CONCORD, N.C. – Wednesday, the latest episode of “Road to Race Day” were released on the go90 streaming platform.
Viewable on the “Road to Race Day” page on go90 and the free app from the Apple and Android stores, the newest episode -- split into three parts -- follows Jimmie Johnson and the No. 48 team as they take on All-Star week at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
The series provides glimpses we might never otherwise get to see up close, and after watching this week’s edition, 10 moments stood out.
10) One focus of the episode is the team wrapping their heads around the new format for the 2016 All-Star Race. From a conference call with No. 48 team crew chief Chad Knaus and No. 88 team crew chief Greg Ives to a pit crew meeting and even an appearance by Johnson on FOX Sports’ “Race Hub,” we get a feel for how they digested the information and began to strategize.
9) For the first time, the series heads inside the Hendrick Motorsports training room, and we see head athletic trainer Gene Monahan – the former longtime head trainer of the New York Yankees – in action.
8) Cameras head to a Hendrick Family Foundation charity event, and we see how Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick has the ability to sway his drivers – including FOX Sports analyst Jeff Gordon – into join in on auction items.
7) At the charity event, cameras catch Darrell Waltrip sharing memories with Johnson of Dale Earnhardt Sr.’s prowess racing on dirt, and when Johnson visits with the Lowe’s table, Waltrip and Johnson’s wife Chandra discuss Johnson’s personality and demeanor and how it has helped lead to so much success.
6) The episode begins with a competition on the No. 48 pit crew to determine who will serve as the jackman. It also provides a glimpse into what it’s like for team members when there is a potential change to the crew.
5) A bit of comic relief is provided when Johnson heads to an art show at Chandra’s SOCO Gallery. The driver makes the rounds to support his wife, who quickly notices that it appears he is wearing makeup. Johnson laughingly remembers that he still has some on from his appearance on “Race Hub” and heads to the bathroom to wash his face.
4) Throughout the episode, we get insight into Knaus’ leadership style, watching how the champion crew chief interacts with all facets of his team, from pit crew practice to the race shop and eventually atop the pit box.
3) As Johnson and Knaus meet in the No. 48 team hauler to prepare for the All-Star Race, the cameras are there when Chase Elliott pops into the meeting to ask Johnson for input on how his car drove during practice. Johnson provides a handful of tips for the rookie on how to get around the track.
2) The episode allows us to watch Johnson and Knaus watch their teammate, Elliott, make move after move during a thrilling Showdown to try to race his way into the All-Star Race. “Come on, Chase – there you go, buddy,” Johnson exclaims as Elliott bumps back and forth with Kyle Larson to the finish line.
1) We get the inside scoop on the No. 48 team’s strategy for the All-Star Race, which includes falling to 12th place prior to the final sprint to the finish. When Panthers TE Greg Olsen draws the magic number of 11 – meaning the first 11 cars were forced to pit – it puts Johnson on the front row for the restart. It’s an unprecedented look into how the team’s thorough preparation plays out on the racetrack.
Check out the full episode now on go90. Next week, the series sticks with the No. 48 team as the 600-mile race at Charlotte approaches.