“When there is a will, there is a way.” This famous saying fits the perfectly of renowned race car driver Jimmy Johnson.
Born in a blue-collar family, Johnson had a passion for racing motor cars, but he had no idea how to fulfill that goal. Not to mention, he had no sponsors and no links.
Without any second thought, the dedicated Johnson left his home to seek opportunities to fulfill his dream as a race car driver.
A rookie racer who was ignored most of the time tried to build the links himself, waiting for hours for the race crew to have lunch and to have time to talk with them.
After his persistent efforts, the aspiring race car driver got what he needed, a chance, making him one of the world’s most famous race car drivers.
Today, Jimmie Johnson is one of the wealthiest race car drivers with a record of maximum NASCAR championship wins.
This article is dedicated to this hardworking and dedicated race car driver, his struggles, achievements, and his life as a whole.
But, before that, let’s take a look at his Quick Facts first.
|Full Name||Jimmie Kenneth Johnson|
|Birth Date||September 17, 1975|
|Age||35 years old|
|Birth Place||El Cajon, California, USA|
|Weight||175 lb (79 kg)|
|Father’s Name||Gary Ernest Johnson|
|Mother’s Name||Catherine Ellen “Cathy”|
|Siblings||2: Jarit and Jessie|
|Wife||Chandra Janway (Johnson)|
|Children||2: Genevieve and Lydia|
|High School||Granite Hills High School|
|Profession||Auto car racing driver|
|Major Achievement||7-time NASCAR Cup series champion|
|Net Worth||$160 million|
|Social Media||Instagram, Twitter, Facebook|
|Last Update||October, 2022|
Jimmie Johnson | Early Life
Jimmie Kenneth Johnson, aka Jimmie, was born on September 17, 1975, in El Cajon, California, USA. The racer was born as the eldest child to Cathy (Mother) and Gary (Father).
Johnson has two younger brothers, Jarit Johnson and Jessie Johnson. Both his brothers have made their debut as an off-road racers in TORC: The Off-Road Championship.
Being born and raised in a middle-class family, Johson’s mother was a school bus driver, and his father was a mechanic.
Johnson graduated from Granite Hills High School in 1993. Even during his high school years, Jimmie was active in sports such as long-distance running, water polo, etc.
In addition, Johnson would practice his motor racing during the weekends.
After graduating from high school, Johnson didn’t pursue a degree in University but instead focused on his career as a professional car racer.
How did Jimmie Johnson start racing?
Jimmie Johnson started racing motorcycles when he was just four years old. He won his first motorcycle racing championship at eight.
He then found his mentor Rick Johnson who helped him to brush his skills. Rick Johnson noticed Jimmie in a competition and was amazed by his skills at such a young age.
In his teens, Johnson shifted to racing cars as he was inspired by racing cars as would watch local off-road races with his dad.
He wanted to do the same, too but had no idea where to start. So he started building rapport with the buggy owners to let him drive.
Finally, he was allowed to drive, and he started racing the cars. He even won his first racing car championship at 17.
When Jonson was 21, he left California and headed to Charlotte, North Carolina, to earn a name in racing cars. It was hard for this Rookie to get that chance, but he was persistent and dedicated.
Johnson would go to places where the car racing crew would go to have chance meetings and build rapport with them. He was looking for a chance.
Johnson was doing everything he could do to stand a chance for car racing.
Johnson’s professional career started when he got the chance to compete in the American Speed Association in 1998.
He was honored with Rookie of the Year. Also, he started racing in NASCAR’S Butch series the same year.
He started competing in several competitions and leagues. Finally, Jimmie was named Rookie of the year in six championships he participated in.
Some of them were the Short-Course Off-Road Drivers Association, SCORE International, and Mickey Thompson Entertainment Group.
In 2002, he became a member of Herzog Motorsports’ Busch team. But unfortunately, Herzog Motorsports lost its sponsor the same year, and Johson shifted to Hendrick Motorsports.
NASCAR Cup Series
Johnson had to take tiny steps to reach where he is now. In 2001, he made his debut appearance in the Winston Cup Series (now NASCAR Cup Series).
But he was ranked fourth last. However, this didn’t demotivate him, but he went on to polish his skills even more.
In 2002, Johson started to compete professionally and even won three races in the Cup Series, ranking fifth.
Johnson had his most awaited win in Cup Series in 2006. He had 13 top 5 and 24 top 10 wins, making him the Cup series champion.
In addition, the champion protected his title for four years in a row from 2006-2010.
He became the first champion to win four consecutive championships and the first NASCAR driver to be honored as the Male Athlete of the Year.
But, the champion slipped to sixth place in 2011 and third place in 2012. But, he got his title back in 2013.
