NASCAR heads to Las Vegas Motor Speedway this weekend for round one of its “West Coast Swing” also featuring Phoenix and Fontana, Calif. FOX Sports offers 17 hours of live coverage of the NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES and NASCAR XFINITY SERIES from Las Vegas, culminating with the NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES race live on FOX on Sunday, March 8 (3:30 PM ET), with pre-race coverage beginning at 3:00 PM ET on FOX NASCAR SUNDAY.
Mike Joy leads the FOX NASCAR booth from “Sin City” with analysis from NASCAR Hall of Famer Darrell Waltrip and former crew chief Larry McReynolds. The trio is joined on pit road by Jamie Little, Chris Neville and Matt Yocum. Chris Myers hosts the network’s coverage alongside analyst Michael Waltrip. Myers also hosts FOX NASCAR SUNDAY from the famed Hollywood Hotel alongside Darrell and Michael Waltrip.
Adam Alexander calls the NASCAR XFINITY SERIES race (4:00 PM ET on FOX Sports 1) alongside Michael Waltrip and reigning NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES champion and Atlanta XFINITY Series winner Kevin Harvick with pit reporting by Vince Welch, Little and Neville. NASCAR RACEDAY – XFINITY, FOX Sports 1’s pre-race show, airs at 3:30 PM ET on FOX Sports 1. Harvick is one of five NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES drivers announced as part of a rotation in the FOX and FOX Sports 1 booth for FOX Sports’ coverage of the 2015 NASCAR XFINITY SERIES season. Also scheduled as guest analysts this season are four-time champion Jeff Gordon, 2012 champ Brad Keselowski, Danica Patrick and Clint Bowyer. This season, FOX Sports adds coverage of the NASCAR XFINITY SERIES for the first 14 races of the year. FOX Sports 1 telecasts 10 of the events while FOX broadcasts the races from Phoenix, Talladega, Charlotte and Dover.
NASCAR RACEDAY kicks off Sunday’s coverage at 2:00 PM ET on FOX Sports 1, and includes: interviews with Brian Vickers, Keselowski and Martin Truex Jr.
FOX Sports GO, the critically acclaimed app that provides live streaming video of FOX Sports content at home or on the go, offers live streaming of all NASCAR programming in 2015. Customers of participating video providers may access the live streams of the race through the FOX Sports GO app for iOS devices, as well as on desktops through FOXSportsGO.com. For the latest NASCAR news and information, please visit www.FOXSports.com and follow @NASCARonFOX on Twitter.
Below are quotes from FOX NASCAR analysts Jeff Hammond and Larry McReynolds on the week’s headlines and the race ahead, as well as the full FOX NASCAR programming schedule from Las Vegas:
HAMMOND ON THE ABSENCE OF SAFER BARRIERS AROUND THE ENTIRETY OF ATLANTA MOTOR SPEEWDAY: “I’m upset they didn’t have SAFER barriers on the back straightaway at Atlanta. This is the fifth or sixth time Jeff Gordon has been the poster child for finding the spot that doesn’t have a SAFER barrier. It’s inexcusable and could have put Gordon out for the season. If a driver can see a wall going around the race track, it should be protected. We’ve seen this enough times and NASCAR needs to finish the project. With today’s technology, there has to be a method we can come up with to do a better job of giving drivers an opportunity to walk away from crashes. But I applaud the fact they’re not just talking about it but are sending safety teams to the tracks. I voice my opinion in the interest of protecting the drivers and allowing us to watch them perform every week rather than send them ‘get well’ cards like we’re doing with Kyle Busch. These cars are unguided missiles, and if any driver has a choice and knows they have to wreck, they want to drive into a SAFER barrier long before they accidentally hit a concrete wall.”
HAMMOND ON ISSUE OF GRASS NEAR THE RACING SURFACE: “Grass near the racing surface of some tracks is a huge problem. Kyle Busch went across the track at Daytona with the tires smoking (on the brakes) when he was on the asphalt. As soon as he hit the grass, it was almost as if the car accelerated or at least definitely didn’t continue to decelerate. In every place that has been asphalted in recent years, wrecks have been minimized and destruction of cars has dropped considerably because cars have a chance to get turned around, maybe get backwards and allow the roof flaps to work. There are a lot of benefits to removing the grass.”
