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 Johnson 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 II of our wide-ranging Q&A with Jimmie Johnson!
Do you find yourself procrastinating on anything?
I feel like it’s human nature to procrastinate on things, and in my life, it has happened personally, professionally…heck, it happens daily with things that I need to finish and just haven’t. Whether it’s organizing my office behind me, or my closet, or whatever it might be. That is there, but fighting that battle and pushing forward on things and seeing them through has always felt really good. Specifically with my career, pushing forward on those things has helped me standout ahead and above competitors around me. If it was from getting noticed, if it was after I was established and trying to get an advantage in getting me to victory lane…fighting through [procrastination] – and I think it’s human nature to have it – but the times I have fought it, I have always been very happy with the outcome.
What is your biggest pet peeve?
Right now, my biggest pet peeve is the late blinker. There’s a lot of rural roads between my house and the interstate, and the late blinker to turn left especially across traffic has me on the binders and plenty frustrated from time to time.
If you were an animal, what would you be?
I’ve always wanted to fly, so a bird that builds a cool nest, lives in a cool area…I guess maybe an eagle or a hawk or something like that. A bird that is at the top of the food chain, I would assume.
What is the most memorable vacation you have ever taken?
I would have to say that prior to having children, my wife and I, whenever we had some off time in the summer, we would travel. Some first trips to areas in Europe, I would say northern Italy – up near the Swiss Alps – was something that I was just completely blown away by, particularly the beauty and the culture in that area. We also went as a family a year or two ago – probably two years ago now – to Switzerland in the summer. Now that I think about incorporating all four of us together, that was the best trip. Switzerland is full of beauty that you can’t imagine, wonderful people, great food, great culture, and we really enjoyed our trip.
Would you rather be stuck on a broken ski lift or a broken elevator?
I’m going with the broken elevator. I don’t think climate is going to have as big of an impact on me in the elevator.
If you didn’t race, what would you be doing?
If I didn’t race, I always wanted to be a fireman. I grew up in Southern California and had fire season year round. I had friends and heroes that were on the fire department and that was certainly a career path I was considering.
Livery or paint scheme?
Paint scheme. We’ll see if I ever convert (laughter).
What has been the most defining moment of your life to date?
Getting married, my first daughter’s birth, second daughter’s birth…our family unit. That is, for me, the defining moment or moments of my life. Sure I have an occupation, sure I have friends, my family – parents and siblings and all that – and there are many wonderful moments there. But I think to really reflect back on it, I think the defining moment was getting married, because that really set my life on its own path to create a family of my own.
If you could pick one, what is your goal for the upcoming season?
It’s really about learning. I’m in a position where I’m literally drinking out of a fire hose. New cars, new tracks, very, very little testing time, a much different vehicle, the way the car interacts with the track, the way the tire interacts with the track…all these things that I’ve experienced so far in the five test sessions I’ve had are really 180-degrees off from the philosophies and skill-sets needed to go fast in a NASCAR vehicle. I had no idea that the worlds [between NASCAR and IndyCar] were this different, so really that learning curve and being able to shorten that learning curve as much as I can is my top priority.