Tha Sports Junkies 101

NASCAR on NBC Preview



On Tuesday, members of the NASCAR on NBC television crew held a media teleconference; a variety of topics were discussed. This is in advance of the 2017 NASCAR on NBC debut this weekend at Daytona International Speedway. Rick Allen, Jeff Burton, Steve Letarte, and Ato Bolden fielded questions from the NASCAR media.

Starting with this weekend’s Cup and Xfinity Series races, NBC will take over broadcasting duties for the remainder of the 2017 season. This will include the 10-race NASCAR Playoffs, starting in September.

There are plenty of stories coming into Daytona. Whether it’s the advent of stage racing, Dale Earnhardt Jr’s retirement, or Kyle Larson’s success. So far this season, there have been 11 different winners in 16 races.

Former crew chief Steve Letarte answered several questions regarding his former driver, Dale Earnhardt Jr. He stated “Jr has to balance the emotions of coming to Daytona for the last time with the project at hand, to get the 88 to win. It’s a real emotional battle for him to get back to the Playoffs for his final season.”

This year, NBC will be making several new and exciting innovations. A new “Bat Cam” will be along the backstretch at select racetracks. This tethered camera will zoom along with the racecars at roughly 100 mph, giving fans a new perspective. Also, former Olympic track and field athlete Ato Bolden will join the NBC broadcast team for some races this year. Bolden is a 4-time Bronze and Silver medalist in the 1996 and 2000 Olympic Games. He said “Preparing to cover NASCAR at Daytona has been challenging. From knowing the drivers to the differing stories, it’s been a lot of information. But that’s only half the battle because the stats need to be explained well enough for casual fans.” Bolden admitted that entering the NASCAR world will be a new experience for him, but he will be sure to enjoy every minute of it.

Without a doubt, 2017 has seen a flurry of change in NASCAR, and the change is far from complete. Last week at Sonoma, Fox debuted a visor-camera with Danica Patrick. NBC will take that innovative idea and expand upon it, in an effort to deliver fans the ultimate coverage experience. NBC will deliver television coverage of Cup and Xfinity that is as in-depth and detailed as ever before. In February, Kurt Busch won a stunner in the Daytona 500. This time around, the Daytona buildup has the Coke Zero 400 looking as unpredictable as ever.