Jimmie Johnson’s brother-in-law killed in skydiving accident

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It has been confirmed that the brother-in-law of six-time and defending Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson lost his life yesterday in a skydiving accident in San Diego.

NBC San Diego reports that 27-year-old Jordan Janway, the brother of Johnson’s wife, Chandra, collided in mid-air with another diver during a training session at the Skydive San Diego complex. The other diver was not injured and landed safely.

Janway was a skydiving instructor with more than 1,000 jumps to his credit. His parachute did not deploy in the incident, and less than an hour after he was first reported missing, his body was found by a sheriff’s helicopter.

According to Skydive San Diego owner Buzz Fink, the parachutes have a chip that will automatically deploy the chute should the diver be falling too fast.

However, Fink said that Janway’s chip was undergoing maintenance and was not on his chute. Additionally, since Janway had jumped more than 1,000 times, he was not required to jump with the chip and did not do so.

“We do well over 100,000 jumps a year, and we pride ourselves on our safety and everything we do as far as our equipment, our airplanes,” Fink told NBC San Diego. “However, it is skydiving and things can happen and generally you do everything we can to prevent it.”

“I liken it to driving down the road. You have a safety belt, an air bag. The bottom line is, you’re still at a risk if someone crosses that line and hits your car,” he said.

Today, the Johnsons released the following statement on the driver’s web site that read as follows:

The Johnsons are saddened by the tragic passing of Chandra’s brother, Jordan Janway, 27. Jordan was an incredible son, brother, uncle and friend and will be dearly missed. Please keep the Janway family in your thoughts and prayers. The family asks for privacy at this time.

We certainly pass along our condolences and sympathy to them.

IndyCar 2017 driver review: Ed Carpenter

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MotorSportsTalk continues its annual review of the Verizon IndyCar Series drivers that raced in 2017. The 2017 season behind the wheel was better for Ed Carpenter than either of the last two years, but still wasn’t ideal results-wise in his six oval starts.

Ed Carpenter, No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet

  • 2016: 25th Place (5 Starts), Best Finish 18th, Best Start 5th, 0 Top-5, 0 Top-10, 1 Lap Led, 11.2 Avg. Start, 21.8 Avg. Finish
  • 2017: 22nd Place (6 Starts), Best Finish 7th, Best Start 2nd, 0 Top-5, 1 Top-10, 5 Laps Led, 11.3 Avg. Start, 12.3 Avg. Finish

Ed Carpenter’s 2017 season was largely one of frustration, both behind the wheel and as a team owner.

While a respectable turnaround in results occurred – Carpenter finished between seventh and 12th in five of his six oval races after a nightmare season of ending 18th or worse in each of his 2016 starts – this is still not what he sets out to strive for in the races he does. Lost opportunities loomed larger than any official result he or the Ed Carpenter Racing team achieved.

Carpenter and new teammate JR Hildebrand, in for the departed Josef Newgarden, dominated preseason testing in Phoenix but Hildebrand could only muster third in the race, Carpenter a season-best seventh. Then at Indianapolis, Carpenter (second) and Hildebrand (sixth) flew the flag for Chevrolet in qualifying and practice pace, but they fell to 11th and 16th on race day owing to a front-wing change and late-race penalty for passing before a restart.

Both drivers got collected in incidents at Texas. Hildebrand qualified and finished a season-best second in Iowa but that result came only after the ECR crew rebuilt his car from a crash in practice. Then Carpenter had a practice crash in Pocono and despite a rapid rebuild, they missed the clock to qualify by mere minutes and were unable to do so. Carpenter’s spin on a slick Gateway track at the start of the race sent him over Will Power’s nose assembly in one of the scarier looking incidents of the year, although fortunately he was OK.

In a similar refrain as we often write, it’s not that Carpenter’s lost his ability to drive and he remains one of the series’ savviest and smartest people in the paddock. There have been a lot of extenuating circumstances of late, and it almost felt as though this team had “empty nest” components. Since September, Carpenter has had to secure his team’s future with a move away from its Speedway, Ind. shop, line up Spencer Pigot for a full-time drive replacing Hildebrand in the No. 21 car, find a new road/street course driver in the No. 20 car, and manage both driving and owning himself.