Outside the Time Warner Center, where temperatures in New York City would reach the mid 90s, Kyle Petty was asked how the weather stacked up with what he's experienced down on pit row. "It's just as hot in the pits," he said. "There's asphalt there, too."
TNT's NASCAR analyst on June 9 was standing in front of the Ultimate Tailgating Vehicle, sponsored by Coors Light, which was parked promotionally outside Time Warner headquarters, as the "drama" network was revving up its summer series coverage of the stock car sport.
Passers-by and NASCAR fans could register to win the vehicle, which will be given away after TNT concludes its six weeks of coverage, a schedule includes the inaugural NASCAR Sprint Cup series race at Kentucky Speedway on July 9 in primetime.
Petty is confident that TNT will maintain the ratings heat Fox turned up during its presentation of the first 13 races of the Sprint Cup series, which a hit a three-year high averaging 8.6 million. According to Nielsen, that marked a 9% jump from last season for the biggest one-year audience increase for NASCAR on Fox.
"People aren't tuning in for the announcers. It's been a great season on the track. There have been 13 races with seven/eight winners, so viewers have seen some exciting action, and I'm sure that's going to continue with TNT's schedule," he said.
Following the June 12 start in Pocono, TNT will drive five more consecutive weeks of exclusive NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with coverage of competitions in Michigan (June 19), Sonoma (June 26), Daytona (primetime on July 2), Kentucky and Loudon (July 17).
In the meantime, the Ultimate Tailgating Vehicle will be setting up shop in conjunction with the race stops. The UTV features a working kitchen with refrigerator, kegerator and microwave, restroom and shower. It also has an extended sleeping quarter, and is equipped with a bar, grill and cooler, while featuring an inside satellite radio, wifi and internet-ready TV and satellite dish.
"It's everything you'd want to take to a baseball or football stadium, or to the track for some serious tailgating" said Petty, also pointing out the value of the observation deck on top of the vehicle and its inside and outside beer taps.
"They can be helpful on days like this," he said.