Lowe’s

Photo: Dustin Long

Social media reacts to Jimmie Johnson’s clean-shaven look

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HOMESTEAD, Fla. – To commemorate his final race with sponsor Lowe’s and final race with Chad Knaus as crew chief, seven-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson went back to 2002 with his look.

His No. 48 Chevrolet features a throwback look to his rookie season. His uniform harkens to that time.

Johnson also shaved his beard for the weekend, going back to his look when he made his Cup debut Oct. 7, 2001 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Johnson began having a beard regularly at the start of the 2009 season. He had previously grown one during the offseason but would go back to the clean look before the season began. Johnson was a part of the inaugural Gillette Young Guns ads in 2004 that also included Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kurt Busch, Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth and Ryan Newman.

Friday, Johnson took fans back in time.

Social media had much to say about Johnson’s new look at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

 

Rick Hendrick says Jimmie Johnson sponsorship news coming soon

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DOVER, Del. — Rick Hendrick said his team will have sponsorship news about Jimmie Johnson‘s No. 48 Chevrolet within the next 30 days.

In response to a question from NBCSports.com’s Dustin Long, the Hendrick Motorsports owner said the search for new sponsors had taken longer in part because Johnson had become so synonymous with Lowe’s, which announced in March that it would not be returning after sponsoring the seven-time champion since his 2002 rookie season.

“Sponsorships in general have been tough for everyone, and for Jimmie, we haven’t had any sponsor other than Lowe’s,” Hendrick said. “We’ve had some opportunities, but there was a conflict with some of the other sponsors we had. But we’re pretty excited. We’re going to have an announcement probably in the next 30 days or so, and I feel real good about it.

“But it’s really hard when you have someone that has been so successful, but they have been tied to one brand for a long time.  We’re excited about the next chapter there.”

After reports that the home improvement company might be reconsidering its decision and sponsoring some of Johnson’s race in 2019, Lowe’s released a statement last month to reaffirm its departure from NASCAR.

Lowe’s reaffirms it does not plan to return to NASCAR

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Lowe’s stated Friday that it still does not plan to return to NASCAR after this season despite recent questions to Jimmie Johnson about the company possibly sponsoring the seven-time champion in some races in 2019.

Lowe’s stated to NBC Sports: “Lowe’s has sincerely enjoyed our relationship with Hendrick Motorsports and Jimmie Johnson. We announced early this year, however, that we will redirect our investment away from NASCAR after completion of this season, and that has not changed.”

Sports Business Journal first reported Lowe’s statement Friday.

Hendrick Motorsports announced March 14 that Lowe’s would not return to the team after this season. Lowe’s has been with Hendrick Motorsports since 2001. Johnson has won all seven of his championships with the company.

Marvin Ellison became Lowe’s new president and CEO in July. Within his first week, the company began restructuring and eliminated various executive positions.

Johnson was asked two weeks ago at Indianapolis and earlier this week about the possibility of Lowe’s returning. Johnson said this week he was unaware of such action even with the new executive team there.

Daniel McFadin contributed to this report.

 

 

Jimmie Johnson to drive rookie paint scheme in Cup season finale

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Jimmie Johnson and Hendrick Motorsports will end their 17-year relationship with Lowe’s in style.

When Johnson and the No. 48 team show up for the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Nov. 18 on NBC), Johnson’s car will have his rookie year paint scheme from 2002.

Johnson follows Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Matt Kenseth, who drove their rookie schemes in last year’s season finale.

The scheme will cap off a partnership that began with two Cup starts in 2001 before Johnson went full-time the next year.

In 2002, Johnson earned the first three wins of his career and sat on the pole for the Daytona 500. His first win came on April 28 at Auto Club Speedway.

With Lowe’s, Johnson has won seven championships and 83 races. Lowe’s announced in March it would not sponsor Johnson in 2019.

Jimmie Johnson details continuing sponsorship search

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CONCORD, N.C. — Just over two months since Lowe’s announced it would not return to sponsor his No. 48 Chevrolet in 2019, Jimmie Johnson provided a little insight into his first search for a major sponsor in his Cup career.

The Hendrick Motorsports driver had to “swallow the pill” of Lowe’s departure but recognizes that “ship has sailed.”

Johnson made his comments Thursday at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Johnson, who has been sponsored by Lowe’s since 2001, said “multiple companies” are interested in backing the seven-time champion.

He was asked about a rumor that Red Bull was one of those companies interested.

“There’s definitely interest there,” Johnson said of the energy drink company that fielded its own Cup team from 2007-09. “I think there’s interest from a variety of different companies. That’s only one of a long list of hopefuls.”

Johnson said it is “exciting” to “look through a different lens” at what opportunities are out there for his team.

“A lot of conversing and ideas and you feel like sometimes a conversation with a given company is going in a different direction and then they go to work and brainstorm and come back with a new idea and angle,” Johnson said. “So, it’s amazing how much follow-up is involved and how much collaboration exists through it all. I have enjoyed the process. I’ve enjoyed being involved. I’ve learned a ton. I’ve been able to bring some opportunities to the table through my own contacts that I have and also others have come along through Mr. (Rick) Hendrick’s network and other networks.  It’s been interesting. It’s taken a lot of time and it’s been a fun, new experience for me.”

Johnson shared some of the questions he asks regarding prospective sponsors.

“How I can be integrated into their mission statement in a sense and help them internally, how they are going to market us, how they are going to use us, that is all exciting stuff,” Johnson said. “We have some great opportunities there to look at.”