Thursday, January 31, 2013

Jimmie Johnson To Make NNS Start For JR Motorsports

Double duty at PIR!
Five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson will compete in the March 2 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Phoenix International Raceway for JR Motorsports.

JRM general manager Kelley Earnhardt Miller made the announcement today, confirming that Johnson will drive the No. 5 Great Clips Chevrolet in the Dollar General 200 Fueled By Amerigas. This will mark Johnson’s first Nationwide Series race since finishing second in a JR Motorsports car at Watkins Glen International on Aug. 13, 2011. Johnson is a four-time winner at Phoenix in the Sprint Cup Series.
“I appreciate Junior letting me run one of his cars,” said Johnson of his Hendrick Motorsports teammate and JR Motorsports owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. “My goal is to make my team owner so proud that, perhaps, he’ll invite me back more often than once every two years.
“In all seriousness, this is a great opportunity for me to get more familiar with the new configuration at PIR. Not only do we race there twice in Cup, but both races are in crucial spots on the schedule for Team Lowe’s Racing. I appreciate JR Motorsports and Great Clips giving me this opportunity, and I hope to not disappoint my team owner.”
Johnson has competed in 92 Nationwide Series races, 64 of which came during his full-time campaigns in 2000 and 2001. He has one victory (Chicagoland Speedway on July 14, 2001), 24 Top-10s and two pole awards.
Great Clips announced earlier this month that it continue its partnership with JR Motorsports with a 28-race sponsorship agreement. The Phoenix event on March 2 was part of the original 28-race package, with Brad Sweet slated to be at the wheel. With Johnson now filling the seat at Phoenix, Sweet has been added to the June 15 event at Michigan International Speedway, bringing the Great Clips package to 29 races.
Kasey Kahne and Sweet will share most of the workload in the No. 5 Chevrolet. Dale Earnhardt Jr. will drive a Great Clips-sponsored No. 88 Chevrolet at Talladega Superspeedway in the Aaron’s 312 on May 4.

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