“Sent Her Into a Tailspin” – Jimmie Johnson Reveals His Wife’s Worried Reactions After Huge 1st-Lap Crash During IndyCar Debut

Published 04/24/2021, 2:00 PM EDT
AVONDALE, ARIZONA – NOVEMBER 08: Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Ally Chevrolet, sits in his car prior to the NASCAR Cup Series Season Finale 500 at Phoenix Raceway on November 08, 2020 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)


Jimmie Johnson had quite an eventful and heart-stopping start to his IndyCar debut race last Sunday at Barber Motorsports Park. Within seconds of the start, a massive first-lap crash took out many drivers. However, Johnson used all his experience to stay out of it and continued his race.

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He was also very fortunate to be able to do so. The 7-time NASCAR champion was already in a situation he wasn’t used to and being involved in the crash could have made things worse.

The crash was quite scary and many hearts would have skipped a beat as soon it happened. One of those people was Jimmie’s wife, Chandra, who was in attendance as her husband made it through it all.

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Apr 18, 2021; Birmingham, Alabama, USA; Indy driver Jimmie Johnson (48) at Barber Motorsports Park. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Jimmie Johnson opens up on the horrific 1st-lap crash on IndyCar debut

“Chani said that’s the most she’s ever been stressed out in a race, which I disagree with. I think some of those championship races were (more stressful) than that,” Johnson said recently, talking about the crash and the race.

“But the crash on the first lap was right in front of her viewing area, and of course she’s worried about safety. That sent her into a bit of a tailspin for a while,” he added.

Ryan Hunter-Reay, one of the drivers who was affected heavily by the crash, later thanked the aero screen on his car for actually saving him some serious trouble.

The Johnsons thanks the high safety levels in the cars

Johnson said that seeing those images himself definitely gives him increased confidence in the safety levels of his car. While his wife was very worried after seeing the crash, those images made her felt better too.

“She’s like, ‘Oh my gosh, never put me in that situation ever again.’ We fundamentally see things differently, but she saw (Hunter-Reay’s aeroscreen photos) as well, and she told me, ‘Oh my gosh, that’s incredible!’ Yes, yes it is. She needs to see it all, and I want to see it all too,” Johnson said further.

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While Johnson made it through the wreck and went on to race, he did spin on Lap 10, which hurt his race a bit. However, the overall experience was quite fulfilling for the NASCAR legend, who is fulfilling a childhood dream in IndyCar.

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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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