2016 Lowe's Sponsor Schedule (Unofficial):
Sprint Unlimited, 2/13, Lowe's
Daytona, 2/21, Lowe's
Atlanta, 2/28, Lowe's
Las Vegas, 3/6, Kobalt Tools (1)
Phoenix, 3/13, Lowe's ProServices
Auto Club, 3/20, Lowe's Superman
Martinsville, 4/3, Lowe's
Texas, 4/9, Lowe's, yellow numbers returned on Lowe's schemes
Bristol, 4/17, Lowe's
Richmond, 4/23, Lowe's ProServices
Talladega, 5/1, Lowe's
Kansas, 5/7, Lowe's
Dover, 5/15, Lowe's
Charlotte, All-Star Race, 5/21, Lowe's Patriotic
Charlotte, 5/29, Lowe's Patriotic
Pocono, 6/5, Lowe's
Michigan, 6/12, Kobalt Tools (2)
Sonoma, 6/26, Lowe's
Daytona, 7/2, Lowe's Patriotic
Kentucky, 7/9, Lowe's
New Hampshire, 7/17, Lowe's
Indianapolis, 7/24, Lowe's Red Vest
Pocono, 7/31, Lowe's
Watkins Glen, 8/7, Lowe's / Jimmie Johnson Foundation
Bristol, 8/20, Kobalt Tools (3)
Michigan, 8/28, Lowe's
Darlington, 9/4, Lowe's Dale Earnhardt throwback
Richmond, 9/10, Lowe's ProServices
Chicago, 9/18, Lowe's
New Hampshire, 9/25, Lowe's
Dover, 10/2, Lowe's
Charlotte, 10/8, Lowe's
Kansas, 10/16, Lowe's
Talladega, 10/23, Lowe's ProServices
Martinsville, 10/30, Lowe's
Texas, 11/6, Lowe's
Phoenix, 11/13, Kobalt Tools (4)
Homestead, 11/20, Lowe's
There are THREE race tracks (of 23) the Sprint Cup Series currently races at that #48-Jimmie Johnson has not won a Sprint Cup race at:
Kentucky: 0 for 6 with a best finish of 3rd in 7/2011 (all five top 10 finishes)
Watkins Glen: 0 for 15 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
Johnson also ran five races at Rockingham Speedway and didn't win there, best finish of 2nd in 2003.
after 15 tries, Johnson won at Homestead on Nov 20, 2016 after two 2nds(11/2004 & 11/2010)
Contract Status: Driver: 2017: Sponsor/Lowe's: 2017; Crew Chief: 2018
2017 schemes unveiled for Johnson: Thursday Team Lowes Racing unveiled paint schemes for the #48 Chevy of Jimmie Johnson in 2017. Images for the standard blue and yellow Lowe's scheme as well as the black Kobalt scheme were posted to Twitter. See images of the cars on the #48 team paint schemes page.(12-16-2016)
Johnson, Gordon gear up for 'high-spirited races' on Disney Junior: Disney Junior is racing into the new year with "Mickey and the Roadster Racers," a car-racing adventure series for preschoolers, featuring Mickey Mouse and his Disney friends, along with several NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers, including Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon. The first episode of the series -- which features Johnson's animated character -- will premier Sunday, Jan. 15 at 9:00am/et and 9:25am/et on Disney Channel and Disney Junior, respectively. Two additional episodes will air Monday, Jan. 16 at 9:00am/et and 9:25am/et on Disney Channel. Episodes will also be available on the Disney Junior app and Disney Junior VOD, as well as on iTunes. The series follows Mickey, his friends and their transforming vehicles as they race around the world and in their hometown of Hot Dog Hills. Off the track, Minnie and Daisy Duck run the Happy Helpers business, offering a helping hand to anyone in need. Johnson and Gordon appear as recurring race car drivers Jiminy Johnson and Gordon Gear, respectively. The two join a star-studded guest cast which includes Jay Leno, Gordon Ramsay and Hoda Kotb, among others. Designed for children ages two to seven, the episodes and story lines are geared toward teaching kids social and emotional lessons about friendship, teamwork, optimism and good sportsmanship.(HMS)(12-6-2016)
NASCAR luminaries gather to honor Johnson, Stewart at awards gala: Jimmie Johnson was unfailingly humble, even on a night when the NASCAR community came together to honor his monumental accomplishment. With a victory on Nov. 20 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Johnson claimed his record-tying seventh NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship. Nevertheless, the driver of the #48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy was reluctant to claim the same stature as the two seven-time champions who preceded him - Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt. "Dale said this in '94 after winning his seventh," Johnson said in concluding his remarks during the Sprint Cup Awards on Friday night at the Wynn Las Vegas. "I might've won as many championships as Richard Petty, but he will always be the King. I completely agree and must say, I might've won as many championships as Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt but... I will never be the King or the Intimidator. I'm just a guy from California who always wanted to race." But Johnson will continue to shape his own legacy, having brought a 12th series title to team owner Rick Hendrick, who also fielded championship cars for Jeff Gordon and Terry Labonte.
As he addressed the packed house in the Latour ballroom, Johnson said the magnitude of the seventh title was still sinking in. "Loyalty and a never-quit attitude are at the foundation of our success," Johnson said. "Add that with Mr. Hendrick's leadership and the unwavering support from (sponsor) Lowe's, and put it all in a Chevy... good stuff happens. We've been through a lot over the years. Ups and downs, winning and losing, heartache and heartbreak. Even a golf cart incident (a reference to Johnson's fall from the roof of a golf cart after his first championship in 2006). Amongst it all, we are still together and more unified than ever."
Hendrick also was an integral part of an unexpected honor for three-time champion Tony Stewart, who is retiring from NASCAR Sprint Cup competition after 18 years. Pearl Jam lead singer Eddie Vedder, who befriended Stewart earlier this year, introduced the driver, and Hendrick added a surprise. Hendrick announced a $1.8-million donation from the motorsports industry in Stewart's name to Vedder's effort to combat EB, a pernicious skin disease. Stewart said he got involved with Vedder's charity, "when I met him earlier this year is South Carolina. It's a very important charity to him and his wife. When you meet people like him that are that passionate about something, it immediately makes you want to be that passionate as well. That's why we got involved."
For his part, Hendrick also had strong words for his seven-time champion driver and his crew chief, Chad Knaus. "Jimmie, you are a champion in every sense of the word," Hendrick said. "Chad, you are what your record says you are, the best crew chief of all time." Even Johnson's fiercest competitors expressed deep admiration for his accomplishments. "If I had to finish second to someone, I guess the third seven-time champion in our sport's history is acceptable," said Joey Logano, who finished second to Johnson in the final standings. "Congrats to Jimmie, and thank you for always being a great representative for the sport."
"Great to finally see you guys make it up here on the big stage," quipped 2015 champion Kyle Busch. "But seriously, when you tie a record set by Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt, the accomplishment pretty much speaks for itself."
Despite missing half the NASCAR Sprint Cup season because of a concussion, Dale Earnhardt Jr. was named the series' most popular driver for the 14th straight year. The fan support, Earnhardt said, "really motivated me to get healthy. It motivated me to come back." Earnhardt will test in December and expects to be back in the #88 Chevrolet for the season-opening Daytona 500 in February.
Team owner Roger Penske, who celebrated his 50th year in motorsports this season, received the Bill France Award of Excellence from NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France (NASCAR Wire Service)(12-3-2016)
#48 team named Mechanix Wear's Most Valuable Pit Crew: In addition to Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus, also celebrating #se7en is the #48 Lowe's team, who has been with the driver and crew chief every step of the way during the 2016 season. In the midst of their champion's week celebrations, the Lowe's pit crew received their own award as they were named the Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew of 2016. The six over-the-wall members of the #48 team include: Kyle Tudor (jackman), R.J. Barnette (front-tire carrier), Kevin Novak (front-tire changer), Calvin Teague (rear-tire changer), Ryan Patton (rear-tire carrier) and Brandon Harder (fueler). The #48 Lowe's team aided Johnson in claiming five wins, 11 top-five finishes, 16 top-10s and one pole award throughout the 36-race season. In the 15 years since the award's inception in 2002, the #48 Lowe's team has won the award a total of four times (2004, 2007, 2008 and 2016). The title of Most Valuable Pit Crew is awarded to the team who shows the most consistency on pit road throughout the season and is the longest-running and most prestigious pit crew award in the sport. Every nine races (each quarter of the season), the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series crew chiefs vote for the pit crew they believe contributes the most value to their team on race day. Each quarter, a semifinalist is chosen to receive an award and is given the opportunity to win the overall Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew award at the end of the season.(Hendrick Motorsports)(12-1-2016)
NASCAR Champion's Week in Las Vegas: Thursday, Dec. 1
ˇ NASCAR NMPA Myers Brothers Awards Luncheon: The annual awards luncheon and industry gathering will take place from 11 a.m. - 1:15 p.m. at Wynn Las Vegas, where several team and individual awards will be presented. Hosted by Mike Joy, the event will be live-streamed on NASCAR.com.
ˇ NASCAR Victory Lap Fueled by Sunoco: All 16 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers will parade their race cars down Las Vegas Boulevard and perform burnouts beginning at the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino and finishing in front of The Park. Fans can catch pre-race introductions hosted by Jamie Little at 2:45 p.m. followed by green flag at 3:30 p.m. For a list of burnout locations, fans can visit the NASCAR Fan Lounge at Beerhaus or ChampionsWeek.NASCAR.com. The event will be simulcast live on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio and NASCAR.com.
ˇ NASCAR After The Lap Sponsored by Chevrolet, Ford & Toyota: Beginning at 5 p.m., all 16 Chase Challengers will appear on stage at the Pearl Theater inside the Palms Casino Resort for NASCAR After The Lap sponsored by Chevrolet, Ford and Toyota. Hosted by Rutledge Wood and restauranteur Guy Fieri, fans can watch live by purchasing tickets here or tune-in to NASCAR.com and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio for behind-the-scenes insight into the drivers' lives both on and off the track.
ˇ NASCAR Silver Bullet Bash Presented by Coors Light: To commemorate and celebrate the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season and toast the 2016 Champion, Coors Light will host the NASCAR Silver Bullet Bash starting at 10 p.m. in XS at Encore Las Vegas. Recording artists American Authors will give a special performance at the invite-only event.(NASCAR)(12-1-2016)
NASCAR Champion's Week in Las Vegas: Wednesday, Nov. 30 - Thursday, Dec. 1
ˇ NASCAR Fan Lounge at Beerhaus Presented by Coors Light: Located at The Park just outside New York-New York, fans can enjoy giveaways, special appearances and check out the cars of the 16 Chase drivers at the NASCAR Fan Lounge at Beerhaus. Presented by Coors Light, the fan headquarters will also feature music and photo opportunities with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series trophy.
Knaus wants his 8th championship: Jimmie Johnson's record-tying seventh Sprint Cup Series title put him in elite company with the legendary Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt. It's quite the feat that the #48 team achieved, but Johnson's already thinking about eight. For crew chief Chad Knaus. Dale Inman currently holds the record for most championships as a crew chief with eight premier series championships. Having been atop of the pit box for of all seven of Johnson's championships, Knaus would tie that record with an eighth Sprint Cup title. "I mentioned it to him that we need to go get eight for him," Johnson told NASCAR.com on Tuesday morning. " ... He's honestly been such a huge part of my success and deserves the title of 'greatest ever.' So one way to really nip that is to go and put him up there with the same stats as Dale Inman."(NASCAR.com)(11-28-2016)
Liberty University partners with Hendrick Automotive Group on dealership management class: In the spring, Liberty University will pilot its first course in automotive dealership management, thanks to a partnership with Hendrick Automotive Group, the nation's largest privately held automotive retail organization. Liberty plans to offer a full specialization next fall, under its Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. Dan DeHass, executive general manager for Mall of Georgia Mazda, Mall of Georgia MINI and Rick Hendrick Buick GMC, said there is a "giant void" for educating students in automotive dealership management and that most college students may not realize the "unbelievable opportunities within the industry." Only two other colleges in the nation have these programs, even though the U.S. has the second-largest automotive industry in the world (behind China). Students will be trained in managing a dealership as well as how to adapt to technology in an ever-changing marketplace. "The purpose is building future owners of dealerships," Hicks said. "If we can get students to think like owners and to learn the business that well, they are going to make phenomenal employees and, potentially, owners." Hendrick Automotive Group is working with Liberty to develop the curriculum, and some of its employees will contribute to course instruction, including prerecorded and live videos. The North Carolina-based automotive company has an extensive training program in place, which will be incorporated into expanding Liberty's curriculum.(Liberty University)(11-28-2016)
Hendrick Motorsports - 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Notes:
JOHNSON MAKES HISTORY WITH SE7EN: Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe's Chevy for Hendrick Motorsports, earned a record-tying seventh NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship with his first-place finish at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Sunday. He joined NASCAR Hall of Famers Dale Earnhardt Sr. and Richard Petty as the only drivers in history to win seven Cup titles and became the first driver to do it since Earnhardt in 1994. Johnson's former Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon ranks fourth all-time with four Cup championships.
