Lowe's to continue sponsorship with Johnson's team

Hendrick Motorsports announced on Wednesday that Lowe's has extended its contract as the full-time primary sponsor for Jimmie Johnson and his No. 48 team in the Sprint Cup Series through 2015.

Lowe's also made the announcement to more than 1,700 store managers at its national sales meeting. The home improvement company has served as the full- season sponsor for Johnson's team the past 12 years.

"It has been a great ride with Jimmie since he started in the Cup Series 12 years ago," Lowe's chief marketing officer Tom Lamb said in a statement. "We are proud to sponsor one of the most elite teams and drivers in racing and have a five-time champion carry the Lowe's brand each week."

Johnson won his second Daytona 500 on Sunday, which came in his 400th career Sprint Cup start. He is also a five-time champion in the series, with those titles coming consecutively from 2006-10. Since his rookie season in 2002, Johnson has won 61 races -- the most in the series during that span.

"Lowe's believed in me before I had any success," Johnson said. "They are all I've ever known in my Sprint Cup career, and their support of me and the No. 48 team is second to none in the sport. We've been together for this crazy ride, and I'm so happy we're continuing it together. They truly are family, and I'm proud to represent them."

Johnson and his crew chief, Chad Knaus, are under contract with Hendrick through 2015. The duo have scored at least one victory in Sprint Cup each season since '02.

"We caught lightning in a bottle with this combination," team owner Rick Hendrick said. "Jimmie and Chad have been successful, because they always have a plan and do a great job executing. Lowe's is the same way as a sponsor. The partnership has been incredible, and we're looking forward to working together for many more years."

Johnson and teammate Jeff Gordon are the only drivers to have the same primary sponsor for each of his first 400 starts in NASCAR's premier series.