New Dad Johnson Heads To Chicago

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Jimmie Johnson hopes to have even more to celebrate than the birth of his daughter this week with a victory in Saturday night's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series LifeLock.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway.

Johnson's wife Chandra gave birth to the couple's first child on Wednesday at 1:44 p.m. ET in Charlotte, NC. She weighed 6 lbs., 14 oz. and measured 19.5" long.

Now that the blessed event is in the rear view mirror, Johnson can at least somewhat concentrate on the matter of this weekend's race.

The four-time champion had Aric Almirola on standby in the event the baby was born during a race weekend.

But now it will be the regular driver of the Lowe's Chevrolet behind the wheel for Saturday night's event at the 1.5-mile track.

Johnson has made eight Sprint Cup Series starts at Chicagoland Speedway, where he has earned five top-five and seven top-10 finishes.

While he scored his first career Nationwide Series victory at Chicagoland in 2001, the Joliet facility is one of only four venues on which the Sprint Cup Series competes that Johnson hasn't visited Victory Lane. (Michigan, Chicago, Watkins Glen, Homestead).

So the Windy City is definitely now number one on Johnson's hit list.

"Yeah, Chicago is," Johnson laughed. "(Crew chief) Chad (Knaus) has asked me since I won in California for my first race if we could win in his home state so he could experience that. And we have been very, very close. I gave one up to Kyle (Busch) on a restart a couple of years ago. Last year we led a ton of laps but just didn't close at the end. Things got away from us.

"So I feel we've got a good chance there and certainly hope to. It's nice to cross off these tracks; tracks I haven't won at. I'd love to try to beat Jeff (Gordon) at something and I know he's sitting there waiting for one. If I could hurry up and get a couple more out of the way it would be awesome."

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