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Jimmie Johnson Wins “Best Driver” ESPY

Representing NASCAR in the “Best Driver” nomination for the 2011 ESPY awards, five-time and defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson was presented with the ESPY award on Wednesday night, beating out NHRA’s John Force and Greg Anderson and IndyCar’s Dario Franchitti.

“Thanks everyone, driver of the year is huge!” Johnson posted on Twitter. “Wish I win the big one but it’s all good.”

“The big one” was the ESPY for “Best Male Athlete”, a category that Johnson was nominated for but lost out to Dirk Nowitzki of the NBA Champion Dallas Mavericks.

Daytona 500 champion Trevor Bayne was also up for an ESPY, nominated in the category for “Best Moment”. Roy Halladay of the MLB playoffs was the winner in that category, instead.

Attendance Falloff Continues at NASCAR Hall of Fame

The Charlotte Observer’s Steve Harrison is reporting (http://www.thatsracin.com/2011/07/13/69106/more-cuts-coming-for-nascar-hall.html) year-to-year attendance figures in the second-year NASCAR Hall of Fame continue to plummet, with attendance between June 2010 and June 2011 dropping nearly 40 percent. Numbers released this week show that only 17,604 people visited the Hall last June, while 28,678 attended last year.

Attendance was down in the month of May as well. 25,034 people visited the Hall in May of this year, compared to the 35,979 that visited in May of 2010.

The attendance drop-off is troubling for the NHoF, especially since the hall’s budget for the 2012 fiscal year predicts around a 20 percent increase. The hall lost $1.28 million in its first fiscal year, but spokesperson Kimberly Meesters says there have been no discussions regarding budget cuts.

Regardless, the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority says out-of-town visitors to the hall spent $40 million on hotels, food, etc. Meesters says that discussions are being held to attract new visitors in the future.

TriStar Motorsports Hauler Lift Gate Fails, Crewman Injured

While unloading the No. 19 car from its hauler in the Nationwide Series garage at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, the rear door frame broke away from the trailer, according to a Facebook post by Dave Moody (https://www.facebook.com/note.php?created&&note_id=10150706954480344),and the lift gate and racecar fell on the ground.

While no word has been given as far as damage to the racecar, the team posted an update on their Twitter page later on, saying: “In response 2 incident w/ # 19 hauler; James Roland, crew member of team, suffered a broken bone n foot & has possible torn ligaments n knee #nascar.”

The No. 19 car is scheduled to be driven by Mike Bliss in the New England 200 on Saturday afternoon.

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