Now that Jimmie Johnson has secured his sixth NASCAR Sprint Cup Series title in a record eight years, the real challenge begins -- making it through his champion's tour of NYC amid a frenzy of media appearances running on next-to-no sleep. Just consider it a warm-up exercise for when he becomes the first athlete in history to host ESPN's SportsCenter Tuesday, joining regular anchors John Anderson and Lindsay Czarniak for the 6 p.m. ET show. He was also on LIVE with Kelly and Michael on Tuesday at 9 a.m. ET.
As nervous as Johnson said he'd be to host SportsCenter on ESPN, he didn't let it show. His joking manner and cool and collected attitude made him as much fun to watch on television as it is on the track.
The popular six-time champ even had the world talking as #JimmieonSC was trending on Twitter throughout the show's airtime.
Johnson's appearance on the show not only made history, but it possibly opened doors for athletes to come.
(Studio photos by Rich Arden/ESPN Images and @ESPN_Images)
7:00 p.m. ET: Nice work, Jimmie. Way to make NASCAR proud.
#JimmieOnSC = Awesome.— NASCAR on ESPN (@ESPNNASCAR) November 19, 2013
6:35 p.m. ET: Jimmie asks Saltalamacchia if he was inspired by his "Chase beard."
6:35 p.m. ET: Watch Jimmie shave off the "Chase beard." of NASCAR.com's Chuck Bush.
6:35 p.m. ET: #JimmieonSC is trending. Nice work, NASCAR nation!
6:27 p.m. ET: Hmm, that's a good question. He pulls off the sport coat well.
On ESPN's SportsCenter, six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson asks three-time Super Bowl champion Tedy Bruschi fora #6pack of Coors Light Cold Hard Facts for the upcoming week in the NFL as Johnson's co-anchor, Lindsay Czarniak, looks on. (Rich Arden/ESPN Images)
November 19, 2013
6:06 p.m. ET: Jimmie discusses the final flag that was thrown in the Panthers vs. Patriots game. Was it a bad call?
6:01 p.m. ET: The show is underway.
5:39 p.m. ET: His time as a co-host is drawing near.
5:30 p.m. ET: A half-hour away, here's a fun promo for Johnson's hosting gig
5:22 p.m. ET: Johnson making final preparations for the show.
4:54 p.m. ET: Really solid advice, actually.
4:38 p.m. ET: I think he missed a spot on the B-post.
3:47 p.m. ET: Things certainly look like they're going well so far in the production meeting.
3:27 p.m. ET: Jimmie Johnson's resume additions for Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013: First athlete to host SportsCenter, Master of 1990's humor.
The prep of hosting @SportsCenter is about as intense and structured as a team meeting with Knaus... Not!— Jimmie Johnson (@JimmieJohnson) November 19, 2013
3:07 p.m. ET: Well, that's certainly an interesting slogan.
3:05 p.m. ET: Eat your heart out, Donovan McNabb.
Congratulations to 6x NASCAR Sprint Cup champion @JimmieJohnson...one of the good guys in sports...and an athlete too!— Troy Aikman (@TroyAikman) November 19, 2013
3 p.m. ET: Three hours to go: the preparation continues. As one of the sport's most-prepared athletes, we think he'll be ready.
11:50 a.m. ET: Johnson has approximately six hours to go as he becomes the first athlete to to host ESPN's SportsCenter. The six-time champion has had friendly exchanges with anchors on Twitter since Monday. Here are some of the best to get you prepped for prime-time.
Oh no, one of those... Thanks for the intel. @BramESPN— Jimmie Johnson (@JimmieJohnson) November 19, 2013
Good to know! I must admit, I'm a bit worried... @lindsayczarniak— Jimmie Johnson (@JimmieJohnson) November 19, 2013
11:00 a.m. ET: Actor Ken Jeong was the second celebrity co-host for SportsCenter, which happened earlier this month. He had a friendly reminder for Johnson that while he wasn't the first athlete to co-host, he was the first mathlete.
10:46 a.m. ET: The light-hearted nature of the show really suits Johnson's personality. And of course, being a six-time champion, he has plenty of experience talking to the hosts.
On LIVE with Kelly and Michael, Jimmie Johnson talked about winning the Sprint Cup championship for a sixth time and admitted that the first win was the most stressful. (David Steele/Disney-ABC Domestic TV)
10:30 a.m. ET: Jimmie Johnson ... bringing sexy back? He is according to Michael Strahan and Kelly Ripa in this photo on Instagram. Check out the teleprompter.
12:10 a.m. ET: Johnson ended his first full day as a six-time champion on the Late Show with David Letterman. Here he talks with Dave about Juan Pablo Montoya, what it takes to be a successful NASCAR driver and whether Dave has what it takes.
MONDAY, NOV. 18
6:46 p.m. ET: Johnson's busy media day has ended but there will be more tomorrow.
The day is done, cheers! pic.twitter.com/kaLLf2IzL3— Jimmie Johnson (@JimmieJohnson) November 18, 2013
5:55 p.m. ET: Johnson gets ready to tape his appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman. The show will air Monday night at 11:35 p.m. ET on CBS.
