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Johnson to visit Lovejoy High today

By Linda Looney-Bond

lbond@news-daily.com

Three-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson will kick off the nationwide Tough Tools for Cool Schools program today at Lovejoy High School.

The new program is an initiative of Lowe's Home Improvement and Kobalt Tools, designed to benefit the next generation of skilled-trades professionals, said Tara Gudger, a spokeswoman for Johnson's racing team.

"The No. 48 team knows how important it is to have the right tools to be successful," Johnson said in a statement. "This program is great because we are literally putting those tools in the hands of students who need them and can use them to further their education."

Johnson, the defending back-to-back NASCAR champion, will present a set of Kobalt tools valued at approximately $600 to Lovejoy High School, located at 1587 McDonough Road.

Lowe's will donate approximately $300,000 worth of Kobalt tools to more than 500 Skills USA classes across the country as part of the Tough Tools for Cool Schools program, Gudger said. Skills USA is a national nonprofit organization of students, teachers and industry professionals which aims to ensure America has a skilled work force.

The association's membership exceeds 300,000 students and instructors in more than 3,700 schools across the country.

Also at Lovejoy High School today, Johnson's No. 48 Impala SS will showcase a special Tough Tools for Cool Schools paint scheme, according to Gudger. Johnson will race the car with the new paint scheme on April 5, at the Samsung 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.

The launch of Tough Tools for Cool Schools and Johnson's appearance comes ahead of the Kobalt Tools 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, which takes place at Atlanta Motor Speedway this Sunday.