Driver Jimmie Johnson announces that he and two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso will do a ride swap at the end of the month. They will meet at Bahrain International Circuit on November 26th, with Johnson taking laps in a McLaren F1 car and Alonso driving a Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet. This is the second time a NASCAR/Formula One ride swap has been done, previously Jeff Gordon and Juan Pablo Montoya ran laps at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2003 and in 2011 Tony Stewart and Lewis Hamilton swapped at Watkins Glen International.
CONCORD, N.C. – Jimmie Johnson has found a full-time ally in his mission to win a record-breaking eighth NASCAR Cup Series championship.
Ally Financial will join Hendrick Motorsports as the whole-season primary sponsor of Johnson’s iconic No. 48 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 team in 2019 and 2020. The partnership will feature the leading digital financial services company on the champion driver’s cars across the entire 38-race NASCAR schedule, beginning with 2019 DAYTONA Speedweeks and the 61st running of the DAYTONA 500. Continue reading “Ally Financial Signs With Hendrick and Johnson”
Hendrick Motorsports announces that it will change the crew chief lineup for two of the organization’s four teams in 2019. After seven titles and 17 years together, Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus will be splitting up. Kevin Meendering will take over for Knaus atop the 48 team’s pit box in 2018. Knaus will move over to the 24 team with driver William Byron and Byron’s current crew chief, Darian Grubb, will move into a leadership role at Hendrick.
The 2018 edition of NASCAR Silly Season is not disappointing with the number of far fetching rumors that have actually found out to be true. There are still a lot of open seats and plenty of drivers trying to get their plans in line for 2019 and beyond. Here’s a quick look at some of the openings out there and what is rumored to be happening. Continue reading “Silly Season Is Kicking Up A Gear”
CONCORD, N.C. – The seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champions No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports team with driver Jimmie Johnson will have a new primary sponsor beginning next season. Lowe’s Companies Inc., which has been the No. 48 team’s only primary sponsor since 2001, will not return to Hendrick Motorsports in 2019. Continue reading “Lowe’s To Leave Hendrick After 2018”
For Kevin Harvick, yesterday’s poor finish can be directly linked to the actions of Jimmie Johnson. That much was evident after Johnson tried to talk to him about the contact that led to a cut left rear tire. Harvick gave Johnson a shove (or punch depending on how you saw it) and many choice words. If you didn’t see the video, you will soon because NASCAR will be pushing this baby all over to promote their Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship battle.
Johnson took the jab in stride, let Harvick yap, and when it seemed nothing would be accomplished, walked away. Not all of this falls onto Johnson’s shoulders, sure it was his car that made the contact that put Harvick in that position, but there’s other factors involved.
If you watch the video, you can see Joey Logano push Johnson on the restart, leaving Johnson with nowhere to go but low below Harvick. The option there would have been to plow into Harvick and we could only guess where that would lead. A giant pile up? Harvick’s car getting trashed anyways? Or maybe nothing would have happened.
The option Johnson went with was going low next to Harvick, something Harvick was aware of. There was an opening next to Harvick, so the option was there for him to slide over without contact, but Harvick wanted to send the message he wasn’t giving an inch to Johnson.
“I saw those guys coming on the apron. They must have gotten together and had a good run up. But I just held my ground and he (Johnson) just slammed into the side of the door like I wasn’t even there. So, the spotter was telling me four-wide and I guess he just figured that he’d come up the race track,” said Harvick.
Johnson also had that mindset, as he came over whether Harvick was willing to move or not. “He (Harvick) didn’t leave me any space. He was pinning me down, and I had to get back up on the track. I wouldn’t say that what he did was any different than other situations I’ve been in like that. When you are in his position, you want to get the inside car in a bad angle so they have to lift. I was fine with lifting, but I had to get back on the race track, so I worked my way back up on the track,” commented Johnson after the race.
The contact took place, which is a common occurrence in the world of racing. What makes this unique, is Harvick and his crew ran the calculated risk that the damage inflicted would not lead to a cut tire. It is a coin flip situation, as you can try and run around hoping the tire and fender separate before the tire goes. That was not the case of Harvick, who shortly thereafter lost his left rear.
While it would have been costly to come down pit road, it paled in comparison to what transpired and the time lost repairing a fully wrecked vehicle. I understand it is the Chase, you are up front and want to do your best, but you have to error on the side of caution when something like that happens.
Right now Harvick doesn’t want to hear it or share the blame, but things could been done differently on both sides. The good thing for Harvick is he is fast enough each week, that winning at New Hampshire or Dover is a possibility, it just means he and his crew need to be flawless the next two races.
There is an old saying that what drivers hate, fans will love. Sunday afternoon’s qualifying for the starting two position of next week’s Daytona 500 proved that saying wrong. Both fans, drivers, and media alike classified the knockout qualifying rounds as “idiotic,” “dumb,” “the worst,” and “not even entertaining.” The only group that seemed to enjoy it was the FOX broadcast team who had to enjoy the ratings as fans watched in horror at what the Daytona 500 qualifying has become. Continue reading “Daytona Qualifying Disaster”