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NEW HAMPSHIRE RECAP: For the second consecutive weekend, Jimmie Johnson’s run was cut short, as he experienced two tire issues and found himself out of the race by Lap 11 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 13. The No. 48 team worked to repair Johnson’s Chevrolet SS, but the damage was extensive and the team recorded their second DNF of the season. Johnson slipped to fifth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup points as a result of the 42nd-place finish.
SEASON-TO-DATE: After 19 NASCAR Sprint Cup races this season, Johnson owns the fifth-highest driver rating with a score of 101.8. The driver of the No. 48 Lowe’s/Kobalt Tools Chevrolet SS also has led the most laps with 1,008.
JOHNSON AT INDY:In 12 starts at the Brickyard, Johnson has recorded four wins, five top-five finishes and six top-10s, sharing the title of most all-time Indianapolis victories with teammate Jeff Gordon. Johnson’s 302 laps led also rank him second on the all-time list, trailing only Gordon.
BLUE BUNNY HELMET OF HOPE: Johnson will wear a special helmet this weekend at Indianapolis commemorating the Jimmie Johnson Foundation’s Blue Bunny Helmet of Hope program. The helmet paint scheme features the five winners of the 2014 Blue Bunny Helmet of Hope, which is a program that awards grants to not-for-profit organizations that support K-12 public education. Approximately 438,658 votes were cast for the 10 semi-finalists and five organizations were ultimately voted as the winners: Crayons to Classrooms in Dayton, Ohio; Champions for Learning in Naples, Florida; HEART Tutoring in Charlotte, North Carolina; Le Mars Community Schools Foundation in Le Mars, Iowa; and Reading Partners in Denver.
DRIVER RATING AT INDIANAPOLIS: Johnson has the highest driver rating at Indianapolis with a score of 109.8 in the last nine races. 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.
CHASSIS CHOICE: Crew chief Chad Knaus has selected Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 48-891 for this weekend’s 400-mile event at Indianapolis. This is a brand new chassis that has never been raced before. The back-up car is Chassis No. 48-728, which Johnson last raced at Bristol Motor Speedway in March.
#TEAMJJF WELLNESS CHALLENGE: The third event in the Jimmie Johnson Foundation Wellness Challenge series will take place on Tuesday, August 19 in North Carolina. For more information or to sign up for the Cane Creek Sprint Triathlon, visit http://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, visit www.JimmieJohnsonFoundation.org.
HENDRICK AT INDY: Most recently, Johnson went to Victory Lane at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in July 2012, recording his fourth career win at the famed 2.5-mile speedway and the eighth for Hendrick Motorsports. Johnson and Gordon rank tied for first among NASCAR competition with four career victories there. The Hendrick Motorsports duo has combined to win eight of the 20 Cup events that have been held at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. In addition to those eight victories, Hendrick Motorsports has 23 top-five finishes and 35 top-10s in 20 races (73 starts) there.
ALL-TIME:Johnson and Gordon, with four Brickyard wins apiece, rank tied for second among all motor sports leagues with four-time Indy 500 victors A.J. Foyt, Rick Mears and Al Unser Sr. The five drivers trail Formula 1’s Michael Schumacher, a five-time winner at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, on the all-time major motor sports list at the historic track.
CHEVY STREAK:Chevrolet has won 15 of the 20 Sprint Cup events held at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, including the last 11 straight. In addition, a Chevy has started from the Brickyard 400 pole position nine times.
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 OF THE NO. 48 LOWE’S/KOBALT TOOLS CHEVROLET SS (ON INDIANAPOLIS). “Everyone risks it all for Indianapolis. I’m excited because for a long stretch now we have been able to go there and get it right and be competitive with this Lowe’s team. So now I unload there and I understand how to drive the track and I’m able to get us in that window to be competitive. It’s a huge honor to be out there kissing the bricks at the end – something I would love to do again.”