2015 Lowe's Sponsor Schedule (Unofficial):
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, Lowe's ProServices
Martinsville, 3/29, Lowe's
Texas, 4/11, Lowe's ProServices(2)
Bristol, 4/19, Lowe's
Richmond, 4/25, Lowe's ProServices(3)
Talladega, 5/3, Lowe's
Kansas, 5/9, Lowe's
Charlotte, All-Star Race, 5/16, Lowe's Patriotic
Charlotte, 5/24, Lowe's Patriotic(2)
Dover, 5/31, Lowe's ProServices(4)
Pocono, 6/7, Jimmie Johnson Foundation / Lowe's
Michigan, 6/14, Kobalt Tools (2)
Sonoma, 6/28, Lowe's ProServices(5)
Daytona, 7/5, Lowe's Patriotic(3)
Kentucky, 7/11, Lowe's ProServices(6)
New Hampshire, 7/19, Lowe's
Indianapolis, 7/26, Kobalt Tools (3)
Pocono, 8/2, Kobalt Tools (4)
Watkins Glen, 8/9, Lowe's
Michigan, 8/16, Lowe's
Bristol, 8/22, Lowe's ProServices(7)
Darlington, 9/6, Throwback Lowe's
Richmond, 9/12, Lowe's
Chicago, 9/20, Lowe's
New Hampshire, 9/27, Lowe's ProServices(8), with Hitachi
Dover, 10/4, Lowe's
Charlotte, 10/10, Lowe's Red Vest
Kansas, 10/18, Lowe's
Talladega, 10/25, Lowe's
Martinsville, 11/1, Kobalt Tools (5)
Texas, 11/8, Lowe's
Phoenix, 11/15, Lowe's Patriotic(4)
Homestead, 11/22, Lowe's, 'Jeff Gordon Yellow numbers'
There are FOUR race tracks (of 23) the Sprint Cup Series currently races at that #48-Jimmie Johnson has not won a Sprint Cup race at:
Homestead: 0 for 14 with a best finish of 2nd in 11/2004 & 11/2010
Kentucky: 0 for 5 with a best finish of 3rd in 7/2011 (all five top 10 finishes)
Watkins Glen: 0 for 14 with a best finish of 3rd in 8/2007 and 8/2012
Chicago: 0 for 15 with a best finish of 2nd in 7/2004, 7/2008 & 9/2012
plus Johnson ran five races at Rockingham Speedway and didn't win there.
On June 15th, 2014, after 24 tries, Johnson won at Michigan.(9-20-2015)
Contract Status: Driver: 2017: Sponsor/Lowe's: 2017; Crew Chief: 2018
Jimmie Johnson Narrates SportsCenter Jeff Gordon Tribute Today: ESPN SportsCenter will air a tribute to the career of retiring NASCAR star Jeff Gordon in the 6:00pm/et edition of tonight's program, with the feature also running in other editions through the evening. Gordon's Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson narrates the feature, which includes highlights of the four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion's career as he prepares to race for a fifth in Sunday's season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Lindsay Czarniak hosts the 6 p.m. SportsCenter, which will air on ESPN and stream on WatchESPN.(ESPN)(11-18-2015)
Teammates to pay tribute at Homestead with 'Jeff Gordon yellow' numbers: Sunday will mark a momentous occasion in the history of Hendrick Motorsports and NASCAR as a whole. Jeff Gordon will make his final start behind the wheel of the #24 Chevy. To honor the event, Axalta has provided a special paint scheme for Gordon to drive as he attempts to win a fifth NASCAR Cup Series championship in the final race of his final full-time season. But the remaining three Hendrick Motorsports cars will also celebrate the close of an iconic career.
In a collaboration Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick announced Tuesday morning on Twitter, Gordon's teammates and their partners worked together to run the familiar "Jeff Gordon yellow" for the car numbers on the #5, #48 and #88 Chevy as well. See the behind-the-scenes gallery of the application of the yellow numbers inside the race shops.(Hendrick Motorsports) and see images of the four cars on Jayski.com's:
#5 Team Schemes page;
#24 Team Schemes page;
#48 Team Schemes page;
#88 Team Schemes page.(11-17-2015)
Hendrick Motorsports and Freightliner Trucks extend deal: Freightliner Trucks has announced a five-year contract extension with 11-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champions Hendrick Motorsports. In addition, the company announced a new five-year contract with defending NASCAR XFINITY Series champions JR Motorsports. Both racing teams now have agreements with Freightliner through the 2020 NASCAR season. With the Hendrick Motorsports partnership renewal, the team's over-the-road drivers will continue to stay behind the wheel of their custom Freightliner trucks to carry race cars, supplies and equipment to Sprint Cup events across the United States.(HMS)(11-14-2015)
Veterans scheme for Johnson at Phoenix: Jimmie Johnson will pilot the #48 Lowe's Patriotic Chevy this weekend. The last time Johnson raced the scheme was the July Daytona event where he finished second. The red, white and blue-themed Chevy SS will race this weekend in honor of the Veterans Day holiday. Lowe's has a long history of supporting the military. Lowe's Home Improvement was founded just after World War II by military veteran Carl Buchan, whose leadership helped it grow from a small hardware store in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, into the Fortune 50 company it is today. Currently, more than 14,000 veterans work at Lowe's. Additionally, Lowe's is honored to thank all the men and women who have served our nation in the military with a 10 percent discount this Veterans Day weekend (HMS), see images of the car on the #48 Team Schemes page.(11-13-2015)
Johnson Approaches Earnhardt On All-Time Wins List: #48-Jimmie Johnson passed #2-Brad Keselowski with four laps remaining in Sunday's AAA Texas 500 to win his third consecutive race at Texas Motor Speedway and block an automatic qualifying berth in the Championship Round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup from one of the Eliminator 8 drivers. The win was the fifth of the season for Johnson and the 75th of his career. He now trails NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt by just one victory for seventh on NASCAR's all-time wins list. Johnson will attempt to play spoiler again this weekend at Phoenix International Raceway where he owns four wins, 14 top fives and 18 top 10s in 24 starts.
Johnson is not the only one who can ruin a Chase-eligible driver's day in Arizona. #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2 wins), #11-Denny Hamlin (1), #5-Kasey Kahne (1), #31-Ryan Newman (1) and #14-Tony Stewart (1) are all non-Chase drivers who have won at Phoenix. #24-Jeff Gordon, a two-time Phoenix winner who has already advanced to the Championship Round via his victory at Martinsville, can also block a transfer spot by taking the checkered flag on Sunday (NASCAR), see the all-time winners list on Jayski.com's All-Time Winners List & Stats page.(11-12-2015)
Johnson wins at Texas: #48-Jimmie Johnson won the AAA Texas 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway for his 5th win of the season, 6th win at Texas and 75th career win. Johnson led just 6 of the 334 laps. He passed #2-Keselowski with 3 laps remaining after Keselowski had dominated the race, leading 312 laps.
#24-Gordon remains the only driver automatically advancing to the Championship round of The Chase after his Martinsvile win.
#2-Keselowski finished 2nd followed by #4-Harvick, #18-Busch, #19-Edwards, #88-Earnhardt, Jr., #41-Busch, #78-Truex, Jr., #24-Gordon, and #1-McMurray.
#22-Joey Logano cut down a tire 10 laps into the race and had to go to the garage for extended repairs. He finished 40th, 66 laps down.
Erik Jones, filling in for #20 Kenseth, finished 12th.
There were 15 lead changes among 8 drivers and 9 cautions for 47 yellow flag laps.
The average speed was 137.490mph.
