NBC Sports continued its coverage of the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs this afternoon on NBCSN from Dover International Speedway, as Kyle Larson won the Drydene 400 at the “The Monster Mile” to advance to the Round of 8 in the Playoffs.
NBC Sports’ Rick Allen called the action alongside Daytona 500-winning crew chief Steve Letarte. 21-time Cup Series race winner Jeff Burton and racing legend and two-time Daytona 500-winner Dale Earnhardt Jr. provided commentary from a secondary booth. Marty Snider, Kelli Stavast, and Dave Burns reported from pit road.
Coverage on NBCSN began at 1:30 p.m. ET with NASCAR America and Countdown to Green, hosted by Krista Voda from NBC Sports’ “Peacock Pit Box” near pit road at the “Monster Mile,” alongside analysts Kyle Petty and Dale Jarrett. Pre-race coverage on NBCSN included:
- A feature on the youth movement at Hendrick Motorsports, as Kyle Petty spoke with Chase Elliott, William Byron and Alex Bowman about their growth as drivers and team members;
- The latest installment “My Track My Roots” as Martin Truex Jr. described his grassroots racing career which began nearby in New Jersey;
- And the latest Joyride with Jeff, as Master Sergeant Chad Huggins, a member of the 436th Aerial Port Squadron at Dover AFB, took a ride around the “Monster Mile” with Jeff Burton.
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The following are highlights from this afternoon’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race coverage on NBCSN:
Larson to Snider during the burnout interview: “Everybody in this Playoff field is going to be stressing next week at Talladega – except for me.”
Jarrett on Larson: “Over the last 10 to 12 races, we’ve seen a different Kyle Larson than what we’ve come to know. He always had to be attacking, always had to be going 110% every single lap, even in practice to the point where he crashed in practice…we’ve seen a different approach to the Playoffs.”
Petty on Larson: “That is a huge, huge weight off this guy’s shoulders. We’ve watched him all year long and watched him have great first segments, great segments, but throw it away somehow in the third segment. Today they put together a great race and deserved to be standing in Victory Lane.”
Letarte on Larson’s victory: “The reason he won was execution. Not just on pit road – as of recent races, he has been the same aggressive driver with just a little bit of caution. He has yet to overdrive the car or make mistakes…if this propels him to a championship, circle Dover as the day it all started.”
Earnhardt Jr. on Joey Logano and Chase Elliott: “As the day played out, Joey Logano and Chase Elliott are in pretty good position still. I think they can go into Talladega without feeling pressure to win.”
Burton on Alex Bowman: “He didn’t get the win today, but it was a win for Alex Bowman. He came out here with a great finish and got a lot of points.”
Burton on William Byron: “William Byron is going to go home kicking himself because he had a really good car, had a chance to gain a lot of points, but had that pit road speeding penalty and that really hurt him.”
Allen on Larson’s victory: “Throughout the season, it looked like Kurt Busch was the leading driver for Chip Ganassi Racing. Well, it’s going to be Kyle Larson who gives Chip Ganassi Racing their first trip into the next round, the furthest they’ve ever gone. Kyle Larson wins at the ‘Monster Mile’!”
Burton on Logano racing the leaders tough while down 24 laps late in Stage Two: “He is not making any friends right now. I don’t think that’s smart. This is a long Playoffs. I don’t know why you’d want to make your competitors mad being this many laps down. Not smart by Logano.”
Letarte on William Bryon’s speeding on pit road penalty midway through Stage Two: “A huge penalty for William Byron. We talked about having to capitalize with Chase Elliott and Joey Logano in trouble. That is an unforced error. That is a mistake that everyone makes, but they can be so costly in the Playoffs.”
Letarte on opportunity for other drivers after Chase Elliott and Joey Logano go to the garage: “For everybody’s unfortunate situation, it gives somebody else an opportunity. William Byron comes into the race 11th out of the 12 Playoff drivers…Chad Knaus and William Byron have to see that this opportunity has opened up.”
Letarte on Logano going to the garage before the green flag: “This track is so tough – these cars are abused. Either the axle or the locker is broken in this car…huge. You’ve worked all season to be 29 points up, the first race of the Round of 12 and you don’t even take the green flag – a huge blow for Joey Logano.”
Jarrett on Hendrick Motorsports and past success of Jimmie Johnson and Chase Elliott at Dover: “If I were William Byron and Alex Bowman, I would have gone to Jimmie Johnson and Chase Elliott about running this race…lean on them all that you can, every chance that you get.”
Petty on William Byron: “William Byron is a huge talent. He is wise beyond his years. He sits there and talks about things to move that team forward, to be a leader in that team. He has that Jeff Gordon quality to him in a lot of ways."
NBC Sports PR