Happy Hour: Jimmie Johnson and the live chat popularity of Joe Nemechek

Throughout the week you can send us your best questions, jokes, rants and just plain miscellaneous thoughts to happyhourmailbag@yahoo.com or @NickBromberg. We'll post them here, have a good time and everyone's happy. Right? Oh who are we kidding, this is NASCAR. No one is ever happy.

The mailbag is a little light this week, but the dominant topic? Jimmie Johnson, of course. But first, let's talk a little New Hampshire.

Outside of Johnson, the biggest non-no-penalty storyline of the weekend may be Morgan Shepherd becoming the oldest driver to start a Sprint Cup Series race. At 71, it's awesome to see Morgan still doing what he loves. That said, let's not overlook the fact that he's driving basically the 43rd car in an entered field of 43. And let's all hope that Morgan's first start in the Cup Series since 2006 is a tad more auspicious than the last time the No. 52 hit the track and another car on pit road at Sonoma.

The last 10 New Hampshire July races have had 10 different winners. Will we see No. 11 in 11? A Johnson win would break the streak; he won there in 2010.

Onto the questions:

Crabs in a bucket, that is what Jimmie Johnson's anti-fans are. If any crab starts climbing higher than the others, the rest pull it back down. Seems to be a huge resentment of genuine mastery amongst the crabs in the Nascar fans. I admire Jimmie Johnson, although I prefer some other drivers, and think more Nascar fans should be vocal about Johnson's amazing accomplishments.
- Lexi

For some reason, I now have "Suds in the Bucket" stuck in my head, and that song is just torturous to me. So thanks, Lexi!

NASCAR fans aren't alone in their treatment of Jimmie Johnson. It's not a perfect comparison -- especially because they didn't win five straight Super Bowls -- but would the Patriots be the football equivalent? They've been very good for a long time, and while NASCAR fans point to the suspensions and penalties that the No. 48 team has received over the years, NFL fans point to the Patriots' videotaping.


What would the post race interviews be like had the #48 and the #5 roles had been reversed last week in Daytona? If the #5 car jumped out of line blocking(hanging the #48 out) and then blocked the #9 causing Jimmie Johnson to wreck? Would Johnson decline an interview like he's done in the past? Would he have acted like a past champion?
- Rick

First off, the idea that Johnson declined the interview at Kentucky is very, very, overblown, and seems to be a product of some vague language from TNT towards the end of the race. Johnson spoke to PRN and other reporters after the race. For whatever reason, TNT was not included in those reporters. Pretty straightforward.

I don't think Johnson would have been anything other than professional had the roles been reversed. Would he have been undoubtedly frustrated at losing a golden opportunity at a win for two weeks in a row? Of course. Would that frustration have come through in the interview? Likely. Would it have been "unbecoming" of a past champion? No.


It is $25.00 to join the Joe Nemechek fan club on his website.....Think I'll just stick to the fan club on chat.
- Josh

I'm going to wager that if Joe's fan club in the Yahoo! Sports' live NASCAR chats all voted for him in the Sprint All-Star race voting, he'd get in by a landslide. Don't underestimate the power of the live chat, Joe. Mobilize your fans!

That's a perfect plug for Sunday's New Hampshire live chat, isn't it? Join us then, and then join us later next week. Hop online Sunday afternoon for details.

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