RECORD 12TH TITLE FOR HENDRICK: Johnson's 2016 Sprint Cup title is the 12th for Hendrick Motorsports and car owner Rick Hendrick, who will be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in January. Hendrick is the all-time leader in Sprint Cup owner championships, which he won with three different drivers: Johnson (7), Gordon (4) and Terry Labonte. He has 245 Cup-level race wins as an owner, ranking second all-time and first in NASCAR's modern era. *The previous version of this note incorrectly stated that Hendrick was the only car owner to win titles with three different drivers. Joe Gibbs has also won championships with three drivers -- Bobby Labonte, Tony Stewart and Kyle Busch.
ALL-TIME CHAMPIONSHIPS: The 2016 Sprint Cup car owner championship is the 15th for Hendrick Motorsports across NASCAR's three national series, extending the team's all-time record. Richard Childress Racing ranks second among owners with 12 combined titles. In the car owner category, Hendrick Motorsports has won 12 titles in the Sprint Cup Series and three in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Hendrick Motorsports also won a NASCAR XFINITY Series driver championship in 2003, giving the organization 16 total national series titles.
ONE DRIVER, ONE SPONSOR, ONE TEAM: Lowe's has been the #48 team's primary sponsor since its inception in 2001. The home improvement retailer has been Johnson's only primary sponsor for 15 full seasons (2002-2016), encompassing all seven Sprint Cup championships, 80 race victories and numerous milestones, including two wins in the Daytona 500 and four in the Brickyard 400. Hendrick Motorsports' relationship with Lowe's is one of the longest-running driver-team-sponsor partnerships in NASCAR history.
KNAUS SETS THE STANDARD: With seven career Sprint Cup championships, crew chief Chad Knaus ranks second all-time behind only NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Inman, who earned eight Cup titles as a crew chief. Knaus holds the distinction of being the only crew chief to win more than two Cup titles in a row, a feat he accomplished when he coached the #48 team to five straight from 2006-2010.
KNAUS' CAREER: Knaus has led the #48 team since Johnson's 2002 rookie year in the Sprint Cup Series. In that 15-season span, he and Johnson have won seven titles and posted an average finish of 3.4 in the championship standings.
#SE7EN A SPECIAL TRIBUTE: Johnson began using the hashtag #se7en as a tribute to Ricky Hendrick, the late son of car owner Rick Hendrick. Early in his racing career, Ricky Hendrick drove a #7 car and later a #17, and he developed a habit of writing out the number with a "7" in place of the letter "V."
YOUNGEST TO SE7EN: At 41 years old, Johnson is the youngest driver to win seven Sprint Cup championships. Petty earned his seventh title in 1979 at age 42, a little more than two months after Johnson was born. Earnhardt was 43 when he won his seventh title in 1994.
SHORTEST SPAN: Johnson's seventh championship came 10 seasons after his first title win (2006). That marks the shortest period of time between the first and seventh title in history. Petty's final championship came in 1979, 15 seasons after his first title win (1964), and Earnhardt earned his seventh championship in 1994, 14 seasons after his first (1980).
CUP VICTORIES: Hendrick Motorsports has tallied 245 Cup victories in 33 seasons, a figure that leads all teams in NASCAR's modern era and ranks second all-time behind Petty Enterprises (268 wins). This season, Hendrick Motorsports posted five victories with its Chevy race cars. Hendrick Motorsports has been with manufacturer Chevrolet since its inaugural season in 1984.
COMPARISONS: In the major American professional sports leagues, Hendrick Motorsports' 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championships are seventh all-time behind the New York Yankees (27 World Series titles), Montreal Canadians (24 Stanley Cup titles), Boston Celtics (17 NBA titles), Los Angeles Lakers (16 NBA titles), Toronto Maple Leafs (13 Stanley Cup titles) and Green Bay Packers (13 NFL championships).
WINNING PERCENTAGE: Hendrick Motorsports is the most efficient championship team in major American professional sports, earning 12 titles since its inception in 1984 for a 36.4 all-time title-winning%age. The Boston Celtics rank second with 17 NBA titles in 70 seasons (24.3%), while the New York Yankees rank third with 27 World Series championships in 116 seasons (23.3%). The Los Angeles Lakers rank fourth with 16 NBA titles in 69 seasons (23.2%) and the Montreal Canadiens are fifth with 24 Stanley Cup titles in 107 seasons (22.4%). Hendrick Motorsports has won 12 of the last 22 Sprint Cup championships (1995-2016), putting the team's title-winning%age during that span at 54.5.
SINCE 1984: No other major American professional sports team has earned more championships than Hendrick Motorsports since 1984, the organization's inaugural season. In that time, the Los Angeles Lakers have earned eight NBA championships and the Chicago Bulls have recorded six. The New York Yankees, San Antonio Spurs and Edmonton Oilers have tallied five titles apiece since 1984.
ROAD WARRIOR: Along with Johnson and Knaus, car chief Ron Malec has been on the #48 Lowe's team road crew for all seven championships. Malec started working as a mechanic with Johnson in the ASA Series in the late 1990s. When Johnson joined Hendrick Motorsports, Malec came on board. As car chief, he manages the crew members who work on the car both at the team facility in Concord, North Carolina, and during each race weekend. He is responsible for the preparation of the race car and seeing it through technical inspection.
CHAMPIONSHIP STREAKS: Prior to Johnson's run of five consecutive Sprint Cup titles from 2006-2010, Hendrick Motorsports scored four in a row from 1995-1998 with Gordon (1995, 1997 and 1998) and Labonte (1996). No other organization has won more than three Sprint Cup championships in consecutive seasons.
STILL ROLLING: Hendrick Motorsports never has run a Sprint Cup season without winning a pole position, recording at least one for 33 consecutive years (1984-2016). The team scored four in 2016, including one from Johnson, one from #88 team substitute driver Alex Bowman and two from Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year Chase Elliott.
WIN STREAK: Hendrick Motorsports has posted at least one Cup-level win in 31 straight seasons, the longest active streak in NASCAR. The streak began Feb. 16, 1986, when Geoff Bodine won Hendrick Motorsports' first Daytona 500.
YEAR IN REVIEW: In 2016, Hendrick Motorsports amassed five wins, four pole positions, 28 top-five finishes, 56 top-10s and 1,355 laps led. The five wins came at five different tracks -- Atlanta, Fontana, Charlotte, Martinsville and Homestead. The win at Martinsville propelled Johnson to the Championship 4 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, where he won the organization's 12th Sprint Cup Series championship.
*When referencing "major American professional sports," the following have been factored in: Major League Baseball, NASCAR, the National Basketball Association, the National Football League and the National Hockey League.(HMS)(11-21-2016)
Jimmie Johnson wins at Homestead and the CHAMPIONSHIP: #48-Jimmie Johnson won the FORD EcoBoost 400 Sprint Cup Series Championship race at Homestead-Miami Speedway for his 5th win of the season, 1st ever win at Homestead and 80th career win in NASCAR Overtime as the race was extended one lap for a late accident. #42-Kyle Larson, who led the most laps with 132, led the race when the final caution came out, setting up NASCAR Overtime. On the restart, #48-Johnson rocketed to the front, took the lead and kept the lead winning the race and the Championship / Chase. Johnson led 3 of the 368 laps.
Johnson won his record tying 7th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship, tying NASCAR Hall of Famers Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt with 7.
#48-Jimmie Johnson had to start at the rear of the field before the drop of the green flag for unapproved body modifications after going through pre-race tech inspection.
#42-Lason (who led the most laps at 132) finished 2nd followed by #4-Harvick (pole winner), #22-Logano, #1-McMurray, #18-Busch, #20-Kenseth, #47-Allmendinger, #11-Hamlin and #59-McDowell.
#14-Tony Stewart, running his final Cup race, finished 22nd
#44-Brian Scott, retiring after this race, finished 15th
On a restart with 10 laps to go in the race, #22-Joey Logano shot deep to the inside in an attempt to pass #19-Carl Edwards for the lead among the championship contenders. Edwards reacted quickly and decisively, turning his car to the left in an attempt to block Logano. Logano didn't lift, and chaos ensued. Logano shoved Edwards into the inside wall. Edwards' Toyota bounced across the track, was hit hard by Kasey Kahne and slammed into the outside wall. The wreck involved nine cars [2,5,7,19,22,24,31,78,95] and caused a red flag of 31 minutes and nine seconds as track workers cleared the mess. Edwards refused to take an ambulance ride to the infield care center, instead choosing to make the long, sad walk. Along the way, he stopped at Logano's pit and talked to Logano crew chief Todd Gordon and other members of the team. Edwards' smashed car didn't finish the race. He wound up fourth of the four Championship 4 competitors.
There were 20 lead changes among 6 drivers and 7 cautions for 33 yellow flag laps and a 31:09 red flag.
The average speed of the race was: 128.869mph.
See unofficial race results, awards, laps led, cautions and more [NOTE: money/winnings are no longer reported] at:
Unofficial Race Results (pdf)
Lap Summary Report (pdf)
Penalty Report (pdf)
See OFFICIAL race results & points standings on the Official Homestead Race & Points Report (pdf).(11-20-2016)
Jimmie Johnson Makes History, Wins Record-Tying Seventh NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship: History has been made. Jimmie Johnson captured his record-tying seventh NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship with a stirring victory Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway, tying NASCAR Hall of Famers Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt atop the all-time list. Sunday's win was Johnson's 80th career victory. To win the 2016 championship, the driver of the #48 Lowe's Chevy outdueled the other Championship 4 drivers #22-Joey Logano (fourth), #18-Kyle Busch (sixth) and #19-Carl Edwards (34th) at Homestead. It was a year of sevens for Johnson, who took over sole possession of seventh place on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series all-time wins list after his win at Auto Club Speedway earlier this season. His wins at Atlanta and Auto Club catapulted him into the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
Johnson breezed through the first round of the Chase, logging his two highest laps led totals of the season to that point at Chicagoland and Dover. When the Round of 12 rolled around, he added his all-time track-record eighth win at Charlotte, leading a race-high 155 laps on the way to a Round of 8 berth. Johnson was the first to lock up a spot in the Championship 4, winning at Martinsville Speedway for the ninth time. At the age of 41, Johnson becomes the youngest seven-time champion. Petty was 42 when he captured his seventh title in 1979; Earnhardt was 43 in 1994. All seven of Johnson's championships were won under team owner Rick Hendrick and with crew chief Chad Knaus.
Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports, captured his record-extending 12th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship. Along with Johnson's seven titles, Hendrick has won championships with Jeff Gordon (four) and Terry Labonte (one).
Knaus cemented his legacy as one of the top crew chiefs in NASCAR history with his seventh title, one shy of the all-time record held by NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Inman.
Also on Sunday, #24-Chase Elliott was named Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award.(NASCAR)(11-20-2016)
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series - Championship Fast Facts:
Jimmie Johnson has won his seventh NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship (2016, '13, '10, '09, '08, '07, '06), joining NASCAR Hall of Famers Richard Petty (1979, '75, '74, '72, '71, '67, '64) and Dale Earnhardt (1994, '93,'91, '90, '87, '86, '80) as the series leaders in titles.
