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NASCAR on NBC podcast, Episode II: Steve Letarte

steve letarte 2014 getty

In the second episode of the NASCAR on NBC podcast, analyst Steve Letare puts his insightful sheen on myriad topics – many from the perspective of former crew chief.

With Tony Stewart out indefinitely because of a fractured back in an ATV accident, Letarte offers a unique view of whether drivers should be restricted from extracurricular activity.

“The most dangerous thing these guys do is their job on Sunday,” Letarte said. “You can do a lot of simple things dangerously. They were having a good time, and it was just an unfortunate circumstance. That’s reality. That’s life.”

But Letarte does concede that team executives responsible for multimillion-dollar sponsorships “are going to have to step in and put in some boundaries on these contracts. That’s a murky place to be, but I don’t think there’s any other way to do it.”

Other topics covered in the podcast:

--Explaining why Stewart’s injury actually removes pressure from novice crew chief Mike Bugarewicz. “I think he’d much rather have the stress, but I think he’s going to sleep better at Daytona unfortunately because he knows he doesn’t have superstar Tony Stewart behind the wheel,” Letarte said

--How losing a driver can be an enormous strain well beyond just performance in the car. Letarte didn’t have Dale Earnhardt Jr. for two races because of a concussion in 2012. “The hardest part is you’ve lost your partner in crime,” he said.

--Why Stewart might benefit from being able to return to the track before he’s cleared to race.

--Letarte’s view of the 2016 rules offering lower downforce.

--The areas where he wants to improve as an announcer in his second year and the knack he has for translating NACAR into English.

--What the hardest part was last season about not being a crew chief for the first time in a decade.

You can listen to the podcast by clicking below or download and subscribe to it on iTunes by clicking here.

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