Jeff Gordon, Darrell Waltrip and Larry McReynolds weigh in on Richmond
NASCAR gears up for more short-track racing this weekend at Richmond International Raceway, where FOX Sports offers 20 hours of live, on-track action. Coverage includes FS1’s NASCAR XFINITY Series race on Saturday, April 23 (12:30 p.m. ET) and culminates with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on FOX on Sunday, April 24 (1:00 p.m. ET).
On Sunday, Mike Joy leads the FOX NASCAR booth with analysis from NASCAR Hall of Famer Darrell Waltrip, four-time champ Jeff Gordon and former crew chief Larry McReynolds. Jamie Little, Vince Welch and Matt Yocum cover pit road. Chris Myers hosts FOX NASCAR Sunday’s pre-race coverage (12:30 p.m. ET), alongside analysts Michael Waltrip, Gordon and Darrell Waltrip.
In addition, Little pulls "double duty" between NASCAR and Monster Energy AMA Supercross for the second consecutive weekend. Prior to covering the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond on Sunday, April 24, Little hosts FOX’s live coverage of MONSTER ENERGY AMA SUPERCROSS on Saturday, April 23 (3:30 p.m. ET) in its first-ever visit to Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.
In Richmond, FS1 offers live coverage of Saturday’s NASCAR XFINITY Series race, preceded by pre-race coverage on NASCAR Raceday-XFINITY (12:00 p.m. ET). For the second time ever (debuted last week at Bristol), the NASCAR XFINITY Series features a format that includes two Heats (35 laps each) in advance of the 140-lap Main this weekend. The four Dash 4 Cash events include Bristol (winner: Erik Jones), Richmond, Dover (May 14 at 2:00 PM ET on FOX) and Indianapolis (July 23 on NBCSN).
Adam Alexander calls Saturday’s race alongside Michael Waltrip and driver analyst Joey Logano. Logano is one of six NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers announced as part of a rotation in the FOX and FS1 booth for FOX Sports’ coverage of the 2016 NASCAR XFINITY Series season. Also scheduled as guest analysts are former champions Kevin Harvick and Brad Keselowski, Clint Bowyer, Carl Edwards and Danica Patrick. Reporting from the XFINITY Series pits at Richmond are Chris Neville, Hermie Sadler and Vince Welch. Danielle Trotta hosts NASCAR Raceday-XFINITY with analysts McReynolds and Kenny Wallace.
On Thursday, April 21, NASCAR Race Hub telecasts live from the Smithfield Foods’ headquarters in Smithfield, Va. (5:00-6:00 p.m. ET), a first for the program. Alexander is joined on-site by McReynolds and reporter/Virginia native Kaitlyn Vincie, with Trotta and analyst Andy Petree holding down the fort in the Charlotte studio. Richard Petty and No. 43 driver Aric Almirola are on-site to discuss the Richmond race, held at Smithfield’s "home track," meet fans and sign autographs. For more information about the event, CLICK HERE.
FOX Sports recently launched HUBCast, a weekly podcast with NASCAR RACE HUB host Adam Alexander in which he is joined by various guests, including some of the biggest names in racing, to debate the hottest topics in NASCAR. To subscribe and download, please click foxs.pt/1RQAs09 for iTunes or foxs.pt/1qTW3ig for Google Play Music.
Below are quotes from FOX NASCAR’s Gordon, Jeff Hammond, McReynolds, Darrell Waltrip on the week’s headlines and the race ahead, as well as the full FOX NASCAR programming schedule from Richmond:
On the "little guys" finishing in the top 10 at Bristol:
"Matt DiBenedetto was the story of the weekend with his sixth-place finish. He and his BK Racing team truly earned that, and it wasn’t a fluke. Clint Bowyer has to feel like the weight of the world is off his shoulders. His lame-duck year in the No. 15 car has been horrible. So, it was good to see him eighth on Sunday."
"Matt DiBenedetto’s post-race interview is what racing is all about. hat kind of emotion was very touching, and it’s the way racing used to be. A good finish used to mean something every week, and that was evident in a driver’s emotions. That young man could serve as a great example to other drivers who have more on-track accolades than he does."
On teams gambling with lug nuts and risking loose wheels:
"NASCAR has left it up to the teams to police the lug nuts, but you can’t expect a driver to drive with a loose wheel. NASCAR should consider stepping in to protect teams from themselves and determine if teams are pushing the envelope too far. When teams blatantly leave lugs off — they might only glue up four on the right side and three on the left side — that may be too far over the line. The number of loose wheels we’ve seen lately and the number of teams having to pit again tell the tale. Not everyone knows what they’re doing, so NASCAR may need to step in."
On how many drivers could be qualified for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup via victories when the Chase commences:
"What blew me away last year was that of 36 races, 35 were won by powerhouse teams — Hendrick, Stewart-Haas Racing, Joe Gibbs Racing and Penske. The best drivers in the sport are on those teams, so there’s not much opportunity for anybody else to slip in there to get a win."
"There are plenty of drivers that haven’t won yet. There are plenty at SHR with Kurt Busch and Danica Patrick. How about Tony Stewart when he comes back? Martin Truex Jr. hasn’t won yet. Joey Logano hasn’t won yet. Dale Earnhardt Jr. hasn’t won yet. There’s plenty of opportunities for others to win and make that number about the same as last year."
On the maturation of Kyle Busch the last couple of years:
"I would definitely say he’s handling things better. We still see a little bit of the ‘old Kyle Busch’ come out every once in a while, but in most situations, he’s handling it with much more maturity."
"He’s so focused and determined. He wants to lead every lap, win every pole and win every race. I heard him say he wants to run the Indy 500. Why? Because he loves the challenge. This kid loves a challenge, and every time he gets in a race car, if there’s a driver in front of him, that’s a challenge. He’s just a rare talent."
On the level of concern for Matt Kenseth after several subpar finishes and his "snake-bitten" pattern:
"None whatsoever. He has a fast race car, so sooner or later, they’ll get to Victory Lane. His problems since Daytona have been overly scrutinized, but it’s all just bad luck. When he gets that behind him, the competition better watch out because he could rattle off three or four wins quickly. His teammates are running so well at Joe Gibbs Racing, so JGR isn’t out to lunch in any category. It will turn around and be Kenseth’s turn soon."
FOX NASCAR AT RICHMOND INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY
*All times live/Eastern unless otherwise indicated & subject to change
Friday, April 22
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice (11:00 AM-12:30 PM) (FS1)
NASCAR XFINITY Series practice (12:30-2:00 PM) (FS1)
NASCAR RACE HUB (2:00-3:00 PM) (FS1)
NASCAR XFINITY Series final practice (3:00-4:00 PM) (FS1)
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying (4:00-5:30 PM) (FS1)
Saturday, April 16
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice (8:30-9:30 AM) (FS1)
NASCAR XFINITY Series qualifying (9:30-10:30 AM) (FS1)
NASCAR RACE HUB (10:30-11:00 AM) (FS1)
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series final practice (11:00 AM-12:00 PM) (FS1)
NASCAR RACEDAY-NXS (12:00-12:30 PM) (FS1)
NASCAR XFINITY Series Racing (12:30-3:30 PM) (FS1)
Sunday, April 17
NASCAR RACEDAY (10:30 AM-12:30 PM) (FS1)
FOX NASCAR SUNDAY (12:30-1:00 PM) (FOX)
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Racing (1:00-4:30 PM) (FOX)
NASCAR VICTORY LANE (12:00-12:30 AM) (FS1)
Note: To add all 2016 NASCAR races to your Calendar, please CLICK HERE.