CONCORD, N.C. -- Jimmie Johnson has the support of crew chief Cliff Daniels and the entire No. 48 team as he navigates iRacing as a novice.
The seven-time Cup Series Champion still is learning the ropes when it comes to virtual racing and jumped in feet first last weekend for the inaugural eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series event last week.
This Sunday, Johnson will try to fare better than his 31st-place finish when NASCAR drivers head to the virtual Texas Motor Speedway. Despite the finish, Daniels and the rest of the No. 48 team were sure to have some fun supporting their driver.
"I 100% guarantee you will see the entire Ally 48 team supporting JJ during all of these iRacing events," Daniels said.
Johnson now has his own iRacing rig set up at his home, where Daniels said he will be on hand (at a safe distance) to navigate this week's race with him.
"There are techniques and strategies that we are both learning together," Daniels said. "He had a pretty steep learning curve as a result of very little practice or seat time before last week's race. He took that to heart and has been working really hard this week on his rig setup, strategy within the game and how to communicate his needs better now that he is so much more in-tune with the iRacing platform."
One aspect that Daniels said both he and Johnson loved was how they were able to interact with the fans. Drivers are able to tweet, text and send video while driving their rigs, something that's impossible at a live track.
"The fans are what makes live sports and our races happen!" Daniels said. "To be able to interact with them live during a racing competition event was a new element that was pretty special to be able to do. I know it was fun for JJ and me and I hope it was for them as well."
Last week, teammate Alex Bowman's dog Finn unwittingly became a star after Bowman allowed him to "drive" during a bathroom break. Will Johnson's dog Charlie get the same treatment this week?
"Charlie Meatball is a future Nascar star," Daniels said. "He’s a real talent. Plus he has Johnson as a last name."
Fans can tune in on Sunday, March 29 at 1 p.m. ET to see Johnson and their other favorites race virtually. The event will be aired on FOX, FOX Sports 1 and can be streamed via the FOX Sports app.