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 the Unofficial Drivers Points Standings page (pdf) and Unofficial Owners Points Standings page (pdf).>(11-8-2015)
Jimmie Johnson Foundation Announces Nearly $550,000 in Champions Grants: The Jimmie Johnson Foundation announced that 10 schools will receive approximately $550,000 in Champions Grants this year. The grants are awarded annually to K-12 public and charter schools in and around the hometowns of six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Jimmie Johnson and his wife Chandra - San Diego and El Cajon, California and Muskogee, Oklahoma, as well as their current residence in Charlotte, North Carolina. "This year's applications were very impressive," Johnson said. "We are honored to be able to fund so many innovative and exciting projects in our hometowns and here in the Charlotte area. We can't wait to see them through to completion." Chandra, Jimmie and representatives from partner Lowe's spent time this morning hearing from students and staff from the six local grant recipients about their projects and the anticipated impact on their school community. In addition to these six schools, four others from Muskogee and the San Diego area have been selected to receive grants. This year, the Jimmie Johnson Foundation/Lowe's Toolbox for Education Champions Grant awards included $341,001 toward science and technology, $113,948 toward literacy initiatives, $52,434 for health and fitness activities, $27,964 toward arts programs and $13,600 toward school improvement projects.
The 2015 Champions Grants were awarded to the following schools:
· C.C. Griffin Middle School (Concord, North Carolina)
· Charles E. Boger Elementary School (Kannapolis, North Carolina)
· Crown Point Elementary School (Charlotte, North Carolina)
· Harding University High School (Charlotte, North Carolina)
· Independence High School (Charlotte, North Carolina)
· University Park Creative Arts Elementary School (Charlotte, North Carolina)
· Lexington Elementary School (El Cajon, California)
· Mira Mesa High School (San Diego)
· Hilldale Public Schools (Muskogee, Oklahoma)
· Rougher Alternative Academy (Muskogee, Oklahoma)
More than $4.2 million has been contributed through the Champions Grant program since 2009. To see a detailed list of the 2015 Champions Grant projects, please visit www.jimmiejohnsonfoundation.org. (Jimmie Johnson Foundation)(11-1-2015)
Kobalt returns to the #48 at Martinsville: For the final time this season, Jimmie Johnson will pilot a flat-black and white #48 Lowe's/Kobalt Tools Chevy SS. The paint scheme appeared earlier this season at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Michigan International Speedway, Pocono Raceway and Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Kobalt's heavy-duty tools are exclusive to Lowe's and have been tested and approved by the #48 team.(Hendrick Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #48 team paint schemes page.(10-29-2015)
College athletes on pit road: So who and how many college athletes are now on NASCAR's pit road? As the pit crews evolves so do the athletes that pit. That being said, the influx of college athletes to pit road has been a huge topic of conversation over the last few years. Getting the exact names and numbers of the guys on pit road is an extremely hard stat to get. The turnover is high so no stat is going to be 100% correct. So here ya go...the most in-depth article you'll find on ex college athletes on pit road circa Fall of 2015.
The best way to start this is to give some basic facts. We based our stats off of 39 full time running Cup teams. That gives us a total of 234 total crewmen on pit road. Out of those 234 total crewmen, 62 of them played college ball. That's a total of 26%. That number might seem low for what you were thinking, but we think it's right on track. If we were to do that same stat for developmental crewmen then we're guessing it would be more into the 80% range. Taking those 62 pit crew members and breaking them down into what position they pit looks like this. Leading the way is the Carriers with 21 at (34%), followed by Jackmen 16 (26%), Gasmen at 16 (26%), and Changers with only 9 representing 15%. The interesting thing about this is that your Changers are the most important position on pit road and they have the least amount of college athletes.
Looking into these stats even more we find that 49 (79%) played football followed by Baseball with 8 (13%). Basketball, Wrestling, and Soccer make up the remaining 8%.
As far as where these athletes pit, the breakdowns look like this. HMS leads the way with 16 (26%) followed by JGR with 8 (13%). The next two companies with the most would be SHR and MWR with 5 each representing (8%) for each company. Take into consideration we are comparing some 4 car teams to those with 2 or 3 cars so the stats might look a little skewed but the numbers are what they are.(PitTalks)(10-26-2015)
Hendrick teams guarding against parts failures: Hendrick Motorsports took time in its weekly meetings to address the parts failure that cost #48-Jimmie Johnson a shot at a seventh championship. Johnson was eliminated in the first round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship when an axle seal broke on his car Sunday at Dover. The failure occurred 103 laps into the race and he finished 41st to fall into the bottom four of the Chase standings. While the issue could be a quality control problem, #24-Jeff Gordon said HMS discussed ways to "make sure that's not something that bites us going forward. "If I wrote down the list of inexpensive parts on the car that can fail at anytime on any given weekend, you'd blow your mind," he said. "It's unfortunate that it happened, and trying to actually diagnose exactly what caused it and why it happened, it's tough. Other teams will tell you these kinds of little gremlins can reach out and grab you at any time." Gordon said HMS, which still has Gordon and #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the Chase, can take "procedural" steps to guard against failures. "I think we can take some extra precautions to maybe make it better, but there's more of a long-term solution to it that we can't really address right now," he said.(Associated Press)(10-8-2015)
Brand new Lowe's Red Vest Chevy SS unveiled: To celebrate Lowe's 265,000 employees, Jimmie Johnson will drive the #48 Lowe's Red Vest Chevy this weekend at Charlotte. Johnson debuted the Red Vest Chevy last November when he drove to Victory Lane at Texas. The red vests Lowe's employees wear have become symbolic of the company's commitment to its customers and providing outstanding service each and every day. In fact, Lowe's announced Monday a $500,000 donation to the American Red Cross to help those in the southeast impacted by Hurricane Joaquin. Johnson comment: "After 14 years of partnership, I know what the red vest means to everyone at Lowe's. It's why I'm proud to have red on my car at Charlotte and Lowe's as part of my team."(Team Lowe's Racing), see images of the scheme on the #48 Team Schemes page.(10-6-2015)
$5 part failure knocks Johnson out of the Chase: It will go into the theoretical faulty part hall of fame, season-ruining wing, the right rear axle seal that on Sunday at Dover International Speedway helped eject six-time series champion #48-Jimmie Johnson from the Chase for the Sprint Cup after one round. It'll be near the display the for cracked cylinder head that cost Jeff Gordon a 111-point lead in the standings with four races left in the 1996 Sprint Cup season and preceded a Terry Labonte comeback for the championship. The broken suspension piece that sent IndyCar driver Juan Pablo Montoya into the wall at Iowa Speedway this year - he lost the points lead and title to Scott Dixon on tiebreakers in the final race - will be mounted soon. And so the Jimmie Johnson display will follow, proving yet again, that every little thing matters in racing. And sometimes the little things matter a lot, even though, he said, "We take for granted how indestructible these cars are."
"We didn't expect an axle seal would be the culprit and take your championships hopes away (but) it's racing," he said. "I've had mechanicals take me out of championships growing up that led to success for myself and I'm sure helped me with a championship or two. It's just part of racing. It just shows how critical everything on a race team is and how critical every component is. You can't take anything for granted. Heart-breaking for sure, but there's nothing we can do about it."
Johnson estimated the axle seal's cost at $5. Kevin Harvick crew chief Rodney Childers agreed on that as its fair cost, but said the sums NASCAR teams pay for some semblance of peace of mind and pieces of quality price it at about $50. Race cars are made of thousands of bits and pieces, many of those parts crafted within team race shops, some purchased in bulk from vendors with the assumption and hope, that one bad batch or one bad component within that lot doesn't fail at a crucial point to ruin in a season of work for drivers and mechanics alike. (USA Today)(10-6-2015)
Johnson doesn't have retirement in mind: On the heels of Tony Stewart's announcement Wednesday that he would retire after next season, #48-Jimmie Johnson was asked Friday if he's decided when to quit racing:
Q: Do you have a time in mind of when you are going to hang it up and do something else?
