Kyle Busch to Dave Burns on his strategy before the green flag: “Let’s see if we can keep our pole spot and stay up front a majority of the race.”
Kyle Petty on winner predictions before the green flag: “Even though Kyle Busch has to be the favorite. I think we are going to see somebody slide in here and take this one away from him.”
Steve Letarte on Jeff Gordon’s 46th start at Pocono Raceway: “He has won every different way here. He has won here with great cars, he has won here with great strategy, won here on restarts, lost here on restarts. Heck we won here in the rain one time back in 2007. He knows how to win in Pocono.”
Long Pond, Pa. – August 2, 2015 – NBCSN presents NASCAR Sprint Cup Racing from Pocono Raceway this afternoon. Coverage began with NASCAR America Sunday, followed by the Countdown to Green, Served by Sonic pre-race show. Both were hosted by Krista Voda, alongside NASCAR on NBCSN analyst Kyle Petty. Kelli Stavast, Dave Burns, Mike Massaro and Marty Snider reported from pit road leading up to today’s 1:48 p.m. ET green flag. Snider arrived in Pocono early this morning after working last night’s XFINITY Series race at Iowa Speedway.
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.
NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series returns to Pocono’s 2.5-mile “Tricky Triangle” for the second time in eight weeks as a red-hot Kyle Busch sits on the pole and threatens to claim his fourth-straight checkered flag, and fifth in six races. In June, it was Martin Truex Jr. who broke through at Pocono and scored a sentimental win with Furniture Row Racing.
Sunday’s pre-race coverage included NBCSN Specialty Reporter Rutledge Wood exploring Pocono Raceway’s solar farms with track president Brandon Igdalsky. After a $16 million investment, the facility is powered by 39,960 solar panels engulfing 25 acres. Pocono Raceway is one of the first major venues to go completely solar.
Countdown to Green also featured NBCSN NASCAR analyst Burton giving viewers a tour of the “Tricky Triangle” from behind the wheel of NBC Sports’ Toyota Camry On Track Car. Burton covered the infamous tunnel bumps on turn two which were recently replaced with new asphalt. Heading into today’s race, there is uncertainty surrounding how the cars’ grip will transition between the new and old surfaces.
The following are highlights from this afternoon’s NASCAR Sprint Cup pre-race coverage on NBCSN.
Kyle Busch to Burns on his strategy before the green flag: “Let’s see if we can keep our pole spot and stay up front a majority of the race. We will see how strategy plays out and what all happens there. Looking forward to the end of this thing and hoping we are up front.”
Petty on Clint Bowyer’s Chase strategy: “In their mind, 16th is not in (the Chase) because they know Kyle Busch is coming…They have to win a race.”
Voda added: “Kyle Bush has basically changed the mathematical format that you need to make the Chase.”
Sunday’s pre-race coverage featured a heartfelt segment with Martin Truex Jr. and his longtime girlfriend, Sherry Pollex. Truex Jr. discussed the inspiring work his foundation has undertaken with kids fighting cancer. During their interview Truex Jr. and Pollex both spoke on what the June win at Pocono meant to them.
Pollex: “I had a moment in Victory Lane…I am so happy to be here, and to be healthy enough to experience this with him.”
Truex Jr.: “It was awesome. It was definitely, without a doubt, the biggest win of my career. Just because of the last couple years.”
Petty on winner predictions before the green flag: “Even though Kyle Busch has to be the favorite. I think we are going to see somebody slide in here and take this one away from him.”
Burton on Pocono’s three distinct turns: “As a driver, you have to adjust all the way around the racetrack. You can’t drive turn one the same way you drive the tunnel. You can’t drive the tunnel the same way you drive turn three. So you have to make adjustments. It is very difficult for the drivers and the crew chiefs to get the cars to do what they need to do.”
Letarte on crew chief strategy going into Pocono: “You need to look at this track as an opportunity to compromise. When you come here you need to be good in all three corners. The strategy here today, at this large two and a half mile triangle, will be very difficult. Strategy may determine the winner more than the best handling race car.”
Letarte on fuel strategy and the 33-36 fuel window: “It is how far are they (drivers) willing to go. Who is willing to pit with 38 or 39 laps to go hoping their driver can save some fuel, and give themselves the upmost important track position.”
Letarte on Jeff Gordon’s 46th start at Pocono Raceway: “He has won ever different way here. He has won here with great cars, he has won here with great strategy, won here on restarts, lost here on restarts. Heck we won here in the rain one time back in 2007. He knows how to win in Pocono.”
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