“Brad has delivered a championship for Roger Penske, and now he delivered the Brickyard 400.” – Steve Letarte
“The ‘Big Three’ did not dominate this race. In fact, it seems that the rest of the field has caught up at the right time.” – Dale Earnhardt Jr.
“They were basically unheard of in the regular season, and now two wins in a row coming into the Playoffs.” – Jeff Burton on Brad Keselowski
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – September 10, 2018 – NBC Sports Group presented the final race of the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series regular season this afternoon from Indianapolis Motor Speedway, in Speedway, Ind. The special Monday edition of the Brickyard 400 aired on NBCSN, after severe weather in Indianapolis caused the race to be postponed Sunday. Brad Keselowski and Team Penske’s No. 2 Ford took the checkered flag for a second consecutive week. Keselowski’s victory marked Team Penske’s first Brickyard 400 win.
For the first time at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, NBC Sports Group called the Cup Series race “Radio Style,” from multiple vantage points throughout the track. NASCAR on NBC’s lead race announcer Rick Allen, and Daytona 500 winning crew chief Steve Letarte, called the race from NBC Sports’ traditional broadcast booth above the start-finish line. Allen and Letarte were joined by NASCAR on NBC analysts Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Burton, as well as veteran MRN and SiriusXM radio announcer Mike Bagley, from three individual locations around the track.
Bagley was stationed in turn two, Earnhardt caught the cars next in turn three, and Burton added perspective as the cars made their way through turn four to the start-finish line.
Krista Voda hosted pre- and post-race coverage from NBC Sports Group’s headquarters in Stamford, Conn., alongside NBCSports.com lead motorsports writer Nate Ryan. Analyst Kyle Petty contributed from NBC Sports’ NASCAR studio in Charlotte, N.C. Marty Snider, Kelli Stavast, Dave Burns and Parker Kligerman reported from pit road.
2018 MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES PLAYOFF DRIVERS
|Martin Truex Jr.|
The following are highlights from this afternoon’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race coverage on NBCSN.
Letarte on Roger Penske: “For men like Roger Penske and Rick Hendrick, major owners in this sport, they race because they love to race. They seem to have everything, but to deliver them something they do not have. This race track means the most to Roger Penske…Brad has delivered a championship for Roger Penske, and now he delivered the Brickyard 400.”
Earnhardt: “The ‘Big Three’ did not dominate this race. In fact, it seems that the rest of the field has caught up at the right time.”
Earnhardt in the final lap: “Roger Penske has never won the Brickyard 400. Two more corners and Brad Keselowski is going to bring that gift to the boss man.”
Burton added: “They were basically unheard of in the regular season, and now two wins in a row coming into the Playoffs.”
Bagley before the final restart: “It is hold your breath time at Indianapolis. We have seen this play out before. We have seen these late race restarts…The question is can anyone get around Denny Hamlin and win this race?”
Burton on Jamie McMurray with 16 laps to go: “You are talking about a guy that has nothing to lose and everything to gain, running in fourth right now. If I’m his crew chief, I’m going to do whatever I can to give him a shot to win this race. If he were to win this race, he is in the Playoffs, and that would knock Alex Bowman out.”
Letarte with 17 laps to go: “Look who is running third currently? It is Kyle Larson saying, ‘You haven’t seen me all day, but guess what I’m going to sneak up. You took my crown jewel, now I’m going to take the ring off your finger. I’m going to try and win the Brickyard.’”
Letarte as Clint Bowyer led the race with just under 50 laps to go: “It is going to be a little game of liars’ poker. Who is going to talk on the radio first, who is going to show their hand first. Personally, if I’m Clint Bowyer, I don’t blink first. I make someone behind me make a decision.”
Letarte at the end of the stage: “The whole field is looking at one more pit stop. It is really how fresh are your tires, and what track position you have, now that all that strategy has unfolded.”
Letarte with five laps to go, as Bowyer and Denny Hamlin battled for the lead: “I like to gamble, I think the No. 14 should go with it. I don’t have the fuel numbers, but talk about momentum. If they can win the stage and take the Playoff point, they are going to be looking good. They have done their work in the regular season.”
Letarte as Alex Bowman crashed in turn 2: “This is the last thing that Alex Bowman wanted to see based off of where he is in the points position. It is kind of a race between him and Jimmie Johnson for 15th and 16th position. A new winner is what they are afraid of.”
Bagley with ten laps to go: “What’s impressive to me is how Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch have been able to rally their way through the field. They have been picking them off one after another. Hamlin, the escort to Kyle, they are just weaving their way through.”
Earnhardt added: “Clint Bowyer is someone who has impressed me. I did not see him putting together a pass to take that second position away from Kyle Busch when he did. I just didn’t feel like he had a strong enough car…but he did somehow, someway. I’m going to keep my eye on Bowyer going forward.”
Burton added: “Kurt Busch is also showing a lot of speed here today, remember the Playoffs start next week. I wouldn’t sleep on Busch.”
Petty on Jimmie Johnson: “Making the Playoffs and being in the Playoffs are two totally different things. I think Jimmie makes the Playoffs, but for whatever reason the magic just has not been there for the No. 48. We have gone into races a million times thinking they can flip a switch, but they can’t even find the switch right now.”
Ryan in reaction to Kyle Larson’s pre-race interview: “I appreciate and love that he has this nonchalance and quiet confidence about him. Any other driver you might think is trying to be brash, or he is trying to come off tough or intimidating. For Kyle Larson, this is a guy who just races every waking moment that he can. He has a way of describing things that are very blunt. I appreciate his candor.”
–NBC SPORTS GROUP–