Johnson wins the Ford EcoBoost 400 claiming the 2016 series title.
Johnson has become the third different driver to win a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship in the elimination-style format in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup (Kevin Harvick, 2014 and Kyle Busch, 2015).
Johnson finished the 2016 season with five wins, 11 top fives, 16 top 10s and one pole.
In 15 NSCS seasons, Johnson has posted 80 wins (most among active drivers), 216 top fives and 330 top 10s
Johnson also leads the series in wins during the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup with 29.
Owner Champion: Rick Hendrick, Hendrick Motorsports
This is Hendrick Motorsports' 12th series owner championship, the most all-time (2016, '13, '10, '09, '08, '07, '06, '01, '98, '97, '96, '95).
This is Hendrick Motorsports' 15th NASCAR national series owner championship, extending its all-time record.
Hendrick Motorsports was the first team to win five consecutive championships (2006-2010). It was also the first to win four straight, from 1995-98 (Jeff Gordon in 1995 and 1997-98; Terry Labonte 1996).
Hendrick Motorsports has won 12 of the last 22 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championships (1995-2016), putting the team's title-winning percentage during that span at 54.5%.
Crew Chief Champion: Chad Knaus
Chad Knaus won his seventh championship (2006 - 2010, 2013, 2016), all with driver Jimmie Johnson.
Knaus is second on the all-time crew chief championships list, with seven. Dale Inman is the all-time leader in crew chief championships, with eight.
Knaus holds the distinction of being the only crew chief to win more than two NASCAR Sprint Cup titles in a row, a feat he accomplished when he led the #48 team to five-straight from 2006-2010.
Knaus has 78 career series wins, all with Jimmie Johnson.(NASCAR)(11-20-2016)
Richard Petty Comments on Jimmie Johnson's Seventh Championship: Comments from "The King" Richard Petty: "Records are a mark and they set something for everyone to shoot at. Jimmie and his team have done that tonight. They set a goal to get where they are and circumstances and fate made it a reality. They did what they needed to do and now they are at seven championships. Congratulations to him and his team. Jimmie is a great champion and this is really good for our sport."(RPM)(11-20-2016)
Johnson to start in the back: Chase driver, #48-Jimmie Johnson will start at the rear of the FORD EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway Sprint Cup Series championship race Sunday for unapproved body modifications after going through pre-race tech inspection.(11-20-2016)
Richard Petty hasn't talked to Johnson about potential 7th title: Richard Petty sat in his motorhome Saturday afternoon, admitting he had not talked to Jimmie Johnson about the potential of Johnson tying him and Dale Earnhardt for a seventh Sprint Cup title Sunday in the season-ending race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Petty said he wasn't avoiding Johnson and doesn't have any animosity in seeing another driver tie his record. They just aren't all that close and haven't had time to connect. "I haven't talked to Jimmie," Petty said. "I've been too busy answering questions about Jimmie so I haven't got a chance to talk to him."(see full article at ESPN.com)(11-20-2016)
Johnson's car undamaged after hitting debris in final practice: #48-Jimmie Johnson, one of four drivers in the Championship4 going for the 2016 Sprint Cup Series championship, hit some debris on the track at Homestead-Miami Speedway during final practice on Saturday, his comment:
Q) HOW WAS YOUR FINAL PRACTICE SESSION? WAS THERE ANY DAMAGE FROM THE HOSE YOU HIT?
Johnson: "No, no damage from the hose, just a little scratch. With the car we really hit on some things in the final practice. Driving much better, great speed, short run speed, long run speed, we made some good improvements there at the end of that."(Team Chevy)(11-19-2016)
Hendrick thought about splitting up Johnson-Knaus: As #48-Jimmie Johnson struggled through the longest winless drought of his Sprint Cup career, team owner Rick Hendrick wondered whether it was time to split up the band. Johnson and crew chief Chad Knaus have won six Sprint Cup titles together, and Knaus has overseen the cars for Johnson's 79 victories (actually 77, Darian Grubb was the crew chief for 2 wins while Knaus was suspensed). But after 15 seasons together, Hendrick at least wondered a little bit whether they needed a change as Johnson went on a 24-race winless streak with 11 finishes outside the top 15. He didn't act on those thoughts, and Johnson is one of the four drivers vying for the Cup title Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway. "When you have two guys that have been so good and you try to decide is it time, and this year we started off really well, and then we hit a lull in the summer, and it was -- we asked ourselves then, 'Is this time, do we need to make a change?'" Hendrick said Friday at Homestead-Miami Speedway. "But when you see things that are so close [to turning around], I think that's when they work harder. We really just sit down and work hard together and try to identify weaknesses, and I think they have both made a commitment -- they want to retire together. They want to finish their careers together." If Johnson wins a seventh title -- tying Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt Sr. for the most championships in a career -- it will be the first time a driver has won seven titles with the same crew chief.(ESPN)(11-19-2016)
Johnson has some clarity regarding his pit road penalty, wants more: #48-Jimmie Johnson met with members of the media at Championship Media Day at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel and discussed a variety of topics including the pit road penalty at Phoenix, the transcript in part:
Q. Have you talked to NASCAR at all about pit road yet? Have you gotten any clarity from last Sunday?
Johnson: "There's been quite a few voicemails back and forth. They were traveling Monday. We were in New York Tuesday. So I haven't had that chance. There's been enough texting and voice mails back and forth communicating, so I have a better understanding. I still look forward to tomorrow and understand what would lead to that again in the future, and how aggressive they're going to be in calling that week after week, stop after stop. I think what I got called on happened more pit stops after my penalty. I just want consistency is all I'm after."(Team Chevy)(11-18-2016)
Johnson & Truex Jr. not happy about 'pulling up to pit' penalties; NASCAR responds: #48-Jimmie Johnson and #78-Martin Truex Jr. both plan to talk to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series officials after each was penalized a lap for pulling up to pit during Sunday's race at Phoenix. Truex, who was running 10th after starting last in a backup car, was penalized on Lap 85. He never recovered and finished last after an accident. Johnson was penalized on Lap 133 of the 324-lap race and was not a factor. He finished 38th after his car was damaged in an incident. The penalties marked only the second time this season that NASCAR has cited Cup drivers for pulling up to pit. #4-Kevin Harvick and #13-Casey Mears both were penalized for the infraction at Dover in May. Johnson was confused by NASCAR's call and wants to make sure he understands it as he races for a championship next weekend in Miami against #19-Carl Edwards, #22-Joey Logano and #18-Kyle Busch. Truex and his team also argued their penalty when it happened. In the video that is played during the drivers' meeting each week, competitors are told "do not pull up to pit, hold your respective track position under the yellow flag.' NASCAR previously warned drivers about this issue. During the drivers meeting at Martinsville, Richard Buck, Sprint Cup director, told competitors: "Also a reminder, under caution, the leader may not pass the caution car when entering pit road."(NBC Sports)
AND A NASCAR executive was adamant that drivers were warned about passing the pace car as they entered pit road and that series officials penalized Martin Truex Jr. after a move that was "just blatant" Sunday at Phoenix and penalized Jimmie Johnson to be consistent. Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer, made the comments Monday on "The Morning Drive" on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. "We've reminded the drivers quite often that it was getting very close that you can't pass the pace car as you pull off on to pit road,'' O'Donnell said. "We've had that in every drivers meeting. Not a surprise to anyone. Jimmie has been racing with us for a long time and is aware of that rule. Have there been some borderline situations in the past? Sure. We're always going to try to err if we can on the competitor's side. We've been very clear on that."(NBC Sports)(11-15-2016)
Jimmie Johnson Foundation announces nearly $600,000 in Champions Grants: #48-Jimmie Johnson, and his wife Chandra, announced at an event at the NASCAR Hall of Fame, that 12 schools will receive $599,891 in Champions Grants this year. The grants are awarded annually to K-12 public and charter schools in and around their hometowns in San Diego and El Cajon, California and Muskogee and Tulsa, Oklahoma, as well as their current residence in Charlotte, North Carolina. This year, the Jimmie Johnson Foundation/Lowe's Toolbox for Education Champions Grant awards included $228,404 toward language and literacy initiatives, $195,745 toward science and technology programs, $145,742 for health and fitness activities, and $30,000 toward school improvement projects. See the full list of grants at jimmiejohnsonfoundation.org.(JJF)(11-12-2016)
Johnson wins at Martinsville: #48-Jimmie Johnson won the Goody's Fast Relief 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway for his 4th win of the season, 9th win at Martinsville and 79th career win. Johnson led 92 of the 500 laps.
#2-Keselowski finished 2nd, followed by #11-Hamlin, #20-Kenseth, #18-Busch, #88-Gordon, pole sitter #78-Truex, Jr., #1-McMurray, #22-Logano, and #47-Allmendinger.
Three Chase drivers finished off the lead lap - #4-Harvick in 20th, #41-Busch in 22nd, and #19-Edwards in 36th.
#19-Edwards cut a tire down with just over 100 laps to go and hit the wall. He had to go to the garage for repairs. NASCAR had to throw the caution during green flag pit stops, which led to a 29 lap caution period as NASCAR had to work to determine the restart positions for all drivers.
There were 15 lead changes among 9 drivers and 5 cautions for 54 yellow flag laps.
Average race speed: 78.540mph
See unofficial race results, awards, laps led, cautions and more [NOTE: money/winnings are no longer reported] at:
Unofficial Race Results (pdf)
Lap Summary Report (pdf)
Penalty Report (pdf)
Pit Stop Times (pdf)
Unofficial Drivers Points Standings page (pdf) and
Unofficial Owners Points Standings page (pdf)
Kenseth & Johnson to race Hincapie Gran Fondo cycle race: More than 2,300 cyclists will take to the backroads of Greenville County on Saturday when the fifth annual Gran Fondo Hincapie gets underway [in Greenville, SC]. The riders come from at least 18 different countries and 39 U.S. states, and they include at least two NASCAR drivers, according to ride founder Rich Hincapie. Jimmy Johnson and Matt Kenseth are avid cyclists, according to Hincapie. The NASCAR riders face a special challenge beyond the climbs in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains: they also have to get to Talladega in time for qualifying. In addition to flying the drivers in and out of Greenville County, Hincapie said organizers also have created a "NASCAR extraction plan" to help the drivers get to Talladega on time. If the NASCAR drivers don't hit a certain spot along the bike route by a certain time, they will be driven back, according to Hincapie. Also pedaling in the Gran Fondo will be members of the U.S. and Olympic cycling teams, according to organizers. Organizers said the best time to catch up with the NASCAR celebs would be at 7 a.m. during the VIP breakfast at Hincapie-owned Hotel Domestique, 10 Road of Vines, in Travelers Rest. The best place to watch the race once it is underway is from Chinquapin Road where it meets Highway 11. The ride includes three routes: The 80-mile Gran, the 50-mile Medio and the 15-mile Piccolo. The Gran route includes 8,100 feet of climbing. A portion of the proceeds from the race will benefit Greenville County's Meals on Wheels.(WYFF)(10-22-2016)
Johnson comments on deal with Stewart-Haas; Hendrick backtracks: Jimmie Johnson described a less-than-ideal working relationship between Hendrick Motorsports and Stewart-Haas Racing on Friday, prompting his team general manager to clarify how the teams shared information. Stewart-Haas has gotten its Chevrolet engines and chassis from Hendrick Motorsports since it began in 2009, but that relationship is poised to end. Stewart-Haas announced this year it would be switching to Roush Yates Engines that power Ford teams for next season. Johnson was asked before practice for Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Kansas whether he would like his team to find another partner to replace Stewart-Haas racing next season. "Just to be selfishly speaking," Johnson said, "we didn't get their data. We didn't share their data. They had ours. So it was a fantastic situation for them. They had our best stuff and then they have a huge engineering staff and they can take Hendrick's best equipment and refine it." That counts as inflammatory stuff in the closely knit NASCAR garage. It also prompted Hendrick Motorsports general manager Doug Duchardt to climb out of Johnson's hauler a few hours later and clarify the relationship. The teams did share information with each other before Stewart-Haas announced its decision to leave, at which point communication was largely cut off. "That is the way it worked from the time I have been at Hendrick Motorsports," Duchardt said. "We received information from Stewart-Haas when we worked with them. When they made their announcement with Ford that changed things. But the bottom line is that as partners we exchanged data."(Associated Press)(10-15-2016)
Johnson wins rain delayed Charlotte race: #48-Jimmie Johnson won the Bank of American 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway for his 3rd win of the season, 8th win at Charlotte and 78th career win. Johnson led a race high 155 laps.
