NASCAR Champ Jimmie Johnson to Host 'SportsCenter'
The newly crowned Sprint Cup king on Tuesday will become the first athlete ever to host the ESPN news program.
Fresh off his sixth career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship, Jimmie Johnson on Tuesday will become the first athlete to serve as a host of ESPN's SportsCenter.
The driver will join regulars John Anderson and Lindsay Czarniak in Bristol, Conn., for the 6 p.m. ET show on Tuesday, presenting news and highlights and conducting interviews just like the regular anchors.
The only other non-sportscasters to host the flagship news program in its 34-year history are actors Billy Crystal (in 2012) and Ken Jeong (on Nov. 1).
Johnson, 38, appeared in a "This Is SportsCenter" commercial in which he used a pickaxe to remove speed bumps in the ESPN parking lot.
"I don't know if SportsCenter knows what they are getting themselves into," Johnson joked of his new gig.
"We're always looking for opportunities to change it up and give SportsCenter viewers a different take on the day's news, have some fun and do some memorable television," said Jack Obringer, SportsCenter senior coordinating producer. "And having a six-time champion like Jimmie Johnson on your set is pretty cool."
Johnson, the driver of the Hendrick Motorsports No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet, wrapped up his sixth title in eight seasons Sunday. The California native has become one of the most dominant competitors in sports history.
Johnson also is set to appear on the Late Show With David Letterman on Monday night and Live With Kelly and Michael on Tuesday morning.