Birthday boy

LOUDON, NH - SEPTEMBER 20:  Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe's Chevrolet, prepares to practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 20, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

LOUDON, NH – SEPTEMBER 20: Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet, prepares to practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 20, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

LOUDON, N.H.— Jimmie Johnson says he didn’t do much on his 39th birthday, which he celebrated with his family on Wednesday, Sept. 17.

“It was really a mild day,” Johnson said. “With it being my 39th, I asked the family to just kind of chill out, and we’ll save up for next year. So, I had a fun day and hung out with the kids a bunch.

“I picked (daughter) Genevieve up from school and went and had some ice cream. She was excited about that. I picked her up early and we celebrated together. So, just some fun little moments like that; nothing too over-the-top.”

Even though he’s a year away from a milestone birthday, Johnson says he doesn’t feel his age—but he sees it reflected in some of the younger drivers who are starting to excel in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

“No, I don’t feel 39,” said the six-time champion. “And the number is getting bigger. It wasn’t long ago I was the rookie, the up-and-coming. And I just watched Kyle (Larson) walk out (of the media center), and it looks like he could still be in high school. So, time does fly. And certainly, time flies in this industry.

“It seems like it’s on fast-forward … and then those parents out there know that, once you have kids, man, it really goes fast. And then it’s hard to believe four years have gone by and Genevieve is four now. I think I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in my life. I’m the most balanced and happy and all those things are there, but the odometer is getting some miles on it.”

SHORT STROKES
Early Chase struggles continued for Greg Biffle, who spun off Turn 2 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway early in final practice. Biffle and his team couldn’t dial in the No. 16 Roush Fenway Racing Ford in either of the Saturday sessions. The car was 29th fastest in morning practice and 22nd in Happy Hour. … Preparing for his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut in Sunday’s Sylvania 300, Corey Lajoie scraped the wall early in Happy Hour and took his No. 77 Ford to the garage for repairs. … Tony Stewart spun off Turn 4 in the closing moments of practice but kept his No. 14 Stewart-Haas Chevrolet off the wall. Stewart was 16th fastest in the session at 134.397 mph.

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