2014 Lowe's Sponsor Schedule:
Sprint Unlimited, 2/15, Kobalt Tools
Daytona, 2/23, Lowe's
Phoenix, 3/2, Lowe's
Las Vegas, 3/9, Kobalt Tools
Bristol, 3/16, Kobalt Tools
Auto Club, 3/23, Lowe's "Spring Is Calling"
Martinsville, 3/30, Lowe's "Spring Is Calling"
Texas, 4/6, Lowe's "Spring Is Calling"
Darlington, 4/12, Kobalt Tools
Richmond, 4/26, Kobalt Tools
Talladega, 5/4, Lowe's/Valspar Reserve
Kansas, 5/10, Kobalt Tools
Charlotte, All-Star Race, 5/17, Lowe's Patriotic
Charlotte, 5/25, Lowe's Patriotic
Dover, 6/1, Kobalt Tools
Pocono, 6/8, Kobalt Tools
Michigan, 6/15, Kobalt Tools
Sonoma, 6/22, Lowe's
Kentucky, 6/28, Lowe's
Daytona, 7/5, Lowe's Patriotic
New Hampshire, 7/13, Lowe's
Indianapolis, 7/27, Kobalt Tools
Pocono, 8/3, Lowe's
Watkins Glen, 8/10, Lowe's
Michigan, 8/17, Jimmie Johnson Foundation Bristol, 8/23, Lowe's Blue
Atlanta, 8/31, Kobalt Tools
Richmond, 9/6, Lowe's Blue
Chicago, 9/14, Lowe's Blue
New Hampshire, 9/21, Lowe's Blue
Dover, 9/28, Kobalt Tools
Kansas, 10/5, Lowe's Blue
Charlotte, 10/11, Lowe's Blue
Talladega, 10/19, Lowe's Blue
Martinsville, 10/26, Lowe's Blue
Texas, 11/2, Lowe's Red Vest
Phoenix, 11/9, Lowe's Patriotic
Homestead, 11/16, Lowe's Blue
There are four race tracks the Sprint Cup Series currently races at that #48-Jimmie Johnson has not won a Sprint Cup race at:
Homestead: 0 for 13 with a best finish of 2nd in 11/2004 & 11/2010
Kentucky: 0 for 4 with a best finish of 3rd in 7/2011
Watkins Glen: 0 for 13 with a best finish of 3rd in 8/2007 and 8/2012
Chicago: 0 for 13 with a best finish of 2nd in 7/2004, 7/2008 & 9/2012
plus Johnson ran five races at Rockingham Speedway and didn't win there.
On June 15th, 2014, after 24 tries, Johnson won at Michigan.(8-10-2014)
Contract Status: Driver: 2015: Sponsor: 2015; Crew Chief: 2014
Johnson open to team changes next season; except crew chief: #48-Jimmie Johnson talked to the media Friday at Martinsville Speedway:
WE'RE INTERESTED TO KNOW YOUR MINDSET OVER THESE FOUR RACES. YOU CAN'T DEFEND YOUR CHAMPIONSHIP BUT YOU CAN CERTAINLY WIN RACES.
The mindset is simple. We want to close out the year well and finish as high as we can in points. We want to win races. That's what we're here for. We did not have a good last three races for a variety of reasons. The results weren't there. Frankly, two of those results would have eliminated us from championship hope (in past years). I felt like at Talladega, we were given a pretty big gift and we came close to taking advantage of that opportunity. We want to do well. We want to win races. At the same time, this does open up an opportunity for us to work on '15 from a personnel standpoint and even from a 2015 test plan. Obviously testing is gone next year, so anything we can do to work on the 2015 package will suit us well. We're not slowing down any. These last four weeks are going to be about as busy as any as we're getting geared up for 2015."
THE PAIRING OF GREAT DRIVERS AND GREAT CREW CHIEFS IN THE SPORT EVENTUALLY COME TO AN END. DO YOU SEE THE DAY WHEN MAYBE CHAD ISN'T ON YOUR PIT BOX?
"Yeah, that day is out there. I think a crew chief's lifespan is much shorter than a driver's. They live in dog years and drivers can carry on much longer. I've been accused of being loyal to a fault in the past, that's me. I have no plans or desires to make a change. When Chad decides he's had enough of being the guy on the box, it will be his decision to step down. As far as I'm concerned, we've made it 13 years in this thing. I want to see it go as long as it can. We're honest with each other and know each other well enough to work through the bad times. It might not be pretty, and I'm sure you guys have heard things on the radio that got your attention. We're like family, and we fight like family. We can call each other out on that stuff, and you only hear a piece of it on the radio. There is plenty more that goes on behind closed doors and in meetings. It's more of a timeframe of when Chad says, 'I've put in my time here as crew chief and I need to slow down a little bit.'"(Chevy PR)(10-25-2014)
Johnson going red at Texas: Lowe's is rallying around its employees and introducing the #48 Lowe's Red Vest Chevy SS at Texas Motor Speedway during the AAA Texas 500 race weekend. The #48 Lowe's Chevy will don the famous red and blue colors to celebrate the more than 260,000 Lowe's employees who perform like champions every day. The red vests employees wear have become symbolic of Lowe's commitment to its customers and providing outstanding service each and every day. "I know what the red vest means to everyone at Lowe's. That's why I'm proud to have red on my car at Texas. I want to show Lowe's 260,000 employees that this is for them," said Jimmie Johnson. "It takes a team to run a race like this one, and it takes a team at Lowe's, day in and day out, to win!"(Lowes Racing), see an image of the car on the #48 team paint schemes page.(10-22-2014)
The Four drivers eliminated from Chase...comments:
TALK ABOUT YOUR EMOTIONS:
"It feels relieving to go down swinging. The last two weeks were really poor. At least we went down swinging. I'll take some pride in that."
YOU'LL GO INTO THE FINALE WITHOUT HAVING A CHANCE OF WINNING THE CHAMPIONSHIP.
"The last I can think of is with Carl (Edwards) and Tony (Stewart). I vividly remembered the lunch presser that took place with the champions and how much that ate at me to watch it on TV and not be a part of it. I get the pleasure of going through that again. Today I went down swinging, and I take pride in that. Am I disappointed in our Chase? Absolutely. In the last two weeks, people have tuned on the radio and there have been plenty of articles have been written this week. Frustration was high between Chad (Knaus, crew chief) and I and the fact that we haven't been able to produce like we wanted to. Today we went down swinging. We had a chance and came up short. We have to make the best of '15. We have a chance to finish fifth in points, which would mean the world to me. The worst I've finished is sixth in the points, so it's not time to put our feet up. We need to finish strong and try to be in the top-five."
HOW DO YOU DESCRIBE THIS RACE TODAY?
"Two restarts from the end, I was trying to make something happen on the restart. I was in a weird position there behind the No. 2 (Brad Keselowski), and if I pushed him to the win, he moves on and I don't. So I tried going to his outside. I looked up and I had no friends in the mirror. If I had known we were going to have a second green-white-checker, I would have stayed in line. That would have shuffled the order around and I wouldn't have been behind him, and maybe we would have had another shot at it. We had a fast, fast Lowe's Chevrolet today. Disappointed we didn't advance, but truthfully the way the last two races went, today was an opportunity for us, and we were kind of playing with house money and just didn't get it done."
CAN YOU DESCRIBE THE DISAPPOINTMENT OF NOT GOING TO THE NEXT ROUND?
"Truthfully, I showed up this weekend thinking I've been playing with house money and I've had a very unique opportunity to advance. In any Chase, after two bad races like we had the last two weeks, you wouldn't have a shot at the championship. So, the frustration was kind of peaking over the last two weeks. This week's been chill. We qualified second and ran up front all day. And it's so hard to win one of these races. You can't come in here and say you're doing to dominate Talladega and win the race. We dominated it. We just didn't lead the lap that counted."(Chevy Racing PR)(10-20-2014)
2015 team sponsorships coming together: Some top NASCAR Sprint Cup teams have sold their primary sponsorships for all of next season, but space remains on the cars of #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., #5-Kasey Kahne, Carl Edwards and #15-Clint Bowyer four months before the 2015 season begins. Among the teams that have sold all their primary sponsorship for next year are #24-Jeff Gordon, #48-Jimmie Johnson, #22-Joey Logano, #4-Kevin Harvick, #20-Matt Kenseth, #18-Kyle Busch and #11-Denny Hamlin. "It's certainly not easy finding a sponsor, but there was an abundant amount of interest in our sport and in our team," said Dave Alpern, chief marketing officer at Joe Gibbs Racing, which expands to four cars next season. Steve Newmark, president of Roush Fenway Racing, says that the three-car organization has fewer primary sponsorship openings then it did at this time a year ago. Ben Schlosser, chief marketing officer at Richard Childress Racing, says that his three-car organization also is ahead in selling sponsorships, noting some companies were willing to start negotiations earlier. "I think the climate is getting better," Newmark said. "It's not where we need to be, but I think the whole sport is doing a better job of marketing." Newmark credits more collaboration with NASCAR compared to when he arrived at Roush four years ago. Newmark also said that the team has made many changes to better serve sponsors. See more team-by team info at Motor Racing Network and check out the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Team / Driver Chart.(10-16-2014)
ESPN employees visit Hendrick Motorsports: Five years ago, Rich Feinberg - ESPN vice president, motorsports, production - came up with an idea. "At ESPN, we cover all sports, but it's a very stick-and-ball culture," Feinberg explained. So he brought a concept to ESPN management and eventually NASCAR management. Why not gather a group of ESPN employees and bring them inside the world of NASCAR? "By immersing people in it, they learn about it, they have a new respect for it, and when it comes down to working on it, they do better," he said. ESPN and NASCAR loved the idea, and for five years, Feinberg has hand-picked a group to make the trek to Hendrick Motorsports headquarters in Concord, North Carolina. In the 2014 version of the immersion program, that certainly proved true. In addition to NASCAR and Hendrick Motorsports employees, among the participants were SportsCenter anchors Jay Harris, Chris Hassel, Darren Haynes, Lisa Kerney and Jaymee Sire in addition to ESPN Radio host Freddie Coleman, executive producers Mike Shiffman and Andy Tennant, senior news editor Jodi Herbert and Director of Talent, Planning and Development Chris Duffy. Included in the immersion was an overview of the human performance element of the race teams, featuring a tour of the training field, gym and pit pad. At the pit pad, the group got a chance to take a shot at changing a tire, splitting into two teams racing against the clock for the win. After the competition, the group went on to tour the engine shop and the race shops for the #5, 24, 48 and 88 teams. Finally, the group got to take an exclusive tour of Hendrick Motorsports Owner Rick Hendrick's Heritage Center, featuring his extensive car collection. It was just part of their immersion, as the group later got the chance to take in the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.(Hendrick Motorsports)(10-15-2014)
Biffle not sure what happened with Johnson: #16-Greg Biffle says he's not sure why he got into #48-Jimmie Johnson, causing the six-time champion to crash in Sunday's race at Kansas Speedway. Biffle made contact with Johnson on Lap 85. Johnson lost 68 laps for repairs. He finished 40th, jeopardizing his chances of advancing to the next round in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. "I don't know if (Johnson) got slowed up a little bit coming off the corner,'' Biffle said Monday at an appearance promoting this weekend's race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. "We were coming off the corner two-, three-, four-wide. My car started to lose the nose a little bit, started to slide up the race track. It looked like (Johnson) had good momentum off the corner. It looked like I was going to be able to move in behind him. I don't know if he got slowed up any from the cars in front of him or I tried to move over too early and caught his left rear. You're going to have that contact when you're back there two-, three-wide scrambling on a restart. We just got together.''(MRN)(10-7-2014)
Johnson comments about his wreck: #48-Jimmie Johnson was involved in a multi-car crash on lap 85 of the Hollywood Casino 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway, his comments: "We're going to try to get the car back out on the track and run some laps and get a few points if we can, and then this just puts a premium on next weekend and the weekend after."
DESCRIBE WHAT THIS DOES IN THE CONTENDER ROUND GOING FORWARD: 'Well, it just means we've got to be on our game at Charlotte and Talladega. There is still a lot of racing left. Stuff can happen. We'll see how the other Chasers fare. If I can get taken out today, somebody else can later in this event or at Charlotte. We'll do our best to get on track and then certainly need W's, I would assume, going forward."
Q) WHAT HAPPENED?
Johnson: "Just got tagged in the left-rear. I heard on the radio that it was the #16 (Greg Biffle). I haven't seen the video or anything yet. I was cruising along the top, thought everything was fine, and then found myself sideways down the back straightaway."
Q) HOW WAS THE CAR UP UNTIL THEN?
Johnson: "It was okay. We were stuck in traffic. Our problem really started on Friday not qualifying right there. We were moving forward and in a good position. I felt like our times had us capable of a top-five finish. But just back there in that mess and ended up being the mess."
Q) CAN YOU EVEN PROCESS THIS YET?
Johnson: "It's really fresh, just trying to get the car fixed and get back out there and go to work. Definitely disappointing, but not much I can do. I hit from the inside. If I can put any blame anywhere it would be on our qualifying effort on Friday. If you are going to be in the back in qualifying you are putting yourself in harm's way and today is proof of that." Q) NEVER SAY DIE #48?
