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Dario Franchitti, Jimmie Johnson and Racing News
In recent racing news, we have some happy and sad stories to report.
In great news, NASCAR Illustrated has named Jimmie Johnson Person of the Year. Through the charity organization The Blue Bunny Helmet for Help, Johnson along with his wife Chandra raised 5.6 million dollars to help the children and families who suffered the affects of the devastating tornadoes that ripped apart Oklahoma and killed 20 people.
Also this week Jimmie Johnson and all NASCAR racers came under attack from former Philadelphia Eagles QB Donovan McNabb, who said that NASCAR drivers “ARE NOT” athletes, which sent a lot of angry race fans to comment on Twitter and other social media outlets to vent their frustrations over his comments. Jimmie Johnson replied to McNabb’s comments by saying McNabb is uneducated and drivers are athletes.
And in more Jimmie Johnson related news, he will Co-host ESPN’s SportsCenter on Thursday night at 6:00 p.m. eastern. He will also appear as a guest on the Tonight Show as well as Kelly& Michael at 9:00 am on the ABC network.
In unhappy news, 2011 Daytona 500 Champion driver Trevor Bayne has announced that he is battling multiple sclerosis but will continue to drive as allowed from owner Jack Rousch. Bayne says he will continue to compete in both the Nationwide & Cup Series in 2014.
NASCAR & Indy driver Dario Franchitti has announced that he will be retiring after this racing season due to injuries he suffered during an Indy race in October. Dario has raced for car owner Chip Ganassi and has had an incredible career. Franchitti won three Indianapolis 500’s and four Indy Car Championships while driving for Chip Ganassi.
Franchitti is still hoping to play some part in the racing world by staying
involved with the Series and the Target car team owned by Ganassi. Should you want to send best wishes to Dario, you will be able to do so Thursday through Twitter using the hash tag #ThankyouDario. Dario was also recently separated from his wife, actress Ashley Judd. We wish you the best Dario.
NASCAR driver Paul Menard’s car exploded during Sunday’s season finale, sending crew members and officials running for cover during a pit stop on lap 232 of 400. Menard believes the explosion was caused by an excess of rubber wrapped around the right rear tire area when his car was hit by the number 48 car driven by Jimmie Johnson. Menard, his crew, and NASCAR officials were not injured during the explosion and Menard narrowly escaped the burning car!
In our final bit of news, NASCAR driver Brian Vickers was once again sidelined late in the season from having blood clots in his lungs. Brian drives for Michael Waltrip Racing and hopes to be back by the 2014 Season!!