Team Lowe’s Racing – Team 48 Kentucky Speedway Preview

Team 48 Kentucky Speedway

JIMMIE JOHNSON 2011

STARTS: 17 WINS: 1 TOP 5: 5 TOP 10: 10

CarParts.com
American Muscle

CURRENT DRIVER POINT STANDINGS: 6th POINTS BEHIND 1st: 22*

FINISH IN DAYTONA: 20th

*TIED WITH MATT KENSETH FOR FIFTH IN POINTS BUT KENSETH HAS TWO WINS

TEAM ROSTERS WILL BE POSTED ON MEDIA.LOWESRACING.COM WHEN AVAILABLE

NEWS & NOTES

FANS AND MEDIA CAN NOMINATE CHARITY FOR JIMMIE JOHNSON FOUNDATION HELMET OF HOPE

The Jimmie Johnson Foundation launched the 2011 Helmet of Hope program in Kansas on June 3 and announced the American Red Cross would be the first charity to be featured on the helmet and to receive a grant of $10,000. The American Red Cross was selected by the Johnsons to help raise awareness of disaster relief efforts in the wake of the recent tornados across the country.

Last week in Daytona, Johnson drew to more charities to adorn the Helmet of Hope: Steve Richards of Performance Racing Network nominated The Family Crisis Resource Center of Cumberland, Md. and Julie Carter of Billings, Mont. nominated Conquer Chiari.

The Helmet of Hope allows fans and media members across the country the opportunity to nominate their charity of choice to be featured on Jimmie Johnson’s race helmet for the Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway in Sept. In addition, each selected charity will receive a $10,000 grant.

A total of 12 charities will be selected to be featured on the one-of-a-kind helmet – six chosen from fan and six by media submissions.

Visit www.HelmetOfHope.org to nominate a charity. Jimmie will select two charities each week concluding with the New Hampshire Motor Speedway event in July.

RACE NOTES

Kentucky Speedway

• Johnson has never competed in a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at the 1.5-mile speedway.

• He competed in a NASCAR Nationwide Series event there in 2001 starting 20th and finishing 30th. He completed 159 of 200 laps.

Chassis

• Johnson finished 27th in primary chassis No. 659 at Michigan in June 2011.

• Backup chassis No. 669 finished seventh at Kansas in June 2011.

JIMMIE JOHNSON QUOTE

LOOKING AHEAD, WHAT ARE YOUR IMPRESSIONS OF KENTUCKY AND GOING THERE FOR THE FIRST TIME?

“I’m excited to come to a new track. Obviously it’s a very hungry fan base. I’m excited for that side of it. Kentucky is not been one of my better tracks. In the Nationwide days I crashed some stuff there. And then when testing was open, we were there quite a bit. And I never really figured out Turn 3 like I wanted to. So we’ll have to make some adjustments there. Obviously the track has changed a bunch over the years too so long story short; I’m excited to come there. I know it’s going to be great for our sport. There’s a fan base that is eager for us to come there and it’s great. So we’ll come out there and hopefully not crash.”

ON THE FAN BASE AND THE NEW MARKET IN KENTUCKY, PLUS THE SUCCESS OF OTHER SERIES, HOW IMPORTANT IS THAT?

“When we turn on the Nationwide race and look at a full house, it’s a great sight to see. I’m exciting to bring the Cup series there. I think new markets and new areas are important for us to look at. That’s easy for me to say because I’m not a track owner or operator, but multiple race dates and that whole concept I think is a bit in question. In spreading this out and being in new markets and new areas is good. Kentucky is a great place to hold an event. Again, we see packed grandstands for every other form of racing that’s there and it will be nice to come there and feel the energy.”

SPRINT CUP SERIES CAREER NOTES

Career Wins

• Johnson has 54 wins in his Sprint Cup Series career, his most recent coming at Talladega Superspeedway on April 17, 2011.

• The El Cajon, Calif.-native is currently tied with Lee Petty for ninth on NASCAR’s all-time wins list, one victory behind Rusty Wallace.

• He is second in total wins among active drivers, behind Jeff Gordon (82).

• Johnson needed only 296 starts to hit the 50 mark. Only three drivers have reached 50 victories quicker – Gordon (232), Darrell Waltrip (278) and David Pearson (293).

• Johnson has won at least three Cup races a season since he posted his first victory in 2002. He is the only driver in the modern era to win at least three races in each of his first eight full-time seasons.

• Johnson has won Sprint Cup Series races at all but four (Michigan, Chicago, Watkins Glen, Homestead) of the 22 tracks on which the series competes.

• Johnson’s 10 wins in 2007 was the highest number recorded in a single season since Jeff Gordon posted 13 victories in 1998.

• The four-consecutive wins scored by the No. 48 team in the 2007 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup ties a modern-era NASCAR record.

Career Poles

• Johnson has collected 25 poles in his Sprint Cup career.

• The championship driver has earned at least one pole a year since his first full-time season in 2002.

• He had a career-high six poles in 2008.

• Johnson’s most recent pole position was at Dover International Speedway on Sept. 24, 2010.

Career Starts

• Johnson has finished in the top five in the Sprint Cup Series point standings each year since his first full season in 2002.

• Johnson is the only driver to qualify for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup every year since the format was adopted in 2004.

• In 344 Sprint Cup Series starts, Johnson has posted 139 top-five and 213 top-10 finishes.

• He has a top-five finish at every track on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series circuit.

• Johnson has led a total of 11,470 laps (of 99,229) in his Sprint Cup career, covering over 133,113 miles.

• He has finished on the lead lap 267 times.

Career Recognition

• Johnson was named by Forbes as the Most Influential Athlete in 2011.

• In 2009, Johnson became the first race car driver to be named Male Athlete of the Year by the Associated Press in its 78-year history.

• Voted Driver of the Year four times in his career (2006, 2007, 2008, 2010), Johnson joins Jeff Gordon as four-time winners of the prestigious award.

• Johnson has won an ESPY for Best Driver three times, in 2008, 2009 and 2010.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

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