Johnson: "Oh yeah."
Q) WAS THE CAR GOOD ENOUGH THAT YOU COULD HAVE RAN IN THE TOP 10?
Johnson: "For sure the top 10 was definitely within reach. I think a top five would have been in our cards. Just listen to lap times and watching myself catch the big group of cars in front of me I felt like we would have been a top-10/top-five."(Team Chevy)(10-5-2014)
Johnson attends Moore school's ribbon cutting for storm-destroyed gyms: Jimmie Johnson and Lowe's Home Improvement are used to working as partners on and off the track. Johnson drives the #48 Lowe's Chevrolet SS in the racing sport's top series, and lends his celebrity status to the store's charity efforts. In 2013, the Jimmie Johnson Foundation and Lowe's joined forces to help three Moore schools whose gym facilities had been destroyed or damaged by the May tornadoes. On Thursday, the three schools - Highland East Junior High, Plaza Towers Elementary, and Briarwood Elementary - celebrated the opening of their new and improved gyms. Johnson attended the ribbon-cutting at Highland East along with 40 Lowe's employees and two basketball teams worth of grateful kids. Johnson's support of Moore began almost immediately after the tornado. Days after the catastrophe, he came to Oklahoma to help with Lowe's relief efforts, distributing food, water, and cleanup supplies to affected families. During his time there, he witnessed first-hand the devastation a tornado leaves behind. Johnson's wife, Chandra, is a Muskogee native and graduated from the University of Oklahoma. The state has a special place in both of their hearts, Johnson said, and he was thrilled to see how things had improved upon his return. Lowe's employees also pitched in to give the school a much-needed facelift. Volunteers from the Moore, south Oklahoma City, and Norman stores pitched in to landscape the school's campus, planting dozens of trees and shrubs. The store also donated two benches with Highland East's mascot, a cougar, carved into them.(The Oklahoman)(10-3-2014)
Johnson feeling better UPDATE: Hendrick Motorsports said Tuesday defending NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson is feeling "much better" after suffering from dehydration at Richmond. A spokeswoman also said crew chief Chad Knaus found nothing wrong in the car that would have caused Johnson's dehydration. The six-time NASCAR champion was assisted to the infield medical center following his eighth-place finish Saturday night. Johnson was lying down next to his car after the race and was helped by his crew to a golf cart. He spent nearly 90 minutes in the care center and needed 5 liters of intravenous fluids and said after he wasn't sure what caused the dehydration. Johnson plans to fulfill all his obligations this week associated with NASCAR's promotion of the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. Johnson has a full slate of media activities planned for Wednesday in New York, then again on Thursday in Chicago.(Associated Press)(9-9-2014)
UPDATE: Jimmie Johnson said the cooling system for his helmet was blowing warm air and that likely caused his dehydration following last week's race at Richmond. Johnson said the issue with his cooling system was discovered by his Hendrick Motorsports team on Tuesday. "It's nice to have a good idea as to what went wrong and why I got so hot in the race car," he said in quotes provided by Hendrick Motorsports. "It's a newer system that we've implemented, so we're just going back to our old faithful system that's worked for years and years. We should have the problem rectified." The team earlier Tuesday said crew chief Chad Knaus did not discover anything wrong with the car itself. Johnson said he's feeling much better and traveled late Tuesday to New York to begin media obligations for the beginning of NASCAR's Chase for the Sprint Cup championship.(Associated Press)(9-10-2014)
Johnson collapses on pit road after race UPDATES: after finishing 8th in the Federated Auto Parts 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway, #48-Jimmie Johnson got out of his car on pit road under his own power, sat down on pit road, tried to get up and collapsed due to dehydration. Medical personnel were notified and Johnson was taken to the infield care center on a cart. Johnson was conscious entering the care center.
UPDATE: Per NASCAR's Twitter: Jimmie Johnson has been treated and released from the infield care center.
COMMENTS Team Chevy Post Race Notes and Quotes:
Q) TELL US ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED?
Johnson: "Just got dehydrated in the car. Not exactly sure what led to it we will have to dig in and see what happened. I started cramping when I got out of the race car. Then when I was cramping I was trying to stand-up because I was fine when I sat down then I would stand-up I would get dizzy. When I would sit back down I would start to cramp again. Just really dehydrated. Ended up with five liters of IV in me. I was definitely dry. I will have to dig in and understand what happened in the car. I was hot in the car so I will have to make sure all my fans were working and stuff like that. Scary moment and I hate that it happened, but have to learn from it and make sure it doesn't happen again."
Q) TALK ABOUT NOT BEING ON THE CHASE STAGE AND HAVING THIS HAPPEN FOR AN ATHLETE A GUY WHO IS PROBABLY THE BEST TRAINED. IT WOULD BE ODD THAT YOU WOULD BE THE ONE TO HAVE DEHYDRATION:
Johnson: "Yeah there is something that went wrong today. It could have been my own nutrition plan. I felt like I came in plenty hydrated. We will have to make sure that all the fans and stuff were working in the car. I was warm at the midway point and didn't feel like my helmet fan was working. That could definitely cause an issue."
Q) DID YOU HAVE SOMETHING BAD TO EAT OR HAVE YOU BEEN SICK OR ANYTHING?
Johnson: "No, I haven't been sick. I had a light week of training as well because I had planned on competing in my triathlon tomorrow morning. Well rested, nutrition and all that was there. It is really bizarre that I got hit as hard as I did tonight with dehydration. I will have to dig in and see what happened."
Q) ON HIS TRAINING:
Johnson: "This week has been pretty light just because I'm supposed to compete in an event tomorrow morning. Still going to go and attend, but won't be able to compete especially with the cramping that I had. Just a lot of questions right now, but I cramped pretty bad there on pit road and got dizzy and light-headed and had to come over here and get a bunch of bags of IV."
Q) SO WHEN YOU PARKED THE CAR YOU FELT OKAY, BUT WHEN YOU CLIMBED OUT IT WENT HAYWIRE:
Johnson: "Yeah I sat in the car and was talking to my guys about the run and having a good race. I started to cramp a little bit in my legs so I figured I would just get out of the car and as I climbed out of the car the cramping got far worse. Then standing outside the car I kind of got dizzy so I wanted to sit down. Once I sat down the cramping got worse so then I wanted to stand up. I got up and off the ground two or three times and that whole process got me really dizzy. And had the cramps really kicking so fortunately then I was able to get on the golf cart and come over here and get plugged into an IV."(Team Chevy)(9-6-2014)
Hendrick Motorsports tests at Martinsville...comments: Martinsville Speedway's position as the first race in the Eliminator Round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup has the track's most successful drivers understanding the importance of the Goody's Headache Relief Shot 500. #24-Jeff Gordon and #48-Jimmie Johnson, who lead all active drivers with eight Martinsville wins apiece, spent the past two days testing at the iconic half-mile speedway. The two were joined by their Hendrick Motorsports teammates, #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. and #5-Kasey Kahne.
"You want to give yourself every opportunity to win at every race that's in the Chase to guarantee yourself moving forward," said Gordon. "We know that Martinsville is a great track for us. I think all of Hendrick Motorsports understands that we've had great success here and we have confidence here and we can run really well here, and it's important. It's in the Chase."
"We haven't tested here in a long, long time, so as a group we kind of sat in a room and raised our hands as to what tracks in the Chase we wanted to test at and the majority wanted to come to Martinsville," said Johnson. "We're not reinventing the wheel while we're here, but we're certainly learning a lot and are hopeful to strike when we come back in the Chase."
Some of Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s biggest wins have come on NASCAR's largest tracks. But it is the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series' shortest track ... Martinsville Speedway ... that is a sentimental favorite for Earnhardt. Part of that sentiment stems from Earnhardt's love for the roots of racing, and no track has deeper roots in NASCAR than Martinsville Speedway. And some of that sentiment comes from Earnhardt's great success on the half-mile oval. Earnhardt Jr. doesn't have a Martinsville win or one of the iconic grandfather clock trophies in his house, but his driver rating at Martinsville is consistently among the top two or three in the sport. He has 11 top-five finishes and 16 top-10 finishes on the difficult short-track and has finished second twice and third four times. While some drivers don't especially look forward to 500 laps on the tight confines of Martinsville Speedway, Earnhardt relishes the two trips a year to Martinsville.
"I just love short-track racing. I don't really like running into people, but I like rubbing," Earnhardt said during his lunch break Tuesday. "I can appreciate someone using the bumper to get a spot without really causing too much of a problem for the guy who gets moved out of the way. I can respect that because you have got to do that sometimes. I feel like you come to expect that at this particular track. Since we're all fighting to get around the bottom, you can only wait so long behind a guy before you have to get creative and get physical with the race car. I can take it as well as I can dish it. I do enjoy racing here. The success we have here just comes from a lot of testing, a lot of practice," said Earnhardt, who finished third in the STP 500 at Martinsville last spring. "When we first started racing here, I wasn't very good and I remember coming several times and testing the first couple of seasons I was in the Cup series and that seemed to get us in a good direction. We got some good balance on our cars and what we need to get a car around this place and keep the tires on it."(Martinsville Speedway)(8-29-2014)
Johnson crashes Independence High football practice: #48-Jimmie Johnson surprised members of the Independence High School football team with a visit to the school during Wednesday afternoon practice. Johnson and members of his Hendrick Motorsports pit crew visited the school as part of the Gatorade Beat the Heat campaign - an effort by Gatorade to educate athletes, parents and coaches on the importance of proper hydration to reduce heat-related illnesses during athletic events. Johnson, who is known as one of the most physically fit NASCAR drivers, even joined the team in some conditioning drills. A spokesman for Gatorade said Johnson has worked in the past with Independence High, which won seven straight state football championships from 2000 to 2006. Wednesday's visit was well-timed. Temperatures at the time of practice were about 90 degrees, with a heat index in the mid-90s.(Charlotte Observer)(8-24-2014)
Lowe's goes back to blue on the #48: After a series of subpar finishes, Jimmie Johnson reached out to Lowe's to ask if the partner could switch up the paint scheme on the #48 Chevy. Lowe's, a 13-year sponsor of Johnson, agreed wholeheartedly. The blue-and-white paint scheme first appeared on Johnson's Chevrolet for the 2012 season and Johnson wrapped up his sixth championship in 2013 in the familiar blue scheme. This car has visited Victory Lane five times since its debut. Johnson chose "Let the Good Times Roll" by The Cars for his introduction song at Bristol Motor Speedway.(HMS/TeamLowes), see images of the 'new' blue scheme on the #48 Team Schemes page.(8-20-2014)
Chase Elliott could run some Cup races in 2015: Rick Hendrick's plan for NASCAR Nationwide Series phenom Chase Elliott evidently entails a few NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts next season, the champion car owner said Wednesday in an interview on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. The 18-year-old Elliott tops the Nationwide Series standings and leads all series regulars with three race victories. Dale Earnhardt Jr., co-owner of his JR Motorsports race team, has said that Elliott is likely to run another full season on NASCAR's No. 2 circuit next year. Hendrick, also a co-owner at JRM, sounded as if a few premier series starts will also be sprinkled into that mix. A test session in which Elliott tested the cars of Hendrick Motorsports champion drivers Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon convinced the team owner the youngster was ready, even before he took the Nationwide circuit by storm.
"We haven't arrived at a decision for sure, but I think you'll probably see him run a few races next year," Hendrick told the satellite radio network. "Before he ever won a Nationwide race, I watched him test Jimmie's car and Jeff's car at Nashville, and Jimmie and Jeff both commented to me, 'This kid is super smooth and super fast. He takes care of his equipment, and he doesn't get in a jam.' Although Hendrick currently fields four full-time cars, the maximum for one organization as allowed by NASCAR, rules do permit teams to run an additional vehicle on a limited slate for prospective rookie drivers.(NASCAR.com)(8-7-2014)
How would a few drivers change the Sprint Cup schedule: #31-Ryan Newman, #41-Kyle Busch, #48-Jimmie Johnson met with members of the media at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and discussed what changes they would make to the 2015 schedule. The transcripts in part:
NEWMAN: "If I was NASCAR, how would I change the schedule? My answer to that would be not giving any -- not being partial to any ISC or SMI tracks. I'd turn some of those tracks into Wednesday night races, and the other ones would be Saturday night or sometime Sunday afternoon when it made sense. I'd give us a little bit more off weekends. We can still run 36 or 38 races but we don't need to be at the racetrack, especially for the Daytona and Talladega for three, sometimes four days with the inspection process. So I think just realigning it and giving us the opportunity to be on TV and be our own special event on Wednesday night, especially in football season, would be good for our sport."
