Fox Sports will use drivers to call NASCR Xfinity race
CONCORD, N.C. (AP) Fox Sports will use an on-air team comprised entirely of active NASCAR drivers to call the June 10 Xfinity Series race at Pocono.
Fox Sports believes it will be the first time a nationally televised live sporting event will feature a complete on-air team of athletes still competing in that sport.
Kevin Harvick will be the play-by-play announcer, alongside analysts Joey Logano and Clint Bowyer. Ryan Blaney, Erik Jones and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will cover pit road. Danica Patrick and Denny Hamlin will host coverage from the "Hollywood Hotel" mobile studio.
"I think this is going to be really cool," Patrick said. "I don't quite know what I'm in for, but I'm sure it's going to be more of a challenge than whatever else I'll be doing that day, but I'm up to the challenge."
Harvick, Bowyer, Hamlin, Logano and Patrick have been guest analysts for Xfinity Series races since the network began rotating prominent Cup drivers in the booth in 2015. Blaney and Stenhouse have contributed as driver analysts on Fox Sports One's daily news program.
Jones will be making his debut as part of a national race broadcast.
"If it feels exactly (the) same as a normal race, then we've done something wrong," Fox Sports vice president Jacob Ullman said Friday. "It's supposed to be fun. It's supposed to be more of a conversation."
Fox chose Pocono because the race is one of the Xfinity events that will be televised on network television, and they picked Harvick as the lead because he has spent the most time in a booth as an analyst for Xfinity and Truck races.
Harvick then picked Logano and Bowyer to join him. All the NASCAR drivers will have the regular announcers shadowing them and able to help.
"We know we're going to screw up. They know we're going to screw up. And from a booth standpoint, the three of us is not going to be a traditional booth, where it's me leading the show," Harvick said. "It's going to be all three of us taking charge, saying what we see and doing what we think is right during that particular time."
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Updated May 19, 2017