Jimmie Johnson Has Message for NASCAR Fans Amidst His Transition to IndyCar

Jimmie Johnson has made the transition to IndyCar driver after spending years in NASCAR. He is in his first year as a full-time driver and recently competed in the Indianapolis 500. And while some of his fans love his big move, there are other NASCAR fans who are not sure about the transition. Before competing in the Indy 500, Johnson, a seven-time NASCAR Cup Series Champion spoke to Beyond the Flag about the advice he would give to NASCAR fans who are skeptical about Indycar. 

"I guess I would say give it a try," Johnson said. "Come and experience one in person. "TV does a great job of capturing the sport, but the energy at an IndyCar race — the noise, the sounds, the sights, the smell — all of those touchpoints of IndyCar are just different. I think it's a nice change of pace and the fact that IndyCar is so focused on the fan experience. I think that our NASCAR fans would really enjoy a change of pace and would enjoy an IndyCar race."

In his Indy 500 debut, Johnson finished 28th out of 33 drivers. His best finish this year is sixth at 2022 XPEL 375 at Texas Motor Speedway. Despite the struggles at the Indy 500, Johnson did lead a single lap and was awarded the 2022 Indy 500 Rookie of the Race. 

The experience was amazing," Johnson told NBC Sports. "I'm so thankful to have had this opportunity. I wish I had performed better in the race and had a better result, but that's racing. I learned a ton. If I have a chance to come back and do it again, I'll be a lot smarter when I come back."

Johnson also talked about the biggest challenge he faced during the race. "I really feel like track position was my biggest issue," Johnson said. "I was a little cautious at the start of the race and lost a couple of positions. Ultimately, the caution flag coming out when it did and putting us at the tail end of the field, I couldn't recover from that. I simply could not figure out how to pass cars and get around anybody." Along with winning the NASCAR Cup Series title seven times, Johnson won the Daytona 500 twice, the Coca-Cola 600 four times and the Southern 500 twice.