NASCAR great Jimmie Johnson hasn't forgotten his El Cajon roots

Posted at 2:14 PM, Jan 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-17 15:34:08-05

EL CAJON, Calif. (KGTV) -- El Cajon native Jimmie Johnson has come a long way, but he hasn’t forgotten his roots in El Cajon.

"Jimmie Johnson through three and four, make room Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt, there's another seven-time champ, Jimmie Johnson wins his seventh Nascar Sprint Cup Championship."

Jimmie Johnson has become a NASCAR legend and to think back in the early 1990s, he used to walk the halls at Granite Hills High School.

"Yes, he was a typical Granite Hills student at the time he was heavily into motocross, you know, he was a desert rat like every other kid here at Granite," said Dan Santos, Assistant Principal at Granite Hills.

Now to go along with his seven NASCAR titles, he's also accumulated 83 career wins.

TIMELINE: El Cajon native and famed NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson through the years

"My god, I can't believe it history boys no one ever,” Johnson said.

And he's become a winner in the community as well. Over the years he’s given back to El Cajon and the entire East County through his Jimmie Johnson Foundation.

He's helped high schools including Granite Hills with grants totaling over a half million dollars.

"To be able to give back and put a smile on people's faces and to give to people in need, you know, like our foundation does. And to even come back here and donate back to the school, on a different level, it's a totally different experience and a great experience to give back,” Johnson said in 2007.

"Jimmie...gave us the ability to actually redo this whole concessions area for our site, for our students, and for our community as well,” Santos said.

Complete Coverage: Life in El Cajon

But there is more; his foundation has also made a difference in partnering with Habitat for Humanity to build new homes in the El Cajon area.

"It doesn't surprise me at all and for me as an alum, it makes me really proud to know that someone of that stature would give back not just to his high school, but to the community of El Cajon as well,” Santos added.