2015 Lowe's Sponsor Schedule:
Sprint Unlimited, 2/14, Lowe's
Daytona, 2/22, Lowe's
Atlanta, 3/1, Lowe's
Las Vegas, 3/8, Kobalt Tools
Phoenix, 3/15, Lowe's
Auto Club, 3/22, TBA
Martinsville, 3/29, Lowe's
Texas, 4/11, TBA
Bristol, 4/19, Lowe's
Richmond, 4/25, TBA
Talladega, 5/3, Lowe's
Kansas, 5/9, Lowe's
Charlotte, All-Star Race, 5/16, TBA
Charlotte, 5/24, TBA
Dover, 5/31, TBA
Pocono, 6/7, TBA
Michigan, 6/14, Kobalt Tools
Sonoma, 6/28, TBA
Daytona, 7/5, TBA
Kentucky, 7/11, TBA
New Hampshire, 7/19, Lowe's
Indianapolis, 7/26, Lowe's
Pocono, 8/2, Lowe's
Watkins Glen, 8/9, Lowe's
Michigan, 8/16, Lowe's
Bristol, 8/22, TBA
Darlington, 9/6, Kobalt Tools
Richmond, 9/12, Lowe's
Chicago, 9/20, Lowe's
New Hampshire, 9/27, TBA
Dover, 10/4, Lowe's
Charlotte, 10/10, TBA
Kansas, 10/18, Lowe's
Talladega, 10/25, Lowe's
Martinsville, 11/1, Kobalt Tools
Texas, 11/8, Lowe's
Phoenix, 11/15, TBA
Homestead, 11/22, Lowe's
There are four race tracks the Sprint Cup Series currently races at that #48-Jimmie Johnson has not won a Sprint Cup race at:
Kentucky: 0 for 4 with a best finish of 3rd in 7/2011
Watkins Glen: 0 for 13 with a best finish of 3rd in 8/2007 and 8/2012
Chicago: 0 for 14 with a best finish of 2nd in 7/2004, 7/2008 & 9/2012
Homestead: 0 for 14 with a best finish of 2nd in 11/2004 & 11/2010
plus Johnson ran five races at Rockingham Speedway and didn't win there.
On June 15th, 2014, after 24 tries, Johnson won at Michigan.(11-16-2014)
Contract Status: Driver: 2015: Sponsor: 2015; Crew Chief: 2015
Jimmie Johnson wins at Atlanta: #48-Jimmie Johnson won the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway for his 1st win of the season, 4th win at Atlanta and his 71st career win.
#4-Harvick finished 2nd (again) followed by #88-Earnhardt Jr., #22-Logano, #20-Kenseth, #78-Truex Jr., #47-Allmendinger, #55-Moffitt (best career finish), #2-Keselowski and #31-Newman.
Harvick has now either won or finished 2nd in five consecutive races and led the most laps of the race with 115.
Pole winner #22-Logano led much of the first part of the race, leading 84 laps, finishing 4th.
There were 28 lead changes among 12 drivers. There were 10 cautions for 54 yellow flag laps with a nine minute red flag with 19 laps to go after a big wreck..
The average speed was 131.078 mph.
See unofficial race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Unofficial Race Results page (pdf) and check out the Penalty Report (pdf) and Lap Summary Report (pdf).
See OFFICIAL race results & points standings on the Official Race & Points Report (pdf).(3-1/2-2015)
Johnson wins Budweiser Duel 2: #48-Jimmie Johnson won the second Budweiser Duel qualifying race for the Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway for his 2nd career Duel win. #18-Busch finished 2nd followed by #19-Edwards, #16-Biffle, #78-Truex Jr., #21-Blaney, #44-Soresnon, #66-Wallace #51-Allgaier and #10-Patrick.
There was a late race accident when #11-Hamlin tapped #10-Patrick, causing the #10 to spin collecting #32-Labonte and #62-Scott. Patrick was able to get back on track and race her way into the Daytona 500, but Scott failed to make the race and Labonte had to use a past champions provisional.
Four drivers deep in 2013 owners points or low qualifying speed, raced into the Daytona 500: #21-Blaney (6th), #44-Sorenson(7th), #51-Allgaier(8th), #66-Wallace(9th), #10-Patrick(10th), #38-Gilliland(13th) and #34-Ragan(14th). #32-Bobby Labonte used the past champions provisional to make the race.
Missing the Daytona 500: #7-Bowman, #26-Jeb Burton, #29-Marks, #30-Hornaday, #62-Scott & #98-Wise.
There were 3 cautions for 12 yellow flag laps. There were 7 lead changes among 5 drivers. The average speed was 144.724mph.
See race results on the Budwesier Duel 1 Race Results page (pdf).(2-19-2015)
NASCAR's Most Valuable Teams: NASCAR's most valuable team, Hendrick Motorsports, is now worth $350 million, and it boasts the sport's most valuable sponsorship portfolio. Last year the team collected nearly $120 million from sponsors alone, while only two other teams generated that much in total revenue. The biggest source of that earning power is the four stars that Hendrick has behind the wheel: #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., #24-Jeff Gordon, #48-Jimmie Johnson and #5-Kasey Kahne.
Second behind Hendrick and closing the gap is Joe Gibbs Racing, up 18% to a value of $201 million this year. Gibbs has maintained strong relationships with companies like FedEx, Dollar General and Mars, which sponsors Kyle Busch's famous M&Ms car. And in 2015 the driver lineup of #18-Kyle Busch, #11-Denny Hamlin and #20-Matt Kenseth will be joined by #19-Carl Edwards as Gibbs expands to four cars. It will be only the third team to do so this year, joining Hendrick and Stewart-Haas, which went to four last season.
