Month: August 2017

Larry McReynolds

FOX NASCAR Quotes: Byron Takes Over No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet Ride in 2018

Joy, McReynolds, Waltrip and Alexander Weigh in on the Youngster’s Meteoric Rise to the MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES & the Changing of the Guard at Hendrick Motorsports
Joy: ‘He’s always been a great talent … He will be a great asset to the Cup Series in its search for a younger demo.’

CHARLOTTE, NC – Hendrick Motorsports announced today that William Byron will pilot the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet in the 2018 MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES, replacing Kasey Kahne. Byron is the second young driver announced as part of the organization’s four-car lineup for 2018, joining Alex Bowman, who takes over for Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the No. 88 Chevrolet, Chase Elliott and seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson.

Below are quotes from FOX NASCAR play-by-play announcer Mike Joy, NASCAR RACE HUB co-host and FOX Sports announcer Adam Alexander and analysts Larry McReynolds and Darrell Waltrip regarding the Byron announcement and the changing of the guard at Hendrick Motorsports.

On reaction to the news and whether William Byron is ready for a full-time MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES ride:

“That’s almost a question that can’t be answered until he climbs into the race car and gets some races under his belt. It seems he figures out every type of car quickly and adapts immediately. My biggest question is whether Hendrick and the team are ready for Byron. They’re a little behind over there, and the numbers support that.”
–Larry McReynolds

“When a driver is winning regularly at the level he is racing in, it’s hard to argue against a move up.”
–Mike Joy

“I think he’s ready. You learn at the level at which you’re going to compete, and Byron has shown himself a quick learner. Plus, he fits the Hendrick mold. He has that corporate look – a nice, polite, good-looking young man who fits right in with what Rick (Hendrick) likes and is looking for.”
–Darrell Waltrip

“Byron is ready to move up. When you look at the success young drivers are having and add that to the talent Byron brings, it’s a no brainer. Two rookies made the playoffs last year. Daniel Suarez and Erik Jones have competed at a high level this year. Byron fits the same mold.”
–Adam Alexander

On the last time a powerhouse organization had so many major driver changes within a couple of seasons:

“We’d probably have to look back years ago at Roush-Fenway Racing to find the last time there was such a major shift in the driver lineup at a high-profile organization. Other than Mark Martin, they had a lot of cars with a lot of turnover back in the ‘90s.”
–Mike Joy

“I don’t know that I can recall the last time such a major team underwent so many major driver changes in succession. But Hendrick Motorsports is a rarity because they field four cars, so there are more drivers to potentially change out. However, it’s hard to believe that just three years ago, Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kasey Kahne made up 75-percent of the organization’s lineup, and in 2018, they all will be gone. I don’t think we saw all that coming.”
–Larry McReynolds

On William Byron as a driver:

“I’ve known William since he garaged next to my son, Scott, in Legends cars at Charlotte Motor Speedway’s Summer Shootout series a few years ago. He’s always been a great talent, running at or near the front, not overdriving or tearing up his equipment. He will be a great asset to the Cup Series in its search for a younger demo.”
–Mike Joy

“When I heard Byron had signed with Hendrick a year ago, I immediately thought ‘What a perfect fit.’ He checks every box when you look at the ‘Hendrick way.’ He’s a big time talent. His on-track ability reminds me of (Jeff) Gordon and (Jimmie) Johnson. He always maximizes what the car has to offer and never beats himself. Off track, he is a model citizen and handles himself like a true gentleman.”
–Adam Alexander

On the young driver lineup at Hendrick Motorsports as a possible sign of things to come in the Cup Series:

“Rick (Hendrick) has always been the leader in the youth movement. He ushered it in with Jeff Gordon and he’s doing it again now. He will have three young guys under the wing of Jimmie Johnson, who is a great mentor. Plus, it’s that time in our sport — that crossroads. It’s the changing of the guard, and you can’t change the guard without someone to hand it off to. There are a lot of talented young drivers ready to step up.”
–Darrell Waltrip

“The Hendrick lineup absolutely is a sign of things to come in the Cup Series. As Dale Jr. explained so well in his press conference at Watkins Glen, a new generation of hungry young talent is waiting to take charge. Driver supply and demand makes this a team owner’s market, and with sponsor dollars scarce, it creates a great opportunity for owners to balance their checkbooks yet be competitive.”
–Mike Joy

