Pole sitter A.J. Allmendinger to Marty Snider prior to the green flag: “When it comes to the outside world and the pressure, it is not even close to what I put on myself.”
Four-time Watkins Glen winner Jeff Gordon to Kelli Stavast: “We are going to be someone to contend with today.”
Kyle Petty on yesterday’s altercation between Ty Dillon and Regan Smith: “I’m not going to say it was uncalled for, but these guys should have talked it out.”
NBCSN presents NASCAR Sprint Cup Racing from Watkins Glen International this afternoon. Coverage began with the Countdown to Green, Served by Sonic pre-race show 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 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.
Countdown to Green featured a “Driver to Driver” interview with Petty and A.J. Allmendinger, discussing his suspension and return to racing. Features reporter Rutledge Wood took viewers around the track, adding color to the unique New York road course while Burton gave a tour of the course from behind the wheel of NBC Sports’ Toyota Camry On Track Car.
“The Glen” presents the first of five remaining shots for drivers to secure their position in the Chase. Road race favorites going into this afternoon’s event include pole winner and last year’s winner Allmendinger, five-time Cup winner at Watkins Glen, Tony Stewart and Kyle Busch who has been playing a hot hand over the last two months.
The following are highlights from this afternoon’s NASCAR Sprint Cup pre-race coverage on NBCSN.
Pole sitter Allmendinger to Snider before the race: “We know what this race means to us…When it comes to the outside world and the pressure, it is not even close to what I put on myself.”
Petty on the pressure that Allmendinger is feeling to secure a spot in the Chase: “I think there is so much pressure…Today when they drop the green flag I don’t want to be inside that helmet of his.”
Four-time Watkins Glen winner, Gordon to Stavast on his last race at “The Glen”: “We are going to be someone to contend with today. Most important thing is just to stay out of trouble, have a clean solid race, call the race right on pit road, get a little lucky, and lastly be aggressive on those restarts.”
Petty on the altercation between Ty Dillon and Regan Smith after yesterday’s XFINITY race: “I’m not going to say it was uncalled for, but these guys should have talked it out.”
Petty on Stewart’s return to Watkins Glen and the anniversary of his tragic accident: “For Tony Stewart today, I’m sure he is focused out the front window. He is not going to be looking in the rearview mirror today.”
Burton on the dangers of “The Glen”: “The amazing thing about this race track is how fast it is. If you don’t do everything right, the little things will bite you and they will turn into a great big problem.”
Petty on his “Driver to Driver” interview with Allmendinger: “More than anything, his passion for this sport is impressive. No matter where he is…his passion for the sport comes through.”
Burton on Stewart’s potential turnaround: “He hasn’t finished well, but he has had cars good enough to finish well. Whenever a turnaround starts, it begins with speed. There is no question they have had speed the last couple weeks.”
Burton on the importance of spotters at Watkins Glen: “This race track is so big you can’t do it with one spotter. You have to spread them around the race track, so you can see all the important corners.”
Pole winner Allmendinger to Burton during the pace lap: “Last year everything fell the right way for us…We will have a shot at it today, that is all we can ask for. If it is meant to be, it is meant to be.”
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