"Wednesday night shows and how would I foresee doing that? I think it all depends what that day is like. I mean, obviously, if you go to a place like Pocono and it rains three-quarters of that day, it changes everything and you have obviously Thursday to work with. But I think situations like that, you'd have the crew guys come in on a Tuesday evening, Tuesday afternoon, let the -- tech the cars and whatever window it is, let the guys go back and have a decent dinner with their team, and then come and start practice the next morning, practice, qualifying and race. You've got people in the grandstands for an entire day of activities and they can sell hotdogs and all the other things that way. I'm no businessman, but I know from our scheduling standpoint that there's a lot of credibility to having some weekday races, especially when you consider who we're up against in the football season."(Team Chevy)
BUSCH: "Oh, my. Could I be president for the day and then decide what we're going to do? Wow, there's so many opportunities. I think the first one should be the final race should be bid on like a committee such as the Super Bowl. There's a committee that goes around and it gets filled in with who does the best job with their community to present themselves as the frontrunner to have the Super Bowl. Why not do that with our final stock car race? You know, The Chase, I think Chicago is a great place to start it off. Those Chase races are valuable. And could we mix it up and change some of the races that are in The Chase and not in The Chase? One unique thing is maybe we should take Talladega out of The Chase, put Richmond in The Chase and use Talladega as the cutoff to get into The Chase? Why not? Because we're all driving around, they're very tentative and trying not to get in a wreck at Talladega. But why not make it the final race to get in and throw a huge wild card in to try to make it into The Chase. Because by then you have 15 guys that are pretty much locked in. That means those top 15 guys are going to throw it on the line to try to win. They're not going to be riding in the back to protect their points. To change the schedule, I would change Richmond and Talladega, and it works because NASCAR owns both those tracks."(Team Chevy)
JOHNSON: "I've always felt like we could use an off weekend before The Chase starts just to leave us an opportunity to have a make-up race. I know it's a pretty severe event if it would take place. And the last unfortunate situation that was created was 9/11, but I think that was good to give the teams a break and give everybody a break that deep in the season before The Chase starts. Ultimately, you know, I buy into the philosophy that we have a bit of oversaturation with race distances and how often we compete. I think we could trim that stuff down. I don't know where I would go to first, but I think adopting a little bit of less is more would be beneficial.(Team Chevy)(7-26-2014)
Johnson to wear Helmet of Hope: #48-Jimmie Johnson will wear a special helmet this weekend at Indianapolis commemorating the Jimmie Johnson Foundation's Blue Bunny Helmet of Hope program. The helmet paint scheme features the five winners of the 2014 Blue Bunny Helmet of Hope, which is a program that awards grants to not-for-profit organizations that support K-12 public education. Approximately 438,658 votes were cast for the 10 semi-finalists and five organizations were ultimately voted as the winners: Crayons to Classrooms in Dayton, Ohio; Champions for Learning in Naples, Florida; HEART Tutoring in Charlotte, North Carolina; Le Mars Community Schools Foundation in Le Mars, Iowa; and Reading Partners in Denver.(HMS)(7-25-2014)
Harvick is most mentioned driver in first half of season: According to data compiled by Joyce Julius, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, and Jeff Gordon have accounted for the most driver mentions during NASCAR telecasts though Daytona this month:
#88-Dale Earnhardt, Jr......29.....0:26:21.....1,950
Statistics reflect all live race telecasts and replays of the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season through Daytona (Race #18).(Joyce Julius)(7-20-2014)
Johnson sidelined at NHMS due to tire issues:
Q) WHAT HAPPENED?:
Johnson: "The first one (tire) I was able to drive the car all the way through Turns 1 and 2. I knew I had a flat and then got down the back and came in. The other one just blew on the straight as soon as I hit the brakes. I'm not sure what caused it. I'm sure there will be a lot of speculation and I'm sure finger pointing back to the teams or our team. But we saw some issues here especially with that particular tire the last couple of days. We will try to dig in and learn more, but I can promise you one thing is wasn't low tire pressure. I've been out here for two days running around and haven't had a flat."
Q) CERTAINLY NOT THAT QUICK INTO A RUN EITHER?
Johnson: "Well there are many ways to speculate and think what could have caused it and certainly after the first we could have had damage that allowed something to rub on the tire and blow the second one so quickly. But just a bummer, I'm expecting people to quickly point back at the team and say it's our fault and I guess if it is we will accept it. But the car was fast, had a great day qualifying. We spent the time to come up here and test and get everything ready and prepared and just unfortunate that we are out so early."
Q) WHAT HAPPENED THE FIRST TIME?
Johnson: "I'm not really sure. It just went soft on me. I don't know why. But I can promise you one thing, it wasn't due to low left rear tire pressure, which is what a lot of people are speculating. We've been here for two days running and I had no issues. It's unfortunate, regardless. And then you can look at the second tire and think that maybe some damage was done from the first tire that caused the second one to go so quickly. That's a good argument but I just don't know at this point. I don't know if we'll ever know. Unfortunately, two tires went flat in a matter of laps."
Q) IN RELATION TO WHAT YOU HAD HOPED TO LEARN TODAY THAT WOULD HELP YOU IN SEPTEMBER, HOW BIG OF A SETBACK IS THIS?
Johnson: "It's definitely a setback. We had a good test up here. We had a very fast car. It would have been nice to get a race in here before we come back for the second one, so it's definitely a setback missing out on track time."
Q) HOW WEIRD IS IT TO HAVE ONE ISSUE AND THEN ANOTHER ISSUE?
Johnson: "Yeah, it's weird when that happens. I didn't expect it and I stood on the brakes into Turn 1 and it exploded and I'm like, oh boy; here we go."
Q) ON THE TEST AT NHMS EARLIER
Johnson: "We were up here testing. And in the last two days here, Friday and Saturday in race trim, we never had an issue. We saw some others have left rear problems, but it's something we didn't expect at all."(Team Chevy)(7-13-2014)
Johnson would like to see a shorter season: #48-Jimmie Johnson, met with media at New Hampshire and discussed many things including the upcoming off-weekend and the newly-formed RTA, the transcript in part:
Q) OFF-WEEKEND IS COMING UP. IS IT ONE YOU WANT TO SEE OR NOT WANT TO SEE BECAUSE YOU GUYS HAVE BEEN SO GOOD LATELY?
Johnson: "I'm happy to see it. I think we could use six or seven more of them. I think everybody in the room would agree. Get down to a 25-race schedule or something with more weekends off would be awesome. I'm excited. Even if we were winning and didn't want it to stop from that momentum stand point, I can't wait to chill out with family and relax."
Q) WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO? DO YOU HAVE PLANS?
Johnson: "As little as possible."(see the full transcript at Team Chevy)(7-12-2014)
Sprint Cup teams form Race Team Alliance UPDATE: A group of nine multi-car teams participating in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) announced today they have formed a collaborative business association called the Race Team Alliance (RTA). The purpose of the organization is to create an open forum for the teams to explore areas of common interest and to work collaboratively on initiatives to help preserve, promote, and grow the sport of stock car racing. The organization intends to open up its membership to all full time NSCS teams in the very near future. In providing a vehicle for the teams to work together, the organization creates for the first time a single entity to engage with stakeholders on creative ways to market and experience the power of the sport's teams and drivers. As part of its focus, the RTA also plans to explore innovative ways to harness the combined purchasing power and scale of the teams' operations to drive efficiencies in costs. Rob Kauffman, co-owner of Michael Waltrip Racing, has been elected the first chair of the RTA.
"With the encouragement of NASCAR and the manufacturers, the teams have met in various forms and forums over the years to explore areas of common interest. This simply formalizes what was an informal group." said Kauffman. "The key word is 'Collaboration'. We all have vested interests in the success and popularity of stock car racing. By working together and speaking with a single voice, it should be a simpler and smoother process to work with current and potential groups involved with the sport. Whether it be looking for industry-wide travel partners or collaborating on technical issues - the idea is to work together to increase revenue, spend more efficiently, and deliver more value to our partners."
The following teams are the executive members of the RTA: Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, Hendrick Motor Sports, Joe Gibbs Racing, Michael Waltrip Racing, Richard Childress Racing, Richard Petty Motor Sports, Roush Fenway Racing, Stewart-Haas Racing and Team Penske.(RTA)(7-7-2014)
UPDATE: Statement from NASCAR: "We are aware of the alliance concept the team owners have announced, but have very few specifics on its structure or purpose. It is apparently still in development and we're still learning about the details so it would be inappropriate to comment right now. NASCAR's mission, as it has always been, is to create a fair playing field where anyone can come and compete. Our job is to support and strengthen all of the teams, large and small, across all of our series and we'll continue to do that. NASCAR is a unique community with hundreds of stakeholders. They all have a voice and always will."(NASCAR)(7-7-2014)
Patriotic scheme for Johnson: For the third time this season, Jimmie Johnson will run a patriotic-themed Chevy SS. Each year since 2001, Lowe's has designed a patriotic-themed car for Johnson to drive in an event. The #48 Lowe's Chevy SS scheme for this weekend is a throwback to the 2010 Memorial Day car, which was heralded as a fan-favorite through a recent social media poll.(Hendrick Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #48 team paint schemes page.(7-3-2014)
Johnson honored by Obama: President Barack Obama says NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson deserves a permanent visitor's pass to the White House since he's been there so many times. Obama recognized Johnson and Hendrick Motorsports team members on Wednesday for winning the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. It's Johnson's sixth Sprint Cup title in eight years. And he's gunning for a seventh trophy this year. Obama says Johnson is like the Michael Jordan of NASCAR. The retired NBA player led the Chicago Bulls to six championships in eight years. Johnson's appearance continued a sports theme at the White House this week. Obama hosted a reception Tuesday for American and international professional golfers, including Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Ernie Els, who competed for the 2013 Presidents Cup. Woods clinched the victory for the U.S. team.(Associated Press)(6-26-2014)
Johnson, Earnhardt, Jr. nominated for ESPYs: Teammates #48-Jimmie Johnson and #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. have something else in common now. Both are among the driver nominees for this year's ESPY awards. Johnson is on the ballot in two categories -- for best championship performance for his sixth NASCAR Sprint Cup title and for best driver. Other nominees in the best championship performance category are: NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard of the San Antonio Spurs; UConn's Shabazz Napier, who helped the Huskies upset Kentucky to win the men's NCAA tournament; and David Ortiz of the World Series champion Boston Red Sox. Joining him in the best driver category are: Hendrick Motorsports teammate Earnhardt Jr., 2013 IndyCar champion Scott Dixon, 2014 Indianapolis 500 champion Ryan Hunter-Reay and 2013 NHRA Funny Car titlist John Force.(USA Today)(6-25-2014)
President Obama to Honor NASCAR Champion Jimmie Johnson: On Wednesday, June 25, President Obama will welcome Jimmie Johnson and his Hendrick Motorsports team members to the White House to honor his 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship. This visit will continue the tradition begun by President Obama of honoring athletes and sports teams for their efforts to give back to their communities.(PR)(6-23-2014)
June 17 is Jimmie Johnson Day in El Cajon: June 17 will now be Jimmie Johnson Day in El Cajon in honor of the six-time NASCAR champion. Mayor Bill Wells as well as city councilors and Senator Joel Anderson bestowed the honor Tuesday to Johnson, a native of El Cajon, in a public celebration. The response was fitting for a champion. Dozens gathered to snap photos of Johnson's #48 show car on display at Centennial Plaza. Hero cards of the local star also were available to fans. In El Cajon, Johnson is known as much for his philanthropic support as his successful racing career. He's given more than $6.5 million to schools in El Cajon and throughout the United States. Fans who turned out for Johnson's celebration said the honor was a long time coming.(NBC San Diego)(6-18-2014)
Hendrick Motorsports stretches win streak to five races: #48-Jimmie Johnson's performance at Michigan marked Hendrick Motorsports' fifth consecutive points-paying Sprint Cup win of 2014. #24-Jeff Gordon kicked off the current streak with his Kansas victory on May 10, which was followed by Johnson winning on May 25 at Charlotte and June 1 at Dover. #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. kept the trend going with his first-place finish at Pocono Raceway on June 8. It is the third time Hendrick Motorsports teams have combined to win at least five consecutive points races, including the 2007 Sprint Cup season when the organization posted separate win streaks of five races and a NASCAR modern era (1972-present) record of six races. The all-time NASCAR record of 16 consecutive Cup-level points victories was recorded in 1956 by car owner Carl Kiekhaefer with a combination of four different drivers.(HMS)(6-18-2014)
Johnson wins at Michigan: #48-Jimmie Johnson won the Quicken Loans 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway for his 3rd win of 2014, his 1st win at Pocono and his 69th career win. The last five points races have been won by a Hendrick Motorsports driver, the first time a team has won 5 in a row since HMS did it in 2007.
Pole winner #4-Harvick finished 2nd followed by 2-Keselowski, #27-Menard, #5-Kahne, #24-Gordon, #88-Earnhardt Jr., rookie #42-Larson, #22-Logano and #15-Bowyer.
#4-Harvick, the pole winner, led the most laps with 63.
#24-Gordon (1 win) keeps the points lead after finishing 6th and leads #48-Johnson by 15 points.
#48-Johnson leads the Chase Seeding with three wins, 2nd in points. #88-Earnhardt Jr. is second with 2 wins, 3rd in points then #22-Logano has 2 wins and is 8th in points and #4-Harvick has two wins and is 9th in points.
