“Denny Hamlin was very aggressive yesterday. He got into people three different times, and one of those was to win the race. He certainly didn’t make any friends.” – Jeff Burton
“That was one of the hardest conversations I’ve ever had.” Kevin Harvick to Jeff Burton on leaving Richard Childress Racing
“What he could do with a car has always been amazing. Now his brain has caught up. He’s mature – a thinking driver.” – Kyle Petty on Harvick
LOUDON, N.H. – July 19, 2015 – NBCSN presents NASCAR Sprint Cup Racing from New Hampshire, Presented by Pixels, this afternoon from New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, N.H. Today’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race coverage began with the Countdown to Green, Served by Sonic pre-race show hosted by Krista Voda, who worked alongside former driver Kyle Petty and crew chief Frank Stoddard. 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 prior to the green flag.
In addition, Sunday’s Countdown to Green, Served by Sonic pre-race show included a pair of features:
- Jeff Burton gave fans his view of New Hampshire Motor Speedway from behind the wheel of NBC Sports’ Toyota Camry On Track Car. Burton is NASCAR’s all-time winningest driver at NHMS, notching four consecutive Sprint Cup race victories at Loudon from 1997-2000, and boasts 15 top-10 finishes in 38 career starts at the track.
- Burton conducted a “Driver-to-Driver” in-depth interview with 2014 Sprint Cup Champion Kevin Harvick. In the interview, Harvick discussed his California roots and the sacrifices he made to break into NASCAR. He also opened up about his fiery, competitive side, and the efforts he took to control his emotions along the way to becoming a champion.
The following are highlights from this afternoon’s NASCAR Sprint Cup pre-race coverage on NBCSN.
Stoddard on Carl Edwards: “The thing that helped Carl Edwards was stealing that win in Charlotte. That took a huge weight off of their shoulders…now they can work on fast race cars, and not worry because they’re already in the Chase.”
Burton in the NBC Sports Toyota Camry On Track Car, offering the following from behind the wheel: “On restarts, there is no grip, so cars are everywhere. You’re going to see cars all the way down on the bottom, trying to make something happen. And there’s no banking, so if there’s a hole, you have got to go for it. Restarts are so important here at New Hampshire, and if you don’t take a shot, you may not have a chance to win.”
Harvick to Burton on his fiery attitude and start of his Sprint Cup career: “As I grew up, it was always, ‘Why didn’t you do this, why didn’t you push harder?’ You’ve got to take what you want if you’re going to get it. When I first started Cup racing, that probably wasn’t the best way to approach it. It was just a messed up situation from the beginning. I wasn’t really around any of the people that I had built my XFINITY team with, that I planned on going Cup racing with. It was all about, ‘Well, Dale did it this way, Dale did it that way.’ You’re 25 years old, you have that fiery type attitude and you’re immediately defensive. ‘I don’t want to do it that way.’”
Harvick on leaving Richard Childress Racing: “Richard and I were fortunate to win a lot of races together. We won a couple of XFINITY championships together. But it just got to the point where it wasn’t fun anymore. DeLana and I wanted to start a family together. I wasn’t happy going to work, and that wasn’t going to be good to be the best parent I could be. I told Richard face-to-face, and that was one of the hardest conversations I’ve ever had. Today, I shake his hand every time I see him, and he does the same. I think there’s a respect there that we both have for each other, and the things we did for each other and the amount of success we had.”
Harvick on the impact of becoming a father: “It allows you to get your mind off of racing, and really have more in common with more people. It makes you think about things in a much different way, and not so much of a self-centered race car driver type of way – you can save that for the weekends.”
Petty on maturation of Harvick: “Off the race track, we’re seeing a kinder, gentler Kevin Harvick. On the race rack, he’s the guy. No one has ever questioned his desire or ability. What we’re seeing in Kevin Harvick is the beginnings of a great champion…his ability on the race track and what he could do with a car has always been amazing. Now his brain has caught up. He’s mature – a thinking driver.”
Steve Letarte on strategy at NHMS: “It’s really easy to say that track position is important, but everybody knows that it is, so you have to get creative in order to find a way up front.”
Burton on Denny Hamlin’s aggressive driving style: “I don’t think we’ll see repayment, but we’re going to see a lot of aggressive action here. Denny Hamlin was very aggressive yesterday. He got into people three different times, and one of those was to win the race. He certainly didn’t make any friends.”
@NASCARonNBC: @NASCARonNBC The official Twitter account of NASCAR coverage on NBC and NBCSN provides exclusive access to drivers, NBC Sports NASCAR experts and behind-the-scenes content, as well up-to-the-minute news and highlights, including video and articles from MotorSportsTalk on NBCSports.com.
For more information about NBC Sports Group shows and properties, including press releases, photos, talent and executive bios and headshots, please visit NBCSportsGroupPressBox.com.
–NBC SPORTS GROUP–