Another Walk Of Fame Honor For Jimmie Johnson
San Bernardino County, Calif. (Oct. 10, 2009) – Native Southern Californian Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe’s/Jimmie Johnson Foundation Chevrolet) cemented his place in Auto Club Speedway history for the third time on Saturday, as he was enshrined at the Speedway’s Walk of Fame by virtue of his win in last season’s Pepsi 500.
“It means the world to me to do well here,” Johnson said moments before receiving his bronze plaque, stepping into the cement and signing his name and car number 48. “We’re off to a good start here and hope to be back with another win.”
Johnson was previously honored in 2002 for his Napa Auto Parts 500 win and in 2007 by winning the Sharp Aquos 500. He joins Jeff Gordon (’97, ’99, 04), Mark Martin (’98), Jeremy Mayfield (’00), Rusty Wallace (’01), Kurt Busch (’03), Elliott Sadler (’04), Kyle Busch (’05), Greg Biffle (’05), Matt Kenseth (’06, ’07, ‘08), Kasey Kahne (’06) and Carl Edwards (’09) as NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers to be enshrined at the Speedway’s Walk of Fame.
Gillian Zucker, president of Auto Club Speedway and ACS Hard Card season ticket holder Lisa Wassem, presented Johnson with a custom-made one-of-a-kind surfboard designed by Dennis Kemp of Ohana Kemp Surfboards in Orange County, Calif.
“The surf doesn’t really make it into Charlotte, it’s a little too inland,” joked Johnson of North Carolina where he currently resides. “I tried surfing back in April and it’s really not like riding a bike. I hope to get back on water soon to try this thing out.”
One of Johnson’s biggest fans in attendance Saturday was Heather Hove, who claims to have the first autograph signed by Johnson. The two were in the same Algebra class at Cuyamaca Community College in El Cajon, Calif. in the late 1990s. “He had just signed with Rick Johnson and was racing on Mickey Thompson’s off-road racing team,” Hove said. “He said he was going to quit school and start racing so I busted out my spiral notebook and asked for his first autograph. I still have it at my mom’s house back in El Cajon.”
Johnson, who became the first Cup driver to win the pole and the Pepsi 500 race, is one of three drivers to win three Sprint Cup Series races, tying teammate Jeff Gordon and Matt Kenseth and the second to win back-to-back races joining Kenseth, all at Auto Club Speedway.
In addition to world-class NASCAR racing, fans experiencing Auto Club Speedway can also take advantage of free parking, bring in their own food, or partake in the unbelievable menu items on site as well as other cost-savings opportunities while enjoying a full day of entertainment and fun at a fantastic family value.
To purchase tickets call 800-944-RACE (7223), or visit www.autoclubspeedway.com.