And Stewart-Haas, now at a value of $186 million, is third on the list. That 26% surge in value over last year should be little surprise to fans of the sport. The team has been consistently improving, and revenue has climbed from $68 million in 2010 to $120 million last year. The most recent increase was thanks in large part to Kevin Harvick, who joined the team last year. Harvick not only brought a 22-race sponsorship with Budweiser over from Richard Childress Racing - last year the team ranked second in total sponsorship income with around $87 million - but he also then won the 2014 Sprint Cup in the premier of NASCAR's new Chase format. Harvick's stellar season was worth $12.8 million in total winnings; only one other driver managed to break $9 million.(see full story and list at Forbes.com)(2-19-2015)
Pit coach Greg Morin stepping down at HMS: The Hendrick Motorsports athletic department has gone through some turnover in the past few months and now they have another obstacle to get through. Coach Greg Morin, coach of the #48 and #88 teams, has decided to pursue other interests outside of racing and will be leaving the team at the end of January. Early in the year, pit coach Lance Munksgard also left HMS to pursue a career outside of racing. Along with both coaches being gone, HMS lost four different crew members to Joe Gibbs Racing at the end of the 2014 season. See what Morin had to say at Pit Talks.(1-26-2015)
Hendrick buys limited-edition BMW at Barrett-Jackson: NASCAR team owner and inveterate car collector Rick Hendrick is at it again. Thursday night at the Barrett-Jackson Collector-Car Auction in Scottsdale, Ariz., Hendrick paid $700,000 for a special 30th Jahre -- German for "year" -- Anniversary Edition 2014 BMW M5 sedan, with all proceeds going to the BMW Car Club of America Foundation, which helps train young drivers. The car was one of just 30 imported in to the U.S. market, and one of just 300 produced worldwide. The $700,000 hammer price was the high sale of the auction so far. And it hauls asphalt, too, thanks to a 600-horsepower engine, which propels it from zero to 60 miles per hour in just 3.9 seconds. The consignor described this car as "the last unsold example in this country" and "the most powerful production BMW ever." Hendrick said the car will join the more than 200 cars in his Concord, N.C., museum. In fact, it will be parked next to a BMW i8 hybrid supercar in the same color. "We were fortunate enough to get the i8 in this color," said Hendrick. "This baby's going to go right beside the i8 in the museum. The only miles it's going to get are in the truck (sending it from Arizona to North Carolina.)"(FoxSports)(1-17-2014)
Johnson, Wise, Cassill complete triathlon: The casual fan probably missed him. He emerged from the ocean after a long swim around 7:30am wearing a light blue cap and a wet suit. Two-and-a-half hours later, he finished a bike ride on Vanderbilt Beach Road, near the shore, with a dark helmet and sunglasses. And when the race had run its course, at the finish line, he looked like everyone else looked: exhausted. Competing in the HITS Triathlon Series in Naples, Florida on Saturday, Jimmie Johnson mostly kept his head down. To spectators, Johnson may have been just another swimmer, biker and runner, perhaps distinguishable by his close-kept beard or the noticeable bags under his eyes. No matter the awareness of the fans, this was a significant day for Johnson. For the first time, he completed a half triathlon - a 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike ride and 13.1-mile run. He finished in 4 hours and 42 minutes, in 15th place among the men [and 2nd in his age group]. In a brief post-race interview with the Daily News, Johnson said he wanted to finish about 10 minutes faster, but he missed his first turn during his bike ride and pedaled about a mile in the wrong direction.
Two of Johnson's friends and fellow NASCAR drivers, Josh Wise and Landon Cassill, did the half-triathlon with Johnson. Colleen Cassill, Landon's mother, said the drivers' all participated because "they're competitive people all the way around."(Naples Daily News)
Josh Wise finished in 4:26:34, good enough for 1st in his age ground and 6th overall. Cassill completed the race in 4:30:13, 9th place overall and first in his age group.(1-11-2015)
Johnson and Harvick once camped out at 'Camp Hornaday': The last vestige of it rests in Lindy Hornaday's office, across the street from the house where it became a peculiar NASCAR artifact. One 17 years in the making. The solitary remaining component of a hard-used and well-worn sectional couch from Ron and Lindy Hornaday's former Lake Norman home is the River Styx and "George Washington Slept Here" all at once. But more importantly it symbolizes the opportunity and the friendship the Hornadays afforded not only to young race car drivers named Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick in 1997, but the scores of other wayfaring dreamers the former Truck series champion and his wife have made in the place the racing community fondly refers to as Camp Hornaday.
That Johnson, a six-time Sprint Cup champion, and Harvick, newly minted with his first title at NASCAR's highest level in November, at one point lounged, slept or passed out on that couch has made it a talisman in black leather for the latest generation of drivers and mechanics with NASCAR ambitions that followed them in the Hornadays' home. Its newest layer of historic patina has made it a source of amusement for its owners. And perhaps one day, a resident of the Hall of Fame in Charlotte. "They've made our couch really famous because now everybody wants to sleep on it," Lindy Hornaday said with a laugh. "I talked to [historian] Buz [McKim] from the Hall of Fame. He was coming to my house to get some stuff of Ron's and I was teasing him about the couch. He said, 'You know we really ought to start thinking about that couch.'"
Simply put, Ron and Lindy Hornaday love people. They must. They better. That's the only explanation for how they not only endured by enjoying life in a 969-square-foot home in California with two kids, three guests, three dogs, two birds, a goat, a pig, a rabbit and numerous cats, all with one bathroom, before they relocated to North Carolina to better pursue Ron's racing career in the 1990s. When they migrated to Charlotte's suburbs in Mooresville and bought a comparatively spacious 2,400-square-foot spread on a cove on Lake Norman, Ron Hornaday Jr. could more easily indulge the habit of inviting folks out to visit, lounge or bunk down. And he did. "Hornaday's place was always a place where everybody felt like they had a connection to him," Harvick said. Now living across the street, with more space and a bigger dock, there's even more room for the Hornadays to connect. "Chasing money," Hornaday said, for the first time in his career and without solid plans to race in the NASCAR Truck series this season, he busies himself with other racing ventures. His wife has opened her own business, and although they still take in guests, they miss the din of the heyday of Camp Hornaday. Though Lindy Hornaday has occasionally scolded her husband, Ron said, for his "revolving door" of a liberal guest policy, the denizens of their commune credit her equally with fostering a family environment that keeps old friends returning for years, grilling out and telling stories after races, pulling up their boats at the dock on weekends just to see who will stop by. "I love Ron, but Lindy's the glue, the real champion of that house," Johnson said.
