Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Jimmie Johnson Watkins Glen Preview: Driving In Nationwide Race

Nationwide race for Johnson (Getty)

Jimmie Johnson will be piloting the No. 7 Jimmie Johnson’s Anything with an Engine Chevrolet for JR Motorsports in Saturday’s Nationwide Series event at Watkins Glen. Chris Heroy, an engineer for Hendrick Motorsports, will serve as crew chief.

Published by Autumn Games and developed by Isopod Labs, Jimmie Johnson’s Anything With An Engine is scheduled for an October 2011 release on all three major home consoles. The game allows players to race unconventional vehicles created from everyday objects such as shopping carts and dumpsters outfitted with custom weapons in a humorous action packed run to the finish line.

Two of the eccentric characters Hazzard Hicks and Megaton, are featured on the hood of Johnson’s No. 7 machine. Hazzard Hicks uses his souped-up lawnmower to cut down the competition and Megaton, a former military officer, barrels around the track on a high-speed bomb.


Watkins Glen International
• Johnson has made nine Sprint Cup Series starts at Watkins Glen International, where he has three top-five and four top-10 finishes.
• Watkins Glen is one of five tracks on which the Sprint Cup Series competes that Johnson hasn’t won. The others are Michigan, Chicago, Homestead and Kentucky.
• Johnson has completed 91.7% (745 of 812) of competition laps at the 2.45-mile track and has led 10.
• He has an average start and finish of 6.8 and 14.7.

• Johnson will pilot chassis No. 543 in Sunday’s event. He last drove that car at Infineon Raceway in June.
• Johnson finished seventh in backup chassis No. 442 at Watkins Glen in 2008.


“Wins are everything. We want more Ws and I am taking the time to go run the Nationwide Series car for Junior. I have my video game on the side of that race car which is going to be fun and help promote it. Hopefully that leads to a smooth race, a better race for us on the Cup side and we can go to victory. We were just at Road Atlanta testing for two days, yesterday and the day before. So, we’re making that effort to try to be on top. I personally love road course racing and want to be very successful at it. It is just something that is very important to me.

“The Glen, for me, it is the carousel, the long right-hander after the back straightaway. Depending up what driver you speak to, there are a couple of different numbers that they put to it, but, that corner there seems to be the area where I have given up the most speed over the years. I’ve got to get that corner right because it leads on to a pretty important straightaway and sets you up for a passing opportunity once you work your way around to turn one. If you can gain on that big right-hander, the carousel, and then get through (turns) 10 and 11, you are on someone’s bumper for turn one.”

“Yeah, I’m excited about the opportunity. The interview to drive for him was rather tough. He wanted to see my resume. I think Mike wanted to see my resume in great detail and make sure I was qualified with good references. Once we cleared that hurdle, it was on (laughs). But I’m just looking forward to it. I’ve enjoyed, I think I’ve run a handful of races for him; I don’t know how many exactly, but I enjoy the group of guys. I enjoy being around Tony (Eury Jr); I’m not sure if he’s the crew chief or not. At one point he was, and I’m not sure if he is now. But however it shakes out I’m looking forward to having some fun and doing my best to put the Junior Motorsports car in victory lane. I’m excited to have my video game on the race car. It’s kind of a last-minute add and something we weren’t necessarily prepared for. We’ve got some art and graphics on the car. I wish that my character that’s in the video game could be on our race car, but we just didn’t have a high resolution image to blow up that big to put on the car. So it’ll be a couple of characters on the car and the car will look pretty sharp. I’m looking forward to a good run with it and to getting more seat time on the road courses. I do only have one Nationwide win and I’d love to get some more. So two attempts there, some seat time, and hopefully another trophy.”


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 (84).
• 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 five (Michigan, Chicago, Watkins Glen, Homestead, Kentucky) of the 23 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 348 Sprint Cup Series starts, Johnson has posted 142 top-five and 216 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 11,490 laps (of 100,157) in his Sprint Cup career, covering over 134,732 miles.
• He has finished on the lead lap 271 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 four times, in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011.

- GMR Live Marketing for Team Lowe’s Racing, Press Release

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