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Busy week ahead for four-time champ Johnson

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Nov. 30, 2009) – Now it’s time for 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Jimmie Johnson to reap the rewards of a record-setting season.

Johnson, driver of the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet, heads west this week for the inaugural Champion’s Week in Las Vegas—and the celebration of Johnson’s unprecedented fourth consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup title.

The 34-year-old El Cajon, Calif., native wrapped up the 2009 championship a week ago at Homestead-Miami Speedway capping a season in which Johnson won seven races and gave the Hendrick Motorsports organization its record 12th NASCAR owner’s crown.

Johnson will have much to do during a busy, two-state Champion’s Week schedule that features more fan involvement than ever. The week culminates with the formal NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards Ceremony at Wynn Las Vegas on Friday night.

Monday: Johnson will attend three events in California beginning with an 11 a.m. PT student assembly at Crest Elementary School in El Cajon, the school Johnson attended. His Jimmie Johnson Foundation will award grants to 11 San Diego-area schools. Johnson then will host an interactive fan fest for United States Marines and their families at Camp Pendleton from 3-7 p.m. PT followed by a homecoming celebration at Lowe’s, 9416 Mission Gorge Road, Santee, from 7-10 p.m. PT.

Tuesday: Johnson will host a Fan Appreciation Breakfast and Champion’s Q&A from 10 a.m.-noon PT at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. The event is open to 700 of the track’s invited guests. Johnson will participate in a print media roundtable at the track at 9:30 a.m. PT and be available for affiliate interviews at 11:45 a.m. PT.

Wednesday: The champion’s Las Vegas celebration begins at 10 a.m. PT with the Chasers for Charity Fanfest at Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s Neon Garage. The free-admission portion of the event includes a red-carpet walk by the champion and other 2009 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers including Mark Martin and Jeff Gordon. A Charity Roast of Johnson will be held at 1:30 p.m. PT in the speedway’s Blackjack Club and is open to the first 300 people who respond (Visit Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s Web site for more information). A $250 tax-deductible donation to Speedway Children’s Charities, includes a private reception with Johnson and Chase participants plus reserved seats and parking. The event will be shown on closed-circuit television in the Neon Garage.

Thursday: The annual NASCAR NMPA Myers Brothers Awards event will be held from 1-2:45 p.m. PT in the Venetian Showroom at The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino. Johnson will be joined by the rest of the top 12 drivers in the 2009 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, plus Raybestos Rookie of the Year Joey Logano and other annual award winners. Race fans will get to see Johnson and fellow Chase drivers participate in a Victory Lap parade in their show cars on Las Vegas Boulevard – the city’s legendary “Strip” – beginning at 3:15 p.m. PT at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino. “Mr. Las Vegas,” Wayne Newton, will drop the green flag to start the event. The lap includes a pit stop and “burnout” at the Spring Mountain Road intersection before returning to the MGM Grand at 4 p.m. PT.

Friday: Johnson formally accepts his 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship awards. He, his family and his Hendrick Motorsports team will participate in traditional photos during the afternoon, before attending the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards Ceremony that evening at Wynn’s Las Vegas. SPEED will televise the event live from 6 p.m.-10 p.m. PT.