“I was a little bit nervous, but all things considered, that is exactly what we needed to do. We knew we were capable of doing this.”- 2015 XFINITY Champion Chris Buescher
“He never got rattled. He rarely made a mistake. This was a breakout year for Chris Buescher.” – Jeff Burton on Buescher’s XFNITY Series Championship Season
“This is Championship weekend, and this is all about the Champion. Congrats to Chris Buescher.” – Race Winner Kyle Larson on Not Performing a Victory Burnout
“As I said all season long, I am a No. 24 fan first.” – Chase Elliott on Taking Over Jeff Gordon’s Car in 2016
HOMESTEAD, Fla.– Nov. 21, 2015 – NBC presented the NASCAR XFINITY Series Championship race from Homestead-Miami Speedway this afternoon. While Sprint Cup driver Kyle Larson won the checkered flag, it was driver Chris Buescher who saw his childhood dreams come true as he clinched the 2015 NASCAR XFINITY Series Championship.
Saturday afternoon’s coverage from “The Sunshine State” began amid threats of rain with the Countdown to Green pre-race show hosted by Krista Voda, Kyle Petty and Dale Jarrett. When the green flag came out, announcer Rick Allen called the action alongside Steve Letarte and Jeff Burton. Marty Snider, Mike Massaro, Kelli Stavast and Dave Burns reported from pit road.
The following are highlights from this afternoon’s XFINITY pre-race and race Championship coverage on NBC.
Voda on the XFINITY contenders entering today’s Championship: “The son of one of NASCAR’s most popular superstars won this title last year (Chase Elliott). Keeping it in the family, the grandson of racing royalty also has a shot (Ty Dillon). So does the veteran from upstate New York, Regan Smith, who is a long shot but he has a chance. They are all chasing the kid from Texas (Chris Buescher), who went against family trends to follow his dream. One of them will be the 2015 XFINITY Series Champion.”
XFINITY points leader Chris Buescher to Burns: “I’m pretty confident in this team. We have earned the right to be where we are right now. We have worked extremely hard throughout the season. I was just hearing stats and realizing what we have done this year, and our percentage in the top ten is pretty awesome…We would love to run for a win and take the chances necessary, but we are not going to be able to take unnecessary risks.”
Letarte on what Chase Elliott needs to do: “He has to put the pressure on Chris Buescher. He needs to lead laps and be the leader. He has to put Buescher in an uncomfortable position.”
Burton on Buescher’s 18 point lead going into the race: “He has to do the same thing he has done all year long. He has been rock solid. Anytime one of these guys mounted a charge, he has had an answer for it.”
Burton on Kyle Larson’s and Kyle Busch’s battle for the lead with just under 50 laps to go: “This is like a chess match at almost 200 miles an hour.”
Donna Buescher to Snider on her son leaving home years ago to pursue racing: “I almost didn’t let him leave.”
Burton on 23-year-old Buescher’s XFNITY Series Championship season: “This year he showed everything. He showed speed, he showed the ability to run well on almost every kind of racetrack. He also showed a tremendous amount of maturity. He never got rattled. He rarely made a mistake. This was a breakout year for Chris Buescher.”
Race Winner Kyle Larson to Burns: “I knew we were going to be good… I almost won the last two races here the last two seasons. It feels good to finally get it done.”
Kyle Larson on why he didn’t do a burnout to Burns: “This is Championship weekend, and this is all about the Champion. Congrats to Chris Buescher. I wanted Chris to have his moment.”
Letarte on Kyle Larson’s classy winning move: “Kyle Larson doesn’t have 50 XFINITY wins he has three. This is still a huge moment for him. You can see the excitement of finally getting a win at Homestead-Miami.”
Letarte on Buescher’s XFNITY Championship win: “He reminds me of a blue color racer, he just continues to grind out those points.”
2015 XFINITY Champion Buescher to Snider: “I did a good job masking (nerves) didn’t I? I was a little bit nervous, but all things considered, that is exactly what we needed to do…We knew we were capable of doing this.”
Chase Elliott on taking over Jeff Gordon car in 2016 to Burns: “As I said all season long, I am a No. 24 fan first. I just want to pull for those guys (tomorrow), and hope for the best for them. I know Jeff wants it really bad. I know Alan and their entire group has been working really hard to make that happen. I really believe that they can do it.”
–NBC SPORTS GROUP–