“It was kind of a funky race to be a part of.” – Race Winner Brad Keselowski to Kelli Stavast
“It seems all season long something happens in the last quarter of the race.” – Kyle Larson on his blown tire with 25 laps to go
“He has done an outstanding job of keeping focused and keeping his eye on the prize.” – Dale Jarrett on Chris Buescher
STAMFORD, Conn. – Nov. 7, 2015 – NBC presented a wild afternoon of XFINITY racing from Texas Motor Speedway. After a wet race track canceled Qualifying and delayed the race, the afternoon culminated with Sprint Cup driver Brad Keselowski secured his 34th XFINITY Series win. With only two races remaining, XFINITY points leader Chris Buescher finished eleventh and held onto a double digit points cushion ahead of Chase Elliott who stands second.
Saturday afternoon’s coverage from “The Lone Star State” began with Countdown to Green hosted by Krista Voda, Kyle Petty and Dale Jarrett. Announcer Rick Allen called the action alongside Steve Letarte and Jeff Burton. Marty Snider, Mike Massaro, Kelli Stavast and Dave Burns contributed reports from pit road.
The following are highlights from this afternoon’s XFINITY pre-race and race coverage on NBC.
Jarrett on track conditions before the green flag: “It is always a difficult track and it is fast. The track surface is worn out and that is going to play into today’s race because we have no rubber and we have had no activity on the track today.”
Kevin Harvick on the race delay to Massaro: “I think Mother Nature has put us in a box. They have had a lot of rain here and they are dealing with some things they aren’t used to dealing with. They have been at it since 7:30 a.m. this morning trying to get it all fixed.”
Letarte on the drainage issue at Texas Motor Speedway: “While the old surfaces make for great multi-groove racing, sometimes the under layer of the asphalt and the drainage underneath is not the best.”
Defending XFINITY Champion Chase Elliott on the final three races of the season: “We have a long ways to go and a short time to get there. The best way to do that is to win races.”
Petty on 2014 XFINITY Champion Chase Elliott: “I think Chase has everything to prove. Once you win a Championship you want to back it up the year after that.”
Regan Smith on his Championship points deficit to Burns: “I’m thinking about those 33 points and trying to close in (on the points leader). With three races left it is definitely still doable.”
Jarrett on Chris Buescher defending his points lead: “When you are battling for a Championship, the important thing is not to lose focus. I don’t think Chris Buescher does that, he has done an outstanding job of keeping focused and keeping his eye on the prize.”
Erik Jones to Marty Snider on running three races at Texas Motor Speedway this weekend: “I feel pretty good about it.”
Burton on 19-year-old Erik Jones: “There is no question about Erik Jones’ talent, he just has to continue to improve and also learn how to manage the races.”
Kyle Busch’s crew chief Chris Gayle to Stavast: “The situation is unfortunate. We really thought we had a car that could compete for the win today. Then you have this issue with the shift rod and only have fourth gear and it really makes it tough for the rest of the day.”
Letarte on Kyle Busch pitting in fourth gear: “I’m very impressed with how efficient the No. 54 was on and off of pit road. Coming in is one thing, but then leaving stuck in fourth gear, the crew had to get him rolling, it is very difficult.”
Letarte on Buescher’s position at the halfway point: “This is signature Chris Buescher. We had mentioned that the No. 60 wasn’t running well, now here he is back up in the sixth position. He is right behind his points competitor Chase Elliott. That is what Buescher needs to do. He doesn’t need to beat Chase Elliott. With a 27 point cushion if you can see Chase Elliott out the window that is absolutely close enough to protect your points lead.”
Burton on race leader Kyle Larson’s blown tire with 25 laps to go: “When the tire comes apart it blows all the sheet metal out from underneath the car and takes the crush panels out. The tire literally explodes. The noise is unbelievable. It scares you when the tire blows like that.”
Kyle Larson to Stavast on his blown tire after leading 50 laps: “I didn’t have any smoke in my cockpit, I wasn’t thinking about it…it seems all season long something happens in the last quarter of the race.”
Race Winner Brad Keselowski to Stavast: “It was kind of a funky race to be a part of, with (drivers) coming and going (from the lead pack) we just stayed right there running second or third pretty much the whole race. At the end we were able to get out to the front.”
–NBC SPORTS GROUP–