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Johnson prepares for busy week in New York

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Nov. 26, 2008) – Three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson will be the centerpiece of the annual Champions Week celebration that will be held in New York next week. The busy, but joyful five days mark the traditional end of each race season.

Johnson, who captured his third straight Cup two weeks ago in the series finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, is the first driver in 30 years to win three consecutive series titles. He joins NASCAR legend Cale Yarborough as the only two drivers to accomplish that feat. Yarborough won his titles in 1976-78.
Next week’s festivities mark the 28th consecutive year that NASCAR has crowned its NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion in New York. The Waldorf=Astoria Hotel has served as the sport’s host for each of those years, with its historic Grand Ballroom the site of the Dec. 5 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards Ceremony.

Johnson, however, has plenty to do before the week culminates that Friday night. Here is a glimpse at his itinerary:

Monday: Johnson and wife Chandra arrive in New York. That evening, he and Chandra will participate in the annual Champion’s Welcome Dinner in the Waldorf=Astoria Executive Kitchen, a gathering attended by NASCAR and champion team representatives and overseen by executive chef John Doherty.

Tuesday: Johnson will participate in another Champions Week tradition – photo shoots at New York landmarks. Later that evening, he’ll be a guest on Motor Racing Network’s NASCAR Live.

Wednesday: Johnson begins his day by ringing the New York Stock Exchange’s Opening Bell. He’ll also attend the Tissot Countdown Clock event at the Marquee of the Hard Rock Café, a March of Dimes luncheon, a media luncheon at Foley’s and the Sprint Media Celebration at the Sports Museum of America.

Thursday: Johnson’s major event this day is the annual NASCAR NMPA Myers Brothers Media Luncheon at Cipriani. He’ll be joined by the rest of the top 12 drivers in the 2008 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, plus Raybestos Rookie of the Year Regan Smith and other annual award winners. Following the awards luncheon, Johnson will participate in the traditional Times Square photo shoot outside the Hard Rock Café, then attend the annual Stewies Awards, orchestrated by former NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart, at Sirius/XM Satellite Radio studios.

Friday: The Big Day. Johnson, his family and his Hendrick Motorsports team will participate in traditional photos during the afternoon, before attending the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards banquet, which will be held from 7-10 p.m. in the Grand Ballroom at the Waldorf=Astoria Hotel. The top 10 drivers, including Johnson’s teammate Jeff Gordon, will attend the event.

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