Johnson came to camp as a 21-year-old off-road racer from El Cajon, California, seeking his next career arc, "working any angle I could," he said, before Hendrick Motorsports agreed to fund a dirt Late Model car for him. He'd previously met Hornaday at a Chevrolet autograph session in Detroit, was invited -- of course -- to bunk at the lake if he decided to relocate to NASCAR's hub, and bought a one-way ticket for Charlotte once the Hendrick offer came. Johnson stayed with the Hornadays for roughly four months in 1997 before they helped him find his first house. Having won the first of four Truck championships in 1996 -- his most recent in 2009 with Harvick's now-defunct team -- Hornaday wielded the cachet to make connections for both of the young Californians. Hornaday's endorsement had weight as Richard Childress moved to sign Harvick to his Nationwide program. Lindy still calls them "her boys" and coos as much about how they have grown into doting fathers as about them being champions of NASCAR's top series.(see full article at ESPN.com)(12-31-2014)
Kenseth, Johnson appear in new Gatorade ad: In 2015, Gatorade is celebrating its 50th anniversary and kicked off the celebration on Christmas Day with the debut of its new "50" television commercial. The ad celebrates five decades of fueling champions through a montage of 50 iconic sports moments ingrained in the brand and includes athletes like Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth and Cam Newton among many others. Each moment corresponds with a number relevant to Gatorade.(Charlotte Observer)(12-27-2014)
Johnson helps Carolina Panthers 'Keep Pounding': Keep pounding. It's the motto of the Carolina Panthers, and it's what six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson did beore Sunday's game at Bank of America Stadium. Johnson was given the honor of striking the Keep Pounding drum to kick off Sunday's contest. It's a tradition before Panthers games that has been taken up by current and former players, Make a Wish kids, military personnel, Olympic athletes and now Johnson. Johnson's daughter, Evie, even got a chance to hit the drum after posing for a photo with the Panthers cheerleaders, the TopCats.(Hendrick Motorsports)(12-16-2014)
2014 Most Mentioned Drivers: According to Joyce Julius, a company that tracks media mentions for sport sponsors, Kevin Harvick was the most-mentioned NASCAR driver on TV this year, but Jeff Gordon grabbed the most interview time. The top 10:
#4-Kevin Harvick, 54 interviews, time of 53:12, 5,740 media mentions
#24-Jeff Gordon, 47 interviews, time of 1:00:33, 5,094 media mentions
#48-Jimmie Johnson, 47 interviews, time of 42:41, 4,830 media mentions
#2-Brad Keselowski, 45 interviews, time of 41:30, 4,164 media mentions
#22-Joey Logano, 40 interviews, time of 43:00, 3,482 media mentions
#88-Dale Earnhardt, Jr., 50 interviews, time of 56:32, 3,311 media mentions
#20-Matt Kenseth, 40 interviews, time of 36:16, 2,892 media mentions
#11-Denny Hamlin, 37 interviews, time of 39:29, 2,768 media mentions
#18-Kyle Busch, 31 interviews, time of 24:27, 2,371 media mentions
#5-Kasey Kahne, 25 interviews, time of 24:13, 1,889 media mentions
Statistics reflect all live race telecasts and replays of the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. (Joyce Julius)(12-1-2014)
What are Sprint Cup plans for Chase Elliott? In a Thursday interview on SiriusXM Satellite Radio's NASCAR channel, Hendrick Motorsports general manager Doug Duchardt said the team planned to field a car for Chase Elliott in a handful of Sprint Cup races next season under the guidance of Kenny Francis (who was promoted Wednesday from crew chief of the #5 to vehicle technical director by Hendrick). Duchardt didn't speculate further on the future for Elliott. The 18-year-old son of NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott will run the rebranded Xfinity Series next year for JRM. "We'll see what the right steps are for the future, but right now, we're just going to take 2015 and take a look at how things are progressing," Duchardt said. "It's like having a prospect in Triple A batting .380 and when's he going to come up to the club. I get it. But we'll work on that and see where that all heads. Right now, he'll run the NAPA Camaro in '15, and we'll run some Cup races and see where that leads us. I understand it's part of the fun and speculation of what could or should be done. I completely understand it. We're going to try to make sure we put him in the best position to be successful when he does come here full time."
