Crew Call: No. 4 team celebrates first win of the season
Go inside Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Victory Lane and celebrate with the Kevin Harvick's race winning crew.
HOT TAKE: Has slumping Jimmie Johnson lost the magic?
RELATED: Read more Inside Groove It's been quite a drought for Jimmie Johnson. Despite winning the two previous races before Sunday's outing at Richmond International Raceway, Johnson hasn’t won a single race since -- creating a whopping, one-race winless streak that’s probably a career high or something. Johnson made contact with Hendrick Motorsports teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. late in the race Sunday (and earned the ire of Junior Nation in the process ), but only finished 11th -- a position that many racing historians claim is actually 10 positions lower than first place. This new week-long winless drought is clear evidence that the No. 48 team has lost its touch. Sure, Johnson has faced a winless drought before -- most recently when he snapped a 24-race streak with a breakthrough victory at Charlotte Motor Speedway last fall that propelled him to a record-tying seventh Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship -- but can he do it again? History says, "Yes, of course, you idiot." But something inside me says, "Maybe I should insinuate 'no' because I have major beard envy." Look, Jimmie Johnson is far and away the winningest active driver. The No. 48 team has won 82 times since 2002, more than double the next driver. And yes, I'll admit, Johnson's seven Cup titles are more than the rest of the field combined. If he's so great, then why didn't he win after his crash Sunday at Richmond? I know, I know. Before Joey Logano won Sunday at Richmond, Jimmie Johnson had won a quarter of the races in 2017. And, yes, history says he'll contend for victories at the remaining 27 races this year -- having won at all but three of the remaining tracks on the schedule. But the fact remains: Jimmie Johnson didn't win the race this past weekend and now faces a monstrous one-race winless streak.
Excuses index: How to bail on work to watch the race
RELATED: Read more Inside Groove Today's race at Bristol (1 p.m. ET, FOX, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) happens to fall during a workday. No worries. We've got you covered with a full index of ways to get out of your shift today, courtesy of @nascarcasm and Steve Luvender. Here's how @nascarcasm suggests getting out of work: 1. Tell your supervisor you'll be taking all five of your lunch breaks for the week back-to-back at 1 p.m. ET. 2. Ask Landon Cassill how many retweets it will take for Landon to personally call your boss and inform him or her that you'll be leaving around noon. 3. Claim you have jury duty. If your boss asks "What case?" do not yell "Ol' Junebug vs. the World's Fastest Half Mile! Wooooo!" While tempting, that's a dead giveaway. 4. Just find an empty bathroom stall and hang out in there and follow the race on social media. This common practice is known as "shwittering." 5. Tell your boss you have someone who will fill in for you while you're watching the race. When your replacement shows up, explain to your boss that Alex Bowman is very skilled at Microsoft Excel. 6. Use the Jeff Gordon method. Say you've decided it's time to retire, then just show up back to work the next day like it never happened. And if you're looking for excuses that technically aren't untrue, Steve Luvender has your back. • "I'm sick." Sick of not being able to watch the race while I'm working, that is. • "There's been a family hardship." Your family had to deal with you instead of watching the race yesterday afternoon. That might have been hard for them if they're used to a few hours of peace and quiet. • "I have an appointment." An appointment with the TV at approximately 1 p.m. ET, that is. (But don't tell your boss that part.) • "I'm having car problems." The problem is that you couldn't watch race cars zoom around Bristol's high banks. • "I'm expecting a delivery to my house." While your boss might expect a major appliance being delivered to your house within a five-hour window, maybe you're actually having a pizza or two delivered to your house around the end of Stage 1 or so. Technically not lying. • "I've been arrested." Sometimes you have to get really creative. It's not a good idea to pull out the "I've been arrested" card frequently, lest you arouse suspicion of your co-workers, but it's not lying if you've been arrested by the allure of NASCAR.
