Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Johnson, Lachey join forces for charity at Super Bowl XLII

Don Coble | Wednesday, January 2, 2008 at 12:30 am

Jimmie Johnson and Nick Lachey will be partners in a Super Bowl weekend party to benefit several charities.

The two-time defending Sprint Cup Series champion and multi-platinum recording artist will host the Super Skins Celebrity Golf Classic and the Super Skins Party, as well as conducting an on-line auction to benefit the Jimmie Johnson Foundation and Nick Lachey Foundation.

The golf match will feature sports, recording and screen stars. The tournament will be held on Feb. 2 in Scottsdale, Ariz., the night before Super Bowl XLII at nearby Glendale.

"I consider myself very fortunate and I'm sure Nick would agree," Johnson said. "We've been looking for the right way to work together and give back, and I think this event is the perfect way for us to support worthy causes in a meaningful way."

Tickets for golf or the private party at Axis Radius, a popular nightclub in Scottsdale, are available at .

Johnson's primary beneficiaries are the American Red Cross, San Diego Habitat for Humanity, the Hendrick Marrow Program, Make-A-Wish and the Victory Junction Gang Camp.

Coulthard considers NASCAR

Formula One driver David Coulthard told Autosport he would consider a move to NASCAR once his open-wheel career is done.

Coulthard, who finishes second in the series standings in 2001, said he's not interesting in the IRL Indy Car or the CART Champ Car series.

"I would consider something like NASCAR," Coulthard said. "I don't think I would consider IRL. The only thing is, in America, you have to commit to it absolutely, which means you move out there, take your family there.

"But I'd certainly consider it. This will be my 15th season in Formula One. After that, I'll do this as long as I'm having fun."

Juan Pablo Montoya and Jacques Villeneuve already have made the move from Formula One to NASCAR. So have Indy-car drivers Dario Franchitti, Patrick Carpentier and Sam Hornish Jr.

Europeans ignore NASCAR

According to Autosport magazine, defending Sprint Cup Series champion was the 20th-best driver in the world last year.

The British magazine ranked Formula One champion Kimi Raikkonen in first place. The magazine clearly favored Formula One in his rankings, placing them in 12 of the top-18 positions.

Jeff Gordon was ranked 25th; Matt Kenseth was 36th.

According to Autosport, Jarno Trulli, who didn't have a top-three podium finish all year, was the 17th-best driver in the world last year.

Crew chiefs signed

Kevin "Bono" Manion was signed to a three-year extension at Dale Earnhardt Inc., while Doug Richert was signed by DEI for Regan Smith's car.

Also, Ryan Pemberton was hired by Michael Waltrip Racing for driver David Reutimann and Paul Andrews was signed to lead Waltrip's team.

Manion has served as Martin Truex Jr.'s crew chief since he came to the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2001.

Manion and Truex qualified for the Chase for the Championship last year in the Sprint Cup Series, finishing 11th.

Pemberton left DEI for a new job at Waltrip.

"My vision of Michael Waltrip Racing becoming one of the elite organizations in NASCAR has not changed since the day I started this team," Waltrip said. "Over the past four months, we have made significant moves to position ourselves for success."

Andrews led Alan Kulwicki to a championship in 1992.