Jimmie Johnson is only a few months removed from wrapping up his Hall of Fame-worthy NASCAR career. Johnson didn’t take long to quickly embraced a new path behind the wheel. All that has guided him to fulfill a childhood dream on the IndyCar track.
Jimmy Johnson’s NASCAR career
Jimmie Johnson initially began his NASCAR racing career in the Nationwide Series.
Shortly after that, Johnson quickly latched onto Hendrick Motorsports as a full-time Cup Series driver, where he became one of the sports’ best talents. Over two decades, he tied the all-time mark with seven Cup Series championships and earned 83 career wins. It featured him becoming the only driver in NASCAR history to win five straight titles.
Beyond that, he won the Daytona 500 twice and finished inside the top five in the points standings 12 times. As his career winded down, Johnson shifted his attention to another racing venture.
His retirement after the 2020 season opened the door for him to head into his childhood dream.
NASCAR legend Jimmie Johnson ‘living out’ his childhood dream on the IndyCar track
Since stepping away from his NASCAR racing career, Jimmie Johnson has fully embraced his next venture with IndyCar.
It’s a pathway that he has quickly taken up a significant part in his first campaign in the 2021 season. The entire journey has been a “childhood dream” by competing in the sport. (H/T Yahoo Sports)
“It’s a whole new world,” Johnson said. “This excitement, these nerves, it’s pretty incredible. This is a childhood dream, to be in an Indy car.”
Johnson may be 45 years old, but he has chosen to embark on a new racing path that he has wanted to try his entire life. He is working through significant adjustments regarding the vast difference in the feel of the car on the track from the braking system to the lateral grip.
Johnson’s decision to join IndyCar at this point came due to becoming burnt out by NASCAR’s 38-race schedule and the business side of the sport. All that wore him out and pushed him to consider a new path where he focuses almost entirely on racing.
There were concerns from his wife regarding driving another vehicle, but Johnson has continued to adapt to his new calling on the IndyCar track.
Full control over his future in IndyCar
Jimmie Johnson has dove headfirst into his IndyCar career that has been met some early challenges.
Johnson is coming off his first race on the track this past weekend as he finished 19th at the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama. He began the event in 21st out of 24 drivers in the field.
It wasn’t’ the cleanest race for Johnson, but he finished ahead of his starting spot. There were a few instances where his finish could have been far worse had things transpired in another manner.
Johnson avoided hitting the wall on Lap 10 when he spun by himself that led to a caution flag. Instead, he continued the race, putting up a respectable performance.
There lies a significant learning curve ahead of him, but he has 16 more races to find his footing this season. Despite all that, Johnson voiced that he was proud that he finished his first race.
“Very happy to have finished,” Johnson said via Yahoo Sports. “There were two very scary moments in the race. One, the original start, going into Turn 5 there was chaos. I bounced off a few cars, but nothing really happened to mine evidently.”
As the 2021 campaign moves along, Johnson will gather much-needed experience to establish his footing in his new racing career.