NASCAR AMERICA: Jimmie Johnson ready for comeback after tough 2014 (VIDEO)

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After capturing his sixth NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship in 2013, Jimmie Johnson was set on earning a record-tying seventh crown in 2014.

But instead of making history, Johnson and his No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports team were unable to hold on to their dominant form. They scored four wins in the spring, but a rough summer ultimately led to a second-round exit in the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

When Johnson recalled what went wrong in 2014 to NASCAR AMERICA’s Dave Burns, he noted that several hallmarks of the No. 48’s previous titles were missing.

“There are some things I’m not so proud and [crew chief] Chad [Knaus] is not so proud of,” Johnson said. “The lack of team unity, the lack of a team performing in harmony as we should – those were all strong suits of the 48 and those were the things that led us to our championships…People tried to mimic what we had and what we did.

“We didn’t do that last year and I truly feel within that is where the performance comes.”

For more on Johnson’s thoughts about the upcoming 2015 season, the retirement of Jeff Gordon, and his own “indicators” for when he’ll consider hanging up his helmet, check out his full interview with Burns at the top.

NHRA: Alexis DeJoria reveals sponsorship for return to Funny Car

Photo courtesy ROKiT/Alexis DeJoria Racing
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Returning to NHRA Funny Car competition after a two-year hiatus, Alexis DeJoria has announced her new team will be sponsored by ABK Beer and ROKiT Phones for the full 24-race 2020 NHRA national event season.

ABK Beer is a 700-year-old Bavarian beer brand, while ROKiT further expands its reach in motorsports, also sponsoring the ROKiT Williams Racing Formula 1 team and the ROKiT Venturi Racing Formula E team.

Both brands have signed multi-year deals to sponsor DeJoria and her 11,000-horsepower Toyota Camry Funny Car. Also, in a unique twist, ROKiT smartphones will engage fans of DeJoria and NHRA with “innovative 3D content,” according to a media release.

“Joining Del Worsham’s newly-formed DC Motorsports team was just the first step in reigniting my quest at being the first female Funny Car world champion, and I’m thrilled that ROKiT is coming along for the ride,” DeJoria said in the media release. “I can’t wait to get back on the track and am energized and excited about all the things we have in store for the amazing NHRA fans.”

DeJoria will join a number of Top Fuel and Funny Car teams in Las Vegas for the annual preseason test-and-tune – otherwise known as “spring training” – on February 1 and 2.

This is the first time the test session will be held at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. It has previously been held for at least the last two decades at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in suburban Phoenix.

The 24-race NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season opens the following weekend — February 6-9 — with the Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, California.

DeJoria, who is married to reality TV star Jesse James, is particularly looking forward to returning to Pomona. It was there where she made drag racing history, becoming the first female to clock a sub-four second run (3.997 seconds) in the 2014 season opener.

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