What you should do during a NASCAR rain delay
RELATED: Read more Inside Groove " Rainy Bristol photos
Joey Logano hilariously prank calls SiriusXM
RELATED: Read more Inside Groove Perhaps Joey Logano was bored in Martinsville on a Friday night, or maybe he just wanted to mess with SiriusXM NASCAR Radio host Claire B. Lang. Regardless of reason, we're glad someone was recording for posterity when "Ben from Martinsville" called into Lang's radio show to discuss his favorite driver … Joey Logano. From hot dog puns to cuckoo clocks, Logano's trademark laugh -- and slipped traces of his Northeast accent -- nearly gave him away, but he kept the gig up to the end. Listen below, and well done, Ben Joey. Ben from martinsville is a big Logano fan. @ClaireBLang @SiriusXMNASCAR pic.twitter.com/PtOFihu2rW — Joey Logano (@joeylogano) April 1, 2017
Larson: I fly commercial so I can 'rack up the miles'
RELATED: Read more Inside Groove MARTINSVILLE, Va. -- Never let it be said that Kyle Larson isn't a man of the people, at least when it comes to flying. One week after visiting Victory Lane at Auto Club Speedway, Larson arrived at Martinsville Speedway revealing that a significant portion of his air travel is done commercially. Though his celeb stature in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series could afford him a more luxurious lifestyle, Larson indicated he's quite the penny-pincher. "Yeah, I fly commercial as much as I can and fly with the team," Larson said Friday before opening practice. "That's a lot of money to be private flying, especially to the West Coast. Yeah, I'm cheap with my money when it comes to flying. And, I like to rack up the miles so I can maybe get some free trips." Larson admits he does spring for first-class seating on occasion. His son, Owen, is now 2 years old and requires his own airline seat -- another addition in cost. Even then, he's maintained a frugal overall philosophy that has led to some ribbing from friends and fellow competitors, with Larson singling out Danica Patrick and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. as offenders. "Obviously she's a very wealthy person, but she doesn't understand why I would purchase a coach ticket when coach is $120 versus first class being $500," Larson said with a grin. "I'm going to save that money." Seven-time series champion Jimmie Johnson, scheduled for a press availability in the Martinsville media center after Larson, seemed amused with his fellow Chevrolet driver's financial sense. But in a nod to Larson's budding talent and the potential windfall from padding his win total, Johnson suggested he'd join the elite jet-setter ranks in the near future. "Just for the record, though, his commercial flight days are about over," Johnson said. &lt;/p&gt;
Call waiting: Junior hits the ol' decline button
RELATED: Read more Inside Groove Talk about being sent to voicemail. Dale Earnhardt Jr. declined a post-race phone call from pal and neighbor Ryan Blaney after the two were involved in an on-track incident Sunday at Martinsville, and then let the whole world know about it -- or at least his more than two million Twitter followers. Too soon ol boy. @BubbaWallace @Blaney #StillSprint #Declined #BYOB pic.twitter.com/81Dq340aVO — Dale Earnhardt Jr. (@DaleJr) April 3, 2017 Ouch, ol boy. Sunday was the second time in three weeks these two had on-track issues. On a post-race live video stream, Junior said he was disappointed in the incident, which you can watch above. Blaney has not yet responded publicly, but props for being the first to reach out Sunday night. We're confident these two will be able to move forward. The real question, here: How is Bubba Wallace in the middle of all this?! did I miss something from today?? https://t.co/H8BnWN8yPR — Darrell Wallace Jr (@BubbaWallace) April 3, 2017 Ok @DaleJr just gave me the rundown.. BOY, what is you doing?!? @Blaney pic.twitter.com/Cj9WcaABaC — Darrell Wallace Jr (@BubbaWallace) April 3, 2017
@nascarcasm: 2017 Peeps 400
