(Credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images for NASCAR)<br />
(Right to left) Four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson and wife Chandra attend the NASCAR Evening Series with Emeril Lagasse (not pictured) at Delmonico Steakhouse in the Venetian Resort Hotel & Casino during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champions Week Wednesday in Las Vegas.Have you heard the news?? Duh, Jimmie Johnson is going to be a daddy! Earlier this week the Associated Press reported that Jimmie and his wife Chandra are expecting their first child in July.

It’s funny how excited someone else’s pregnancy has made me, considering I don’t know them at all. But I’m super excited for them. This is exactly what we need, more babies on pit road! I’m not making a joke, I’m serious. After baby Edwards and baby Sadler arrive baby Johnson will be future NASCAR driver number 3 for 2010 (so far). Did someone spike the VitaminWater or what?

In other news…

AJ Allmendinger went go-karting with Jamie McMurray down in Florida last week during the annual Daytona KartWeek By Cometic Gasket events at Daytona International Speedway. This was the third straight year that Jamie participated in the event and AJ’s first time.

“This is not kick back and relax, this is very serious and it’s very high stress,” McMurray said with a grin. “We’re trying to run two classes this year, it’s just hectic today trying to get both karts on the track today and get everything ready but I’ve got some good helpers.”

“I’m bored in the offseason, if we could race every weekend, I’d be happy,” Allmendinger said. “By the time Christmas rolls around, all you want to do is get back to a race track and race something.”


(Left to right) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers AJ Allmendinger and Jamie McMurray talk during Daytona KartWeek By Cometic Gasket events at Daytona International Speedway. (Credit: Don Bok/Motorsports Images and Archives)

(Left to right) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers AJ Allmendinger and Jamie McMurray talk during Daytona KartWeek By Cometic Gasket events at Daytona International Speedway. (Credit: Don Bok/Motorsports Images and Archives)

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Jamie McMurray takes his No. 1 Bass Pro Shops go-kart, decked out like the car he'll drive during Daytona Speedweeks, while participating in Daytona KartWeek By Cometic Gasket events at Daytona International Speedway.(Credit: Don Bok/Motorsports Images and Archives)

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Jamie McMurray takes his No. 1 Bass Pro Shops go-kart, decked out like the car he’ll drive during Daytona Speedweeks, while participating in Daytona KartWeek By Cometic Gasket events at Daytona International Speedway. (Credit: Don Bok/Motorsports Images and Archives)

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver AJ Allmendinger takes a spin in his go-kart during Daytona KartWeek By Cometic Gasket events at Daytona International Speedway (Credit: Don Bok/Motorsports Images and Archives)

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver AJ Allmendinger takes a spin in his go-kart during Daytona KartWeek By Cometic Gasket events at Daytona International Speedway. (Credit: Don Bok/Motorsports Images and Archives)

– The two-day Sprint Sound & Speed Presented by SunTrust event begins this Friday, January 8th. Once again it will serve to raise money for Victory Junction and The Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum by bringing together country music artists and NASCAR stars.

Details:

Some of the greatest names in country music will kick off the two-day event at the Grand Ole Opry when Sprint Sound & Speed Presented by SunTrust hits the stage of the Ryman Auditorium on Friday, Jan. 8. The special night of music will feature Vince Gill, Hank Williams Jr,. Chris Young, Danny Gokey, Holly Williams, Jason Michael Carroll, Kyle Petty and his band and many more. There will also be appearances by NASCAR standouts Michael Waltrip, Jamie McMurray and Greg Biffle during the Friday night event. Shows are at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. See opry.com for the complete artist line-ups for each show.

On Saturday, Jan. 9 the event continues at Nashville Municipal Auditorium, where fans of racing and country music will have the opportunity to get up-close and personal with drivers, team owners, and top-name artists for autographs, story-telling, and question-and-answer sessions. The fan event kicks off at 9 a.m. with show car and sponsor displays, as well as a charitable auction with memorabilia from the racing and entertainment industries. This year, fans of NASCAR stars Dale Earnhardt Jr., Tony Stewart, Kasey Kahne and Kyle Busch are in luck, as limited (200) early autograph passes will be available. Fans who would like to wait for the chance to obtain these passes will have access to the Exhibition Hall at the Nashville Municipal Auditorium beginning on Friday, Jan. 8 at noon, with distribution taking place at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 9. These are the only early passes available. For more information, read the rules and regulations at http://soundandspeed.org/schedule.