Don’t tell Jimmie Johnson to get a life—he has one

FORT WORTH, TX - APRIL 07: Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe's Chevrolet, stands on the grid during qualifying for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 7, 2017 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)

FORT WORTH, Tex. –Just because Jimmie Johnson is a champion Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver, that doesn’t mean he’s going to lead a cloistered, risk-free life.

The seven-time champion currently splits time between Charlotte and Colorado, and he’s an accomplished skier—even though there are potential hazards involved.

“If I stay in this little quarantined area, I might go ‘Carl Edwards,’ and I don’t want to do that,” Johnson said, referring to the driver who stepped away from NASCAR racing. “I need to live my life, and this is the way I do it.”

An aficionado mountain biking and iron man competitions as well as skiing, Johnson isn’t unaware of the potential dangers.

“I think about it and I think I manage my risk,” he said. “I know that my team owner (Rick Hendrick) is at least OK with me being out there. I look at the video I posted recently, and I’m on a very low pitch, very wide-open, powder snow. I mean it’s the best conditions… and nobody around.  It was in this private area of the mountain we were riding in this CAT to get out to it.

“I felt like I was managing my risk pretty damn well to go into that environment. But you could get run over by a car cycling, running, you could step off the curb in front of a bus. Again, I feel like every driver is willing to take certain risk for their fitness and to live their life. Me being on those skis, it’s more about living my life and doing something I enjoy.”

About Greg Engle 7421 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.