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  • Published: Nov 1st, 2011
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Jimmy Johnson – Nascar Driver

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Jimmy Johnson was born on September 17, 1975 in El Cajon, California. He graduated high school in 1993. You might think he began racing competitively after high school just like many other drivers, but Jimmy got started long before that. He started racing in competitive events when he was only 5 years old. To make the story even sweeter, he won his first big motorcycle race despite a knee injury. There is no confirmation on the type of knee injury. After all, how many five year olds return to a race after a real knee injury? F

NASCAR officials are using a template to inspe...

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or all we know, he told his mom he had a boo-boo. Whatever the case may be, he won. Following that race, he continued racing in various different forms, including swimming. His other two big sports were diving and polo.

Now you know Jimmy Johnson a little bit better than you did before, but we haven’t even gotten started yet. Did you know that Jimmy is 5 feet, 11 inches and 165 pounds? Of course, that weight might sway a little depending on the season, but he’s not a large fellow and he stays in good shape.

Jimmy Johnson rides the #48 car for Hendricks Motorsports. He has won dozens of major races and received numerous achievement awards throughout his career. What is most impressive is that he is the first person ever to win five consecutive Championship Cup Series. To date, he has 353 races, 54 wins, 25 poles, 145 Top 5 finishes, and 220 Top 10 finishes.

For the NASCAR Spring Cup Series, Jimmy Johnson drove his first race in 2001 at the UAW-GM Quality 500 in Charlotte. His first win was in 2002 at the NAPA Auto Parts 500 in Bristol, Pennsylvania. His most recent win was in 2011 at Aaron’s 499 in Talladega, Tennessee.

For the NASCAR Nationwide Series, Jimmy Johnson had his best finish in 2001, which was 8th place. His first race was at the 1998 Kroger 200 in Indianapolis, Indiana. His first win was at the 2001 Sam’s Club Presents Hill Bros Coffee 300 in Chicago. He has 1 win, 24 Top 10 finishes and 2 Poles.

For the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Jimmy Johnson had his best finish in 2008, which was 104th place. His first race was at the 2008 O’Reilly 200 in Bristol, Tennessee. He doesn’t have any wins, Top 10 finishes or poles. That said, Jimmy Johnson doesn’t really care about the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

One thing that Jimmy Johnson and his wife, Chandra, do care about is the Jimmy Johnson Foundation. This foundation was set-up to help people and communities in need. The majority of the attention is put on communities in North Carolina and California, but they will assist people and communities in other areas. The Jimmy Johnson Foundation was founded in 2006 and has since earned over $2 million. The majority of this money has gone toward food, water and shelter for those who need it most.

Jimmy and Chandra had a baby girl in July of 2010.

Dorsey is a blogger who discusses several topics. She works for http://cashforcarssandiego.com a company that purchases used cars.

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Santa Pod Hosts European Drag Racing Finals

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For most normal people in the British Isles, chugging to the shops in something dull, the idea of drag racing conjures up images of glamorous Yanks, sun-drenched desert airfields and blingin’ USA style showmanship, as ridiculously powerful nitrous-methane fuelled drag cars launch their sacrificial pilots into mind-numbingly fast races which are over in seconds.

drag carWell, small English village Podington in Bedfordshire may not be Arizona, but Santa Pod lives up to the image in every other respect. Between 8-11 September around 300 race teams and up to 25,000 spectators will descend on this normally peaceful corner of England for Europe’s most prestigious high-stakes drag racing meet for the 45th European finals.

The event plays host to the Top Fuel class of drag racer – the sport’s answer to F1, but with the horsepower of a NASA launch rocket under every bonnet. Top Fuel ‘cars’ can unleash an incredible 8,000bhp to hit top speeds of over 300 miles per hour in just a quarter of a mile of acceleration. The investment is astronomical, as are the prizes.

Although these vehicles have more in common with the Space Shuttle than a family hatchback, it is the challenge of staying on the ground that must be overcome. Rather than challenging Earth’s gravitational pull, a drag racer’s life depends on staying firmly attached to the runway.

For the race teams striving to confidently thrust their implausible monstrosities beyond the reach of the competition, victory is all about walking a fine line between safety, possibility, and disaster. Fine-tuning these awesome examples of engineering, success relies on finding the absolute maximum acceleration possible without just burning rubber.