Hendrick also has signed Jimmie Johnson through next season. At a Thursday event to announce more than $500,000 in education grants from his foundation, the six-time series champion indicated he hoped to have an extension soon and said he had been unaware of Kahne's deal. "That's good news for Kasey," he said. Asked if Elliott was in line for his #48, Johnson said with a laugh, "No. I think there's maybe somebody else in line to retire before I do."(USA Today)(11-21-2014)
Jimmie Johnson Foundation announces grants: Six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Jimmie Johnson and his wife Chandra, announced the recipients of the 2014 Jimmie Johnson Foundation/Lowe's Toolbox for Education Champions Grants. The grants, which are awarded to K-12 public and charter schools in Chandra and Jimmie Johnson's respective hometowns of Muskogee, Oklahoma, El Cajon, California, and where they currently reside in Charlotte, North Carolina, totaled $556,623. The announcement took place at Garinger High School. Garinger is one of five schools in the Charlotte area to receive a Champions Grant. Students and staff from the five local schools were in attendance as the Johnsons made the announcement on behalf of the Foundation and program partner Lowe's. The Johnsons shared that these schools, along with seven others from Muskogee and the San Diego area, have been selected to receive the grants. This year, the Jimmie Johnson Foundation/Lowe's Toolbox for Education Champions Grant awards included $257,870 toward science and technology needs, $168,316 for health and fitness activities, $80,458 toward arts programs and $49,979 toward literacy initiatives. The funded projects for 2014 range from constructing an outdoor classroom and kitchen to creating a district-wide e-library to creating a visual arts program. Several schools also received technology grants to purchase new computers. Nearly $3.7 million has been contributed through the Champions Grant program since 2009. To see a detailed list of the 2014 Champions Grant projects, visit Jimmie Johnson Foundation.(Jimmie Johnson Foundation)(11-21-2014)
Knaus faces no penalty after unauthorized use of wheel spacer: NASCAR called Chad Knaus and Hendrick Motorsports executives to its at-track offices after the season finale Sunday, but Knaus and Jimmie Johnson's #48 team will not face any penalties for what is being characterized as a misunderstanding on pit road. On a pit stop during the Ford 400, Knaus wanted to put on a wheel spacer after having a loose wheel. The NASCAR official in the pit saw it and told him not to, and Knaus had the team do it anyway. Because he disobeyed a NASCAR order, Knaus and team general manager Doug Duchardt were called to the NASCAR hauler after the race. "It's really not a big deal," NASCAR Senior Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton said. "We were just trying to clarify what went on. ... It's fine. We just wanted to clear the air and clarify everything. It's really not an issue." NASCAR allows wheel spacers but they must be "acceptable to NASCAR officials," according to the rulebook. They have a maximum diameter of seven inches and may not be less than one-sixteenths of an inch thick and must meet certain safety specifications. Pemberton said that a team should ask for permission before putting the wheel spacer on the car. It appears from the rulebook that the spacers must be approved, although Pemberton said he wouldn't get into specifics of the rule.(Sporting News)(11-16-2014)
Knaus, Johnson confirm they will be back together next season: Following #48-Jimmie Johnson's victory in Sunday's AAA Texas 500 at Texas, his longtime crew chief Chad Knaus confirmed he will be back as the leader of the #48 Hendrick Motorsports team next season. Rumors have swirled in recent weeks that Knaus might step down or head elsewhere after a disappointing 2014 season for the six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion. But Knaus said Sunday night he'll be back on the pit box next year. During his post-race press conference at Texas Motor Speedway, Knaus was asked about the rumors he might be leaving. "I haven't heard any of that stuff," Knaus said. "You write all the bad stuff, don't tell me the good stuff. No, man, I'm set. I don't foresee a change with the 48 car from a driver or crew chief standpoint in the near future. I don't foresee that happening. If it does, I'll have to be a reporter because I don't know what the hell I'm going to do after that."(FoxSports)(11-3-2014)
Johnson wins at Texas: #48-Jimmie Johnson won the AAA Texas 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway for his 4th win of the season, 4th at Texas and his 70th career win. It is the third straight November win at Texas for Johnson. The race featured two Green-White-Checkered finishes. #24-Gordon had a decent lead with 4 laps to go when #15-Bowyer smacked the wall, setting up the first G-W-C. On the first G-W-C Gordon chose the outside lane with #48-Johnson next tow him on the inside and #2-Keselowski in third. On the green flag the #24 and #48 separated a bit and the #2 went between the two cars, with #24 and #2 cars making contact, causing a tire to go down on the #24, which sent the #24 scraping the wall bring out the 13th record breaking caution. Gordon lost a lap pitting to get tires. Johnson led on the restart and kept the lead to the checkered flag. Harvick was able to pass Keselowski and take 2nd. Gordon was relegated to 29th.
#4-Harvick 2nd followed by #2-Keselowski, #18-Busch, #1-McMurray, #88-Earnhardt Jr., #42.Larson, #41-Busch, #99-Edwards (was two laps down at one point) and #11-Hamlin.
Pole winner #20-Kenseth finished 25th after having a tire rub late in the race.
After the race, #24-Gordon stopped his car next the Keselowski's, got out and headed around the car to confront Keselowski. The two drivers were yelling back and forth when Harvick pushed Keselowski, which then set up a mini brawl that left both Gordon and Keselowski with blood on their faces.
There were 23 lead changes among 7 drivers. There were a record 13 cautions for 61 yellow flag laps.
The average speed was 132.239mph.
See unofficial race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Unofficial Race Results page (pdf) and check out the Penalty Report (pdf) and Lap Summary Report (pdf).
See OFFICIAL race results & points standings on the Official Race & Points Report (pdf).(11-2-2014)
Johnson open to team changes next season; except crew chief: #48-Jimmie Johnson talked to the media Friday at Martinsville Speedway:
WE'RE INTERESTED TO KNOW YOUR MINDSET OVER THESE FOUR RACES. YOU CAN'T DEFEND YOUR CHAMPIONSHIP BUT YOU CAN CERTAINLY WIN RACES.
The mindset is simple. We want to close out the year well and finish as high as we can in points. We want to win races. That's what we're here for. We did not have a good last three races for a variety of reasons. The results weren't there. Frankly, two of those results would have eliminated us from championship hope (in past years). I felt like at Talladega, we were given a pretty big gift and we came close to taking advantage of that opportunity. We want to do well. We want to win races. At the same time, this does open up an opportunity for us to work on '15 from a personnel standpoint and even from a 2015 test plan. Obviously testing is gone next year, so anything we can do to work on the 2015 package will suit us well. We're not slowing down any. These last four weeks are going to be about as busy as any as we're getting geared up for 2015."
THE PAIRING OF GREAT DRIVERS AND GREAT CREW CHIEFS IN THE SPORT EVENTUALLY COME TO AN END. DO YOU SEE THE DAY WHEN MAYBE CHAD ISN'T ON YOUR PIT BOX?
"Yeah, that day is out there. I think a crew chief's lifespan is much shorter than a driver's. They live in dog years and drivers can carry on much longer. I've been accused of being loyal to a fault in the past, that's me. I have no plans or desires to make a change. When Chad decides he's had enough of being the guy on the box, it will be his decision to step down. As far as I'm concerned, we've made it 13 years in this thing. I want to see it go as long as it can. We're honest with each other and know each other well enough to work through the bad times. It might not be pretty, and I'm sure you guys have heard things on the radio that got your attention. We're like family, and we fight like family. We can call each other out on that stuff, and you only hear a piece of it on the radio. There is plenty more that goes on behind closed doors and in meetings. It's more of a timeframe of when Chad says, 'I've put in my time here as crew chief and I need to slow down a little bit.'"(Chevy PR)(10-25-2014)
The Four drivers eliminated from Chase...comments:
TALK ABOUT YOUR EMOTIONS:
"It feels relieving to go down swinging. The last two weeks were really poor. At least we went down swinging. I'll take some pride in that."
