FOX Sports offers a true variety of stock-car racing this weekend, including the NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES and ARCA RACING SERIES doubleheader from Pocono Raceway, coupled with the NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES from Texas Motor Speedway.
More than 18 hours of live FOX Sports coverage from Pocono and Texas includes the NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES and ARCA RACING SERIES races, culminating with the Cup Series race live on FOX Sports 1 on Sunday, June 7 (1:00 PM ET), with pre-race coverage beginning at 11:30 AM ET with NASCAR RACEDAY.
On Sunday, Mike Joy leads the FOX NASCAR booth from the 2.5-mile “Tricky Triangle” 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.
Kicking off Sunday’s Cup Series coverage is a 90-minute edition of NASCAR RACEDAY at 11:30 AM ET on FOX Sports 1. It includes: NASCAR Chairman & CEO Brian France joins the cast on the desk to discuss a variety of topics, including the “driver council” that met at Dover; a feature on communication between a driver and crew chief; sit-down interviews with Kevin Harvick and Jimmie Johnson regarding their relationship with each other and their strong starts to the 2015 season; and a new, lighthearted segment titled “Trick or Tweet,” in which a driver tries to determine whether a fan tweet is real or not and featuring Joey Logano as this week’s participant.
The NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES is live on FOX Sports 1 on Friday, June 5 (9:00 PM ET) from Texas Motor Speedway in its seventh stop of the season. Adam Alexander calls the action alongside analysts Phil Parsons and Michael Waltrip, with pit reporting by Vince Welch and Kaitlyn Vincie
NCWTS SETUP, hosted by John Roberts and two-time series champion Todd Bodine, sets the stage for the Truck Series race Friday at 8:30 PM ET. Featured in the pre-race show are: A look back at Tyler Reddick’s win last week at Dover; a flashback to Matt Crafton’s win last year at Texas; a Ray Dunlap feature on ThorSport Racing’s success at Texas; a piece on the incredible fuel mileage Crafton got at Texas last season and Kansas this year; and interviews with Johnny Sauter, whose last win on a mile-and-a-half track was at Texas in 2012, and Joe Nemechek, who makes his final start of the season in the No. 8, before handing off to his son, John Hunter.
On-track action begins Friday at 12:00 PM ET on FOX Sports 1 with Cup Series practice. 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 and ARCA RACING SERIES 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.
Ray Dunlap calls Saturday’s ARCA RACING SERIES event from Pocono live on FOX Sports 2 (1:00 PM ET) alongside analyst Phil Parsons with Jim Tretow and Yocum reporting from pit road. This weekend’s race marks the series’ 60th trip to Pocono. NASCAR’s Trevor Bayne and Cole Custer are among the drivers entered in the race.
Below are quotes from FOX NASCAR analysts Darrell Waltrip and McReynolds on the week’s headlines and the race ahead, as well as the full FOX NASCAR programming schedule from Pocono Raceway and Texas Motor Speedway:
DARRELL WALTRIP ON THE POTENTIAL EFFICACY OF THE “DRIVER COUNCIL” THAT MET AT DOVER:
“With owners getting NASCAR’s ear through the RTA (Race Team Alliance), drivers felt they needed a voice. We’ve never had what we’d call a ‘council’ before, but different drivers at times have spoken to NASCAR about issues concerning them. NASCAR was never too open to meeting with a group but had been willing to meet one-on-one. Recently, maybe within the last year, NASCAR has been more receptive to groups of people or representatives for those people, and has listened to what they have to say. Owners look at costs to run a team while drivers are more aware of rules that affect the cars. Drivers currently aren’t happy with the rules package. I was concerned the first time I heard about it. We had a 15-minutes test at Michigan and determined the new package was the way to go. That seemed like a knee-jerk reaction. If they’d done one or the other — either taken away horsepower and left the aero alone, or left the power but changed the aero, things might have been different. There is a lot of unrest in the sport currently, and I think that’s why NASCAR is listening. Hopefully, they’ll take drivers’ input and make better decisions. What we all want, including me as a FOX NASCAR analyst, is good racing and action on the track. Last year featured the best racing we’d had in a long time, which is why I hated to see changes in 2015. Then we weren’t but a few races into 2015 and were hearing talk about changes for 2016. Let it breathe a little. Constant rule changes aren’t helping anyone, making competition better or saving money.”
LARRY MCREYNOLDS ON THE POTENTIAL EFFICACY OF THE “DRIVER COUNCIL” THAT MET AT DOVER:
“This ‘driver council’ has potential because they’re listening on both sides. In NASCAR’s defense, they have some drivers coming at them saying to do one thing and another group saying to do something else. That can be a slippery slope with a council and getting everyone singing the same tune. I’m not entirely clear on what they all want, but everyone in the garage said taking gear out and changing the engine package was the wrong decision. This isn’t Monday morning quarterbacking either. Everyone agrees with that. I said this before the 2014 season ended — the racing was great and I wish they had left things the way they were and kept digging for a little while. Look at how the 10 Chase races and championship race at Homestead unfolded. How can you top that? Sometimes you have to leave well enough alone, and the gear reduction and removal of horsepower wasn’t the way to go.”
