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Earnhardt. Petty. Johnson. With his win on Sunday, Hendrick Motorsports driver Jimmie Johnson joined an elite group of seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champions. Catch up with Johnson in this special Sprint Cup Series championship edition of Fast Facts.
- Jimmie Kenneth Johnson was born Sept. 17, 1975 in El Cajon, California (near San Diego), and attended Granite Hills High School. In addition to racing motorcycles, Johnson was also a varsity water polo player, diver and swimmer.
- He began his racing career at age five on 50cc motorcycles, moving to 60cc bikes at age eight. 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 winning the ASA Rookie of the Year award that same year. He moved on to the Busch (now Xfinity) Series, but when his team lost their sponsor, Johnson looked to Cup Series veteran Jeff Gordon for advice; they kept in touch afterward, and Hendrick Motorsports later signed Johnson to a development deal on Gordon’s recommendation. He began his full-time Cup career in 2002 in the familiar No. 48 Lowes Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports, a team and a sponsor he drives for to this day.
- Through the 2016 season, Johnson has 80 wins and 330 top-10 finishes in the Sprint Cup Series, along with seven titles (2006-2010, 2013 and 2016). He is the first NASCAR Sprint Cup champion to win five consecutive titles. Johnson was also named the 2009 Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year and is a five-time (to date) Driver of the Year (2006, 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2013).
- The Jimmie Johnson Foundation, founded in 2006, assists children, families, and communities in need around the country. The Foundation currently focuses on K-12 public education funding.
- Johnson is married to the former Chandra Janway (Dec. 11, 2004), and is the father of two daughters – Genevieve and Lydia. 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.
- Find out more about Johnson at www.jimmiejohnson.com, www.lowesracing.com, www.hendrickmotorsports.com, and jimmiejohnsonfoundation.org.