CONCORD, N.C. – Jimmie Johnson has added Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance (Exton, PA) to his race helmet for Auto Club Speedway in August as part of the Jimmie Johnson Foundation Helmet of Hope initiative.

This is the 9th charity to be selected for the Helmet of Hope Initiative. In conjunction with the Jimmie Johnson Foundation’s second-annual Golf Tournament in San Diego, California, race fans and media members nationwide have the opportunity to participate in the Helmet of Hope initiative, allowing them the chance to nominate charities which they feel should be featured on the helmet.

Neil Hannemann, of San Marcos, CA, nominated Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance, whose mission is to marshal and focus the resources and relationships needed to cure Friedreich’s Ataxia (FA) by raising funds for research, promoting public awareness, and aligning scientists, patients, clinicians, government agencies, pharmaceutical companies and other organizations dedicated to curing FA and related diseases. Hannemann’s niece, Rachel, is afflicted with FA and he says she and others like her are affected from early childhood with little likelihood of surviving to their early 20s. He says kids are innocent and precious and deserve every chance that we can give them.

“Seeing the FARA logo on Jimmie’s helmet would give some visibility to finding a cure for a fatal disease that affects children while giving hope and enjoyment to those kids that are afflicted by FA,” said Hannemann. For more information, visit

Johnson will draw the last two charities this weekend at Michigan, collecting a total of 12 winning organizations. Winning charities to date include: Monarch (Albemarle, N.C.), Breakthrough Manchester (Manchester, N.H.), STEP, Inc. (Rocky Mount, Va.), The American Diabetes Society (Alexandria, Va.), The Children’s Fund for Glycogen Storage Disease (Cheshire, Conn.), the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (Charlotte, N.C.), Alex’s Lemonade Stand (Wynnewood, Pa.), and the Nationwide Foundation (Columbus, Ohio).

For more information on the Helmet of Hope initiative, please contact Mary Barr, Jimmie Johnson Foundation, or 704.453.2897.