#20-Kenseth finished 2nd followed by #5-Kahne, #31-Newman, #42-Larson, #18-Busch, #2-Keselowski, #41-Busch, #14-Stewart and #1-McMurray.
The race was delayed a day due to rain from Hurricane Matthew that hit the area Friday and Saturday.
Five Chase drivers had problems during the race. #4-Harvick had an engine issue and didn't finish the race, finishing 38th. #22-Logano had tire issues, the 2nd time he hit the wall, finishing 36th. #3-Dillon and #24-Elliott were involved in a 13 car wreck when #78-Truex Jr. got into the back of the #3 Chevy, causing the #3 to spin out. Dillon finished 32nd and Elliott finished 33rd. #11-Hamlin had an engine go up in smoke and finished 30th.
There were 17 lead changes among 9 drivers and 8 cautions for 51 yellow flag laps.
The was one red flag period, for 10:48. The average speed was 134.929 mph.
See unofficial race results, awards, laps led, cautions and more [NOTE: money/winnings are no longer reported] at:
Unofficial Race Results page (pdf)
Lap Summary Report (pdf)
Penalty Report (pdf)
No penalties for Truex, Johnson; NASCAR to increase tolerances in post-race inspection: NASCAR has decided to increase the tolerances for postrace measurements, eliminating all lower-tier penalties and only issuing a penalty if it reaches the point where suspensions would be issued and a win would not be allowed to count toward advancement in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. The decision is retroactive to the race last weekend at Chicagoland Speedway, meaning that race winner Martin Truex Jr. and 12th-place finisher Jimmie Johnson will not be penalized for being outside the rear alignment tolerances by a minimal amount. Without a penalty, Johnson remains eighth in points. With the 10-point penalty he would have received, Johnson would have fallen into a tie for 12th in the standings. NASCAR Executive Vice President Steve O'Donnell said the decision was made so that all penalties are equitable. Under the previous structure, Truex virtually would have no penalty because he won the race to automatically qualify for the next round of the Chase while Johnson would have had a major 10-point penalty that could have put his ability to advance to the next round in jeopardy. "We recognized if we were to apply those penalties as we listed them out for the event, those penalties would not have the same impact on the competitors based on the Chase format and the increased emphasis on win bonuses [to advance]," O'Donnell said. "If you look back as to why we created the deterrent system we put in place to insure that we had a level playing field for all 40 cars that were competing in the event and in this case, if we applied those penalties, the postrace penalty would not really treat each competitor fairly." O'Donnell said he feels the industry believes the Truex and Johnson infractions were minor in nature. All of the cars passed inspection prerace, and teams design the cars to bend and adjust at race speed and loads in the turns. O'Donnell also announced that every Chase car would go through the postrace measurement inspection station. Previously, it was the top-five and select others. If a car does fail postrace measurements at the standard NASCAR set last week as its most egregious violation, it would be a 35-point penalty, a three-race suspension for the crew chief and a $65,000 fine for the crew chief. If the car had won, the driver would not be allowed to use the win to advance to the next round of the Chase. A win is worth 44 or 45 points, depending on whether a driver leads the most laps.(ESPN.com(9-21-2016)
Truex, Johnson fail post-race inspection UPDATES: The race-winning car of #78-Martin Truex Jr. and the 12th-place car of #48-Jimmie Johnson failed postrace measurements. They were at the lowest levels so Truex will be able to use the win to advance to the second round of the Chase.(ESPN.com)(9-18-2016)
UPDATE: NASCAR announced that the cars' rear-alignment measurement failures were at minimal levels, meaning that Truex will be able to use his victory Sunday to advance to the quarterfinal round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup. NASCAR reviews any extenuating circumstances and will announce any penalties this week, likely Wednesday. Johnson faces a potential 10-point penalty, which could drop him from eighth in the standings to a three-way tie for 12th with Austin Dillon and Kevin Harvick. The Chase field of 16 gets cut to 12 after two more races, with the winners automatically advancing and the four worst drivers in points eliminated. Johnson crew chief Chad Knaus also faces a potential $15,000 fine. Truex could face a 15-point penalty, with crew chief Cole Pearn being fined $22,500 because this is their second such violation in two weeks, which increases the penalties by 50 percent.(ESPN.com)
AND: Kickin' the Tires was in the garage when the Truex's car went through post-race inspection and spoke with Pearn about the forthcoming penalty. "The right rear was way safe, we were conservative, you know, just trying not to cause any trouble but I don't know, the left rear was the one showing in for whatever reason, showing too much," Pearn said. "Yeah, it's a bummer. It's like .01 (degrees) over - barely nothing but it's still over. It's sure stressful passing that thing right now, I know that. We got nailed in the left rear, I mean, the left rear is all crinkled in and it's the one showing in but that doesn't matter, that's the rules. If it's over it's over. It's a bummer, it will be a P2 or whatever, especially since we got one last week, so it's not really a good deal." A NASCAR official was seen looking at and taking photos of Truex's tires in the garage as the car was going through inspection and it was obvious one of them had worn so much that the cords were showing. Pearn said he believed that was caused by Truex getting hit by another car during the race, which may have played a factor in the car being out of spec.(Kickin The Tires)
AND: #16-Greg Biffle and #43-Aric Almirola's cars were missing a single lug nut on each car. Almirola's missing lug nut was because of a broken right front stud. Their crew chiefs face a potential fine of $10,000. Crew chiefs are only suspended now if there are more than 3 lug nuts missing.(9-19-2016)
UPDATE 2: Statement from Furniture Row Racing: "The right rear of our car was well within the tolerance margin, which showed that we were trying to be conservative. However, the left rear wheel alignment was off by approximately ten- thousandths of an inch, which in high probability was due to damage in that area as a result of being hit by the No. 4 car. We believe the laser inspection numbers were correct and accept NASCAR's decision that was made following Sunday's Sprint Cup Series race at Chicagoland Speedway."(Furniture Row Racing)(9-19-2016)
Johnson wanted to wear Earnhardt's fire suit: Dale Earnhardt Jr. said Monday that Jimmie Johnson had asked him to borrow one of his father's old uniforms to complete his retro look for this weekend's NASCAR throwback weekend at Darlington Raceway. Earnhardt Jr.'s remarks came on Monday's edition of the "Dale Jr. Download," a 70-minute episode that he co-hosted on his Dirty Mo Radio network. Earnhardt did not provide a health update on the concussion-related symptoms that have forced him to miss the last six NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, but offered an anecdote about his Hendrick Motorsports teammate, who will be running a blue-and-yellow paint scheme on his #48 Chevy that pays tribute to Earnhardt's father and the legendary David Pearson -- both NASCAR Hall of Famers. "He's texting me, he's like, 'You got one of your dad's old uniforms and all that stuff?' " Earnhardt said of a recent exchange with Johnson. "He wanted to actually wear it to intros, and it would fit probably. It smells like ... every bit of 40 years old." Earnhardt will be replaced by interim driver Jeff Gordon in this Sunday's Bojangles' Southern 500 as his recovery from concussion-related issues continues. Earnhardt said he was "real sad" he won't be driving his own throwback paint scheme, a #88 Chevy that pays homage to Buddy Baker's "Gray Ghost" look from the early 1980s.(NASCAR.com)(8-30-2016)
New tire changer for Johnson: Kevin Novak, a native of Veseli, Minnesota, and graduate of the NASCAR Technical Institute, will replace longtime #48 HMS front-tire changer Cam Waugh. Waugh is moving back to his home state of Colorado. Novak is no stranger to the #48 over-the-wall crew as he filled in for an injured Waugh on May 15 at Dover, May 21 at the Charlotte all-star event and June 6 at Pocono.(HMS / Pit Talks)(8-17-2016)
Johnson's Darlington throwback scheme unveiled: #48-Jimmie Johnson's Darlington throwback scheme will pay homage to the #2 car that David Pearson raced at Talladega in 1979 with Lowe's on the hood. Pearson finished 2nd while filling in for rookie Dale Earnhardt, Sr. who had been injured in an accident at Pocono.(8-10-2016), see an image of the car on the #48 team paint schemes page.(8-10-2016)
Johnson involved in early wreck at Watkins Glen: #48-Jimmie Johnson was involved in multi-car crash on lap 53 at Watkins Glen International:
Q) IT'S BEEN A ROUGH DAY FOR YOU, WHICH IS ONE OF THE REASONS YOU WERE BACK IN THE PACK. WHAT DID YOU SEE?
Johnson: "Yeah, we had a rough first pit stop and then we were just kind of biding our time and trying to get on a fuel strategy that could benefit us. The cars started checking up in front of me and they all moved out of the way and the No. 17 (Ricky Stenhouse) was sitting there, stopped. I remember seeing a door number and I was so thankful it was the passenger-side door and not the driver-side door because I plowed him. I really hit the car hard. I was afraid that I might have injured him. But, thankfully he's okay and everybody is all right. It's unfortunate for this Jimmie Johnson Foundation car and a big thank you once again, to Lowe's for letting us run that paint scheme on the car. I guess we got them some on-camera exposure today, but not the kind we wanted."(Team Chevy)(8-7-2016)
Hendrick helps Summer Camp Fund reach its goal: NASCAR team owner Rick Hendrick has donated $34,000 to The Charlotte Observer's Summer Camp Fund, the amount needed to help the fund reach its goal to give more children a chance to go to camp next year. Hendrick, last year's honorary chairman of the annual fundraising drive, said he came to realize how important it is to give children from low-income families the experience and opportunities that summer camp offers. "Over the last few years, our family has learned so much about issues impacting our young people," Hendrick said in a statement. "The success of the Summer Camp Fund really highlights the generosity and compassion of our community, and we've been proud to join with so many of our neighbors in supporting it." As of Friday, the Summer Camp Fund received donations totaling more than $190,000, which enables the non-profit to qualify for an additional $25,000 grant from the Leon Levine Foundation.(Charlotte Observer)(8-6-2016)
Johnson to Highlight Foundation at Watkins Glen: Jimmie Johnson will wear the Blue Bunny Helmet of Hope, which features five charities working to improve K-12 public education, during the race this weekend at Watkins Glen International. The five charities selected this year include: ArtWell in Philadelphia; Carlos Gilbert Elementary Parents! Teachers! Kids! in Santa Fe, New Mexico; Change for Kids in New York City; Inside the Outdoors Foundation in Costa Mesa, California, and Mercy Child Advocacy Center in Sioux City, Iowa. In addition to the Helmet of Hope, Johnson's #48 Lowe's Chevy will feature the special star logos of the Jimmie Johnson Foundation 10th Anniversary paint scheme. Johnson has been quite successful running the paint scheme with three wins, two top-five finishes and three top-10s. This year the paint scheme celebrates the 10th anniversary of the Jimmie Johnson Foundation and features the foundation's programs and activities, including the Blue Bunny Helmet of Hope, the Champions Grant program, the Jimmie Johnson Foundation Wellness Challenge and Team Up For Technology. To date, the Jimmie Johnson Foundation has contributed more than $8.8 million to schools and non-profits across the country.(HMS), see images of the scheme on the #48 Team Schemes page (8-4-2016)
Most mentioned drivers in first half of season: According to research by Joyce Julius, #4-Kevin Harvick recevied the most TV interviews and TV mentions in the first half of the Sprint Cup season (through Kentucky) and #18-Busch had the most interview time. They also note that there were 46 fewer (-23%) NASCAR driver TV interviews at mid-year compared to 2015 at the same point in the season.