There were 25 lead changes among 13 drivers. There were 8 cautions for 36 yellow flag laps.
The average speed was 143.441mph.
See unofficial race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Unofficial Michigan Race Results page (pdf) and check out the Michigan Penalty Report (pdf).
See OFFICIAL race results & points standings on the Official Michigan Race & Points Report (pdf).(6-15-2014)
Michigan a tough track for Johnson: #48-Jimmie Johnson has yet to win at Michigan International Speedway in 24 Sprint Cup races. In fact, MIS is just one of five Sprint Cup Series tracks overall that he has not won at in his career, a list which also includes Chicago, Homestead, Kentucky, and Watkins Glen. MIS is the only track left on the list that hosts two Sprint Cup races a year. His average finish at MIS is 16.8.(MIS)(6-11-2014)
Johnson going for three-in-a-row: after winning at Charlotte on May 25th and Dover on June 1st, #48-Jimmie Johnson is going for his third win in a row. During Johnson's 13-year Sprint Cup career, he has recorded three consecutive wins on two occasions - once in 2004 and once in 2007 during a span of four consecutive victories. He is the most recent driver to win three consecutive races. See the full list of drivers in NASCAR's top series who have won three or more consecutive races in a season on the All-time wins page.(6-5-2014)
Johnson to be honored in hometown: #48-Jimmie Johnson will return to his hometown of El Cajon, California, on June 17, where the city council of El Cajon will recognize his racing accomplishments and philanthropic contributions. Mayor Bill Wells, the city council, Senator Joel Anderson and other local dignitaries will be honoring Johnson during a special ceremony that begins at 11:00am local time at El Cajon's Centennial Plaza. Portions of the event will be broadcast live on 101.5 KGB. For more details, visit www.ci.el-cajon.ca.us.(6-5-2014)
Johnson had off-season hernia surgery: Six-time Sprint Cup champion #48-Jimmie Johnson had hernia surgery three days after the 2013 awards banquet in December. The surgery, which Johnson revealed prior to Sunday's race at Dover, kept him out of the car for a test at Charlotte Motor Speedway the week following the banquet but he was back training 10 days after the Dec. 9 surgery. "I had bilateral hernias, one on each side, and then a third one in my belly button, so I was very lucky to go in and have all three fixed," Johnson said Sunday after his win at Dover International Speedway. "It wasn't a sports hernia. It was something over time and getting older that something like 60 percent of men near the age of 40 have these and don't know. But I saw one midseason, a little protrusion in my skin and went and had it checked out, and they're like, 'You've got a couple years to get it fixed,' so I figured I'd get it fixed sooner rather than later and went in right after the banquet." Johnson, who mentioned the surgery in a prerace interview on Fox Sports, said he wasn't trying to keep the surgery a secret and that many in the garage area knew about it. He said it was a laparoscopic procedure, which utilizes small incisions and small instruments with cameras that allow for a less invasive surgery.(Sporting News)(6-2-2014)
Johnson wins Coca Cola 600: #48-Jimmie Johnson won the Coca Cola 600 Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Seedway for his 1st win of 2014, 7th win at Charlotte and his 67th career win.
#4-Harvick finished 2nd followed by #20-Kenseth, #99-Edwards, #1-McMurray, #55-Vickers, #24-Gordon, #27-Menard, #18-Busch and #2-Keselowski.
#48-Johnson, who won the pole, won from the pole for his 14th time in 33 poles.
#24-Gordon, who came into the race as the points leader, finished 7th and still leads the points by 11 over #20-Kenseth.
#22-Logano leads the Chase Seeding with two wins. #4-Harvick is second, also with 2 wins, but lower in points. They are followed by #24-Gordon, #18-Busch and #99-Edwards.
There were 34 lead changes among 9 drivers and there were 8 cautions for 44 yellow flag laps.
The average speed was 145.484.
See unofficial race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Unofficial Charlotte Race Results page (pdf) and check out the Charotte Penalty Report (pdf).
See OFFICIAL race results & points standings on the Official Charlotte Race & Points Report (pdf).(5-25-2014)
Johnson wins at Dover: #48-Jimmie Johnson won the FedEx 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway for his 2nd win of 2014, 9th win at Dover and his 68h career win. He dominated most of the race, leading 272 of the 400 laps.
Pole sitter, #2-Keselowski finished 2nd followed by #20-Kenseth, #15-Bowyer, #11-Hamlin, #78-Truex, Jr., #14-Stewart, #22-Logano, #88-Earnhardt, Jr., and #27-Menard.
#24-Gordon, who came into the race as the points leader, finished 15th. #20-Kenseth took over the points lead, 2 points over Gordon.
#48-Johnson now leads the Chase Seeding with two wins. #22-Logano is second, also with 2 wins, but 7th in points. #4-Harvick also has two wins and is 12th in points They are followed by #24-Gordon, #99-Edwards and #88-Earnhardt, Jr.
There were 18 lead changes among 6 drivers and there were 8 cautions for 41 yellow flag laps.
There were two red flags during the race - one for 6 minutes track cleanup following an accident that spread debris on the track and another for 22 minutes for track repair after a piece of concrete came up in turn 2.
The average speed was 117.724mph.
See unofficial race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Unofficial Dover Race Results page (pdf) and check out the Dover Penalty Report (pdf).
See OFFICIAL race results & points standings on the Official Dover Race & Points Report (pdf).(6-1-2014)
Johnson plans to run Over the Mountain Triathlon: The 15th annual Over the Mountain Triathlon is expecting #48-Jimmie Johnson to be among the competitors on May 17 in Kings Mountain, NC. Johnson is planning to compete in the triathlon, race director Ellis Noell said he has been told by representatives of the driver, though that could change. The Sprint All-Star Race is in Concord that night. The triathlon will include a one-mile open water swim across Moss Lake, a 30-mile bike ride and a 10K run through the West Side Historic District.(Gaston Gazette)(5-17-2014)
Warner Bros/DC Entertainment join forces with Hendrick Motorsports: Warner Bros. Consumer Products (WBCP), in conjunction with DC Entertainment (DCE), has joined forces with Hendrick Motorsports in a unique three-year agreement that will allow the team and its partners to develop consumer promotions and original content to engage youth, drive fan excitement and energize licensed merchandise initiatives. WBCP and DCE will work with Hendrick Motorsports and its partners to build on- and off-track programs teaming drivers #5-Kasey Kahne, #24-Jeff Gordon, #48-Jimmie Johnson and #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. with the most recognized characters in Super Hero lore, including Batman, Superman, The Flash and Green Lantern.
Potential programs include co-developed car paint schemes, comic books and digital content incorporating DC Comics Super Heroes and illustrated likenesses of Hendrick Motorsports drivers. Team partners will have exclusive opportunities to align with upcoming Warner Bros. Consumer Products and DC Comics-inspired programming and releases.
The first joint program will come to life around upcoming Sprint Cup events at Charlotte Motor Speedway (May 25) and Michigan International Speedway (June 15) where Superman, the world's first and most recognized Super Hero, will be featured on Earnhardt's #88 Chevy. The Superman-themed paint scheme will pair the Army National Guard with the Superman Hall of Heroes, a new online gift-giving portal that empowers consumers to honor their personal heroes; those who have made a positive impact on their lives or the lives of others. The #88 National Guard/Superman Chevrolet SS will be unveiled May 21. Fans can learn more by following Hendrick Motorsports on Facebook and Twitter.(Hendrick Motorsports)(5-15-2014)
Charlotte giving Johnson "Key to the City": Six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver #48-Jimmie Johnson will be presented with the "Key to the City" during the regularly scheduled Charlotte City Council meeting on Monday. Johnson will be recognized by Mayor Dan Clodfelter for his outstanding philanthropic contributions to the Charlotte region and other parts of the country the Jimmie Johnson Foundation. The Jimmie Johnson Foundation was launched in 2006 by Johnson and his wife, Chandra, and is dedicated to assisting children, families and communities in need throughout the United States. To date, more than $6.7 million has been contributed to various organizations. The foundation currently focuses on funding K-12 public education.(Charlotte Observer)(5-11-2014)
Johnson's non-win streak to start the season, his third longest: #48-Jimmie Johnson has now run 10 races to start the 2014 without a win. It is tied for the third longest such streak of his career. In his rookie season of 2002, Johnson won in this 10th race that season at Auto Club Speedway (his 1st career win in his 13th career race) and finished the season 5th in the championship. In 2012 Johnson didn't win his first race for that season until the 11th race at Darlington, finishing 3rd in the championship. Johnson's longest streak was in 2003, his 2nd full-time season, not winning his first race of the season until Charlotte, the 12th race of the season and finishing 2nd in the championship.(5-5-2014)
Jimmie Johnson Foundation winners of Helmet of Hope: The Jimmie Johnson Foundation announced the five winners of the Blue Bunny Helmet of Hope, a program that allows fans and consumers across the country to nominate not-for-profit (501c3) organizations that support K-12 public education. Each of the winners will be awarded a $25,000 grant. The 5 winners are:
· Crayons to Classrooms in Dayton, Ohio
· Champions for Learning in Naples, Florida
· HEART Tutoring in Charlotte, N.C.
· Le Mars Community Schools Foundation in LeMars, Iowa
· Reading Partners in Denver, Colorado
The final five were selected via public vote. Approximately 438,658 votes were cast for the 10 semifinalists during the voting period.
"We are thrilled with this year's Blue Bunny Helmet of Hope program," Johnson said. The competition was tough. The public rallied around the semifinalists to show their support. It was exciting to see the number of votes go up each day. All of the semifinalist organizations were very deserving. Chani (wife) and I are honored that the Jimmie Johnson Foundation, in partnership with Blue Bunny, is able to support the great work of the 5 winners."
In addition to a $25,000 grant, each of the five winners will receive a Blue Bunny ice cream party and special recognition on Johnson's race helmet during the Sprint Cup Series race on July 27, 2014 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. To date, the Blue Bunny Helmet of Hope program has contributed more than $560,000 to 71 different charities.
"Congratulations to the five winners of the 2014 Blue Bunny Helmet of Hope grants," stated Mike Wells, President & CEO, Wells Enterprises, Inc., maker of Blue Bunny ice cream. "The rallying effort by the fans and supporters of each of the 10 semifinalists was impressive and illustrates the energy and passion around the purpose and mission of each organization. It is an honor to help each of them further the important work they are committed to around education."(5-2-2014)
Different look for the #48 at Dega: Jimmie Johnson will drive the #48-Lowe's/Valspar Reserve Chevy in this weekend's race. Valspar Reserve, available exclusively at Lowe's starting May 1, is a new interior and exterior paint with HydroChroma Technology that is stain resistant and fade resistant - so the colors you love stay the colors you love.(HMS), see images of the car on the #48 Team Schemes page.(5-2-2014)
Johnson and Harvick getting most television exposure: #48-Jimmie Johnson has accumulated the most television on-screen time for his sponsors during the first eight NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races of 2014. Meanwhile, #4-Kevin Harvick, coming off a victory at Darlington, ranked second in cumulative on-camera time, but at the same time racked up nearly twice as many brand mentions for his corporate backers as Johnson. According to research conducted by Joyce Julius & Associates, Inc., which specializes in measuring the scope of sponsorships across all forms of media , Johnson's sponsors as a group appeared for 11 hours, 11 minutes, 40 seconds (11:11:40) during live and replayed race broadcasts. Johnson's sponsors were also mentioned 37 times by the FOX/FS1 announcers. Harvick's sponsors enjoyed 10:47:00 of in-broadcast exposure time to go along with a Series-leading 73 verbal references. Additional driver sponsorship findings through Race #8:
• The most seen hood on TV belonged to Joey Logano with a total on-screen time of 2:27:16. Jeff Gordon's hood was second with 2:17:11.
• Brad Keselowski and Gordon shared the distinction for having the most monitored sponsors during the telecast with 58 each.
• Kyle Busch helped generate the single-most TV exposure for a car manufacturer with a contribution of 1:07:17 and 24 mentions leading to more than $6.5 million of exposure value for Toyota.
