Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne prove to be good luck for Panthers, Seahawks

Leave a comment

With the season over, two of NASCAR’s top pilots found some time yesterday to enjoy another Sunday tradition.

Six-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson was entrusted with an important pre-game role for the Carolina Panthers in their tilt yesterday with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Panthers’ motto is “Keep Pounding,” which dates back to an emotional speech from Panthers defensive coach and ex-linebacker Sam Mills to his players before a 2004 playoff game against the Dallas Cowboys.

The speech took place while Mills was battling intestinal cancer. He succumbed to the disease in 2005 at the age of 45, but his message endures.

It’s represented in the Panthers’ various cancer research initiatives, and before every Panthers game, a honorary drummer beats a large drum with the “Keep Pounding” name on it four times (signifying the four quarters of a game).

Yesterday, the honor went to Johnson:

Meanwhile, on the other side of the country, Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kasey Kahne was cheering on his Seattle Seahawks as they dueled with the San Francisco 49ers.

View this post on Instagram

Great day to be in Seattle. Go Hawks!

A post shared by Kasey Kahne (@kaseykahne) on

The ‘Hawks ultimately won the NFC West battle at CenturyLink Field, and afterwards, Kahne and his crew met up with quarterback Russell Wilson to celebrate.

Champion Marc Marquez leads MotoGP into virtual world Sunday

Sadiq Asyraf/Getty Images
Leave a comment

During its layoff because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, MotoGP will become the latest racing series to enter the virtual world.

The MotoGP Virtual Race will be held at 9 a.m. ET Sunday, March 29 with 10 riders. It will be streamed on several platforms, including the Motorsports on NBC YouTube channel. Reigning series champion Marc Marquez is among the riders in the field.

The premier class of MotoGP has yet to hit the track this season as its opener was canceled and the next three races were postponed, including the Grand Prix of the Americas being moved from April 5 to Nov. 15.

Several other racing series have tried online racing in recent weeks.

IMSA held a “SuperSaturday at Sebring” March 21 in place of the postponed Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. NASCAR started its Pro Invitational Series last Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway and will continue Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway. IndyCar kicked off its six-race IndyCar iRacing Challenge with a Saturday race at Watkins Glen International that was won by Sage Karam.