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)
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>>>

About Greg Engle 7420 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for Examiner.com and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.