|Jimmie Johnson's colors for the Coca-Cola. Sweet white rims!|
“Staff Sgt. Frankie Phillips, we thank you for your service to our country. And to his mother, Cherie, I couldn’t be more honored to drive the No. 48 with Frankie’s name on the car. This race is always special to us to honor the men and women who serve and have served our country.”
Johnson on the All-Star Race versus the 600-mile race at Charlotte:
“The All-Star Race was fun, but this weekend is a different package, so that race didn’t do much to help us prepare for this weekend. The 600 is a long race, it’s a test of endurance and patience, and you have to accommodate for track conditions changing from the day to the night.”
Jimmie Johnson will be available to the media on Thursday, May 24, at 1:45 p.m. local time in the media center at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
NEVER FORGOTTEN: Jimmie Johnson and the No. 48 Lowe’s for Pros Chevrolet will have a special look this weekend for the 600-mile event at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The red, white and blue Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 will carry the name of Staff Sgt. Francis G. “Frankie” Phillips IV, who was killed in action while serving in the United States Army in the Maiwand region of Afghanistan on May 4, 2013. Phillips’ mother, Cherie, is an employee of the Auburn, New York, Lowe’s Home Improvement store and she was able to select the paint scheme that will honor her son. Phillips was killed, along with four other soldiers, when a bomb exploded near their armored vehicle, and was laid to rest with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery on May 20, 2013. Phillips, lovingly referred to as “Frankie,” was awarded the Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. Members of Phillips’ family, including his mother, will be in attendance at the race event this weekend.
THE STORY OF FRANKIE PHILLIPS: Lowe’s Racing rolled out a series of emotional videos to adequately tell the story behind the man riding along with Johnson and the No. 48 team this weekend. Click here to view the video on Team Lowe’s Racing’s Facebook page.
PATRIOTIC CAR UNVEILED: Lowe’s unveiled the paint scheme honoring Phillips at the Lowe’s store in Auburn, New York, where Cherie Phillips works as an administrative assistant on May 17. Click here to see the video.
RANKING JOHNSON: There are eight drivers in NASCAR history who have three or more wins at the 600-mile race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. NASCAR Hall of Famer Darrell Waltrip has five, Johnson has four and Bobby Allison, Buddy Baker, Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon, Kasey Kahne and David Pearson all have three wins apiece. Johnson’s wins were over 16 starts, which gives him the best win percentage of the group at 25 percent.
KIND OF A BIG DEAL: The 600-mile race at Charlotte is considered one of the “Crown Jewels” in NASCAR along with the Daytona 500, Southern 500 at Darlington and Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Johnson is one of four drivers who have ever won all of them in the modern era along with Gordon, Earnhardt and Kevin Harvick.
JIMMIE’S HOUSE: Johnson’s statistics at Charlotte Motor Speedway are fairly impressive. Including the four wins in the 600-mile race, the El Cajon, California, native has eight career points wins at the track in addition to four All-Star wins – both of which are the most all-time. Johnson has led in 26 of his 33 starts at the 1.5-mile track, which sits less than two miles from Hendrick Motorsports’ headquarters, for a total of 1,930 laps.
POWER OF PRIDE: Crew chief Chad Knaus narrated a video discussing how the “Power of Pride” has been a huge part of the No. 48 Lowe’s team since its inception in 2001. The video showcases paint schemes throughout the last 17 years honoring those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice fighting for freedom. Click here to see the video.
NEXT UP, 84: Johnson's next trip to Victory Lane will be his 84th points-paying NASCAR Cup Series win. He secured his 83rd in June 2017 to tie NASCAR Hall of Famer Cale Yarborough for sixth on the all-time wins list. An 84th win would tie Hall of Famers Darrell Waltrip and Bobby Allison for fourth all-time. Johnson is currently 10 wins behind former teammate Jeff Gordon, who has 93 victories and is third on the list. Johnson has the most wins of all active drivers and No. 48 team crew chief Chad Knaus has the most wins of all active crew chiefs with 81.