Jimmie Johnson explains the wildly different approach needed at Road America in NASCAR vs. IndyCar
Jimmie Johnson wished for years to race at Roadway America, all while he was winning 7 titles in a series that didn’t race at the 4-mile circuit in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.
Then, in a paradoxical twist, the NASCAR Cup Series and Johnson both put the track on their 2021 schedules. Simply not in the very same area.
Now an IndyCar novice, the 45-year-old Johnson appeared on Dad’s Day weekend, 2 week and one vacation ahead of his stock vehicle buddies. The NASCAR Cup Seris will race in the Jockey Made in America 250 on Sunday, the 4th of July.
Although he hasn’t been around Roadway America in a Cup vehicle, 19-plus seasons in the series provided Johnson point of view to contrast the driving design required for 2 considerably various automobiles on the 14-turn course.
“In NASCAR you’d want to be the first one on the gas to make the straightaway as long as possible,” Johnson stated on IndyCar weekend. “Cup cars really never hit terminal velocity. The time gain compounds (over) the whole straightaway.
“These Indy cars have so much drag, once you get in fifth gear, they all go the same speed. It happens pretty quick. So your time in these cars is made on the brakes, especially the later portion of the braking zone.
“And sure, in a NASCAR vehicle that’s an area of priority in qualifying. But with steel brakes and the weight of the car, you can’t attack that area. So (NASCAR teams) never exploit that area, (they) don’t work in that area very much. And that is everything over here.”
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Although Johnson resided in Pewaukee, Wisconsin, and raced out of Sussex, Wisconsin, for a time throughout his advancement, he’d never ever been to Roadway America with a race automobile prior to an early June IndyCar test. He was on the premises as a tv expert for a 1995 off-road race at the center and stated he did slip onto the huge track in a rental vehicle. At that point he was wishing to go from off-road racing to Indy automobiles the method fellow Californians Rick and Roger Mears had, however the chance concerned race in NASCAR rather.
Johnson didn’t regret his choice to leave NASCAR, and he didn’t have any major ideas about running Roadway America in a stock vehicle as he focuses on discovering Indy automobiles and cars. However he does confess to feeling a tint of envy when he takes a look at what’s taking place in the Cup Series and with his old group.
“The Hendrick cars are on point this year, so I’m like, I wish that would have been a year earlier,” stated Johnson, who won 83 Cup races for Hendrick Motorsports however none after 2017. “Looking at the schedule and knowing they have 26 single-day shows, six road courses, one dirt race, I was like, darn, I wish I had a chance at that schedule.”
This post initially appeared on Milwaukee Journal Guard: Jimmie Johnson talks about Roadway America in a NASCAR Cup vehicle vs. IndyCar
Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.