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Social Roundup: How NASCAR drivers are spending their offseason

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NASCAR’s Champion’s week is now behind us and we are firmly in the offseason.

Well, sort of.

The NASCAR world never really stops, which is evident simply due to the continued announcements for the 2020 season.

But with Joey Logano testing the Next Gen car at Phoenix earlier this week and Dale Earnhardt Jr. helping clean up North Wilkesboro Speedway for iRacing, it’s been anything but quiet.

Here’s a look at what else happened in the NASCAR community this week.

Someone needs to check in on Jimmie Johnson, he could be in his own version of Mr. Mom.

Chris Buescher is home again.

The 2015 Xfinity Series champion is back at Roush Fenway Racing for the 2020 Cup season and he’s got the firesuits and cars to prove it.

Brad Keselowski recently became father to a second daughter.

He’s now learning some important life lessons.

Former Front Row Motorsports driver Matt Tifft is now off the market after getting married to his fiance, Jordan. Now they’re on their honeymoon.

 

Matt DiBenedetto showed off one of the perks of being a Wood Brothers Racing employee.

Ryan Blaney and Bubba Wallace went somewhere warm to start their holiday.

Social Roundup: Reaction to Jimmie Johnson ending full-time career after 2020

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In a one-minute video posted on social media Wednesday Jimmie Johnson revealed he would end his full-time Cup career following the 2020 season.

Very quickly, the NASCAR community and Johnson’s fellow competitors took to social media to note Johnson’s news.

Here’s what they had to say:

Shotgun! Dale Earnhardt Jr., Clint Bowyer share beer over Twitter

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Before Clint Bowyer dropped by to raise a little hell on this week’s episode of “The Dale Jr. Download,” Dale Earnhardt Jr. had a modest proposal for the podcast episode.

Alas, while there was plenty of talk about beer, beer signs and partying, no beers were consumed, let alone shotgunned.

But Bowyer didn’t forget!

He called out Earnhardt on Twitter Thursday afternoon, shotgunning a Miller Lite in the process.

A Budweiser in hand, Earnhardt answered the call within 40 minutes.

On a quiet week with NASCAR off for Easter, plenty of NASCAR drivers chimed in to judge Earnhardt’s shotgun technique and the beer used.

Jimmie Johnson completes Boston Marathon

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Jimmie Johnson completed the Boston Marathon on Monday, finishing the 26.2-mile route in 3 hours, 9 minutes and 7 seconds. His average pace was 7:13 per mile.

Johnson placed 4,155th overall. He was 3,746th among men and 641st in his division.

Johnson, who ran with bib number 4848, had stated his goal was to complete the marathon in less than three hours. His wave of runners left the starting line at 10:25 a.m. ET.

“I left the pace I wanted to try to hold and came up a little bit short of my goal,” Johnson told reporters after the race. “I wanted to race it and really run hard and challenge myself. I need some food. I’m afraid to sit down. I might not get back up. Everything is starting to tighten back up right now.”

Johnson said it was “amazing” how many people recognized him and his bib and cheered him on, “from banners and T-shirts. My sponsor Ally was at the firehouse (at mile marker 17) and took it over and decorated and I got a huge applause coming through there.”

Johnson also noted the “camaraderie” among fellow runners and the “energy” and “excitement” from fans with “kids passing out popsicles and waters. It was really amazing.”

For the first time, the marathon took place on the anniversary of the bombings that marked the event six years ago (April 15, 2013). The tragedy left a mark on Hendrick Motorsports.

“We had somebody close to Hendrick Motorsports … was lost in the bombing,” Johnson said. “Sean Collier was a security guard at MIT and was lost trying to apprehend the bombers. His brother (Andrew) worked in our engine shop and I’ve been able to meet with his family and spend time with them and take them to the races. I’ve been trying to bring up his name and honor him.”

Will Johnson return to the marathon in 2020?

“I’ve got to look at the car racing schedule,” Johnson said. “Somebody told me that it doesn’t work out as well. I’d like to have Sunday to recover some. So I need to look at it, but I’ve heard that with my time I’m qualified to come back. So, if I can, I will.”

The 2020 Boston Marathon is scheduled for Monday, April 20. The Cup Series is scheduled to compete at Richmond Raceway the day before.

Kenyan Lawrence Cherono won the marathon in a photo finish over Ethiopian Lelisa Desisa. Cherono won with a time of 2 hours, 7 minutes and 57 seconds.

For a time comparison, this year’s Daytona 500 was completed in 3 hours, 45 minutes and 55 seconds.

The 500-mile Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway took 3 hours, 16 minutes and 11 seconds.

In Johnson’s last Cup win at Dover International Speedway in June 2017, the time of the race was 3 hours, 52 minutes and 6 seconds.

Johnson took part in the marathon two days after competing in the 400 lap Cup race at Richmond Raceway.

Former Cup driver Michael Waltrip competed in the Boston Marathon in 2000 the day after a race at Talladega Superspeedway. He completed the route in 4 hours, 42 minutes and 20 seconds.

Below are tweets documenting Johnson’s marathon experience.

Speed Tweets: ‘Fog cannons,’ pre-crash selfies, Martinsville black holes

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There’s friendly competitor ribbing, then there’s just downright roasting.

Ryan Blaney and Bubba Wallace offered a prime example of this on Thursday.

While golfing, Wallace took a picture of a golf cart identified by the No. 12, which happens to be Blaney’s car number.

Wallace took the opportunity to poke fun at Blaney’s late-race struggles this season.

Blaney didn’t take it lying down, but may be regretting his response after finishing two laps down Saturday in Richmond.

Some big space news was announced earlier this week when the first picture of a black hole was revealed.

But according to Martinsville Speedway’s Twitter account, you can see plenty of black holes on the half-mile short track if you look closely enough.

Driver introductions are a spectacle these days.

The lights! The music! The crowd! The lasers! (There are lasers, right? There should totally be lasers.)

But there’s also “fog cannons.”

All this might be exciting for some, but it may not be the most kid-friendly scenario.

You know the saying, “Don’t selfie and cycle”?

Oh, well, you do now thanks to Noah Gragson.

In NASCAR if two people share the same unique last name, there’s a good chance they might be related.

Well, that’s not the case with the Moffitts.

Brett Moffitt, the defending Gander Outdoors Truck Series champion, wants everyone to know he is not related to ARCA driver Thad Moffitt.

If he were, he’d be a member of Richard Petty’s family.

Jimmie Johnson had an uneventful Saturday night in Richmond, which he’s probably OK with. Rain didn’t delay the Cup race at all as he finished 12th. That means his effort to compete in Monday’s Boston Marathon won’t be hindered and he gets a full day of rest.