Kenseth and Johnson Clinch Chase spots: #20-Matt Kenseth and #48-Jimmie Johnson clinched a spot in the top 30 in driver standings at Indianapolis Motor Speedway Sunday. The magic number was 271, as a driver needed to be 271 points ahead of 31st-place following the race. After Kenseth's 2nd place finish, he is 308 points ahead of 31st, while Johnson's 3rd place finish puts him 315 points ahead. #2-Brad Keselowski, #18-Kyle Busch and #19-Carl Edwards had already clinched a spot.(7-25-2016)
Hendrick Motorsports looking for 1000th top-5 UPDATE: Cars fielded by Hendrick Motorsports have recorded 999 top-five finishes since the team was founded by Rick Hendrick in 1984. The owner's first Sprint Cup top-five also was his first win -- with driver Geoff Bodine on April 29, 1984, at Martinsville Speedway. This season, the organization has recorded 19 top-fives among its four drivers. Hendrick Motorsports posted a team record 57 top-five finishes in 2007.(Hendrick Motorsports)(7-21-2016)
UPDATE: #48-Jimmie Johnson's 3rd place finish at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday was Hendrick's 1000th top-5.(7-25-2016)
Jimmie Johnson Foundation on the #48 at Watkins Glen: The Jimmie Johnson Foundation unveiled its 10th anniversary paint scheme via social media this week. The scheme, set to run on Aug. 7 at Watkins Glen, incorporates the 10th anniversary logo as well as the logos of other JJF programs. Lowe's has generously donated a paint scheme to the JJF each season to help raise awareness for the work the foundation does supporting K-12 public education.(Hendrick Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #48 team paint schemes page.(7-14-2016)
Johnson looking to cross Kentucky off the win list: Of the 77 career wins #48-Jimmie Johnson has accumulated over his 16-year career, none of them have come at Kentucky. The other "winless" tracks Johnson has his sights set on include Chicago, Watkins Glen and Homestead-Miami. In five starts at Kentucky, Johnson has an average start of 8.0 and an average finish of 7.4, leading 203 total laps at the track and finishing in the top 10 each race. Johnson's best finish is 3rd in the first race at Kentucky in 2011.(HMS)(7-9-2016)
Johnson wrecks in practice, goes to backup car: #48-Jimmie Johnson experienced an issue in the second NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice session at Kentucky Speedway on Friday. The #48 Lowe's Chevy team will go to a back-up car.
Q) WHAT HAPPENED THAT CAUSED YOU TO GET INTO THE OUTSIDE WALL?
Johnson: "I just got wide and evidently the track is dirty wide. I didn't have anything go wrong, I just got wide and the car just started going straight and it wouldn't turn. I was in the marbles. I couldn't see the line where the track was clean and dirty and it just kept going straight and straight and straight and hit the wall."(Team Chevy)(7-8-2016)
Johnson Foundation Golf Tournament Tops $730,000 in Funds Raised: The Jimmie Johnson Foundation announced that its annual Jimmie Johnson Foundation Golf Tournament and Dinner raised more than $730,000. Johnson hosted 116 golfers at Torrey Pines Golf Course in La Jolla, California for Tuesday's golf tournament. The night before the tournament, the Johnsons hosted over 200 guests at a special dinner and auction at The Lodge at Torrey Pines, with music from O.A.R. The tournament, which in ten years has raised more than $6.3 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)(7-4-2016)
Lowe's Patriotic scheme returns: Jimmie Johnson's #48 Chevy will feature a patriotic theme. Longtime sponsor Lowe's has a lengthy history of supporting the military. Currently, Lowe's has more than 14,000 veterans, active military and Guard/Reserve employees. The #48 Lowe's Patriotic Chevy will carry a special decal this weekend in memory of Antonio Brown, the human resources manager at the Fern Park, Florida, Lowe's store. Brown, a former U.S. Army captain who served in Kuwait during the Iraq War, was tragically killed in the Orlando night club shooting on June 12 (HMS), see images of the scheme on the #48 Team Schemes page (6-29-2016)
Johnson Ticket packages: Fans can purchase a Jimmie Johnson Family Ticket Package for this year's race at Chicagoland Speedway on Sept. 18. Johnson has teamed up with NASA to provide an educational experience for kids with the NASA Rockets 2 Racecars STEM Education program. The ticket package includes a Q&A session with Johnson on race day. The package is $48 for adults and $23 for children and is located in Section "L" at Chicagoland Speedway. Click here for details.
AND Jimmie Johnson is teaming up with Kentucky Speedway and NASA once again for a family ticket package experience for the July 9 event at the track. Click here for information
Johnson nominated for Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Sports Award: While he's on the hunt for his next win and championship trophy, #48-Jimmie Johnson has been nominated for another award: a 2016 Kids' Choice Sports Award. The six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion is competing in the Need for Speed category. He's up against other professional athletes including Usain Bolt (Jamaican track and field Olympian), Billy Hamilton (MLB center-fielder for the Cincinnati Reds), Candace Hill (American track and field athlete), Chloe Kim (American professional snowboarder) and Ted Ligety (American alpine ski Olympian). The awards show will air Sunday, July 17, at 8:00pm/et.(Hendrick Motorsports)(6-20-2016)
New jackman for Johnson: Last week at Charlotte the #48 crew of HMS had a new look. Jackman Kyle Tudor has taken over the jacking duties as of Charlotte and for the foreseeable future. Tudor was part of the [Hendrick Motorsports] developmental team and had been pitting the #98 Cup car so far in 16. No word as to why the change was made but as we can expect, most changes are made for chemistry or performance.(Pit Talks)(6-3-2016)
Drivers ranked on ESPN World Fame 100: It started off with a simple question: Who's the most famous athlete in the world? Ben Alamar, ESPN's director of sports analytics, devised a formula that combines salary and endorsements with social media following and Google search popularity to create the ESPN World Fame 100 rankings. The names might be familiar, but where the planet's biggest stars land on the list could surprise you. The #1 athlete is soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo. Motorsports drivers on the list include:
57. Dale Earnhardt Jr. (NASCAR)
58. Jimmie Johnson (NASCAR)
59. Lewis Hamilton (Formula 1)
63. Danica Patrick (NASCAR)
75. Fernando Alonso (Formula 1)
77. Tony Stewart (NASCAR)
94. Kyle Busch (NASCAR)
97. Kimi Raikkonen (Formula 1)
Hendrick Family Foundation to launch with event: Rick and Linda Hendrick have established the not-for-profit Hendrick Family Foundation, which is rooted in the belief that people working together can transform the lives of those in need and have a meaningful impact on our communities. The sold out "Learn Live Hope" celebration will represent the new foundation's first formal fundraising initiative. Scheduled for May 22 at The Fillmore in Charlotte, North Carolina, the annual charity event will benefit Be The Match, Levine Children's Hospital and Together We Feed Charlotte. In 2015, Learn Live Hope generated more than $1.6 million to support multiple organizations. The Hendrick Family Foundation will consolidate the philanthropic efforts of the Hendrick organization, including Hendrick Motorsports and Hendrick Automotive Group. It will absorb the Hendrick Marrow Program, which Rick Hendrick founded in 1997 and has raised more than $15 million in partnership with Be The Match to support patients in need of life-saving marrow or cord blood transplants. The Hendrick Family Foundation will continue to work with Be The Match.(Hendrick Motorsports)(5-21-2016)
UPDATE: Last weekend's sold out "Learn Live Hope" event was the first formal fundraising initiative for Rick and Linda Hendrick's not-for-profit Hendrick Family Foundation. The annual event was held May 22 at The Fillmore, with Bank of America returning once again as the title sponsor. Among the guests were drivers Kasey Kahne, Chase Elliott and Jimmie Johnson, broadcasters Jeff Gordon and Darrell Waltrip, and former New York Yankees slugger Reggie Jackson. The beneficiaries were Be The Match, Levine Children's Hospital and Together We Feed Charlotte. And "Learn Live Hope" raised $1.3 million in 2016 - one year after generating more than $1.6 million to support multiple organizations in 2015 when a golf tournament was featured as a portion of the event. The golf tournament was not held in 2016 as the course was under construction. At this year's function, Bank of America Chief Administrative Officer Andrea Smith presented Hendrick with a $100,000 donation. Bank of America has supported "Learn Live Hope" for more than a decade as its title sponsor.(HMS)(5-28-2016)
Three teams penalized: The teams of #48-Jimmie Johnson, #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. & #43-Aric Almirola will lose their place in order for pit-stall selection - typically they choose in order of qualifying results - for receiving their fourth warning of the season at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Thursday. Teams get warnings for minor violations that cause them to fail opening-day, prequalifying or prerace measurements. Johnson would have picked seventh, Almirola would have picked 20th and Earnhardt would have picked 25th (ESPN), Pit Stall selections will be most likely be released and posted Saturday morning (5-26-2016)
Recipients of Blue Bunny Helmet of Hope grants announced: Six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Jimmie Johnson, along with Mike Wells, President & CEO of Wells Enterprises, Inc., announced 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 receive one of five (5) available grant packages.
The 5 grant recipients are:
" ArtWell in Philadelphia
" Carlos Gilbert Elementary Parents! Teachers! Kids! in Santa Fe, New Mexico
" Change for Kids in New York
" Inside the Outdoors Foundation in Costa Mesa, California
" Mercy Child Advocacy Center in Sioux City, Iowa
The final five were selected via public vote. Nearly 225,000 votes were cast for the 10 semi-finalists during the voting period. Thanks to the generosity of Wells Enterprises, Inc., the remaining five semi-finalist charities will each receive a $1,000 grant and a Blue Bunny Ice Cream party as well.(JJF)(5-24-2016)
Johnson had no indication something was wrong with the car: #48-Johnson started the accident on lap 355 at Dover when his car would not go into gear on the restart. He talked about what happend:
AT WHAT POINT DID YOU REALIZE SOMETHING WAS WRONG?
Johnson: "As soon as I went from second and tried to go to third, I kind of got up into the neutral gate of the transmission and didn't even go to third. It stopped before it ever went to third. And then I tried fourth and third and fourth and eventually I got hit from behind. There was a long pause there where I was trying to, I thought maybe I missed a shift; but it wouldn't go in gear. Martin (Truex, Jr.) was good and patient with me. He gave me a couple of opportunities to try to find a gear and it just locked out and wouldn't go into gear for some reason. It was still that way at the end and I couldn't drive the car and I don't think I'm all that damaged, but unfortunately I lost a shot at winning and I hate to see all those cars tore up."
DID YOU HAVE ANY ISSUES EARLIER IN THE RACE?
Johnson: "No, nothing. And in my career, I've never had a transmission do that to me. I've had them kind of lock out of reverse at a test session or even in the garage area or something, but to lockout and not go across the gate and then no gear available is something I've never had before."
TAKE US THROUGH WHAT HAPPENED ON THE RESTART:
Johnson: "I got a great start in second gear. As I went to put it in third (gear) and came across the shifting gate it never went into third. It actually got locked in the neutral area of the transmission. I had plenty of time. Martin (Truex, Jr.) was plenty patient with me and I was trying to get third and I couldn't. I tried for fourth and third and fourth and I finally got hit. Just a freak deal with something with the transmission. I've never had that happen to me in my career."
