Auto Club Speedway Congratulates 2007 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Champion Jimmie Johnson And The No.48 Lowe's Chevrolet Team

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Jimmie Johnson capped an unbelievable 2007 with a seventh-place finish this past weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway and earned his second consecutive NASCAR NEXTEL Cup championship.

Johnson, a native Southern Californian who grew up in El Cajon, CA, dominated the field for much of the 2007 season, visiting the winner’s circle a Cup-high 10 times, the highest total since Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon tallied 13 victories in 1998.  Included among Johnson’s wins was the 2007 Sharp AQUOS 500 at Auto Club Speedway over Labor Day weekend, his second career Cup win on his home track.

Johnson becomes the first driver to repeat as Cup champion since Gordon turned the trick in 1997 and 1998 and just the 10th to accomplish that feat in the sport’s history.  After the race, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger issued the following statement congratulating both California natives on a tremendous 2007 season.

"On behalf of all Californians, I congratulate Jimmie Johnson on winning the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series championship, stock-car racing's highest achievement, for the second year in a row.  Jimmie's unparalleled talent and determination epitomize the Golden State's championship spirit.

"It was particularly exciting to see this year's championship come down to a fierce battle between two Californians, Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon, another local legend who was born in Vallejo.  California is proud to be home to so many world-class athletes who compete and triumph at the highest levels of sport."

Johnson also had an incredibly successful season off the track as well. 

In late October as wildfires ravaged Southern California, Johnson agreed to donate his winnings from the Pep Boys Auto 500 to support the relief efforts of the California Wildfire Relief Fund.  That act triggered an outpouring of donations which ultimately resulted in over $1 million being donated to the fund.

Earlier in the season, Johnson and his wife Chandra, hosted a variety of fundraising events in the San Diego area that raised over $500,000 and included the construction of a Habitat for Humanity home in Johnson’s hometown of El Cajon.

While the season ended with Johnson hoisting another Cup trophy, 2008 is rapidly approaching and Johnson and Auto Club Speedway have again partnered on a ticket package that will give fans one of the best deals in racing and also assist a great cause.

Fans can purchase a Jimmie Johnson Foundation ticket package for $148 with $48 of the price going directly to benefit the Jimmie Johnson Foundation www.jimmiejohnsonfoundation.org  The foundation is dedicated to assisting children, families and communities in need.

In addition to a race ticket in rows 11-23 for the Auto Club 500 on Sunday, February 24, fans will also gain admission to a question and answer session with 2006 & 2007 Cup champion Johnson, a pre-race pit pass and receive a limited edition Lucite stock car commemorating Johnson’s first-ever NEXTEL Cup victory at Auto Club Speedway on April 28, 2002.

A limited number of the Jimmie Johnson Foundation ticket packages are still available.  To purchase tickets please call 800-944-RACE (7223).

For more information about Auto Club Speedway, please visit www.autoclubspeedway.com.  To purchase NASCAR tickets, call 800-944-RACE or log on to www.racetickets.com.  Fans are encouraged to come early to races and take advantage of all the attractions in the Opportunity, California FanZone.  Opportunity, California FanZone is a multi-million dollar facility enhancement including delicious food at Apex by Wolfgang Puck, the Speedway's official retail store called Impulse, amazing sounds of live bands at the entertainment stage, and shade and leisure areas.

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