Jimmie Johnson Doesn't Care About All-Time Ranking

Johnson's legacy is still taking shape – and he'll let others decide what it is

The DA Show
June 05, 2019 - 1:42 pm

Jimmie Johnson is one of the greatest NASCAR drivers ever. He owns a record-tying seven Cup Series championships and has more than 80 career wins.

Nevertheless, Kevin Harvick said in February that Johnson is one of the “most disrespected” drivers in the sport in that people don’t realize how truly great he is.

“I took it as a compliment,” Johnson said on The DA Show. “I could see Earnhardt and the legacy of Petty with their seven championships, his opinion of how people see me is where that came from. It’s hard to know where the truth really is.”

The truth is that Johnson is one of the best to ever do it.

“I wasn’t around to see Petty or Earnhardt win their seventh and experience whatever energy was around that,” he said. “In the world of social media today, people are very quick to be mean and tell you things that they don’t like about you versus the opposite. That’s just seems to be the culture we live in. So I think there’s something there that we don’t quite know yet, and the fact that I’m still racing, it’s hard to understand my mark in the sport and the legacy I’ve left behind. You roll all that up, I don’t feel like I’ve been disrespected. I take it as a compliment from Kevin. I’ve had an amazing experience winning races and championships and have an amazing fan base that I’m so grateful to have.”

At the end of the day, though, Johnson isn’t concerned about where he ranks all time.

“No, not in my eyes,” the 43-year-old said. “I didn’t get into this for stats or to be the greatest. Sure, the competitor in me wants more, wants to be that guy. But in my heart of hearts, I wanted to win a race. That was my goal. Man, it’s been one heck of a ride. . . .I still can’t believe it’s turned out as it has. It’s been crazy. There’s numerous times where (something) pops in my mind, if it’s something I’m experiencing or I see something on social, (that pulls) me back to (earlier in my career) and what I’ve had to work myself through and overcome. It’s been one heck of a story.”