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TUNE IN: Sprint Unlimited: 8 p.m. FOX Sports 1 / MRN/ Sirius XM NASCAR Radio
Jimmie Johnson will make his 12th start in the Sprint Unlimited this Saturday, Feb. 15 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. The driver of the No. 48 Kobalt Tools Chevrolet SS won the exhibition event in 2005 and qualified for this year’s race by winning three pole positions during the 2013 season.
This year for the Sprint Unlimited, fans will vote upon the following specifics: race format, the starting order and the restart order for the final segment. Votes can be cast on NASCAR’s official mobile app – NASCAR Mobile – or at NASCAR.com/SprintUnlimited. All votes made through the NASCAR Mobile app will count twice.
Johnson could line up first in Saturday’s Sprint Unlimited if the starting order is determined by the 2013 championship standings. Johnson finished ranked first in those standings to win his sixth NASCAR Sprint Cup title. If fans choose to set the field by career pole positions, then Johnson would start the non-points event third.
Crew chief Chad Knaus has selected Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 48-756 for Saturday’s Sprint Unlimited. Johnson, who will drive the No. 48 Kobalt Tools Chevrolet SS in the exhibition event, most recently tested this car during Preseason Thunder in early January at Daytona International Speedway.
DAYTONA HALF: Johnson will follow up his run in the Sprint Unlimited by participating in the Daytona Beach Half Marathon the next day. This is the second straight year Johnson will compete in the 13.1-mile event, which starts around 6 a.m. local time on Sunday, Feb. 16 and precedes Daytona 500 qualifying. The half marathon course features a beach segment and concludes at Daytona’s start-finish line. Last year Johnson averaged a 6:51-minute mile and crossed the line fourth in his age group with a time of 1:29:49.
Johnson is encouraging fans to use #TeamJJF to connect with the Jimmie Johnson Foundation on Twitter (@TeamJJF), Instagram (@TeamJJF) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/JimmieJohnson). All fans are encouraged to use the hashtag #TeamJJF particularly when sharing their experiences in personal fitness.
JOHNSON ON THE RETURN OF TONY STEWART AFTER SERIOUS INJURY: “I’ve missed Tony on many levels. He has a certain presence that we all know and see and appreciate. It’s been great getting to know him as a racer and a team owner and understand his passion for racing. It was really weird with him not being around last year. It was a big void. I’m going to be glad to be racing against him again.”
JOHNSON ON RUNNING THE DAYTONA BEACH HALF MARATHON: “Last year I ran in the Daytona Beach Half Marathon and had an absolute blast. It’s done very well from an event standpoint, and it’s very well attended. I had a blast running down and across the bridge. I am going to be running it again this year representing TeamJJF and would love to have others join in and participate with me. More importantly, I encourage fans to come out and just have fun. It’s such a great event.”