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Johnson's championship gives Chevy 26th driver title

HOMESTEAD, Fla. (Nov. 23, 2009)—With a fifth-place finish in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Jimmie Johnson captured an unprecedented fourth straight NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver’s championship and gave Chevrolet it’s 26th drivers’ title in NASCAR’s premier division.

With four Sprint Cup crowns, Johnson joins Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt, and Jeff Gordon as only the driver to win four or more NASCAR Sprint Cup championships. On the strength of 47 career victories, Johnson moved into the 13 spot on the all-time win list for the series.

“Congratulations to Jimmie, Chad (Knaus, crew chief), Rick (Hendrick, team owner), and the entire Hendrick Motorsports organization on winning a fourth consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship,” said Brent Dewar, Vice President, Chevrolet Global. “It has been a solid year for Team Chevy, and we are thrilled to share in the success of all our Chevy drivers, teams, and owners. We are very proud of their hard work and for once again demonstrating Chevrolet’s commitment to working everyday to win both on and off the track with our outstanding cars and trucks.”

In the final year-end standings, Mark Martin, driver of the No. 5 Kellogg’s/CARQUEST Chevrolet and Jeff Gordon, driver of the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet, finished second and third, respectively, giving Chevrolet the top three finishing spots. With his three teams capturing the top-three positions in the final standings, Hendrick became the first team owner in Series history to accomplish this remarkable level of performance.

A total of six Chevy drivers earned top-12 spots in the final 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, more than any other manufacturer. Tony Stewart, No. 14 Chevy finished sixth, Juan Pablo Montoya, No. 42 Chevy was eighth and Ryan Newman, No. 39 Chevy finished ninth in the 2009 standings.

As the top Chevy performer, Johnson also led Team Chevy’s charge to clinch the 33rd all-time Manufacturers’ Championship title for Chevrolet. In all, 10 Impala SS drivers contributed to the success of Chevrolet throughout the year. Collectively, they scored 18 wins and 262 points to edge out Toyota, Ford and Dodge for the crown. Including the 2009 title, this marks Chevrolet’s seventh consecutive year as the leading nameplate in the sport.

“On behalf of all the folks at GM Racing, congratulations to Jimmie, Chad, and everyone on the No. 48 team; along with Rick and the entire Hendrick Motorsports organization on their fourth championship,” said Mark Kent, GM Racing manager. “Winning Chevrolet’s 33rd NASCAR Sprint Cup Manufacturers’ Cup title and our 26th drivers championship is a testament to the excellence of everyone at Team Chevy – the drivers, engineers, teams, and support staff that make it happen.

“We look forward to kicking off the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with a strong Chevy presence at SpeedWeeks at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.

Johnson and his Hendrick Motorsports team will be honored as the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champions at the annual awards banquet on Dec. 4th at the Wynn in Las Vegas.

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