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NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champions Week – Day 2

In New York City
Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Jimmie Johnson holds up three fingers to signify his three consecutive championships during a photo shoot in Central Park.
Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR
Jimmie Johnson visited one of New York City’s most famous landmarks – Central Park – for a photo shoot Tuesday, as the first full day of Champions Week activities unfolded. Among the photos taken were Johnson in front of Wollman Rink, one of two ice skating rinks in Central Park and one of him on a bridge overlooking The Pond in Central Park. Johnson also plans to have his photo taken Thursday afternoon at the intersection of 48th and 3rd Streets, signifying Johnson’s No. 48 team winning its third consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship.

“We took some cool photos in Central Park; I think those photos are going to be amazing,” said Johnson, who has an apartment in the Chelsea section of New York City. “I like to go running in Central Park when we’re in town and it’s always a good cut through when you’re on the East Side and have to go over to the West Side or Columbus Circle, so I spend a lot of time in Central Park.”

Jimmie and Chandra Johnson pose with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series trophy on a bridge over The Pond in Central Park
Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR
Earlier in the day, Johnson visited two of the country’s most highly regarded news organizations – the New York Times and Associated Press. At both offices, Johnson met with print and online editors, discussing topics ranging from his record-tying third straight series championship, the type of physical and mental preparation he undergoes each week, how the team analyzes the video, audio and computer data that is available in helping them prepare for each race, the suspension of the testing policy for 2009, the challenges the current state of the economy is posing to the sport, and how he studies other drivers’ styles to help make himself better. Championship crew chief Chad Knaus accompanied Johnson on the Associated Press visit.

Later Tuesday afternoon, Johnson participated in a Satellite Media Tour, taping interviews with affiliates from more than 10 of the country’s top television markets. Tuesday night he was scheduled to appear on Motor Racing Network’s NASCAR Live national radio program.

Here are some additional highlights of Johnson’s schedule leading up to Friday night’s annual NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards Ceremony in the historic Grand Ballroom of the Waldorf=Astoria Hotel (ESPN Classic to televise beginning at 9 p.m.):

Wednesday – Johnson begins his day by ringing the New York Stock Exchange’s Opening Bell. He’ll also attend the Tissot Countdown Clock event at the Marquee of the Hard Rock Café, a March of Dimes luncheon, a media luncheon at Foley’s and the Sprint Media Celebration at the Sports Museum of America.
Thursday – Johnson’s major event this day is the annual NASCAR NMPA Myers Brothers Media Luncheon at Cipriani. He’ll be joined by the rest of the top 12 drivers in the 2008 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, plus Raybestos Rookie of the Year Regan Smith and other annual award winners. Following the awards luncheon, Johnson will participate in the traditional Times Square photo shoot outside the Hard Rock Café, then attend the annual Stewie Awards, orchestrated by fellow NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart, at Sirius/XM Satellite Radio studios.
Friday – The Big Day. Johnson, his family and his Hendrick Motorsports team will participate in traditional photos during the afternoon, before attending the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards Ceremony that evening in the Waldorf=Astoria’s Grand Ballroom.

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