FOX NASCAR Pre-Race Coverage Offers Multiple Features & Interviews, Including Danica Patrick and All Four Hendrick Motorsports Drivers

FOX Sports’ presentation of season-opening Daytona Speedweeks continues today with live coverage of the NASCAR XFINITY SERIES race (2:30 PM ET on FS1) and Sunday’s DAYTONA 500 (2:30 PM ET, with live pre-race coverage beginning at 11:00 AM ET on FOX).

Mike Joy calls FOX Sports’ 15th DAYTONA 500 with analysis from Jeff Gordon, Darrell Waltrip and Larry McReynolds. Jamie Little, Regan Smith, Vince Welch and Matt Yocum cover pit road, while Chris Myers hosts network coverage alongside Michael Waltrip. Joy, McReynolds, Myers, Darrell Waltrip and Yocum were members of the original FOX NASCAR on-air team that debuted at Daytona in 2001.

Adam Alexander has the call for today’s NASCAR XFINITY SERIES race from Daytona alongside Michael Waltrip and Brad Keselowski with pit reporting by Little, Smith and Yocum. NASCAR RACEDAY - XFINITY, FS1’s XFINITY Series pre-race show, hosted by Shannon Spake and McReynolds, previews the action at 2:00 PM ET.

On Monday, Feb. 19, Kevin Harvick is in-studio on FS1’s NASCAR RACE HUB (6:00 PM ET) with Alexander, Spake and McReynolds.

Below are notes and quotes regarding FOX NASCAR’s coverage of the balance of Daytona Speedweeks:

NASCAR RACEDAY: DAYTONA 500 OFFERS SIT-DOWN INTERVIEW WITH DANICA PATRICK

For Sunday’s NASCAR RACEDAY (11:00 AM ET on FOX), Little sits down with Danica Patrick for an in-depth interview prior to the start of her final NASCAR start.  Kenny Wallace chats with Bubba Wallace over breakfast in a “Breakfast with the Wallaces” feature. Also airing during NASCAR RACEDAY is: a feature on Aric Almirola’s battle back from injury and his new ride at Stewart-Haas Racing; Alan Cavanna’s look back at Dale Earnhardt Sr.’s long-sought victory in the 1998 Daytona 500; a Rachel Bonnetta live hit from a Xfinity Daytona Day watch party in Boston; a “Where’s Wallace” piece; and a War Room feature.

FOX NASCAR SUNDAY: JEFF GORDON SITS DOWN WITH ALL FOUR HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS DRIVERS

Following Sunday’s pre-race coverage on NASCAR RACEDAY, FOX NASCAR SUNDAY picks up the baton at 1:00 PM ET, live on FOX.  In Sunday’s show: Jeff Gordon sits down with all four Hendrick Motorsports drivers (Jimmie Johnson, Alex Bowman, William Byron and Chase Elliott); Regan Smith travels to Denver to catch up with defending champion Martin Truex Jr. and crew chief Cole Pearn; Jamie Little chats with Danica Patrick prior to her final NASCAR start; interviews with Peyton Manning and Charlize Theron; a live Rascal Flatts performance during pre-race ceremonies; and Michael Waltrip’s “Grid Walk.”

FOX NASCAR QUOTES

FOX SPORTS: Entering your third season in the FOX NASCAR booth, what is your biggest takeaway?

“I’ve come to realize what a huge race fan I am.  I love driving race cars, but the experience of being in the booth makes you realize what a fan you are of the action. No offense to the NFL, but I’m pretty biased.  I don’t think there’s any experience, whether live or on TV, that’s like racing at 200 miles-per-hour inches away from one another, and we get to go inside the car and hear what’s going on with the action. That’s amazing.”

--Jeff Gordon

FOX SPORTS: Is it difficult to set aside relationships you have with drivers and teams when you step into the broadcast booth?

“There have been plenty of discussions about my feelings toward certain drivers. I can tell you that as many times as I have pulled for Chase Elliott to win a race, I have been equally as excited to see Ryan Blaney win his first race, because I like to see things that get everyone excited, are good for the sport and take it to the next level.”

--Jeff Gordon 

FOX SPORTS: How do you keep the production of a NASCAR race fresh weekly when your on-air team is working with and interviewing the same drivers each week, unlike other sports?

“FOX Sports is there for every practice, qualifying session and lap of every race.  We don’t miss a batting practice, a shoot-around or a Thursday walk-through. We truly get to know the drivers well, but keeping it fresh comes with the sport itself and its different venues.  Each track seems to have a different twist to it, whether it’s a mile-and-a-half superspeedway or a short track.  So, it does stay fresh but it allows us to dig in and get to know the drivers a bit more.  The cool part about this sport is the access and ability to be able to talk to them two minutes after they get out of the car, whether they like it or not in that particular moment.  The access is what’s so engaging and fun to watch in this sport, and you don’t get than in any other sport.”

--Barry Landis, FOX NASCAR race producer

FOX SPORTS: How do you make the daily rotation of Cup Series drivers work on NASCAR RACE HUB?

“It’s key to make the drivers feel comfortable. We give them a lot of feedback.  These drivers are really invested in how they perform on television, and there are numerous conversations about how they are doing.  Adam (Alexander) and Shannon (Spake) play a huge role in making them feel welcome.  That allows us to get information from them and make them comfortable enough to share with their insights and the viewers.”

--Lindsey Mandia, NASCAR RACE HUB coordinating producer

FOX SPORTS: What is the relationship like between you guys and the Race Hub driver analysts?

“The show has a different feel every day because there are different people sitting at the table presenting different ideas.  It is ever-changing, and as a result, has a different dynamic every day when we go on the air at 6:00 PM. It’s building those relationships with the drivers in the hall or the makeup room, away from the track.”

--Shannon Spake

FOX SPORTS: What are the challenges of having a different driver in the NASCAR RACE HUB studio each day?

“By having fresh faces in the Hub studio every day, you get new ideas and new thought processes from every angle.  That scenario creates a new energy for Shannon (Spake) and me.  It’s never stale in here, and it forces us to make sure we are on our A-game.  All of those are factors to the huge success of NASCAR Race Hub. We are getting the true stars of the sport in our studio on a regular basis.  It’s unprecedented not only in NASCAR but across all sports programming.”

--Adam Alexander

FOX Sports PR

Speedway Digest Staff

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