“It’s the business model we are headed toward. It’s not all about talent anymore — it’s also about dollars. Of course, a top Cup owner won’t take someone who can’t perform and stick them in a car just because they’re cheaper. But if you can hire William Byron, Alex Bowman, Daniel Suarez or Erik Jones for significantly less money than you are paying Matt Kenseth or Kasey Kahne or Dale Earnhardt Jr., and they can also perform, it’s not hard to make that decision given today’s business and sponsor platform. It’s a trend that will continue. Are the veterans worth a lot of money? Hell yeah. They’ve proven they can win races and championships. If Jay Cutler can go to the Miami Dolphins for $10 million for one year to throw interceptions weekend after weekend, then the veteran Cup guys are worth that or more. But the business model isn’t there anymore.”
–Larry McReynolds

“The youth movement is on, and the trend will not change anytime soon. These young drivers are talented, and it’s becoming impossible to keep them out of the Cup Series. They also are budget friendly for their owners.”
–Adam Alexander

On what would be considered a successful season for Byron and Alex Bowman in 2018:

“Several top-five finishes and a good helping of top 10s and/or making the playoffs would be a great year for Byron and Bowman next season.”
–Mike Joy

“While Rick (Hendrick) is looking at drivers, there may be some other changes he could make as far as what crew chiefs fit best with what drivers. The No. 5 hasn’t been all that competitive, and changing the driver doesn’t necessarily mean you will change the outcome, unless you make another swap to go with that. It’s cause and effect. With a new driver coming in, it might be time to think about a different lineup when it comes to crew chiefs and crews.”
–Darrell Waltrip

“The worst thing you can do for a rookie in the Cup Series, regardless of his credentials, is set expectations. It’s the toughest series in all of motorsports. The only expectation I would set for him is to run all the laps and see where he finishes. Halfway through the season, it might be easier to set expectations for the rest of the year.”
–Larry McReynolds


BIG EAST Launches Live Men’s Basketball Digital Show on FOX Sports GO

“BIG EAST Shootaround” will air Thursdays starting Aug. 10

NEW YORK – The BIG EAST Conference today announced the launch of “BIG EAST Shootaround,” a live weekly online show that focuses on the league’s premier sport of men’s basketball in a full digital-forward approach. The first episode will air on Thursday, Aug. 10, and continue weekly over the coming year. The show will be distributed on FOX Sports GO, the BIG EAST Facebook page and @BIGEAST Twitter handle and via podcast on iTunes, Google Play and Stitcher.

BIG EAST Shootaround will feature behind the scenes, in-depth stories from the Conference’s 10 member schools. John Fanta, a Seton Hall alum and senior BIG EAST correspondent, will serve as the show’s host, and guests will include coaches, basketball student-athletes, media members and other basketball insiders. Women’s basketball coverage will be included in the programming mix.

The first show will feature Seton Hall seniors Angel Delgado, Desi Rodriguez, Khadeen Carrington and Ismael Sanogo from the BIG EAST Conference offices in midtown Manhattan.

“BIG EAST Shootaround is designed to provide coverage of BIG EAST Basketball all year round, not just during basketball season,” said Rick Gentile BIG EAST Senior Associate Commissioner, Broadcasting. “Our schools’ basketball programs don’t take off from April through October, and our supporters are eager to keep up with off-season stories and developments. We aim to fill the void in media coverage during that period with news, interviews and updates from each of our campuses and reach all of our audiences in all places.”

BIG EAST Shootaround will be interactive as fans can submit questions for Fanta and guests on Twitter and on Facebook with the hashtag #BEshootaround.


UFC TONIGHT Quotes – Florian Picks Pettis Over Moreno

Bisping on Criticism of Woodley’s Fighting Style: “As a champion, first and foremost, your goal is to win. You can’t be too tough on Tyron.”
Pettis on how the fight ends: “I’m trying to go for that finish. I want to give the Mexican fans a good fight.”

LOS ANGELES, CA – UFC TONIGHT was hosted by Kenny Florian and guest host Michael Bisping, with Karyn Bryant adding reports. The crew catches up with UFC FIGHT NIGHT: PETTIS VS. MORENO headliner Sergio Pettis before his fight this weekend. They also interview former light heavyweight champ Rashad Evans about his bout Saturday.

UFC TONIGHT guest host Michael Bisping on whether he’ll defend his title against Georges St-Pierre: “I’m going to fight Georges St-Pierre, Madison Square Garden, Nov. 4th, don’t miss it.”

VIDEO: Michael Bisping to fight Georges St-Pierre in UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden

Bisping on fighting Georges St-Pierre: “GSP is very exciting. Some of his performances have been stellar. My job is to win the fight. I’ll stuff the takedowns. I’ll jab his face. I’ll land the left high kick – kind of like Jon Jones on DC. GSP will fall down face first into the Octagon. I will be the winner and on November 5, I’m going to party like it’s 1999.”

