Two of the biggest stars in the NASCAR Cup Series have joined forces with Xfinity to deliver memorable experiences to racing fans. Kevin Harvick and Alex Bowman are both supporting the free Xfinity Rewards program, which customers can use to win prizes spread across NASCAR, the NFL, and the entertainment industry.
Speaking with Heavy prior to the playoff race at Bristol Motor Speedway, Harvick and Bowman explained why they partnered with Xfinity. They both noted that free giveaways are fun for the fans, especially when the prizes involve the Xfinity 500 at Martinsville or gaining access to radio communications between the drivers and their crew chiefs. Bowman, in particular, joked about how the discussions with crew chief Greg Ives can be pretty entertaining for outsiders.
“From the NASCAR side of things, it really allows you to watch the race with a different experience by you know, seeing some of the in-car cameras and listening to some of the in-car audio from the driver, and the teams and the spotters and crew chiefs, and everybody involved in what’s going on and see some of the data that goes along with the car,” Harvick told Heavy during the interview session.
“If you don’t like racing, you can get dollar movies and, you know, discounts on going to Universal theme parks or maybe win some tickets to Jimmy Fallon or NFL games. The list just goes on and on.”
NASCAR Provides Unique Access for Race Fans
Unlike the other big sports, NASCAR provides unique access for its fans. They can pay for a subscription that lets them listen in as drivers communicate with spotters and crew chiefs. Xfinity Rewards members can do so for free. This access does not happen in other sports. NFL fans can’t tune in and hear Mike Tomlin communicate with Ben Roethlisberger during a Pittsburgh Steelers game.
Having this extra access provides a considerable amount of insight to the fans. They can listen in on conversations and learn about pit strategy, tire wear, conserving fuel, and other aspects of winning a race. They can also occasionally hear drivers threaten to knock each other’s teeth out after an on-track incident.
“When you look at NASCAR in general, and you look at all the things that you can pay attention to and kind of get the insight into, during the race, it really opens a lot of people’s eyes,” Harvick continued. “There’s two things that open people’s eyes. And they’re two different experiences.
“One is watching the race in person. It’s never what people expected to be. And the second thing is when you’re watching the race. You can follow your driver and you can have all this insight into being able to view the race. Having all this information, it just changes the experience.”
Harvick & Bowman Will First Fight to Reach the Round of 12
While fans strive to win prizes through the Xfinity Rewards program, they will also watch Harvick and Bowman pursue similar goals. Both drivers are alive in the playoffs, but they will have to make positive moves during the cutoff race at Bristol Motor Speedway to move on to the Round of 12.
Harvick is currently 25 points above the cutline with one race remaining in the Round of 16. Bowman sits in a tie with Kurt Busch for the final spot in the Round of 12. However, he currently is technically below the 2004 Cup Series champion based on posting a best finish of 12th in the first two playoff races while Busch finished sixth at Darlington.
Bowman will fight for the win or enough points to move on to the next round at a track where he has 10 previous starts with two top-10s and a fifth-place finish in 2018. He will start on the sixth row, next to another bubble driver in Aric Almirola.
“I’m looking forward to [Bristol]” Bowman told Heavy. “We have every opportunity to go be strong there, be successful, and make the next round. Everyone that we are racing there on the cutoff line is super good at Bristol. It’s most of their best tracks, so it’s not going to be easy by any means. But I’m confident that Greg and I can go there, succeed, and transfer to the next round.”
Bowman and Harvick will head to Bristol Motor Speedway for the final Round of 16 race on Saturday, Sept. 18. The 500-lap Cup Series race will take place at 7:30 p.m. ET with NBC Sports providing coverage of all of the action.
“With Xfinity Rewards, customers can unlock access to a world of unforgettable entertainment experiences and simple delights that only Comcast NBCUniversal can make possible. Members enjoy special perks like NASCAR Scanner, allowing them to listen to the radio in-car from their favorite driver, and sweepstakes to win trips to the Xfinity 500 at Martinsville Speedway and NASCAR Championship Weekend in Phoenix.”