Martinsville Speedway will recognize the historic accomplishments of seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson by starting an annual scholarship, Jimmie Johnson Champion’s Award. The scholarship will be awarded annually to a student at one of the Martinsville-Henry County Public High Schools.
“Jimmie Johnson is among the greatest champions in the history of motorsports,” said Martinsville President Clay Campbell. “He is a beacon for all that is good about the sport on and off the track as he has represented NASCAR with class throughout his championship career. As we share his legacy with future students in Martinsville-Henry County, we will recognize his accomplishments at Martinsville Speedway and across the sport with students who will make a different in our community and the region in the future.”
“Martinsville is a special track to me – it’s one of my favorite places to race and I have so many great memories there,” said Johnson. “This gift is so meaningful. The Jimmie Johnson Foundation’s focus is on public education and assisting a child with a scholarship can make such a difference. I’m thankful to Martinsville Speedway, President Clay Campbell and everyone who made this possible.”
The Jimmie Johnson Champion’s Award will recognize a student who shows promise in a STEM-based education program at one of the Martinsville-Henry County Public High Schools. A student must be nominated by a teacher or school official for consideration. The recipient of the award will be presented with a plaque and a $1,000 scholarship to continue their education. The design of the Jimmie Johnson Champion’s Award plaque will be shared publicly in the near future.
At Martinsville, Johnson is tied for third with Jeff Gordon for the most NASCAR Cup Series wins at the track with nine. Richard Petty leads with 15 followed by Darrell Waltrip with 11 at Martinsville. Johnson was victorious in the 2004, 2006, 2007 Subway 500, 2007 Goody’s Cool Orange 500, 2008 Tums QuikPak 500, 2009 Goody’s Fast Pain Relief 500, 2012 Tums Fast Relief 500, 2013 STP Gas Booster 500, and 2016 Goody’s Fast Relief 500.
He is one of an exclusive list of nine drivers in track history to sweep a Cup Series season at Martinsville with Fred Lorenzen (1964), Richard Petty (1967, 1969, 1972), Cale Yarborough (1977), Darrell Waltrip (1989), Geoffrey Bodine (1990), Rusty Wallace (1994), Jeff Gordon, 2003, 2005), Johnson (2007), and Denny Hamlin (2010). He is also one of only 12 drivers to win back-to-back Cup Series races on different years at Martinsville.
Among active drivers, Johnson holds the most Cup Series victories at Martinsville followed by Denny Hamlin with five wins. He also leads active drivers with 19 top-5’s and 25 top-10’s.
Johnson is competing in his final Cup Series race at Martinsville as a full-time competitor in the Xfinity 500 Playoff race today. The race is televised nationally on NBC and air on MRN and its network of nationwide affiliates, in addition to SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
Jimmie Johnson and Clay Campbell at Martinsville Speedway