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NASCAR: Johnson gives cash to schools

on November 11, 2013 10:50 AM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson awarded $470,000 to nine different schools Tuesday as part of the annual grants he and his wife have given out the last four years.

The five-time NASCAR champion and wife Chandra have donated more than $3.1 million through the Jimmie Johnson Foundation/Lowe’s Toolbox for Education Champions Grants. The money is earmarked for schools in their hometowns of El Cajon, Calif., and Muskogee, Okla., as well as Charlotte, where the Johnsons currently reside.

Johnson announced the winners Tuesday at the NASCAR Hall of Fame, where students from the three winning Charlotte schools were on hand.

The funded projects for 2013 ranged from resurfacing and rubberizing a track to outdoor learning centers. Several schools also received technology grants to purchase new computers.

Pelini wants his job back

MIAMI — Carl Pelini wants his job back at Florida Atlantic, asking school officials to rescind the resignation letter that he now claims he was forced to sign after being confronted with allegations that he used illegal drugs.

Pelini, who was FAU’s head coach for 20 games, said he denied using the drugs, later identified in other documents as marijuana and cocaine. When FAU announced his resignation Oct. 30, athletic director Patrick Chun said Pelini and now-former defensive coordinator Pete Rekstis both acknowledged that they used drugs.

“I denied using illegal drugs three times,” Pelini, who was 5-15 with the Owls, wrote in a letter to three FAU officials.

Chun released a statement through an athletic department spokeswoman, saying he stands “by my statement and decision from last week.”

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