On Wednesday, the 16 drivers who qualified for the Chase for the Sprint Cup were dispatched all over the continent in order to help promote the upcoming 10-race battle. For the first time, locations outside of the United States were chosen for drivers to travel to. Jeff Gordon spent his day in Toronto, while Carl Edwards spent Wednesday in Mexico City.
Most of the activities for Chasers were fan-oriented activities and local TV appearances, the types of appearances that are not necessarily out of the ordinary for Sprint Cup drivers. However, the most visible drivers on the media tour were Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick and Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
Harvick was selected to do the ESPN Car Wash. The car wash involves Harvick traveling to ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Conn., and doing a series of interviews for TV and radio, including three live spots on SportsCenter.
In addition, Harvick also took over the NASCAR on ESPN Twitter feed
and answered questions from fans.
Jimmie Johnson traveled to New York and appeared on four different TV shows. In the morning, he started off on NBC’s Today before moving on to the syndicated Live With Kelly and Michael. Johnson appeared on CNBC’s Power Lunch in the afternoon before making a cameo appearance on NBC’s The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon. Johnson was not a billed guest on the show in the credits, but appeared early in the show as part of a race against Fallon on motorized coolers.
Earnhardt traveled to Los Angeles. While there,he appeared in videos that will eventually be posted on Funny or Die, did a live appearance on FOX Sports 1’s America’s Pregame, and made a full guest appearance on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live! There, Earnhardt actually talked about the new Chase format, in addition to talking about his western town, car graveyard and Forrest Gump statue on his property. Earnhardt described winning in the Chase as being equal to earning an immunity idol on Survivor.