Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Fast Facts: Jimmie Johnson

Image: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR

Jimmie Johnson is the first NASCAR Sprint Cup champion to win five consecutive titles. He began his full-time Cup career in 2002 in the familiar #48 Lowes Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports.
  • Johnson was born September 17, 1975 in El Cajon, California (near San Diego), and attended Granite Hills High School.

  • He began his racing career at age 5 on 50cc motorcycles, moving to 60cc bikes at age 8. He went on to compete in off-road racing on four wheels, and took numerous wins and championships in the SODA, SCORE, and Mickey Thompson Entertainment Group series.

  • He switched to stock cars in 1998, racing in the American Speed Association (ASA) and later in the Busch Series. When his Busch Series team lost their sponsor in 2000, he looked to Jeff Gordon for advice; they kept in touch afterward, and Hendrick Motorsports later signed Johnson to a development deal on Gordon’s recommendation.

  • Through the 2010 season, Johnson has 53 wins and 203 top-10 finishes in the Cup Series.

  • The Jimmie Johnson Foundation, founded in 2006, assists children, families, and communities in need around the country, working with Make-A-Wish, the American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, and the Victory Junction Gang Camp among others.

  • Johnson is married to the former Chandra Janway (December 11, 2004), and became a father for the first time on July 7, 2010 (daughter – Genevieve Marie). He is a football and baseball fan, following the Atlanta Braves, the Carolina Panthers, and his hometown teams, the San Diego Chargers and San Diego Padres.

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