Jimmie Johnson Daytona 500 winner in 400th start


Jimmie Johnson Daytona 500 favorite is now Jimmie Johnson Daytona 500 winner. Today at Daytona International Speedway was his 400th start. In 399 starts the 37-year-old Hendrick Motorsports driver has tallied 60 wins to go along with five NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championships. Only NASCAR Hall of Famers Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt have more championships (seven).

The NASCAR voted Jimmie Johnson the favorite to be this season’s Cup champion, so he was much of a Daytona 500 favorite as anyone. [Read more…]

Hendrick Motorsports documentary airing on SPEED Channel


Beyond 200: The Hendrick Motorsports Story, an exclusive SPEED special produced by Emmy® Award-winning NASCAR Productions, will air Sunday, Nov. 11 at 8 p.m. ET on SPEED.

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Jimmie Johnson donating $48,000 to Red Cross, victims of Hurricane Sandy


Lowe’s announced today it will donate $1 million to disaster relief and rebuilding efforts in communities affected by Hurricane Sandy. Lowe’s will work with its national nonprofit partners to provide both immediate and long-term support to local communities across the Northeast.

As part of the $1 million pledge and to help raise awareness for hurricane victims, Lowe’s will match the earnings of five-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson from Sunday’s NASCAR race at Texas Motor Speedway, with a minimum donation of $250,000 to the American Red Cross. Johnson and Hendrick Motorsports together will donate an additional $48,000 to the Red Cross. In addition to the Red Cross donation, Lowe’s will use the remainder of its $1 million commitment to fund local projects in areas of greatest need as identified by its national nonprofit partners.

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Jimmie Johnson launches new website


Jimmie Johnson launched a new Website today geared toward enhancing the online experience for fans. The site, JimmieJohnson.com, features a homepage filled with a mix of content derived from social media, including tweets, Facebook posts and Instagram images, as well as pertinent race-related information from fans and Johnson, the five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion.

“I wanted a place where the fans could find out what’s going on with me, whether it’s at the track or away from the track,” said Johnson, who is active on Twitter, twitter.com/JimmieJohnson and Facebook, facebook.com/JimmieJohnson. “In trying to come up with an easy way for fans to get information, it just made sense to tie everything together and house it in one place. It’s like one-stop-shopping for information on what me and my team are doing on a weekly basis.”

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Charlotte Motor Speedway: Jimmie Johnson’s House again? (interview)


Charlotte Motor Speedway was- at one point- jokingly referred to as “Jimmie’s house.” While Jimmie Johnson never used the moniker himself, others found justification for the reference. During a stretch in his NASCAR Sprint Cup career there was no denying that Johnson certainly owned the 1.5-mile oval. Beginning with a win at the 2003 All-Star Race, Johnson won six of nine consecutive races. (He didn’t win the Oct. 2003 race and 2004 and 2005 All-Star Races.)

It appears another streak could be starting as Johnson and his No. 48 Lowe’s team has rattled off some impressive wins over the past two weeks. Starting with the historic 200th win for Hendrick Motorsport at Darlington Raceway on Saturday, May 12, the team has been on a tear, winning the Sprint Pit Crew Challenge the following Thursday and culminating with a record tying third win (Dale Earnhardt Sr. and Jeff Gordon) in the Sprint All-Star Race this past Saturday. Johnson’s win in the first segment and his dominance of the final 10-lap segment, may be a sign for what could be another strong showing at this weekend’s 600-mile race, the sport’s longest of the season.

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Jimmie Johnson at Kansas Speedway: NASCAR’s version of the Jayhawks


Jimmie Johnson‘s October 2011 victory at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City happened at an opportune time in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, but just like the University of Kansas Jayhawks college basketball team, which resides about 30 miles west of the speedway on I-70, the win wasn’t enough to pull off another championship.

But Johnson’s stats in Kansas, like the Jayhawks, are impressive, and include multiple championships, like the Jayhawks. What few may not remember was that those championships would not have happened without the help of some local businessmen. Brothers Stan and Randy Herzog, owners of a St. Joseph, Mo.-based company, were Johnson’s early team owners in his off-road racing days.