HAMMOND ON HOW THE PERCEPTION OF JOEY LOGANO HAS CHANGED IN THE GARAGE THE LAST TWO YEARS: “The good thing about what I’ve seen with Joey is the ability for him and Todd Gordon to build their chemistry as quickly as they did. And I think his teammate, Brad Keselowski, wanted him there. If someone wants you to be a part of the organization and has that confidence in you, you are able to build something special. That’s what Joey has been able to do.”
MCREYNOLDS ON WHETHER THE NEW RULES PACKAGE SUITS JIMMIE JOHNSON BETTER THAN 2014’S: “Go back to 2013 and the introduction of the Gen-6 race car, which had a fair amount of downforce. Jimmie Johnson won six races and got his sixth championship that year. Then NASCAR added more downforce in 2014 but also added the no ride-height rule. Although Johnson won four races in 2014, he said he never got the feel he was looking for. Taking a lot of that downforce away in 2015, I expect it to play right into his hands.”
HAMMOND ON WHETHER THE NEW RULES PACKAGE SUITS JOHNSON BETTER THAN 2014’S: “The new rules package is more to Jimmie Johnson’s liking because he prefers the car a little free, and this new package tends to produce that. Chad Knaus and Johnson have referenced the fact they never quite got the handle on the old package. During the off season, Knaus and his new group of engineers did a good job of getting back the desired balance Johnson lacked in 2014. As good as Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano and Dale Earnhardt Jr. were at Atlanta, Johnson beat them all. I don’t like to predict an entire season on one race, but any team wanting to win the championship knows they must match what Jimmie and Chad do throughout the year, and more importantly, in the final 10 races.”
HAMMOND ON RECENT QUALIFYING SNAFUS: “I’ve been in situations like this before where you’re trying to get through inspection and 20/1,000ths of an inch are keeping you from passing tech, but I don’t think that discrepancy makes a huge difference in the race. Giving a team a little more tolerance in a situation like this may have been a smarter decision on NASCAR’s part, as would building in more time for teams to get through inspection, even if we have to start practice 30 minutes earlier or end it 30 minutes sooner. It was a perfect storm in Atlanta. Teams were pushing the envelope, weather likely didn’t help and NASCAR probably was trying to hold a harder line than they absolutely needed to for qualifying.”
NASCAR ON FOX SPORTS AT LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY PROGRAMMING SCHEDULE
*All times live unless otherwise indicated & subject to change
Friday, March 6
NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES PRACTICE (3:00-4:30 PM ET) (FOX Sports 1)
NASCAR XFINITY SERIES PRACTICE (4:30-5:30 PM ET) (FOX Sports 1)
NASCAR RACE HUB WEEKEND EDITION (5:30-6:00 PM ET) (FOX Sports 1)
NASCAR XFINITY SERIES FINAL PRACTICE (6:00-7:30 PM ET) (FOX Sports 1)
NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES QUALIFYING (7:30-9:00 PM ET) (FOX Sports 1)
FOX SPORTS LIVE (9:00-10:00 PM ET) (FOX Sports 1)
Saturday, March 7
NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES PRACTICE (11:30 AM-12:30 PM ET) (FOX Sports 2)
NASCAR XFINITY SERIES QUALIFYING (12:30-2:00 PM ET) (FOX Sports 2)
NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES FINAL PRACTICE (2:30-3:30 PM ET) (FOX Sports 1)
NASCAR RACEDAY – XFINITY (3:30-4:00 PM ET) (FOX Sports 1)
NASCAR XFINITY SERIES RACING (4:00-6:30 PM ET) (FOX Sports 1)
FOX SPORTS LIVE (6:30-7:30 PM ET) (FOX Sports 1)
Sunday, March 8
NASCAR RACEDAY (2:00 AM-2:30 PM ET) (FOX Sports 1)
FOX NASCAR SUNDAY PRERACE SHOW (3:00-3:30 PM ET) (FOX)
NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES RACING (3:30-7:00 PM ET) (FOX)
NASCAR VICTORY LANE (12:30-1:00 AM ET on Monday, March 9; delayed) (FOX Sports 1)