Whoever said nice guys couldn’t finish first never met Jimmie Johnson. The driver of the No. 48 Chevrolet has conducted himself with class and dignity throughout his career, whether he was hoisting his seventh championship trophy or having one of those days when patience was tested.
That sort of attitude, backed with historically impressive results on the track — 83 wins, seven titles, 18,937 laps led, we could go on — has endeared Jimmie to fans young and old across the world.
So when the seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion announced his plan to retire from full-time NASCAR racing at the conclusion of the 2020 season, he did so with an unspoken expectation of celebrating his final run surrounded by those who cheer for him the loudest — his fans in the stands.
Unfortunately, 2020 had other plans. The COVID-19 pandemic shut down the sport for nearly two months. Races were postponed, a schedule was rebuilt.
When NASCAR returned safely and swiftly, fans were either not permitted to attend the event, or attendance was drastically reduced for safety and health reasons. It ended up being a season unlike any Johnson had experienced
Enter Chevrolet, the manufacturer with which Johnson has driven throughout the entirety of his Hall of Fame NASCAR career.
Making great use of its @TeamChevy social media platforms, Chevy developed a creative way to ensure Johnson felt the connection from some of his biggest fans ahead of his final race as a full-time series driver.
Fans on social media were asked to share their favorite Jimmie Johnson memories, and the text from those posts was gathered and artfully created into a portrait of the GOAT himself. The ad is made of an ousting 5,000 words and 26,000 characters, and it tells the story of Jimmie Johnson the man just as much as Jimmie Johnson the racer.
The #JimmieTribute full-page ad ran in USA Today on Nov. 6; if you missed that keepsake, you probably saw the massive #JimmieTribute display banner at Phoenix Raceway.
As the outpouring of tributes showed beyond doubt, Jimmie is clearly a great driver — but he is, somehow, perhaps an even better person.
The kicker in the ad from Chevrolet?
“We couldn‘t have said it better ourselves.”
Neither could we.