Krista Voda to become host for NASCAR on NBC coverage next year


NBC Sports Group has announced that longtime NASCAR host and reporter Krista Voda has signed a multi-year agreement to serve as host of NBC Sports’ upcoming NASCAR Sprint Cup and XFINITY Series pre- and post-race coverage, beginning in 2015.

In addition, she will make regular appearances as host of NASCAR AMERICA on NBCSN, and take on a range of assignments across NBC Sports and NBC Olympics.

“Krista is a talented host that has established a strong connection with NASCAR viewers over the course of an already impressive career,” said NBC Sports/NBCSN executive producer Sam Flood in a statement.

“Her passion for the sport and comprehensive grasp of its stars, personalities and history will provide for an engaging and informative race day experience for the fans.”

Voda is currently a host for NASCAR Camping World Truck Series coverage on Fox Sports and recently completed her eighth year as a pit reporter for Fox’s Sprint Cup coverage. She is the first female to ever host NASCAR’s Daytona Duels and All-Star Race, and has also hosted or co-hosted every NASCAR Hall of Fame induction ceremony as well as many NASCAR awards banquets.

In addition to her extensive NASCAR work, Voda has made on-air contributions to coverage of many other sports including the National Football League, Major League Baseball’s post-season, the Bowl Championship Series, the Kentucky Derby, multiple NCAA men’s basketball tournaments, and the PGA Championship.

When she joins NBC Sports in 2015, it will mark Voda’s 14th consecutive season of covering NASCAR on network television.

“This role is a dream opportunity for me and I’m honored to be a part of NBC’s return to NASCAR,” said Voda. “We say it often, but it’s true: NASCAR is more than a sport, it’s a community. I’ve been blessed, for many years, to stand alongside colleagues who I also consider dear friends. I’m looking forward to this new chapter and the chance to share my knowledge and enthusiasm for storytelling.”

Starting next summer, NBCUniversal will begin a 10-year deal to broadcast annually the final 20 Sprint Cup races, final 19 XFINITY races, select NASCAR regional/touring series events, and other live content. Seven of the 20 Cup races and four of the 19 XFINITY races will air on NBC, while 13 Cup races and 15 XFINITY races will air on NBCSN.

Valtteri Bottas takes pole position for season-opening Austrian GP

Leonhard Foeger/Pool via Getty Images
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SPIELBERG, Austria — Valtteri Bottas upstaged Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton to take pole position Saturday for the Formula One Austrian GP.

The Finnish driver edged out the world champion by 0.012 seconds to claim the top spot for the season opener at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg. He clenched his fist as he climbed out of his car and shared a hug with Hamilton.

“It’s something special when you push the car to the limit,” said Bottas, who is chasing an eighth career win. “Feels so good. It’s very impressive (from the team).”

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was third, and Lando Norris gave McLaren a boost by finishing fourth. Verstappen has won the past two years here, including 2019 when he started third behind Hamilton and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.

“It’s going to be interesting quite a bit warmer tomorrow and hopefully this will play to our advantage,” Verstappen said. “Today, Mercedes was on a different level, unfortunately. Last year we were also a little bit off in qualifying so I expect we will be a bit better in the race.”

Bottas had the leading time when drivers embarked on their final laps and beat his own mark before sliding off the track into the gravel.

Hamilton was chasing a record-extending 89th career pole. He was ahead but then dropped off slightly as Bottas secured a 12th career pole.

“Great job by Valtteri. It’s a great start to the season,” Hamilton said. “We show year on year that we continue to be the best team. We’re open-minded … constantly learning from each other and pushing the boundaries.”

Ferrari struggled for speed, with Leclerc nearly one second behind in seventh and Sebastian Vettel failing to make it into the third and final part of qualifying, known as Q3. He starts the race from 11th on the grid.

Vettel is leaving Ferrari at the end of the season with his future in F1 uncertain.

Earlier, Hamilton posted the fastest time in morning practice. The 35-year-old British driver was also quickest in both sessions on Friday.

Midway through third practice, F1 newcomer Nicholas Latifi misjudged the exit of a turn and spun his Williams car into a protective tire wall.