Sunday, November 5th, 2017


“This is the worst-case scenario for the other Cup Series Playoff drivers.” – Dale Jarrett on Kevin Harvick’s victory


“Chase Elliott is the guy that I believe will be our next Dale Jr.” – Kyle Petty


“This is what the sport was built upon. Sometimes you need a long race to test the mental fortitude of the drivers, crew chiefs and teams.” – Steve Letarte


Fort Worth, TX. – November 5, 2017 – NBC Sports Group surrounded the second race of the Round of 8 in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs, with 19 hours of trackside coverage from Texas Motor Speedway, in Fort Worth, Texas. Coverage was highlighted by this afternoon’s Cup Series race on NBCSN. Kevin Harvick and the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford won the race, and secured a position in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Championship. Martin Truex Jr. and the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota finished in second place, and clinched a spot in the Cup Series Championship, based on points.


NBC Sports Group’s lead race announcer Rick Allen, Hall of Fame driver Dale Jarrett, 21-time Cup Series winner Jeff Burton, and Daytona 500-winning crew chief Steve Letarte called the race. Marty Snider, Kelli Stavast and Dave Burns reported from pit road alongside features reporter Ato Boldon.


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




Position Driver Car#
1 Kevin Harvick 4
2 Martin Truex Jr. 78
3 Denny Hamlin 11
4 Matt Kenseth 20
5 Brad Keselowski 2




Position Driver Points
1 Martin Truex Jr.* 4168
2 Kyle Busch* 4118
3 Kevin Harvick* 4112
4 Brad Keselowski 4111
5 Denny Hamlin 4092
6 Ryan Blaney 4089
7 Chase Elliott 4062
8 Jimmie Johnson 4060


*Clinched a position in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Championship


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




Jarrett on the NASCAR Cup Series Championship: “Solid doesn’t get you to the Championship Four. You have to be spectacular if you want to race for this championship.”


Voda on next week’s final race in the Round of 8: “I don’t know if you could write a better tease for the race in Phoenix. Five drivers go there needing a win, because there is one spot remaining in the Championship Four.”



Petty on Brad Keselowski: “There are moments in every season and every career that you look at and say, ‘That is a championship level performance’. What Brad Keselowski, Paul Wolfe and that Penske team did today is championship level. They fought their way back.”




Allen on the battle between Truex Jr. and Harvick: “Six years ago I remember sitting in front of the TV watching the battle between Tony Stewart and Carl Edwards in the last laps at Miami, as they were racing for a championship. Carl Edwards could not catch Tony Stewart that day. Right now I’m seeing Kevin Harvick do the same, trying to catch Martin Truex Jr., but it is going to take a mistake. Martin Truex Jr. isn’t making many mistakes on mile-and-a-half tracks.”


Jarrett on Kevin Harvick with 17 laps to go: “This is the worst case scenario for the other Cup Series Playoff drivers, if Kevin Harvick wins this race. The No. 78 is probably going to point his way through to the Championship Four, and there is only going to be one spot open.”


Jarrett on Kyle Larson’s third straight DNF in 2017: “We have seen his potential. This is a long season that wears on you. When you are running well, everything is good. But when bad things continue to happen, it’s hard to keep that focus.”




Letarte on 500-mile races: “This is a marathon. It is 500 miles for a reason. All races don’t need to be 500 miles, but I love the fact that some still are. This is what the sport was built upon. Sometimes you need a long race to test the mental fortitude of the drivers, crew chiefs and teams.”


Jarrett on Jimmie Johnson’s early race struggles: “You could tell from the very beginning of the race that Jimmie didn’t have much to work with. It is a difficult year, and now you bring it to a difficult race track.”


Jarrett on the tension between Chase Elliott and Denny Hamlin: “Chase is going to do everything he can to get around Denny. He can make Denny Hamlin’s day miserable, without even touching him. Just by the fact that Denny knows Chase is back there, he is going to instinctively look in the mirror a little more.”


Letarte on Jimmie Johnson: “Chad Knaus is spectacular at setting up a race car and calling the race. He doesn’t have a whole lot of experience running two laps down with a mediocre race car. It is a different type of racing when you are back there mid-pack and losing laps.”




Burton on Elliott’s run: “What a great drive by Chase Elliott to get himself up to eleventh place. He did not earn any stage points in this first stage, but now he is in position for Stage 2.”




Petty on the Earnhardt & Elliott legacies: “So many fathers pass the love of this sport onto their next generation. We said it last week in Martinsville, ‘We are witnessing a passing of the torch.’ Dale Jr. has a couple of races left, and Chase is the guy that the fans have embraced. Chase Elliott is the guy that I believe will be our next Dale Jr.”


Click here for a link to Tim Layden’s feature on the Earnhardt and Elliott legacies.