“That is the mark of a championship-caliber team and driver.” – Dale Jarrett on Kyle Busch
“Look how hungry that No. 18 team is for their first win of 2017.” – Rick Allen
“They are working themselves into a must-win situation.” – Jeff Burton on Joey Logano
LONG POND, Pa. – July 30, 2017 – NBC Sports Group presented its fifth week of live 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and XFINITY Series racing, with 16 hours of trackside coverage from Pocono Raceway, in Long Pond, Pa., and Iowa Speedway, in Newton, Iowa. Coverage was highlighted by this afternoon’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race on NBCSN. Kyle Busch and the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota won the race at Pocono, after holding off Kevin Harvick in the final laps. Busch’s victory breaks his 36-race winless streak and secures his spot as the 13th driver to make the 2017 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs.
As part of today’s coverage from Pocono Raceway, NBC Sports Group debuted its new “What-Why Booth” broadcasting technique, for the first time during a Cup Series race. Utilizing two broadcast booths at Pocono Raceway, NBC Sports’ lead NASCAR announcer Rick Allen, and Hall of Fame driver Dale Jarrett, called the race from NBCSN’s traditional booth, while 21-time Cup Series winner Jeff Burton, and Daytona 500-winning crew chief Steve Letarte, provided comprehensive analysis and a cross-examination of pivotal game-changing events from NBCSN’s second broadcast booth.
Coverage began on NBCSN at 12:30 p.m. ET with NASCAR America, followed by Countdown to Green at 2:30 p.m. ET. Krista Voda anchored pre-race coverage alongside analysts Kyle Petty and Dale Jarrett. Marty Snider, Kelli Stavast and Dave Burns reported from pit road alongside features contributor Rutledge Wood.
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The following are highlights from this afternoon’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series coverage on NBCSN.
Allen on Kyle Busch breaking his 36-race winless streak: “We knew that Kyle Busch wouldn’t forget how to celebrate after a win. It has been quite some time since he has been able to grab that checkered flag.”
Jarrett on race winner Kyle Busch: “That is the mark of a championship-caliber team and driver. To bounce back from a huge disappointment, when it was looking like he had a shot to win the Brickyard 400 last week, and then come back the very next week and win.”
Burton on potential Playoff implications: “If you are going to have a new winner this year, you want it to be Kyle Busch. He is way ahead, of everyone who hasn’t won, in points. You don’t want the guy that is behind you, or just one point ahead of you in points, to win.”
Letarte on Kyle Busch’s winless streak: “So many races they have either led the most laps, or had the best car in the closing laps. The list goes on and on, of how the wins have slipped away.”
Allen added: “It is not like he hasn’t been in position to win. He has led over 1,100 laps this season, and still has yet to win.”
Allen as Kyle Busch bumped Harvick out of the way for the lead with 17 laps to go: “Look how hungry that No. 18 team is for their first win of 2017. It has been a year since they have been to victory lane.”
Burton on Logano’s multiple pit road penalties: “They are working themselves into a must-win situation. With the number of races left, they are really putting themselves in a bad situation. They are going to have to win a race to make the Playoffs.”
Burton on Clint Bowyer’s first stage-win: “Bowyer’s strength is gaining points. Bowyer is not the guy that is going to win ten races a year. He is a grinder. Play to your strength, get those points and let Clint Bowyer get you to the Playoffs doing what he does best.”
Jarrett on Bowyer’s current standing below the 2017 Playoff cut off line: “They are kind of on a double-edge sword. They have to look at things from two different perspectives. Others have the luxury of having wins, and not having to worry about points. Bowyer’s team has to look at both sides of this.”
Burton on Danica Patrick’s recent Top 15 finishes: “You cannot go from running 20th to winning races. You have to crawl and work your way up. Her crew chief was very complimentary about everything she has been doing this year to be a better race car driver.”
Jarrett on Stage 1 winner Kyle Busch: “The rest of the field better figure out how to make their cars faster, because we have not seen how fast Kyle Busch can go yet here today. I think Kyle is just managing this race right now. He has the car to beat this afternoon.”
Letarte on aggressive driving: “I think this intensity started last week at Indianapolis, and I think we are going to see it for the next six weeks until Richmond.”
Burton on what caused Kenseth to spin sideways in the first lap of the race: “You hear the teams talk a lot about downforce, but side force matters just as much. When you have side force, and then you lose it, the back of the car can no longer hold the race track. As a driver you do not know it is coming, and that is what we saw with Kenseth.”
Kenseth on his future and prospects for the 2018 season: “I am not concerned at all about 2018 at the moment. I’m really concerned about 2017, winning races, being successful and trying to race for a Championship. I am in a great place mentally. Things will line up and things will go how they are meant to go. Whatever that is, I really do not know one hundred percent. But I know it is all going to work out.”
Matt Kenseth’s entire “Driver to Driver” interview with Burton is available here.
Gibbs on the suspension of JGR employees: “We felt like we took the appropriate action. I think when you partner, like we do with Furniture Row on pit crews, you do not envision something like this happening.”
Joe Gibbs’ entire interview with Snider is available here.
–NBC SPORTS GROUP–