Chevy Racing PR)(5-16-2016)
Johnson entered in "Assault on Mt. Mitchell" bike ride: Sprint Cup Series Champion Jimmie Johnson will be riding in the 2016 Assault on Mount Mitchell on Monday, May 16, according to the Freewheelers Cycling Association, a Spartanburg-based club that hosts the epic bike ride each year. Johnson has a deep-rooted appreciation for the cycling world, and enjoys participating in century rides and triathlons. Johnson, who has always placed a high priority on fitness, according to the Freewheelers, began competing in triathlons in 2012, fitting training and events into his busy NASCAR schedule. He often approaches an athletic competition in the same manner he would a NASCAR race - utilizing similar strategies to tackle both. He must have enjoyed his taste of cycling in the mountains. In March, Johnson took part in the elite PeopleForBikes team that bikee roughly 400 miles from Asheville, North Carolina, to Atlanta, Georgia, March 30-April 2. The group will made stops in Charlotte, Greenville, South Carolina, and Athens, Georgia before arriving in Atlanta to bring awareness to cycling safety. Johnson only rode the 130-mile leg from Asheville to Charlotte. The Freewheelers Cycling Association is thrilled to have Johnson ride in his first Assaults experience. He joins his friend George Hincapie, of Spartanburg, who competed in 12 Tours de France, for this year's ride to the top of Mount Mitchell. "The Assaults" is one of the most intense, premier cycling experiences in the region. It draws a full field of nearly 1,000 cyclists from across the world each year. The Assault on Mount Mitchell is a 102.7-mile self-paced ride, (not a race), from downtown Spartanburg, along the Blue Ridge Parkway, to the summit at Mount Mitchell State Park - at 6,684 feet the highest peak in the Eastern United States - in North Carolina for a total vertical ascent of more than 10,000 feet.(Asheville Citizen-Times)(5-9-2016)
Hendrick named Charlotte Chamber 2016 Citizen of the Carolinas: The Charlotte Chamber has named local car dealer and NASCAR team owner Rick Hendrick its 2016 Citizen of the Carolinas. The chamber said that Hendrick was chosen for the honor for his contributions to Charlotte's business community, his influence within NASCAR and his work with local organizations, including Levine Children's Hospital and Together We Feed Charlotte. "Rick embodies the collaborative spirit that sets Charlotte apart from any other major city in the United States," chamber CEO and President Bob Morgan said in a statement. Last year, the chamber gave the award to former White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles. Other past honorees include former Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke, Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson and Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan. Hendrick, at age 26, became a Chevrolet dealer in 1976 with his first franchise in Bennettsville, S.C. By 1978, he moved to Charlotte and purchased City Chevrolet, which now serves as the flagship location for Hendrick Automotive Group. The privately-held dealership group employs more than 10,000 people and operates more than 130 retail franchises across 14 states. In a statement, Hendrick said he was humbled to receive the award. "We've been fortunate to call Charlotte home for nearly 40 years," he said. "It's been such a wonderful place for our family, and now our grandchildren are growing up here. I cannot imagine a more giving community or a better city to live and do business." The chamber will present Hendrick with its most prestigious honor at the organization's annual meeting in December.(Charlotte Business Journal)(4-30-2016)
Johnson to be honored at Bristol: Food City Race Night will recognize #48-Jimmie Johnson for his contributions to the sport of NASCAR and the racing community on Friday, April 15, at the Bristol Motor Speedway Pepsi Stage (Hospitality Area). Johnson will take the stage at 6:30pm/et for the recognition along with Jerry Caldwell, executive vice president/general manager of Bristol Motor Speedway and Mike Helton, president of NASCAR. Larry McReynolds of NASCAR on FOX will be the master of ceremonies. Food City will make a donation to the Jimmie Johnson Foundation in its 24th year of sponsoring the race event at Bristol.(HMS)(4-14-2016)
Hendrick Motorsports and Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence partner up: Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence and Hendrick Motorsports announced a landmark technology partnership. The two-year agreement effectively merges metrology expertise and technology with the brightest engineering minds in auto racing. The relationship will expand Hendrick Motorsports' in-house capabilities with additional measurement systems, training and expert technical support. The team is a longtime user of ROMER Absolute Arms and GridLOK volume-expansion systems, as well as Hexagon coordinate measuring machines. These solutions are used to inspect and assemble auto bodies, chassis and engine components for pre-race fine tuning and post-race evaluation. Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence will partner in collaborative technology development and problem solving with Hendrick Motorsports' engineering team. As Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence develops new concepts in metrology, Hendrick Motorsports will have the opportunity to preview those advancements before the technology reaches the marketplace. The team will also have the option to participate in beta testing and provide user feedback during the course of development projects. With multi-disciplinary expertise, Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence will benefit from those early stage metrics and gain valuable insight into the intricate performance and manufacturing challenges found in NASCAR.(HMS)(4-13-2016)
Low downforce package gets first night race test: The crumbled and taped nose of the #48 Chevrolet illustrated Jimmie Johnson's point more than the amount of leaders or passes in the Duck Commander 500 on Saturday at Texas Motor Speedway. It had to. The downforce-reducing aerodynamics package that NASCAR vetted successfully last season and applied to most of the venues on the 2016 schedule had produced results mostly pleasing to fans and compelling to drivers through five applications so far. The result early Sunday morning felt decidedly less exhilarating with Martin Truex Jr. leading 141 of 334 laps, Carl Edwards 124 and Kyle Busch producing the crucial pass for the eventual win by virtue of a decisive sequence that had more to do with pit strategy and tire wear than aerodynamics. But, Johnson said, this was progress, however subtle.
"I passed a lot of cars tonight in a variety of situations and getting out and looking at the nose of my car, it's pretty hammered," said Johnson, whose tribulations en route to a fourth-place finish included a pit road collision, a near-wreck, and being caught a lap down during an inopportune caution. "I think having a beat-up race car and being down a lap and taking the wave-by, a variety of other issues that went on and passing that many cars I think that's a great sign of where this package is at."
But in the first night race of the season, amid cool temperatures and on a track that was washed of rubber before the race by rain, there resulted a show that outwardly appeared less dazzling or at least not commensurate with the anticipation level. "Honestly, we've got to be real about the things that contribute to creating grip," Johnson said. "A nice cold evening is going to create grip. The slicker the race track, I think, the more the cars will shine is where we're at. I think Vegas was cool and crisp ad good grip and not exactly what we wanted. Here was still good but I think once we get in the hot summer months we'll put on a good show."(USA Today)(4-10-2016)
Johnson's Helmet of Hope Nominations end April 14th: The Jimmie Johnson Foundation is accepting nominations for the Blue Bunny Helmet of Hope program until Thursday, April 14. Non-profit organizations that support K-12 public education in the United States, including parent/teacher organizations, are eligible to be nominated. In all, five charities will be selected to receive a $25,000 cash grant, a Blue Bunny ice cream party and have their logo featured on six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Johnson's helmet during the race on August 7, 2016, at Watkins Glen International. Visit www.helmetofhope.org to nominate a charity. Ten (10) semi-finalists will be selected to move on to Round Two. Then it is up to the fans to vote for the five (5) charities that will receive grants and will be featured on Jimmie's helmet. In order to be eligible, charities must have a 501 c 3 IRS designation AND offer an existing program that supports K-12 public education. Schools are not eligible.(Jimmie Johnson Foundation)(4-7-2016)
Most mentioned drivers of 2016: According to Joyce Julius, a company that tracks media mentions for sport sponsors, #4-Kevin Harvick has been the most-mentioned NASCAR driver on TV this year while #18-Kyle Busch has received the most interview time
|#78-Martin Truex, Jr.||
|#88-Dale Earnhardt, Jr.||
Yellow numbers return for Johnson: Lowe's announced Tuesday morning that the #48 that adorns Jimmie Johnson's Chevy will once again be yellow starting this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. The #48 Lowe's Chevy featured yellow numbers when Johnson first found Victory Lane in 2002, and the iconic yellow stuck with the car through the 2011 season -- and one special paint scheme that found Victory Lane in the 2014 season -- earning 56 wins and five championships in the process. The yellow numbers will appear on both the #48 Lowe's Chevy and the #48 Lowe's ProServices Chevy paint schemes.(Hendrick Motorsports)(4-5-2016)
Johnson favors tougher concussion tests: Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s decision to donate his brain to scientific research has added another layer to discussion about concussion issues in auto racing. Six-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson weighed in on the topic Friday at Martinsville Speedway, saying medical evaluation equipment that reversed a concussion diagnosis that kept IndyCar driver Will Power from competing in a race last month should be available at NASCAR tracks. Power missed the IndyCar season opener at St. Petersburg, Fla., after he crashed in practice, experienced nausea and then was diagnosed with a mild concussion Sunday - race day and two days after the initial crash - by IndyCar medical personnel. Later, tests at the University of Miami hospital's Concussion Program showed that Power did not have a concussion but probably was suffering from an inner ear infection. Power had been experiencing problems with his inner ear since early March, including at a test at Sebring, Fla.
"Whatever they have in Miami needs to be at every racetrack to make a better decision - whatever that stuff is," Johnson told reporters from USA TODAY Sports and NBC Sports.com. "That's the bottom line. You're dealing with someone's career -- someone's life, in a couple of ways, good or bad. If somebody does get cleared to race, and they did have a concussion, if they did pass that first test, I think it's important to get whatever they have in Miami at every racetrack following our series (and) the IndyCar Series."
In both NASCAR and IndyCar, officials can sideline drivers who don't meet concussion protocols. "The bottom line there is concern for the athlete, for the driver," he said. "I think it all stems from a good place. Unfortunately, mistakes are made. We're trying with the baseline concussion tests we now take. That's hopefully a tool to help make a better decision.(USA Today)(4-2-2016)
NASCAR's Richest Teams and Drivers: Forbes has released its annual ranking of Sprint Cup teams and drivers based on earnings. Once again, Hendrick tops the charts. The top 10 teams and drivers and their estimated value:
Highest earning NASCAR teams:
Hendrick Motorsports $375 million
Joe Gibbs Racing $256 million
Stewart-Haas Racing $195 million
Richard Childress Racing $175 million
Roush Feneway Racing $155 million
Team Penske $140 million
Chip Ganassi Racing $75 million
Richard Petty Motorsports $55 million
Front Row Motorsports $26 million
BK Racing $24 million
Highest earning NASCAR drivers:
#88-Dale Earnhardt, Jr. $23.5 million
#48-Jimmie Johnson $22.2 million
Jeff Gordon $21.6 million
#4-Kevin Harvick $15.5 million
#11-Denny Hamlin $15.1 million
#18-Kyle Busch $15.0 million
#10-Dania Patrick $13.4 million
#14-Tony Stewart $12.8 million
#19-Carl Edwards $12.1 million
#20-Matt Kenseth $11.9 million
Total earnings equals salary/winnings plus endorsements and licensing
In addition, Forbes estimates the actual cash value of a NASCAR charter to be $15-$17 million.(Forbes)(4-1-2016)
Superman (Johnson) wins at Auto Club: #48-Jimmie Johnson, running a Superman paint scheme, won the Auto Club 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway for his 2nd win of the season, 6th win at Auto Club Speedway (the most of any driver) and 77th career win, which allows him to pass Dale Earnhardt (76 wins) for 7th all time. #4-Kevin Harvick led the most laps 142 of 205 laps. The race ended in NASCAR Overtime when #18-Busch had a tire go down with two laps left in the race. Harvick led the race when the caution came out. All the leaders made pit stops for new tires, Harvick came out 2nd and #11-Hamlin came out with the lead. Johnson came out 3rd but took the lead on the first overtime lap and kept the lead to win the race.
#4-Harvick finished 2nd, followed by #11-Hamlin, #22-Logano, #17-Stenhouse Jr., #24-Elliott (best career finish), #19-Edwards, #47-Allmendinger, #2-Keselowski and #1-McMurray.
#88-Batman (Earnhardt Jr.), was never a factor but was able to finish 11th. The pole winner, #3-Austin Dillon ended up with a 24th.
There were two hard wrecks. The first was on lap 46 when #42-Larson had a rear tire go down, causing his car to slap the outside wall, which then shot the car across the track, with no brakes, hard into the SAFER wall on the inside wall. Larson was OK.
On lap 120, #10-Patrick was running 19th when she passed #5-Kahne. Kahne came down after the pass, but misjudged and clipped the #10 rear end, causing it to spin and slam the outside wall. Patrick was OK, but not happy.
There were 26 lead changes among 8 drivers and 6 cautions for 33 yellow flag laps.
The average speed was 137.213mph.
