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Johnson in New York -- Day one in review

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Dec. 1, 2008) – Jimmie Johnson has been there before – the past two years to be exact – but celebrating his third straight NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship on the biggest media stage in the world is certainly something the driver of the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet is looking forward to.

For the third straight year, Johnson and his team will be taking New York City by storm, participating in national media events and making a host of special appearances leading up to Friday night’s annual NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards Ceremony (ESPN Classic will televise beginning at 9 p.m.) at the Waldorf=Astoria. Johnson says celebrating championships in the Big Apple never gets old.

“Champions Week in New York City is always an amazing time,” said Johnson, who joins Cale Yarborough as the only NASCAR driver to win three straight NASCAR Sprint Cup Series titles. “It’s fun to celebrate everything we’ve done this year as a team and really let loose and have some fun. Everyone works extremely hard year-round to make us one of the best teams in the garage, so it’s nice to have some time to reflect on what we’ve done and enjoy some of the recognition.”

Johnson arrived in New York Monday afternoon. That evening, he and his wife, Chandra, were scheduled to participate in the annual Champion’s Welcome Dinner in the Waldorf=Astoria Executive Kitchen, a gathering attended by NASCAR, Sprint and championship team representatives and overseen by Executive Chef John Doherty.

Here are some highlights of Johnson’s schedule leading up to Friday night’s awards ceremony:

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 Stewie Awards, orchestrated by fellow 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 Ceremony that evening in the Waldorf=Astoria’s Grand Ballroom.