YOU'LL GO INTO THE FINALE WITHOUT HAVING A CHANCE OF WINNING THE CHAMPIONSHIP.
"The last I can think of is with Carl (Edwards) and Tony (Stewart). I vividly remembered the lunch presser that took place with the champions and how much that ate at me to watch it on TV and not be a part of it. I get the pleasure of going through that again. Today I went down swinging, and I take pride in that. Am I disappointed in our Chase? Absolutely. In the last two weeks, people have tuned on the radio and there have been plenty of articles have been written this week. Frustration was high between Chad (Knaus, crew chief) and I and the fact that we haven't been able to produce like we wanted to. Today we went down swinging. We had a chance and came up short. We have to make the best of '15. We have a chance to finish fifth in points, which would mean the world to me. The worst I've finished is sixth in the points, so it's not time to put our feet up. We need to finish strong and try to be in the top-five."
HOW DO YOU DESCRIBE THIS RACE TODAY?
"Two restarts from the end, I was trying to make something happen on the restart. I was in a weird position there behind the No. 2 (Brad Keselowski), and if I pushed him to the win, he moves on and I don't. So I tried going to his outside. I looked up and I had no friends in the mirror. If I had known we were going to have a second green-white-checker, I would have stayed in line. That would have shuffled the order around and I wouldn't have been behind him, and maybe we would have had another shot at it. We had a fast, fast Lowe's Chevrolet today. Disappointed we didn't advance, but truthfully the way the last two races went, today was an opportunity for us, and we were kind of playing with house money and just didn't get it done."
CAN YOU DESCRIBE THE DISAPPOINTMENT OF NOT GOING TO THE NEXT ROUND?
"Truthfully, I showed up this weekend thinking I've been playing with house money and I've had a very unique opportunity to advance. In any Chase, after two bad races like we had the last two weeks, you wouldn't have a shot at the championship. So, the frustration was kind of peaking over the last two weeks. This week's been chill. We qualified second and ran up front all day. And it's so hard to win one of these races. You can't come in here and say you're doing to dominate Talladega and win the race. We dominated it. We just didn't lead the lap that counted."(Chevy Racing PR)(10-20-2014)
2015 team sponsorships coming together: Some top NASCAR Sprint Cup teams have sold their primary sponsorships for all of next season, but space remains on the cars of #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., #5-Kasey Kahne, Carl Edwards and #15-Clint Bowyer four months before the 2015 season begins. Among the teams that have sold all their primary sponsorship for next year are #24-Jeff Gordon, #48-Jimmie Johnson, #22-Joey Logano, #4-Kevin Harvick, #20-Matt Kenseth, #18-Kyle Busch and #11-Denny Hamlin. "It's certainly not easy finding a sponsor, but there was an abundant amount of interest in our sport and in our team," said Dave Alpern, chief marketing officer at Joe Gibbs Racing, which expands to four cars next season. Steve Newmark, president of Roush Fenway Racing, says that the three-car organization has fewer primary sponsorship openings then it did at this time a year ago. Ben Schlosser, chief marketing officer at Richard Childress Racing, says that his three-car organization also is ahead in selling sponsorships, noting some companies were willing to start negotiations earlier. "I think the climate is getting better," Newmark said. "It's not where we need to be, but I think the whole sport is doing a better job of marketing." Newmark credits more collaboration with NASCAR compared to when he arrived at Roush four years ago. Newmark also said that the team has made many changes to better serve sponsors. See more team-by team info at Motor Racing Network and check out the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Team / Driver Chart.(10-16-2014)
ESPN employees visit Hendrick Motorsports: Five years ago, Rich Feinberg - ESPN vice president, motorsports, production - came up with an idea. "At ESPN, we cover all sports, but it's a very stick-and-ball culture," Feinberg explained. So he brought a concept to ESPN management and eventually NASCAR management. Why not gather a group of ESPN employees and bring them inside the world of NASCAR? "By immersing people in it, they learn about it, they have a new respect for it, and when it comes down to working on it, they do better," he said. ESPN and NASCAR loved the idea, and for five years, Feinberg has hand-picked a group to make the trek to Hendrick Motorsports headquarters in Concord, North Carolina. In the 2014 version of the immersion program, that certainly proved true. In addition to NASCAR and Hendrick Motorsports employees, among the participants were SportsCenter anchors Jay Harris, Chris Hassel, Darren Haynes, Lisa Kerney and Jaymee Sire in addition to ESPN Radio host Freddie Coleman, executive producers Mike Shiffman and Andy Tennant, senior news editor Jodi Herbert and Director of Talent, Planning and Development Chris Duffy. Included in the immersion was an overview of the human performance element of the race teams, featuring a tour of the training field, gym and pit pad. At the pit pad, the group got a chance to take a shot at changing a tire, splitting into two teams racing against the clock for the win. After the competition, the group went on to tour the engine shop and the race shops for the #5, 24, 48 and 88 teams. Finally, the group got to take an exclusive tour of Hendrick Motorsports Owner Rick Hendrick's Heritage Center, featuring his extensive car collection. It was just part of their immersion, as the group later got the chance to take in the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.(Hendrick Motorsports)(10-15-2014)
Lowe's goes back to blue on the #48: After a series of subpar finishes, Jimmie Johnson reached out to Lowe's to ask if the partner could switch up the paint scheme on the #48 Chevy. Lowe's, a 13-year sponsor of Johnson, agreed wholeheartedly. The blue-and-white paint scheme first appeared on Johnson's Chevrolet for the 2012 season and Johnson wrapped up his sixth championship in 2013 in the familiar blue scheme. This car has visited Victory Lane five times since its debut. Johnson chose "Let the Good Times Roll" by The Cars for his introduction song at Bristol Motor Speedway.(HMS/TeamLowes), see images of the 'new' blue scheme on the #48 Team Schemes page.(8-20-2014)
Chase Elliott could run some Cup races in 2015: Rick Hendrick's plan for NASCAR Nationwide Series phenom Chase Elliott evidently entails a few NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts next season, the champion car owner said Wednesday in an interview on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. The 18-year-old Elliott tops the Nationwide Series standings and leads all series regulars with three race victories. Dale Earnhardt Jr., co-owner of his JR Motorsports race team, has said that Elliott is likely to run another full season on NASCAR's No. 2 circuit next year. Hendrick, also a co-owner at JRM, sounded as if a few premier series starts will also be sprinkled into that mix. A test session in which Elliott tested the cars of Hendrick Motorsports champion drivers Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon convinced the team owner the youngster was ready, even before he took the Nationwide circuit by storm.
