This week's Sports Illustrated features a candid NASCAR roundtable moderated by Lars Anderson and features Jimmie Johnson, Greg Biffle, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick and Dale Earnhardt Jr. The story can be found here.
Below are a few bullet points:
When asked if he was surprised that so many people still don’t know him well, Johnson said:
“I’m tired of talking about this s---. For the last eight years of my career I’ve spent more time defending myself and explaining just who the hell I am, and if people don’t care or want to find out, then the hell with it. I’m tired of talking about it. I’ve done nothing but carry myself in the right way, thank my sponsors, been respectful to my peers and the people I compete with, and if someone doesn’t like me, then that’s fine. Go cheer for someone else. I’ve got plenty of fans. I’m cool.”
Each of the five drivers expressed a desire for shorter races and a shorter regular season. Hamlin was the most outspoken of the group saying:
“NASCAR’s response is going to be, ‘Well, you’ve only got an hourlong event, that’s less commercials sold, that’s less TV money you’re going to get. So as long as you’re O.K. with the purse being cut, then let’s go for it.’ And then we’re going to say, ‘Oh, s---, wait a minute.”
The story is online but can also be found with a mid-season review in the July 5, 2010 Sports Illustrated and is in stores now.