One of the best things about five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson is he knows that apart from being a presence on the race track, his influence around the nation holds more pull than perhaps anyone in all of NASCAR, and he takes that honor very seriously.
When he and his wife Chandra launched the Jimmie Johnson Foundation, dedicated to assisting children, families and communities in need, it became increasingly clear that NASCAR had more than just a racing champion on its hands, but a benefactor for the sport’s long history of community service.
This week, the current leader in the Sprint Cup points standings will make a special trip to Oklahoma to lend a hand to the victims of the recent devastating tornado that ravaged the home state of his wife.
Johnson was on a conference call Tuesday, in which he spoke about his upcoming trip.
Q: We also understand that you'll be making a special trip to Oklahoma this week. Tell us a little bit about that.
Johnson: Yeah, thank you for teeing that up for me. We are going to Oklahoma to work with Lowe's and a little partnership with Feed the Children as well. We'll be there Thursday passing out really what is needed at the time, essentially food, it could be cleanup items and a variety of things. But we have a big truck full of goods, and I'll be there with the Lowe's folks at the Lowe's store there in town and head on out and help the people in need.
I'm excited to go firsthand to see and help and meet and pass out what is needed. Also a good friend of mine, Bob Stoops from the University of Oklahoma, he and his staff, and potentially some players want to get involved and come along as well. And then to top that off, Chani and I have decided to take my race earnings from this week's events and donate that to Oklahoma as well.
We're still trying to let the dust settle some and find out where the best opportunity for us to send our funds will be. Clearly our foundation works with children and there are schools that are affected and a lot of need out there in general. So once we get a little further down the road, we'll understand where our money can be best used and put at that point, but we'll donate those funds also.