There is hardly anyone on the NASCAR circuit who does not have high regard for Jimmie Johnson. NASCAR’s rising star, Bubba Wallace, posted an emotional message ahead of the NASCAR Cup Series championship race at Phoenix Raceway, which is also Johnson’s final race in the sport.
Wallace took to Twitter to express how much he respects and adores the 7-time NASCAR Champion. Wallace said he idolized Johnson over the years and was in awe of him before his first appearance in the No. 43 car for Richard Petty Motorsports.
The two men seemed to have developed a good relationship this season. The year has been tough for NASCAR, and Wallace as well, personally.
“To the guy I’ve idolized, to the guy I geeked out over at DIS when filling in the 43 in 2017,” Wallace wrote. He added, “To the guy that’s been all class on n off the track.
“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!”
Recently, in the build-up to Johnson’s farewell race, Wallace also spoke about his best memory with Johnson. It was a hilarious incident that took place before a race last year, and Wallace said that they still laugh about it.
A lot of drivers have spoken about Johnson over the past few weeks. NASCAR Cup Series title contender Chase Elliott was one of them.
Elliott expressed what he admires about Johnson. As former champion Bill Elliott’s son, Chase visited the NASCAR circuit as a kid and watched Johnson from close quarters. In recent years, the 24-year-old raced Johnson and was his teammate.
“He just has everything prioritized the right way. I feel like his work ethic is extremely high. He’s a very competitive person, but he’s competitive in his own way.
“He’s not the kind of guy that’s picking fights every week, he’s just the kind of guy who wants to beat you,” Elliott said of Johnson.
Johnson retires from the sport after 83 race wins over 19 full-time seasons. He raced in the no. 48 car for Hendrick Motorsports throughout his career.