MCREYNOLDS ON THE DIFFICULTIES OF REVERTING BACK TO THE 2014 RULES PACKAGE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SEASON:
“While it would be the same for every single team, when you’re racing 38 out of 41 weeks and are halfway through the regular season, changing in the middle of the year isn’t a good idea. I’d recommend even more notice than just the offseason. In late August or early September, NASCAR should let teams know if they’re looking to make changes for 2016 because the group that gets lost in the shuffle is Goodyear. Every time NASCAR makes a change that affects loads, corner speeds or downforce, Goodyear has to adjust the tire. It’s just too hard to change that in the middle of the year.”
MCREYNOLDS ON THE POTENTIAL NUMBER OF WINNERS THAT WILL QUALIFY FOR THE CHASE, JUDGING BY THE NUMBER QUALIFIED AT THE HALFWAY MARK OF THE REGULAR SEASON:
“With 13 down and 13 to go in the regular season, we won’t have more than three or four additional winners, and four is a stretch. Outside of Martin Truex Jr., no one else is running well enough to win. We may see Kasey Kahne, Jeff Gordon, Ryan Newman or Kyle Busch roll into Victory Lane, but outside of Truex and Busch, no one else is consistent enough. But we do have three wild card races remaining with the two road courses and Daytona, so there could be a surprise winner in the mix.”
WALTRIP ON THE PRESSURE ON KYLE BUSCH TO PERFORM FLAWLESSLY BETWEEN NOW AND THE END OF THE REGULAR SEASON AFTER A POOR RESULT AT DOVER:
“After Charlotte and Dover, his chances of making the Chase are pretty slim. He was a long shot to get in the top 30 in points, and I am more inclined to bet he wins a race than he gets into the top 30 in points. That will be hard based on these first two weeks back. He was running well but had bad luck at both Charlotte and Dover, and he really couldn’t afford to have much bad luck in order to make the top 30. He is in good physical shape and capable of winning a race, but throw in the bad luck, and those two mulligans are all they can afford. It will take a phenomenal run of top-five finishes and a win to make the Chase, and I don’t know if that’s possible.”
MCREYNOLDS ON WHETHER MARTIN TRUEX JR. BELONGS IN THE SAME CHAMPIONSHIP CONVERSATION AS JIMMIE JOHNSON AND KEVIN HARVICK:
“Not yet because he hasn’t won. Will he make the Chase? Absolutely. But I warn everyone, myself included, that Ryan Newman was one caution away from winning the championship last year without a win. When you score top-10 finishes in 12 of 13 races, you deserve to be in the same conversation, but it’s hard to group him with Johnson and Harvick until he wins. If Truex keeps running like he has been, he’ll point his way into the Chase and move well beyond the first round, just like Newman did. Do the math.”
WALTRIP ON WHETHER MARTIN TRUEX JR. BELONGS IN THE SAME CHAMPIONSHIP CONVERSATION AS JIMMIE JOHNSON AND KEVIN HARVICK:
“Johnson and Harvick are in a league of their own right now. Truex can point his way in because he is so far up in the standings, but once he gets in the Chase, he must be able to win. I say that but then I think back to Ryan Newman nearly winning the title last year without a win. But Truex needs to win for his own sanity if nothing else. If you have a great car every week but something happen to you at the end, it will drive you crazy eventually. I don’t want him or his team to get discouraged. If they keep putting good cars on the track, he will win and be a contender in the Chase. Johnson, Harvick and Truex are the only drivers truly consistent at this point in the season.”
WALTRIP ON HOW THE VARIETY AND NATURE OF THE TRACKS IN THE NEXT FEW RACES COULD CHANGE THE COMPLEXION OF THE CHASE:
“Truex doesn’t want 16 different drivers winning races — that’s for sure. You’ve got to believe AJ Allmendinger will have a pretty good car at Sonoma and could win and get into the Chase again. Then Daytona is up for grabs and could easily put a new winner into the Chase. Aric Almirola won last year at July and surprised a lot of people. The next few races are ones that a lot of teams circle on their calendar as an opportunity, perhaps their only opportunity this year, to get a win and into the Chase.”
MCREYNOLDS ON WHICH DRIVERS ARE MOST IN DANGER OF FALLING OUT OF THE TOP 16 BASED ON RECENT PERFORMANCE:
“Paul Menard always makes me nervous. They always come out of the gate with guns ablaze, scoring top 10s and sitting in the top 10 in points. But once we cross the halfway mark of the season, they disappear off the radar. Sure, he won Indy in 2011, but if history repeats itself, he will be the one who slides out of the top 16 in the near future. As for who takes his place, it will be someone who wins a race. Clint Bowyer and AJ Allmendinger both run well at Sonoma, so perhaps one of them. Once you get beyond Carl Edwards in the point standings, performance falls off quite a bit. It’s a great year to make the top 16.”
Full schedule in PDF below.