that when something happens the fans are right on top of the racetrack. It is just an experience you can’t match.”
Letarte on the out of control crashes which inevitably occur: “It is not if the wrecks are going to happen, it is can you avoid them.”
Pole winner Denny Hamlin to Burton before the green flag: “The biggest thing tonight is going to be execution. We saw how hard it was to pass last night (at the XFINITY race)…I think who can work the traffic best on the bottom, is probably going to be the guy who prevails.”
Snider on Kyle Busch’s projections: “Kyle Busch has been extremely fast all weekend long. How aggressive or how conservative they play it late in the race especially is going to be fun to watch.”
Burton on the first of 500 laps: “The grip is actually worse at the start of this race then it will be as it goes on.”
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