"We haven't arrived at a decision for sure, but I think you'll probably see him run a few races next year," Hendrick told the satellite radio network. "Before he ever won a Nationwide race, I watched him test Jimmie's car and Jeff's car at Nashville, and Jimmie and Jeff both commented to me, 'This kid is super smooth and super fast. He takes care of his equipment, and he doesn't get in a jam.' Although Hendrick currently fields four full-time cars, the maximum for one organization as allowed by NASCAR, rules do permit teams to run an additional vehicle on a limited slate for prospective rookie drivers.(NASCAR.com)(8-7-2014)
Johnson wins at Michigan: #48-Jimmie Johnson won the Quicken Loans 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway for his 3rd win of 2014, his 1st win at Pocono and his 69th career win. The last five points races have been won by a Hendrick Motorsports driver, the first time a team has won 5 in a row since HMS did it in 2007.
Pole winner #4-Harvick finished 2nd followed by 2-Keselowski, #27-Menard, #5-Kahne, #24-Gordon, #88-Earnhardt Jr., rookie #42-Larson, #22-Logano and #15-Bowyer.
#4-Harvick, the pole winner, led the most laps with 63.
#24-Gordon (1 win) keeps the points lead after finishing 6th and leads #48-Johnson by 15 points.
#48-Johnson leads the Chase Seeding with three wins, 2nd in points. #88-Earnhardt Jr. is second with 2 wins, 3rd in points then #22-Logano has 2 wins and is 8th in points and #4-Harvick has two wins and is 9th in points.
There were 25 lead changes among 13 drivers. There were 8 cautions for 36 yellow flag laps.
The average speed was 143.441mph.
See unofficial race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Unofficial Michigan Race Results page (pdf) and check out the Michigan Penalty Report (pdf).
See OFFICIAL race results & points standings on the Official Michigan Race & Points Report (pdf).(6-15-2014)
Johnson wins Coca Cola 600: #48-Jimmie Johnson won the Coca Cola 600 Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Seedway for his 1st win of 2014, 7th win at Charlotte and his 67th career win.
#4-Harvick finished 2nd followed by #20-Kenseth, #99-Edwards, #1-McMurray, #55-Vickers, #24-Gordon, #27-Menard, #18-Busch and #2-Keselowski.
#48-Johnson, who won the pole, won from the pole for his 14th time in 33 poles.
#24-Gordon, who came into the race as the points leader, finished 7th and still leads the points by 11 over #20-Kenseth.
#22-Logano leads the Chase Seeding with two wins. #4-Harvick is second, also with 2 wins, but lower in points. They are followed by #24-Gordon, #18-Busch and #99-Edwards.
There were 34 lead changes among 9 drivers and there were 8 cautions for 44 yellow flag laps.
The average speed was 145.484.
See unofficial race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Unofficial Charlotte Race Results page (pdf) and check out the Charotte Penalty Report (pdf).
See OFFICIAL race results & points standings on the Official Charlotte Race & Points Report (pdf).(5-25-2014)
Johnson wins at Dover: #48-Jimmie Johnson won the FedEx 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway for his 2nd win of 2014, 9th win at Dover and his 68h career win. He dominated most of the race, leading 272 of the 400 laps.
Pole sitter, #2-Keselowski finished 2nd followed by #20-Kenseth, #15-Bowyer, #11-Hamlin, #78-Truex, Jr., #14-Stewart, #22-Logano, #88-Earnhardt, Jr., and #27-Menard.
#24-Gordon, who came into the race as the points leader, finished 15th. #20-Kenseth took over the points lead, 2 points over Gordon.
#48-Johnson now leads the Chase Seeding with two wins. #22-Logano is second, also with 2 wins, but 7th in points. #4-Harvick also has two wins and is 12th in points They are followed by #24-Gordon, #99-Edwards and #88-Earnhardt, Jr.
There were 18 lead changes among 6 drivers and there were 8 cautions for 41 yellow flag laps.
There were two red flags during the race - one for 6 minutes track cleanup following an accident that spread debris on the track and another for 22 minutes for track repair after a piece of concrete came up in turn 2.
The average speed was 117.724mph.
See unofficial race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Unofficial Dover Race Results page (pdf) and check out the Dover Penalty Report (pdf).
See OFFICIAL race results & points standings on the Official Dover Race & Points Report (pdf).(6-1-2014)
Warner Bros/DC Entertainment join forces with Hendrick Motorsports: Warner Bros. Consumer Products (WBCP), in conjunction with DC Entertainment (DCE), has joined forces with Hendrick Motorsports in a unique three-year agreement that will allow the team and its partners to develop consumer promotions and original content to engage youth, drive fan excitement and energize licensed merchandise initiatives. WBCP and DCE will work with Hendrick Motorsports and its partners to build on- and off-track programs teaming drivers #5-Kasey Kahne, #24-Jeff Gordon, #48-Jimmie Johnson and #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. with the most recognized characters in Super Hero lore, including Batman, Superman, The Flash and Green Lantern.
Potential programs include co-developed car paint schemes, comic books and digital content incorporating DC Comics Super Heroes and illustrated likenesses of Hendrick Motorsports drivers. Team partners will have exclusive opportunities to align with upcoming Warner Bros. Consumer Products and DC Comics-inspired programming and releases.
