Win tickets to see the smash hit musical Mamma Mia at the Roanoke Civic Center. Two winners will each receive four tickets!
Jimmie Johnson talks to team members after winning the pole for Sunday's NASCRA Sprint Cup auto race at Martinsville Speedway on Friday.
Sunday, April 7, 2013
MARTINSVILLE - Hendrick Racing teammates Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon each have won seven Cup races at Martinsville Speedway.
It begs many to ask: What do the drivers do with all the grandfather clocks? Every Martinsville winner takes home a clock.
When asked if he knew where his seven clocks are now, Johnson never hesitated.
"Yeah. Six are at my man cave, my warehouse, and then one is in my office," Johnson said.
Johnson will start on the pole in today's STP Gas Booster 500 and ranks as the race favorite. So where will No. 8 go should he win, Johnson was asked.
"Oh, I've got a big warehouse. I've got a lot of room. I call it the warehouse, but it's really my man cave," Johnson said. "I've got everything from when I was a kid on dirt bikes that I've saved, that my mom has saved, all the way to stuff now. So, I have a pretty good collection."
And Gordon? Sounds like he might need a private eye to locate the whereabouts of his "Clip" clocks.
"I couldn't go through and tell you which rooms they're in," Gordon said with a grin. "I know that they're accounted for, but I have a pretty bad memory.
"I think there's one still in a box. And I think that there are several spread out between [car owner] Rick Hendrick and [former crew chief] Ray Evernham and maybe even [Hendrick team manager] Brian Whitesell and myself. But they're out there.
"Our decorating at home doesn't really lend itself to grandfather clocks," added Gordon, producing laughter in the track infield media center Friday.
"So it's just not one of those trophies you'd typically display at home, but usually at the race shop or waiting for that place to put it one day. If you have all of them lined up, that's pretty cool also. I don't have as big a house as [Johnson] has."
Lots of trips to 'Clip'
This marks the 25th season that Jeff Burton has been racing at Martinsville. It's the home track for Burton, the 45-year-old NASCAR veteran from South Boston.
Burton, who made his first of 13 Nationwide Series starts on the low-banked oval in 1988, said he never could have envisioned he would still be racing here a quarter century later. Burton began his Cup career in 1994.
"I never thought about being here this long," said Burton, 45. "My goal was become a Nationwide driver. I know people don't believe this, but even when I started Cup racing, the only reason I started Cup racing was because that was my opportunity.
"I wanted to be Jack Ingram and Sonny Hutchens," noted Burton, referring to the former Late Model and Modified greats from yesteryear.
"The first race here was something I will never forget. We qualified really well. We blew an engine in practice and we didn't have a spare engine. We got bailed out when people lent us an engine. We blew that one up in the race."
Later, Burton said he later found where the race engine came from. It was from the racing Hensleys - Jeff and Hubert - of nearby Ridgeway.
"They lent us an engine and didn't even know us," Burton said.
"I'll never forget that."
Media room champ
Brad Keselowski, the reigning Cup Series champion, served up this gem to the print media Friday on the current firestorm surrounding the driving tactics of new Penske Racing teammate Joey Logano:
"In some ways, [Logano] should be proud of the fact that he's made a few people angry. It would be like if somebody came in and was a brand new sportswriter and wrote some bad-ass articles, you probably would be threatened, too."
Clint Bowyer, who complained of a loose car after qualifying 15th Friday, must have found the handle. His Toyota was the fastest car in Saturday's final Cup practice session. Johnson was sixth. ... Gordon and Johnson have combined to win 11 of the past 20 Cup races at Martinsville. ... Gordon has never recorded a did-not-finish (DNF) in 40 races at the Henry County bullring. ... There have been double-digit caution flags in 25 of the past 26 Martinsville races. ... Through five races, the boyfriend-girlfriend combo of Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Danica Patrick are fittingly tied atop the rookie standings with 54 points each.
Weather JournalStorm track isn't very snowy for us