Hit the nerve Jimmie Johnson When I was standing on the starting grid before the 24 Hours of Daytona.
The seven-time NASCAR champion, at the age of 45, is beginning a new chapter in his career with an unfamiliar race car. He was tabbed to start America’s most prestigious sports car race for the Action Express team, and Johnson has only one goal for his first stint in Cadillac I did.
“Sure, I didn’t want to break the toys in the first few hours,” Johnson said after driving around the Daytona International Speedway for about 70 minutes on Saturday.
Johnson has been the most dominant NASCAR driver in the last two decades, more than two months away, and “jumped deep into the pool with weights on his ankles” as he moved to the new race system. This Rolex 24 is the eighth in his career, but for the first time in ten years. This is a warm-up to the transition to IndyCar, where he becomes a rookie in a field full of half-aged drivers.
His career changes have led to a busy off-season of testing with some of the world’s top drivers, and demands have sparked Johnson. He had no chance of winning in the last three seasons of NASCAR’s career.
“I know the world I’m stepping into, and I know what I’m away from, and the comfort that was there, and how much it’s possible to step into this new arena. I am very aware that it is unpleasant. It makes me feel alive. ” “I’m uncomfortable and very excited to learn something new. I’m very excited to drive these cars, I’ve really grown up as a driver and have a lot of new experiences in my life. ..
“It makes me feel more lively than I have for quite some time.”
Rolex started with a healthy field of 50 cars and was a powerful rebound after the event. Last season it was as low as 38 entries. Daytona officials said participation in the infield was limited to the event, but did not announce the capacity. Motorhomes are only allowed on campers, tents are prohibited and masks are required on site.
Shortly before the race began, Alegra Motorsports announced that driver Michael de Quesada had tested positive for COVID-19 and had left the speedway to quarantine himself.He was replaced by Mercedes competing in the GT Daytona class Mike Skine..
Otherwise, the event went as planned. Along the way, it was crowded with fans visiting the manufacturer’s displays, the Ferris wheel was in operation, and many of the world’s best road course racers were enthusiastic about the 24-hour endurance event.
Johnson held himself in his first stint driving a Cadillac, and the Action Express Entry, partially fielded with Hendrick Motorsport and sponsored by Ally, is a solid chance with an overall victory. I have. His team must fight a full-time action express entry that reigned as NASCAR champion. Chase Elliott For his sports car debut.
Hendrick sent a small number of employees to Daytona, including former Johnson crew chief Chad Knaus. Jeff Gordon, Was a member of Wayne Taylor Racing’s Rolex winning team in 2017. Johnson climbed onto the pit stand after driving to chat with both Elliott and Gordon.
Wayne Taylor Racing returns to Daytona as the winner of the last two Rolex 24s, dating back to Gordon’s victory three of the last four. However, the team switched from Cadillac to Acura during the off-season and is still adapting to the move. The transition was mitigated by driver Ricky Taylor, Elio Castroneves And Alexander Rossi, Who has piloted Acura for the last three years for Team Penske.
However, Cadillac (there are four in seven DPi classes) has been the leader of the puck so far. The Action Express entry, with Elliott joining the lineup, started on Paul after winning the qualifying race last weekend. Chip Ganassi Racing showed no signs of rust one year after the series.
Ganassi’s entry was a little over two hours race leader after starter Renger van der Zande, who won two consecutive WTRs with Kobayashi. Both aim to be the first drivers to win a Rolex watch three times in a row.
As Dixon was waiting for his turn in the car, he was surprised at the work Johnson had done in the last two months. Dixon and Johnson will be IndyCar’s Ganassi teammates.
“Many people, especially on our team, are his work ethics, and he grinds everything,” Dixon said. “He’s just trying to speed up as quickly as possible. This should probably be the biggest job for anyone who has tried to go from the other side of the motorsports.”
Johnson admitted that he was an old dog trying to learn a new trick.
“It was really fun to grab the steering wheel and challenge yourself in a whole new way,” Johnson said. “These highdownforce cars are so much fun and number one, and rewiring everything we learned from driving a heavy sedan is a huge challenge.”
“I’m very excited to be uncomfortable”
https://www.espn.com/racing/story/_/id/30807562/excited-uncomfortable “I’m very excited to be uncomfortable”