Nascar Star Jimmie Johnson Heads East
by JILL SIERACKI
|Jimmie and Chandra Johnson|
Behind the wheel of his Lowe’s-sponsored number 48, Jimmie Johnson lives life at 200 mph. Named by Forbes magazine as the Most Influential Athlete, Johnson, 35, starts the race for his sixth consecutive Nascar Cup on September 18. He is also taking his highoctane life into the virtual realm with the launch of his video game, Anything With an Engine, this October. But before all that happens, the California native is steering straight toward the Hamptons for some sun, bicycling and golf with his wife, Chandra, a former model, and their young daughter, Genevieve. “The Hamptons is unlike anywhere I’ve seen,” says Johnson, who travels the country from February through October with Nascar’s Sprint Cup series. “The Hamptons vibe makes me want to be outdoors and be healthy.”
What do you love most about spending time in the Hamptons?
JIMMIE JOHNSON: The food, the weather and the golf.
There are a lot of quiet, open roads on the East End. Are you ever tempted to put the pedal to the metal and demonstrate your Nascar skills?
JJ: Not really. I’m more of a cruiser on public roads.
Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions?
JJ: I wake up on the 48th minute.
What is one career moment you are most proud of?
JJ: My first win at the Sprint Cup level. That moment gave me the confidence I needed at the top.
If you could have dinner with any famous person, living or dead, whom would it be?
JJ: Formula One legend Aryton Senna da Silva.
What does no one know about you?
JJ: This San Diego boy loves to surf!
What is your greatest indulgence?
JJ: My homemade ice cream.
PHOTOGRAPH BY HAROLD HINSON