|Jimmie Johnson and/Hendrick Motorsports hasn't won since March (Fontana).|
“I am proud to highlight the great work of these charities on my Blue Bunny Helmet of Hope this weekend. Because of the generosity of our amazing partners, Chandra (wife) and I have been able to support some incredible schools and non-profits in the 10 years since we launched the Foundation. We’d like to thank Lowe’s for allowing us to run the Foundation paint scheme for the eleventh time and Blue Bunny for sponsoring the Helmet of Hope program again this year. We are so grateful.”
Johnson on racing at Watkins Glen
“Watkins Glen is a more flowy track than Sonoma for us. I think it probably compliments our cars a bit better, but it’s much more difficult on the brakes. The brake systems have to deal with a lot more. It really sort of becomes the weakest link. At Sonoma you can’t hurt the brakes, you can go 100 percent every lap, every corner. But I believe brakes will kind of be the topic of discussion while we are there. We are hoping for a good race for the Lowe’s Chevy.”
HELMET OF HOPE: Jimmie Johnson will wear the Blue Bunny Helmet of Hope, which features five charities working to improve K-12 public education, during the race this weekend at Watkins Glen International. The five charities selected this year include: ArtWell in Philadelphia; Carlos Gilbert Elementary Parents! Teachers! Kids! in Santa Fe, New Mexico; Change for Kids in New York City; Inside the Outdoors Foundation in Costa Mesa, California, and Mercy Child Advocacy Center in Sioux City, Iowa.
JIMMIE JOHNSON FOUNDATION PAINT OUT: In addition to the Helmet of Hope, Johnson’s No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet will feature the special star logos of theJimmie Johnson Foundation 10th Anniversary paint scheme. Johnson has been quite successful running the paint scheme with three wins, two top-five finishes and three top-10s. This year the paint scheme celebrates the 10th anniversary of the Jimmie Johnson Foundation and features the foundation's programs and activities, including the Blue Bunny Helmet of Hope, the Champions Grant program, the Jimmie Johnson Foundation Wellness Challenge and Team Up For Technology. To date, the Jimmie Johnson Foundation has contributed more than $8.8 million to schools and non-profits across the country.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CHAD: Six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion crew chief Chad Knaus will celebrate a birthday on Aug. 5. Knaus, who got his racing start in hometown Rockford, Illinois, and has served as Johnson’s crew chief since 2002, will turn 45.
FIFTH-HIGHEST DRIVER RATING: According to NASCAR's loop data statistics, Johnson has the fifth-best driver rating at Watkins Glen with a score of 98.4 during the past 10 years at the track. The driver rating is a formula that combines wins, top-15 finishes, average running position while on the lead lap, average speed under green, fastest lap, most laps led and lead-lap finishes. The maximum a driver can earn in each race is 150 points. The driver rating number is used pre-race as a prediction tool and post-race as a performance evaluator.
HOMETOWN CONNECTION: Longtime engine tuner John Boydston hails from Oswego, New York, which is about 95 miles north of Watkins Glen.
WINLESS AT WATKINS GLEN: Of the 77 career wins Johnson has accumulated over his 16-year career, Johnson has yet to see Victory Lane at Watkins Glen. The other "winless" tracks Johnson has his sights set on include Chicago, Kentucky and Homestead-Miami.
UPCOMING JIMMIE JOHNSON FOUNDATION WELLNESS CHALLENGE EVENT: Registration is open for the Lake Davidson Sprint Triathlon taking place on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016 at 8 a.m. on the Ingersoll Rand Campus in Davidson, North Carolina. Log on to www.jjfwellnesschallenge.org for more details.