Johnson: "No, I do not have a number and I have not picked a number. As a kid growing up racing and as I got in the sport, I didn't say, 'when I get to this age, I am going to step down.' I haven't had that conversation and have not picked a number with my wife and said, 'okay honey, this is the point that I am going to stop'. It's really been based on feel and I have Chani's support on that as well. When I feel like it's time, I am going to make that decision. Certainly don't feel like it's time now. I remember watching Rusty (Wallace) pick a number and then remember talking to Rusty in years following that and I still think he's mad he stopped. I still think he feels like he could be out here racing with us and winning races. So conversations with him, with Dale Jarrett, with other guys....I have always been curious. Why, when, what tells you to stop? Mark (Martin) tried a half dozen times to retire and couldn't walk away. So I want to make sure I do it once and not keep coming back. What I am looking for is that moment. That moment that you say, 'alright, it's time'. When that shows up, then I will step down."(Chevy Racing)(10-3-2015)
500th start for Jimmie Johnson: Jimmie Johnson will be making his 500th career start this weekend at Dover. His first career start in the #48 was on Oct. 7, 2001, at Charlotte Motor Speedway at the age of 27. Johnson's first win came at Fontana in 2002 in just his 13th career start. Throughout the years and the changes in the sport, Johnson has been lucky enough to have a few constants. Lowe's has been Johnson's sponsor since he began his career, Chad Knaus has been his crew chief and Ron Malec has been his car chief the since the beginning. Together they have won six NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championships.(Hendrick Motorsports)(10-1-2015)
Harvick and Johnson have not talked: #4-Kevin Harvick and #48-Jimmie Johnson have not talked since Harvick jabbed Johnson in the chest Sunday following the race at Chicagoland Speedway, and if Harvick has a message for Johnson, it could require another meeting between the two. Harvick, when asked Friday if Johnson had anything to worry about as far as retaliation, responded: "We're not going to use you guys [in the media] to make threats," Harvick said. "I can do that myself." Harvick and Johnson talked to reporters following Sprint Cup qualifying Friday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Harvick, who had declined to comment to reporters before practice Friday morning, was required to meet with the media for finishing second in qualifying for the Sylvania 300 on Sunday. Johnson qualified fifth. "I'm just here so I don't get fined," Harvick said in the media center as the first question was asked about the Johnson altercation. "I don't have a lot to say about any of it. I'm here to race and do what I need to do the next two weeks." Harvick, the defending Sprint Cup champion, was angry at Johnson for what he felt was an unnecessary door-slam as they battled for the lead on a restart about midway through the race at Chicagoland. Johnson, who had been tapped from behind by Joey Logano, went to the apron to not get into Harvick, but then used the momentum to get beside Harvick, washing up into him before they hit the corner. Johnson said afterward he had no choice because he needed to get off the apron and Harvick left him no room. Harvick crashed about three laps later with a flat tire, the result of a tire rub from the body damage. Harvick finished 42nd and is 15th in the Sprint Cup standings, 22 points behind 12th-place Jeff Gordon after the first of the three races that will determine which 12 drivers advance to the second round of the Chase. Whether Harvick retaliates against Johnson is one of the biggest storylines heading into the race Sunday, especially if Harvick fails to advance out of the opening round. "I truthfully don't know what to expect," Johnson said. "I certainly know what I hope for. There is no telling what will end up taking place."(ESPN)(9-26-2015)
Lowe's Proservices and Hitachi team up on the #48: Jimmie Johnson will race the #48 Lowe's ProServices/Hitachi Chevy in this weekend's race at New Hampshire. Lowe's Commercial Services are designed to help customers save time and money and make their businesses run smoother. Stores across the country have a dedicated ProServices team ready to help by offering five percent off everyday purchases with a Lowe's Business Credit Account, quick-turn, customizable quotes on volume purchases, providing an order ahead option and pulling materials for pick up, giving reduced delivery rates and offering bulk discounts on supplies used the most. The Lowe's ProServices paint scheme has seen Victory Lane twice this season with wins at Texas and Dover (HMS).
See images of the scheme on the #48 Team Schemes page.(9-24-2015)
Hendrick Motorsports newest class of pit crew recruits announced: Wednesday afternoon on the Hendrick Motorsports campus in Concord, NC, the organization held its very first Signing Day ceremony to celebrate the newest class of pit crew recruits. "It's really neat to be a part of the first Signing Day ever for Hendrick Motorsports for the pit development program," Hendrick Motorsports President Marshall Carlson said. "It's a tradition in other sports. If you look at what we tried to do over the last few years really elevating our whole athletic department and these athletes - bring them in and trying to get out to a wider range of recruits - the investments we've made in coaching, the facilities, it's really fitting that we would start to do some of the traditional things that other sports do to celebrate the success that the coaches and the recruiting class are bringing to our company."
Director of Human Performance Andy Papathanassiou introduced the new athletes, several of whom had brought family and friends to take in the ceremony. "In this particular class, we brought in seven athletes," Papathanassiou said. "Our classes have ranged from seven to about a dozen. Year after year we start recruiting, gathering 50 names, knock that down to about 30 that we see in person, and we physically evaluate them. We bring in 20 for a two-day minicamp where we put pit crew equipment, pit stop stuff in their hands and then pick our recruiting class from there. These are the winners of a very long and arduous process." The pit crew recruits: Spencer Bishop, Tire Carrier; Ryan Cheek, Jackman; Rod Cox, Tire Changer; Matt Lehman, Fueler/Jackman; Mike McClure, Fueler/Jackman; Roman Perryman, Tire Changer; Max Thomusseit, Tire Carrier. More info and a quick glance at the newest developmental pit crew members at HMS site)(9-24-2015)
Harvick shoves Johnson after race UPDATE: The intensity from NASCAR's elimination-style Chase for the Sprint Cup playoffs ramped up earlier than ever this year. Defending series champion #4-Kevin Harvick shoved six-time champion #48-Jimmie Johnson to express his frustration about a midrace clash during the MyAFibRisk.com 400, the first race of the 2015 Chase. Harvick cut a tire and crashed into the Turn 3 wall at Chicagoland Speedway a few laps later on the way to a 42nd-place finish. Johnson went to Harvick's motorhome to discuss the incident after the race. He was standing outside with Josh Jones, the business development director of Harvick's company, when the driver of the #4 driver emerged from his bus. Within a few seconds, Harvick shoved Johnson in the chest with a closed fist and, separated by Jones, began jawing at his rival. Jones restrained Harvick until Harvick's wife DeLana intervened and the two of them coaxed him into a waiting Chevy Suburban.
The come-together in question happened just after a restart on the 135th lap of of the 267-lap race. Joey Logano's Team Penske Ford bumped Johnson's Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet as they were getting up to speed, sending the #48 car low on the the apron of the track. Johnson's #48 pulled alongside Harvick and the two Chevys made side-to-side contact when Johnson attempted to move back onto the racing surface. Harvick's car developed a left-rear tire rub, and four laps later, the tire let go and the #4 car backed heavily into the Turn 3 wall. After extensive repairs by Stewart-Haas Racing, Harvick rejoined the race 57 laps down, warning over his radio: "Let me know when that 48's near me on the track." Logano steered clear of the controversy after finishing in sixth place. "I ain't getting in the middle of it," he said with a smile. "I don't want no part of that!"(ESPN.com)(9-21-2015)
UPDATE: A NASCAR official said Monday on "The Morning Drive" that "there won't be any penalties " to Kevin Harvick for striking Jimmie Johnson in the motorhome lot after Sunday's race at Chicagoland Speedway. Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer, made the comment on his weekly SiriusXM NASCAR Radio visit. "That is emotion coming out when the stakes are really high in the Chase," O'Donnell said. "We've got a reigning champion who finds himself in a tough spot ... really needing to win (to advance), so you understand the frustration. You don't like to see what happened, but from our standpoint that's just pure emotion when the stakes are high and knowing how important it is to go out and win a championship."(NBC Sports)(9-21-2015)
Johnson says this contract won't be his last: #48-Jimmie Johnson said his two-year contract extension with Hendrick Motorsport announced this week won't be his last. "Not that I'm aware of, not unless Rick (Hendrick) wants me to do something else," Johnson said with a laugh while meeting with media during an open test at Kansas Speedway. Unless you count car dealerships, Johnson says there weren't any complicated layers to arriving at the extension, which was announced along with crew chief's Chad Knaus' three-year extension and the two-year agreement with sponsor Lowe's Home Improvement. Johnson now holds a stake in Hendrick's auto dealer empire. "The contract had changed a little bit between Rick and I," Johnson said. "With the automotive side, it just took awhile to get everything in place for that. They got Chad's done and out of the way then we finally got mine done." That's a deal Hendrick has entered into with other drivers that have raced for him, including Terry Labonte, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Gordon.(NBC Sports)(9-17-2015)
Johnson working on contract extension UPDATE3 - DONE: Just weeks before NASCAR's "silly season" of accelerated contract negotiation and frenzied driver movement speculation, six-time Sprint Cup champion #48-Jimmie Johnson remains without an extension to remain at Hendrick Motorsports. But that sounds like just a formality. Before the 5-hour Energy 301 on Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Johnson told USA TODAY Sports that while there was "nothing new" in completing negotiations, he doesn't foresee a move from the team with which he has raced his entire 15-year Sprint Cup career. "(Team owner) Rick (Hendrick) likes to get things signed up and done well in advance, so there definitely have been conversations," Johnson said. "We're kind of going down the road to get that all buttoned up and put together. But I'm home. I'm not going anywhere."(USA Today)(7-20-2015)
UPDATE: Johnson met with members of the media at Indianapolis and discussed his contract extension, the transcript in part:
Q) WHAT IS THE LATEST ON YOUR CONTRACT EXTENSION AND WHETHER OR NOT YOU EXPECT CHAD (KNAUS, CREW CHIEF) TO BE BACK NEXT YEAR?
