Later this year, Jimmie Johnson will see out his NASCAR career before he sets off for a new venture in IndyCar. On 17th September, the 7-time Cup Series champion celebrated his 45th birthday. Johnson’s long and illustrious career on the tracks stretches all the way back to 1998, in the ASA National Tour.
Several years down the line, he bagged his maiden Cup Series win in 2002. This was back when it was known as the Winston Cup Series. He took that first win at the NAPA Auto Parts 500, took a pole to victory at the MBNA Platinum 400 and again at the MBNA All-American Heroes 400.
He picked up his maiden title during the 2006 season with Hendrick Motorsports, the first of many. He took five Cup wins on the trot, from 2006 to 2010. In 2013 and 2016, he added two more Cup Series titles to the Jimmie Johnson trophy cabinet.
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Trend-setter Jimmie Johnson
In just his 13th Cup Series start, Johnson romped to his first career victory. Suffice to say, he was so ecstatic that he crowd-surfed over his team. Among other achievements, Johnson also triumphed at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
As a result, he got the honor to kiss the iconic bricks that earned the track the moniker of ‘The Brickyard’.
Later on, in 2010, Johnson permanently etched himself in the history books as the only driver to take five consecutive championships. Not even the legendary Richard Petty or Dale Earnhardt could achieve such a feat. On one occasion, he won a three-wide drag race at the Talladega Superspeedway by 0.002 seconds.
Outside the NASCAR arena, Johnson has tried his hand at open-wheel racing. Even before his IndyCar tests, Johnson hopped into the cockpit of a Formula One car. To be precise, he and double World Champion, Fernando Alonso, swapped rides.
He even had the honor of giving former US President, Barack Obama, a tour of his car.