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Honoring Jimmie Johnson

American Government Stock Car Racing

Honoring Jimmie Johnson

United States Senate
Congressional Record
February 2, 2010

Mr. TOWNS. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and agree to the resolution (H. Res. 957) honoring Jimmie Johnson, 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion.

The Clerk read the title of the resolution.

The text of the resolution is as follows:

H. RES. 957

Whereas Jimmie Kenneth Johnson, born in El Cajon, California, and a resident of Charlotte, North Carolina, successfully defended his Sprint Cup Championships from 2006, 2007, and 2008;

Whereas Jimmie Johnson becomes the first driver in NASCAR history to win the Sprint Cup Championship in 4 consecutive seasons, surpassing the previous record of 3 straight by Cale Yarborough;

Whereas Jimmie Johnson’s #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet is backed by the finest team in motorsports, including Crew Chief Chad Knaus, Team Owner Rick Hendrick, and Car Owner, and racing legend Jeff Gordon;

Whereas Jimmie Johnson’s life story is the embodiment of the American dream, rising from humble roots to the pinnacle of his profession;

Whereas Jimmie Johnson and his wife Chandra founded the Jimmie Johnson Foundation to provide assistance to disadvantaged children in pursuit of their dreams;

Whereas Jimmie Johnson, now regarded as perhaps the greatest driver in the sport’s history, is universally regarded as humble and gracious, unaffected by the enormity of his achievements; and

Whereas Jimmie Kenneth Johnson’s remarkable contributions to NASCAR and the communities of El Cajon, California, and Charlotte, North Carolina: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives honors the historic achievements of Jimmie Kenneth Johnson and the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet team.

The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from New York (Mr. TOWNS) and the gentleman from North Carolina (Mr. MCHENRY) each will control 20 minutes. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from New York.


Mr. TOWNS. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members have 5 legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks.

The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from New York?

There was no objection.

Mr. TOWNS. I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, I am proud to present House Resolution 957 for consideration.

This resolution honors Jimmie Kenneth Johnson and the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet team for winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship in 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009.

H. Res. 957 was introduced by my colleague, Representative PATRICK MCHENRY of North Carolina, on December 8, 2009, and favorably reported out of the House Oversight Committee by a voice vote on January 27, 2010. In addition, H. Res. 957 enjoys the support of more than 60 Members of Congress. Mr. Speaker, this resolution congratulates Jimmie Johnson for winning a historic fourth consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship. By winning the 2009 championship, Mr. Johnson becomes the first driver in history to win the Sprint Cup Championship four consecutive times, breaking Cale Yarborough’s previous record of three straight championships.

In true American fashion, Mr. Johnson, a native of El Cajon, California, and a resident of Charlotte, North Carolina, rose from humble roots to the pinnacle of the NASCAR world. This year Mr. Johnson accomplished something no other driver in NASCAR history has accomplished. Not only has he won the last four NASCAR Sprint Cup Championships but has done so with unwavering poise, class, and humility. To put Mr. Johnson’s unprecedented achievement in context, only NASCAR legends Lee Petty, Richard Petty, David Pearson, Cale Yarborough, Darrell Waltrip, Dale Earnhardt Sr., and Jeff Gordon have won more than two NASCAR Sprint Cup Championships in their career. Furthermore, Mr. Johnson’s most recent NASCAR Sprint Cup series championship ties him with teammate Jeff Gordon on the list of all-time champions.

Mr. Speaker, I would be remiss if I failed to take this opportunity to also congratulate all of the people who helped Mr. Johnson, of course, win. Mr. Johnson’s success would not have been possible without the help of crew chief Chad Knaus, team owner Rick Hendrick, and, of course, car owner and racing legend Jeff Gordon, and the countless other team members who helped Mr. Johnson win the last four NASCAR Sprint Cup Championships.

Beyond his impressive accomplishments on the race track, Mr. Johnson has never forgotten his humble beginnings and continues to give back to the community, and I think that is so important.

In 2006, Mr. Johnson and his wife, Chandra, founded the Jimmie Johnson Foundation, which is dedicated to assisting children, families, and communities in need throughout the United States. The foundation helps build places to play and places to live, saves lives through blood collection and adding individuals to the National Bone Marrow Program registry, and helps grant the wishes of children and adults who are in need. Since its inception nearly 4 years ago, the Jimmie Johnson Foundation has contributed more than $2 million to various organizations.