(Joyce Julius & Associates)(4-262014)
Hendrick pit coach is leaving for a job outside of racing UPDATES: One of the best pit coaches in NASCAR is leaving racing for work outside of the sport. As of Darlington two weeks ago, Hendrick Motor Sports pit coach Lance Munksgard will no longer be at HMS. Munksgard will be taking a new job in McGregor, Texas at Fourseventy Claim Management. Pit Talks talked with Coach Munksgard, he had this to say. "I was blessed to have been able to live a dream of working with the best mechanics and pit crew members in NASCAR over the years which was an unforgettable experience. I couldn't have asked for a better organization than HMS to finish my NASCAR career. HMS is a truly professional company that starts from Mr. Hendrick down through the management, crew chiefs, and through the pit crews. It was a true pleasure to work with a strong coaching staff and pit crew members at HMS and watch them progress each week. I will truly miss the competition on pit road each week and wish all the guys on pit road the best of luck."(Pit Talks)(4-21-2014)
UPDATE: Greg Morin, who has been pit crew coach for the teams of Kasey Kahne and Jeff Gordon, and Chris Krieg, the assistant coach to Munksgard, will oversee the pit crews for Earnhardt and Johnson until a full-time replacement is hired.(MRN)(4-22-2014)
UPDATE 2: Greg Morin and Chris Krieg were the 2 assistants for the #48/#88 pit crews will now be sharing duties until a replacement is hired for Munksgard. The #5/#24 pit coaches will remain the same.(4-23-2014)
Johnson to appear on The Queen Latifah Show: While #48-Jimmie Johnson was in Los Angeles two weeks ago he stopped by "The Queen Latifah Show" for a guest appearance. The show is scheduled to air Friday, April 4. Check local listings for air times.(HMS)(4-3-2014)
Under Armour enters NASCAR with Hendrick & MWR: The sporting goods company, Under Armour, has signed multiyear sponsorships with Hendrick Motorsports and Michael Waltrip Racing. It becomes the official apparel provider for both teams, outfitting everyone from the pit crew to the front office in Under Armour-branded apparel. The deals don't include the teams' drivers, and financial terms weren't available. Last year, Under Armour signed a one-year, trial sponsorship with Hendrick Motorsports and outfitted the team's pit crews. It opted to expand that deal this year with a three-year extension that will see it outfit not only the pit crews but the rest of Hendrick's 500 employees. It provides everything from footwear and hats to polos and pullovers. It also has branding on Hendrick pit crew members' fire suits (Under Armour does not produce fire suits) and on the team's pit wall banners, haulers, pit box and pit toolbox. The deal doesn't include Hendrick's drivers - #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., #24-Jeff Gordon, #48-Jimmie Johnson or #5-Kasey Kahne - but Under Armour does have rights to use their likeness as well as the likeness of their car and number, which it could use on apparel.
Under Armour signed with Michael Waltrip Racing because it saw similarities between its identity as an upstart brand that's challenged established apparel companies and the team's identity as a relatively new, gritty team that's pushing its way into the upper echelon of NASCAR. Terms of the two-year sponsorship are similar to the deal with Hendrick. Under Armour will supply pit crew apparel and team and executive apparel and receive the same mix of pit assets it is getting from Hendrick. It also will become the presenting sponsor of a new athletic facility and gym that MWR built at its headquarters in Cornelius, N.C., which has been branded as the MWR Performance Center Presented by Under Armour. The deal is the first apparel sponsorship for MWR. The team previously bought its apparel from Oakley.(SportsBusiness Journal)(4-1-2014)
Sad News - Jordan Janway: [Jimmie and Chadnra] Johnson are saddened by the tragic passing of Chandra's brother, Jordan Janway, 27. Jordan was an incredible son, brother, uncle and friend and will be dearly missed. Please keep the Janway family in your thoughts and prayers. The family asks for privacy at this time.(JimmieJohnson.com)
AND more information Jordan Janway's accident at the Associated Press.(3-31-2014)
30th anniversary of Hendrick's first win: 30TH ANNIVERSARY: In 2014, Hendrick Motorsports is celebrating its 30th anniversary in NASCAR. The organization began in 1984 with five employees and 5,000 square feet of work space. It has grown to more than 500 employees with a 430,000-square-foot facility that sits on 140 acres. Driver Geoff Bodine won the Martinsville Speedway spring race on April 29, 1984, marking Hendrick Motorsports' first victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.(Hendrick Motorsports)(3-28-2014)
"Spring is Calling" on the #48: To commemorate the first day of spring, March 20, Johnson's #48 Lowe's Spring Is Calling Chevy SS will have some additional character during the next three NASCAR Sprint Cup weekends. The Lowe's marketing campaign bird and green accents will adorn the #48 Chevy SS for the races in Fontana, Calif., Martinsville, Va. and Fort Worth, Texas.(Hendrick Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #48 team paint schemes page.(3-20-2014)
Jimmie Johnson Foundation, Blue Bunny Ice Cream Announce $25,000 Grant Opportunities: Six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson announced Friday the launch of the 2014 edition of the Blue Bunny Helmet of Hope campaign, which this year includes new criteria for being named one of the five $25,000 grant recipients. Johnson, along with Mike Wells, president and CEO of Wells Enterprises, maker of Blue Bunny Ice Cream, revealed that not-for-profit (501c3) organizations supporting K-12 public education will be eligible to compete for one of the five available grants of $25,000 - an increase in the individual grant amount from 2013. The Blue Bunny Helmet of Hope program, which began in 2008, allows fans and consumers across the country to nominate their favorite education-focused charities, including Parent/Teacher Associations, to receive a $25,000 grant, a Blue Bunny ice cream party, and special recognition on Johnson's race helmet. Nominations will be accepted at www.helmetofhope.org through April 4. Ten semifinalists will be selected from these nominations. The public vote to choose the final five grant recipients will take place April 17 through 24. To date, the program has contributed more than $560,000 to 71 different charities.(Jimmie Johnson Foundation)(3-15-2014)
NASCAR's Highest Paid Drivers 2014: NASCAR driver salaries have been shaved in recent years with fewer dollars available as sponsors cut back on their financial commitments to teams. Drivers that once made $4-6 million in salary are getting re-signed to deals for $3 million in some cases. Guys on poorly funded teams are lucky to make seven figures. Licensing and endorsement money has also dried up for all but the very elite drivers. Endorsement deals that once paid $500,000 a clip are now $250,000 and many have disappeared completely. But for the sport's stars, the paychecks are nearly as big as ever and can reach eight figures in salary alone. The 10 highest-paid drivers pulled down $170 million in 2013 in cumulative salary, endorsements and their share of winnings and licensing income.
Leading the way for the sixth straight year is Dale Earnhardt Jr., who earned $25.6 million in 2013 by Forbes' count. Earnhardt's licensing income is down significantly from five years ago when he was making $30 million a year, but he is still the sport's biggest star with the biggest salary, as well as the top licensing and endorsement income, according to sources. Earnhardt's #88 Chevy carries the most expensive real estate in the sport. The Army National Guard spent $30 million in 2013 on sponsoring 20 races on the #88 car and activating around the sponsorship. Hendrick Motorsports entered the past two seasons with 13 races to sell on Earnhardt's car, but even if owner Rick Hendrick has to pick up the tab on a couple of races, the sponsorship revenue for Earnhardt's car is still the envy of the sport.
#48-Jimmie Johnson, ranks No. 2 with estimated earnings of $24.8 million last year. Johnson won his sixth Sprint Cup title, which carried bonuses and special awards of $5.8 million. Johnson's total prize money haul of $14.7 is twice as much as Earnhardt, but Johnson's endorsements and licensing income lag behind. #24-Jeff Gordon in third earning $18.2 million in 2013. His merchandise was the sport's second best seller, behind Earnhardt, in 2013, according to multiple sources. Gordon also benefits from his ownership stake in the #48 car. NASCAR's golden girl, Danica Patrick, ranks No. 9 with earnings of $13.5 million. See full report at Forbes.com.(2-22-2014)
The Most Valuable NASCAR Teams 2014: Thirty years ago Rick Hendrick launched All-Star Racing with five employees and 5,000 square feet of workspace. Geoff Bodine raced the fledgling outfit's sole NASCAR Cup entry in the #5 car and finished ninth in the season long standings, including three victories. The company was rebranded Hendrick Motorsports the following year and a racing dynasty was born. Hendrick Motorsports today carries more than 500 employees in 430,000 square feet of workspace across a 140 acre campus in Concord, N.C. It has racked up 218 victories and a record 11 season titles in Sprint Cup, plus an additional 52 wins and four championships in the Nationwide and Truck series. The success has propelled Hendrick to the top of the NASCAR food chain. The team is worth $348 million, by Forbes' count, twice as much as any other NASCAR squad.
Joe Gibbs Racing ranks No. 2 with a value of $171 million, up 2% from last year. Roush Fenway Racing ranks No. 3 with a value of $157 million, down 6%. The team making the biggest jump is Stewart-Haas Racing, which ranks fourth with a value of $148 million, up 20%. #5 is Richard Childress Racing at $128 million; #6 is Team Penske at $108 million; #7 is Michael Waltrip Racing at $80 million; #8 is Chip Ganassi Racing at $69 million; #9 is Richard Petty Motorsports at $50 million. See full report at Forbes.com.(2-22-2014)
Jimmie Johnson Foundation Announces Inaugural Wellness Challenge: Six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Jimmie Johnson and his wife, Chandra, announce the inaugural Jimmie Johnson Foundation Wellness Challenge. The Foundation has partnered with Cool Breeze Cyclery to facilitate a series of four events encouraging individuals and corporations to prioritize health, wellness and teambuilding. In addition, the Foundation is encouraging fans to show their support of being physically active by joining TeamJJF and sharing their experiences via social media.
The Wellness Challenge consists of four events based in the Charlotte, NC area:
The Jimmie Johnson Foundation 5K held on Sunday, April 27, 2014 (Huntersville, NC)
The Lake Norman Excursion (a 5K run and multi distance bike ride) held on Saturday, July 12, 2014 (Mooresville, NC)
The Jimmie Johnson Foundation Cane Creek Sprint Triathlon held on Tuesday, Aug 19, 2014 (Waxhaw, NC)
The Lake Davidson Sprint Triathlon held on Sunday, Sept 7, 2014 (Davidson, NC)
In conjunction with the launch of the Wellness Challenge, the Johnsons also encourage fans to connect with the Foundation through TeamJJF, an initiative started in 2013 to build a community of supporters for the Foundation. For details on the Jimmie Johnson Foundation Wellness Challenge and how you can be a part of TeamJJF, please visit www.jimmiejohnsonfoundation.org.(2-15-2014)
Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jimmie Johnson team up with Valvoline for Reinvention Project: Valvoline and Hendrick Motorsports announced a first-of-its-kind consumer challenge called the Reinvention Project. Valvoline is working with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. to secretly reinvent two classic Chevy trucks and will be keeping them under wraps to give fans a chance to get in on the action. Car enthusiasts everywhere can put their know-how to the test in an attempt to guess the various features of Earnhardt Jr.'s and Johnson's creations. A virtual garage hosted at www.ReinventionProject.com invites consumers to select the parts that the drivers hand-picked for their high-performance trucks, from Chevrolet Performance* engines, to American Eagle* wheels and Goodyear* tires. More info at Hendrickmotorsports.com.(HMS)(2-12-2014)
Johnson to be honored at Bobcats game: The Charlotte Bobcats announced that the team's game against the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday, February 11, will be presented by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina. Blue Cross and Blue Shield Night will be highlighted by an in-game presentation recognizing six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion #48-Jimmie Johnson of Hendrick Motorsports.(see more at Beach Carolina)(2-9-2014)
Jimmie Johnson Wins the Off-Season Too...media coverage: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion #48-Jimmie Johnson was referenced in more than 6,000 news media stories this off-season. When comparing the size of the audience generated by the news media coverage to the cost of reaching the same audience through traditional advertising, the mentions of Johnson's name drew an estimated exposure value in excess of $10 million.
