DAVIDSON – Jimmie Johnson’s work doesn’t stop when he’s out of his No. 48 Lowe’s Chevy.
The six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion fashions himself a health freak, thanks to his strenuous workout regimen.
Johnson wants others to be healthy, as well, which prompted his nonprofit to start the Jimmie Johnson Foundation Wellness Challenge on Feb. 14.
Johnson’s Charlotte-based foundation will partner with Cool Breeze Cyclery for four events promoting wellness, good health and teambuilding among companies and residents.
The challenge’s four events are as follows:
• The Jimmie Johnson Foundation 5K on April 27 in Huntersville.
• The Lake Norman Excursion – a 5K run and multi-distance bike ride – held on July 12 in Mooresville.
• The Jimmie Johnson Foundation Cane Creek Sprint Triathlon on Aug. 19 in Waxhaw.
• The Lake Davidson Sprint Triathlon on Sept. 7 in Davidson.
The challenge is meant to raise money for his foundation’s work in K-12 public education throughout the region.
The NASCAR community voiced its support for Johnson’s work as soon as the foundation announced the wellness challenge. Fellow Sprint Cup driver Josh Wise committed to taking part in events by telling Johnson on Twitter that he would join the challenge.
For Johnson, promoting physical awareness and good, healthy habits are a priority. Getting the opportunity to help out residents in the heart of NASCAR country is just a bonus.
“The Jimmie Johnson Foundation Wellness Challenge is a way to encourage the community to be active, but most of all, it’s a way to raise much-needed funds for the foundation's focus of K-12 public education,” he said. “Schools in Mecklenburg and Cabarrus counties are eligible to apply for Champions Grants, our signature program. It feels great to be able to support these counties in this way.”
Johnson and Lowe’s Toolbox for Education began working together on the Champions Grants program in 2009. The foundation also partners with Make-a-Wish, the Hendrick Marrow Program and Project L.I.F.T.
Amanda Prothero, the foundation’s executive director, said the organization doesn’t take its commitment to the community and the country lightly.
“We’re extremely excited about the opportunity to work with corporate partners and the community to promote health and wellness,” she said. The wellness challenge is another vehicle to raise funds for K-12 public schools in the areas we serve.
“Chandra and Jimmie Johnson are wonderful philanthropists who make the world a better place. It is because of their hard work and dedication to the community that the foundation has donated more than $3.1 million to K-12 public schools in recent years."
Johnson, who won the Sprint Cup title last year, will seek his record-tying seventh championship when the season begins Feb. 23.
His ongoing work with the foundation, like his racing career, makes Johnson proud.
“Chandra and I love calling the Charlotte-Mecklenburg area our home,” he said. “We want to try and give back as much as possible. It's the right thing to do."