NASCAR Legend Jimmie Johnson Helps MLS Team Announce Its Super Draft Picks

Published 01/13/2022, 1:29 PM EST
INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA – SEPTEMBER 07: Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Ally Chevrolet, stands in the garage area during practice for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Big Machine Vodka 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on September 07, 2019 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)


It is not often that two completely different sports cross over with each other. However, the Charlotte FC team of the MLS did just that and roped in the living NASCAR legend, Jimmie Johnson, to help. The 2-year-old football club was founded in 2019 and was granted an expansion into Major League Soccer for the 2022 season.

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Recently, the club announced its first ever Super Draft selection and Johnson was there to announce it. Jimmie Johnson revealed that the first draft was Ben Bender from the University of Maryland. Also joining him were Kyle Holcomb from Wake Forest University, and George Marks from Clemson University. The three players take on the role of midfielder, forward and goalkeeper, respectively.

The freshly minted MLS side also have the veteran Christian Fuchs in their ranks. Fuchs has been the captain of the Austrian national team and was a part of the historic Leicester City side of 2015-16.

Watch Story: In Pictures: How NASCAR is Sensationally Converting the LA Coliseum Football Stadium Into a Race Track

Jimmie Johnson is looking forward to his own 2022 season

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At the moment, the veteran driver is enjoying a bit of downtime before he begins preparing for the next IndyCar season. The best part is that he is taking part in his first Indy 500, as he is racing on a full-time basis. Of course, this does not guarantee that he will win the race, but he will definitely give it a good shot.

Apr 25, 2021; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA; IndyCar Series driver Jimmie Johnson (48) races at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

He enjoyed a reasonable debut season, nothing too spectacular. Of course, he can be forgiven because it was his maiden season and it would take time for him to adjust to life in IndyCar. This time around, he has a bit more experience and he can try to pose a stronger challenge at the front or in the midfield.

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Whether it will translate into wins is a completely different story, especially when you consider the age factor as well. With the 7-time Cup Series champion approaching his 50s soon, one has to wonder if that will adversely affect him. However, Johnson knows that the Indy 500 is an opportunity that doesn’t come very often and will definitely give it his best shot.

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Dhruv George

12555 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Motorsports author for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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