“He Is The King” – Jimmie Johnson Earns Huge Praise From Former IndyCar Champ and Rolex 24 Teammate

Published 12/19/2020, 7:40 AM EST
BRISTOL, TN – APRIL 06: Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Ally Chevrolet, prepares to drive during practice for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Donald Page/Getty Images)


The Rolex 24 Hours Of Daytona race is fast approaching and will take place later in January. In light of that, preparations of the Action Express Racing team, headlined by the one and only Jimmie Johnson, are already in full swing.

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The likes of Simon Pagenaud, Mike Rockenfeller, and Kamui Kobayashi will join Johnson in the racing event. Pagenuad, in particular, has nothing but words of praise for the seven-time Cup Series champion.

Pagenaud stated, “I’ve always looked up to Jimmie. When I came to the U.S., he became the legend that he is and for me, I didn’t know much about oval racing – and Jimmie and I actually talked about this.

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“He throughout the years made some special moves on ovals and inspired myself from his performance. He is the king,” Pagenaud added.

Pagenaud shares a similar personality with Jimmie Johnson

“You look at what the king does and you try to emulate that yourself. It’s been very, very enjoyable to get to know him as a human being as well,” Pagenaud expressed.

Pagenaud himself possesses a good racing pedigree, competing in the IndyCar Series with Team Penske. The French driver also believes that they all share great chemistry within the team.

Avondale, Arizona, USA; NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson (48) during the NASCAR Cup Series Championship at Phoenix Raceway. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The 2016 IndyCar champion continued, “We have very similar personalities and I think it’s going to be great chemistry on the team. And Rocky (Rockenfeller), we have friends in common so we spend time together often.”

“I really think we will have a fantastic time. We have a similar desire and I think (we are) at very similar times in our career on the team. Everybody seems to be very much on the same page,” he added.

Johnson soon to compete against Pagenaud

Having announced his retirement from Cup Series racing, Johnson now moves to try a new experience in the IndyCar Series. He joins Chip Ganassi Racing on a two-year deal.

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HOMESTEAD, FL – NOVEMBER 20: Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet, poses for a portrait after winning the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)

Pagenaud meanwhile continues with Team Penske in the IndyCar, eyeing a shot at the title he last won in 2016. A recent Indianapolis 500 race winner, the 36-year-old will certainly be a championship contender.

Therefore, it will be a battle to witness when these two drivers take to the same field later next year. For the moment, though, their immediate priority is helping their team win the 24 Hours race at Daytona.

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Bhargav Gopal

927 articles

Hailing from Bengaluru, Bhargav is an F1 and NASCAR author for EssentiallySports. He is a huge fan of Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing. Bhargav also has an MBA in Sports Management from the Symbiosis School of Sports Sciences, Pune.

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