Johnson: "We still have, is it next year on our contract? I don't even know. We are obviously not concerned. We have been getting things buttoned up with Lowe's, with Hendrick, with Chad and myself, all of that. Like I said, I think last week, I'm home it's just a formality at this point to get everything kind of finished up and done."(Team Chevy)(7-29-2015)
UPDATE2: Rick Hendrick confirmed Tuesday that an announcement is likely next week in regards to Jimmie Johnson, crew chief Chad Knaus and sponsor Lowe's. All three are in the final year of their contracts with Hendrick Motorsports. "You might not have to wait a week," Hendrick said with a smile. "It's just a matter of rolling it out, probably next week." Johnson last signed a five-year contract extension that carried through this season. Lowe's signed a two-year extension in Feb. 2013, putting its deal in line with Johnson's and Knaus'.(NBC Sports)(9-8-2015)
UPDATE 3: Lowe's Companies Inc. has extended its longtime relationship with Hendrick Motorsports after signing a two-year agreement that will continue its full-season primary sponsorship of the #48 NASCAR Sprint Cup team and six-time series champion Jimmie Johnson in 2016 and 2017. In addition, Johnson and Hendrick Motorsports have agreed to a two-year contract extension that will keep the driver behind the wheel of the #48 Lowe's Chevrolet SS through 2017. The agreements build upon a partnership launched in 2001 when Johnson was selected to drive for the new #48 Hendrick Motorsports team. Now in its 14th full season, the sponsor-driver-team relationship has become one of the most successful in NASCAR history. Lowe's, whose NASCAR involvement dates back to its first car sponsorship in 1960, has been Johnson's primary sponsor for each of his 497 career Sprint Cup starts. Since his first full-time Sprint Cup season in 2002, Johnson has earned 74 victories -- the most in the series during that span -- and averaged a third-place (3.07) championship points finish. Led by crew chief Chad Knaus, whose contract with Hendrick Motorsports runs through 2018, the #48 Lowe's team has scored at least three Sprint Cup wins in each of its 14 full seasons (2002-15). Johnson's six championships trail only first-ballot NASCAR Hall of Fame drivers Dale Earnhardt and Richard Petty, who each posted seven.(Hendrick Motorsports)(9-14-2015)
Congrats to Chad Knaus....married: The big day has finally arrived for Chad Knaus and his fiancee, former Miss Sprint Cup Brooke Werner, as the two are tying the knot during the rare off-weekend for the Sprint Cup Series. Knaus, the six-time champion crew chief for Jimmie Johnson at Hendrick Motorsports, has been in a relationship with Werner since last summer. Werner, a former Miss Vermont USA, stepped down from her role as Miss Sprint Cup in March 2014 during her second year on the job.(Fox Sport)(8-29-2015)
Most Mentioned Sprint Cup Series Drivers: According to data compiled by Joyce Julius, Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano, & Jimmie Johnson have received the most driver mentions during NASCAR telecasts though the Watkins Glen race this year. The rankings:
Johnson in a special throwback scheme at Darlington: Jimmie Johnson will take the track at Darlington Raceway in a #48 Lowe's Chevy SS that will give NASCAR fans flashbacks to the early days of NASCAR. Johnson's throwback paint scheme will feature a Lowe's Home Improvement logo that was used prominently throughout the 1940s and 1950s, shortly after the company's founding in 1946 and during the same time period that Darlington Raceway first opened in 1950. The retro paint scheme celebrates the long, rich history that Lowe's has had in NASCAR that began well before its long-standing successful partnership with Jimmie Johnson. Lowe's was the title sponsor of the Lowe's 150 race at North Wilkesboro Speedway for decades and worked with Richard Petty as a spokesperson in the mid-1960s to support his "Petty Blue" riding mowers sold at Lowe's stores. Legendary drivers such as Davey Alison and Harry Gant even made special appearances at Lowe's store grand openings in the 1980s. One decade later, Lowe's would appear on the hood of Brett Bodine's #11 car and Mike Skinner's #31 Chevyt Monte Carlo before finding its home on Johnson's #48 Chevy. Johnson has won at Darlington three times, most recently in 2012, and has earned 12 top ten finishes in his 16 starts at the historic track. He'll be seeking his fourth win at the historic Darlington, South Carolina track in September. (Lowe's Racing), see an image of the car on the #48 team paint schemes page.(8-16-2015)
Bus company suing Hendrick: The trustee for bus company DesignLine is suing to recover $300,000 from car dealer Rick Hendrick and his NASCAR race team, according to a bankruptcy court filing. DesignLine issued Hendrick three payments of $100,000 each in 2011 and 2012 after the company's chairman borrowed $800,000 from Hendrick in 2010. Buster Glosson, a retired Air Force lieutenant general, borrowed $800,000 from Hendrick in February 2010. The suit states DesignLine "received no benefit" from the borrowed money. The remaining $500,000 owed was amended to a promissory note in 2012, according to the suit. Glosson and his son, former DesignLine CEO Brad Glosson, bought and moved the bus company to Charlotte in 2006. Elaine Rudisill, the trustee for DesignLine, could not be reached Tuesday afternoon. In the suit, she refers to a DesignLine memo in 2011 calling for monthly payments of $100,000 to Hendrick for design, testing and advice on suppliers. DesignLine records "do not reflect that (Hendrick) provided any of the ... assistance" and "later reflect an amended memorandum ... that HMS is owed monies from the 2009-10 time period." A Hendrick spokesman declined to comment.(Charlotte Business Journal)(8-14-2015)
Man uninjured after being clipped by Johnson's Chevy in garage area: A male was uninjured after he was clipped by Jimmie Johnson's car in the garage area during Saturday morning's first NASCAR Sprint Cup practice at Pocono Raceway. A Hendrick Motorsports spokesperson said that Johnson described the incident as a "scary moment.'' The Hendrick spokesperson also said that Johnson was shaken after the incident. The person hit had a hard card credential - given to those who regularly work in the garage area. He got up quickly and told Johnson he was uninjured. NASCAR was made aware of the incident. WWe are always looking at maintaining a safe environment, both on and around the track and in the garage area,'' NASCAR spokesperson Kerry Tharp said. "We've been made aware of this incident. We're certainly glad that everybody is OK. Obviously safety of our drivers, teams, crews and fans is top priority.''(NBC)(8-1-2015)
Congrats to Ray & Erin Evernham on the birth of their daughter, Cate Susan Evernham, Saturday morning. Evernham works at Hendrick Motorsports.(7-25-2015)
Chase clinch scenarios at New Hampshire UPDATE: Only eight races remain before the 16-driver Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup field is set. Here's what we know:
#4-Kevin Harvick has checked off two of the three Chase criteria boxes. He has the multiple wins that guarantees a spot among the top 16 winners, and at Kentucky, he locked up a top 30 spot. All he needs to do now is start each of the remaining races in the regular season.
