Off-Track


Johnson plans to text fellow 'Six-Time' Jordan

November 18, 2013, Pat DeCola, NASCAR.com

Jimmie Johnson

With #6Pack in hand, Johnson matches NBA legend Michael Jordan

Remember those old commercials that urged the slogan "Be Like Mike"?

Well, reigning Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson might have something to say about that after winning his sixth title Sunday, matching the number of NBA championships Hall of Famer Michael Jordan earned in his illustrious career.

During his first stop of his day-after championship media tour, Johnson was asked by radio host Dan Patrick if Jordan has welcomed him to the "Six Championship Club" yet.

Read below for the full transcript.

DP: Michael Jordan won six. Are you friends with Mike?
JJ: I know Mike, yes.

DP: OK. How would that … because he likes to poke fun. Did he welcome you into the “Six Championship Club?”

JJ: Not yet, but I saw him on a vacation. It was a New Year’s trip a year or two back. Our paths crossed. We were in the same area. We had a couple drinks and had some fun. He was congratulating me on five, and he said, “You realize you haven’t won six so don’t say anything until you’ve won six.” So I need to send him a text immediately and stoke that fire.

DP: Jordan dominated and he wanted to dominate you. He could put his hands on you. When you drive, you don’t get that experience. It’s a different type of domination. How is your domination different or how do you feel that when you’re out on the track as opposed to what Joe Montana did or Michael Jordan did.

JJ: There are some elements that are similar but are hard to see. We do have that one-on-one battle that takes place between the drivers on track and there are definitely things we can do in the race car for a little physical contact. Just getting in someone’s head and racing them real hard and getting by. But in the end, the win total is really what does it and also those championships. So there are some similarities if you think about it some. It’s there for sure.

Stay tuned as the day goes on to see if Johnson hears from the current Charlotte Bobcats owner.

McNabb outreach?

Another famous retired athlete perhaps on Johnson's "To-text" list might be Donovan McNabb. Earlier this week the former NFL quarterback claimed that Johnson and NASCAR drivers in general are "absolutely not" athletes. Johnson and Patrick touched on the subject during his show on Monday.

DP: Donovan McNabb, the former quarterback, I don’t know if you saw this.

JJ: I did see it.

DP: Yeah, he was talking about NASCAR drivers not being athletes.

JJ: Right.

DP: Is he wrong in saying that?

....


DP: So are you an athlete?

JJ: Absolutely I’m an athlete.

DP: OK.

JJ: Absolutely. This debate is going to go on forever and ever, and honestly, it’s great when it comes up because if Donovan would accept the offer to come and see our sport and understand it some more, he’ll then learn that we are. And he’ll be a champion for our sport, in promoting our sport. So this really does have some long-term benefits for us.

DP: But what does he not know.

JJ: He doesn’t know, unfortunately. He hasn’t been in a race car. He doesn’t understand the physical demands that are put on a driver in all forms of motorsports. The hand-eye coordination involved, the senses, the whole experience inside the car.

DP: If he does ride along with you.

JJ: I want him to drive.

DP: You want him to drive?

JJ: Oh, absolutely. That’s part of it. That’s where the athleticism comes into play.

DP: How many laps before he would say, ‘Uncle, I give up?’

JJ: It would be tough for any team to put him in a real car on a real track so I think we’d have to start off with a local go-kart track for starters. Legitimate karting is an extremely physical sport and an affordable way to go out there and do some laps so honestly, we can start on a small scale and see what he thought from there. I know it would blow his mind.

After Johnson clinched the title on Sunday night, McNabb tweeted out his congratulations.

 

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