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Jimmie Johnson climbing back up NASCAR standings


While the University of Kansas, University of Kentucky, University of Louisville  and The Ohio State University prepare to close out the NCAA’s March Madness in New Orleans this weekend, NASCAR prepares to close out its own version when it visits the paper clip-shaped Martinsville (Va.) Speedway oval this Sunday.

With three trips to the West Coast in the last four weeks, plus the bullring atmosphere of Bristol in-between, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series closes out March with more close-pack racing in the tight confines at the shortest track on the schedule. And as he prepares to join his fellow competitors for Sunday’s Goody’s Fast Relief 500, Jimmie Johnson, driver of the No. 48 MyLowe’s Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports, is out to prove his stunning statistics at Martinsville are anything but madness.

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Auto Club 400 a home track for Jimmie Johnson (interview)


Just ask Jimmie Johnson and he will tell you that he loves his native California weather. No brown leaves and grey sky for him. The El Cajon, Calif., native grew up racing in the deserts of California, where the sunshine was plentiful. While racing was a family affair, there were other activities the Johnson family enjoyed, including family camping trips to the river. Johnson once tested jet skis as a summer job and knows how to use a surf board.

While NASCAR racing wasn’t prevalent in the area, the old Riverside (Calif.) International Raceway was a popular destination, and Johnson and his father Gary once attended the races with the younger Johnson looking through the fence, longing to get a driver’s autograph. Little did he know he would be on the other side of that fence years later.

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Will Jimmie Johnson win the Food City 500 on Sunday?


Jimmie Johnson hasn’t needed a four leaf clover to knock off two consecutive top-five finishes the past two weekends. Hard work and determination by the No. 48 Lowe’s team for Hendrick Motorsports has paid off and the points deficit the team found itself in after the season-opening Daytona 500 is slowly closing.

Johnson waged a last-lap battle with reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart last weekend in Las Vegas and came home with a second-place finish. He now finds himself just outside the top-20 in points.

Improving his finishing position by one spot at Sunday’s Food City 500 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway would mean a trip to victory lane, a place the five-time champ has visited once at the .533-mile high-banked concrete oval.
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Sprint Cup Champion Tony Stewart: Daytona 500 speedweek interview


Indiana native Tony Stewart went winless during the first 26 races of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ regular season in 2011. Then he went and took five of the year’s final 10 races. In doing so, the driver of the No. 14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet Impala for Stewart-Haas Racing captured his third Sprint Cup championship; knocking off Jimmie Johnson.

Then he won a couple more courses in the Hoosier state: the inaugural Karting Classic at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis on Dec. 11, where he was one of six NASCAR drivers in a race with six IZOD IndyCar Series drivers. A few days later on Dec. 31, Stewart won again, this time at the Rumble in Fort Wayne (Ind.) USAC Midget feature on the 1/10-mile track inside the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum.

Now, Stewart kicks off his 2012 NASCAR season as the reigning Sprint Cup champion. That the 36-race marathon that is the Sprint Cup schedule begins at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway means Stewart could very well extend his winning streak, for the Columbus, Ind., native owns 16 total victories at Daytona.

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Jimmie Johnson prepares for Daytona 500 with new garage: Speedweek interview

NASCAR “Eats Fresh” with the Subway 600 Saturday Night

By: Melissa S. Wollering

Jared had better equip each driver with two footlongs for the 600km race at Phoenix International Raceway this Saturday—because we’re NIGHT RACIN’ boys.  It’s also the signal to 14 straight weeks of racing, no weekends off!

The picturesque mile-long, extra fat oval (more circle, less oval) is plopped right down into the mountains.  Phoenix hosts two races this season—the first this weekend and the second in mid-November when drivers in the Chase will race in anticipation of the final shootout at Homestead the following week.

There aren’t too many Saturday night races—those are usually designated for Nationwide Series races (which is on Friday this week).  And this year’s race here is different – there are 63 more laps (375 total) and it starts a bit earlier. So expect pit stops to be important and the track to get faster as night settles in and the temperatures drop. [Read more…]