#48-Jimmie Johnson and #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. can join Harvick this weekend in New Hampshire. Both Hendrick Motorsports drivers already have the multiple wins that guarantee them a spot among the top 16 winners (even if there's a new winner in each of the remaining eight races). They can lock up a top 30 spot at New Hampshire this weekend.
#22-Joey Logano could also join Harvick, but only with a victory.
With help in the form of poor finishes by drivers around the 30th place bubble, a victory for #78-Martin Truex Jr. or #2-Brad Keselowski would give either multiple wins and a possible top 30 place clinch.(NASCAR)(7-16-2015)
UPDATE: Sunday at New Hampshire, two Hendrick Motorsports drivers essentially punched their tickets to the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Dale Earnhardt Jr. entered Sunday's race needing 35 points to secure a spot in the top 30 of the point standings, the next step to officially earn a place in NASCAR's postseason. He earned 39. Jimmie Johnson, meanwhile, needed 26 points to secure his top-30 spot -- with no help. However, his performance netted 22 points. Still, with the way the race played out, those 22 points were enough to do the job. The driver of the #48 Lowe's Chevy SS also clinched his top-30 spot. Since both Johnson and Earnhardt have multiple wins, positions in the 16-driver Chase field are all but assured. The only requirement left is to start the remaining seven races of the regular season.(Hendrick Motorsports)(7-20-2015)
Lowe's Patriotic scheme returns for Daytona: Jimmie Johnson will pilot the #48 Lowe's Patriotic Chevy this weekend. The last time Johnson raced the scheme was at the All-Star Race and the 600-mile event at Charlotte in May. The red, white and blue-themed Chevy SS will race this weekend in celebration of the July 4th holiday. Lowe's has a long history of supporting the military. Lowe's Home Improvement was founded just after World War II by military veteran Carl Buchan, whose leadership helped it grow from a small hardware store in Wilkesboro, NC, into the Fortune 100 company it is today. Currently, Lowe's has more than 13,000 active, veteran and Guard/Reserve employees ranging from store employees to managers to customer support center employees in the North Carolina offices.(HMS), see images of the car/scheme on the #48 Team Schemes page.(7-3-2015)
Jimmie Johnson Foundation Golf Tournament raises an event record $900,000: The Jimmie Johnson Foundation announced that its annual Jimmie Johnson Foundation Golf Tournament and Dinner raised $900,000, an event record. "This is such a great event," said Johnson. "Chani (wife) and I are so thankful to everyone that supports us and to sponsors like Lowe's, that believe in supporting the vision of the Foundation. We are excited that the Foundation can continue funding projects that address critical needs in K-12 public schools." Johnson hosted more than 125 golfers at Torrey Pines Golf Course in La Jolla, California for Wednesday's golf tournament. The night before the tournament, the Johnsons hosted approximately 200 guests at a special dinner and auction, with live music from Darius Rucker at The Lodge at Torrey Pines. The tournament, which in nine years has raised more than $5.6 million, benefits the Champions Grants program, a partnership between the Jimmie Johnson Foundation and Lowe's Toolbox for Education. The grants range from $25,000-$100,000 and are distributed to K-12 public schools in Chandra and Jimmie Johnson's hometowns in California and Oklahoma, and where they currently reside in North Carolina.(JJF)(6-26-2015)
Johnson to Visit Volunteers and Families During Home Builders Blitz: From June 22 through June 26, 2015, San Diego Habitat for Humanity, in partnership with local home builders, the Jimmie Johnson Foundation, and Lowe's, will build four homes - from the ground up - in five days. These homes represent the second phase of Habitat for Humanity's Foundation Lane community - four homes were built in 2009 through a generous gift of nearly $1 million from the Jimmie Johnson Foundation. Jimmie Johnson and his wife, Chandra, return to El Cajon with another substantial donation of $50,000 from their foundation to help build the first four homes of the next phase of the development.
"Chandra and I are extremely excited to see phase two of this development become a reality," said Johnson. "It's great to see the progress of the families from phase one. We are proud to partner with Lowe's, local builders and Habitat for Humanity to expand Foundation Lane and provide homes for more families."
Lowe's, proud racing sponsor of Johnson and longtime supporter of Habitat for Humanity, is donating another $50,000 to the build efforts in El Cajon. "Lowe's is committed to strengthening the communities where we live and work by helping ensure that all people have access to safe and affordable housing," said Joan Higginbotham, director of community relations at Lowe's. "We're excited to help Habitat for Humanity and the Jimmie Johnson Foundation make a meaningful impact on the El Cajon community through the Home Builders Blitz."
The completed homes will be sold to Habitat for Humanity Partner Families who qualify according to Habitat for Humanity's family selection criteria - a demonstrated need for improved housing, the ability to repay an affordable mortgage, and willingness to partner with Habitat by completing 250-500 sweat-equity hours before moving into the homes. "Working alongside partner families, volunteers and generous sponsors, Habitat for Humanity builds simple, decent, affordable housing for local families in need," said Lori Holt Pfeiler, President/CEO of San Diego Habitat for Humanity. "This mission is possible because of the support of great partners like the Jimmie Johnson Foundation and Lowe's, and we are so grateful to be working with them once again in El Cajon."(HMS/JJF)(6-19-2015)
Teams get warnings after Pocono: NASCAR confirmed Wednesday that #48-Jimmie Johnson's team received a warning after failing to get through pre-race inspection three times last weekend at Pocono Raceway. NASCAR also stated that it gave a warning to #10-Danica Patrick's team for failing pre-qualifying inspection multiple times at Pocono. NASCAR also gave a warning to #38-David Gilliland's team for failing pre-qualifying inspection multiple times and to #9-Sam Hornish Jr.'s team for a pre-race inspection issue at Pocono. This marks the fourth warning Johnson's team has received this year.(NBC Sports)(6-11-2015)
Knaus says appeal was about understanding penalty process: Jimmie Johnson's # 48 team won its appeal Tuesday to overturn a P1 penalty, but crew chief Chad Knaus still awaits more clarity on its exposure to future punishment. NASCAR issued the penalty of last choice in pit stalls for the next race after the team received written warnings in consecutive Sprint Cup events. Written warnings are cumulative over the course of a season, and if a team receives six over a six-month period following the first, it could result in a P2 penalty. Per the 2015 NASCAR rulebook, a P2 penalty would result in at least one (and possibly more) of the following: loss of 10 championship driver and owner points; $10,000-$25,000 fine; suspension for the crew chief,and/or any other team members for at least one race; probation through the end of the calendar year for the crew chief. Johnson's team has received at least four warnings this season and could face another after failing prerace inspection three times Sunday at Pocono Raceway.
Knaus said Hendrick Motorsports' appeal was as much about understanding the new system, which was introduced last year, as contesting the penalty. "If you look at the way warning schedule is, and the way the penalties can start to accumulate over a period of time, we needed to understand the methodology behind that, and we have a better understanding of that now," he said. "I think that with all the teams and NASCAR, we're all going to have some more conversations in the future about how the warnings are applied and can be contested. That was the big reason we're here. We need to get in here and understand the format, the system and thankfully, we have a system like this. I think it's great that NASCAR is willing to have an open forum to where we can get together, chat and have a face to face conversation about it and try to get some clarification."
