Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Jimmie Johnson's biggest regret in racing? Hint: It involves the No. 3

    What is six-time Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson's biggest regret of his racing career?

    Not having the opportunity to "get spun out or crashed" by Dale Earnhardt Sr.

    Johnson touched on that topic and more in a wide-ranging interview with Fox NFL Sunday host Curt Menefee, which will air Friday, Feb. 14, at 7:30 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1.

    Johnson is the first auto racing personality featured on Fox Sports 1’s signature interview show, which has included past sit-downs with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, Denver Broncos legend John Elway and former NBA star and now TV analyst Charles Barkley.

    Among the many topics covered in the Johnson interview; he recounts a critical moment in his relationship with crew chief Chad Knaus, his place in NASCAR history and one of his greatest regrets … involving Dale Earnhardt.

    Here is an excerpt of part of Johnson's interview discussing the late seven-time NASCAR champion:

    Johnson: "That’s one regret I have. Again, Richard (Petty) was too far removed for me to say that I had a chance to drive with him on the track. But Dale (Earnhardt), that could have happened. And I so regret that I'll never have that chance to honestly get spun out or crashed by him. That opportunity will never be there for me."

    Menefee: "Really?"

    Johnson: "I mean every kid, especially my generation, that black No. 3, the black No. 3, you know, that's what you wanted to be and race against. And knowing Jeff Gordon as I do and watching him race with Dale all those years and then talking about it with Jeff now there's some really cool experiences there that I would have loved to have had."

Entry list for 2014 Sprint Unlimited

Entry Veh # Driver Owner Crew Chief Mfg

1. 1 Jamie McMurray Felix Sabates Keith Rodden  Chevrolet

2. 2 Brad Keselowski Roger Penske Paul Wolfe  Ford

3. 4 Kevin Harvick Tony Stewart Rodney Childers  Chevrolet

4. 9 Marcos Ambrose Richard Petty Drew Blickensderfer  Ford

5. 10 Danica Patrick Tony Stewart Tony Gibson  Chevrolet

6. 11 Denny Hamlin J D Gibbs Darian Grubb  Toyota

7. 14 Tony Stewart Margaret Haas Chad Johnston  Chevrolet

8. 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr John Henry Michael Kelley  Ford

9. 18 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Dave Rogers  Toyota

10. 20 Matt Kenseth Joe Gibbs Jason Ratcliff  Toyota

11. 22 Joey Logano Walter Czarnecki Todd Gordon  Ford

12. 24 Jeff Gordon Rick Hendrick Alan Gustafson  Chevrolet

13. 31 Ryan Newman Richard Childress Luke Lambert  Chevrolet
14. 32 Terry Labonte Frank Stoddard Jr Daniel Stillman  Ford

15. 41 Kurt Busch Gene Haas Daniel Knost  Chevrolet

16. 48 Jimmie Johnson Jeff Gordon Chad Knaus  Chevrolet

17. 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr Rick Hendrick Steve Letarte  Chevrolet

18. 99 Carl Edwards Jack Roush James Fennig  Ford

NBC set to launch new weekly NASCAR TV show on Feb. 24

  NBC Sports Network will debut its new, weekly NASCAR TV show "NASCAR America" on Monday, Feb. 24, the day after the 2014 Daytona 500.

   The 30-minute show will debut at 5 p.m. ET and return each week at the same time and place. "NASCAR America" will cover the sport from all angles, delivering news, highlights and access to NASCAR’s dynamic stars and personalities. Each episode will include in-depth access to the drivers, crew chiefs and team owners that are integral to the sport, opinions and analysis from NASCAR’s most prominent personalities, and exclusive looks inside the high-tech race shops and storied racing venues that dot the country.

   Originating from NBC Sports Group’s International Broadcast Center in Stamford, Conn., as well as a new NBC Sports’ studio located in the racing hotbed of Charlotte, "NASCAR America's" primary host is Rick Allen. Allen, who will usher in NBC Sports’ live coverage of NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series racing as lead announcer in July 2015, will interact daily with NBC Sports motorsports reporters Marty Snider and Kelly Stavast. Snider and Stavast, both based in Charlotte, will operate on location throughout the country to deliver the latest news and features on NASCAR’s drivers and race teams. NBC Sports Group’s IndyCar and Formula One play-by-play voice Leigh Diffey will also serve as host.

   Alongside Allen in the studio will be a constant rotation of guest analysts offering fresh perspectives and insights. Guest analysts throughout February and March include NBC Sports NASCAR analyst Jeff Burton, Sprint Cup Champion Bobby Labonte, Kyle Petty, Ken Schrader, and crew chief Frank Stoddard. Future guest analysts, which will include former and current drivers and crew chiefs, NASCAR executives, and even prominent fans such as NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams, will be announced at a later date. 

   “The excitement and energy that the NBC Sports team is pouring into all the great ideas and concepts for NASCAR America has me convinced that this show will be special for race fans,” said Burton. “I’m looking forward to contributing to NASCAR America, and watching it as well.”