Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

NASCAR's Jimmie Johnson to drive in Daytona 500 without stitches or pads on cut finger

DAYTONA BEACH — Jimmie Johnson's injured left middle finger passed a crash test on Saturday night in the Bud Shootout and the three-time defending Sprint Cup champion doesn't plan to wear anything other than his normal gloves in Sunday's Daytona 500.

Johnson, who suffered tendon and nerve damage attempting to cut a hole in his firesuit with a kitchen knife during the Rolex 24 last month, experimented with protective pads in practice on Saturday but couldn't make them comfortable.

The thickness of the steering wheel, he said, is support enough, he said, and he was able to get his hand off the wheel quickly after being turned into the wall on the final lap of the Shootout. A turning steering wheel can easily break fingers during a crash.

All 16 of his stitches have been removed and Johnson said the nerve is causing his only discomfort.

"I just have to protect the tendon," he said. "The nerve is starting to wake up, so my finger, it's like fire kind of shoots through it at times. It pulses and tingles and does some weird things. That keeps me up a little bit at night when it's active on me."

FAST START: Tony Stewart admitted that leading a lap in the Bud Shootout, his first race as a Sprint Cup driver/owner, was emotional.

The two-time series champion finished third in the No. 14 Chevrolet, his first Cup race of a ten-year career that was not in Joe Gibbs Racing's No. 20 Chevrolet.

"That is a big moment for anybody,'' he said of having the lead. "Anybody that takes on a big undertaking like this, the first time you lead a race with it especially the first race out of the box and lead it in the fist 20 laps like that, that is something to really be proud of."

DOWNER: Kevin Harvick's Shootout win was tempered by a 49th-best qualifying effort, especially since his Richard Childress Racing team uses the same engines as Earnhardt Ganassi, which put all three drivers in the top seven. RCR's Clint Bowyer qualified 22nd, Jeff Burton 31st and Casey Mears 40th.

"It definitely wasn't the lap we expected," Harvick said. "I don't think we were looking at the pole, but we were definitely much better than that lap showed. The engine never turned the rpm's we expected it to. The guys just told me it looks like we burned up a rear end gear, but I don't know exactly what happened."

HYLTON CHECK-OUT: James Hylton, who was attempting at age 74 to become the oldest to race in the Daytona 500, didn't even get to make a qualifying run because his No. 60 Dodge could not pass inspection on Saturday and reach the track for practice.

"I feel like I've been snake bit," Hylton said in a release.

Hylton's crew changed the starter, battery and "more or less rebuilt the carburetor," the release continues. Hylton the 1966 NASCAR rookie of the year, had a best finish of third in 1967 in 15 Daytona 500s.

NASCAR's Jimmie Johnson to drive in Daytona 500 without stitches or pads on cut finger 02/08/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 11, 2009 4:43pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Bucs journal: Kicker Nick Folk has up and downs against Jaguars

    Bucs

    JACKSONVILLE — If the Bucs had hoped for a drama-free night in their kicking game, they'll have to wait another week.

    Bucs kicker Nick Folk celebrates one of his two made field goals against the Jaguars, but he also misses a field goal and has an extra point blocked.
  2. Bucs top Jaguars behind strong first half

    Bucs

    JACKSONVILLE

    There is a reason why the air in Tampa Bay is filled with playoff talk. If Thursday night's 12-8 Bucs preseason win over the Jaguars is any indication, it's also going to be filled with footballs thrown by quarterback Jameis Winston.

    Doug Martin gets the Bucs’ only touchdown  on a 2-yard run, squeaking past linebacker Telvin Smith in the first quarter. He has five carries for 30 yards.
  3. Rays journal: Archer has strong outing, with two mistakes

    The Heater

    TORONTO — Two pitches RHP Chris Archer didn't execute are the ones that stood out Thursday as Josh Donaldson hit them out of the park. But the two solo home runs aside, Archer turned in a sterling outing that went atop the pile of good pitching the Rays keep wasting.

    Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer (22) works during the first inning. [Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP]
  4. Tim Tebow continues wowing fans as he wraps up bay area games

    Minors

    CLEARWATER — Tracey Fritzinger has seen Tim Tebow play baseball a few times this year. The 40-year-old St. Petersburg resident went to two of his games against the Tampa Yankees, along with Joy, her little sister from Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

    St. Lucie Mets outfielder Tim Tebow, middle, hangs out in the dugout during Thursday night’s game against the Clearwater Threshers at Spectrum Field, the last of St. Lucie’s eight-day trip to the Tampa Bay area.
  5. Rays vs. Mariners, 7:10 Friday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Mariners

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun, 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Austin Pruitt (50) in the dugout during the ninth inning of the game between the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays on Opening Day at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, April 2, 2017. The Tampa Bay Rays beat the New York Yankees 7-3.