The tricky part of the new system is a warning isn't appealable, but a punishment resulting from a warning is. NASCAR, at its discretion, can issue P1 penalties based on multiple warnings or warnings in consecutive events.(NBC Sports) (6-10-2015)
#48 team penalty rescinded on appeal: The National Motorsports Appeals Panel heard and considered the appeal of a P1 penalty issued on May 27, 2015 to Hendrick Motorsports relative to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series vehicle #48 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The penalty concerns the following section in the 2015 NASCAR rule book:
220.127.116.11 - Warnings and P1 penalty options:
.b: Multiple warnings issued to the same team member or team will result in one or more P1 penalties.
.c: If the same team receives two warnings during the same event, or two warnings during two consecutive events, whether the events are championship or non-championship, then this may result in one or more ... P1 penalties at NASCAR's discretion.
The original penalty assessed was the last choice in the pit selection process for the next event.
Upon hearing the testimony, the decision of the National Motorsports Appeals Panel is:
· Warnings are not appealable. NASCAR acted correctly in issuing a P1 penalty after the second warning.
· But, the panel must also decide if there has been a violation of the rules (Section 14.15.1.b).
· In the hearing, there was a preponderance of evidence presented that the side skirt violation which led to a warning did occur. There was conflicting evidence about the inspection violation which led to the second warning instead of preponderance.
· Since only one of the two violations were shown by a preponderance of the evidence, the panel rescinds the P1 penalty.
The panel consisted of the following three individuals: Richard Gore, David Hall, Jay Signore.(6-9-2015)
Knaus talks about failed pre-race inspections at Pocono: Crew chief Chad Knaus of the #48 Hendrick Motorsports team weighed in Monday on his team's third-place finish as well as its three failed inspections before the Axalta 'We Paint Winners' 400 at Pocono Raceway. After going through inspection a fourth time before being cleared to race, the team fought back from a blown tire and contact with Matt Kenseth's #20 before Jimmie Johnson brought home a podium finish. "We did our due diligence as extreme as we can," Knaus said on FOX Sports 1's "NASCAR Race Hub" without specifying what the pre-race inspection holdup was. "We went through the first time and weren't in compliance. Went through a second and failed again. It's just about guys making the most out of every advantage that we can." Hendrick Motorsports will be at NASCAR's R&D Center in Concord, NC, on Tuesday, appealing the P1 penalty handed down to the #48 team after written warnings were issued during two race weekends at Charlotte.(NASCAR.com)(6-9-2015)
Jimmie Johnson Foundation on the #48: For the 10th year, Lowe's has generously donated its space on the #48 Chevy SS to promote the Jimmie Johnson Foundation. This year, the scheme features the programs and activities of the foundation, including the Blue Bunny Helmet of Hope, the Champions Grant program, the Jimmie Johnson Foundation Wellness Challenge and Team Up For Technology. In addition to the special paint scheme, Johnson will wear the Blue Bunny Helmet of Hope this weekend. The helmet is a program that recognizes education-focused charities voted on by fans to receive a $25,000 grant.(Hendrick Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #48 team paint schemes page.(6-3-2015)
Johnson's appeal hearing set for June 9: Hendrick Motorsports #48 team appeal of their P1 penalty following the Charlotte race will be heard on Tuesday, June 9. NASCAR announced last week that the team would receive the final pit stall selection at Dover because they received written warnings 2 weeks in a row. The team announced their appeal and the penalty was deferred last weekend at Dover and will be deferred this week at Pocono until the appeal process is completed.(6-1-2015)
Jimmie Johnson wins at Dover: #48-Jimmie Johnson won the FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway for his 4th win of the season, 10th win at Dover and 74th career win. Johnson has now lead 2,999 laps at Dover.
#4-Harvick finished 2nd followed by #42-Larson, #5-Kahne, #43-Almirola, #78-Truex, Jr., #1-McMurray, #27-Menard, #15-Bowyer, and #24-Gordon.
The race ended on a green-white-checkered finish after a late caution with 2 laps to go.
Harvick maintains the drivers points lead with 516, 44 points over #78-Truex, Jr.
Pole winner #11-Hamlin lead 118 laps on the day, but was caught in a late race accident and finished 21st.
There were 15 lead changes among 9 drivers. There were 7 cautions for 40X yellow flag laps.
The average speed was 119.547mph.
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 the Unofficial Drivers Points Standings page (pdf) and Unofficial Owners Points Standings page (pdf).(5-31-2015)
Johnson going for 10th Dover win UPDATE: #48-Jimmie Johnson needs a mammoth man cave at home for all of his Dover trophies. Known as the Monster Mile, the Dover winner gets a menacing, red-eyed Miles The Monster trophy that weighs 60 pounds and measures at just under 1 1/2 feet from the base to the top of the hand that clutches a mini car. No active driver owns a track like Johnson does the concrete mile at Dover. Johnson, the defending race winner, holds the track record with nine victories in just 26 starts. Johnson, a six-time Cup champion, will attempt to become just the fifth NASCAR driver with 10 or more wins at a single track in Sunday's race. Should Johnson win, he would join NASCAR Hall of Famers Richard Petty (Martinsville-15, North Wilkesboro-15, Richmond-13, Rockingham-11, Daytona-10), Darrell Waltrip (Bristol-12, Martinsville-11, North Wilkesboro-10), Dale Earnhardt (Talladega-10) and David Pearson (Darlington-10) as drivers to win 10 races at a single track.(Associated Press)(5-31-2015)
UPDATE: Johnson won the FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway Sunday for his 4th win of the season and 10th at Dover.(5-31-2015)
What happened to Johnson at Charlotte: #48-Jimmie Johnson was sidelined on Lap 275 in the Coca Cola 600 ay Charlotte Motor Speedway in single car spin & crash. The team made repairs, and Johnson returned to the competition on lap 331. Finished 40th, some Q&A's:
Q) WHAT WAS GOING ON OUT THERE?
Johnson: "For us the car was just really loose. It was fast, but as soon as I would get close to somebody else my car would bug out and get so edgy. Lost it twice, about had it saved both times. Once we would get in clean air and get strung out I could fly up through the field and went from last to fifth there. Then I had a lap car on the outside and a car I had been stalking on the bottom and then I tried to roll into the top behind the lap car. The thing just bugged out in the dirty air and around it went again. A tough day to try to get the balance right in the car."
Q) HOW SURPRISED WERE YOU THE BALANCE WAS SO OFF?
Johnson: "Well I think it looked the same for a lot of people in traffic. Vegas, Atlanta, Texas, whatever was going on there the cars balance was advantage in traffic. The split from clean air to dirty air wasn't as evil and last week at Kansas and All-Star and here I don't know if it's the tire versus the track. There is some other component there, at least for our car; it has been pretty wicked in traffic. Unfortunately bit us today."
Q) CAN YOU TAKE ANYTHING AWAY FROM TONIGHT THAT CAN HELP YOU MOVING FORWARD?
Johnson: "Yeah, we came in here tonight swinging for the fences. We are locked in the Chase, it doesn't matter. Chad (Knaus, crew chief) told me he either wanted it on a hook or the trophy. Unfortunately we got the hook."
Q) ON THE TWO SPINS:
Johnson: "We just had a really loose racecar. We came in with an aggressive mindset to bring an aggressive set-up in the car, drive aggressively and take chances. We just don't have anything to loose. Unfortunately we didn't get long enough into the race for the aggressive set-up to come into play. Another 30/40 laps we would have had the car right where we wanted it. I just didn't make it there. I could have driven a little easier and tried not work so hard through traffic, but we said we were going to come in and swing for the fences. We did and I hit the fence."
Q) DID THE TRANSITION FROM DAY TO NIGHT MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE AT ALL?
Johnson: "It was slowly coming to me. That is how we went from tail end of the longest line up to fifth. We just drove through there. The car was coming around. I was trying to set the No. 88 (Dale Earnhardt, Jr.) up in (Turns) 3 and 4 and rolled in behind a lap car. I had just kind of gotten lulled into a comfort zone thinking I could roll in behind someone and be fine because I made a couple of moves like that earlier. As soon as I turned off in the corner I knew I was going around. I fought it as long as I could and unfortunately caught the inside wall."
