NASCAR Cup Series Round of 8 Begins This Sunday, October 29, at 3 PM On NBCSN

NBC Sports Group’s robust coverage of the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs continues this weekend with nearly 10 hours of trackside coverage from Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. Coverage of Sunday’s pivotal opening race in the Round of 8 begins at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN. Sunday’s race marks the first opportunity for one of the remaining eight drivers to win and punch their ticket to the championship race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Going into the first race in the Round of 8, Martin Truex Jr. and the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota continue to lead the Playoff field with 4069 points. 2015 Cup Series Champion Kyle Busch (4042), 2012 Cup Series Champion Brad Keselowski (4026), and 2014 Cup Series Champion Kevin Harvick (4017) follow in points, as each looks to capture a second NASCAR Cup Series Championship. Seven-time Cup Series Champion Jimmie Johnson is ranked fifth in points (4017), and remains well in the hunt as he continues his quest for a NASCAR-record eighth Cup Series Championship. Denny Hamlin (4014), Ryan Blaney (4009) and Chase Elliott (4006) round out the remainder of the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoff drivers.

In addition to live television coverage on NBCSN, NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app – NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, tablets, and connected TVs – will provide comprehensive streaming coverage of this weekend’s NASCAR action.

MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES RACING FROM MARTINSVILLE SPEEDWAY – SUNDAY AT 3 P.M. ET ON NBCSN 

NBC Sports Group kicks off its Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series coverage from Martinsville Speedway this Saturday at 11:30 a.m. ET with first practice, available on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app. In addition, local coverage will be available on NBC Sports Bay Area, NBC Sports Washington Plus, and NBC Sports Boston. Final practice follows at 3:45 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

Sunday’s race day coverage begins at Noon ET on NBCSN with qualifying, followed by NASCAR America at 1 p.m. ET. Countdown to Green kicks off at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN. 31-time NASCAR Cup Series winner Denny Hamlin will join NASCAR America live on-set to discuss his hunt for a sixth trip to victory lane at Martinsville Speedway. 

NASCAR Cup Series racing begins at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN, in which Dale Earnhardt Jr. will don NASCAR on NBC’s helmet visor camera, and provide viewers live in-car coverage as he attempts to take home his second victory at Martinsville Speedway.

Live on-site post-race coverage will follow the conclusion of Sunday’s race. NBCSN wraps up coverage at 7:30 p.m. ET, with Victory Lap, NBC Sports Group’s NASCAR post-race show originating from Stamford, Conn.

Lead NASCAR on NBC race announcer Rick Allen (@Rickallenracing) will call this weekend’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series action, alongside Daytona 500 winning crew chief Steve Letarte (@steveletarte), and “The Mayor” of NASCAR Jeff Burton (@Jeffburton).

Krista Voda (@KristaVoda) will host pre- and post-race coverage alongside auto racing icon Kyle Petty (@Kylepetty), and Hall of Fame driver Dale Jarrett (@DaleJarrett). Marty Snider (@HeyMartysnider), Kelli Stavast (@Kellistavast) and Dave Burns (@tvdaveburns) will report from pit road alongside features reporter Rutledge Wood (@RutledgeWood).

JOE GIBBS JOINS NASCAR AMERICA FROM NASCAR HALL OF FAME – TONIGHT AT 5 P.M. ET ON NBCSN

Tonight at 5 p.m. ET, Joe Gibbs will join NASCAR America host Marty Snider, as well as analysts Jeff Burton and Dale Jarrett, live from the Hall of Honor at the NASCAR Hall of Fame, in Charlotte, N.C.

The owner of Joe Gibbs Racing, and a 2018 NASCAR Hall of Fame Nominee, will discuss his team’s roller-coaster season, his quest for a fifth Monster Energy Cup Series Championship, and his expectations for his remaining title contenders Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch.

As part of NBCSN’s comprehensive coverage of the 2017 NASCAR season, NASCAR America will present a live show each week from the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Each live episode normally features an in-depth interview with a driver, and highlights their journey to professional racing. Wednesday’s show from the NASCAR Hall of Fame will be the first edition to feature an active Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series team owner.

