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Johnson's #se7en hashtag carries special meaning

January 29, 2014, Kenny Bruce, NASCAR.com

Johnson's #se7en hashtag carries special meaning
Social campaign a nod to fallen son of team owner

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The rise of social media's popularity, particularly the Twitter networking platform, has played well with Jimmie Johnson's run of championships.

As his charge to the title has played out during the course of recent seasons, Johnson's use of hashtags, a combination of the # symbol followed by keywords or topics, has been very much in evidence.

There was #5time following his fifth consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship in 2010. That was followed by #6pack, which appeared during his drive to a sixth title this past season.

During Tuesday's Hendrick Motorsports portion of the Sprint Media Tour, presented by Charlotte Motor Speedway, Johnson explained the origins of his latest hashtag -- #se7en.

"Out of memory of Ricky Hendrick, I went with #se7en," Johnson said. The numeral and the peculiar way it was written "was something that was really important to (Ricky). ... He would spell it out that way and had it in a variety of ways."

Hendrick, son of team owner Rick Hendrick, was one of 10 people killed in a plane crash in October of 2004. He had made 22 starts in what is now the NASCAR Nationwide Series before stepping out of the car and turning his attention to ownership in the series.

"When we were at the Hendrick Christmas party in December, his favorite band O.A.R. was playing and the whole moment kind of came to a head," Johnson said. "(We were) up front at the stage, singing away. Mr. Hendrick, Linda (Hendrick) ... the whole family and everybody’s there reliving Ricky moments, just talking about him and watching his favorite band play.

"I left there thinking 'This is it, it's got to be se7en, the way he used it and wrote it.' So that's going to be the hashtag."


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