Jimmie Johnson opens up
He was as relaxed as ever, nibbling on a chocolate candy bar and gazing out the window of his second-floor office at Hendrick Motorsports.
"I feel as good about our team now as I ever have," Johnson said last Wednesday afternoon. "We have more depth on our team than ever before and we've got everyone coming back. And when I look back at last year, there are so many tracks where we lost points we shouldn't have, places like Bristol and Kansas and Texas. I know this: Somebody is going to have to beat us and out-race us, because we're not going to leave anything on the table."
It has been a quiet offseason for Johnson. Aside from trips to the islands of St. Barts and Cabo, he's mostly stayed holed up in his sprawling home in south Charlotte with his wife Chandra, who is pregnant with their first child (due in July). "There were days when I stayed in my pajamas from morning to night, and it was awesome," Johnson says. "We're used to having very aggressive travel plans in the offseason and always being on the go and doing and seeing things, but with Chani being pregnant we took it easy. I even had time to clean out my closet."
The pace of life in the Johnson household has picked up recently with the filming of
"I've been a huge fan of the
Will the cameras reveal any of the tightly-guarded setup secrets of Johnson's crew chief
Johnson is often accused of being robotic and lacking personality. Reporters, in fact, have been writing this story for five years, even though it completely lacks merit, in my opinion. Johnson is acutely aware of this perception -- a perception he hopes the show will change. "We've never given anyone unlimited access into our lives before," he says. "I just want people to see what we're really like. I think it's going to be pretty cool."
SI.com will be checking in with Johnson throughout the airing of show, getting his thoughts on how the documentary is unfolding. Will it be cool? We'll soon find out.