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KENTUCKY RECAP: Jimmie Johnson overcame a 25th-place starting position and a tough pit road situation to collect his 12th top-10 effort of the season. He recorded a series-high 34 quality passes during the 400-mile event and remains second in the NASCAR Sprint Cup point standings behind leader and teammate Jeff Gordon.
TOP 10 HISTORY: Hendrick Motorsports had another strong outing Saturday night at Kentucky Speedway with Dale Earnhardt Jr. finishing fifth, Gordon sixth, Kasey Kahne eighth and Johnson 10th. On the heels of similar results at Michigan International Speedway (June 15) and Sonoma Raceway (June 22), Kentucky marked the first time in NASCAR history that one organization has placed four drivers inside the top 10 in three consecutive Sprint Cup Series events. The four Hendrick Motorsports teams recorded a combined average finish of 5.5 during the three-race stretch, which included a two-mile D-shaped speedway, a 1.99-mile road course and a 1.5-mile tri-oval. In addition to Michigan, Sonoma and Kentucky, all four Hendrick Motorsports drivers finished in the top 10 earlier this season at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (March 9) and Kansas Speedway (May 10).
SEASON-TO-DATE: After 17 NASCAR Sprint Cup races this season, Johnson owns the highest driver rating with a score of 108.8. The driver of the No. 48 Lowe’s Patriotic Chevrolet SS has led the most laps with 1,008, which accounts for 19.8 percent of all laps run this season.
AT DAYTONA: In 25 starts at Daytona, Johnson has three wins, nine top-five finishes, 12 top-10s and two poles. In 2013, he swept both races at the restrictor plate track, which makes him the reigning champion of the summer’s 400-mile event. He most recently finished fifth in the season-opening Daytona 500 race.
ESPY NOMINEE: Last week, Johnson was nominated for the 2014 ESPYS in the categories of Best Driver and Best Championship Performance. Including this year, Johnson has been nominated for 13 ESPY awards, previously receiving nominations in the following categories: Best Driver (six), Best Athlete (three), Best Championship Performance (one) and Breakthrough Athlete (one). If Johnson wins Best Driver this year, it will mark his fifth ESPY award in the category. The ESPYS will take place live on Wednesday, July 16, at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles. Fans can help select the winners by voting atESPN.com/ESPYS.
PATRIOTIC SCHEME: For the third time this season, Johnson will run a patriotic-themed Chevrolet SS. Each year since 2001, Lowe’s has designed a patriotic-themed car for Johnson to drive in an event. The No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS scheme for this weekend is a throwback to the 2010 Memorial Day car, which was heralded as a fan-favorite through a recent social media poll.
DAYTONA TICKET PACKAGE: Johnson, six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion, has partnered up with Daytona International Speedway to provide fans with “The 48 Family Experience;” the ultimate race fan package for the upcoming NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Saturday, July 5. To secure tickets, call 1-800-PITSHOP or visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com.
DRIVER RATING AT DAYTONA:Johnson has the fifth-highest driver rating at Daytona with a score of 89.0 in the last 19 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.
CHASSIS CHOICE: Crew chief Chad Knaus has selected Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 48-871 for this weekend’s race, which Johnson most recently raced at Talladega in May. The backup car is Chassis No. 48-853, which Johnson cruised to a fifth-place finish in the Daytona 500 in February.
#TEAMJJF WELLNESS CHALLENGE: The next event in the Jimmie Johnson Foundation Wellness Challenge is the Lake Norman Excursion on July 12. 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 DAYTONA: In 61 points-paying events (198 starts) at Daytona, Hendrick Motorsports has achieved 13 wins, 50 top-five results, 87 top-10s and has led 1,593 laps. The organization also has eight Daytona 500 crowns, with Dale Earnhardt Jr. most recently collecting a win in The Great American race earlier this season.
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 PATRIOTIC CHEVROLET (ON DAYTONA.):“We had a tough weekend in Kentucky; we have some things to work on and we know it. I commend everyone for keeping their composure through a frustrating night. I’m looking forward to Daytona this weekend. We are taking the car we had at Talladega, and it was pretty fast. We had a good outing last time at Daytona and hope for a good night with the Lowe’s Patriotic Chevrolet SS.”