NASCAR drivers typically can’t go anywhere at tracks during race weekends without getting recognized by fans. But Jimmie Johnson had the complete opposite experience at Darlington Raceway.
The Hendrick Motorsports driver met with some local school children Friday ahead of the Bojangles’ Southern 500, and one of them didn’t have a clue who Johnson was.
Jeff Gluck tweeted a video of Johnson being introduced to the group, and almost immediately afterward, one of the kids in the back of the room could be heard saying, “Jimmie Johnson?! Is that him?”
Although Johnson isn’t as boring as many fans make him out to be, the seven-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion still isn’t as popular as his results suggest he should be. He at least can take solace in knowing that he wasn’t the only driver whose name the children didn’t know.
After Johnson’s initial introduction, he apparently also was asked why Dale Earnhardt Jr. is retiring after 2017. But even though Earnhardt is the most popular driver in the sport, the child who asked the question referred to him as “the driver who is sponsored by Mountain Dew.”
Earnhardt is only one-year his senior, yet Johnson interestingly said Earnhardt’s age is the reason for his retirement. In keeping with the “kids say the darnedest things” theme of the day, however, that wasn’t the end of their exchange.
If Johnson thinks 42 is truly “old,” he’s going to be in for a wakeup call next year, when all three of his teammates will be young enough to be his kids.
Thumbnail photo via Mike DiNovo/USA TODAY Sports Images
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