|Jimme and Dave talk racing...|
While the driver of the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet has had precious little rest in the four days since hoisting the Harley J. Earl Trophy, Johnson insists it was well worth the chaos that ensued.
Highlights of the week include visits to the Late Show with David Letterman and Good Morning America, cupcake making in Los Angeles, stops in Las Vegas, Dallas and New York, a contract extension with Johnson’s longstanding sponsor, Lowe’s and a late-night video that went viral with the 48 crew dancing on the front stretch of Daytona International Speedway in a spirited rendition of the Harlem Shake.
Following his second career Daytona 500 win Sunday, Johnson went on a whirlwind tour organized by NASCAR that included stops in eight cities over four days.
· Monday – Daytona 500 Champion’s Breakfast at the Daytona International Speedway Tours and Tickets office; flew to Charlotte for “car wash” at SPEED; flew to ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Conn., for another “car wash,” which included co-hosting a half hour of the evening SportsCenter broadcast. Radio interviews with The Jim Rome Show and The Dan Patrick Show. Ended the evening by flying to New York City in preparation for Tuesday’s media.
· Tuesday – Started the day with an appearance on Good Morning America, followed by appearances on Morning Express with Robin Meade, CNN, Fox Business and the Late Show with David Letterman. Also visited the SiriusXM studios, where he joined several shows including a guest-hosting spot on The Morning Drive and The Spectrum. The appearance included Johnson picking some of his favorite songs from artists such as Jack Johnson, Neil Young, Avett Brothers and Mumford and Sons. The guest DJ session is scheduled to air Friday at 10 p.m. EST and will be rebroadcast at noon Saturday and 6 p.m. Sunday. Johnson also chatted with the Huffington Post, TMZ and Fox Sports’ Jay Mohr Sports, participated in a NASCAR media teleconference and an online chat through Reddit called Ask Me Anything. His Tuesday ended with a late flight to Dallas.
· Wednesday – Johnson attended a fan event for Texas Motor Speedway, which included media interviews in the local market. He then flew to Los Angeles for an event for Auto Club Speedway, before ending the evening in Las Vegas with more than 5,000 Lowe’s store managers at the Lowe’s National Sales Meeting.
|...and briefs the media in Las Vegas|
· Thursday – He left Las Vegas and flew back to Los Angeles to conduct more media interviews, including chats with Fox Sports’ Erin Andrews and Good Day L.A. He is scheduled for a Thursday-evening event in Phoenix hosted by the track and is then scheduled to drop the puck at the Phoenix Coyotes hockey game, where he was to appear in the game broadcast. He will then head to PIR, where he is expected to promptly collapse and get some sleep in preparation for a weekend of Nationwide and Sprint Cup racing.
“(It was) definitely a great start for the team,” said Johnson of his Daytona win. “When we were discussing things before the season started, we felt good about the 500, but we’re really excited for everything after the 500. So we’re very hopeful and excited that our No. 48 car will be really fast in Phoenix and Vegas, moving forward. I think it’s going to be a very strong year for us.”
Now, a little rest is in order, as Johnson resumes his day job tomorrow morning at Phoenix International Raceway. His victory in the “Great American Race” has him atop the Sprint Cup Series point standings, and while it’s a precarious lead, he hopes to keep it as he visits the mile oval in the Arizona desert.
Johnson’s record has been strong at Phoenix. He has 12 Top-5 finishes and 15 Top-10s in 19 starts. In typical Team 48 fashion, however, he is determined to improve on those statistics. In fact, the five-time series champion is slated for double duty, driving the No. 5 Great Clips Chevrolet fielded by JR Motorsports in Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race.
Photos: CBS/Jeffrey R. Staab