On Sunday, Mike Joy leads the FOX NASCAR booth from Sonoma with analysis from NASCAR Hall of Famer Darrell Waltrip and former crew chief Larry McReynolds. Covering pit road are Jamie Little, Chris Neville, Vince Welch and Matt Yocum. Chris Myers hosts the network’s coverage alongside analyst Michael Waltrip. Kicking off Sunday’s coverage is a 90-minute edition of NASCAR RACEDAY at 11:30 AM ET on FOX Sports 1.
Kurt Busch took the checkered flag for his second win of the season two weeks ago at Michigan in a race cut short by persistent periods of rain. Busch, Martin Truex Jr.,Jimmie Johnson, Carl Edwards, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Denny Hamlin, defending champion Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth, Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano have locked up spots in the NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup via wins in the season’s first 15 races.
Note: FOX Sports continues through the remainder of the year with live, exclusive coverage of the entire NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES season. In addition, NASCAR RACE HUB airs daily on FOX Sports 1, and NASCAR RACEDAY is live many weekends through the conclusion of the NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES season. FOX Sports is back in February with live coverage of the 2016 NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES and NASCAR XFINITY SERIES seasons from Daytona.
FOX Sports GO, the critically acclaimed app that provides live streaming video of FOX Sports content at home or on the go, offers live streaming of all NASCAR programming in 2015. Customers of participating video providers may access the live streams of the race through the FOX Sports GO app for iOS devices, as well as on desktops through FOXSportsGO.com. For the latest NASCAR news and information, please visit www.FOXSports.com and follow @NASCARonFOX on Twitter.
Below is the full FOX NASCAR programming schedule from Sonoma Raceway, as well as quotes from FOX NASCAR analysts Darrell Waltrip and Larry McReynolds on the week’s headlines.
LARRY MCREYNOLDS ON WHETHER SONOMA IS AS MUCH OF A WILD CARD AS A RESTRICTOR-PLATE RACE:
“Sonoma and Watkins Glen absolutely are wild cards because they are prone to produce winners who perhaps aren’t running well enough to win any other week. We have to put AJ Allmendinger in the conversation given how well he runs at road courses and the fact he won last year at Watkins Glen. Throw Clint Bowyer in there also. I’m not convinced Bowyer is running well enough right now to win at an intermediate track, but he performs well at road courses. Road-course races have changed so much over the years – in the first few years, you could count possible winners on one hand, and that was being generous. But to pick the favorite in Sonoma is no different than giving you a favorite at Daytona. There have been 10 different winners in the last 10 races at Sonoma. A few years ago, who would have thought that could happen at a road course?"
MCREYNOLDS ON WHO THE BEST ROAD RACER IN THE CUP SERIES IS:
“Martin Truex Jr. and Kurt Busch come to mind, and they just happen to have won the last two races. Given the way Truex and his team are executing this year, they’re a threat everywhere. But the one to really watch this weekend is Kurt Busch. If he hadn’t hit the stack of tires and bent the track bar mount, he probably would have won the race a couple of years ago driving the No. 51 car. Busch is a great road racer and is on a hot streak."
WALTRIP ON WHO THE BEST ROAD RACER IN THE CUP SERIES IS:
“Jeff Gordon. You can’t ignore his stats at Watkins Glen and Sonoma, where he has a combined nine wins. You’ll have to go through Gordon to win at a road course. We also have to throw AJ Allmendinger, Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski into that conversation, but Jeff Gordon is the king of the road courses in my book."
MCREYNOLDS ON WHETHER DRIVER SKILL OR PIT STRATEGY IS MORE IMPORTANT AT SONOMA:
“The driver is a huge element at any track. Especially on a road course, particularly a technical road course like Sonoma, the driver’s ability to run well is crucial. But the crew chief’s pit strategy is so important today. By no means is Carl Edwards the best road racer in the Cup Series, and by no means did crew chief Jimmy Fennig and the No. 99 team have the best car at Sonoma last year. But they had the best strategy, and it took them to Victory Lane. A team wants to make its last stop fairly early and be the first to stop before a caution comes out. Planning and executing that plan is more important than the driver’s skill set."
WALTRIP ON WHETHER DRIVER SKILL OR PIT STRATEGY IS MORE IMPORTANT AT SONOMA:
“I’ll take pit strategy at a road course over the driver nowadays. All the drivers are capable on a road course and everyone’s equipment is pretty good nowadays. Crew chiefs must have good pit strategy to win. A proficient driver is not enough. I’ll take the winning pit strategy over anything at a road course. The pressure on a crew chief to devise the perfect strategy is intense because he must commit to a certain plan and have the discipline and guts to stick with it no matter what happens, even if the caution comes out. As dumb as it may look, they’re better off to leave their driver on the track alone and not pit until their magic number comes around. Otherwise, you can’t win."
MCREYNOLDS ON WHETHER A ROAD COURSE SHOULD BE IN THE CHASE:
“That’s something I could live with or without. I’m not really passionate either way. If you put a road course in the Chase, you could make the argument every type of track the Cup Series competes at is represented in the championship. But then one could argue that with only two road course races a year, 50-percent of them would be in the Chase. That doesn’t seem right either. But if NASCAR did add a road course to the Chase, one of the mile-and-a-half tracks should give up its spot because there are so many in the Chase. Which one? All I’ll say is not Homestead or Charlotte."
NASCAR ON FOX SPORTS 1 & FOX SPORTS 2
AT SONOMA RACEWAY PROGRAMMING SCHEDULE
*All times live/Eastern unless otherwise indicated & subject to change
Friday, June 26
NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES practice (3:00-5:00 PM ET) (FS2)
NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES final practice (6:30-8:00 PM ET) (FS2)
Saturday, June 27
NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES qualifying (2:00-3:30 PM ET) (FS1)
Sunday, June 28
NASCAR RACEDAY (2:00-3:00 PM ET) (FS1)
NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES race (3:00-6:00 PM ET) (FS1)
FOX SPORTS LIVE (6:00-7:00 PM ET) (FS1)