Sonoma Infineon Raceway news 2009-04-16

Jimmie & Chandra Johnson Select Wine for Champion's Goblet at Infineon Raceway; Jimmie Johnson Also Meets With Fans Who Purchased "48 Special" Ticket Package SONOMA, Calif. (April 16, 2009) -- Three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion...

Jimmie & Chandra Johnson Select Wine for Champion's Goblet at Infineon Raceway; Jimmie Johnson Also Meets With Fans Who Purchased "48 Special" Ticket Package

SONOMA, Calif. (April 16, 2009) -- Three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson selected the wine to be used in the Champion's Goblet for the 2009 race season and also spent quality time with more than 400 of his biggest fans on Thursday at Infineon Raceway.

Johnson and his wife, Chandra, had a very busy day in the Sonoma Valley, first wine tasting in the Wine Country Winner's Circle, then hosting a question-and-answer session with more than 400 race fans who purchased the "48 Special" ticket package for the Toyota/Save Mart 350 on Father's Day, June 21.

"This is a race and a destination we really look forward to every year," said Jimmie Johnson. "The food, the wine and the people are great. I love the area and it's amazing how well received NASCAR is out here."

Jimmie and Chandra started the day with the task of selecting the wine that will be poured in the Champion's Goblet as part of Winner's Circle celebrations during the 2009 race season, including the Toyota/Save Mart 350.

The Johnsons sampled four varietals from Bennett Lane Winery, an award-winning winery located in the Napa Valley, and sponsor of the Bennett Lane Winery 200 West Series event, which will be held during NASCAR weekend (Saturday, June 20). They were guided through the tasting by winemaker Rob Hunter and Infineon Raceway President & General Manager Steve Page.

After careful consideration, they selected the 2005 Bennett Lane Reserve Cabernet as the winning wine. The Champion's Goblet was introduced at Infineon Raceway three years ago, as the winner of each major event toasts the fans from Winner's Circle and takes a customary sip of wine, before accepting the winner's trophy.

"The Reserve Cabernet was just phenomenal and very special," said Johnson who had a best finish of fifth on the challenging road course in 2004. "To win at Infineon Raceway is no easy task, so you really want to drink something special when you get into the Wine Country Winner's Circle."

Johnson also met race fans who purchased the "48 Special," a package that includes a $48.48 ticket to the Toyota/Save Mart 350 on June 21. The raceway set aside 480 tickets in rows 4 through 8 in Turn 7 for this great package that included free admission to Thursday's Q&A session with Johnson. Because of heavy demand, the raceway expanded the package as nearly 1,000 seats have been sold, thus far. Of those, more than 400 fans showed up on Thursday to see Johnson, including fans who made the long drive down from Washington and Oregon.

"I really just appreciate that all of these fans came out today. It's an incredible turnout and I'm really excited that we were able to partner with the track on this great offer," said Johnson during the Q&A session.

"The fan response to the 48 Special has been unbelievable," said Page. "It's a real statement about the passion of the race fans in Northern California and Jimmie's connection with his fans."

Johnson returns to Infineon Raceway for the Toyota/Save Mart 350, June 19-21 (Father's Day weekend), marking the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series' only stop in Northern California. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 800-870-RACE or visit www.infineonraceway.com.

-credit: ir

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jimmie Johnson