Taylor Hanson Named Recipient Of First Jimmie Johnson Scholarship

Charlotte Motor Speedway awarded Central Cabarrus High graduate Taylor Hanson with the first Jimmie Johnson Scholarship, speedway officials announced on Thursday.

Established in October of 2020 to honor seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson, the $4,800 scholarship goes to a deserving Cabarrus County high school senior with career pursuits in fitness, nutrition or exercise science. The scholarship will assist one prospective college student per year for the next 10 years.

“Being the first recipient of the Jimmie Johnson Scholarship means a lot to me,” said Hanson, who dined with her family in The Speedway Club after learning she was the recipient. “It reflects on all of the hard work I’ve put in and the hard work I’ll put in in college. I take a lot of pride in being a positive influence in school and in my community.”

Hanson will attend North Carolina Central University in Durham, North Carolina, where she plans to major in kinesiology as an undergraduate before pursuing a master’s degree and a career in athletic training.

In addition to graduating Summa Cum Laude from Central Cabarrus, Hanson was also a member of organizations including the National Honor Society, the National Beta Club and the National Technical Honor Society. She competed on Central Cabarrus’ track and field and cross-country teams and will continue to run track and cross-country at North Carolina Central. 

Hanson’s commencement ceremony took place in June at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

“Having Taylor receive this scholarship is such an honor,” said Hanson’s mother, Fannie. “It speaks to how hard she’s worked in school not only to set herself apart from others, but to also have an impact on everyone around her. We’re all very proud of her.”

Charlotte Motor Speedway created the Jimmie Johnson Scholarship to honor the legendary driver’s passion for physical fitness. Johnson – the speedway’s all-time most successful NASCAR Cup Series driver with eight points wins – joined his wife, Chandra, in launching the Jimmie Johnson Foundation in 2006 to support K-12 public education. The scholarship in Johnson’s name represents the speedway’s efforts to mirror Johnson’s foundation in positively impacting students’ academic aspirations.