September 19th, 2001, 14:08
Congrats to Jimmie Johnson for making it to the WC show! Sure wish this guy was still racing a TT. He was a damn fine driver from what I saw. This is a short article about the deal JJ signed yesterday.
Johnson signs on to drive Lowe's car for Hendrick and
By DAVID POOLE
The Charlotte Observer
Jimmie Johnson went to the right guy for advice last year when he asked Jeff Gordon's opinion
about an opportunity Johnson was considering.
That conversation set into motion a chain of events that on Tuesday culminated with the
announcement that Lowe's Home Improvement Warehouses will be the primary sponsor for
Johnson in the No. 48 Chevrolets in Winston Cup in 2002.
Johnson, who turned 26 on Monday, will attempt to qualify for three races this year - at Lowe's
Motor Speedway on Oct. 7 and at Homestead-Miami and Atlanta in two of the season's final three
weekends. He will then compete full-time in Winston Cup next year, running for rookie of the year
in cars co-owned by Gordon and Rick Hendrick.
Johnson was among 14 drivers participating in testing at the Charlotte track on Tuesday evening.
The test continues Wednesday with Cup and Grand National teams alternating on the track from 9
a.m. to 4 p.m.
"I just think it's important for me to get in there and get a good understanding of these cars and the
equipment and to earn the respect of everybody in the series," said Johnson, who is driving for
Herzog Motorsports in the Grand National series this season. "That's my primary goal."
After Johnson sought Gordon's advice, Gordon and Hendrick began discussing the possibility of
adding a fourth team to the Hendrick stable. The Gordon and Johnson teams will be housed in a
new shop being built at the Hendrick compound in Harrisburg and will be run, Hendrick said, as
one team fielding two vehicles.
The two other teams at Hendrick Motorsports, for drivers Jerry Nadeau and Terry Labonte, have
struggled this year while Gordon has moved back to the top of the Winston Cup standings.
"You can't always keep all of the gophers in the hole together," Hendrick said. "Last year at the
end of the year it looked like Jerry was going to be able to win every race. Terry, we've struggled
and we're working as hard as we can to get that fixed. Terry and Jerry know that, the people on
their teams know that and the sponsors know that. The fans are going to think what they want to
think no matter how hard I try to explain.
"Jimmie was going to go somewhere if we didn't do this. Jeff liked him and the chance was there.
You have to just go ahead and do what you think you ought to do."
PS <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.thatsracin.com/>http://www.thatsracin.com/</A> has good NASCAR coverage.<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1>Edited by BajaWaldo on 09/19/01 02:10 PM (server time).</FONT></P>
September 19th, 2001 14:08
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