The first joint program will come to life around upcoming Sprint Cup events at Charlotte Motor Speedway (May 25) and Michigan International Speedway (June 15) where Superman, the world's first and most recognized Super Hero, will be featured on Earnhardt's #88 Chevy. The Superman-themed paint scheme will pair the Army National Guard with the Superman Hall of Heroes, a new online gift-giving portal that empowers consumers to honor their personal heroes; those who have made a positive impact on their lives or the lives of others. The #88 National Guard/Superman Chevrolet SS will be unveiled May 21. Fans can learn more by following Hendrick Motorsports on Facebook and Twitter.(Hendrick Motorsports)(5-15-2014)
Sad News - Jordan Janway: [Jimmie and Chadnra] Johnson are saddened by the tragic passing of Chandra's brother, Jordan Janway, 27. Jordan was an incredible son, brother, uncle and friend and will be dearly missed. Please keep the Janway family in your thoughts and prayers. The family asks for privacy at this time.(JimmieJohnson.com)
AND more information Jordan Janway's accident at the Associated Press.(3-31-2014)
30th anniversary of Hendrick's first win: 30TH ANNIVERSARY: In 2014, Hendrick Motorsports is celebrating its 30th anniversary in NASCAR. The organization began in 1984 with five employees and 5,000 square feet of work space. It has grown to more than 500 employees with a 430,000-square-foot facility that sits on 140 acres. Driver Geoff Bodine won the Martinsville Speedway spring race on April 29, 1984, marking Hendrick Motorsports' first victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.(Hendrick Motorsports)(3-28-2014)
NASCAR's Highest Paid Drivers 2014: NASCAR driver salaries have been shaved in recent years with fewer dollars available as sponsors cut back on their financial commitments to teams. Drivers that once made $4-6 million in salary are getting re-signed to deals for $3 million in some cases. Guys on poorly funded teams are lucky to make seven figures. Licensing and endorsement money has also dried up for all but the very elite drivers. Endorsement deals that once paid $500,000 a clip are now $250,000 and many have disappeared completely. But for the sport's stars, the paychecks are nearly as big as ever and can reach eight figures in salary alone. The 10 highest-paid drivers pulled down $170 million in 2013 in cumulative salary, endorsements and their share of winnings and licensing income.
Leading the way for the sixth straight year is Dale Earnhardt Jr., who earned $25.6 million in 2013 by Forbes' count. Earnhardt's licensing income is down significantly from five years ago when he was making $30 million a year, but he is still the sport's biggest star with the biggest salary, as well as the top licensing and endorsement income, according to sources. Earnhardt's #88 Chevy carries the most expensive real estate in the sport. The Army National Guard spent $30 million in 2013 on sponsoring 20 races on the #88 car and activating around the sponsorship. Hendrick Motorsports entered the past two seasons with 13 races to sell on Earnhardt's car, but even if owner Rick Hendrick has to pick up the tab on a couple of races, the sponsorship revenue for Earnhardt's car is still the envy of the sport.
#48-Jimmie Johnson, ranks No. 2 with estimated earnings of $24.8 million last year. Johnson won his sixth Sprint Cup title, which carried bonuses and special awards of $5.8 million. Johnson's total prize money haul of $14.7 is twice as much as Earnhardt, but Johnson's endorsements and licensing income lag behind. #24-Jeff Gordon in third earning $18.2 million in 2013. His merchandise was the sport's second best seller, behind Earnhardt, in 2013, according to multiple sources. Gordon also benefits from his ownership stake in the #48 car. NASCAR's golden girl, Danica Patrick, ranks No. 9 with earnings of $13.5 million. See full report at Forbes.com.(2-22-2014)
How does Johnson stack up against Petty and Earnhardt? #48-Jimmie Johnson's sixth championship came in his 12th full season; Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt won theirs in their 15th full season (full season meaning they started at least half of the races). Earnhardt's seventh title came in his 16th season, Petty's in his 19th, meaning Johnson has plenty of time left to match and surpass the record. Petty and Johnson were 38 years of age when they won their sixth championship, Earnhardt was 42.(more stats at ESPN.com)(11-20-2013)
Valvoline returns to sponsor Hendrick teams: Valvoline, a leading marketer, distributor and producer of quality branded automotive and industrial products and services, will be reunited with Hendrick Motorsports after finalizing a multi-year sponsorship agreement that will kick off next season. The Official Lubricants Partner of Hendrick Motorsports beginning in 2014, the Valvoline brand will be featured as a major associate sponsor of the team's full stable of Chevrolet SS race cars through the 2017 NASCAR campaign. The company will utilize Sprint Cup Series drivers #5-Kasey Kahne, #24-Jeff Gordon, #48-Jimmie Johnson and #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. as spokespeople to promote Valvoline premium motor oil products and services. In addition, Valvoline will be the preferred oil poured by Hendrick Motorsports' sister company, Hendrick Automotive Group, which operates 87 auto dealerships across the United States. The dealerships also will use Valvoline professional series, a line of fuel system preventive maintenance products that increase fuel economy and drivability, and Valvoline antifreeze. Both product lines contain patented technology that provides exceptional performance. Beginning in 2014, Hendrick Motorsports will use Valvoline products in its Chevrolet R-07 racing engines in the elite Sprint Cup Series. Valvoline was a partner of the team from 1993-95, supplying lubricant technology that contributed to the organization's first Cup championship with Gordon.(Hendrick Motorsports), Valvoline will replace Quaker State Oil at HMS.(9-24-2013)
Brother of HMS Machinist killed in Cambridge: Hendrick Motorsports Statement: The thoughts and prayers of everyone at Hendrick Motorsports are with Andrew Collier and his family. Andrew, a machinist in the Hendrick Motorsports engine department, tragically lost his brother, Officer Sean Collier, last night in Cambridge, Mass. We ask that the family's privacy be considered during this difficult time. Andrew, 25, joined Hendrick Motorsports in September 2008.(HMS)(4-19-2013)
Lowe's extends sponsorship of #48 team and Johnson: Lowe's Companies Inc. will continue its successful relationship with Hendrick Motorsports after signing a two-year contract extension that secures the full-season primary sponsorship of the #48 NASCAR Sprint Cup team and five-time series champion Jimmie Johnson in 2014 and 2015. Announced today to more than 1,700 store managers at the Lowe's national sales meeting, the agreement builds upon a partnership launched in 2001 when Johnson was selected to drive for the new #48 Hendrick Motorsports team. Now in its 12th full season, the sponsor-driver-team relationship has become one of the most successful in NASCAR history.
