NASCAR is an organization that is well known for its support of our troops and its charitable donations. Drivers, teams, sponsors, and fans raise money for causes every year for organizations such as Autism Speaks, Victory Junction Gang, Make-A-Wish Foundation, and Wounded Warrior Project to name a few. Add these to the numerous driver foundations and the NASCAR Foundation, and you have arguably the most charitable sport in America.
This weekend at the Kobalt Tools 400 in Las Vegas, NASCAR’s 5-time champion Jimmie Johnson raced for a cause support by Lowe’s and Hendrick Motorsports called Racing For Relief. Lowe’s pledged to match Johnson’s winnings in Las Vegas, with a minimum donation of $100,000 going to the American Red Cross. Johnson and team owner Rick Hendrick also pledged to donate $48,000 to the cause (48 being Johnson’s car number). The donations will benefit the American Red Cross Disaster Relief and help to provide food, shelter, emotional support, and other relief to thousands who were affected by the devastating tornadoes that recently ripped through the central and southern United States. In the aftermath of the tornados, Lowe’s Heroes moved quickly to provide assistance to local communities, cleaning up the hardest-hit areas and distributing gloves, tarps, buckets, water, trash bags and other critically needed supplies.
As for the race, Johnson finished 2nd after challenging eventual winner Tony Stewart in the final laps. After the race Johnson had this to say: “Man, I want to win. We were close. I think we had maybe a little bit more speed, but Tony (Stewart) could really get away on those restarts through the gears a lot better than I could. I will have to look into that and see if I was doing something wrong or something else is going on there. Solid performance. I have to stop and make mention of what Lowe’s is doing with the disaster relief fund, and the fact we finished so well means they are going to put up a bunch of money for all the tornado victims. Myself and Hendrick Motorsports are going to match that, as well. Great day in a lot of ways. Wish we could have this Kobalt Chevrolet in Victory Lane, but just didn’t happen.”
The work has already started, even before these latest donations will be made. Local Lowe’s employees in the affected communities are already out in full force providing support and relief to the victims of the latest tornados to sweep across the country. “Over the past week, the Lowe’s Heroes in Clarksville have been working tirelessly in Henryville and other nearby communities to help local residents who were affected by these devastating storms,” said Chris Beisler, store manager of Lowe’s in Clarksville, Ind. “I couldn’t be prouder to be part of the Lowe’s team.”
Lowe’s introduced Racing for Relief in 2000. To date, the program has helped disaster relief efforts for hurricanes, tornadoes and floods by raising more than $340,000. Together with customers, Lowe’s has contributed more than $22 million to the Red Cross since 1999.
“The stories of strength, heroism and unity coming out of these storms are a reminder to all of us that people are the foundation of every community,” said Joan Higginbotham, Director of Community Relations at Lowe’s. “Through Racing for Relief, our hope is that these funds will be a building block for these communities to recover and rebuild the places they call home.”