When people think of Jimmie Johnson the words “crash” or “wreck” probably aren’t the first that come to mind. Through his 492 Sprint Cup starts he has only 26 DNFs due to crash damage on the 48 (he has been in more accidents, but the Team Lowe’s Racing crew has done a great job of fixing the 48 car and getting it back on track). However, the six time Sprint Cup Champion has had his share of doozies over the years.
What kid doesn’t want to be an astronaut or a racecar driver? The rockets and racecars of everyone’s childhood dreams come together at the Jimmie Johnson Family Ticket Package, an event hosted by many tracks on the NASCAR schedule. This past weekend, Pocono Raceway was once again host to many eager kids and their families for one such event, featuring six-time NASCAR Champion Jimmie Johnson and NASA’s “Spacey Casey!” The children also walked away with an activity booklet full of fun activities regarding the science of racing and how it relates to the science of space travel that kept them occupied throughout the race day.
With a new rules package for today's race in Indianapolis, everyone is eager to know what it will be like for drivers and what kind of racing we can expect. Listen to Jimmie talk about how the car runs in single car runs, as well as in traffic and what his engineers think contributes to the difference.
DO YOU GET ANY SENSE OF THE DIFFERENCE OF WHAT WINNING THIS RACE MEANS BETWEEN YOU VERSUS JEFF GORDON?
“For me it’s a special track for me. My whole world was the Indy 500. I wanted to be here and race in an open wheel car. Growing up in Southern California NASCAR just with the television package and media coverage then it wasn’t all that popular, especially in the 70s and 80s when I was coming up through. My whole direction and kind of guidance from Chevrolet was to move from off road trucks, to Trans Am, to Indy Lights to IndyCar. They came to me one day, I think it was at the Long Beach grand prix or at a Trans Am race meeting some owners and they said ‘hey we are pulling out of IndyCar next year. If you want to have a future in motorsports you need to move to North Carolina. You need to figure out this NASCAR thing.’ So it wasn’t long after that I bought a one-way ticket and was living in Charlotte trying to figure things out.
Tonight the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is set to run their third annual “Mudsummer Classic” at the historic Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio. The race is sure to be an action-packed thriller that could very well produce a surprise winner. It’s hard to believe a NASCAR Champion could ever be a surprise winner, but Jimmie Johnson was just that as he grabbed the victory in the 2010 “Prelude to the Dream” racing a dirt late model on Eldora’s high banks.
With just seven races left in NASCAR’s regular season, Jimmie Johnson leads the Chase standings thanks to a series leading four wins so far in 2015. Once the checkered flag falls at Richmond in September, the points will be reset, with three bonus points for each win being awarded for the start of the Chase. As it stands now, Johnson would start the Chase with 12 points, twice as many points as anyone else. Fellow Chevrolet drivers Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch, and teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. would all be tied for second with six points each.
Every race weekend you see Jimmie Johnson drinking Gatorade to prepare for a long day’s work in the driver’s seat, where he drinks more Gatorade throughout the race to keep his body in prime condition for that last hard push for victory. When the checkered flag falls, he uses Gatorade to replenish and recover.
It is very important in these dog days of summer to stay hydrated. When you sweat, drink Gatorade, and enter for a chance to sweat with six-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson. The winner will tour the Hendrick Motorsports campus and train with the Team Lowe’s Racing pit crew before riding shotgun with Jimmie in the number 48 Chevrolet SS for laps around the historic Darlington Raceway.
Where you start on Sunday is all about where you finish on Friday. What sounds like a riddle is a fundamental principal of racing. This weekend, Jimmie Johnson and the Lowe’s crew hope to earn their first pole position at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, a track where qualifying up front means more than usual.
Here's what Jimmie, a three time New Hampshire race winner, had to say:
“It starts with qualifying. Getting a good starting spot is really important and not just because of pit-stall selection. It’s tough to pass there and starting in the back just makes your day that much tougher. Track position is key. And the car drives differently depending on where you are. Once you get up front, it’s a whole different ball game than when you’re in traffic. You need the car to turn a specific way when you are back there. So, really, having a good race strategy and staying up front are important for a good finish.”
Something about Thursdays gives folks a hankering for some old-timey reminiscing. Jimmie Johnson is no different. If you aren’t following the champ on social media, you’re missing out on donkeys, dirt bikes, drag boats, double chins, and good old fashioned down and dirty fun. So go follow Jimmie on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to see his weekly #tbt. Meanwhile, here’s a look at what you’ve been missing.
The Jimmie Johnson Foundation announced today that its annual Jimmie Johnson Foundation Golf Tournament and Dinner raised $900,000, an event record.
“This is such a great event,” said Johnson. “Chani (wife) and I are so thankful to everyone that supports us and to sponsors like Lowe’s, that believe in supporting the vision of the Foundation. We are excited that the Foundation can continue funding projects that address critical needs in K-12 public schools.”
Johnson, a six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion, hosted more than 125 golfers at Torrey Pines Golf Course in La Jolla, California for Wednesday’s golf tournament. The night before the tournament, the Johnsons hosted approximately 200 guests at a special dinner and auction, with live music from Darius Rucker at The Lodge at Torrey Pines.