|Johnson has two Pocono wins, both coming in 2004|
The Jimmie Johnson Foundation launched the 2011 Helmet of Hope program in Kansas on June 3 and announced the American Red Cross would be the first charity to be featured on the helmet and to receive a grant of $10,000. The American Red Cross was selected by the Johnsons to help raise awareness of disaster relief efforts in the wake of the recent tornados across the country.
The Helmet of Hope allows fans and media members across the country the opportunity to nominate their charity of choice to be featured on Jimmie Johnson’s race helmet for the Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway in Sept. In addition, each selected charity will receive a $10,000 grant.
A total of 12 charities will be selected to be featured on the one-of-a-kind helmet – six chosen from fan and six by media submissions.
Visit www.HelmetOfHope.org to nominate a charity. Jimmie will select two charities each week beginning with the Pocono Raceway event race and concluding with New Hampshire Motor Speedway event in July.
JOHNSON TO RUN LOWE’S SUMMER SALUTE CAR IN PRELUDE TO THE DREAM AT ELDORA SPEEDWAY
Johnson will participate in Tony Stewart’s charity dirt race Wed. evening at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio. Johnson is the defending winner of the event and it’s his fourth time participating. He will drive a special No. 48 Summer Salute Chevrolet. The car features the names of 48 people nominated through the Lowe’s Racing twitter account (@LowesRacing) who have served or are currently serving in the military.
The Prelude to the Dream is a team event. There is an individual race winner, but there is also a race within the race, with the field broken up into four teams, each representing a children’s hospital. Johnson, along with teammates Denny Hamlin, Bill Elliott, David Reutimann, Austin Dillion, Ray Evernham and Cruz Pedregon, will race for Team Levine (Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte, N.C.).
• Johnson has made 18 Sprint Cup Series starts at Pocono Raceway, where he has two wins, six top-five and 12 top-10 finishes.
• Johnson has completed 99.7% (3480 of 3489) of competition laps at the 2.5-mile tri-oval and has led 517.
• He has an average start and finish of 7.7 and 9.6.
• Johnson finished ninth in primary chassis No. 650 at Dover International Raceway in May. The car also finshed eighth at Texas and second at Fontana.
• Backup chassis No. 623 crossed the finish line 16th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in March.
JIMMIE JOHNSON QUOTES
YOU WON THE PRELUDE TO THE DREAM LAST YEAR. CAN YOU DESCRIBE WHAT THAT WIN MEANS TO YOU COMPARED TO SOME OF YOUR CUP WINS?
“Yeah, that was a really cool night for me. To qualify where we did and start up front and lead every lap with a ton of pressure from Kyle (Busch) and then Clint (Bowyer) and then knowing all those guys were back there coming, especially Tony (Stewart) in his car. It meant a lot to me. I think it was my third time in that race. I think I tested a couple of other times. So my fifth time sitting in one of those cars and to go out and win it at Eldora, and to qualify fourth like I mentioned, was really cool. It’s just so neat to drive different vehicles and to figure out how to be fast in them. It’s one thing to get within a second or a half a second of the fast guys in a vehicle, that’s just one hurdle. But to find that last bit of speed and really be competitive is the toughest thing in any type of racing. And that’s what makes it so sweet. So to go in and perform like that was really cool. And then also to have a year of bragging rights over Clint and to give him a hard time whenever I see him, because he was my car owner, makes it even that much better.”
HOW ABOUT BEATING TONY STEWART AT HIS OWN TRACK? WAS THAT SPECIAL TOO?
“It was. I mean he did start at the back, so I have to give him fair credit (laughs). If he had started up there on the front row, I don’t know how things would have turned out. He does an amazing job putting on that event and I think it’s something that all of motorsports is proud of, and drivers, and why we’re interested in competing in it, and his relationship with HBO and the money raised and the hospitals that benefit from it, I’m really proud of what he’s done.”
SPRINT CUP SERIES CAREER NOTES
• Johnson has 54 wins in his Sprint Cup Series career, his most recent coming at Talladega Superspeedway on April 17, 2011.
• The El Cajon, Calif.-native is currently 10th on NASCAR’s all-time wins list, one victory behind Lee Petty.
• He is second in total wins among active drivers, behind Jeff Gordon (82).
• Johnson needed only 296 starts to hit the 50 mark. Only three drivers have reached 50 victories quicker – Gordon (232), Darrell Waltrip (278) and David Pearson (293).
• Johnson has won at least three Cup races a season since he posted his first victory in 2002. He is the only driver in the modern era to win at least three races in each of his first eight full-time seasons.
• Johnson has won Sprint Cup Series races at all but four (Michigan, Chicago, Watkins Glen, Homestead) of the 22 tracks on which the series competes.
• Johnson’s 10 wins in 2007 was the highest number recorded in a single season since Jeff Gordon posted 13 victories in 1998.
• The four-consecutive wins scored by the No. 48 team in the 2007 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup ties a modern-era NASCAR record.
• Johnson has collected 25 poles in his Sprint Cup career.
• The championship driver has earned at least one pole a year since his first full-time season in 2002.
• He had a career-high six poles in 2008.
• Johnson’s most recent pole position was at Dover International Speedway on Sept. 24, 2010.
• Johnson has finished in the top five in the Sprint Cup Series point standings each year since his first full season in 2002.
• Johnson is the only driver to qualify for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup every year since the format was adopted in 2004.
• In 339 Sprint Cup Series starts, Johnson has posted 138 top-five and 211 top-10 finishes.
• He has a top-five finish at every track on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series circuit.
• Johnson has led a total of 11,469 laps (of 98,550) in his Sprint Cup career, covering over 131,571 miles.
• He has finished on the lead lap 264 times.
• Johnson was named by Forbes as the Most Influential Athlete in 2011.
• In 2009, Johnson became the first race car driver to be named Male Athlete of the Year by the Associated Press in its 78-year history.
• Voted Driver of the Year four times in his career (2006, 2007, 2008, 2010), Johnson joins Jeff Gordon as four-time winners of the prestigious award.
• Johnson has won an ESPY for Best Driver three times, in 2008, 2009 and 2010.