This afternoon the President gave a few remarks at the White House honoring three-time Sprint Cup Champion Jimmie Johnson, and took a few moments to look back at NASCAR's history dating back to "its humble beginnings, when moonshiners raced on the sands of Daytona Beach during prohibition." Giving a nod to the Wounded Warriors in the audience, he commended NASCAR for all they do for veterans and the commitment to service in the culture generally:
After all, one of the core values of the NASCAR community is the belief that service isn't just something you do once in a while when it's convenient -- it's a way of life. I think Jeff Gordon put it best when he said, simply, "Any person out there should do something some way to give back to their community."
And that's what folks from more than 150 countries see around the world when they tune in to your races -- not just your speed and your skill, but also your compassion, your dedication to your families and our communities, how much you love this country and how strongly you support the heroes who serve it. That's the face of America that you show to the world.
NASCAR 2008 Sprint Cup Champion Jimmie Johnson shows his #48 Lowe's Chevy to President Barack Obama prior to a ceremony honoring him at the White House, Wednesday, August 19, 2009. Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy
President Barack Obama with NASCAR 2008 Sprint Cup Champion Jimmie Johnson during a ceremony honoring him at the White House, Wednesday, August 19, 2009. Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson