Thursday, February 16, 2017

Jimmie Johnson goes for second Clash win

Jimmie Johnson is 7/1 to win Clash.
No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS / Jimmie Johnson

Driver: Jimmie Johnson
Hometown: El Cajon, California
Age: 41
Resides: Charlotte, North Carolina

SEVEN-TIME IS A TWO-TIME AT DAYTONA: Daytona marks the first opportunity for Jimmie Johnson to pilot his No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS since winning the 2016 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway to secure his record-tying seventh NASCAR Cup Series title. The seven-time champion has won the Daytona 500 on two occasions — Feb. 6, 2006, and Feb. 24, 2013. Since winning “The Great American Race” in 2013, Johnson finished fifth in the event in 2014 and 2015 and 16th in 2016.

LONE CLASH WIN: Johnson has one win in The Clash. The lone victory in the non-points event came at the start of the 2005 season when the race format was reserved for pole position winners who qualified from the previous season.

POLE WINS FOR JOHNSON: As a rookie, Johnson came on the scene in the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet with a vengeance, taking the pole position in his first attempt at “The Great American Race” with a qualifying lap of 185.831 mph. His second Daytona 500 pole came in 2008. Johnson also has earned three second-place starts for the race, which came in 2005, 2010 and 2015.

DUEL PERFORMANCE: Johnson has compiled two wins in the Duel 150-mile qualifier races, which will take place on Thursday, Feb. 23. He went to Victory Lane in 2010 after edging competitor Kevin Harvick by a mere 0.006 seconds. Johnson also won a 2015 Duel, which went into overtime and ended under a green-white-checkered flag finish.

RECENT DAYTONA FINISHES: Johnson and crew chief Chad Knaus have recently racked up some spectacular statistics and laps led for the No. 48 team at the 2.5-mile superspeedway. Johnson swept the season with victories in both the Daytona 500 and in the July 400-mile event in 2013. In the 2014 Daytona 500, Johnson finished fifth after leading 15 laps. In 2015, he finished fifth in the Daytona 500, leading 39 laps, and finished second in July of that year to teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. after leading 35 laps. Last year’s Daytona 500 saw Johnson lead the field for 18 laps before finishing 16th.

SIXTEEN YEARS AND HOLDING: Johnson, Knaus, car chief Ron Malec and sponsor Lowe’s will celebrate their 16th full season together in 2017. Lowe’s joined forces with Hendrick Motorsports and the No. 48 team in 2001 and has been Johnson’s full-season primary sponsor since his 2002 rookie year, including for all seven Cup Series championships.

MOUNTAIN MAN: Johnson spent the majority of the NASCAR offseason in Aspen, Colorado, where he owns a home. In addition to growing a robust beard, Johnson skied, skinned and even participated in the Ajax Cup, a fundraising ski race that provides support to the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club. Johnson and daughter Evie also took in the Winter X Games, held in Aspen, and made a cameo on ESPN’s coverage of the games.

OFFSEASON ACCOLADES: Stemming from his record-tying seventh championship, Johnson has received recognition from many organizations. Among the highlights, Johnson was named San Diego Hall of Champions Professional Star of the Year along with NHRA drag racer and fellow San Diego native Ron Capps. Johnson also won Driver of the Year honors from the National Motorsports Press Association for the seventh time in his career.

TEAM CHEVY STAGE: Johnson will appear at the Team Chevy Stage on Sunday, Feb. 26, at 11:15 a.m. local time for a question-and-answer session.

- Hendrick Motorsports

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