“We are going to Homestead! It was a joke, I’m coming back next year. This is the sweetest most amazing feeling.” – Race winner Jeff Gordon to Marty Snider
“I am going to apologize upfront. I’m going to speak as a fan and a friend of Jeff Gordon. That is one of the most emotional things that I have watched.” – Dale Jarrett on Jeff Gordon’s historic win
“It is a chicken, you know what, move to completely take out the leader when your race is over.” – Joey Logano to Dave Burns on Matt Kenseth’s retaliation move
“I was a firm believer that the No. 20 was going to make it difficult on the No. 22, but I honestly didn’t expect to see this.” – Steve Letarte on the Kenseth, Logano collision
RIDGEWAY, Va. — Nov. 1, 2015 — NBCSN presented a roller coaster afternoon of racing which culminated with Jeff Gordon winning his ninth race at the half-mile track, and officially securing a chance to win a fifth Championship in his final season at Homestead-Miami next month. From rain threatening to delay the race, to a controversial collision between Matt Kenseth and Joey Logano, today’s racing from Martinsville Speedway was an afternoon to remember.
Inside the NBCSN broadcast booth, race announcer Rick Allen and analysts Jeff Burton and Steve Letarte called the action. Working the pits were NBCSN reporters Marty Snider, Kelli Stavast, Mike Massaro and Dave Burns.
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The following are highlights from afternoon’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race coverage on NBCSN.
Burton on Martin Truex Jr’s mistakes on pit-road: “We have seen the No. 78 get in bad pit situations several times in the Chase. They have got to clean that up if they want to move ahead, they have got to find a way to eliminate mistakes on pit road.”
Snider on today’s key to victory: “When you come to a place like Martinsville, confidence is key. When you have run well here in the past, that gives you confidence, you feel like you can replicate it, which is especially important in a Chase race.”
Letarte on leading laps: “To lead laps through the middle of the race is one thing, but to lead in the last 100 laps is more difficult. Not only does the track change, not only do the tire sets change, but the pace changes. Here we are in the last 100 laps, there is no more riding along or saving your equipment.”
Allen on the cheers that erupted after the collision between Joey Logano and Matt Kenseth: “You can tell how the fans feel about it.”
Letarte on the Kenseth, Logano collision: “The No. 20 clearly just gets into the left rear corner panel and drives into the corner. There was a lot of conversation after Kansas about retaliation. I was a firm believer that the No. 20 was going to make it difficult on the No. 22. but I honestly didn’t expect to see this.”
Logano on Kenseth’s retaliation move to Burns: “I think what happened in Kansas was a completely different deal, we were racing for the win…Here it is a complete coward move especially for a Championship race car driver and race team. It is a chicken, you know what, move to completely take out the leader when your race is over.”
Joey Logano’s full interview is available here.
Kenseth to Snider on Logano calling the collision a “complete coward move”: “I don’t have any comments to that.”
Matt Kenseth’s full interview is available here.
Burton on Kenseth’s post collision interview: “What he said there at the end is, he felt like if he didn’t take a stand that he would just continue to get run over.”
Race winner Jeff Gordon to Snider: “We are going to Homestead! It was a joke, I’m coming back next year. This is the sweetest most amazing feeling, I am so proud of this team….To have (my children) and Ingrid here, that is what life is all about. That is what I realized after being in the series for 23 years.”
Jeff Gordon’s full interview is available here.
Letarte on Gordon’s win: “It just seems only fitting. He announced it was going to be his last year. He has been so competitive for so many years of his career.”
Burton on Gordon’s win: “I think the fact that it hasn’t been easy for this team makes it that much more rewarding. He had to fight and he had to struggle. When the opportunity presented itself, he executed.”
Jarrett on Gordon’s historic win: “I am going to apologize upfront. I’m going to speak as a fan and a friend of Jeff Gordon. That is one of the most emotional things that I have watched…Jeff Gordon changed the face of this sport. He took this sport to different levels.”
Petty on Gordon’s final win at Martinsville: “He is a big moment player…It is hard to believe this is his last year and he is still pulling the magic out of the hat.”
Steve O’Donnell, EVP of NASCAR, to Massaro: “We did have discussions about their viewpoints. We will continue to have discussions with them this week, as we usually do, if there is anything to decide it would be on Tuesday. We were disappointed in what happened tonight.”
Petty on NASCAR’s response to the Logano-Kenseth incident: “This is NASCAR’s opportunity to do something. This will be a defining moment in where we go in the future on incidents like this.”
– NBC SPORTS GROUP –