RELATED: Read more Inside Groove @nascarcasm held his annual Peeps 400 this week in honor of the marshmallow, Easter-time treat. The premise: 16 Peeps with numbers corresponding to the drivers in last year's playoff field were placed in a microwave, heat set to high for five minutes. The one Peep to outlast the other 15 will be crowned the winner of the 2017 Peeps 400. Watch the video below to see who won. &amp;lt;/center&amp;gt;
Landon Cassill offers favors to fans -- with a catch
RELATED: Read more Inside Groove In the spirit of the much-publicized fast food fan seeking free chicken nuggets in exchange for retweets , dozens of Landon Cassill’s fans took a similar approach to get something back from their favorite driver Monday afternoon. Fans reached out to Cassill on Twitter asking the driver for favors -- tasks as simple as a Twitter follow to requests as heavy as printing a name on his No. 34 race car -- in exchange for a number of retweets that Cassill himself determined. WE CAN DO IT! @landoncassill pic.twitter.com/dbDLKZ9VFW — Barney's Maker (@EdLovesNASCAR) April 10, 2017 Let's do this!! @landoncassill @DaleJr pic.twitter.com/gTOFM6wuaI — Bradon Buchanan (@BradonB2017) April 10, 2017 Please make it happen! @landoncassill @NASCAR #NASCAR pic.twitter.com/fz3W4spIqV — mrnascar (@mrnascar242424) April 10, 2017 hey everyone i need help @landoncassill @TheOrangeCone pic.twitter.com/KCy4aEuNHU — Mike McCoy ⚡ (@NYstacker11) April 10, 2017 300 https://t.co/8n0BGURbcs — landon cassill (@landoncassill) April 10, 2017 3,400 https://t.co/9UYKiYsWWO — landon cassill (@landoncassill) April 10, 2017 Everybody RT this!! It'll take one second and it'd be great if it could happen @landoncassill pic.twitter.com/8c0tP6NhQy — Brooke (@IAmBrookeCurran) April 10, 2017 Can you guys help me out please? @landoncassill @cpk_diecast @NASCAR_2017 @Nascar_Brackets @kaitlancassill @Team_FRM pic.twitter.com/KlG6EZO2vX — Austin (@al15al15) April 10, 2017 Help @landoncassill @Team_FRM pic.twitter.com/ZY4ofqBQzn — Trevor Steven (@TrevorStev) April 10, 2017 @landoncassill how many retweets for you to get off this plane. please landon we overbooked this flight and we at united would appreciate it — Steve Luvender (@steveluvender) April 10, 2017 @landoncassill how many RTs to present this Jim Roper (1st NASCAR Cup race winner) paint scheme to FRR marketing to run at Darlington? pic.twitter.com/RT92LurtEt — DarlingtonThrowbacks (@DarlingtonRetro) April 10, 2017 oh no @landoncassill is doing things again — Steven Taranto (@STaranto92) April 10, 2017
McDowell, LFR helping Twitter user in quest for free Wendy's chicken nuggets
RELATED: Read more Inside Groove If you've spent literally any time on Twitter over the past two weeks, chances are you've seen the below tweet -- because it's been retweeted more than three million times. HELP ME PLEASE. A MAN NEEDS HIS NUGGS pic.twitter.com/4SrfHmEMo3 — Carter Wilkerson (@carterjwm) April 6, 2017 Yes, Carter Wilkerson is well on his way to receiving free chicken nuggets for a year from fast food chain Wendy's. All he has to do is get a measly 18 million retweets. Considering he's roughly 18 percent of the way there at press time (still an accomplishment!), he could use a little help to pick up the slack and finish off the remaining 15 million retweets. Insert Michael McDowell and Leavine Family Racing. LFR will feature a large decal on the TV panel of the No. 95 WRL Chevrolet SS with the Twitter hashtag #NuggsForCarter in Sunday's Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway (2 p.m. ET, FOX.) Alright race fans, let's help get @carterjwm to 18 million so he can get his @Wendys nuggets! #NASCAR #NuggsForCarter pic.twitter.com/kNy3LknRPv — LeavineFamilyRacing (@LFR95) April 19, 2017 We got your back @carterjwm #NuggsForCarter . pic.twitter.com/XjINJJBR71 — Michael McDowell (@Mc_Driver) April 19, 2017 "I am blown away by all of the support!" Wilkerson said in a team release. "It all started out just for fun. I just really wanted some chicken nuggets. Now, we've raised more than $100,000 for charity and it just keeps growing. I've just about beat Ellen (DeGeneres, for this tweet , the most RT'ed ever), and I'm Twitter verified. I'm excited to see what's next." Kind of makes you wonder how many retweets it would take for an unlimited supply of Frostys, no?
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