Q) YOU HAVE SAVED SO MANY SPINS IS IT JUST A SICK FEELING WHEN YOU KNOW IT'S NOT GOING TO BE SAVED?
Johnson: "Yeah, I thought I had that one saved too. I got a little occupied on pointing it down pit road and driving off. I should have just let it spin all the way out. I had that one I just lost it at the end."
Q) YOU HIT THE SAFER BARRIER THAT HAS BEEN ADDED SINCE OCTOBER. DID YOU KNOW THAT? HOW CLOSE DID YOU COME TO HITTING THE OPENING ON PIT ROAD?
Johnson: "I could see the SAFER barrier and I could see that opening and I could see the No. 2 (Brad Keselowski) pit. I was frightened I was going to get through that hole. It wouldn't have been pretty for me, but to have teams and stuff there that was something I was staring at sliding for a long ways. I was very thankful the SAFER barrier was there and wish we could find a way to extend a wall out and redirect the car away from that opening or close that opening up."(Team Chevy)(5-25-2015)
Johnson shocked over warning: #48-Jimmie Johnson, met with members of the media at Charlotte Motor Speedway and was asked about the warning NASCAR gave the team over the flared skirts.
Q) WHAT WAS YOUR REACTION TO THE WARNING YOUR TEAM RECEIVED FOR THE ISSUE WITH THE SIDE SKIRTS IN THE ALL-STAR RACE?
Johnson: "The warning...we were very shocked to even hear that there was an issue with the side skirts. I think leaving the racetrack NASCAR was upset and thought there was a lot more intent and something going wrong with the side skirt being pulled out. Then as video became available and they looked through it and watched and saw what was done, it calmed down. We were shocked to hear that there was an issue and actually we had crash damage on the right-side of the car. Then it certainly turned out that way."(Team Chevy)(5-22-2015)
NASCAR racers notice IndyCar's safety team: The quick response of the IndyCar Series safety team in saving James Hinchcliffe from suffering catastrophic blood loss in his accident Monday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway demonstrated the critical role the series-hired safety team plays in driver care. NASCAR doesn't have its own safety team, instead relying on the tracks to hire the doctors and emergency medical technicians who treat the drivers. While NASCAR requires an emergency response plan, holds an annual safety worker summit as well as weekly meetings at the tracks hosting each event and can dictate staffing requirements to the tracks, NASCAR's traveling medical staff consists primarily of nurses who keep driver files and know their medical histories. Drivers talked with NASCAR after Kyle Busch's accident earlier this year about the week-to-week staffing levels and training. Busch suffered a broken right leg and broken left foot in an accident Feb. 21 at Daytona International Speedway in one of the most crushing wrecks in recent years.
"NASCAR is adamant that having true ER folks that every single day fight in the ER room to save people's lives are the best people to have in place here on a weekend for us," six-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson said Thursday. "In my heart, I feel like there is maybe a hybrid version where, yes, we have those EMTs here, but we also have people that are very sharp and NASCAR-specific, car-specific, know the drivers, know our cockpits. I know that NASCAR briefs them and works with them on all that." With the tracks primarily owned by two companies, it is not unusual for doctors and first responders to work at multiple tracks.
"Once [NASCAR] explained the process and how the doctors and things were chosen was definitely kind of eye-opening as to how much money and time were spent to make sure they have the right people at every race track -- and really the longevity of the staff," Kevin Harvick said.(full story at ESPN)(5-22-2015)
#48 team may face penalty for all-star race violation UPDATE: NASCAR officials are investigating #48-Jimmie Johnson's Hendrick Motorsports team for a possible rules violation during the Sprint All-Star Race on Saturday night. A NASCAR official said after the race that a Johnson crewman was being investigated for modifying the side skirt on Johnson's car during the race. NASCAR implemented new rules prior to this season preventing teams from modifying the side skirts during a race. NASCAR also has new video cameras monitoring pit road, making such rules violations easier to detect. Any possible penalties would be announced next week.(Sporting News)(5-17-2015)
UPDATE: NASCAR will issue a warning but won't penalize the Hendrick Motorsports team of Jimmie Johnson for pulling out a side skirt body panel Saturday night during the Sprint All-Star Race. At the start of the year, NASCAR announced it wouldn't allow the flaring out of fenders and body panels near the wheel wells, something that occurred with regularity over the last half of the 2014 season. The penalty is that a team must come in under green to fix it or, if the repair is done while under caution, then the driver must do a pass-through penalty (driving down pit road at pit-road speed) under green. Anyone found involved in such modifications, on first offense, gets a warning.(ESPN.com)(5-19-2015)
Hendrick enshrined in North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame: Friday night [May 15] in Raleigh, North Carolina, Rick Hendrick was honored as a Hall of Famer. Along with nine other inductees, the owner of Hendrick Motorsports and Hendrick Automotive Group was enshrined in the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame. "It's such an honor for me to be here tonight," Hendrick said on stage after being introduced by fellow North Carolina Sports Hall of Famer Woody Durham. Joining Hendrick in the Class of 2015 were Jeff Bostic, Joe Bostic, John Clougherty, Freddie Combs, Gene Littles, Jerry McGee, Lenox Rawlings, Charlotte Smith and Andrea Stinson. "Congratulations to all the inductees here tonight," Hendrick said. "I feel kind of humbled, because most of you folks have earned your status on your own. You are great ball players, great referees, and with me, I take a team. I have to rely on a lot of people." He then asked his "teammates" from both Hendrick Automotive Group and Hendrick Motorsports to stand and be recognized. Under his leadership, Hendrick Motorsports has grown from five employees to more than 600, while Hendrick Automotive Group has expanded from nine employees to 10,000.(HMS)(5-17-2015)
Patriotic scheme for Johnson in All-Star Race: Lowe's, in conjunction with NASCAR.com and NASCAR Illustrated, digitally unveiled the #48 Lowe's Patriotic Chevy scheme Jimmie Johnson will pilot in the next two races at Charlotte Motor Speedway, starting with Saturday night's Sprint All-Star Race. Lowe's has a long history of supporting the military. Currently, Lowe's has more than 14,000 veterans, active military and Guard/Reserve employees. Those range from store employees to managers and customer support center employees in the North Carolina offices.(HMS), see images of the scheme on the #48 Team Schemes page.(5-14-2015)
Johnson wins at Kansas: #48-Jimmie Johnson won the SpongeBob SquarePants 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway for his 3rd win of the season, 3rd win at Kansas and his 73rd career win. It is also his 200th top-5 and 300th top-10 career finish.
#4-Harvick finished 2nd followed by #88-Earnhardt, Jr., #24-Gordon, #22-Logano, #20-Kenseth, #2-Keselowski, #41-Busch, #78-Truex, Jr., and #31-Newman.
#18-Erik Jones, running his first full Sprint Cup race, ran near the front for much of the race, but spun out and hit the wall with 73 laps to go. He finished 40th.
Rain fell at the track on lap 98, causing a 2 hour and 16 minute red flag.
Harvick maintains the points lead with 437, 46 points over Truex, Jr. Johnson has the Chase lead, with 3 wins to Harvick's 2.
There were 16 lead changes among 10 drivers. There were 9 cautions for 49 yellow flag laps.
The average speed was 125.265mph.
