Notes: Jimmie Johnson Is Padding Out His Resume

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Friday, February 22 2019
Jimmie Johnson has some marathon plans for this coming spring. (RacinToday/HHP file photo by Alan Marler)

By Deb Williams | Senior Writer

HAMPTON, Ga. – Training for a marathon and providing color commentary for a televised Xfinity Series race are just two events seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson is focusing on when he’s not concentrating on his duties for Hendrick Motorsports.

Johnson said Friday at Atlanta Motor Speedway he planned to compete in the April 15 Boston Marathon.

“As the volume has gone up and achy spots have developed in my legs, I’ve got a little thing going on with my knee, but it seems to be doing a lot better,” Johnson said. “I have an IT band issue that’s probably a few weeks old of just being tight and sore. I ran pain-free today, which was great. So I think I’ve got the right treatment going on.”

In regards to Johnson’s TV debut, the California native said he would “try to fit in” with Adam Alexander and Kevin Harvick and “go with the flow” during the FS1 telecast of Saturday’s Rinnai 250 Xfinity Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

“We’ve been kicking around ideas from different segments and different things that I’d like to add to the broadcast,” Johnson said. “I do know all those folks on the television-side from producers to directors and talent, so I feel very comfortable. (I) know that it’s going to be a fun environment.”

Chase Elliott has taken up a new hobby – photography.

“My mom is a photographer and she got me a little camera for Christmas,” Elliott said Friday. “I have been playing with it some. I’ve been leaning on Bubba (Wallace) some. He has his stuff at the track a lot, so I would like to get into it more down the road. It’s not an easy hobby and it certainly is time consuming. I like to do it when I have time, but I still have a lot to learn.”

Elliott’s mother, Cindy, is an award winning motorsports photographer. In the early 1990s, she was the photo editor for the publication Winston Cup Scene, which became known as NASCAR Winston Cup Scene.

All four Hendrick Motorsports drivers are wearing special shoes this week that were drawn and designed by patients at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. The money raised from the sale of the shoes benefits the summer camps for the children via Chase Elliott’s foundation.

“We are going to host them and their families this weekend,” Elliott said about the children who created the winning designs.

To learn about the sale of the shoes, go to NASCARFoundation.com/ChaseElliott.

Michael Annett said Friday he developed a new fitness routine during the off-season.

“We started working out with a trainer, who trains Brad Keselowski and Ryan Blaney,” Annett.

One day he and his crew chief, Travis Mack, went to lunch together. During their discussions, Mack learned of his driver’s workout routine. Later that afternoon, Mack telephoned Annett and asked if he could join them.

“Now he’s there every morning at 7 a.m. with us,” Annett said.

Every year the Super Bowl winner proclaims they’re going to Disney World, but Austin Hill actually did travel to the Florida theme park after his victory in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck race at Daytona.

“I spent the weekend with family and friends at Disney World,” Hill said Friday at Atlanta Motor Speedway. “We were going there win, lose or draw, it didn’t matter. We were going to Disney World either way. It makes it that much more fun at Disney to be able to celebrate it with my whole family; my brothers were there, my wife, kids, parents, grandparents.”

Hill said the fact he recorded his first career truck victory at Daytona began “setting in” on Monday, but by Tuesday everyone was back to preparing for the next race. Hill began reviewing film Tuesday and watching it on Wednesday in preparation for Saturday’s Ultimate Tailgating 200.

“I’m trying to do as much as I can outside the truck so when I get here that makes it that much easier going into practice,” Hill said.

Since Michael Annett drove to Daytona for Speedweeks he didn’t get to celebrate his first-ever career Xfinity Series victory with his team, but that didn’t stop him from putting something together for them Sunday afternoon.

“I had everyone come over for pizza and wings and watch the (Daytona) 500,” Annett said. “It was nice because there are a couple of new guys on the team and it was fun to have everybody show up and just spend the whole day together, because I’m still getting to know some of the new guys. It was a fun way to get everybody together and be celebrating something we all accomplished together.”

Annett said he drove to Daytona so he could take his 12-year-old miniature golden doodle and attend other races that occur during Speedweeks.

“I’m a race fan at heart,” Annett said Friday in explaining why he drives to Daytona. “I like being a part of what Speedweeks is. We went to New Smyrna. My manager’s kid won the limited late model championship. We watched the K&N race. I watched everything from the infield.”

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Friday, February 22 2019
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