Sunday, September 18th, 2016


Steve Letarte on Jimmie Johnson’s strong race: “If this No. 48 team’s performance gets consistent, a lot of The Chase Grids that I’ve seen this week are getting thrown away.”

Jeff Burton on Chase Elliott’s quest for his first win with five laps to go: “Chase is going to have to beat one of the very best in Martin Truex Jr., in order to get his first win. That’s how it happens– getting your first win is never easy.”

JOLIET, Ill. – September 18, 2016 – NBC Sports hit the ignition switch on coverage of the 2016 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup this afternoon from Chicagoland Speedway. NBC Sports’ lead broadcast team of Rick Allen, Steve Letarte and Jeff Burton called the action. Krista Voda, Kyle Petty and Dale Jarrett hosted Countdown to Green along with post-race coverage. Marty Snider, Mike Massaro, Kelli Stavast and Dave Burns reported from pit road.

At the conclusion of 400 miles, Martin Truex Jr. captured a hard-fought victory and punched his ticket to the upcoming Playoff Round of 12.


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle 400 Results

Position Driver Car #
1 Martin Truex Jr 78
2 Joey Logano 22
3 Chase Elliott 24
4 Ryan Blaney 21
5 Brad Keselowski 2


Updated 2016 Chase Standings

Position Driver Points
1 Martin Truex Jr 2050
2 Brad Keselowski 2049
3 Kyle Busch 2046
4 Denny Hamlin 2045
5 Joey Logano 2043
6 Chase Elliott 2039
7 Matt Kenseth 2038
8 Jimmie Johnson 2037
9 Carl Edwards 2032
10 Kurt Busch 2031
11 Jamie McMurray 2030
12 Tony Stewart 2028
13 Austin Dillon 2027
14 Kevin Harvick 2027
15 Kyle Larson 2026
16 Chris Buescher 2016


The following are highlights from this afternoon’s Sprint Cup coverage from Chicagoland on NBCSN.


Prior to the green flag, analyst Steve Letarte sized up the race from a team perspective: “You talk about pressure and mistakes, that’s not only affecting the drivers, but also the teams.  We’ve seen numerous mistakes on pit road over the last several weeks. The pit crews are going to have to operate flawlessly, and the crew chief chiefs on top of the pit boxes are going to have to be very calculated in their decisions.  A mistake and lost track position can cost these teams points, and possibly a chance to advance to the next round.”


Reporter Kelli Stavast on Kevin Harvick during Lap 82 after his roller coaster start: “As fast as Kevin Harvick was during his dominating start to this race, he has now dropped 30 positions over the course of two pit stops. Over the radio, he is telling his team that his No. 4 car is out of control and sideways upon entry, so he definitely has his hands full now.”


Lap 145 – Jeff Burton on current race leader Jimmie Johnson: “We haven’t seen this kind of dominant speed out of Jimmie Johnson in some time. He has been open about it, I spoke to him recently and he said, ‘Look, we don’t have the speed we need right now. We’re hoping it will come, and if it doesn’t we’re going to try and find other ways to advance through these playoff rounds.’ Two weeks ago, we saw the 48 team’s speed light up, but they weren’t able to execute. So far today, they’ve got speed and are executing.”


Letarte added: “If this No. 48 team’s performance gets consistent, a lot of The Chase Grids that I’ve seen this week are getting thrown away.”


5 laps to go – Burton on current race leader Chase Elliott: “Martin Truex Jr., in second place, has led the most laps this season on these mile-and-a-half tracks, so Chase Elliott knows that he has got a very stiff competitor behind him, and he’s going to have to beat the best in order to get his first win.  But that’s how it happens– getting your first win is never easy.”


Race winner Martin Truex Jr. to Dave Burns: “All in all it is just an unbelievable day. It was a total team effort. That is what it is going to take to win a championship.”