News & Multimedia

Brickyard Super Weekend Profile: Jimmie Johnson

If the prototypical NASCAR driver of the past hailed from the South and had roots in the moonshine industry, the modern-day blueprint is Jimmie Johnson.

The 36-year old from El Cajon, California says Rick Mears is his hero and admits that his first dream was to race in the Indianapolis 500. But after cutting his racing teeth in off-road racing like Mears, Johnson beat a fast track to stock car competition and he has established himself as the top driver in NASCAR’s “Chase” era.

Johnson is often viewed as a protégé of NASCAR star Jeff Gordon, who is actually the co-owner of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet that Johnson drives in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Since 2001, Johnson has driven the #48 car to 57 race wins and five consecutive Sprint Cup championships from 2006-10.

Johnson and his longtime crew chief Chad Knaus have been particularly effective at mastering NASCAR’s “Chase” playoff format. Their formula has been to use races leading into the Chase as test sessions to perfect their car setups for the events that count at the end of the year. In several of his championship campaigns, Johnson got off to a strong start in the Chase that allowed him to run consistently for points down the stretch while his opponents had to resort to desperate tactics in search of wins.

Johnson has found repeated success at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He’s a three-time winner of the Brickyard 400 (2006, ’08 and ’09), and this year he also considered competing in the inaugural Grand-Am Rolex Series race in a GAINSCO Racing entry.

“It’s such a tough race,” Johnson said of the Brickyard 400. “There are only a couple tracks on our schedule that, when you walk into the track, you feel the history of the facility. It’s argued back and forth whether Daytona or Indianapolis is more prestigious and important and it’s tough for me to pick one, but they’re both very special. I’m very fortunate to have won both of them.

“For me, it’s kind of a draw between the two,” he added. “I grew up in an IndyCar household and didn’t know much about stock car racing and always dreamed of racing in the Indy 500. But from a driver’s standpoint, a driver is a lot more responsible for the results and the performance at Indy than you are at Daytona. We do put a little bit more effort into the Brickyard and start earlier. Instead of a couple of weeks out, it’s a month or two months out, just massaging the car. The engine shop usually shows up with a little bit of something new for us, with a little bit more power, typically. And it really pays off with having those long straightaways.”
 

Show More Show Less
Now Viewing
Brickyard Super Weekend Profile: Jimmie Johnson
 
Brickyard Super Weekend Profile: Jimmie Johnson
If the prototypical NASCAR driver of the past hailed from the South and had roots in the moonshine industry, the modern-day blueprint is Jimmie Johnson.
Read More
Related Media
Alexander Rossi
 
Rossi Coasts into History with Stunning Win at 100th Running
Questions started being asked before Alexander Rossi’s empty fuel tank had his car sputtering out of the final corner of the last lap in Sunday’s 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil.
Read More
Alexander Rossi
 
Alexander Rossi Wins the 100th Running of the Indy 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil
The rookie won the historic 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil with an improbable run to the finish on a rapidly vanishing fuel load, turning a final lap of 179.784 mph in the No. 98 NAPA Auto Parts/Curb Honda for Andretti Herta Autosport with Curb-Agajanian.
Read More
Lady Gaga
 
Lady Gaga brings High-Voltage Star Power to 100th Running
Global music and celebrity icon Lady Gaga will bring her high-voltage star power to the 100th Running of the Indy 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil. To help kick off today’s historic edition of the largest single day sporting event on the planet, she will join Mario Andretti for a high-speed thrill ride known as the “Honda Fastest Seat in Sports.”
Read More
Borg-Warner Trophy
 
So Who is Going to Win the 100th Indy 500? Good Luck Picking Just One
Historical significance demanded everything possible be prepared to present the stage for an epic experience at Sunday’s 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil.
Read More
A.J. Foyt
 
Legendary A.J. Foyt to Salute the Field of the 100th Indianapolis 500
As the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil has approached, the history of the race has been celebrated by countless numbers of fans and media.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 2,239
Reserve one of our hospitality suites for your next event!
To start planning your event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway please fill out our Information Request Form or contact Laura Wyamn at (317) 492-8557 or email at lwyman@brickyard.com.
Latest Tweets
.@AlexanderRossi Coasts into History with Stunning Win at 100th Running - @pwilson24 - https://t.co/qSpR94VmZs
about 2 hours ago