Q+A Jimmie Johnson The 27-year-old NASCAR phenom swept last month's Charlotte races, the Winston and the Coca-Cola 600, and sits seventh in the Winston Cup points standings.

June 08, 2003

SI: Who's the one driver in NASCAR history you wish you could
have raced against?

Johnson: Dale Earnhardt. If you wanted to race in Winston Cup,
you wanted to race against the Man. When I daydreamed about
winning my first race, it was with Earnhardt beating my bumper
cover off as we came to the finish line.

SI: Fellow driver Jeff Gordon co-owns your team. Would you bump
your boss to win a race?

Johnson: I'd bump him, but I wouldn't wreck him. We've had some
pretty intense races for position, but we've done it without
crossing any lines.

SI: Who would do better: You as the coach of the Dallas Cowboys
or former Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson taking a spin in your
number 48 Chevy?

Johnson: Being that I don't know a damn thing about football, I'd
have to say the other Jimmy Johnson.

SI: What's the craziest thing someone has asked you to autograph?

Johnson: Usually females are offering up body parts.

SI: Ever agree to sign one?

Johnson: I can't be doing any of that, especially with a
girlfriend.

SI: What athlete would you trade places with for one day?

Johnson: [F/1 driver] Michael Schumacher. I'd love to go out and
cut some laps in his car.

SI: Why do NASCAR drivers always wear shades? Is it merely to
look cool?

Johnson: Looking cool is partly involved; so is blocking out the
sun. But the other thing is, you can hide behind them and not
have to make eye contact with anyone.

SI: Your mom drove a school bus, your dad drove a truck, your
brother Jarit raced trucks and now another brother, Jessie,
drives for a Bandolero team that you own. Who's the best driver
in the Johnson clan?

Johnson: For general street driving, I'd have to say my mom. She
was responsible for lives on the school bus. Me? I only know how
to turn left. --R.D.

For more from Jimmie Johnson, go to si.com/scorecard

COLOR PHOTO: NIGEL KINRADE "I don't know football."

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)