“Has a Little Desire to Race” – Jimmie Johnson Takes 8-Year-Old Daughter Lydia Racing During Break From IndyCar

Published 05/07/2021, 8:50 AM EDT
HOMESTEAD, FL – NOVEMBER 20: Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet, poses in Victory Lane with his wife Chandra and daughters Genevieve Marie and Lydia Norriss after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 and the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 20, 2016 in Homestead, Florida. Johnson wins a record-tying 7th NASCAR title. (Photo by Sarah Crabill/Getty Images)


Jimmie Johnson is not the only Johnson to try their hand at a new racing discipline. When the NASCAR legend had a break from IndyCar last weekend as Tony Kanaan ran the oval race, Johnson was busy racing with his younger daughter, Lydia Johnson.

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The 8-year-old, Lydia accompanied her father to a local race track for the first time. She raced with Jimmie on a Supercross-style dirt bike.

Many of Johnson’s former competitors in NASCAR, like Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, Clint Bowyer, and others are already guiding their kids at the start of their racing careers. It now seems like Johnson has turned mentor for Lydia, who has an interest in sports, just like her father.

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AVONDALE, ARIZONA – NOVEMBER 08: Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Ally Chevrolet, poses on the grid with his wife Chandra Johnson and their daughters Lydia Norriss Johnson and Genevieve Johnson prior to the NASCAR Cup Series Season Finale 500 at Phoenix Raceway on November 08, 2020 in Avondale, Arizona.Jimmie Johnson is scheduled to retire from full-time NASCAR racing after 2020. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Jimmie Johnson guiding his daughter through her racing interests

Johnson expressed that Lydia is quite keen on racing. She has talked about those interests with her parents for a while, and Jimmie finally decided to give it a shot.

“She’s talked about it for a while… Lydia has a little desire to race and will ride anything until it’s out of gas,” Johnson said during a recent interview. “So this is the first time we really kind of took a step in that direction.”

Johnson and his wife, Chandra, were “slow-playing it” to just figure out if their younger one was actually interested in racing. Once they did, Johnson was thrilled to take his daughter to the track.

“Her and her sister both ride horses quite a bit right now and have other activities that they’re caught up in. But she’s pressed long enough and worked hard to earn her dirt bike,” the 45-year-old driver said further.

The Chip Ganassi Racing IndyCar driver was excited and nervous at the same time as Lydia drove the dirt bike. While he had fun, Johnson joked that his wife has ‘threatened him’ to ensure that Lydia did not suffer big injuries.

Chani has threatened to injure me if Lydia is ever injured on the dirt bike. And growing up on dirt bikes, it’s not if you fall, it’s when. It’s not if you get injured, it’s when you get injured,” Johnson expressed.

He is doing his bit to convince Chandra to get on board with the idea. Meanwhile, Johnson is just happy to spend time with his daughters and help one of them through the process.

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“We’re just having fun with right now. And it’s great to just have a Sunday off. Load up the bikes and pack a cooler and go to the track and ride for 4 or 5 hours, come home, get the pressure washer out, clean the bikes and just hang with her. It’s not something I expected to do with one of my daughters,” the 7-time NASCAR Cup champ said further.

While young Lydia is just getting started, she has one of the best supporting and guiding her. Johnson will not race in IndyCar this weekend as well and would look to spend more quality time with family.

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Aayush Majumdar

1006 articles

Aayush Majumdar is a NASCAR content strategist, a Tennis Writer, and a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. He is well-tenured as a tennis and NASCAR writer, with over 900 articles across both sports. After pursuing a Post Graduate program in Sports Management, Aayush explored various roles in Sports Media, including a Sports Reporting role at a leading English daily.

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