ANNISTON, Ala. (June 18, 2003) – When you think of a NASCAR Winston Cup Series driver and a former President of the United States, steel-toed boots, hammers and nails are not the first things that come to mind. But on Monday, June 9, Team Lowe's driver Jimmie Johnson joined former President Jimmy Carter to kick off the 2003 Jimmy Carter Work Project (JCWP) in Anniston, Ala., one of three sites on which the JCWP plans to build nearly 100 Habitat homes. "Being able to put on my tool belt and help build these homes was an uplifting experience," said Johnson, an accomplished do-it yourselfer. "My association with Lowe's has allowed me to do some amazing things and meet some amazing people over the past couple of years. “To be able to help build homes for families that need assistance and to be able to do this along side a former President of the United States was a rare treat.” In support of the JCWP, Lowe's has joined forces with Whirlpool and The Valspar Corporation to provide Habitat for Humanity with the products necessary to build and furnish the homes. Of the many products donated, Lowe's is providing all of the interior paints from its new American Tradition Signature Colors line. This new line of paints delivers a breakthrough formulation in distinctive palettes with colors inspired by children's favorite Nickelodeon programs, such as SpongeBob SquarePants, as well as five other popular American brands. Additionally, to help raise awareness for the JCWP and the new paint line, Team Lowe's Racing will run a special SpongeBob SquarePants paint scheme during the Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 5. In addition to the SpongeBob paint scheme, the No. 48 Lowe's Monte Carlo also will feature a special JCWP decal. "Since it seems to rain every time we race in Daytona, Team Lowe's Racing decided it would make perfect sense to have a sponge on our race car," said Johnson when he heard SpongeBob is going to be his co-pilot. "This way, SpongeBob can help dry the track so we can finish the race. “Hopefully this time we'll be in the lead.” The JCWP 2003 will mark the 20th year in which former President Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, have built in partnership with families in need of simple, decent housing. Since a 1984 build in New York City, the Carters have devoted at least one week of the year to building Habitat houses in destinations such as Los Angeles, Houston, Miami, Hungary, the Philippines, South Korea and South Africa. This year during Carter's annual weeklong build, Habitat for Humanity's most distinguished volunteer is helping to build 92 homes alongside volunteers and homeowners at three sites -- Anniston, Ala., Valdosta and LaGrange, Ga. -- the week of June 6-13. The Signature Colors program offers six distinctive brands under one umbrella for maximum color possibilities in this premium paint -- or as the design center announces "all these designers in one can." Together, the six special signature palettes, which include Nickelodeon, Alexander Julian, Laura Ashley, Waverly, Earth Elements and Eddie Bauer, offer consumers over 1,000 color choices. With fiscal year 2002 sales of $26.5 billion, Lowe's Companies, Inc. is a FORTUNE 100 company that serves approximately nine million customers a week at more than 875 home improvement stores in 45 states. In 2003, FORTUNE named Lowe's “America's Most Admired Specialty Retailer.” Based in Wilkesboro, N.C., the 57-year old company is the second-largest home improvement retailer in the world. For more information, visit Lowes.com.