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MICHIGAN RECAP: Last weekend at Michigan International Speedway, Jimmie Johnson led 39 laps en route to his first career win at the Irish Hills track. The victory marked Johnson’s third win of the season and 69th career win overall.
SEASON-TO-DATE: After 15 NASCAR Sprint Cup races this season, Johnson owns the highest driver rating with a score of 110.0. With the win, Johnson now ranks second in the Chase grid, behind leader and teammate Jeff Gordon. He remains the leader for the most laps led this season with 1,007.
HENDRICK STREAKS: Johnson’s performance at Michigan marked Hendrick Motorsports’ fifth consecutive points-paying Sprint Cup win of 2014. Gordon kicked off the current streak with his Kansas Speedway victory on May 10, which was followed by Johnson winning on May 25 at Charlotte Motor Speedway and June 1 at Dover International Speedway. Dale Earnhardt Jr. kept the trend going with his first-place finish at Pocono Raceway on June 8. It is the third time Hendrick Motorsports teams have combined to win at least five consecutive points races, including the 2007 Sprint Cup season when the organization posted separate win streaks of five races and a NASCAR modern era (1972-present) record of six races. The all-time NASCAR record of 16 consecutive Cup-level points victories was recorded in 1956 by car owner Carl Kiekhaefer with a combination of four different drivers.
AT SONOMA: In 12 starts at Sonoma, Johnson has one win, four top-five finishes and seven top-10s. The driver of the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS has led 85 circuits around the 1.99-mile track.
DRIVER RATING AT SONOMA: Johnson has the fifth-highest driver rating at Sonoma with a score of 97.3 in the past nine races. The driver rating is a formula that combines wins, top-15 finishes, and 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.
FOUR TO GO: Michigan International Speedway was one of five tracks on the current NASCAR Sprint Cup Series circuit that Johnson hadn’t scored a victory in his 14-year Sprint Cup career. That changed last weekend with his win in the Irish Hills and the four remaining tracks are: Chicagoland Speedway, Kentucky Speedway, Watkins Glen International and Homestead-Miami Speedway.
UPCOMING HOMETOWN HONOR: Johnson will return to his hometown of El Cajon, California, on June 17, where the city council of El Cajon will recognize his racing accomplishments and philanthropic contributions. Mayor Bill Wells, the city council, Senator Joel Anderson and other local dignitaries will be honoring Johnson during a special ceremony that begins at 11:00 a.m. local time at El Cajon’s Centennial Plaza. Portions of the event will be broadcast live on 101.5 KGB. For more details, visithttp://www.ci.el-cajon.ca.us/.
JIMMIE JOHNSON FOUNDATION GOLF TOURNAMENT: Before heading to Sonoma, Johnson will participate in his eighth annual Jimmie Johnson Foundation Golf Tournament at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, California. The private tournament benefits the Champions Grants program, a partnership between the Jimmie Johnson Foundation and Lowe’s Toolbox for Education. The grants range from $25,000-$100,000 and are distributed to K-12 public educational programs in the California and Oklahoma hometowns of Johnson and his wife Chandra, as well as programs located in their current residency of North Carolina.
CHASSIS CHOICE: Crew chief Chad Knaus has selected Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 48-875, which is a brand new car. The backup car is Chassis No. 48-801, which Johnson most recently raced in last season at Watkins Glen International.
#TEAMJJF WELLNESS CHALLENGE: The next event in the Jimmie Johnson Foundation Wellness Challenge is the Cane Creek Sprint Triathlon on August 19. For more information or to sign up, visithttp://jjfwellnesschallenge.racesonline.com/. Johnson and his wife Chandra launched the Jimmie Johnson Foundation in February 2006, with the mission of assisting children, families and communities in need throughout the United States. Since its inception, the foundation has committed more than $6.7 million to various charities. For additional information on the Jimmie Johnson Foundation, visitwww.JimmieJohnsonFoundation.org.
HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS AT SONOMA: In 86 starts at Sonoma, Hendrick Motorsports leads the competition with six victories, nine pole positions, 28 top-five finishes, 42 top-10s and 589 laps led. Gordon owns five of the organization’s wins there, while Johnson most recently took the checkered flag at the 1.99-mile track in June 2010.
30TH ANNIVERSARY: In 2014, Hendrick Motorsports is celebrating its 30th anniversary in NASCAR. The organization began in 1984 with five employees and 5,000 square feet of work space. It has grown to more than 500 employees with a 430,000-square-foot facility that sits on 140 acres. Driver Geoff Bodine won the Martinsville Speedway spring race on April 29, 1984, marking Hendrick Motorsports’ first victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
JIMMIE JOHNSON, DRIVER, NO. 48 LOWE’S CHEVROLET SS (ON FINALLY WINNING IN MICHIGAN.): “The stats always amaze me. I can’t believe we are at 69 wins. The great thing is between Mr. Hendrick, Chad and our sponsor Lowe’s, we have all been together through it all. So its 69 wins for all the Lowe’s employees, too. I cherish every win as much as the other. It’s awesome to win at a track we never have won at. Our engine shop is very strong and the performance across the board- even with our leased engine program – has been spot on.”
JOHNSON (ON HIS WEEK LEADING TO SONOMA.): “We have a busy week leading up to the race at Sonoma this weekend. It’s always nice to be able to head home to El Cajon (San Diego area). It’s going to be a lot of laughs with family and close friends – and great to see everyone who comes out to the golf tournament and helps Chani and I raise money for kids’ education. This is a special week for me and heading home with a win is even more special.”