Jimmie Johnson Details Biggest Differences Between NASCAR and IndyCar

by Thad Mitchell
(Photo by Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

No one has dominated NASCAR track Texas Motor Speedway like Jimmie Johnson and now he’s hoping the track is good to him once more.

Jimmie Johnson admits going from NASCAR to Indy Car has been a big adjustment. He says he is still in the learning process of driving an Indy Car and is studying film every chance he gets. He notes one of the bigger differences is in the way that an Indy Car functions in high-traffic portions of races. But the legendary driver has been practicing and is ready to put his best foot forward. In a recent interview with Yahoo Sports, he talks about the upcoming his upcoming race and the adjustment of going from NASCAR to Indy Car.

“I’m thankful for every lap that I have had so far, but I still have plenty to learn in single-car running,” he says. “I still haven’t been in traffic, and these cars are much more sensitive in traffic than what I anticipated from watching, I’ve watched every video humanly possible. I’ll have to use the two hours of practice (Saturday) to maximize that, get a sense of it, so I can have the best racecraft possible heading into the event.”

Jimmie Johnson also hopes his experience with the NASCAR track will work to his advantage during the race.

Jimmie Johnson was so good in NASCAR races at Texas Motor Speedway that they named the victory lane after him. The “Jimmie Johnson Winners Circle” is where you will find NASCAR victors who have conquered the Texas track. In all, Johnson has seven victories and the record for most laps led at Texas Motor Speedway. Now, he returns to the track for his Indy Car debut and the expectations are always there.

Former NASCAR Icon Jimmie Johnson Talks Upcoming Indy Race

While he would love to end up in the “Jimmie Johnson Winners Circle,” the former NASCAR racer has reasonable expectations in his Indy Car Debut.

“I don’t think that’s realistic. Some people may have that expectation and that’s fine. I would love that to be the case,” he says. “Whenever you enter a new series, you’re with the regulars, they’re so good at what they do. We have seen it when drivers try to cross over from various series. I certainly have higher expectations for myself, but I’m not thinking I’m going to show up, qualify on pole, lead the most laps and win the race.”

Still, Johnson is as competitive a driver as ever and has winning on his mind. He also has another, more prestigious race, in view.

“Ultimately I want to run every lap of the race,” he notes. “I’m so new into my IndyCar experience, starting all over on ovals, every lap is going to be a marked amount of experience gained. We’re trying to build up for the Indy 500. Everyone knows how special the Indy 500 is. It’s the second oval on the schedule. Every lap I make will be very beneficial.”