Tony Stewart in glowing praise of his true friend Johnson

Even Dale Sr. would not have been able to rattle Jimmie Johnson – Tony Stewart in glowing praise of his “true friend” Johnson

Share Via

Tony Stewart and Jimmie Johnson might have been rivals for a long portion of their career but both have high praise for each other.

Stewart and Johnson were competing against each other from 2001 to 2016 when Stewart retired from NASCAR racing. Johnson retired from full-time Cup racing in 2020.

Between them, the drivers won 132 races wins and 10 championships.

42 races per season a possibility for the near future for NASCAR with a new TV deal

While on the race track, Stewart would have liked to get the better of Johnson at every opportunity during his racing career, outside it, the SHR owner considers him to be a “true friend”.

“He’s just somebody that I really think a lot of, and it’s not only for what he’s done inside the race but outside the race car as well,” says Stewart. “He’s just a genuinely good person and somebody that I have a lot of admiration and respect for — and somebody that I feel is a true friend.”

By the time Johnson won his first championships, Stewart had already bagged two, the latest of which came in 2005. Johnson got his first the following season and went on to win the next four editions of the championships until Stewart broke his five-year-long dominance by winning his third championship in 2011.

Many point to Johnson’s success as having a good team, race equipment and crew chief in his career. While these play a factor, Stewart points out to Johnson’s confidence in his abilities for his winning habits.

“He was just a machine,” Stewart said. “You couldn’t rattle the guy. It didn’t matter what you did; he focused on what he was doing and didn’t care what you were doing around or behind him.

“If Dale (Earnhardt) Sr. was around during his era of championships, he would not have been able to rattle Jimmie Johnson. He just wouldn’t. Jimmie is just that solid. He had that much confidence, he had that much ability, and it wasn’t that he did anything special that others didn’t do, he just did it consistently over and over. Every week he could do it. And they had a package that could work, and they all showcased each others’ talents in that organization and race team.

“If you gave him the tools and a car that could run up front, you could bet your ass he was going to run up front. There was no doubt about it. I never saw him have an off day on the racetrack. He was just that focused and that much of a machine when it came to getting inside the race car and doing his job week in and week out.”

That is very high praise from a competitor. And it is true that Johnson was a very fierce competitor. One cannot achieve what Johnson has achieved without the will and determination to do so, season after season.

NASCAR fans discuss American sports equivalent of Lionel Messi winning WC at 35

Share Via

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *