“The mechanics can get you there, the equipment can get you there, but the people have to elevate their performance to win, when winning is a must.” – Steve Letarte on team dynamics in Playoff pressure
“Drivers have to be perfect, every lap, every corner, every pit stop, every nut and bolt, for ten weeks in a row.” – Ray Evernham on the NASCAR Playoffs
“Dorothy said there is no place like home. When Jeff Gordon turned his first lap here on Friday he said ‘Ah it is good to be back.’” – Krista Voda on Jeff Gordon’s final race at Kansas Speedway
Kansas City, Kan. — Oct. 18, 2015 — NBC presents the second race of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Playoff Round of 12 from Kansas Speedway this afternoon. With only six more races before the 2015 Sprint Cup Champion is crowned, the pressure is in full force this weekend at the 1.5 mile tri-oval track.
NBC’s pre-race NASCAR Sprint Cup racing coverage began with Countdown to Green Served by Sonic. Krista Voda hosted the pre-race action alongside NASCAR on NBC analysts Kyle Petty and Champion crew chief Ray Evernham. Rick Allen calls this afternoon’s Sprint Cup race from the “The Jayhawk State” alongside Daytona 500-winning crew chief Steve Letarte and 21-time Sprint Cup winner Jeff Burton. Marty Snider, Mike Massaro, Kelli Stavast and Dave Burns contribute from pit road.
The following are highlights from this afternoon’s NASCAR Sprint Cup pre-race coverage on NBC.
Kyle Petty on Kansas’ Playoff pressure: “These guys come into this city, Playoff city USA, having to make something happen today.”
Evernham on the challenge of the 10 week Playoff system: “These guys run their Playoffs on a different field every weekend. Different teams have different strengths. Drivers have to be perfect, every lap, every corner, every pit stop, every nut and bolt, for ten weeks in a row.”
Kyle Busch on the speedway’s challenges to Snider before the green flag: “I was starting to get things figured out on the old pavement before the repave, but once the repave hit, I was out to lunch again.”
Evernham on Kyle Busch’s incredible 2015 recovery: “Those injuries may have brought out the maturity in Kyle Busch…That injury, and coming back from it, may have given him the confidence to go all the way.”
Todd Gordon to Letarte in a pre-race “Crew Chief to Crew Chief” feature: “Everyone feels the elevated level of performance pressure. But you try and keep that balance. If you get out of balance, you get out of your routine and you make mistakes.”
Cole Pearn to Letarte on communicating with is driver: “He (Martin Truex, Jr.) is pretty low key himself too, and so am I. A lot can get said without saying much.”
Letarte on team dynamics in Playoff pressure: “They are all feeling the pressure of this Chase. This Chase format is different than anything a racer has ever felt…I agree with these crew chiefs, it is all about the people. The mechanics can get you there, the equipment can get you there, but the people have to elevate their performance to win, when winning is a must.”
Dale Earnhardt Jr. to Stavast on Kansas Speedway: “I love this track, it is really wide. All these tracks with more than one groove, it is more fun and the race is much better.”
Evernham on track preference: “As a driver, when you like a track, you find a way to do well.”
Jeff Gordon to Burns before climbing into his car: “This is a fun race track, I love racing here, but at the same time it has some big challenges. The grip level can be there one second and be gone in the next.”
Krista Voda on Gordon’s final race at Kansas Speedway: “Dorothy said there is no place like home. When Jeff Gordon turned his first lap here on Friday he said ‘Ah it is good to be back.’”
– NBC SPORTS GROUP –