According to research conducted by Joyce Julius & Associates, Inc., which specializes in measuring the scope of sponsorships across all forms of media, #10-Danica Patrick actually was referenced in about 700 more media stories appearing on television, print and the Internet than Johnson this past off season. However, the estimated audience of Patrick's media coverage was smaller than Johnson's, and as a result, she amassed slightly less estimated exposure value ($9.8 million) from her coverage. The Joyce Julius study began the day after the NASCAR Banquet last December and concluded this past Monday following the Super Bowl. Johnson was referenced during 1,274 television programs, as well as in 4,499 Internet and 234 print articles during the two-month period. The bulk of the coverage centered on Johnson's sixth series championship, and how the newly-altered NASCAR playoff format may effect him moving forward. Meanwhile, Patrick's off-season media coverage focused on her hosting duties at the American Music Awards and reviews of her GoDaddy Super Bowl commercial.(Joyce Julius & Assoc)(2-7-2014)
Hendrick Motorsports profiled on Showtime show Wed night: In a sport where their performance has to be 12 seconds or less, every tenth of a second can make the difference between victory or defeat. That's why NASCAR pit crews are so important to auto racing and why teams like Hendrick Motorsports are using athletes from college programs to make their pit crews the best they can be. CBS News correspondent on assignment, Jeff Glor, profiles a Hendrick team for the next edition of 60 Minutes Sports premiering tomorrow/Wed., Feb. 5, at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Showtime.(PR)(2-5-2014)
NASCAR pit crews help renovate homeless shelter: Some of NASCAR's biggest musclemen are helping make sure a Charlotte homeless shelter gets a much needed makeover-- 40 years in the making. They are used to hard work and heavy lifting, but carrying 200 pound consoles up three flights of stairs is not how Jimmie Johnson and Dale Juniors' pit-crews usually spend their Mondays. "Normally go in and do some light duty stuff like some yoga and some rehab, but today's not quite like that," T.J. Ford says laughing. Instead they are getting in a workout helping with a long overdue makeover at Charlotte's Rescue Mission. "Yeah, you can tell I'm out of breath right now; carrying those 200 pound consoles upstairs takes teamwork-- just like pit-stops." The men at the Rescue Mission have spent the last two months sleeping in the gym so the 1930s building can be completely redone. Everything at the mission had been here since the 60s. Reverend Tony Marciano runs the mission and says, "The building had really deteriorated over that time; the furniture itself was probably 30, 40 years old, so we really needed to renovate everything." They're completely re-configuring the men's dormitory. It was military barracks style, but now they're going to have four guys sleeping in the same area. The idea is to build a bond between the men. Marciano says there's a good reason. "So if one is thinking of quitting there's three other men that if he has a relationship with that will encourage him to stay within the program. For addicts, finishing something is very difficult." They're hoping fresh paint, new floors and furniture will help the men realize they're worth a fresh start. "The old system reinforced the fact that they had messed up their lives; I hate to say that. With the new furniture it says your best days truly are ahead of you," Marciano said. The men are supposed to be able to move from the gym to the newly redone dorms later this week. The renovations cost $400,000 and come from donations and from part of the non-profit's operating budget.(NBC Charlotte)(2-5-2014)
Johnson wins 2013 Driver of the Year Award: Jimmie Johnson was voted the 2013 Driver of the Year by an elite panel of broadcasters and journalists. As a result of the vote the six-time Sprint Cup Champion eclipsed his teammate Jeff Gordon who was the only other four-time winner of the Driver of the Year award .Mario Andretti, who was the first annual winner, and Darrell Waltrip are tied with three awards apiece. The DOTY is America's original race driver's award. Johnson, the 38-year old California native, continued to make NASCAR history with his 2013 championship Only Richard Petty and the late Dale Earnhardt have more with seven Cup titles. Johnson's previous Driver of the Year awards were in 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2010. Journalist and broadcasters, who voted in a secret ballot for a single driver, gave Johnson 12 votes, John Force - the 1996 DOTY winner - received six votes, and World of Outlaws driver, Daryn Pittman, received one vote. In a related development the NHRA's John Force won the fourth quarter voting.(Driver of the Year Foundation)(1-21-2014)
Johnson wins November Hickok Belt Award: #48-Jimmie Johnson has been selected as the Hickok Belt Award winner for the month of November 2013. Voting was conducted by a select panel of members of the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association (NSSA). Johnson won the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship title with a total of six wins in 35 starts and finished 19 points ahead of second place driver Matt Kenseth. The win was Johnson's sixth Sprint Cup title within eight years, placing him within reach of the overall record of seven titles held by Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt. Other finalists for the month of November in order of how the NSSA voters ranked them included: Nick Foles (football), Paul George (basketball), Novak Djokovic (tennis), Manny Pacquiao (boxing), Henrik Stenson (golf), Cam Talbot (hockey), Evgeni Malkin (hockey), Gary Stevens (horse racing), and Kory Sheets (football).
Johnson's selection as the Hickok Belt Award winner for November 2013 recognizes him as "the best of the best" in professional sports for the month and makes him the eighth candidate eligible to receive the 2013 overall award, joining previous 2013 monthly winners David Ortiz, Peyton Manning, Colin Kaepernick, Joe Flacco, Miguel Cabrera, Lebron James, and Phil Mickelson.(Digital Journal)(1-5-2014)
Johnson 3rd in voting for Male Athlete of the Year: #48-Jimmie Johnson's sixth Sprint Cup championship wasn't enough to earn him the Associated Press' 2013 Male Athlete of the Year award, which wound up going to the Miami Heat's LeBron James. The leader of the "Heatles" earned 31 of 96 votes cast in a poll of news organizations, enough to beat out Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning in second (20 votes) and Johnson, who finished third with seven votes. Nonetheless, the Hendrick Motorsports driver didn't seem too perturbed by coming up short in winning the award, which has been given out annually since 1931. In fact, he took the loss in stride on Twitter, even taking time during a tweet on the subject to deliver an apparent jab toward all of the people who look down upon his job as un-athletic. He tweeted, "So I'm told the @AP or @AP_Sports ranked me as the 3rd best athlete of 2013 .. not bad for a non-athlete".(NBC Sports)(12-27-2013)
NASCAR honors Jimmie Johnson as 6 Time Champion: Ultimately, the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards were all about Jimmie Johnson and his sixth series championship, but there were some pointed jokes and some return barbs before the Friday night program at Wynn Las Vegas got there. After team owner Rick Hendrick, sponsor Lowe's and crew chief Chad Knaus all received their due, Johnson took the podium to acknowledge those who had helped make his sixth title possible.
"Rick and (wife) Linda, you've created the winningest racing organization in NASCAR history by caring for the people you employ and treating us all like family," Johnson said after receiving his championship ring from NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France. "And I'm honored to call myself a Hendrick employee."
Johnson thanked Knaus for pushing him to make him better and acknowledged the bond, both personal and professional, formed between driver and crew chief over the past 12 years.
Johnson's speech was the climax of the evening, but the humor that preceded it often brought the house down. Comedian Jay Mohr, the master of ceremonies, revved up the crowd with some well-researched jokes that poked fun at Jeff Gordon, Danica Patrick and Clint Bowyer in particular. Mohr highlighted Gordon's last-minute addition as a 13th driver to the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, after manipulation of the outcome of the final regular-season race at Richmond by Michael Waltrip Racing changed the course of the 2013 season. Mohr interrupted his own routine with "news" that Gordon had just been added to the BCS championship in college football, that the four-time champion had been added to the Best Picture category for the Academy Awards and, finally, that a 13th month had been added to the calendar, called "JeffGordonary."
Mohr surmised that Patrick, who was sitting close to the stage with her boyfriend, Sunoco Rookie of the Year Ricky Stenhouse Jr., might feel uncomfortable being so close to the front.
He congratulated Bowyer, whose late-race spin started the sequence of events at Richmond that led to a record $300,000 fine for the organization for being "so good at apologizing for things you may or may not have done."
Before Johnson took the stage, series runner-up Matt Kenseth, who moved from Roush Fenway Racing to Joe Gibbs Racing this season, offered his congratulations with a pointed suggestion. "I will start by congratulating Jimmie, Chad, Rick and the 48 team ... but, honestly, I have to say, your dominance is getting old," Kenseth said. "If I were you Jimmie, I would seriously contemplate retirement. Winning that much has to be tiring. Go buy yourself an island somewhere, hang out with your family, find a new hobby, spend some of that money and enjoy yourself."
But as usual, Johnson had the last word, as he and the #48 team prepare for a run at a record-tying seventh championship next year.(NASCAR Wire Service)(12-7-2013)
Championship Tire Specialist award announced: Champion Tire & Wheel has announced the recipient of the 2013 Sprint Cup "Consistently Smooth" award is Kyle Collins of Hendrick Motorsports. The award recognizes the skill and effort of the team's tire specialist in overseeing the Lowes #48 teams' tire and wheel program. The tire specialist is an important piece in the performance formula for a championship effort as it requires managing a program of over 2,500 tires and wheels throughout the full Sprint Cup season. When the call for a pit stop comes, the efforts to find the right combination of tires, wheels, and air pressure is critical in the overall handling and performance of the race car. The lead crystal trophy will be presented to Collins at the team's shop in Charlotte, NC with owner Rick Hendrick, Crew Chief Chad Knaus, and Team Manager Michael Landis. In addition to the Sprint Cup series recipients, Champion Tire and Wheel will also present Richard Childress Racing's Dustin Keath, the Championship tire specialists award for the Austin Dillan driven Nationwide Series team, and Chris Rock, the tire specialist for Thorsport Racing and the Matt Crafton driven Camping World Truck Series Championship effort.(Champion Tire and Wheel)(12-7-2013)
NASCAR Champion's Week In Las Vegas Officially Begins Jimmie Johnson's four-day, Las Vegas whirlwind odyssey has begun. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion's Week in Las Vegas officially is underway. The six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion's rounds of Las Vegas media outlets began early Tuesday with interviews with a pair of top-rated rock and country music radio stations; CBS, FOX and Univision television outlets; MRN Radio and the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Johnson also participated in a Q&A session at the 2013 NASCAR Motorsports Marketing Forum and then visited the iconic "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign at the south end of the famed Las Vegas Strip where he signed autographs for waiting fans. Tuesday's activities wound down with a round of photos and the annual Champion's Dinner with NASCAR President Mike Helton and others. Champion's Week activities for Johnson began Monday in Los Angeles where the Californian visited the FOX Sports campus. He appeared on FOX Sports 1's FOX Sports Live and taped segments with The OT and UFC Tonight. Before flying to Los Angeles, Johnson and his crew chief Chad Knaus visited the corporate headquarters of the #48 team's sponsor Lowe's in Mooresville, N.C., where they presented the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship trophy to a large crowd of associates.(NASCAR)(12-4-2013)
Johnson wants to give Donovan McNab a ride: Jimmie Johnson is giving Donovan McNabb the chance to change his mind. Two-and-a-half weeks after McNabb said on "FOX Sports Live" that Johnson was not an athlete, Johnson said they've talked and he might get McNabb in a car next year. Johnson and McNabb, a former NFL quarterback, talked on the phone Monday. "He'd been trying to track me down," Johnson told Motor Racing Network on Tuesday after an appearance at the annual NASCAR Motorsports Marketing Forum. It was McNabb. "I met Donovan a few years ago at a Super Bowl event. He's a super-nice guy," Johnson said. "He has an opinion, and he seemed open to the notion of following through on the opinion and what our sport is about. We joked about it. Hopefully, we can get something set up in the spring and get him in a car." McNabb upset many NASCAR fans and some competitors when he said Johnson was not an athlete.(Motor Racing Network)(12-4-2013)
Johnson's 2006 Chevy added to NASCAR Hall of Fame exhibit: As part of the revamped Glory Road set to debut Saturday, Jan. 11, the NASCAR Hall of Fame announced the fifth of nine exclusive sneak peeks included in the exhibit. The 2006 #48 Lowe's Chevy Monte Carlo SS that was driven to victory by Jimmie Johnson for his first of six championship titles will join the 18 historic cars that will comprise the exhibit. The reveal took place online via a video message from Jimmie Johnson on the NASCAR Hall of Fame's Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages on Nov. 29. Jimmie Johnson drove the 2006 #48 Lowe's Chevy Monte Carlo SS at Homestead-Miami Speedway in the final race of the season on Nov. 19, 2006, capturing his first of six championship titles. During the 2006 season, Johnson picked up five wins and 24 top 10 finishes in his 36 starts.
Glory Road, which features 18 historic stock cars encircling the Great Hall, has served as one of the Hall's most prominent focal points since opening. Speedways from across the country are illustrated here as well, where guests can touch the texture of various tracks and feel the intense banking that drivers face week-to-week. Glory Road 2.0 will see 18 new cars that reflect the six generations of premier series race cars that have been driven and built by some of the sport's most celebrated drivers, owners and mechanics.(NASCAR Hall of Fame)(12-2-2013)
Jimmie Johnson to guest DJs on SiriusXM's The Spectrum: 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Jimmie Johnson, shortly after winning his sixth career title, was in the SiriusXM studios in New York for a guest DJ session on SiriusXM's The Spectrum channel. Jimmie's song selections will begin airing Wednesday, November 27, at 12:00pm/et on The Spectrum (SiriusXM channel 28) and can be heard throughout the Thanksgiving holiday and through Friday, Nov. 29. Johnson's playlist includes songs from a wide variety of artists including: Bob Dylan, Imagine Dragons, Jack Johnson, Jane's Addiction, The Lumineers, and The Rolling Stones.(SiriusXM)(11-26-2013)
Odds to win 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup: #48-Jimmie Johnson hasn't even completed his victory lap around the television talk show circuit after his 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup title, yet on Tuesday afternoon William Hill sports books in Nevada opened up their odds to win 2014's Sprint Cup with, of course, Johnson listed as the driver to beat once again at 3-to-1. 2013 Sprint Cup runner-up #20-Matt Kenseth is the second choice at 11-to-2 odds. Last season also saw the defending Sprint Cup winner #2-Brad Keselowski and his Penske Racing team switch manufacturers from Dodge to Ford. The transition proved to be rough as Keselowski failed to make the Chase and didn't win until race No. 31 at Charlotte, his only win of the season. With a year under his belt in the new car and with Ford, Keselowski is 15-to-1 to win in 2014.(Sporting News)(11-25-2013)
Pittenger: Jimmie Johnson "a champion on and off the track": On Sunday, Ninth District resident Jimmie Johnson won the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship, his sixth championship in just eight years. "Jimmie Johnson is a remarkable race car driver, but I'm even more impressed with his work off the track," commented Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09). "Since 2006, the Jimmie Johnson Foundation has contributed more than $5 million to charity, with a special focus on improving K-12 education in North Carolina, Oklahoma, and California. Jimmie Johnson is a champion both on and off the track, and while his racing exploits will one day be memorialized in the NASCAR Hall of Fame, his quiet, off-the-track efforts to improve education will be his most significant, lasting legacy." Congressman Pittenger will soon give a speech on the House floor to honor Jimmie Johnson's community involvement, and also plans to extend an invitation to Jimmie Johnson and his #48 Lowe's team to attend a special Congressional reception in honor of their championship season.(Congressman Robert Pittenger site)(11-23-2013)
How does Johnson stack up against Petty and Earnhardt? #48-Jimmie Johnson's sixth championship came in his 12th full season; Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt won theirs in their 15th full season (full season meaning they started at least half of the races). Earnhardt's seventh title came in his 16th season, Petty's in his 19th, meaning Johnson has plenty of time left to match and surpass the record. Petty and Johnson were 38 years of age when they won their sixth championship, Earnhardt was 42.(more stats at ESPN.com)(11-20-2013)
Johnson comments on McNabb's statement: On Friday, while discussing the most dominant athletes in sports, Donovan McNabb said NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson wasn't an athlete. "He sits in a car and he drives," McNabb told Fox Sports. "That's not athletic. What athletically is he doing?" McNabb went on to rank Johnson third on his all-time list, behind Tiger Woods and Kobe Bryant. On Sunday night - after winning his sixth NASCAR championship in 8 years - Johnson addressed the situation in a Fox Sports interview. "Yes, I am an athlete, and so is every other driver in one of these race cars," said Johnson. "Even Tony Stewart." The Stewart reference was, of course, a joke. But Johnson found nothing funny about McNabb's comments. "I think it came from an uneducated frame of mind because he hasn't been to a race," Johnson said. "I did find it interesting that if I'm not athletic I'm still third on his list. So evidently I fall into athleticism somewhere."(Philadelphia Daily News)(11-20-2013)
Hendrick Motorsports' 2013 Championship Notes: *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.
