From this day forward, June 17 in El Cajon will be known as Jimmie Johnson Day, in honor of the six-time NASCAR Spring Cup Series champion who spent his childhood there. Mayor Bill Wells made the proclamation at a ceremony attended by none other than Jimmie Johnson himself. And after Wells presented Johnson with a custom shotgun and an El Cajon street sign for Jimmie Johnson Boulevard, the racing great shared his gratitude with the fans in attendance.
"Those mementos will be great to hang on the wall and remind me of what went on today," said Johnson. "The goose bumps I had, the feeling of my stomach dropping when I saw everyone, will help me remember today. I will display them as a constant reminder of where I could have been stuck for my whole life if I didn't keep driving faster, always faster. I will hold on to that feeling of nameless, stomach-dropping dread. I mean, I live in Charlotte, North Carolina, now — 2300 miles from El Cajon. But it's never far enough. I have to keep driving, have to get away, away, away. My only fear is that no matter how many titles I win, I'll never be able to outrun where I'm from. But I promise you this: I will never give up. I will never stop trying. Thank you, El Cajon, for giving me the motivation to become a true champion."
Wells also noted that Johnson has donated millions to schools in El Cajon and elsewhere. "I do it to try to give kids another way out," explained Johnson. "Not everyone will be able to make it the way I did. But no one should be trapped here. Education is often these kids' only hope. I just hope I can help somehow."