Jeff Burton on race winner Joey Logano: “Once again this Chase scenario has brought out the best in a race team.”
Chase Driver Martin Truex Jr. to Marty Snider after his Engine Failed: “Every once in a while you’re going to have a failure. It’s just unfortunate that we had ours with everything on the line.”
Guest Analyst Dale Earnhardt Jr. Offered His Theory on Drafting: “I look at the air coming off of the front of the car as a boat wake… You have to ‘jump’ that wake.”
Talladega, Ala. – October 23, 2016 – NBCSN presented the final race of the Round of 12 this afternoon from Talladega Superspeedway as the 2016 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoffs reached another elimination point. The action-packed day included a visit from Dale Earnhardt Jr. to the NBCSN broadcast booth, who delivered expert analysis and insights gained from his years of success at restrictor plate events. After 192 laps around NASCAR’s biggest and baddest venue, Joey Logano took the checkered flag and sent several drivers to the wrong side of the velvet ropes bordering the Round of Eight.
|5||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||17|
ROUND OF 8 CHASE DRIVERS
Inside the NASCAR on NBCSN broadcast booth, race announcer Rick Allen and analysts Jeff Burton and Steve Letarte called the action with special guest Earnhardt. Working the pits were reporters Marty Snider, Kelli Stavast, Mike Massaro and Dave Burns.
The following are highlights from this afternoon’s Sprint Cup racing coverage on NBCSN.
After a blown engine forced Martin Truex Jr.’s No. 78 Chase car to the garage after the 42nd Lap, he connected with Marty Snider and said: “Our engines have been great all year. Every once in a while you’re going to have a failure. It’s just unfortunate that we had ours here with everything on the line.”
Guest analyst Dale Earnhardt Jr. joined the NBCSN booth after the first caution flag and offered the following on strategy at Talladega: “The strategy I like is to run up front every lap, and try to lead every lap. I know that’s what Chase (Elliott) has to do– he has to win this race to advance… I actually saw him this morning in the bus lot and he said, ‘I’m going to try to lead every lap.’ That’s probably the best thing he can do. It’s so much harder to get toward the front from the rear because when these guys go three-wide, there’s no place to go.”
Lap 68– Earnhardt Jr. shared his theory on drafting: “I look at the air coming off of the front of the car as a boat wake. And it’s very dense coming off of around the headlights of that car that you’re trying to side draft. So you don’t want to continue to be beside that guy as you get toward the front, or pretty much dead even, because you run into that dense air coming off of the lead car. So you have to ‘jump’ that wake, much like if you were water skiing. You also have to get away from him so that he cannot side draft you, because then you’re both sort of bouncing back and forth. That’s why it’s so much easier to side draft on the outside, because you can pin the guy on the bottom, side draft him, drive up the race track and take the lead.”
Burton added: “Now, you know all the drivers are going to play this race back and listen to all of this, right?”
Earnhardt Jr. replied: “From what I’ve seen, these guys have got it all figured out.”
Lap 97 – After a graphic listed the all-time leaders in wins at restrictor plate races with Jeff Gordon in first (12 wins), Dale Earnhardt Sr. second (11) and Dale Jr. in third (10), Rick Allen said: “Do you look at numbers like that and say, ‘You know what? I want to be the best ever.’?”
Earnhardt Jr. answered: “I didn’t know where I stood on that list until today, so I have not.”
Letarte added: There’s the challenge!”
Prior to the conclusion of Earnhardt Jr.’s visit to the NBCSN booth, Rick Allen asked: “Before you go, I’d like to ask, how are you feeling? Are you doing okay?”
Earnhardt Jr.: “Yeah, I’m feeling great and all of the progress that we’ve made over the last several months has been really good. Obviously, I’m able to get out and do things. I’m having so much fun at the race track, and to be able to come up to the booth has been a lot of fun for me, so thanks guys.”
Allen replied: “Do you feel good enough to come back into the booth with us at Martinsville next week?”
Earnhardt Jr.: “I can’t wait.”
Allen on the Round of 8 drivers: “Because of the finish that Denny Hamlin had, finishing in third, Hamlin ended up being tied for the cut line between him and Austin Dillon. With Hamlin’s finish of third, that is better than Austin Dillon’s finishes in this round. Hamlin will get the tiebreaker and advance to the Round of 8. That is just how close it was in Talladega.”
Burton on race winner Joey Logano: “Once again this Chase scenario has brought out the best in a race team.”
Race winner Logono to Snider: “It feels so good to win here, because you never know you have it until the end…It is all about attitude and this team has a lot of it, believe me. We showed it last year and we are on pace to do it again. I’m ready for the challenge ahead of us and this team is definitely ready. How do you not have confidence when you drive for Roger Penske and this awesome team here?”
— NBC SPORTS GROUP —