NBC Sports continued its coverage of the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs Sunday afternoon with an action-packed AAA Texas 500 from Texas Motor Speedway on NBCSN. Kevin Harvick won the second race of the Round of 8, his fourth of the season, and secured a spot in the Championship 4 alongside Martin Truex Jr., who won last weekend in Martinsville. Harvick has now advanced to the Championship 4 for the fifth time in six years.
NBC Sports’ Rick Allen called the action alongside 21-time Cup Series race winner Jeff Burton, who won his first career Cup Series race at the inaugural race at Texas in 1997. Daytona 500-winning crew chief Steve Letarte and racing legend and two-time Daytona 500-winner Dale Earnhardt Jr., who won his first career Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in 2000, provided commentary from a second booth. Marty Snider, Kelli Stavast, Rutledge Wood, and Dave Burns reported from pit road and the grandstands.
Krista Voda hosted Sunday’s pre-race coverage alongside analysts Kyle Petty and Dale Jarrett.
The following are highlights from this afternoon’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race coverage on NBCSN:
Harvick on the win: “Texas has been so great to us and what a racetrack…It’s been a lot of work put into this race. We knew it was a good racetrack for us.”
Snider on Harvick: “Third straight time he wins a Texas playoff race, and the ticket for Kevin Harvick and the four team to Miami is now punched and a shot to win the title!”
Burton on Playoff race: “We’ve seen it all year long. We keep thinking this is the best driver, this is the best team, and we get surprised every week.”
Letarte on Playoffs race: “I’m done making predictions because what I’ve learned this week is it is unpredictable.”
Petty on Harvick: “I’ve been waiting on Kevin Harvick to show up in the Playoffs. They showed up in a big way today.”
Earnhardt Jr. on next week’s race: “We’ve got a lot of guys who are desperate…It’s going to be fun to watch.”
Jarrett on next week’s race: “There’s not a driver below that cut line that I don’t think is capable of winning next week.”
Burton on Logano’s chances to advance: “I think he’s got to be really nervous. They have not had a clean Playoffs…Even Kyle Busch sitting there in third. They haven’t had a great Playoff either.”
Hamlin to Stavast on his confidence after today’s crash: “There’s no doubt in my mind we can go (to Phoenix) and win. Especially in these circumstances, I like the challenge.”
Allen on final lap: “He will now tie Tony Stewart 14th all-time for wins. Kevin Harvick wins at Texas!”
Burton on Harvick: “How about his performance tonight…When they need to, they can step up to the plate and make something happen…I just don’t think you can ever count this team out.”
Burton: “I think the survivor in these Playoffs has been Joey Logano.”
Burton on Harvick overtaking Almirola on lap 254: “It is impressive how good that #4 car is.”
Burton on non-playoff drivers: “This is great racing. It’s fun to see these guys. None of these guys are in the playoff battle, but everyone one of them needs a win.”
Burton on Jimmie Johnson crash: “Think about the guys that have had trouble today. The biggest names in the sport – Bred Keselowski, Denny Hamlin, we just saw Jimmie Johnson, Chase Elliott. The biggest names in the sport lost cars all by themselves basically.”
Allen on Jimmie Johnson leading in Stage 2: “I was asked the question, ‘Is Jimmie Johnson going to lead another lap in 2019?’ I think a lot of people were thinking, ‘I don’t know. We don’t know if Jimmie Johnson will lead another lap.’ Well sure enough, it’s right here at Texas.”
Allen on cautions in Stage 1: “Six cautions now, that’s a new record for a stage. It’s happened here at Texas. Emotions run high. The pressure is very high on these drivers knowing that there’s only a few opportunities to keep their championship hopes alive.”
NBC Sports PR