VIDEO: Michael Bisping previews his fight with Georges St-Pierre in UFC 217 at MSG

UFC TONIGHT host Kenny Florian on why Jon Jones is the greatest of all time: “If you look at the difficulty of schedule, the guys he’s beaten, there’s no doubt. There’s no weaknesses in his game. He’s at his best right now. He’s the greatest of all time.”

Bisping on Tyron Woodley’s strategy to win over being in an exciting fight: “As a champion, first and foremost, your goal is to win. But it’s also to put on an exciting fight. There is a strategy that he did very well in the fight. Winning is the most important thing. You can’t be too tough on Tyron.”

Florian on Jon Jones: “There’s no doubt the Brock Lesnar fight would be huge for Jones, but the fight that makes the most sense is Alexander Gustafsson. His performance against Glover Teixeira was awesome. To this day some people still think Gustafsson won the first fight with Jones.”

Bisping on Anthony Johnson fighting Jones next: “Johnson is retired, but it’s one of those fake retirements. He said for the right amount of money he’d come back. He’s got one-punch knockout power, good wrestling, and he’s beaten everyone else not named DC.”

Bisping on who Cormier should fight next: “First, he should take some time off. When he’s ready, maybe Jimi Manuwa. They’re both coming off losses and have already had some trash talk. It would be a good matchup.”

VIDEO: Who’s next for Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier?

Florian on who should be next for Woodley: “Jorge Masvidal. He had a close fight against Maia. They both agreed they would fight each other if it was for a title. Masvidal is a tough opponent for anyone in the division.”

Bisping on who should fight Woodley next: “Masvidal is coming off a loss. I’d like to see Masvidal vs. Robbie Lawler and the winner get Tyron Woodley.”

Sergio Pettis on what he thought when he was told he’d be headlining his first main event: “I was very excited. It’s a new task to accomplish. I think I’m ready for it.”

Pettis on how he prepared to fight at Mexico City’s high elevation: “I had to prepare for the elevation. I used simulators to prepare for it, and went out to Albuquerque, which is over 5,000 feet. I’ve gotten out here a week prior of the fight to prepare.”

Pettis on if this fight will get him closer to the title shot: “I think this is a step in my career and will prepare me for the title shot.”

Pettis on Moreno: “He’s good on his feet and has good jiu-jitsu and wrestling. He’s good all around. He’s hungry like me. He pushes the pace. It’s going to be a good fight.”

Pettis on if he’s out of the shadow of his brother Anthony: “Yeah, I’m growing into myself. I’m maturing as a mixed martial artist. I was timid out there, but now I’m expressing myself and having a great time doing it.”

Pettis on how the fight ends: “This fight, I’m trying to go for that finish. I’ll be pushing the pace. I want to give the Mexican fans a good fight, which they deserve. This will put me in title contention. I was supposed to fight Henry Cejudo, he pulled out and that was a blessing in disguise. This will put my name up there.”

VIDEO: Sergio Pettis Interview

Florian on Pettis’ keys to victory: “He’s a very diverse striker and very good at counter strikes. He needs to throw the counter strikes. Moreno throws himself out of position, and Sergio can catch him. Second, he needs to defend the takedowns. Moreno is a beast on the mat and Sergio doesn’t want to give the advantage to him.”

Florian on Moreno’s keys to victory: “He has a lot of submissions. He needs to back Pettis up with his kicks. He needs to land the takedowns, so he can get the submission.”

Florian picks Pettis over Moreno: “I think Pettis is a little more polished.”

Rashad Evans on if Sam Alvey will be more prepared because he’s fought in Mexico City before: “It remains to be seen. I’ve trained in Albuquerque and Denver. I’m used to working at altitude. It’s a different type of exhaustion and you have to work. You have to have the confidence that you’re not going to gas.”

Evans on what Alvey does well: “He has a good range with that left hand. It’s precise and heavy. He has a lot of power in the punches. He’s durable. You have to get off on him early but you have to understand he can take the punishment and come back.”

Evans on if his losing streak is affecting him mentally: “Hopefully not. I’ll go out there and do what I’m trained to do. I’m feeling good mentally. When you dropped so many fights in a row, the biggest thing is you can’t panic – just go out there and fight. It becomes harder if you make it more than just a fight.”

Evans on how this fight feels compared to headlining fights in the past: “It feels important in its own right. This fight has its own challenges. My back’s against the wall. It plays with your mind. You start thinking about it. It’s a different kind of pressure. It’s a position I put myself in it. I can deal with it no matter what happens.”

