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.”