SIX-PACK: Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe's Chevrolet SS for Hendrick Motorsports, extended his lead among active drivers and inched closer to catching Hall of Famers Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt Sr. after earning his sixth NASCAR Sprint Cup Series title with a ninth-place finish at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Sunday. Petty and Earnhardt have seven titles apiece, followed by Johnson with six. Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon ranks fourth all-time with four.
11TH TITLE FOR HENDRICK: Johnson's 2013 Sprint Cup title is the 11th for Hendrick Motorsports and car owner Rick Hendrick. Hendrick is the all-time leader in Sprint Cup owner championships and remains the only owner to win titles with three different drivers: Johnson (6), Gordon (4) and Terry Labonte.
ALL-TIME CHAMPIONSHIPS: The 2013 Sprint Cup car owner championship is the 14th 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 11 titles in the Sprint Cup Series and three in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Hendrick Motorsports also has won a NASCAR Nationwide Series driver championship, which came in 2003.
NEVER STOP IMPROVING: Lowe's has been the primary sponsor for Johnson since the #48 team's inception in 2001. Since then, the home improvement retailer has been on board for all six Sprint Cup championships, 66 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.
KNAUS SETS THE STANDARD: With six career Sprint Cup championships, crew chief Chad Knaus ranks second all-time behind only Hall of Famer Dale Inman, who has eight Cup titles as a crew chief. Knaus holds the distinction of being the only crew chief to win more than two Sprint 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 rookie season in the Sprint Cup Series in 2002. In that 12-year span, he has helped Johnson achieve six titles and an average finish of 2.4 in the championship standings. The duo never has finished lower than sixth in Cup points.
YOUNGEST TO SIX: At 38 years and 61 days old, Johnson is the youngest driver (by 83 days) to win six Sprint Cup championships. At 38 years and 144 days old, Petty earned his sixth title in 1975, a little more than two months after Johnson was born. Earnhardt was 42 when he won his sixth title in 1993.
HALL OF FAME VOTE: Johnson will be the first active athlete to have a say in his sport's Hall of Fame voting process. He will cast a ballot for the 2015 NASCAR Hall of Fame class thanks to a new provision that includes the reigning Sprint Cup champion in the process.
CUP VICTORIES: Hendrick Motorsports has tallied 218 Cup victories in 30 seasons, a figure that leads all teams in the modern era and ranks second all-time behind Petty Enterprises (268 wins). This season, Hendrick Motorsports posted nine victories with the new Generation-6 Chevrolet SS race car.
COMPARISONS: In the major American professional sports leagues, Hendrick Motorsports' 11 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championships are tied for seventh all-time behind the New York Yankees (27 World Series titles), Montreal Canadiens (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). Hendrick Motorsports is tied with the Detroit Red Wings (11 Stanley Cup titles) and St. Louis Cardinals (11 World Series titles).
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.
WINNING PERCENTAGE: Hendrick Motorsports is the most efficient team in major American professional sports, earning 11 titles since its inception in 1984 for a 36.7 all-time title-winning percentage. The Boston Celtics rank second with 17 NBA titles in 67 seasons (25.37 percent), while the Montreal Canadiens are third with 24 Stanley Cup titles in 95 seasons (25.26 percent). The New York Yankees rank fourth with 27 World Series championships in 113 seasons (23.89 percent). Hendrick Motorsports has won 11 of the last 19 Sprint Cup championships (1995-2013), putting the team's title-winning percentage during that span at 57.9.
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. Both the New York Yankees and Edmonton Oilers have tallied five titles apiece since 1984.
ROAD WARRIOR: Apart from Johnson and Knaus, car chief Ron Malec is the only member of the #48 Lowe's team who has been on the road crew for all six championships. Malec started working as a mechanic with Johnson in the ASA Series in the late 1990s. When Johnson joined Hendrick Motorsports, Malec also came on board. As car chief, he manages the crew members who work on the car both at the shop in Concord, N.C., and during the race weekend. He is responsible for the preparation of the race car and seeing it through technical inspection.
STILL ROLLING: Hendrick Motorsports never has run a Sprint Cup campaign without winning a pole position, recording at least one in 30 consecutive seasons (1984-2013). The team scored seven in 2013, including three from Johnson, two from Dale Earnhardt Jr. and two from Gordon.
WIN STREAK: Hendrick Motorsports has posted at least one Cup-level win in 28 straight seasons, the longest active streak in NASCAR. The streak began Feb. 16, 1986, when Geoff Bodine won Hendrick Motorsports' first Daytona 500.
ANOTHER ONE FOR CHEVY: Chevrolet captured its 37th Sprint Cup manufacturers' championship and 11th straight this season after winning 15 races. Johnson led all Chevy drivers this year with six victories, including the 2013 Daytona 500, as he helped the manufacturer record its first title with the Chevrolet SS race car that debuted this season. Kasey Kahne contributed two victories to the total, while Gordon recorded one.
YEAR IN REVIEW: For the second straight season, all four Hendrick Motorsports drivers were contenders in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. The organization posted nine victories and seven pole positions as its drivers finished inside the top 12 in the championship hunt. Johnson finished first, followed by Earnhardt (fifth), Gordon (sixth) and Kahne (12th).
30TH ANNIVERSARY: Next season, Hendrick Motorsports will celebrate its 30th anniversary in NASCAR. The organization began in 1984 with five employees and 5,000 square feet of work space. It has grown to more than 500 employees with a 430,000-square-foot facility that sits on 140 acres.
See notes and slideshow at hendrickmotorsports.com.(11-19-2013)
NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Jimmie Johnson To Guest Host SportsCenter: Tuesday night's recipe is simple, yet untested. Take one part Stuart Scott, one part Billy Crystal. Add a handful of Chris Berman, and a pinch of Ken Jeong. The result: Television history, as six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson becomes the first athlete to guest host ESPN's flagship news and information program SportsCenter. Johnson will join regular anchors John Anderson and Lindsay Czarniak for the 6:00pm/et show on Tuesday, Nov. 19, on ESPN. The aforementioned actors Crystal and Jeong are the only other celebrity guest hosts of SportsCenter in the show's 34-year history. Crystal was the first in 2012 and Jeong hosted earlier this month on Nov. 1.
Johnson, who wrapped up his sixth NASCAR Sprint Cup Series title in 12 full seasons this past Sunday, has appeared on SportsCenter numerous times during his racing career both in-studio and via satellite, but always as a newsmaker. He also appeared in a humorous and memorable "This Is SportsCenter" commercial in which he used a pickaxe to remove speed bumps in the ESPN parking lot.
But this time the driver of the Hendrick Motorsports #48 Lowe's Chevrolet will perform all of the duties of a SportsCenter host, including presenting news and highlights and conducting interviews from around the world of sports. And just like SportsCenter veterans Scott and Berman, and every other anchor who has sat behind the desk, Johnson will spend the day Tuesday preparing for his guest-hosting responsibilities.
"I don't know if SportsCenter knows what they are getting themselves into," Johnson joked. "It's probably a good thing I'm there pretty much all day preparing. I've got some tough shoes to fill with Billy Crystal and Ken Jeong but I've met most of the anchors and I am really looking forward to becoming the first athlete to ever guest host SportsCenter." Since its debut on ESPN's launch day of Sept. 7, 1979, SportsCenter has aired more episodes than any television show in U.S. history, reaching the 50,000-episode mark in 2012.
"We're always looking for opportunities to change it up and give SportsCenter viewers a different take on the day's news, have some fun and do some memorable television," said Jack Obringer, SportsCenter senior coordinating producer. "And having a six-time champion like Jimmie Johnson on your set is pretty cool." Fans are encouraged to join in on the conversation using the hashtag #JimmieOnSC. In addition to his SportsCenter guest-hosting duties, Johnson will also appear on Late Show with David Letterman Monday night and LIVE with Kelly and Michael Tuesday morning to talk about winning his sixth NASCAR Sprint Cup Series title.(ESPN)(11-19-2013)
Jimmie Johnson Wins 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship: #48-Jimmie Johnson took another step closer to stock car racing history on Sunday, claiming his sixth NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Johnson, who entered the race with a 28-point lead over 2003 series champion #20-Matt Kenseth, finished ninth in the Ford EcoBoost 400, putting his final margin over Kenseth at 19 points.
The championship is a record-extending 11th in the series for Hendrick Motorsports. Rick Hendrick's organization also won four titles with Jeff Gordon, co-owner of Johnson's #48 Chevrolet, and one with Terry Labonte. Johnson's crew chief, Chad Knaus, has led the team to all six titles.
The 38-year-old Johnson is one of three competitors to win six or more NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championships. He trails only seven-time champions and NASCAR Hall of Fame members Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt.
Johnson's five previous championships - all consecutive - came from 2006-2010. He has finished first or second in eight of the 12 seasons in which he's been a full-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competitor. His 66 victories rank second among active drivers, behind only Hendrick Motorsports teammate Gordon's 88 wins.
Johnson's six championships have come in three distinctly different NASCAR Sprint Cup cars - including the Gen-6 Chevrolet SS that debuted this season.
