Sunday, October 1st, 2017


“The points Ricky Stenhouse Jr. earned in Stage 1 have changed the ballgame.” – Jeff Burton on the playoffs

“That was the standout moment of the race.” – Dale Jarrett on Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Brian Pattie’s decision not to pit on lap 88   

“There is going to be more drama here today than on an episode of the Real Housewives of Orange County.” – Kyle Petty on the “Monster Mile”

DOVER, Del. – October 1, 2017 – NBC Sports Group surrounded the final race of the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoff Round of 16, with more than 15 hours of trackside coverage from Dover International Speedway, in Dover, Delaware. Coverage was highlighted by this afternoon’s NASCAR Cup Series race on NBCSN. Kyle Busch and the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota won the race, and secured his fourth Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series win of the 2017 season. Busch’s victory was his second consecutive win in the Round of 16, and the 42nd NASCAR Cup Series win of his career.

NBC Sports Group’s lead race announcer Rick Allen, 21-time Cup Series winner Jeff Burton, and Daytona 500-winning crew chief Steve Letarte called the race from the “Monster Mile”. Marty Snider, Kelli Stavast, Dave Burns and Parker Kligerman reported from pit road.

Coverage began on NBCSN at 1:30 p.m. ET with Countdown to Green. Krista Voda anchored pre-race coverage alongside analysts Kyle Petty, Dale Jarrett and Nate Ryan.


Position Driver                       Car#
1 Kyle Busch 18
2 Chase Elliott 24
3 Jimmie Johnson 48
4 Martin Truex Jr. 78
5 Kyle Larson 42


Position Driver                           Points
1 Martin Truex Jr. 3059
2 Kyle Busch 3041
3 Kyle Larson 3034
4 Brad Keselowski 3020
5 Jimmie Johnson 3017
6 Kevin Harvick 3015
7 Denny Hamlin 3013
8 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 3010
9 Ryan Blaney 3008
10 Chase Elliott 3006
11 Matt Kenseth 3005
12 Jamie McMurray 3003

The following are highlights from this afternoon’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series coverage on NBCSN.


Jarrett on Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Brian Pattie’s decision not to pit on lap 88: “That was the standout moment of the race. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Brian Pattie didn’t have the car to win today, but they came up with a different strategy to gain points.”

Petty added: “A lot of people would say that it was luck. It was not luck. They strategically made a call to stay out and put themselves in position to gain points. Without that move and that call, they would not be in the playoffs.”

Petty on Jimmie Johnson and Hendrick Motorsports: “The Hendrick Motorsports team showed up today. Chase Elliott and Jimmie Johnson will be players in the Round of 12.”

Jarrett on the Round of 12: “Every round is more difficult than the last. You have to do everything right and make no mistakes. That fact only gets magnified in the Round of 12, because there will only be eight people moving on next. You have to go perform, the pressure does not decrease in any way.”


Allen: “What a dramatic finish. Two laps until the checkered flag and Kyle Busch once again takes the win.”

Burton on Jimmie Johnson: “You have to be who you are. He is a really good guy out of the race car, and a respectful driver in the race car. He’s not a guy who is just going to move you out of the way. His success has come from being faster than other people. That being said, I can promise you that he is nowhere near as nice inside the race car as he is out of it.”

Letarte on Chase Elliott: “What a roller coaster the first round of the playoffs and the Round of 16 have been for Chase Elliott. Leading laps, running up front, and doing things we have not seen the No. 24 really do. Then the penalty comes down and he loses points and his crew chief. It has been an emotional roller coaster. Now he’s back leading laps again. This good run is a shot in the arm and exactly what the team needs.”


Letarte on Dover International Speedway: “This is Dover, this is the ‘Monster Mile’, and it’s a marathon for the drivers and the equipment.”


Burton on Stenhouse Jr. finishing fourth in Stage 1: “The points that Ricky Stenhouse Jr. just earned have changed the ballgame on the playoffs. If you think about where Ryan Newman and Austin Dillon sit, he has forced the hand now for those other teams to go try to find more points to offset the gain that Stenhouse just got.”

Letarte on Stenhouse Jr. and Brian Pattie’s decision not to pit on lap 88, and avoid falling a lap down: “What a break. That was really a huge decision. Although it was not flashy, decisions like that one can make the difference between whether Ricky Stenhouse Jr. is in the Cup Series Playoffs or not. This one was a huge decision in their favor.”

Letarte on Tony Gibson: “It’s a tough job, but that’s just it. That is what sports are all about, the pressure of the moment. At some point, you have to climb on top of that pit box and perform. I talked to Tony Gibson this morning, and he said that is what he lives for. He lives for the pressure of the big stage.”


Petty on the “Monster Mile”: “You want drama? There is going to be more drama here today than on an episode of the Real Housewives of Orange County.”