Florian on what Evans has to do in the fight: “Rashad has to establish the jab, land it and get in and out. He doesn’t want to be in the pocket versus heavy handed Sam Alvey. He needs to get the takedowns in the center of the Octagon and not against the fence where Alvey can defend it. If he has motion, he’ll stick that takedown.”

VIDEO: Floyd Mayweather vs Conor McGregor – Here is what you can bet on

VIDEO: Tommy Toe Hold Interviews GSP

UFC TONIGHT Quotes – Florian Picks Pettis Over Moreno (155 kB, last updated August 2017)

Retired UFC Contenders Kenny Florian and Yves Edwards Join Karyn Bryant on the Desk for FS1 UFC FIGHT NIGHT: PETTIS VS. MORENO

Todd Grisham and Brian Stann Call Fights from Mexico City

LOS ANGELES, CA – FOX Sports announces today that retired UFC contenders Kenny Florian (@KennyFlorian) and Yves Edwards (@thugjitsumaster) work as FOX Sports desk analysts alongside host Karyn Bryant (@KarynBryant) for FS1 UFC FIGHT NIGHT: PETTIS VS. MORENO on Saturday, Aug. 5.

Retired middleweight contender Brian Stann (@BrianStann) calls the fights Octagon-side with blow-by-blow announcer Todd Grisham (@GrishamMMA) live from Mexico City and reporter Heidi Androl (@HeidiAndrol) interviews fighters on-site. Victor Davila (@mastervic10) and Santiago Ponzinibbio (@SPonzinibbioMMA) have the call in Spanish on FOX Deportes.

Two of the fastest rising contenders in mixed martial arts headline the UFC’s return to Mexico City, as No. 6-ranked flyweight Sergio Pettis (15-2) goes head-to-head with Mexico’s own No. 7-ranked Brandon Moreno (14-3) in a five-round 125-pound showdown. From Tijuana, Moreno has been unbeaten for nearly five years, while Pettis, winner of three straight, looks to continue his ascent up the flyweight ladder by playing spoiler in Moreno’s homecoming.

The three-hour main card begins Saturday on FS1 and FOX Deportes at 10:00 PM ET and features five more action-packed bouts. No. 9-ranked Randa Markos (7-5) and Mexico’s Alexa Grasso (9-1) lock horns in a strawweight scrap. Welterweight Alan Jouban (15-5) fights Niko Price (10-0), while Martin Bravo (12-0) takes on Humberto Bandenay (13-4, 1NC) in a featherweight tilt. Middleweights Sam Alvey (30-9, 1NC) and Rashad Evans (24-6-1) go to battle, while Alejandro Perez (18-6-1) and Andre Soukhamthath (11-4) open the main card with a bantamweight bout.

The two-hour UFC FIGHT NIGHT PRELIMS begin Saturday at 8:00 PM ET on FS1 and FOX Deportes with four additional bouts. Middleweights Brad Scott (12-4) and Jack Hermansson (15-3) collide. No. 12-ranked Dustin Ortiz (16-7) fights Hector Sandoval (14-3) in a flyweight tilt. Henry Briones (19-6-1) faces Rani Yahya (23-9, 1NC), while bantamweights Jose Quinonez (6-2) and Diego Rivas (7-0) open the PRELIMS.

Saturday’s coverage begins on FS1 at 7:00 PM ET with the FS1 UFC FIGHT NIGHT PREFIGHT SHOW, featuring Bryant, Florian, Edwards and Androl. The action wraps up immediately following the main event with the FS1 UFC FIGHT NIGHT POSTFIGHT SHOW. The UFC WEIGH-IN SHOW takes place Friday, Aug. 4 at 7:00 PM ET on FS1 with the same studio crew.

On UFC TONIGHT Wednesday, Aug. 2 (7:00 PM ET) on FS1, host Florian and guest host Michael Bisping interview Pettis and Evans before Saturday’s fights.

Leading up to the fights, UFC fighters offer unique, behind-the-scenes clips on FOX Sports PROcast and on the FOX UFC social pages. Follow @UFConFOX on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for updates throughout the #UFCMexico fights this Sunday.

Viewers can live stream the UFC shows on FOX Sports GO, available in English or Spanish through the FS1 or FOX Deportes feeds. The shows are available on desktop at and through the app store or on connected devices including Apple TV, Android TV, Fire TV, Xbox One and Roku. In addition, all programs are also available on FOX Sports on SiriusXM channel 83 on satellite radios and on the SiriusXM app.



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*All programs available on FOX Sports GO and FOX Sports on SiriusXM channel 83