FOUR-TIME NASCAR SPRINT CUP CHAMPION COMES "HOME" LOOKING FOR MORE HARDWARE Other Auto Club Speedway storylines: * PREMIERE: Auto Club Speedway hosts NASCAR's 2010 West Coast Premiere Feb. 19-21, 2010 * DANICAMANIA? Auto Club Speedway's...
FOUR-TIME NASCAR SPRINT CUP CHAMPION COMES "HOME" LOOKING FOR MORE HARDWARE
Other Auto Club Speedway storylines:
* PREMIERE: Auto Club Speedway hosts NASCAR's 2010 West Coast Premiere Feb. 19-21, 2010
* DANICAMANIA? Auto Club Speedway's NNS event to see Danica Patrick are only $30
* WHO'S BETTER?: Kenseth has won three of the last 4 Feb races; Johnson has won the last 3 Oct. races and the last four championships; Gordon has two 2nd's and a 3rd in the last 3 Feb. races ... Who's got the advantage this weekend?
San Bernardino County, Calif. (February 15, 2010) -- California native Jimmie Johnson will return to his "home track" -- Auto Club Speedway -- with a fourth NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship in hand and a chance to add more ACS hardware to his trophy case as he competes in the West Coast Premiere of NASCAR on Feb. 21 -- the Auto Club 500.
On Sunday, Johnson's day at the Daytona 500 ended early. He finished 35th after his rear axle broke on his car 23 laps from the end. His luck is expected to improve when he returns to California due to his dominance on the track at Auto Club Speedway.
Johnson rewrote the record books in 2009 at Auto Club Speedway as well as the NASCAR tablet by steering his No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet to a third straight NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pepsi 500, making him Auto Club Speedway's winningest Cup driver with four victories in total and then capping another unprecedented season with a record-breaking fourth straight NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship.
After capping off his fourth consecutive championship season, Jimmie Johnson put his Hendrick Motorsports' No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet team in an echelon that includes few others. The New York Yankees (1936-1939 and 1949-1953), Boston Celtics (1959-1966), Montreal Canadiens (1956-1960 and 1976-1979) and New York Islanders (1980-1983) are the only teams in the history of the MLB, NBA, NFL and NHL to win four straight titles. Other four-peat teams are the UCLA Bruins Men's Basketball team (1967-1973), the WNBA's Houston Comets (1997-2000), the CFL's Edmonton Eskimos (1978-1982) and the Cleveland Browns (1946-1949) with the old AAFC.
A handful of athletes in individual sports can also claim four-in-a-row honors. Tiger Woods (1998-2003) and Pete Sampras (1993-1998) each hold the record in their respective sport for most consecutive years ranked No. 1. Carl Lewis is the only Olympian to earn four straight gold medals in the same event, taking the honors in Long Jump in 1984, 1988, 1992 and 1996. While not a year-long championship, Lance Armstrong's seven straight Tour de France victories certainly qualify for dynasty distinction.
"To love the sport like I do and respect it like I do, and the history, the pioneers of this sport from Bill France, Sr., to the Petty family, you go through many eras up to Mr. Hendrick and what he's done over the last 25, to look at all of that and to have done something that's never been done in the sport before is so, so amazing and something I am so proud of," Johnson said of his "four-peat." "I've always set my marks high and really wanted to try to set high marks and all those kinds of things, but I had no clue this stuff would happen. Just so honored, so happy, so fortunate."
Now he focuses on 2010. Is another title on his horizon?
"I don't know what to really think about a fifth. We're certainly going to show up and try and go about business as usual. That's just kind of what we do," he added. "But if we can keep it rolling, I mean I can't believe we've made history, and if we were able to do it a fifth year, even if it doesn't come, we've got to be very thankful for what we've accomplished, for what we've been able to experience. We've got a lot of racing left in us."
Will he add to his trophy case? Make sure you are here if he does by calling 1-800-944-RACE (7223) or visiting www.autoclubspeedway.com.
Be a part of history when Danica Patrick makes her West Coast NASCAR debut in the Stater Bros. 300 NNS event on Saturday, Feb. 20 for as low as $30. Then come back for the West Coast Premiere of NASCAR -- the Auto Club 500 NSCS event on Sunday, Feb. 21, for as low as $35, to witness four-time consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Jimmie Johnson attempt his record breaking fifth win at Auto Club Speedway.
With free admission for children 12 and under in effect for events on Friday and Saturday of race weekend, families experiencing Auto Club Speedway can also take advantage of free parking, bring in their own food, or partake in the unbelievable menu items on site as well as other cost-savings opportunities while enjoying a full weekend of entertainment and fun at the Speedway's Opportunity, California FanZone.
For more information or to purchase tickets to the West Coast Premiere of NASCAR at Auto Club Speedway call 1-800-944-RACE (7223) or visit www.autoclubspeedway.com and be part of NASCAR history in Southern California.