“Hard for a Lot of Us” – Bubba Wallace Reveals Emotions During Jimmie Johnson’s NASCAR Farewell Race

Published 01/19/2021, 5:00 AM EST
TALLADEGA, ALABAMA – JUNE 22: Bubba Wallace, driver of the #43 Victory Junction Chevrolet, is greeted by Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Ally Chevrolet, after NASCAR drivers pushed Wallace to the front of the grid as a sign of solidarity with the driver prior to the NASCAR Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on June 22, 2020 in Talladega, Alabama. A noose was found in the garage stall of NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace at Talladega Superspeedway a week after the organization banned the Confederate flag at its facilities. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)


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.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

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.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Bubba Wallace opens up on emotions as Jimmie Johnson ran his last race

At the same time, watching Johnson motivated Wallace to emulate him and try to be more like him.

DAYTONA BEACH, FL: Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

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!”

DAYTONA BEACH, FL – JULY 05: Bubba Wallace, driver of the #43 U.S. Air Force Chevrolet, stands by his car during practice for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 5, 2018 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Both Johnson and Wallace begin new phases of their careers

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

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.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

DIVE DEEPER

How NASCAR Star Bubba Wallace Was Caught Off-Guard by Michael Jordan During Their First Conversation

5 months ago

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

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.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT