Kyle Larson Explains Why Jimmie Johnson’s Achievements Should be Talked About More and Praises Him

Published 01/01/2021, 10:48 AM EST
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)


Kyle Larson is now effectively set to replace Jimmie Johnson at Hendrick Motorsports. He replaces the departing Johnson in Hendrick’s Cup Series squad, but will not drive the no. 48 vacated by Johnson.

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All said and done, Larson and the entire Hendrick team will certainly have a tough time trying to carry Johnson’s legacy forward.

Despite not getting the chance to be Johnson’s teammate, Larson has raced the 7-time champion on many occasions. He also holds great respect for the 45-year-old legend.

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Speaking to former driver Michael Waltrip during a chat, Larson stressed that Johnson’s 7 titles are not given the importance they deserve.

The fact that Johnson won all those championships in such a competitive era makes his achievement even more special. Waltrip and Larson were talking about great NASCAR moments when the latter took the opportunity to laud Johnson for his efforts.

KANSAS CITY, KANSAS – OCTOBER 18: Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Credit One Bank Chevrolet, climbs into his car during practice for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)

Kyle Larson feels Johnson’s achievements deserve more attention

I think what Jimmie was able to do to win all his championships. It has been something that probably doesn’t honestly get talked about enough,” said Larson.

In this era, given how competitive and close everybody’s equipment is and how close drivers are. And how much data there is now to make yourself better, I think what Jimmie’s done to win all those championships is amazing,” he added.

Larson then spoke about Johnson as a person. He said that the champion driver always behaves nicely with everyone, even if he does not know them too well.

“He’s just such a good guy. I don’t know him that well, but anytime I’m around him, he’s just so nice and all that. Races really hard,” Larson expressed.

The two drivers had some interesting battles on the track in the past, and Larson felt quite honored to go up against Johnson. Just having the chance to share the stage with him meant a lot to Larson.

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)

Following the example set by Johnson

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Him and I race extremely hard with each other, which is fun. I got a seven-time champion mad at me right now. It’s pretty awesome,” Larson said further.

He then stated that Johnson is the perfect example of how a NASCAR driver should conduct himself. “Growing up, when I think of a NASCAR mold of driver, Jimmie Johnson’s that guy,” Larson concluded on the topic.

There could be occasions in the near future, where Larson and Johnson cross paths. Despite Johnson’s departure, he will always be an important part of Hendrick Motorsports. Johnson could be seen at HMS from time-to-time, lending his support to the team.

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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.

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