VIEWERSHIP UP 31% FOR NASCAR CUP SERIES PLAYOFFS RACE FROM KANSAS SPEEDWAY VS. PRIOR THREE 2017 PLAYOFF RACES ON NBCSN

NBC Sports Group’s presentation of this past Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs race from Kansas Speedway averaged a Total Audience Delivery (TAD) of 2.77 million viewers across NBCSN and NBC Sports Digital platforms, according to data released by The Nielsen Company, and digital data from Adobe Analytics.

The NBCSN-only telecast averaged 2.76 million viewers, up 31% vs. NBCSN’s prior three NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs races this season, and up 4% vs. NBCSN’s 2016 Fall Cup Series race average.

Viewership of Sunday’s race peaked in the 6:30-6:45 p.m. ET quarter hour, as nearly 3.6 million viewers watched Martin Truex Jr. and the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota secure the team’s seventh NASCAR Cup Series win of the season.

The full release is available here.

ANDY GRAVES JOINS NATE RYAN’S NASCAR ON NBC PODCAST

Technical Director at Toyota Racing Development, Andy Graves will join Nate Ryan (@nateryan) on this week’s NASCAR on NBC podcast. Overseeing all engine, vehicle, and technology driven engineering activities, Graves will discuss Toyota’s dominant NASCAR season to date. Graves also shares insightful stories from his long career in racing, from Jeff Gordon’s early dirt racing days, to his 2000 Indianapolis 500 win with Juan Pablo Montoya. The NASCAR on NBC podcast is available on NASCAR Talk, Apple Podcasts, AudioBoom, Google Play, Spotify, Stitcher and podcasting apps. For more info click here.

QUOTES FROM KYLE PETTY AND DALE JARRETT ON MATT KENSETH’S RACE-ENDING PIT ROAD PENALTY

During Monday evening’s edition of NASCAR America, Kyle Petty and Dale Jarrett shared the following comments about Matt Kenseth and the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota being eliminated from the Playoffs due to a pit road violation at Kansas Speedway. Kenseth was forced to retire from Sunday’s race in Kansas, after NASCAR determined the No. 20 team sent too many crew members over the pit wall to work on his car, following an accident on lap 197 of the race.

Petty: “I understand that the rule is in place, and that they broke the rule. They didn’t follow their own protocol. I just don’t believe the punishment fits the crime. If 12 men are on the football field at the same time, it doesn’t constitute the game being forfeited. Being in the sport my entire life, this does not seem right.”

Jarrett: “It is stupid that you can have an illegal car still be able to run and finish the race, but this penalty causes someone to have to park their car.”

The full conversation is available here.

UPCOMING NBC SPORTS GROUP NASCAR PROGRAMMING 

DATE
COVERAGE
TIME (ET)
NETWORK
Wednesday, October 25
NASCAR America
5:00 PM
NBCSN
Thursday, October 26
NASCAR America
5:00 PM
NBCSN
 
Racing Roots
6:00 PM
NBCSN
 
NASCAR Scan All Special
6:30 PM
NBCSN
Friday, October 27
NASCAR America
5:00 PM
NBCSN
Saturday, October 28
NASCAR Cup Series First Practice – Martinsville
11:30 AM
NBC Sports app, NBCSports.com, NBC Sports Bay Area, NBC Sports Washington Plus, NBC Sports Boston
 
NASCAR Cup Series Final Practice – Martinsville
3:45 PM
NBCSN
Sunday, October 29
NASCAR Cup Series Qualifying – Martinsville
12:00 PM
NBCSN
 
NASCAR America
1:00 PM
NBCSN
 
NASCAR Cup Series Countdown to Green
2:30 PM
NBCSN
 
NASCAR Cup Series Racing – Martinsville
3:00 PM
NBCSN
 
NASCAR Cup Series Post-Race Show
7:00 PM
NBCSN
 
Victory Lap
7:30 PM
NBCSN

NBC Sports PR