Jimmie Johnson became more enthusiast about seeking new challenges after a NASCAR-F1 car swap with Fernando Alonso.
Not many dare to do what the seven-time Cup series champion is going to do this season: seek a different and challenging discipline so late in his career.
However, given the passion Johnson has for racing in general, he decided to try out IndyCar rather than retiring from driving altogether.
Johnson recently talked to former NASCAR and IndyCar driver Danica Patrick about the car swap and his upcoming IndyCar debut. He said about the car swap with F1 legend:
“Sure, it’s a car, but they’re really different. I’ve always wanted to be an IndyCar driver as a kid growing up.
“After driving Fernando’s Formula One car a few years ago, we did this swap, (felt like) I’ve always wanted to do this. This experience only made me want to experience more. And I started the process.”
Johnson was quite vocal about his desire to move to IndyCar before his full-time retirement from NASCAR. Given the success he has had in NASCAR, it was not hard for the former Hendrick Motorsports driver to get a team and sponsorship.
“I was surprised to see there was interest among the teams. Then, from there, it was like, ‘Okay, if we can get some sponsorship put together, we can really pull this off. I was able to get Carvana in the mix and put them on the car. So here we are.”
The seven-time Cup Series champion is keeping expectations low as he prepares to face a new challenge in his life.
“I am not expecting the type of success I had in Cup. But I am really trying to tell myself, and of course, the competitive side will kick in and I’ll be sad plenty, next year or this year. But the experience to do this is really where my heart is.”