Jimmie Johnson – NASCAR driver is competitive on foot, too

JJ up for a marathon

NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson of the Auto Club 400 Sunday on Fox

Q: You ran the Boston Marathon last year. Do you find there are any similarities between that and racing in NASCAR’s Cup Series?

A: Surprisingly, there is. You know, when you look at the duration of the Marathon, it’s very similar to the duration in the car. Certainly, the Marathon is more physically demanding but nutrition and hydration, those rules apply to both the car and running on foot. The commitment physically and mentally is very similar. I mean, you’re uncomfortable all the time in both spaces, so I think that’s why I’ve been drawn to these endurance events, is that they are so familiar to the things I do in a race car.

Q: Was the Boston Marathon the first time you ran 26 miles?

A: Yes, first full marathon and it worked out because it’s held on a Monday and the car-racing schedule, we had the Sunday before off so I could somewhat recover, get hydrated and then also travel to Boston for the race. But yeah, that was my first full (marathon). I’ve run plenty of halves. I’ve also done a half Ironman, which had a half-marathon run in it but yeah, that was my first full-distance marathon.

Q: Does this being your last full year running Cup seem real yet?

A: You know, as we get closer to the start of the season and knowing that it’s my last full-time (season), there’s excitement. There’s not anything negative but there’s just the realization of it being my last time chasing the eighth (Cup title). You know, there is something in there that is sad, and again it’s not negative but it’s just like, alright, I guess this is my last shot at it.

George Dickie

George Dickie

George Dickie has been a features writer for Gracenote/Tribune Media Services since 1989, when “Hee-Haw” was still on the air and George “Goober” Lindsay was his first interview. His early interviews ranged from Jim Henson and Dick Van Dyke to Phil Collins and the Dixie Chicks.

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