NEXTEL CUP SERIES CHAMPIONS WEEK – DAY 2
* Wednesday’s Victory Lap
takes NASCAR to the streets of Manhattan
* On Deck: NASCAR NMPA
Myers Brothers Awards Luncheon recognizes 2006 special award
NEW YORK (Nov. 28, 2006)
– New York City traffic gets a makeover, NASCAR style, on
The “Victory Lap,” featuring a
procession of the Top 10 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series drivers and
their cars, takes the green flag at 8:50 a.m. Wednesday. For
fans at home, the event can be seen
live on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
It’s a moment not to be missed.
The spectacle begins at 44th
Street and Broadway, in front of Good Morning America’s Times
Square Studios, and finishes at 42nd Street and Broadway, in
front of the ESPN Zone – back in the heart
of Times Square. In between, the 10 powerful stock cars wind
their way through city streets, bringing a
taste of NASCAR’s speed and sound to Manhattan residents and
procession will be led by 2006 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series champion
Jimmie Johnson (No. 48
Lowe’s Chevrolet), who arrived in New York on Sunday.
Johnson has taken the busy schedule in
stride and says he’s looking forward to a reunion with his
crew members and fellow competitors later in
“It’s been a good week,” said
Johnson. “Today and tomorrow really are the busy days and things
slow down as we get closer to the banquet, so I can go out and
celebrate a little more with my guys.
“[Being the champion] sinks in a
little more each day. I think when we get to the banquet
and I’m able to see competitors and team members, it’ll sink in
even more after that.”
Johnson’s crew chief, Chad
Knaus, has also relished the time in New York and his new
championship crew chief.
“It’s been a good experience so
far,” said Knaus, who was brought into racing by his father,
a standout NASCAR Late Model driver at Rockford (Ill.) Speedway
and a 1994 NASCAR regional champion.
“It’s amazing; this is a lifelong dream of mine. I’ve wanted it
since I was a child. My father groomed
me to get into this. Some fathers groom their sons to be
quarterbacks or drivers – my Dad really
raised me to be a crew chief and it’s worked out well for me.
[Winning the championship] has
been phenomenal. It’s almost like a weight lifted off of my
shoulders because it’s something I’ve driven
so hard for, for so long.”
NASCAR NEXTEL CUP SERIES
A view from the top
… Jimmie Johnson’s
view from the top of the racing world matched his view
from the “Top of the Rock” observatory, on the 70th floor of the
historic 30 Rockefeller Center
building on Tuesday afternoon. Johnson visited the high-rise
landmark for a photo shoot, before
adjourning to the Waldorf=Astoria to appear on the
nationally-syndicated “NASCAR Live” radio show
on the Motor Racing Network (MRN).
Following the Victory Lap on
Wednesday, preparations for the Awards Ceremony and the slate of
activities continues. The schedule includes:
The NASCAR National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) Myers
Luncheon at Cipriani on 42nd Street will honor the NASCAR NEXTEL
Cup Top 10 drivers, champions
from NASCAR’s other series and all NASCAR NEXTEL Cup drivers who
are receiving seasonal awards.
Afterward, all 2006 series
champions will gather for the annual champions’ photo shoot, at
Rockefeller Plaza. On Thursday evening, the group of champions
will be treated to an exclusive
Champions’ Dinner at the Waldorf=Astoria.
Friday: Johnson and his team will pose for
formal photos on New York’s Park Avenue before
attending several pre-awards ceremony receptions. Then, Johnson
officially will be crowned NASCAR
NEXTEL Cup Series champion; the Awards Ceremony begins at 7 p.m.
in the Waldorf=Astoria’s Grand
Ballroom. SPEED will broadcast a live Awards Ceremony pre-show,
“NASCAR Takes Manhattan,”
beginning at 7 p.m. (ET), while TNT will air the ceremony at 9
Pit Stop Tour … For any local race fans
that missed the Victory Lap, several slower-moving
cars will be visible throughout Champion’s Week. In fact,
several race cars will be parked on display at
many popular New York City locations every day this week.
From 7 a.m. until 7 p.m., today through Friday, six city
locations will host the Champion’s Week
Pit Stop Tour, where fans can view NASCAR stock cars up close.
The locations are: Times Square/
Military Island (Broadway between 43rd and 44th Streets); Bryant
Park (6th Avenue between 40th and
41st Streets); by the News Corp. Building (6th Avenue between
48th and 49th Streets); Madison Square
Garden (7th Avenue between 31st and 32nd Streets); at the Tissot
Retail Gallery/Tourneau Atrium (57th
& Madison Avenue); and the Sprint retail store located at 175
5th Avenue, between 22nd and 23rd Streets.
Running for a cause … Although he didn’t
finish in the top 10 and won’t be in New York, Kyle
Petty (No. 45 Wells Fargo/Tire Kingdom Dodge) has a very
important event on his calendar this
weekend. The Victory Junction Gang Camp, founded by Kyle and
Pattie Petty, has teamed up
with Runner's World columnist John Bingham for the
inaugural Victory Junction Run Half Marathon and
4.5K run on Sunday, Dec 3. Petty, an avid runner who completed
the Walt Disney World Marathon in
January, is planning to compete in the run while his father,
seven-time series champion Richard Petty,
will serve as Grand Marshal.
The run will start in the Petty’s hometown of Randleman, N.C.
and finish inside the Victory
Junction Gang Camp. All proceeds from the run will benefit the
camp. For additional