"It has been a great ride with Jimmie since he started in the Cup Series 12 years ago," said Tom Lamb, Lowe's chief marketing officer. "We are proud to sponsor one of the most elite teams and drivers in racing and have a five-time champion carry the Lowe's brand each week." Since his first full-time Sprint Cup season in 2002, Johnson has earned 61 victories -- the most in the series during that span -- and never finished lower than sixth in championship points.
On Sunday in his 400th Cup race, Johnson drove the #48 Lowe's Chevrolet SS to his second career Daytona 500 win. In the process, he became just the second driver (teammate Jeff Gordon is the other) to have the same primary sponsor for each of his first 400 Cup starts. "Lowe's believed in me before I had any success," said Johnson, 37, whose contract with Hendrick Motorsports runs through 2015. "They are all I've ever known in my Sprint Cup career, and their support of me and the #48 team is second to none in the sport. We've been together for this crazy ride, and I'm so happy we're continuing it together. They truly are family, and I'm proud to represent them."
Led by crew chief Chad Knaus, the #48 Lowe's team has now scored at least one Sprint Cup win in 12 consecutive seasons (2002-13). Johnson's five championships trail only first-ballot Hall of Fame drivers Dale Earnhardt and Richard Petty, who each posted seven. "We caught lightning in a bottle with this combination," said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. "Jimmie and Chad have been successful because they always have a plan and do a great job executing. Lowe's is the same way as a sponsor. The partnership has been incredible, and we're looking forward to working together for many more years."(HMS)(2-27-2013)
Jeff Gordon vs. Jimmie Johnson: Even though Jimmie Johnson has been the top driver in NASCAR over the last five years, Jeff Gordon is the winningest active driver and has been the dominant driver over the last 18 seasons. Let's compare the two drivers after their first nine seasons:
Wins: Gordon 58 in 292 races; Johnson 53 in 324 races
Top 5s: Gordon 147 in 292 races; Johnson 134 in 324 races
Top 10s: Gordon 190 in 292 races; Johnson 203 in 324 races
Championships: Gordon (4) last in his ninth season in 2001, Johnson (5).(12-1-2010)
Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Las Vegas, NV
Happy Hour Practice:
Saturday, March 7, 2015, 2:30 pm/et
FoxSports1 (FS1) 2:30pm/et
Born in MARCH
3 Bruton Smith, Dave Rodman, Chad Trickle, Tiny Lund, Donald Epling, Bill Snyder, Bobby Lord
4 Buck Baker, Rick Mast, Gary Cogswell, Pat Tryson, Chris Passantino
5 Cale Gale, Sutherlin Marlin
6 Jenny Umscheid, Bruce Martin
7 Janet Guthrie, Katelyn Benson
8 Buddy Barnes, Mark Green, Tommy Norton, Frank Parrish, Ronnie Thomas, Mark Smith, Kirk Shelmerdine, Wendy Calkins
9 Jeanne Barnes, Kevin Graves, Fred Bickford, Wilma Blevins, Danny Sullivan
10 Matt Kenseth, Mike Wallace, Roy McCauley, Ginny McClure, Kelly Denton, Randy Biggs, Louis Ossinsky Sr
11 Kathy Cindric, Albert Garwood, Derek Daly, Troy Ruttman
12 Casey Mears, John Andretti, Red Byron, Terri Brooks, Lorrie Earp
13 Jeff Spraker
14 Lee Petty, Artie Kempner, Aric Almirola, Bill Rexford, Albert Einstein, Kristen Yeley, Harold E. Holly Jr., David Poole
15 Andy Graves, Matthew Holzbaur
16 Jay Guarneri, Kevin Cywinski, Troy Andrews, Katrina Spencer, Wes Adams
17 Tom 'Tiger' Pistone, Gloria Lewis, Dee Eolin, Doug Rice
18 Mark Donohue, Ryan Truex, Alex Garcia, Jack Smith, Derrick Gilchrist
19 Brian Burns, Wyatt Dallenbach, Chris Graves, Tom Umscheid
20 Jeff Thousand, Mike Messick Jr.
21 Larry McClure, Fonty Flock, Jeff Krogh, Bob Hayden, Joe Menzer, Mike Moore
22 Marianne Fairlie, Billy Hagan, Pam Miller, Todd Trickle, Ronald Hayden, Eric Bilyeu, Mike Bodick, Jerry Wittig, Randy Heffner, Darrel Haskins, Tim Harrison
23 Andrew Fairlie, Erin Crocker, Mike McCarthy, Wes Adams, chaplain Tim Griffin, Johnny Beauchamp
24 Brenda Young, Jimmy Makar, Jim Makar, Pam Hill, Austin Petty, Scott Pruett
25 Peg Adamczyk, Danica Patrick, Dave Moody, Donnie Disharoon, Justin Marks, John Ray, Doyle Ford, Bobby Calkins, Aaron Eaton
26 Nathaniel O'Hare, Nina Feeney, Austin Green, Doug Williams, Natalee Jarrett, Dan Ford, Blaise Alexander
27 Cale Yarborough, Maurice Petty, Andy Hall, Keith Wilson, Jeff Fuller, Bob Kelly, Rodney Combs, Gary DeHart
28 Shelby Pressley, Chris Meyers, Peter Jellen
29 Kim Wood Hall, Jamie DiPietro, Carole Houchins, Olivia Andretti
30 Pam Bickford
31 Angus Young, Richard Jackson, Scott Houston, Dana White, Rocky Ryan