NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Jarrett to join NASCAR coverage on NBC, NBCSN

6 Comments

— Three-Time Daytona 500 Champion to Join Krista Voda and Kyle Petty During Pre- and Post-race Coverage, and Contribute to NASCAR AMERICA on NBCSN

NBC Sports Group has reached an agreement with 1999 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion and 2014 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Dale Jarrett, who will serve as a pre- and post-race analyst during live coverage of select NASCAR Sprint Cup and NASCAR XFINITY Series racing on NBC and NBCSN.

Jarrett, a three-time Daytona 500 winner, will be among the first to welcome fans to NBC Sports’ 10-year chapter as the home of NASCAR’s championship run when he, Krista Voda and Kyle Petty open up NBC’s live pre-race coverage from Daytona International Speedway this 4th of July weekend.

In addition to handling pre- and post-race coverage, Jarrett will also serve as a booth analyst during select NASCAR XFINITY Series races and contribute to NASCAR AMERICA on NBCSN.

“We are excited to welcome Dale and his Hall of Fame credentials to our NASCAR broadcast team,” said Sam Flood, Executive Producer, NBC Sports and NBCSN.  “As a former Champion, his experience and insights will help us set the stage and break down key races throughout the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.”

The appointment of Jarrett follows previous NBC Sports NASCAR on-air announcements for analysts Jeff BurtonSteve Letarte and Kyle Petty, race announcer Rick Allen, pre- and post-race host Krista Voda, and reporters Marty Snider, Kelli Stavast, Mike Massaro, Dave Burns and Rutledge Wood.

“I’m very pleased and excited to be a part of NBC Sports and their NASCAR coverage,” said Jarrett. “NBC has assembled an All-Star crew for their coverage, and I’m honored to be a part of this group that will bring NASCAR fans inside the sport we all love.”

Jarrett grew up in and around the sport of NASCAR, eventually turning down a golf scholarship from the University of South Carolina in order to follow in the footsteps of his iconic father, Ned Jarrett, a two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion.

The Newton-Conover, N.C., native earned his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory in August 1991 at Michigan International Speedway in a car owned by the famed Wood Brothers.

In the 10 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series seasons that spanned from 1993-2002, Dale achieved 29 of his 32 victories, three Daytona 500 wins, a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship in 1999, and seven seasons among the Top-5 in points. Jarrett raced in his final full season of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition in 2007.

He made his final appearance behind the wheel in the 2008 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Challenge race, and was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2014.  Jarrett joined ESPN full time in 2008, and quickly took over the reins as their lead NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing analyst, a position he held for the last seven seasons.

On July 23, 2013, NASCAR and NBC Sports Group reached a comprehensive agreement that grants NBCUniversal exclusive rights to the final 20 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, final 19 NASCAR XFINITY Series events, select NASCAR Regional & Touring Series events and other live content, beginning this coming 4th of July weekend from Daytona International Speedway.

With this partnership, NBC’s 20 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race schedule includes a designation as the exclusive home to the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, when the elite national series races through its final 10 events of the season. The Chase culminates with the season-ending championship event, which returns to network television in 2015 for the first time since 2009. Of NBC Sports Group’s 20 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events, seven will be carried on NBC annually, with 13 airing on NBCSN. Four of NBC Sports Group’s 19 NASCAR XFINITY Series races will air on NBC, with 15 airing on NBCSN.

NASCAR AMERICA premiered in February 2014, following Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s Daytona 500 victory and NBC Sports Group’s multi-platform coverage of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi. The weekday 30-minute news and highlights program is dedicated to America’s fascination with speed and stock car racing, and features regular appearances by NBC Sports’ NASCAR experts, as well as a rotation of guest analysts.

Attention NASCAR teams: IMSA drivers available for Daytona!

Ker Robertson/Getty Images
Leave a comment

NASCAR will be making its debut on the Daytona International Speedway road course next month, and there’s a big fan who’d like to join the historic weekend.

This fan actually has impressive credentials, too — a few thousand laps around the 12-turn, 3.56-mile layout that annually plays host to the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January.

In 2014, the winning GTLM team in the sports car endurance classic included IMSA Porsche driver Nick Tandy, who rabidly has followed NASCAR for more than 30 years since growing up in England.

So why not try racing NASCAR? Especially because Tandy has the weekend of Aug. 14-16 free.

He’s not picky, either — offering up his services on Twitter (as well as those of Porsche teammate Earl Bamber) for an ARCA, Xfinity, trucks or Cup ride.

Tandy’s affinity for American stock-car racing runs deep.

His first trip to the World Center of Racing was as a fan attending the 50th running of the Daytona 500 on Feb. 17, 2008. During Rolex testing in January, Tandy, 35, said he hadn’t missed a Cup race on TV in 15 years.

Among his favorite NASCAR drivers: the Earnhardts, Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch. When IMSA ran the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course in 2014, Tandy stayed a few extra days at the Brickyard and bought Kyle Busch gear for himself and his children.

He briefly took the stage during a NASCAR weekend last October. After IMSA’s season finale at Road Atlanta, Tandy made a few demonstration laps and a burnout in his No. 911 Porsche before the Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway.

He also has some experience in stock cars, having raced Modified-type grass-roots series on England’s quarter-mile short tracks.

Couple that with a Daytona road course record that includes two consecutive podium class finishes (including last Saturday) and a sports car resume with 13 IMSA victories and an overall win in the 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans … and maybe a NASCAR team should take a look.

And Tandy isn’t the only IMSA driver who likely would be available.

Corvette driver Jordan Taylor, who won the 2017 Rolex 24 overall title with Jeff Gordon as a teammate (and the inspiration for his Rodney Sandstrom persona), also tweeted his availability for the weekend on the high banks.

Sports car veteran Andy Lally, a GTD driver with multiple class wins in the Rolex 24 as well as 38 Cup starts (he was the 2011 rookie of the season in NASCAR’s premier series), also hung out his shingle.

There also is AIM Vasser Sullivan’s Jack Hawksworth (who just won at Daytona last Saturday), the Englishman who teamed with Kyle Busch at the Rolex 24 in January and made an Xfinity start at Mid-Ohio last year with Joe Gibbs Racing.

Many sports car drivers (such as Taylor) already live in Florida, and many are hunkering down in the Sunshine State with IMSA returning to action at Daytona last week and Sebring International Raceway next week. Because of COVID-19-related travel concerns and restrictions, several IMSA stars who live outside the country are riding out the pandemic within a few hours of Daytona with nothing to do.

Why not a weekend at the World Center of Racing?

Over the years, scads of “road-course ringers” (including some Formula One veterans) have tried their hands in stock cars at Sonoma Raceway and Watkins Glen International.

How about considering the many sports car drivers who already have reached victory lane at Daytona by making a few right-hand turns, too?