NBC Sports Group Embarks on Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup This Weekend
NBC Sports heads to Chicago this weekend for the first race of the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup postseason, as well as the playoff-setting race of the XFINITY Series. With adrenaline running high, drivers in both series will put it all on the line of the 1.5-mile track. NBC Sports’ weekend coverage from Chicagoland Speedway is highlighted by the NASCAR Sprint Cup race Sunday at 2 p.m. ET on NBCSN, and the XFINITY Series race Saturday at 3 p.m. ET on NBC.
NASCAR on NBC’s Rick Allen, Marty Snider, Krista Voda, and Rutledge Wood contribute to Thursday’s NASCAR America which surrounds NASCAR’s Ready Set Chase event in Chicago. An interview with Brian France from the Skyline Loft in Chicago, along with playoff driver interviews and videos, kicks off NBC Sports’ coverage of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
NBCSN’s presentation of the Sprint Cup race from Richmond International Raceway Saturday evening outpaced several college football games to become the most watched cable sports telecast of the weekend, with 2.7 million viewers. Saturday’s race also drove NBCSN to the No. 1 cable network during the race window, between 8-11:45 p.m. ET. Viewership peaked as Denny Hamlin crossed the finish line Saturday evening with 3 million viewers and a 1.78 HH rating. Live streaming of the race via NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app generated 3.3 million live minutes, an increase of 56% compared to the same event last year.
NBC Sports begins its coverage of the Chase from Chicagoland Speedway Friday at 1:30 p.m. ET with Sprint Cup first practice streaming on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app. NASCAR America begins at 6 p.m. ET on NBCSN and Sprint Cup qualifying follows at 6:30 p.m. ET. Saturday’s trackside coverage kicks off at 10:30 a.m. ET on CNBC with Sprint Cup practice. An on-site addition of NASCAR America begins at 1 p.m. ET on NBCSN followed by final practice at 1:30 p.m. ET.
Race day coverage begins at 1:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN with NASCAR America. Countdown to Green begins at 2 p.m. ET on NBCSN followed by race coverage at 2:30 p.m. ET. An on-site post-race show wraps up NBC Sports’ coverage from Chicagoland Speedway. Victory Lap recaps the weekend’s racing action at 9:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN from NBC Sports Group’s headquarters in Stamford, Conn.
Race announcer Rick Allen calls this weekend’s action alongside analysts Steve Letarte and Jeff Burton. Pre- and post-race coverage is handled by host Krista Voda, and analysts Kyle Petty and Dale Jarrett. Marty Snider, Mike Massaro, Dave Burns, and Kelli Stavast report from pit road. Rutledge Wood also contributes throughout the weekend from Chicagoland Speedway.
NBC Sports’ on-site coverage of the XFINTIY series begins Friday at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN with practice. Final practice from Chicagoland Speedway is available streaming on the NBC Sports app and NBCSports.com beginning at 3 p.m. ET. Saturday’s race day coverage begins with qualifying at 11:45 a.m. ET streaming, NBCSN coverage of qualifying begins at 12 p.m. ET. Countdown to Green kicks off at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN before transferring over to NBC at 3 p.m. ET. Race coverage of the final race of the XFINITY regular season begins at 3:15 p.m. ET on NBC.
DeLana Harvick and Kyle Petty join Nate Ryan on a NASCAR on NBC podcast doubleheader this week. In the episode released this morning DeLana Harvick, wife of 2014 Sprint Cup Champion Kevin Harvick, discusses balancing the racing schedule, KHI management and personal life at home. In the bonus episode released on Monday, the always entertaining Kyle Petty joined Ryan to discuss his time with Kevin Harvick filming an upcoming feature for NBC Sports, and offers his thoughts on NASCAR’s playoffs. Available on NASCAR Talk, iTunes, AudioBoom, Google Play, Spotify, Stitcher and podcasting apps, the NASCAR on NBC podcast discusses the latest NASCAR news each week with the major players in the sport.
NASCAR on NBC motorsports writer Dustin Long pens a special piece for NBC SportsWorld, NBC Sports Digital’s long-form website, this week on reigning Sprint Cup champion Kyle Busch and wife Samantha’s program that helps infertile couples have the chance to conceive. The in-depth story explores how Busch and his wife have influenced the birth of four babies, and have assisted three additional couples in their quest to become pregnant. A portion of Long’s story will also appear during this week’s on-air coverage from Chicagoland Speedway.