Jimmie Johnson Explains How Sports-Car Racing Helps NASCAR Drivers With Interesting Example

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January 24, 2021 7:00 pm

2021 sure has a lot of things in store for NASCAR legend Jimmie Johnson. Starting next weekend, he will test his trade at the famed Rolex 24 at Daytona event with Action Express Racing.

Johnson interestingly addressed how sports car racing can help a driver in Cup Series racing. He took the time out to mention his own example and draw parallels of riding dirt bikes when he was a kid.

He stated, “I think that depends on the lens that you look at it through. My example would be when I was a kid growing up racing dirt bikes.”

Jimmie Johnson reveals he entered two classes of 60CC and 80CC dirt bikes racing

“My age group and size, the 60CC bike was the intended bike to ride on. And my Dad would also enter me in the 80CC category on a bigger bike, more power, heavier.

“But I was learning how to drive more power, how to handle the bike, jump further, and all of the things that come with it. When I got back onto my intended bike, things slowed down, there was less power, I could be more aggressive with it.”

LOUDON, NH – JUNE 27: Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet, performs a burnout to celebrate winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series LENOX Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on June 27, 2010 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images for NASCAR)

The art of learning to transition thus gave Johnson better control over his vehicle. Having tried out sports car racing on seven such Rolex 24 events, gave him a good understanding whilst furthering his Cup Series career as well.

He continued, “I personally really thought that helped me a lot from my intended size of bike that I was racing on. So with that in mind, sure, these cars are way different, way faster, and all that stuff goes on.”

Johnson could win his first Rolex 24 on his eighth attempt

“But when you get back in a Cup car on road course, I thought that it slowed things down for me in a Cup car. It really helped, at least my eyes and my senses,” concluded Johnson.

BROOKLYN, MI – JUNE 11: Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet, gestures while on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

The former Hendrick Motorsports No.48 is part of a formidable driver line-up at Action Express Racing. With Johnson also reunited with his former crew chief, Chad Knaus, signs are looking positive for him to win his first-ever Rolex 24 medal.

Indeed, the event would also serve as a perfect starting point for Johnson, who later begins an IndyCar career with Chip Ganassi Racing. But using all his knowledge and experience, the seven-time Cup champion would look to seal the deal come next Saturday.

MORE – Why Jimmie Johnson Picked the Number ’48’ for His Car When He Joined Hendrick Motorsports

Bhargav Gopal

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. Bhargav is quite a genius in his field, having won the All-India Marketing Case Study Competition 2015. He also loves to combine his love for marketing and sports by taking part in competitions like Knockout: Sports Marketing Case Study by IIM Ahmedabad.

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