See unofficial race results, awards, laps led, cautions and more [NOTE: money/winnings are no longer reported] at:
Unofficial Race Results page (pdf)
Lap Summary Report (pdf)
Penalty Report (pdf)
Pit Stop Times (pdf)
See OFFICIAL race results & points standings on the Official Auto Club Race & Points Report (pdf).(3-20-2016)
Most Mentioned Drivers 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series:
Driver, Interviews, Interview Time, Mentions
#48-Johnson, 4, 0:02:40, 532
#4-Harvick, 3, 0:01:18, 434
#20-Kenseth, 3, 0:01:52, 312
#18-Busch, 5, 0:04:58, 306
#78-Truex, Jr., 3, 0:02:56, 301
#22-Logano, J., 2, 0:01:00, 291
#2-Keselowski, 2, 0:02:48, 283
#41-Busch, 0, 0:00:00, 264
#11-Hamlin, 1, 0:01:00, 244
#88-Earnhardt, Jr., 3, 0:02:35, 210
#19-Edwards, 3, 0:02:15, 166
#24-Elliott, 4, 0:01:58, 160
#3-Dillon, 4, 0:03:02, 109
#21-Blaney, 2, 0:01:10, 98
#42-Larson, 0, 0:00:00, 52
Statistics reflect all live race telecasts and replays of the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season (through #3 Las Vegas).(Joyce Julius & Associates)(3-18-2016)
Jimmie Johnson Foundation Blue Bunny Helmet of Hope: Blue Bunny and the Jimmie Johnson Foundation have teamed up again this year to provide fans and consumers across the country the chance to nominate a non-profit organization that directly supports K-12 public education for the 2016 Blue Bunny Helmet of Hope program.
In all, 5 charities will be selected to receive the following:
A $25,000 grant
A Blue Bunny Ice Cream Party
Their logo featured on 6-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Jimmie Johnson's helmet during the race on August 7, 2016 at Watkins Glen International Speedway.
Don't wait - the deadline to submit a nomination is Thursday, April 14th!
*Please note: In order to be eligible, charities must have a 501 c 3 IRS designation AND offer an existing program that supports K-12 public education. Schools are not eligible.
Questions? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
More info at jimmiejohnsonfoundation.org.(3-10-2016)
Steering wheel came off on Johnson's qualifying lap: Jimmie Johnson escaped injury when his steering wheel came off and he crashed into the wall at full speed in NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying Friday. Johnson was on his second lap in the final round on the mile oval when he couldnt turn and his car rammed into the second-turn wall. The right front of the Hendrick Motorsports' #48 car took the most damage and Johnson was able to climb out after the car slid onto the grass. Johnson didn't explain the reason for the crash in media interviews, but later took to Twitter. "About qualifying, the steering wheel came off," Johnson said. "I know my interview was vague, but wanted to tell the team first. I'm thankful for soft walls."(Associated Press)(3-12-2016)
Hendrick plane makes emergency landing in Memphis UPDATE: A plane headed from Las Vegas to Charlotte, North Carolina made an emergency landing in Memphis. The plane belonged to Hendrick Motorsports and was carrying team members home from the NASCAR race in Las Vegas. A Hendrick Motorsports representative said the plane landed safely in Memphis after someone noticed smoke in the cabin. No one was injured or breathed in too much smoke. The plane is being evaluated for issues. The passengers will return to Charlotte on another flight.(WMC Action News)(3-7-2016)
UPDATE: Just hours after smoke in the cabin forced a Hendrick Motorsports plane to make an emergency landing early Monday morning, a passenger on the aircraft discussed the situation with SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. Earl Barban, the spotter for Hendrick Motorsports driver Jimmie Johnson, was one of multiple passengers on the plane, which was en route back to Charlotte, North Carolina from Sunday's race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. None of Hendrick's drivers were on board the aircraft, and there were no injuries. Speaking with SiriusXM on Monday after returning home to Charlotte, Barban described the events that led to the emergency landing in Memphis after the plane had made a fuel stop in Oklahoma City.
"On our second leg we had like an hour and 50 minutes left and had a little smoke in the cabin there and they decided they should probably land, and we landed in Memphis, and they got us off the airplane and all the procedures and safety stuff was done," Barban told SiriusXM. "After they checked it out and things were good, we got all our stuff off the plane, sat in the FBO for a couple hours until our other plane could get refueled back in Concord (N.C.) and come get us, so it was a little bit of a delay getting home, but everybody was safe."(Fox Sports)(3-9-2016)
Bosch renews Hendrick partnership: Bosch Automotive Aftermarket North America has announced a multi-year renewal of its technical partnership with 11-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champions Hendrick Motorsports. Dating back to 2001 with an agreement to supply spark plugs to the racing powerhouse, the scope of the relationship has since expanded to include alternators, starters, oxygen sensors, fuel injectors and fuel pumps. Entering its 16th season, this partnership has yielded seven Sprint Cup Series championships and a wealth of knowledge and insights. Hendrick Motorsports engine builders have worked closely with Bosch engineers over the years to develop some of the most powerful vehicles on the track.(Hendrick Motorsports)(3-1-2016)
Hendrick will not look to replace Stewart-Haas business: Hendrick Motorsports won't look to replace the engine lease program and the chassis business it will lose when Stewart-Haas Racing moves to Ford starting next season, but it also does not plan to lay off any employees. Team owner Rick Hendrick said Sunday that the decision "kind of caught me by surprise" but it was no surprise that another manufacturer would go after SHR. It will make for an interesting year as SHR remains a customer but one that will start building its own chassis and leasing engines from Roush Yates Engines next year. Hendrick, speaking prior to the Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, said his team is committed to working with SHR this year and will move on after the season. That doesn't mean looking for new people to sell chassis and lease engines. HMS leases engines to two-car organizations HScott Motorsports and Chip Ganassi Racing. It also supplies engines and support to JR Motorsports in the Xfinity Series. HScott Motorsports plans to remain a Hendrick affiliate next year, said team owner Harry Scott, whose team also has an affiliation with Stewart-Haas Racing this season. "We've been pretty much taxed to keep up with all the customers we have," Hendrick said. "I think what we're going to do now is turn our efforts inward and do more R&D and give us a chance to do more, really, research and development than we've been doing in the last couple of years because our guys have been flat-out. While the team will fulfill the terms of its contracts with SHR, Hendrick said he expects SHR to begin the process of working on its own chassis this year. Losing the SHR business likely would cost Hendrick tens of millions of dollars, but Hendrick said his company has the ability to compensate for the lost business.(ESPN.com)(2-29-2016)
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, 5th win in at Atlanta and 76th career win. He ties Dale Earnhardt, Sr. for 7th on the all-time career wins list and has one at least 1 race in each of the last 15 years. Johnson led 52 of the 330 laps.
#88-Earnhardt, Jr. finished 2nd, followed by #18-Busch, #41-Busch, #19-Edwards, #4-Harvick, #78-Truex, Jr., #24-Elliott, #2-Keselowski, and #17-Stenhouse.
The 8th place finish is a career best for #24-Elliott.
The race went caution-free for the first 209 laps, the longest green flag run to start a race in Atlanta history.
A spin by #31-Newman with 2 laps remaining sent the race into "NASCAR Overtime". A wreck on the backstretch after the leaders had already passed the overtime line, forced the race to end under caution.
There were 28 lead changes among 8 drivers and 3 cautions for 13 yellow flag laps.
The average speed was 155.863mph.
Scheduled Race Re-Airs: Monday, February 29 at 8:00am/et on FS1
See unofficial race results, awards, laps led, cautions and [NOTE: money won is no longer reported] more at:
Unofficial Race Results page (pdf)
Lap Summary Report (pdf)
Penalty Report (pdf)
Unofficial Drivers Points Standings page (pdf) and
Unofficial Owners Points Standings page (pdf)
Official Race & Points Report (pdf)
Lowe's Red Vest scheme will return to the #48: Team Lowes Racing tweeted Sunday that #48-Jimmie Johnson will drive a Lowe's Red Vest scheme at the Brickyard in July. See an image of the car on the #48 team paint schemes page.(2-8-2016)
Hero Face Off: #48 and #88 cars to feature Batman and Superman UPDATE: images started popping up on some websites (then were taken down) but lived on Twitter. The images were grainy images of the #48-Lowes / Superman and #88 Nationwide / Batman schemes. Hendrick Motorsports tweeted that "The masks will come off Jan. 19." Also Lowe's Racing and Nationwide each made a tweet on the subject. The images can be seen on the #48 Team Schemes page and the #88 Team Schemes page.(1-18-2016)
UPDATE: Warner Bros. Consumer Products (WBCP) and 11-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champions Hendrick Motorsports today unveiled the latest pairing in their ongoing partnership, featuring two special paint schemes for drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jimmie Johnson, to promote the upcoming and highly anticipated Warner Bros. Pictures film "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice." Batman will be represented on Earnhardt's #88 Nationwide Batman Chevy and Superman will be featured on Johnson's #48 Lowe's Superman Chevy when the teammates square off during the March 20 Auto Club 500 Sprint Cup Series race in Fontana, CA. The "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" paint schemes were co-developed by Warner Bros. Consumer Products and Hendrick Motorsports. Earnhardt's paint scheme will showcase the Batman emblem and textures of the Caped Crusader's suit, while Johnson's car will feature the iconic S-shield and Superman suit textures. Additionally, Earnhardt and Johnson will wear custom-designed fire suits during the race weekend that feature the respective Super Hero logos.
"Hendrick Motorsports is the ultimate team in racing, with championship-caliber drivers and a proven track record of success, and we are thrilled to continue working with them to build out innovative activations that pair their drivers with the world's most recognized Super Heroes," said Dave Hedrick, senior vice president, Global Promotions, Branded Foods, Studio Licensing, Warner Bros. Consumer Products. "Fans of Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jimmie Johnson will love seeing their heroes face off as they take on the personas of DC Comics' legendary characters from 'Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.'"
Hendrick Motorsports, along with its partners Nationwide and Lowe's, have also teamed with WBCP to create "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" at-track activations for fans of all ages during the California race weekend. In addition to giveaways and themed activities, select costumes from the film will be on display. Licensed merchandise featuring the "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" paint schemes for the #48 and #88 cars will be available at participating retailers and online beginning Jan. 22.
"Nationwide is excited to join forces with Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Batman, two iconic figures in their respective worlds, to create this incredible duo," said Mike Boyd, Nationwide's senior vice president of marketing. "We're looking forward to seeing our #88 Nationwide Batman paint scheme on the track and are sure it will be big fun for millions of race and Batman fans alike." As part of its involvement, Nationwide is offering one lucky fan a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to attend the premiere of the film. The prize package includes airfare, lodging, two tickets to Sunday's race, a meet-and-greet opportunity with Earnhardt, two tickets to the red carpet premiere and more. Fans can visit nationwidebatman88.com to enter the contest.
"Jimmie has long been a Super Hero to the 265,000 Lowe's employees nationwide," said Lawrence Lobpries, Lowe's vice president of consumer marketing. "In addition to putting a bold, unique paint scheme featuring Superman, one of the world's greatest Super Heroes, in front of our passionate Team 48 fans, this partnership allows us to engage a new audience by bringing the thrill and action of the movie and NASCAR to our stores across the country."
On March 24, the eve of the "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" release, Lowe's stores nationwide will host a free Superman-themed Build and Grow clinic, where families can build a wooden replica of Johnson's Superman race car. Parents can register their children at lowes.com/buildandgrow beginning in March.
Announced in 2014, WBCP and Hendrick Motorsports are engaged in an ongoing strategic partnership to build on- and off-track programs teaming star drivers Kasey Kahne, Chase Elliott, Johnson and Earnhardt with the most recognized characters in DC Comics Super Hero lore. Team partners have exclusive opportunities to align with Warner Bros. Consumer Products and DC Comics-inspired releases. Collaborations have since taken place around Sprint Cup events at Charlotte Motor Speedway and Michigan International Speedway.
