As Jimmie Johnson makes his much anticipated transition from the world of NASCAR to the world of IndyCar, the team at Carvana is primed and ready to be there right alongside Jimmie to tackle new challenges and create more legendary memories as we jointly explore the new and exciting frontier of open-wheel racing. However, before fully embarking on our new journey together, we at Carvana took the time to sit down with Jimmie to see what exactly makes him tick, covering everything from why the former 7-time NASCAR cup series champion was ready to compete in open-wheel racing to whether he’d rather be stuck on a ski lift or an elevator.
Check out Part I of our wide-ranging Q&A with Jimmie Johnson!
What made Carvana an ideal partner for you as enter the world of open-wheel racing?
I think Carvana is such a good fit because they’re a growing company that needs to be in front of car people, and race cars – in my opinion – are the best way to be in front of car lovers and car people, but to take it even a step deeper, I really felt like [Carvana CEO] Ernie Garcia, Jr. had such a pulse on what this transition is for me and the moment in time in motorsports that’s taking place. I think [Ernie] can really see the moment and understand my fan base and the transition I’m going to make and the messaging and story that goes with that. I think he really enjoys that and admires that about me, and two, I think it does speak to Carvana’s journey in some respects, and just how they’ve reinvented how people think of something.[Carvana’s] ability to reinvent the way people purchase cars and emerging as a clear leader in that department in such a unique way is kind of the path that’s similar to mine in that I’m emerging in a new form of auto racing after spending 20 years basically as one of the top NASCAR drivers. I want to challenge myself and reinvent myself and do something new and something different. It’s hard to just give one answer to it, but there are many things in there.
Have you visited a Carvana Car Vending Machine yet?
I have been to a Vending Machine and have been inside and looked around…what a very cool experience! I was able to do that in Indiana near our race shop up there, but before that and prior to it, a few years ago, one of the Vending Machines went in in the Charlotte area, which is an area I drive through and see often. So I’ve been very aware of Carvana and have always thought that the Vending Machines were super cool and now to be a part of the family is awfully special.
Have you perfected any non-racing skills since the start of COVID?
I don’t know if I’ve perfected anything necessarily, but I’ve certainly expanded my skill-set. The first thing that comes to mind is trying to help our kids with homeschooling. Luckily my oldest is 10, but she’s just now at the edge where math is getting super complicated and they’re doing math differently than the way I did growing up. So being able to be an educator and add educator to my resume was something I didn’t expect when the lockdown initially started.
What’s something that not many people know about Jimmie Johnson?
It seems like anymore with social media everyone knows your interests far and wide, but in addition to car racing and all the things I like to drive and experience there, I really enjoy being outside. My family is much the same. In the winter time, my wife and kids and myself are in Colorado trying to spend as much time as we can in the snow and all fitness things that you can do on the snow. Summer wise, we love to travel, and again, be outside and be active and experience things…cycling, mountain biking, and a variety of other things that we’re into as a family.
What is your go-to quarantine takeout order?
Through quarantine we got into a nice rhythm and perfected the app or apps that we use. My wife’s go-to move would be one of the local Italian restaurants that we have, and mine – and the kids are more on my side for this one – is our local sushi order.
What TV show are you currently watching, or what was the last one you watched that was particularly memorable?
We don’t watch a ton of television in our house, so when my wife says we’re going to get into a show, I hop in bed and watch the show that she wants to watch. So with all that said, we just finished Bridgerton…not my choice, but the boss won and she had the remote and I got sucked in and watched that.
*Come back tomorrow to catch Part II of our Q&A with Jimmie Johnson!