NBC Sports returns to NASCAR

Reid Spencer - NASCAR Wire Service Thursday, Jan 29 1324

In its return as a NASCAR broadcast partner for the first time since 2006, NBC Sports has assembled a formidable team as the organization ramps up for the 2015 season.

NBC’s 20-race live coverage of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing won’t start until the July 5 Coke Zero 400 at Daytona, but the network’s enthusiasm for the property already has reached critical mass.

Kyle Petty, who appears on the network’s studio show with Marty Snider and newly hired Dale Jarrett, has spent considerable time at the NBC Sports headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut.

“The whole building is abuzz, and there was a buzz building all last year,” Petty said. “It didn’t make any difference whether you’re in the cafeteria, whether you’re in the make-up room, whether you’re out in the studio.

“Everyone was following NASCAR, trying to learn as much as they could, trying to get up to date on it. That’s the exciting part for me.”

The new additions to the NBC Sports broadcast booth are doing exactly the opposite. Former driver Jeff Burton and former crew chief Steve Letarte are NASCAR experts trying to digest as much about television production as they can before going live on the air for the first time.

The two “newbies,” however, can lean on veteran play-by-play man Rick Allen as they learn the ropes.

Though NBC Sports will broadcast the second half of the Cup season, including the Chase, NBCSN will provide four hours of coverage of the NASCAR Hall of Fame inductions on Friday night.