It has been over two months since Jimmie Johnson retired from the NASCAR Cup Series after 19 incredible seasons with Hendrick Motorsports. However, many fans and fellow drivers alike still feel the emotions of watching Johnson take his final laps in NASCAR. Bubba Wallace is one of those fans/fellow drivers.
Wallace has time and again expressed his admiration for the seven-time champion. Recently, he again spoke about Johnson’s impact on his career and how much he motivates him.
In a chat between Wallace and Actor/Producer Justin Sylvester, the latter expressed how hard it was to see Johnson bid adieu to the sport and run his last few laps in NASCAR, in early November at Phoenix. Wallace agreed and said it was hard for most people out there.
At the same time, watching Johnson motivated Wallace to emulate him and try to be more like him.
“It was hard for a lot of us. I was so excited for him though. Because knowing what he’s doing now got me so motivated to want to tune in. And just want to be like him. That’s bad**s, it’s cool!” Wallace expressed.
Shortly before Johnson’s final race, Wallace had posted an emotional message for the 45-year-old superstar, the man who he has ‘idolized’.
“To the guy I’ve idolized, to the guy I geeked out over at DIS when filling in the 43 in 2017. To the guy that’s been all class on n off the track,” Wallace wrote.
He added, “To the guy who called me just about every day during the madness of this season. To the guy I’m honored to call friend. Thanks JJ!”
Jimmie Johnson has been known as one of the most approachable and nicest guys in the NASCAR paddock ever since his early days. Now, the former driver of the No. 48 car at Hendrick moves to the IndyCar Series, driving the same number for Chip Ganassi Racing.
Meanwhile, Bubba Wallace will need to channel all that motivation received from Johnson into his debut season with 23XI Racing. He has spoken about the faith shown in him by team owners Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin, and it is now time for him to repay them.