FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, September 2nd, 2019
NOTES AND QUOTES – ERIK JONES WINS NASCAR BOJANGLES’ SOUTHERN 500 AT DARLINGTON ON NBCSN
“He’s a guy that can win championships.” – Jeff Burton on Erik Jones
“Darlington is a place that beats up cars, beats up drivers – it’s a true test and he’s passed it.” – Dale Earnhardt Jr. on Erik Jones
DARLINGTON, S.C. – September 2, 2019 – Erik Jones took the checkered flag in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Bojangles’ Southern 500 on early on Monday morning on NBCSN for his first win of the 2019 season to guarantee himself a spot in the Playoffs. The start of the race was delayed nearly four hours due to rain, with green flag shortly after 10 p.m. ET and race conclusion shortly before 2 a.m. ET.
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 Champion Dale Earnhardt Jr. called the race from a second booth. Marty Snider, Kelli Stavast, and Dave Burns reported from pit road.
Stage Two of the Bojangles’ Southern 500 was called by Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kyle Petty and Dale Jarrett, as members of three of NASCAR’s most famous families teamed up in the booth as part of NASCAR Throwback Weekend.
Coverage on NBCSN began at 5 p.m. ET with NASCAR America, hosted by Krista Voda alongside analysts Petty and Jarrett. In addition, Pre-race coverage on NBCSN included:
- A rain-delay interview in the grandstands with Dave Burns, Clint Bowyer, and a diehard fan waiting out the rain;
- The latest installment of “Behind the Driver” featuring Matt DiBenedetto, as he discussed how important his family – parents Tony and Sandy DiBenedetto, and wife Taylor – were in his journey to NASCAR;
- And a special edition of NASCAR Victory Lap, as Danielle Trotta, Parker Kligerman and Nate Ryan took calls from fans dialing in during the rain delay.
The following are highlights from tonight’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race coverage on NBCSN:
Jones to the sellout crowd that stuck out the rain delay: “You’re welcome to stay up all night with me because I can guarantee I’m not going to bed.”
Jones on significance of winning the Southern 500: “This is one of those races for me that has always held a special place. You think of NASCAR, you think of Darlington…I’m mentally drained, I’m physically drained.”
Burton on Jones: “Daytona and Darlington. What a crazy way to win your second race…he’s a guy that can win championships. He just needs some time to mature as a driver.”
Earnhardt Jr. on Jones: “I feel like he’s felt like, ‘My teammates are winning, I want to win too.’ He’s come in here in front of his owner and his team and won one of the biggest races of his career…this is place that beats up cars, beats up drivers, it’s a true test and he’s passed it.”
Letarte on Jones: “Those last 20-30 laps, holding off his mentor, the one who found him and brought him into NASCAR, let him drive at Kyle Busch Motorsports. He had to keep him behind him at the toughest track under the toughest circumstances.”
Allen: “Erik Jones in his 100th start in the Monster Energy Cup Series is going to win the Southern 500!”
Burton with five laps to go: “Erik Jones is driving like a veteran.”
Letarte on Erik Jones with 10 laps to go: “He has that one career win at Daytona and I know he cherishes that. But if you’re a racecar driver that grew up at short tracks, you want to win somewhere that’s known as a driver’s racetrack…everyone wants to win here because it is so difficult.”
Letarte on Kyle Busch with 40 laps to go: “The No. 18 has just put his car in all of the right spots.”
Burton on Jimmie Johnson: “For a guy that is on a long winless streak, a guy that’s used to winning championships, his attitude is awesome. He feels like they’re going to turn it around.”
Petty on battle between Jimmie Johnson and Clint Bowyer with four laps left in Stage Two: “These guys have lost three points messing with each other. This is crazy…four laps to go in the segment, not four laps in the race.”
Earnhardt Jr: “We talk about how important playoff points are. We saw it right there.”
Jarrett on legacies of Ned Jarrett, Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt: “We were very fortunate that our dads were very successful in this business, but what careers they had, and trying to live up to everything that our dads did? Almost impossible to do, but it allowed us to get in and have great careers of our own.
Earnhardt Jr.: “The dads did set the bar pretty high.”
Petty to Jarrett: “Your dad won by what, 14 laps here? Top that, somebody.”
Petty on competitiveness of racing: “It’s crazy to watch this race and think about the way I raced, or the way Dale raced…when someone got to you, you let him have that position to go race again. Now these guys…the intensity, lap after lap after lap, you’ve got to hold off that guy behind you and race the racetrack.”
Jarrett on Jimmie Johnson midway through Stage Two: “He has been the story of this race so far. What an unbelievable run by Jimmie Johnson to this point.”
Jarrett on Denny Hamlin: “All due respect to Jeff Gordon, Denny Hamlin is the closest to driving this track and maneuvering through 500 miles to David Pearson as I’ve seen in a driver.”