As many drag racers have sadly found over the years, these vastly expensive machines often spin out, flip or explode along with their brave (or insane?) drivers due to the same pulverising vigour that’s meant to win races. Since the days of American pioneers drag-racing on normal roads were put to an end and sportsters were made to comply with safety rules, the numbers of accidents have steadily declined – but don’t we all have a memory of seeing one of these things blow up on telly?

So far so lucky, Britain’s biggest drag star (not Dame Edna) is a four time FIA champion. Last year Andy Carter achieved the fastest winning run in Europe; crossing the 1/4 mile finish line at 320.19mph after just 4.572 seconds.

Just don’t make any jokes about stamina – you know when these bad boys are on their way… and then it’s all over.

Gerry Bern

 

 

Gerry Bern 2011

Although Gerry’s 13 mile journey to work would only take about 150 seconds in Andy Carter’s Top Fuel land-rocket, the author plans to save a lot of money and his skin by finding a used car on Autoweb.co.uk instead. Let’s assume nitrous-methane powered beasts are out of the question – a used Audi is more my style!

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How Do You Become A Racing Driver?

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Michael Schumacher driving for Scuderia Ferrar...

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Motorsport has been big business for over half a century, and rightly so. Whether it’s the glitz and glamour of open-wheeled Formula One racing, the all-American thrills of NASCAR or the more obscure feeder series’ for these and other high profile racing events, seeing those death-defying vehicles race around might well inspire you to ask ‘couldn’t I do that?’. This blog post aims to answer that question with some simple tips and difficult truths:

The Age Question

If you’re a fan of motorsport, it won’t have escaped your attention that drivers are often very young. Michael Schumacher is the oldest racing driver in Formula One at 42, and despite being seven time world champion, he is considered past his prime (as he was five years ago, when he announced his initial retirement). The last time anyone over forty one a world championship was Jack Brabham, back in 1966. In the last decade, the only person over 35 has been Schumacher himself.

If you’re reading this how-to guide for yourself whilst seriously considering a career in motorsport, you will have to understand that starting young is considered essential for competing in most of the big-name championships. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t exceptions (Damon Hill started motorcycle racing at the age of 21 and didn’t step into a racing car until the age of 23).

It also doesn’t mean that there aren’t plenty of opportunities for competitive racing out there. Anyone who has obtained a driver’s license can then train for a racing drivers license at a number of centres. There are also plenty of local (and legal) racing events for everything from clapped out old commercial cars to pickup trucks and stock cars. With a little investment, you could have a fun new weekend hobby!

Starting Young

The reality is, if you haven’t started racing by the time you’re a teenager, you will almost certainly never make it to the higher echelons of motorsport.

Why is this? Well, progression in motorsport certainly isn’t any different to progression in many other sports. Footballers (American or ‘Soccer’ players), tennis pros, athletes and more start very young and become full professionals around school leaving-age. Just because driving is something that millions of people do, doesn’t mean we’re all trained to racers: billions of people can run, but a statistically insignificant number of us can compete with Usain Bolt.

Racing drivers must learn racing skills: how to overtake, how to find the correct racing line, how to belt it round a track at the highest speed possible. The vast majority of drivers start learning this in local karting championships, usually in their preteens. With practice, some will show their talent. For others, it’s simply not meant to be.

Next Steps

Depending on what area of motorsport you’re aiming for, the step after karting is to jump to through advanced cars in the intermediate and advanced local-level divisions below your target sport. In American stock car racing, hopefuls aim for the ‘Late-Model’ local divisions. Those targeting Formula One go from karting to the one make Formulae (like Formula Renault, Formula Toyota and the like), before making the leap to feeder series like Formula Two, Formula Three and GP2.

Of course, there are regional biases: it’s difficult for a British racer to take the stock car route, for instance. Drivers frequently crossover between the various types of racing, being taken wherever they feel the thrill of speed (and sponsorship money) is to be found. It’s tough to make it as a professional driver, much less a driver who makes it to the top. You get there by winning races, getting sponsored and getting noticed. You’ll notice that there are holes in this general advice, because neither talent nor blind luck are things that I can prepare you for!

Jo Johnson is a copywriter working on projects for MWVC, a Vauxhall vivaro hire company.

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