NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion's Week -- Day 1 * Five-Time Champion Jimmie Johnson Goes On Las Vegas Media Tour * Annual "Landmark Photo Shoot" Hits Vegas Hot Spots DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Nov. 30, 2010) -- Winning is never, ever ...
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion's Week -- Day 1
* Five-Time Champion Jimmie Johnson Goes On Las Vegas Media Tour
* Annual "Landmark Photo Shoot" Hits Vegas Hot Spots
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Nov. 30, 2010) -- Winning is never, ever mundane. Apparently, neither is a day-long media tour -- not when it involves a five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion who doubles as a new father.
Jimmie Johnson, winner of five consecutive championships and guest of honor during this week's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion's Week in Las Vegas, hit a number of local media outlets today.
And all the while, he carried around a prop -- his infant daughter Genevieve's car seat. He needed it for the eventual arrival of his five-month old baby and wife, Chandra.
The daughter; the car seat; the new responsibilities. They're just a few of the many new wrinkles to a week that has become ritual for Johnson.
"I am trying to be much more responsible since I have the baby," Johnson said. "It means a lot to me to have her here and it's a great experience to share it with my family. I mean, she will never remember it but we will have photos."
Chad Knaus, Johnson's crew chief for all five titles, joined Johnson on today's media tour. He said that this championship has a different feel than past ones.
"This year, we didn't have the product that we had in previous years in terms of race cars, so we had to find other ways to win," Knaus said.
Even Knaus' preparation for Friday night's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards Ceremony is different.
"I haven't even written my speech yet," Knaus said. "In the past I've had about a week or so to start thinking about it. This time it was like Lap 267 in Miami."
But one factor remains the same: Johnson's demeanor. Through the newborn, the uncertainty and, finally, the glory, Johnson has stayed cool.
"Jimmie is extremely consistent, his emotions, style, personality ... He's a stereotypical California kid," Knaus said. "He's just a mellow kind of guy ... I think the baby just adds another level of enjoyment in his life. So for him it has really just been more of the same."
The busy Day 1 schedule included three radio hits, six television spots and an hour-long chat with print media.
After Johnson completed the interviews, he hit a number of notable Las Vegas photo op hot spots for the traditional Landmark Photo Shoot. On this year's agenda: the "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign, the Fountains of Bellagio and an evening shoot at the Foundation Room in the House of Blues at Mandalay Bay, which overlooks the picturesque Las Vegas Strip.
After a 28-year run in New York, the annual postseason celebration returned to Las Vegas for a second-consecutive year, capped by Friday night's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards Ceremony at Wynn Las Vegas.
SPEED, Sirius NASCAR Radio and MRN Radio will broadcast the event, live at 9 p.m. ET.
Following is a complete rundown of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion's Week activities.
Wednesday, Dec. 1
* NASCAR Street Tour: Two tricked-out NASCAR interactive Ford vehicles are scheduled to appear all week throughout Las Vegas with dynamic street teams, interactive video games and free giveaways.
* NASCAR Pit Stop Tour:The Pit Stop Tour program will run from Dec. 1-3, consisting of Official Partner show cars placed in iconic locations throughout the Las Vegas Strip. Brand ambassadors at each location will be on site from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. for all three days, engaging the fans.
* Chasers for Charity Event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway: Gates open at 10 a.m. The Richard Petty Driving Experience will offer rides with a percentage of the proceeds being donated to charity. The speedway will offer tours of the facility. There will be interactive displays throughout the track's "Neon Garage" and live music on the main stage from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. In addition, all 12 Chase drivers will participate in a Family Feud-style game show hosted by comedian Kevin Burke between 2-3:30 p.m. Admission to the Fanfest is free, and mass transportation will be available from the strip and downtown.
Thursday, Dec. 2
* NASCAR NMPA Myers Brothers Awards Luncheon: This annual industry/media event begins at 11 a.m., in the Bellagio Ballroom at the Bellagio and includes presentations to the Champion Crew Chief, Champion Sponsor, Raybestos Rookie of the Year and Most Popular Driver. Fans have the opportunity to attend for the first time. It is co-hosted by NASCAR and the National Motor Sports Press Association.
* Victory Lap: Set for 3:30 p.m., the top-12 drivers will motor down the famed Las Vegas Strip in their respective race cars. Expect an authentic pit stop along the route and two burn-out sections for drivers. Victory Lap begins in front of Planet Hollywood Hotel & Casino and ends at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.
Prior to Victory Lap at 3 p.m., Johnson will receive the Key to the City of Las Vegas from Mayor Oscar Goodman and Commissioner Tom Collins. Commissioner Collins also will present a Proclamation recognizing Thursday Dec. 2, 2010 as Jimmie Johnson Day.
* "NASCAR After The Lap, Made Possible By Coca-Cola and Ford": This free fan event starts at 4:30 p.m. at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino and features a question-and-answer session with drivers and an interactive Coca-Cola Fan Zone experience. Select fans will win NASCAR-themed prizes, including a 2011 Ford Taurus SHO. The Coca-Cola Fan Zone opens at noon, with doors to NASCAR After The Lap opening at 3 p.m. General admission seats are free, on a first-come, first-serve basis. Register for tickets at nascarafterthelap.com.
Friday, Dec. 3
2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards Ceremony: The big show starts at 6 p.m. (9 p.m. ET), crowning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion driver and owner and honoring the other drivers who finished in the top 10 in the final series standings. The star-studded entertainment lineup for the ceremony includes country rockers Rascal Flatts, comedic host Frank Caliendo, country singer Martina McBride, singer Colbie Caillat and a performance from the Las Vegas show "Viva ELVIS by Cirque du Soleil." A Sam Bass custom designed Gibson Les Paul guitar being played by Rascal Flatts and signed by NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers and the band will be auctioned to support The NASCAR Foundation beginning Friday, Dec. 3 at www.NASCARFoundation.com.