DARLINGTON, S.C. – Darlington Raceway recognized the career accomplishments of seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson on Sunday by naming the backstretch suites in his honor.
The three 8-person suites that sit atop the Colvin Grandstand will now be called the Jimmie Johnson Champions Club.
“Jimmie Johnson is a legend as he stands with the greatest competitors in the history of motorsports,” Darlington Raceway President Kerry Tharp said. “He represents all that is good about the sport on and off the track, so we honor his significant and lasting accomplishments by naming our backstretch suites the Jimmie Johnson Champions Club.”
“It’s such an honor to have my name on anything at Darlington," Johnson said. "The history of the sport runs so deep here, it’s so special to me. Not many people know this, but my first time testing a Busch Series car was when I was ‘discovered’ by Ricky Hendrick and Jeff Gordon and my Cup career at Hendrick Motorsports got started. I love this track. The racing is second to none, always exciting and I am humbled by the support over the years.”
Johnson is a three-time NASCAR Cup Series race winner at Darlington. He was victorious in the Carolina Dodge Dealers 400 in 2004, the Mountain Dew Southern 500 in 2004 and the Bojangles’ Southern 500 in 2012. In his career, he has nine Top-5 and 13 Top-10 finishes in the Cup Series at Darlington.
He is one of an exclusive list of nine drivers in track history to sweep a NASCAR season at the Darlington with Richard Petty (1967), LeeRoy Yarbrough (1969), Bobby Allison (1975), David Pearson (1976), Bill Elliott (1985), Dale Earnhardt (1987, 1990), Jeff Gordon (1996), Jeff Burton (1999), and Johnson (2004). He is also one of only 16 drivers to win back-to-back races on different years at the track Too Tough To Tame.
Johnson will compete in his final NASCAR Cup Series race at Darlington as a full-time competitor in the 71st running of the Cook Out Southern 500 Sunday at 6 p.m.