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 the Unofficial Drivers Points Standings page (pdf) and Unofficial Owners Points Standings page (pdf).(5-10-2015)
Hendrick to be honored: America's Car Museum (ACM) will award the Nicola Bulgari Award to Hendrick Motorsports owner, Hendrick Automotive Group chairman and automobile collector Rick Hendrick, to recognize his contributions to the automotive industry and promoting America's automotive heritage. The award will be given on June 26th at ACM's Wheels & Heels Annual Gala. The Nicola Bulgari Award, named after the famous luxury jewelry designer and avid car collector, is awarded annually to individuals who make significant contributions to preserving America's automotive heritage through education, car restoration and collecting classic cars. Past recipients include Dr. Frederick Simeone, founder of the Simeone automotive Museum, Edward Welburn, vice president of global design for General Motors and McKeel Hagerty, president and CEO of Hagerty.(HMS)(5-3-2015)
Jimmie Johnson Foundation Blue Bunny Helmet of Hope winners announced: The Jimmie Johnson Foundation announced today the five recipients of this year's $25,000 Blue Bunny Helmet of Hope grants. The Blue Bunny Helmet of Hope is a program that allows fans and consumers across the country to nominate not-for-profit (501c3) organizations that support K-12 public education for the chance to win one of five (5) available grant packages.
The 5 winners are:
9 Dots in Los Angeles
BackPack Beginnings in Greensboro, North Carolina
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Siouxland in Sioux City, Iowa
Carolina Raptor Center in Charlotte, North Carolina
The Be Kind People Project in Phoenix
The final five were selected via public vote. Approximately 2.2 million votes were cast for the 10 semi-finalists during the voting period.
"It was exciting to see this year's Blue Bunny Helmet of Hope program unfold," said Jimmie Johnson. "The semi-finalist charities did an outstanding job of rallying their supporters to secure votes. It was a tough, hard fought competition between 10 very deserving charities. Chani (wife) and I are thrilled that the Jimmie Johnson Foundation, in partnership with Blue Bunny, is able to support the great work of the five winners."
In addition to a $25,000 grant, each of the five winners will receive a Blue Bunny ice cream party and special recognition on Johnson's race helmet during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on June 7, 2015 at Pocono Raceway. To date, the Blue Bunny Helmet of Hope program has contributed more than $685,000 to 76 different charities.
"Congratulations to the five winners of the 2015 Blue Bunny Helmet of Hope grants," stated Mike Wells, President & CEO, Wells Enterprises, Inc., maker of Blue Bunny ice cream. "The rallying effort by the fans and supporters of the 10 semi-finalists is always impressive and illustrates the energy and passion around the purpose and mission of each organization. It is an honor to help each of them further the important work they are committed to around education." For additional information about the Blue Bunny Helmet of Hope program, visit www.helmetofhope.org.(4-29-2015)
Different look for the #48 Lowe's Chevy at Auto Club: Jimmie Johnson will debut the #48 Lowe's ProServices Chevy in this weekend's race at Auto Club Speedway. Lowe's Commercial Services are designed to help customers save time and money and make their businesses run smoother. Stores across the country have a dedicated ProServices team ready to help by offering five percent off everyday purchases with a Lowe's Business Credit Account, quick-turn, customizable quotes on volume purchases, providing an order ahead option and pulling materials for pick up, giving reduced delivery rates and offering bulk discounts on supplies used the most. The Lowe's ProServices paint scheme will adorn the #48 in eight races this season: Auto Club Speedway in March, Texas in April, Richmond in April, Dover in May, Sonoma in June, Kentucky in July, Bristol in August and New Hampshire in September (HMS), see images of the scheme on the #48 Team Schemes page.(3-19-2015)
What happened to Johnson at Vegas: #48-Jimmie Johnson, who led 46 laps early in the Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, had tire problems twice during the race, smacking the wall both times, resulting in a 41st finishing spot, Johnson's comment:
Q) DO YOU KNOW THE CAUSE OF THE RIGHT FRONT TIRE BLOWING?
Johnson: "Yeah, the first one, they said the bead blew on it. We don't have any brake temp here, so I don't know what could have caused that. That's kind of a freak deal. The second one, it went soft. So there could have been some damage that caused it or some rub or something like that, and it went soft going into Turn 3 and I hit the wall, unfortunately. I'm disappointed. We certainly had an awesome race car. I wish we could have won this Kobalt race in this Kobalt car, but we'll come back next week."(Team Chevy)(3-9-2015)
Jimmie Johnson Foundation announces Helmet of Hope campaign: The Jimmie Johnson Foundation announced the launch of the 2015 Blue Bunny Helmet of Hope campaign, which will award $125,000 to five non-profits in April. The Blue Bunny Helmet of Hope program allows fans and consumers across the country to nominate their favorite education-focused charities, including Parent/Teacher Associations, to receive a $25,000 grant, a Blue Bunny ice cream party, and special recognition on Johnson's race helmet. For more information and to make nominations go to Jayski.com's NASCAR Charity page.(3-3-2015)
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)
Daytona International Speedway
Daytona Beach, FL
Congratulations 2015 Champ Kyle Busch
(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Born in NOVEMBER:
26 Chip Bolin, Dale Jarrett, Katie Pearson
27 Billy Standridge, Kate Dallenbach, Ricky Carmichael, Shane Church
28 Chase Elliott, Billy Sutphin, Mitch Way, Nelson Stacy, Mason Mingus
29 Bob Dillner, Zach Brewer, Ryan Ellis, Tanner Berryhill
30 Danny Earnhardt, Dave Dion, Dick Hutcherson, Shawna Robinson, Chris Hussey, Andy Kirby, Brittany Glover
Born in DECEMBER:
1 Stanton Barrett Jr, Kenny Francis, David Evans, Danny Gill, Larry Gunselman
2 Erik Darnell, Kelly Kellis, Victoria Trickle
3 Bobby Allison, Cody Cook
4 Dean Johnson, Evelyn Andrews, Doug Keller
5 J.D. McDuffie, Jim Paschal, Jim Hurtubise
6 Stacey Witzke, Christian Elder
7 Geoff Smith, Dylan Lupton, Paul Moore, Richmond Gage
8 Susan Adamczyk (sister), Garry Hill, Kevin Harvick, Ryan Newman, Kerry Earnhardt, Jason Ratcliff, Nadine Lubejko, John Cohen, Zachary Jarrett
9 Tomy Drissi, Coy Gibbs, Brad Teague, Steve Richards
10 Mike Barrientos, Makayla Ann McSwain, Jerry Honeycut
11 Frankie Adamczyk, Mariah Belber, Eric McClure, Chris Horn, Tony Eury Sr.
12 Ed Watkins, Rick Pennington, Emerson Fittipaldi
13 Army National Guard, Jim Vandiver, Jarrett Andretti, David Stover, Mark Nickels, Michael Mumford
14 NASCAR (meeting at Streamline Hotel), Alan Kulwicki, Hershel McGriff, Darrin Dykes, Steve Hmiel, Bob Tracey, Harry McMullen
15 Jeff Beck, Eli Gold, Lance McGrew
16 A.J. Allmendinger
17 Mike Beam, Dustin Long, Matt Martin, Montgomery Lee Petty, Bobby East
18 Ted Musgrave, Vic Irvan, Tom Polansky
19 Patty Moise, Paul Tracy, Sheldon Schrader, John Monsham
20 Erin Marco, Taylor Nicole Earnhardt, Kinsley Parsons
21 Daniel Knost, Travis Kittleson, Michael McDowell
22 David Pearson
23 Greg Biffle, Peter Sospenzo, Ray Dunlap, Chris Cook, Addison Frye
24 Fr. Steven Janoski, David Ragan, Krista Marie Allison, Mike Gooch
25 Jesus Christ, Charles Comstock, Randy Earnhardt, Jimmy Buffett, Starr Elliott, Butch Lamoreux, Curtis W. Key, Noel Schafer
26 Ben Kennedy, Blair Makenzie Nemechek, Josh Mick
27 Mike Laughlin, Don Radebaugh
28 Jack Ingram, Nelson Stacy, Brittany Wallace, Joyce Kearns
29 Waddell Wilson, Boston Reid, Mike Bagley, Owen Kearns Jr., Jessica Stroupe
30 Fred Lorenzen, Donnie Mergard, Ryan Hemphill, Kole Kahne, Cooper Berrier
31 Ryan Blaney, Riley Craven, Benny Ertel, Joe Hicks, Dorthy Schrader, Beth Simons-Dykes, John Wes Townley