JOHNSONS ANNOUNCE 3rd-ANNUAL JIMMIE JOHNSON FOUNDATION GOLF TOURNAMENT

* Lowe's returns as title sponsor of golf tournament

* Funds from event to benefit K-12 education initiatives

* Helmet of Hope continues with the Jimmie Johnson Foundation donating $1048 to each chosen charity

* Johnson's Lowe's Impala SS to feature special paint scheme for Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway

INDIANAPOLIS (July 24, 2009) -- Chandra and Jimmie Johnson announced plans today for the third-annual Jimmie Johnson Foundation golf tournament and dinner auction, which will take place Oct. 6-7 in San Diego, Calif., with Lowe's returning as the title sponsor. In addition, JJF will partner with Lowe's and its Toolbox for Education initiative to distribute funds to selected K-12 educational programs in Johnson's hometown area.

"For the third year in a row, Lowe's has stepped forward to support the Jimmie Johnson Foundation and the work we are doing to support my hometown," said three-time Sprint Cup champion Johnson. "With all the budget cuts that are happening, we felt that we could really help some schools out with additional funding. Lowe's Toolbox for Education is a great program. We are excited to partner with them to help identify programs where we can make the most impact."

In support of the tournament, the foundation once again will sponsor the Helmet of Hope. The initiative allows six race fans and six media members the opportunity to have their charity of choice featured on Johnson's race helmet. The helmet will be worn in the October Sprint Cup race at Auto Club Speedway where Johnson, the defending winner of the race, will drive a specially designed No. 48 Jimmie Johnson Foundation/Lowe's Impala SS.

New to the program this year, the foundation will donate $1,048 to each selected charity and distribute 100% of the proceeds from a special Helmet of Hope t-shirt among the organizations. The t-shirt will feature each charity's logo and is on sale now.

"Jimmie and I were amazed at the interest in the Helmet of Hope last year," said Chandra Johnson, co-founder of the Jimmie Johnson Foundation. "It reminded me how a small gesture can mean so much to someone. There were so many worthy causes that people nominated and it was very gratifying to help bring awareness to groups that were special to Jimmie's fans and the media who cover our sport. The fact that Jimmie won the race wearing the helmet was the icing on the cake."

Fans and media members may nominate their favorite charities and purchase t-shirts by visiting the foundation's website, www.JimmieJohnsonFoundation.org. Beginning at Watkins Glen International and concluding at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Johnson will draw the names of the charities which will be featured on his helmet each week.

"We were honored to participate in the Helmet of Hope initiative," said Jennifer Farmer, Executive Director of Friedreich's Ataxia Research Alliance, one of the 12 non-profits featured on Johnson's helmet last year. "It gives our Friedreich's Ataxia families great hope to know that people outside of their local communities are also supporting the awareness and research efforts of FARA. It was exciting to watch Jimmie win the race last year wearing the helmet."

The helmet will be one of many items available during the private dinner and auction to be held Tuesday, October 6th in conjunction with the golf tournament. The event will feature celebrity entertainment as well as a live auction with several entertainment and sports experiences.

More than 125 golfers are scheduled to attend this year's tournament. A limited number of golf sponsorships are still available. Among last year's celebrity guests were NASCAR drivers Casey Mears, Brian Vickers, and Juan Pablo Montoya, actor Skeet Ulrich, NHL star Chris Pronger, and recording artist Nick Lachey.

In each of the foundation's first two events, more than $500,000 was raised, which went to support construction of four Habitat for Humanity homes on newly-formed Foundation Lane in Johnson's hometown of El Cajon, Calif.

About the Jimmie Johnson Foundation

Chandra and Jimmie Johnson launched the Jimmie Johnson Foundation in February 2006. Johnson, the three- time reigning Sprint Cup champion, drives the No. 48 Lowe's Impala SS in NASCAR's top series. The mission of the foundation is to assist children, families, and communities in need throughout the United States. The foundation has committed more than $2 million to various charities. For additional information on the Jimmie Johnson Foundation, please visit www.jimmiejohnsonfoundation.org.

About the Helmet of Hope

In 2008, the Jimmie Johnson Foundation announced the Helmet of Hope initiative. Fans and media members across the country have the opportunity to nominate their charity of choice to be featured on Jimmie's Helmet of Hope for a select race. In its inaugural year, 12 charities were selected from more then 400 nominations. This year, the Helmet of Hope will be worn at the Pepsi 500 at Auto Club Speedway on Oct. 11. Selected charities will receive a grant of $1,048, and proceeds from the sale of the special Helmet of Hope t-shirt.

-credit: jjf