Lowes Extends Sponsorship

MOORESVILLE, N.C. - Lowe's Companies Inc. on Monday announced a multi-year extension of its primary sponsorship of Hendrick Motorsports and the No. 48 Chevrolet driven by Jimmie Johnson in the NEXTEL Cup Series.

Under the new agreement, Lowe's will continue its primary sponsorship of the No. 48 Chevrolet through 2010. Johnson, 30, also signed a contract extension with Hendrick Motorsports that keeps him behind the wheel through 2010. Financial terms were not disclosed.

"I'm with the best team and the best sponsor in the sport," said Johnson, a native of El Cajon, Calif. "Since I started in NEXTEL Cup racing, my association with Lowe's and Hendrick Motorsports has been absolutely incredible. I couldn't be more proud of this relationship and look forward to continuing what we've started with the No. 48 Lowe's team."

The pacts build upon a partnership launched in 2001 when Hendrick Motorsports selected Johnson, who at the time had never started a NEXTEL Cup race, to pilot the new Lowe's-sponsored No. 48 Chevrolet. Now in the midst of its fifth full season, the team has posted unparalleled statistics since its inception, with 21 victories and four top-five points finishes.

Along with crew chief Chad Knaus, the No. 48 operation has already recorded three victories in 2006, marking its fifth consecutive multi-win campaign, and currently ranks first in NEXTEL Cup points after 11 of 36 events. The team has notched six top-five results and eight top-10 performances this season.

"We believe this is the best combination in racing," said Robert Niblock, Lowe's chairman, president and CEO. "Jimmie Johnson and Hendrick Motorsports are a key part of our marketing efforts and outreach to our employees. We are all proud to have someone like Jimmie carry the Lowe's name in NASCAR."

Founded in 1984, Hendrick Motorsports has garnered nine NASCAR championships, including five at the elite Cup level. The No. 48 Lowe's team is one of five full-time teams now fielded by the organization across NASCAR's top two series.

"Lowe's and Hendrick Motorsports have formed a terrific partnership for the past five years," said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. "Week after week, we're able to pair Jimmie Johnson, one of the most dynamic talents in our sport, with Lowe's, a respected and well-recognized brand throughout the world. It's a special relationship that we're extremely excited to continue."

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