JIMMIE JOHNSON RETURNS TO CALIFORNIA HOMETOWN 2006 Nextel Cup Champion Visits High School, Holds Charity Auction, Golf Tournament EL CAJON, Calif. - Jimmie Johnson returned to his hometown this week in preparation for Sunday's NASCAR Nextel Cup...
JIMMIE JOHNSON RETURNS TO CALIFORNIA HOMETOWN
2006 Nextel Cup Champion Visits High School, Holds Charity Auction, Golf Tournament
EL CAJON, Calif. - Jimmie Johnson returned to his hometown this week in preparation for Sunday's NASCAR Nextel Cup race at California Speedway. Johnson visited Granite Hills High School for the first time since his 1993 graduation. In addition, the Jimmie Johnson Foundation held a charitable auction on Tuesday and golf tournament on Wednesday to help San Diego Habitat for Humanity. He and wife Chandra worked at the Habitat home on Thursday. Johnson will race a Jimmie Johnson Foundation/Habitat for Humanity paint scheme in Sunday's Nextel Cup race as well as a Kobalt Tools paint scheme in Saturday's Busch Series race.
"Man, this has been a busy week in San Diego. But I can't describe to you how much fun I am having.
"On Tuesday we visited my old high school. You've probably gone back to your high school after graduation so you know what a strange feeling that can be. It's like you see everything different. I got to drive our show car around the track at the football stadium with all the students in the stands. Talk about things you never thought you would do in life. Driving your race car on the track would have got you a trip to the principal's office back when I was in high school.
"It wasn't that long ago I was walking those halls so going back there was a pretty cool experience. They elected me into the school's athletic hall of fame and I got to see a lot of the teachers that taught me. I even got to visit my old shop class to see the students. It was just like the old days except television cameras were following me this time.
"After the school visit, Chani and I hosted a dinner and auction at a local restaurant to raise money for the Jimmie Johnson Foundation. It was a pretty cool deal. I think the highlight was Gavin Degraw played some songs and my friend Nick Lachey joined us along with a lot of NASCAR people. Everyone seemed to have a good time. I think Wednesday's golf tournament was a big success as well. More than 300 golfers teed off with us. I didn't keep score but we had a heck of a lot of fun. You wouldn't believe how good some race car drivers are at golf. I'm OK, but let's just say I'm not going on the PGA tour any time soon.
"This morning (Thursday) we raised the wall at the Habitat for Humanity house and tonight we'll go to California Speedway where the week's real work begins. I was very glad that so many from the NASCAR community, friends and old acquaintances were able to help out this weekend. I always knew our sport has some wonderful people but everyone's willingness to help out this weekend was more than even I expected. I think when we add everything up we will have raised more than $500,000 this week. That's amazing.
"Well, it's been a great trip home already. I'll never forget some of these moments. Now if we can just cap it off with a win on Sunday in front of the home fans it will be the perfect week."