However, the win followed the worst season in 2014, where he was out of the top 10 in the series. He was ranked 10th position in 2015.
But to everyone’s surprise, Johnson bounced back to first place, winning his seventh career NASCAR title in 2016.
He made history with Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt for the most NASCAR championship.
The last season of racing
On November 20, 2019, Johnson retired as a full-time NASCAR driver; he said that the 2020 Cups season would be his last full-time racing.
The champion competed in the Daytona 500 qualifying, where he ranked 4th, and entered to 2020 Busch Clash, where he started as 16th and then climbed up to 11th as defending champion.
He then appeared in 2020 Bluegreen Vacations Duels, where he finished 2nd. In his last race of the season, Jimmie’s wife and children accompanied him and waved the green flag before the race.
The fans and audience gave Johnson four-wide salutes to honor him. He ended his 20-year career as a NASCAR car driver.
Indy Car Series
After retiring from the NASCAR series, Johnson participated in the Indycar series in 2020. When asked why he participated in Indy Car, Johson said that it was his childhood dream.
On September 9, 2020, He announced that he had joined Chip Ganassi Racing and would be a part-time racer in the Indy Car series.
But, the NASCAR champion struggled in Indy Car as he had struggled with the spins and accidents.
Jimmie Johnson | Awards and Achievements
- The driver of the Year (2006, 2007, 2009, 2010 & 2013)
- Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year 2009.
- Ranked 1 on Forbes.com’s Most Influential Athletes list in 2011 and 2012.
- Byrne Award 2018
- Men in the fast lane in 2000.
- NASCAR cup series champion (2006-2010, 2013, 2016)
- Record holder of Most NASCAR cup wins.
- Daytona 500 (2006, 2013)
- Southern 500 (2004 & 2012)
Jimmie Johnson | Wife
Jimmie Johnson is married to former model Chandra Janway. The two met in 2002 as they were mutual friends of Jeff Gordon. Chandra was a friend of Jeff Gordon’s wife, Ingrid Vandebosch.
The duo fell in love shortly after their first meeting and started dating then after. A year later, they were already engaged.
In fact, they got engaged in 2003 on a snowboarding trip. Jimmie proposed to her, and she happily said yes.
A year after their engagement, in 2004, the couple married in St.Bart.
The couple spent their honeymoon in a 150-foot Yacht sailing around St.Bart. The Yacht was given to them by the owner of Hendrick Motorsports, Rick Hendrick, as a wedding gift.
In 2010, the couple stepped into parenthood with the birth of their first daughter Genevieve Johnson. Three years later, they welcomed another daughter Lynda Johnson.
The Jimmie Johnson Foundation
Jimmie Johson and his wife, Chandra, established an NGO, namely The Jimmie Jonson Foundation, in 2006. The foundation aims to help children, families, and communities in need.
It supports several charities, including Habitat for Humanity, Makes a wish foundation, and Victory Junction, to help the community.
The foundation hosts a golf tournament in San Diego every year to raise money for K-12 public education. Since its beginning, it has raised around $8 million.
The foundation awarded $1.5 million to public schools in California to help fund the schools’ and students’ basic needs and requirements in 2006.
Apart from this, The foundation has also helped American Red Cross with disaster relief.
Jimmie Johnson | Net Worth
The net worth of Jimmie Johnson is estimated to be $160 million. The racer has earned this net worth from his career as a racing champion, endorsements, and sponsorship.
Johnson has won around $130 million from his wins in his career and earns around $10 million from his endorsements.
Johnson lives a luxurious life in Charlotte, North Carolina. However, he recently bought a $14.25 million house in New York.
Johnson has a massive collection of luxury cars, including the 1971 Chevy Corvette, Chevy SS, 1967 Camaro, and Ford Fusion.
Jimmie Johnson is the brand ambassador of the brands such as Gatorade, Seiko Watch Corporation, Blue Bunny, and Chevrolet.
Jimmie Johnson | Social media
Instagram: 521 k followers
Twitter: 2.5 M followers
Facebook: 1 M followers
Is Jimmie Johnson still part of Hendrick Motorsports?
No, Jimmie Johnson has officially retired from Hendrick Motorsports in November 2019. He had his final race as the #48 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports.
So, he has officially ended his career as a NASCAR driver after 19 seasons, 83 race wins, and 7 NASCAR championship wins.
Who will be driving the 48 car of Jimmie Johnson in 2021?
Since Jimmie Johnson retired from Hendrick Motorsports, the no.48 car would now be driven by Alex Bowman. Hendrick Motorsports announced that Alex Bowman had signed 2-year contract to drive the no.48
Who is the best Nascar driver of all time?
Jimmie Jonson is one of the best Nascar drivers of all time. He tops the list with Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt. In addition, Johnson has set a record with 7 NASCAR cup series wins.