"Delivering more value to our relationships is something we think about every single day," said Patrick Perkins, Hendrick Motorsports' vice president of marketing. "The ability to bring together tremendous partners like Lowe's and Nationwide and align them with arguably the year's biggest action adventure film is an extraordinary opportunity. It creates ways to excite and entertain our current fans, reach new audiences and build special programs around everything from licensed merchandise to sweepstakes. When we began working with DC Entertainment, this is exactly the type of program we all envisioned, and we're proud to be involved."(Hendrick Motorsports)(1-19-2016)
WIX Filters joins Hendrick as technical partner: WIX Filters has joined Hendrick Motorsports as a key technical partner with an agreement that will supply innovative filtration products and provide critical development support to the 11-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champions through 2019. With a four-year pact, WIX's air and oil filters will be used in competition by the four Sprint Cup Series teams of Hendrick Motorsports with drivers Kasey Kahne, Chase Elliott, Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Its logo will be featured on team equipment, transporters and underneath the hood of Hendrick Motorsports' Chevrolet SS race cars. "Since the early 1960s when Richard Petty began using our filters, generations of motor sports champions have driven to victory lane with WIX," said Jennifer Gibson, brand manager for WIX Filters. "Adding a team like Hendrick Motorsports only further positions us as the number-one filter in motor sports, and we couldn't be more excited to see what that means on the track this season."(Hendrick Motorsports)(1-19-2016)
Grubb talks about leaving Gibbs: Darian Grubb told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio on Thursday that he was surprised that he wasn't back as #19-Carl Edwards' crew chief at Joe Gibbs Racing. "I guess fifth in points just wasn't good enough in some people's eyes and five points away from running (for the title at) Homestead," Grubb said on the show "Tradin' Paint." Grubb said he was told during last year's Chase that changes could be coming, nearly mirroring a situation he had in 2011. He was told during that year's Chase that he would not return as Tony Stewart's crew chief. Grubb then went on to help Stewart win the title, beating Edwards. "I was somewhat surprised," Grubb said on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio about finding out his position could be in jeopardy last year at JGR. "The first conversation I had was one weekend of the Chase I was told at that point that I needed to get nine more solid weeks in, and I was like 'I've been through this before.' Last time it was six weeks. This time was nine. I knew something was going to come up with the change. I knew I was going to be making some changes. I didn't know what it was going to be. Then went on and found out it wasn't going to be a crew chief position, so I had to explore some options." Joe Gibbs Racing replaced Grubb with Dave Rogers, who moved over from #11-Denny Hamlin's team. Hamlin's new crew chief is Mike Wheeler. Those moves led Grubb, who has 23 career Sprint Cup wins as a crew chief, back to Hendrick Motorsports. Grubb's new role is as vehicle production director at Hendrick Motorsports. He'll have responsibility for production operations in the chassis and body groups and work alongside technical director Kenny Francis.(NBC Sports)(1-8-2016)
Darian Grubb returns to Hendrick Motorsports: Hendrick Motorsports has named Darian Grubb to the newly created role of vehicle production director, where he will oversee every aspect of race car manufacturing for the 11-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champions, effective immediately. Grubb, 40, assumes responsibility for production operations in the Hendrick Motorsports chassis and body groups. He will work alongside vehicle technical director Kenny Francis to support and grow the company's overall car development capabilities while collaborating across vehicle engineering, vehicle production and four Sprint Cup teams. Both Grubb and Francis report to general manager Doug Duchardt.
"We're excited to welcome Darian back to Hendrick Motorsports," Duchardt said. "His résumé speaks for itself, and he already has a deep understanding of our people, processes and culture. Teaming him with Kenny on our vehicle efforts mirrors the management structure of our engine operation, which has been very effective, and it adds more depth to the organization as a whole. Darian brings a wealth of knowledge and experience, and we know he will make us stronger."
A native of Floyd, Virginia, with a mechanical engineering degree from Virginia Tech, Grubb originally joined Hendrick Motorsports from Petty Enterprises in January 2003. He served as lead race engineer for the #48 Sprint Cup team from 2003-2006 and was interim crew chief during the first four races of its 2006 championship-winning campaign, leading Jimmie Johnson to a pair of victories, including the Daytona 500.
Grubb earned one win as crew chief for driver Casey Mears (#25 Chevy) in 2007 before being named engineering manager for the #5 and #88 Hendrick Motorsports teams for 2008. In 2009, he moved into a crew chief role at Stewart-Haas Racing, where in three seasons he won 11 races and the 2011 Sprint Cup championship with #14-Tony Stewart. Grubb then joined Joe Gibbs Racing, winning nine races with multiple drivers from 2012-2015. As a crew chief, he has 23 career Sprint Cup victories.
"It means a lot to come back to Hendrick Motorsports," Grubb said. "This is a role that will allow me to contribute to the success of the entire organization, which was very important to me. Kenny is someone I greatly respect, so the chance to work side-by-side with him was a big factor. Everything is familiar, and I think that will make for a smooth transition. The more we talked about the opportunity, the more it felt right. I'm ready to get started."(Hendrick Motorsports)(1-4-2015)
Johnson, Wise, Marty Smith run half marathon: It's NASCAR's offseason, but drivers Jimmie Johnson and Josh Wise can't get enough of racing. Johnson, a six-time series champion; and fellow Sprint Cup driver took part in a half marathon on Saturday in Huntersville, N.C. As would be expected in their stockcar races, Johnson won. He was 12th overall. Johnson set a personal record by completing the 13.1-mile run in 1 hour, 27 minutes. He finished more than two minutes faster than Wise. Also running was [ESPN's] Marty Smith, who finished in 1 hour, 40 minutes. Wise's time of 1:30.01 placed him 22nd overall and third in 30-34 age bracket. Smith was 112th overall and 85th among 35-39 year olds.(Sporting News)(12-13-2015)
Oddsmakers have Harvick the 2016 Championship favorite: #18-Kyle Busch may have just won NASCAR's Sprint Cup, but when setting odds for the 2016 season, the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook went with last year's champion, #4-Kevin Harvick, as the 5-to-1 favorite, while installing Busch and two others as co-second favorites at 7-to-1 odds. It's easy to understand why Harvick is the favorite. His consistency over the past two seasons has been amazing, and there is little reason to believe his Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet won't be every bit as good in 2016. Along with Busch at 7-to-1 odds are #22-Joey Logano and six-time Sprint Cup champion #48-Jimmie Johnson. Johnson won five races last season and finished 10th in points, but had a rough summer after jumping out of the gate with four wins through May. Former Cup champions #20-Matt Kenseth and #2-Brad Keselowski are each listed at 8-to-1, while #19-Carl Edwards, #11-Denny Hamlin and #41-Kurt Busch are 12-to-1.(Sporting News)(12-6-2015)
Hendrick Motorsports receives MAHLE Engine Builder of the Year Award: The NASCAR NMPA Myers Brothers 2015 Awards Luncheon was a big one for Hendrick Motorsports. First, Jeff Gordon was presented with the very first Chevrolet Lifetime Achievement Award. #88 crew chief Greg Ives was then named the MOOG Steering and Suspension Problem Solver of the Year. In between both awards, Hendrick Motorsports was honored with the MAHLE Engine Builder of the Year Award for the 19th time. In particular, engine assembler Sam Vernatter was singled out as the winner of the award. Points toward the Engine Builder of the Year Award were granted after every race based on qualifying and finishing position, with bonus points for the team that led the most laps. "Randy Dorton started the legacy of Hendrick Motorsports and it lives daily in Jeff Andrews, Jim Wall, Scott Maxim and David Evans," Vernatter said. "Their leadership paves the way for our success." Hendrick Motorsports engines powered five of the top 12 finishing teams at the end of the 2015 season, including two of the top three.(Hendrick Motorsports)(12-4-2015)
Hendrick Motorsports names new Manager of Aerodynamics: Diane Holl is the new manager of aerodynamics for Hendrick Motorsports. Holl, 51, joined HMS last month after eight seasons at Michael Waltrip Racing where she served as Director of Vehicle Design. After earning her degree in mechanical engineering, the Guildford, England native's career started in Formula 1 with Ferrari as a chassis designer in 1987. Holl returned to England in 2002, where she worked with the McLaren Group as Principle Engineer. She returned to the U.S. five years later to join MWR. Holl replaces Kurt Romberg, who has since taken a similar role at Roush Fenway Racing.(Motorsports)(12-3-2015)
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)
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:
ˇ C.C. Griffin Middle School (Concord, North Carolina)
ˇ Charles E. Boger Elementary School (Kannapolis, North Carolina)
ˇ Crown Point Elementary School (Charlotte, North Carolina)
ˇ Harding University High School (Charlotte, North Carolina)
ˇ Independence High School (Charlotte, North Carolina)
ˇ University Park Creative Arts Elementary School (Charlotte, North Carolina)
ˇ Lexington Elementary School (El Cajon, California)
ˇ Mira Mesa High School (San Diego)
ˇ Hilldale Public Schools (Muskogee, Oklahoma)
ˇ 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)
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)
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)
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)
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:
Congrats to Ray & Erin Evernham on the birth of their daughter, Cate Susan Evernham, Saturday morning. Evernham works at Hendrick Motorsports.(7-25-2015)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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
Sunday, February 19, 2017, 3:00pm/et
Happy Hour Practice:
Saturday, February 25, 2017, TBA
Born in JANUARY
17 Lake Speed, Harry Hyde, Michael McSwain, Gabe Martin, Squirt Johns, Al Terrell, Jim Hall
18 Bill Davis, Christian Fittipaldi, Jerry Oliver, Ronnie Chumley, Joe Martin, Gilles Villeneuve
19 George Hufford, Dorothy Shull, Walt Sprague, Don Tilley, Jim Whitman
20 Fireball Roberts, Ryan Pepe, George Gallup, Ralph Jones, Kenny Brightbill, Robin McCall
21 Ernie Saxton, Roman Pemberton, John Willenborg, Robert Hughes, Bud Harless, Mike Kempton
22 Mike Bugarewicz, Ashton Lewis Jr., Sean Pragano, Emma Blaney, Josh Pate, Grant Enfinger, Ray Clark, Bob Pronger, Danny Graves, Red Ortwein, Jeff McClure
23 Cole Custer, Matt Eversole, Austin Theriault, Bill Patterson, Daryl Rasnake, Boris Said Jr., Emanuel Zervakis, Major Melton, Jerry Grant, Art Dugan, Don Whittington, Terry Byers
24 Greg Wallace, Scott Speed, Bob Schacht, Mike Harmon, Austin Cameron, Bill Hyde, Gary Collins
25 Buddy Baker, Mike Broadwater, Harry Ranier, Chuck Hill, Neil Roberts, Shep Langdon, Joel Davis, Harry Dinwiddie, T.W. Taylor, Dale Quarterley
26 Sharon Leavine, Scott Wimmer, Paul Newman, Troy Welty, Al Bonnell, Red Tomlinson, Tony Nelson, Dave Pletcher
27 Taylor Cohen, Lake Speed, Jr., Jerry Robertson, Mike "Bubba" Hart, Gary Bradberry, George Follmer, Phil Good, Jerry Robertson
28 Bernece Wood, Phillipe Lopez, Jimmy Cox, David Green, Randy Renfrow, Mark DeMarco, Kenneth Lankford, Timothy Morgan, Chase Miller, Ray Chase, R.L. Combs, Robbie Robinson, Eddie MacDonald(GA), Jim Robinson
29 John Witske, Tommy Houston, Keegan Rice, Frank Mathalia, George Bush(NY), Bill Stickler, Frank Sessoms, Bob England, David Murry, Charlie Rudolph, Jeff Davis
30 Joe Falk, Rico Abreu, Wally Rogers, Wendy Venturini, Chad Boat, Andy Eversole, Don Cecchini, Ralph Zrimsek, Roy Hall, Al Smith, Norm Nelson
31 Kevin Patrick Dowd, Ed Samples, Brownie King, Shana Mayfield, Rick Wilson, Scott Lagasse Jr., Nolan Swift, Rex Hathcock, Tony Mullett, Jerick Johnson, Chris Winchell, Dub Utsman, Tommy Lane, Bobby Booth, G.T. Tallas