4:51 p.m. ET: Johnson posed for photos outside the Ed Sullivan Theater, where the Late Show with David Letterman is taped.
4:06 p.m. ET: Johnson waits in the green room.
3:46 p.m. ET: Who's going to be watching tonight?
3:28 p.m. ET: Frankly, his endurance shown during today's media tour is almost as impressive as his sixth championship. Bravo.
3:11 p.m. ET: Johnson meets former New York Yankees World Series manager Joe Torre, also in the Sirius studio today.
3:05 p.m. ET: Johnson now live on NASCAR Radio/SiriusXM Speedway. Listen in!
2:52 p.m. ET: Johnson's busy, busy day continues.
2:43 p.m. ET: Johnson is talking more McNabb on @MadDogRadio right now.
2 p.m. ET: Here's the full comments that Johnson made on his friendship with NBA legend Michael Jordan, his thoughts on matching him in the title department, and expanded thoughts on former NFL quarterback Donovan McNabb.
1:36 p.m. ET: He's going to be fine. Just as long as he gets a nice, balanced 16-hour night of sleep.
JJ on co hosting @SportsCenter tomorrow: “I’m scared to death.”— K.C. (@KristineC48) November 18, 2013
1:35 p.m. ET: Hope you didn't miss it!
1:24 p.m. ET: "Reading the teleprompter" - the thing Johnson is the most concerned about when he hosts SportsCenter Tuesday evening.
1:20 p.m. ET: Johnson on ESPN's SportsCenter right now. Tune in!
1:10 p.m. ET: Next up for Six-Time is his ESPN SportsCenter appearance at 1:20 p.m. ET. Watch live here.
12:57 p.m. ET: Johnson responded to his biggest (current) critic. See what he had to say about the former NFL quarterback.
12:15 p.m. ET: First stop of many.
Noon ET: Johnson wraps up his Dan Patrick Show appearance, now on to NASCAR Race Hub on FS1. He'll tape a segment at 12:30 p.m. ET, set to air at 4:30 p.m. ET.
11:55 a.m. ET: Listen in!
11:53 a.m. ET: Johnson had some excellent commentary on fellow six-time champion Michael Jordan. Stay tuned for full context.
11:51 a.m. ET: Excellent point by our champion in the McNabb "athlete" debate.
"If Donovan (McNabb) would accept the invitation to come out and experience our sport...then he will know." @JimmieJohnson— Paul Pabst (@PaulPabst) November 18, 2013
11:50 a.m. ET: Another look at it.
11:49 a.m. ET: Awesome set.
11:48 a.m. ET: Wonder who drove him? Get that man (or woman) a contract!
Great job by @JimmieJohnson to make it in final segment...30 minutes driving from Teterboro to NYC.— Paul Pabst (@PaulPabst) November 18, 2013
11:47 a.m. ET: He's arrived! Johnson says he needs some sleep -- got two hours of sleep last night, two hours on the flight up.
11:42 a.m. ET: Six-Time currently caught up in NYC traffic on his way to Dan Patrick Show. Who'd have thought there'd be traffic on Monday morning in the Big Apple? Stay tuned for updates. As a reminder: Listen live here.
11:36 a.m. ET: Touchdown in the Big Apple.
11:34 a.m. ET: Breakfast of champions. Literally.
A power nap and a breakfast burrito has helped...Morning NYC. pic.twitter.com/uAfVUrQUw1— Jimmie Johnson (@JimmieJohnson) November 18, 2013
11:11 a.m. ET: He's on his way!
@JimmieJohnson is currently driving from Teterboro Airport to our NYC studio to make it on air before noon...pass below the apron man!— Paul Pabst (@PaulPabst) November 18, 2013
10:47 a.m. ET: Johnson's day begins with an appearance on the Dan Patrick Show on NBC Sports Network at 11:30 a.m. ET. You can listen live here.
DP Show Mon in NYC: Sprint Cup Champ Jimmie Johnson and NBC's Tony Dungy in-studio, LA Times national CFB columnist Chris Dufresne @dpshow— Todd Fritz (@brooklynfritzy) November 18, 2013
Here's what he had lined up for Monday:
11:30 a.m. ET: Dan Patrick Show, NBC Sports Network
1:20 p.m. ET: SportsCenter, ESPN
4:30 p.m. ET: NASCAR RaceHub, FOX Sports 1
11:35 p.m. ET: Late Show with David Letterman, CBS
Luckily, the newly annointed "Six-Time" has plenty of experience doing exactly that, so the 38-year-old should be fine.
Still, though, the morning started a little on the rough side for our champion.
I'm somehow awake and jumping on a plane to NYC. #Hurting— Jimmie Johnson (@JimmieJohnson) November 18, 2013
Read below to recap Johnson's social media posts from Sunday night after his legendary victory.
Thank you everyone! #6pack 🍻— Jimmie Johnson (@JimmieJohnson) November 18, 2013
Evie would rather collect stars than be on the stage. pic.twitter.com/ybQlOIlDqS— Jimmie Johnson (@JimmieJohnson) November 18, 2013