Mr. Speaker, for his racing accomplishments and his charitable efforts, let us, as a body, take this opportunity to congratulate Jimmie Johnson, the Associated Press Male Athlete of 2009, and of course the Lowe’s Chevrolet team, for winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship in 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009.

I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting H. Res. 957. And I say to the gentleman from North Carolina, this is a great thing. And, of course, sometimes we do not pay tribute to people that need to have tribute paid to them, but this is a person that has accomplished great things, and I am happy my colleague (Mr. MCHENRY) has recommended that we recognize this effort.

I reserve the balance of my time.

Mr. MCHENRY. I thank the chairman for his kind words.

Today, Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the resolution honoring the accomplishments of Jimmie Johnson, the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion. Now, this is a politically charged issue for my district because I represent a number of drivers and a number of NASCAR teams; and to honor any one of them, well, it’s tough. It’s like baseball in certain areas of the country or football or college football or college basketball in North Carolina. But NASCAR teams are real and potent in my district.

But this is a special resolution because Jimmie Johnson has achieved something no one else in NASCAR history has achieved, and that is four straight championships. He is with a great team, with a great crew chief, Chad Knaus. Powered by Hendrick Motor Sports and Chevrolet, the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevy has done something unique in NASCAR history.

Jimmie Johnson started out in very humble roots in El Cajon, California; and now he resides in my home State of North Carolina. He grew up in a working-class suburb, the son of a bulldozer operator and school bus driver who raised Jimmie Johnson and his two younger brothers in a modest home and made financial sacrifices to give their sons the best opportunity to pursue their passions; and for Jimmie, that was racing.

His love of speed was evident even from the time he was just a young child. He began his racing career on 50cc motorcycles when he was just 5 years old. From there, he moved up to four-wheelers where he found his true calling with four wheels—not two—and moved into his 2002 rookie season in NASCAR at the top level of the series. And he became the first rookie to sweep both races at one track, and that was done at Dover International Speedway in 2002. He also became the first rookie ever to lead in the point standings; and to date, that remains the case. He is still the only one in their rookie season to lead the point standing.

And he is named the Male Athlete of 2009 by the Associated Press, the 2009 Sprint Cup Series Driver of the Year, and was contender for Driver of the Decade for the 2000s.

In 2006, together with his wife, Chandra, he founded the Jimmie Johnson Foundation to assist children, families, and communities in need throughout the United States.

Jimmie rose from humble roots and achieved the pinnacle of success. Now he is on for the Drive for Five. He wants five in a row. His story is truly an embodiment of the American Dream. Jimmie Johnson and the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevy have made history by being a part of the Nation’s number one spectator sport.

NASCAR represents the best of American professional sports, especially in my region. They’re unmatched by the loyalty of their fans and participation by Fortune 500 companies more so than any other sport. And with the iconic Daytona 500 quickly approaching in just over a week’s time, please join me in honoring Jimmie Johnson for his seven wins, 16 top fives, 24 top tens, an unmatched Race for the Chase. In the final 10 races of 2009, he had an average Chase finish of 6.8, which is absolutely amazing considering the competition they currently have in NASCAR.

And we pay honor to Jimmie Johnson, Chad Knaus, and the whole crew of the No. 48 Chevrolet sponsored by Lowe’s.

With that, I yield back the balance of my time.

Mr. TOWNS. Mr. Speaker, again, I encourage my friends on both sides of the aisle to join me in congratulating Jimmie Johnson and the Lowe’s Chevrolet team on the impressive accomplishment through the passage of House Resolution 957, and I yield back the balance of my time.

The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion offered by the gentleman from New York (Mr. TOWNS) that the House suspend the rules and agree to the resolution, H. Res. 957.

The question was taken.

The SPEAKER pro tempore. In the opinion of the Chair, two-thirds being in the affirmative, the ayes have it.

Mr. TOWNS. Mr. Speaker, on that I demand the yeas and nays.

The yeas and nays were ordered.

The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to clause 8 of rule XX and the Chair’s prior announcement, further proceedings on this motion will be postponed.

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