Johnson, other Hendrick drivers remember tragedy at Martinsville

Jimmie Johnson prepares to practice Friday at Martinsville Speedway. (Getty Images)

Jimmie Johnson prepares to practice Friday at Martinsville Speedway. (Getty Images)

MARTINSVILLE, Va.—Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup series race at Martinsville Virginia marks the first race in the next round of NASCAR’s new championship format. Three races featuring eight drivers that will be whittled down to four, who will then decide who will be the NASCAR champion at the final race in Homestead-Miami Speedway in November.

Don’t look for Jimmie Johnson to be among those contending for title. Despite being a heavy favorite prior to the Chase, Johnson was eliminated from moving on in the Chase at Talladega. Despite leading the most laps and looking to be the car to beat, Johnson fell short, finishing 24th. Under NASCAR’s new rules Johnson was out of the Chase. Almost a week removed from that disappointment, Johnson said Friday at Martinsville that he has one mindset.

“We want to close out the year well and finish as high as we can in points,” he said. MORE>>>

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