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Johnson salutes troops with 600-mile paint scheme

Johnson salutes troops with 600-mile paint scheme

CONCORD, N.C. – Jimmie Johnson will kick off the Lowe’s Summer Salute program this Memorial Day weekend by driving a special patriotic themed No. 48 Lowe’s Summer Salute Chevrolet at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

The Lowe’s Summer Salute program asks people to “salute the troops” by visiting and sending an encouraging message to the United States Armed Forces. In addition, fans will have the opportunity to record their “salutes” at special Summer Salute kiosks set up during the 600-mile NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Charlotte.

Johnson has won the 400-lap Memorial Day event three times and earned six top-10 finishes during the past nine spring events at Charlotte Motor Speedway. With six career victories at the 1.5-mile track, Johnson is tied in the all-time win category with Bobby Allison and Darrell Waltrip. Focus, Johnson believes, is the key to taking another checkered flag.

“You just can’t get caught up in things that happen too early,” Johnson said. “You can have trouble, and there’s plenty of time to recover. The track changes a lot. If you keep your head in the game, and you stick around for the 600 miles, you’re going to have a good finish. Being smart all night long is going to be the key.”
Johnson has made 19 Cup starts at the 1.5-mile speedway where he has led 1,385 laps, the most among all active drivers. Being in a race car for 600 miles can take a toll on a driver’s endurance, so Johnson makes sure he is prepared for the lengthy Cup event.

“I have a system that I use days in advance for making sure that I’m properly hydrated,” Johnson said.  “Training and nutrition is year-round. We all make mistakes and all have our little cheat foods that we’re after. But from a fitness and nutrition standpoint, that’s a constant. I do find that during the race I’ll eat a little more and I’ll need some calories. I usually drink some type of shake just for the energy and proteins and carbohydrates to get me through. You’re in the car so long and burning so many calories that you get pretty hungry in there.”

Watch Johnson and his Hendrick Motorsports teammates compete in the Charlotte Cup event Sunday at 6 p.m. ET on FOX.