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Newtown family supports Jimmie Johnson

Chase Kowalski was a typical 6-year-old boy who loved playing baseball, being a Cub Scout and rooting for NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson.

Chase was such a fanatical Johnson fan, he made this drawing showing his support of No. 48 and hung it proudly in his bedroom. Tragically, Chase was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in Newtown, Conn., along with 19 other children and six adults on Dec. 14.

Chase, whose story was featured in ESPN The Magazine's March 4 "Analytics" issue and excerpted on Playbook Friday, was "a huge Jimmie Johnson fan! We know Chase is jumping for joy today celebrating Jimmie's victory in the Daytona 500!" That was the message the Kowalski family posted on the Chase Kowalski Memorial Fund Facebook Page following Johnson's victory in the Daytona 500 Sunday. They also tweeted the same photo and shared it on Johnson's Facebook page.

During the race, the Kowalski family showed its support for Johnson via Twitter:

Before Sunday's victory, the Kowalski family posted this image of Chase and his father, Stephen, racing together at Disney World, on the memorial fund's page, which has more than 5,700 "likes."

"Stephen and Chase shared a special bond and love for Auto Racing," the caption read in part. "With the start of the NASCAR season this weekend in Daytona, we find it bitter sweet to reflect back on these memories. Stephen has had a passion for racing since he was a boy not much younger than Chase."

And Johnson gave them all one more reason to smile Sunday.

The Chase Kowalski Memorial Fund was established by the family to "aid the Sandy Hook Elementary families -- both victims and survivors -- that have been affected by this tragedy."

Bill Speros is an ESPN.COM contributor. He can be reached on Twitter @billsperos or via e-mail at bsperos1@gmail.com.