After winning his second Daytona 500 to open the season, Johnson led the series standings after all but three races during the NASCAR Sprint Cup regular season. He entered the 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup as the No. 2 seed - behind Kenseth - with four victories. A dominant victory on Nov. 3 at Texas Motor Speedway gave Johnson the Chase lead for good. In addition, Chevrolet won its 37th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series manufacturers' championship.(NASCAR)(11-17-2013)
Johnson named NASCAR Illustrated Person of the Year: As he puts the finishing touches on yet another remarkable season, Jimmie Johnson has been named NASCAR Illustrated's 2013 Person of the Year. Johnson, who will be racing for his sixth Sprint Cup championship Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway, has won six races this season and carries a 28-point lead into the season's final race. Perhaps more importantly, Johnson is being honored for helping others. The five-time champ's Jimmie Johnson Foundation has raised more than $5.6 million to help children, families and communities across the country. See full story at the Sporting News.(11-16-2013)
No Crew Chief Changes for Hendrick: Team owner Rick Hendrick said before Sunday's race at Phoenix that there's no basis to rumors of impending crew chief changes among his four NASCAR Sprint Cup teams. "That's right -- no changes," said Hendrick, who swapped crew chiefs among three of his teams at the end of the 2010 season, leaving only the combination of driver Jimmie Johnson and crew chief Chad Knaus intact. "I don't know where any of that came from, but there's not going to be any changes. Nobody's even discussed anything. Everybody's pretty happy with what we've got... good momentum in the Chase and winning races. Take the things like blown tires and engines out of the equation, and it's one of the best Chases we've had, so there's no reason to change anything."(NASCAR Wire Service)(11-12-2013)
Johnson hopes history doesn't repeat: With his win in Sunday's AAA Texas 500, Jimmie Johnson moved ahead of Matt Kenseth by seven points heading into the final two races of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. The position of being seven points up with two to go is all too familiar for Johnson. Just last year, Johnson also won the AAA Texas 500 to move seven points ahead of Brad Keselowski only to lose the lead the following week at Phoenix International Raceway after a blown tire resulted in a 32nd-place finish. Ultimately, it cost Johnson his sixth Sprint Cup Series crown. "I hope history doesn't repeat itself," Johnson said after his record-tying, third Sprint Cup Series victory at Texas Motor Speedway. "That is the perfect example of this thing isn't over until it's over. Last year, we had eight races and two bad ones and didn't get the championship. Very important to finish strong. There are two very important races left." For Johnson, this year's momentum he carries into the final two races has a different feel than last year. A dominating performance in the AAA Texas 500 where he led a race-high 255 laps, coupled with a recent test session at Homestead-Miami Speedway, has him confident about the stretch run. "I feel better about Phoenix, honestly, than I did last year leaving here," Johnson said. "Then last year we did not test Homestead and we just came back from Homestead, and that test went really well. So I'm optimistic. I feel good. But man, it's so weird because I've been in position before where I've had these amazing sensations and feelings that a championship was going to happen, and we were able to do it for those five years in a row."(TMS)(11-9-2013)
Jimmie Johnson Foundation Announces $470,000 in Education Grants: During a visit on Tuesday to the NASCAR Hall of Fame, five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson announced the recipients of the 2013 Jimmie Johnson Foundation/Lowe's Toolbox for Education Champions Grants. The grants, which are awarded to schools in Chandra and Jimmie Johnson's respective hometowns of Muskogee, Okla., El Cajon, Calif., and where they currently reside in Charlotte, N.C., totaled $470,000. Students from the three Charlotte schools that were awarded grants attended as Johnson made the announcement on behalf of the foundation he cofounded with his wife, Chandra, in 2006 as well as partner Lowe's. Johnson shared that these schools, along with six others from Muskogee and the San Diego area, have been selected to receive the grants.(JJF), see full PR on Jayski's NASCAR Racing Charities page.(11-6-2013)
Hendrick hosts Randy Dorton Hendrick Engine Builder Showdown: Despite rules to restrict engine development, today's NASCAR engines are more intricate and detail-oriented than ever. A testament to that trend was revealed during the 12th annual Randy Dorton Hendrick Engine Builder Showdown last week. Jay Wiles, a dyno technician inside the Hendrick Motorsports engine department, teamed up with Robert Marock, who works out of the Hendrick Automotive Group's Honda dealership in Concord, North Carolina, to win the competition by assembling a Chevy R07.2 engine in 24 minutes and 38 seconds. Wiles is a repeat winner, having captured the inaugural competition in 2002. The showdown was renamed a few years later to honor Randy Dorton, the chief engine builder for Hendrick Motorsports who died in a 2004 plane crash. Wiles and Marock survived a one-minute penalty for a loose bolt on the intake manifold to win the final round by just 14 seconds over Van Nguyen, a valvetrain technician at Hendrick Motorsports and Brad Lyne of Hendrick's Chevy dealership in Merriam, Kansas. The competition pairs 12 master technicians from the Hendrick Automotive Group with 12 members of the engine team at Hendrick Motorsports. After qualifying rounds over two days, the two teams with the best preliminary engine-build times go head-to-head in the championship round. The overall goal is to have the fewest errors in the quickest time. All teams are required to assemble 358ci Chevy R07.2 engines designed with 12:1 compression ratio and electronic fuel injection. Components include Bosch spark plugs and ignitions, Purolator filters and GM Racing block, heads and intake manifold. Last year's winning time was 27 minutes, 46 seconds. 2012 was also the first time that engine builders worked with EFI, which slowed down the winning time about six minutes from the previous year when a single 4-barrel carburetor was used.(Engine Labs)(10-26-2013)
Johnson, Busch Kenseth getting most TV coverage: According to data compiled by Joyce Julis, Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth & Kyle Busch have accounted for 40% of all driver mentions during NASCAR telecasts though the Kansas race this year:
Statistics reflect all live race telecasts and replays of the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season through Kansas (Race #30).(Joyce Julius)(10-23-2013)
Valvoline returns to sponsor Hendrick teams: Valvoline, a leading marketer, distributor and producer of quality branded automotive and industrial products and services, will be reunited with Hendrick Motorsports after finalizing a multi-year sponsorship agreement that will kick off next season. The Official Lubricants Partner of Hendrick Motorsports beginning in 2014, the Valvoline brand will be featured as a major associate sponsor of the team's full stable of Chevrolet SS race cars through the 2017 NASCAR campaign. The company will utilize Sprint Cup Series drivers #5-Kasey Kahne, #24-Jeff Gordon, #48-Jimmie Johnson and #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. as spokespeople to promote Valvoline premium motor oil products and services. In addition, Valvoline will be the preferred oil poured by Hendrick Motorsports' sister company, Hendrick Automotive Group, which operates 87 auto dealerships across the United States. The dealerships also will use Valvoline professional series, a line of fuel system preventive maintenance products that increase fuel economy and drivability, and Valvoline antifreeze. Both product lines contain patented technology that provides exceptional performance. Beginning in 2014, Hendrick Motorsports will use Valvoline products in its Chevrolet R-07 racing engines in the elite Sprint Cup Series. Valvoline was a partner of the team from 1993-95, supplying lubricant technology that contributed to the organization's first Cup championship with Gordon.(Hendrick Motorsports), Valvoline will replace Quaker State Oil at HMS.(9-24-2013)
Johnson buys New York apartment: Five-time NASCAR champion #48-Jimmie Johnson has bought a $14.25 million pad at the West Village's Superior Ink. Johnson paid the full asking price for the 3,234-square-foot, five-bedroom apartment at 400 West 12th Street. The racer had earlier sold a sixth-floor, three-bedroom unit in the Robert A.M. Stern-designed building that was listed with Halstead Property's Lisa Rose for $10.5 million, according to the New York Post. Halstead's Brian Lewis represented Johnson in that deal, a spokesperson for the brokerage told The Real Deal. Sales transactions at Superior Ink increased by nearly $1,000 a square foot compared to last year, as The Real Deal reported.(The Real Deal)(9-21-2013)
Congrats to the Johnsons - baby is born: Chandra and #48-Jimmie Johnson are pleased to announce the birth of their daughter. She was born Friday, Sept. 6, at 2:02am/et at a Charlotte, NC, hospital. She weighed 5 pounds, 10 ounces and was 19 inches long at birth. Big sister Genevieve Marie, 3, is said to be very proud of her new baby sister. Mother and baby and are doing fine and are expected to remain in the hospital overnight.
Johnson will miss today's events (practices & qualifying) at Richmond International Raceway. Regan Smith will serve as interim driver with Johnson returning to drive the #48 Kobalt Tools Chevrolet SS in Saturday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event.(Team Lowes PR)(9-5-2013)
Johnson and Kyle Busch getting most TV mentions: #48-Jimmie Johnson and #18-Kyle Busch have accounted for 16.6% of all NASCAR driver mentions on TV so far this season according to a report from Joyce Julius. Statistics reflect all live race telecasts and replays of the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season through Indianapolis (Race #20).
HMS cars to carry special decal: All four Hendrick Motorsports cars: #5-Kahne, #24-Gordon, #48-Johnson & #88-Earnhardt Jr., will carry the above special decal at Kansas Speedway honoring those effected by the Boston Maraton Bombings this past Monday.(HMS Facebook)(4-21-2013)
Brother of HMS Machinist killed in Cambridge: Hendrick Motorsports Statement: The thoughts and prayers of everyone at Hendrick Motorsports are with Andrew Collier and his family. Andrew, a machinist in the Hendrick Motorsports engine department, tragically lost his brother, Officer Sean Collier, last night in Cambridge, Mass. We ask that the family's privacy be considered during this difficult time. Andrew, 25, joined Hendrick Motorsports in September 2008.(HMS)(4-19-2013)
Lowe's extends sponsorship of #48 team and Johnson: Lowe's Companies Inc. will continue its successful relationship with Hendrick Motorsports after signing a two-year contract extension that secures the full-season primary sponsorship of the #48 NASCAR Sprint Cup team and five-time series champion Jimmie Johnson in 2014 and 2015. Announced today to more than 1,700 store managers at the Lowe's national sales meeting, the agreement builds upon a partnership launched in 2001 when Johnson was selected to drive for the new #48 Hendrick Motorsports team. Now in its 12th full season, the sponsor-driver-team relationship has become one of the most successful in NASCAR history.
"It has been a great ride with Jimmie since he started in the Cup Series 12 years ago," said Tom Lamb, Lowe's chief marketing officer. "We are proud to sponsor one of the most elite teams and drivers in racing and have a five-time champion carry the Lowe's brand each week." Since his first full-time Sprint Cup season in 2002, Johnson has earned 61 victories -- the most in the series during that span -- and never finished lower than sixth in championship points.
On Sunday in his 400th Cup race, Johnson drove the #48 Lowe's Chevrolet SS to his second career Daytona 500 win. In the process, he became just the second driver (teammate Jeff Gordon is the other) to have the same primary sponsor for each of his first 400 Cup starts. "Lowe's believed in me before I had any success," said Johnson, 37, whose contract with Hendrick Motorsports runs through 2015. "They are all I've ever known in my Sprint Cup career, and their support of me and the #48 team is second to none in the sport. We've been together for this crazy ride, and I'm so happy we're continuing it together. They truly are family, and I'm proud to represent them."
Led by crew chief Chad Knaus, the #48 Lowe's team has now scored at least one Sprint Cup win in 12 consecutive seasons (2002-13). Johnson's five championships trail only first-ballot Hall of Fame drivers Dale Earnhardt and Richard Petty, who each posted seven. "We caught lightning in a bottle with this combination," said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. "Jimmie and Chad have been successful because they always have a plan and do a great job executing. Lowe's is the same way as a sponsor. The partnership has been incredible, and we're looking forward to working together for many more years."(HMS)(2-27-2013)
Jeff Gordon vs. Jimmie Johnson: Even though Jimmie Johnson has been the top driver in NASCAR over the last five years, Jeff Gordon is the winningest active driver and has been the dominant driver over the last 18 seasons. Let's compare the two drivers after their first nine seasons:
Wins: Gordon 58 in 292 races; Johnson 53 in 324 races
Top 5s: Gordon 147 in 292 races; Johnson 134 in 324 races
Top 10s: Gordon 190 in 292 races; Johnson 203 in 324 races
Championships: Gordon (4) last in his ninth season in 2001, Johnson (5).(12-1-2010)
Born in OCTOBER
25 Mike Hoffman, Ward Burton, Jon Wood, Taylor Lane Stricklin, Maggie Martin
26 Jimmy Pardue
27 Robin Miller, Dick Trickle, Tommy Baldwin Jr., Butch Hylton, Richard Brickhouse, Michael Lance
28 Joe Ruttman, Deborah Renshaw, Krissie Newman
29 Teresa Earnhardt, Billy Woodruff, Steadman Marlin, Joseph "Papa Joe" Hendrick, Bob Dotter, Roseanne Adamczyk, Nicole Belber, Sandy 'the dog' Adamczyk
30 Linda Rudd, Al Pearce, Tony Bettenhausen Jr.
31 Mike Casto, Kip Childress
Born in NOVEMBER:
1 Jay Adamczyk, Joshua Marco, Doug Ingerson, Eric Vance, Larry Flynt
2 Larry Pearson
3 Derrike Cope, Tony Gibson, Greg Sacks, Bryan Mullett
4 Charley Pressley, Destinee Zastrow
5 Elton Sawyer Jr., Doug George
6 Bryan Reffner, Clay Rogers. Rodney Orr
7 Judy Allison, Gilbert "Pops" Gentle, Andy Houston, Dick May, Matthew Bodine, Lindsay Czarniak
8 Jason Burdett, Ed Berrier, Jim Inglebright, Teri MacDonald, John Bisci, Donny Lia, Ingrid Vandebosch
9 Rick Carelli, Nancy Sterling, Bill Kimm, John Holman, Ed Otto
10 U.S. Marines , Britt Goodrich
11 Mike Hembree, Barry Bodine, Chris Horn, Rob Morgan, Loni Richardson
12 Ryan Buscaglio, Tom Ehret, Wally Dallenbach Sr., Larry Hedrick
13 Drew Blickensderfer, Karen Friddell, Katie Wallace, Tim Kuhn, Jeff Hallowell
15 Gene Haas, H.B. Bailey, Steve Lane
16 Terry Labonte, Bill Amick
17 Brad Bennett
18 Eddie Adamczyk, Gary Bettenhausen, Denny Hamlin, Ray Osian, Mickey Mouse
19 Tommy Morgan, Gary "Turtle" Clem
20 Sam Bass, Lisa Finley, Mike Cluka, Steve Prescott, Andy Belmont, Mark Wilkinson, Darren Jones, Chris Hall
21 Sheri Umscheid, Travis Carter, Terry Elledge, Victor Breininger, Banjo Grimm, Alexis Leras
22 Laurie Weil, Luke Kosner, Jake Elder, Rick Viers, Ryan McGlynn, Jamie Skinner, Scott Moyer
23 Ron Bouchard, Chris Spencer, Conrad Burr, Tony Roper
24 Buddy Parrott, James Ince, Nathan Haseleu
25 Skip Eyler, Joe Gibbs, Mike Joy, Carl Gansert
26 Dale Jarrett, Chip Bolin, Katie Pearson
27 Billy Standridge, Kate Dallenbach, Ricky Carmichael
28 Chase Elliott, Billy Sutphin, Mitch Way, Nelson Stacy
29 Bob Dillner, Zach Brewer
30 Danny Earnhardt, Dave Dion, Dick Hutcherson, Shawna Robinson, Chris Hussey, Andy Kirby, Brittany Glover