FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sunday, June 20th, 2021
NOTES AND QUOTES – NBC SPORTS’ NASCAR CUP SERIES 2021 SEASON OPENER FROM NASHVILLE SUPERSPEEDWAY ON NBCSN
Kyle Larson Wins NASCAR Cup Series’ Return to Nashville in Third Consecutive Points Victory
“He’s the best. No one can touch him.” – Dale Earnhardt Jr. on Kyle Larson
“This has got to be the most dominant performance we’ve seen out of Kyle Larson.” – Rick Allen
Brad Paisley Joined Dale Earnhardt Jr. for Pre-Race Coverage from Peacock Pit Box
“NASCAR is going to be here for a long time…everyone can celebrate the sport in Nashville again.” – Earnhardt Jr.
“This is an amazing thing to finally have this race here and I really expect our country music fans to get a show of a lifetime.” – Paisley
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – June 20, 2021 – Kyle Larson took the checkered flag today for his third consecutive points victory in the NASCAR Cup Series Ally 400 on NBCSN, as NBC Sports began its coverage of the 2021 NASCAR season this weekend with the series’ return to Nashville at Nashville Superspeedway.
NBC Sports’ Rick Allen, Daytona 500-winning crew chief Steve Letarte, 21-time Cup Series race winner and “The Mayor” of NASCAR Jeff Burton and two-time Daytona 500 Champion and NASCAR Hall of Fame selection Dale Earnhardt Jr. called the race. Global country music superstar Brad Paisley joined Earnhardt Jr. during pre-race coverage from the Peacock Pit Box.
Marty Snider, Kelli Stavast and Parker Kligerman reported from pit road alongside reporter Rutledge Wood. 1999 NASCAR Cup Series champion Dale Jarrett and auto racing icon Kyle Petty joined NBC Sports’ Jac Collinsworth from the front of the starting grid during pre- and post-race coverage.
Race coverage from Nashville Superspeedway on NBCSN included:
- Brad Paisley: In addition to hosting pre-race coverage with Earnhardt Jr. at the Peacock Pit Box this afternoon, Paisley’s new song, City of Music, based on the city of Nashville, served as the theme song of NBC Sports’ race coverage throughout the weekend. Click here for NBC Sports’ video bumper with theme and click here to listen to the entire song.
- NASCAR Returns to Nashville: NBC Sports motorsports reporter Nate Ryan penned and narrated an essay detailing the return of the NASCAR Cup Series to Nashville following its absence for 37 years.
- John Carter Cash: Country singer John Carter Cash, the only child of Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash, narrated the opening tease for NBC Sports’ coverage in Nashville.
- Interviews: 2020 NASCAR Cup Series Champion Chase Elliott joined Paisley and Earnhardt Jr. during pre-race coverage while Rutledge Wood interviewed singer and Trackhouse Racing Team co-owner Pitbull, and New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara, who was announced as a growth and engagement advisor for NASCAR.
- Trey Kennedy: As part of a new NBC Sports content series called Up to Speed, comedian Trey Kennedy, who has a social media following of over 10 million, was on-site in Nashville to experience and showcase the event in the Music City across his social media platforms.
Following are highlights from this afternoon’s NASCAR Cup Series race coverage on NBCSN:
Earnhardt Jr. on Kyle Larson: “I think we all expected him to have a great year, but I don’t think any of us, especially with (Denny) Hamlin and (Kevin) Harvick doing so well, I didn’t think we’d all consider at this point in the season that he’d be the most dominant driver in the sport. He’s the best. No one can touch him.”
Burton: “Kyle Larson has made Hendrick Motorsports better. He’s made every other driver step their game up.”
Allen: “This has got to be the most dominant performance we’ve seen out of Kyle Larson.”
Letarte: “It’s not a Hendrick Motorsports dominated race. It’s a Kyle Larson dominated race.”
Allen on Kyle Larson: “What a run Kyle Larson is on in 2021. The last five finishes for him – 2nd, 2nd, 2nd, 1st, 1st.”
Letarte: “And you left out the million-dollar All-Star race. His stats are so good you can leave that million out.”
Letarte on runner-up Ross Chastain: “I don’t think we can talk enough about this young man.”
Jarrett on Nashville Superspeedway: “Its provided great racing, opportunities for different drivers in different grooves.”
Brad Paisley on NASCAR returning to Nashville: “This speedway has sat here looking sad for a long time. This is an amazing thing to finally have this race here and I really expect our country music fans to get a show of a lifetime.”
Paisley: “Country music and NASCAR (has the) same fanbase. It is the perfect blend of everything and the fact we just came out of the COVID nightmare — I’m so happy.”
Earnhardt Jr.: “NASCAR is going to be here for a long time. We celebrate our champion in Nashville…the relationship is there, the history is there, and now we are going to bring our product to the community, and everyone can celebrate the sport in Nashville again.”
Earnhardt Jr.: “I’ve never been more appreciative of fans being at an event than I am today.”
Letarte: “This city from one end to the other knows NASCAR is in town…the excitement is amazing.”
Kyle Petty on his musical performance last night at the Grand Ole Opry: “There’s certain places in sports you go — the Daytona 500…the history of our sport is in Daytona; the history of golf is in Augusta; the history of country music is in that circle (Opry)…to stand there in that circle was a humbling experience.”
Pitbull on being a co-owner of Trackhouse Racing Team: “We’re looking to have this race car unify people the same way we unify people with music.”
Paisley: “Tootsie’s, Pitbull and NASCAR, I would have never expected it.”
NBC SPORTS’ NASCAR COVERAGE
NBC Sports is the official home of the 2021 NASCAR Playoffs, covering the race for the NASCAR Cup Series & NASCAR Xfinity Series championships. NBC Sports’ NASCAR programming also includes races from NASCAR’s regional touring series; annual events such as the NASCAR Awards and NASCAR Hall of Fame induction ceremony; and original programming across NBC Sports platforms.