"That entire package is special and unique" - NASCAR legend Jimmie Johnson earns Mike Helton's plaudits

2022 Presidents Cup - Day Three
2022 Presidents Cup - Day Three

Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson is arguably the greatest driver in the history of the Cup Series and one of the most deserving Hall of Fame inductees.

NASCAR Vice Chairman Mike Helton has watched Jimmie Johnson’s growth in the sport from a 26-year-old young driver to a mature seven-time champion. According to Helton, Johnson was a remarkable individual off the race track and became an incredible driver when he put on a helmet.

Jimmie Johnson getting ready to go.

Speaking to RACER, Helton said:

“That entire package is special and unique.”

The former #48 Hendrick Motorsports driver has spent his career under the watchful eyes of Helton, who served as NASCAR president from 2000 to 2014. Helton viewed Johnson as an unremarkable man despite winning 83 Cup Series wins and clinching a record tying seven Cup Series championships.

Equipment aside, Johnson was able to put on a show at the race track, and Helton was as amazed as everyone else to see him.

Further praising Jimmie Johnson, Mike Helton said that it was not like an open window, that he achieved success in an era where there were a lot of other talents.

Helton said:

"He did it in an era where there were a lot of other talents, so it wasn’t like it was a window of opportunity just for him. He went out (and succeeded) just like Jeff Gordon did in his era and Dale [Earnhardt] Sr. did in his era or Tony Stewart."
"I think part of his talent and ability was reading what else was going on on the racetrack and what part of the race they were in."

"It's a big statement" - Mike Helton on Jimmie Johnson's Cup Series return

Mike Helton also praised Jimmie Johnson for trying other forms of motorsports when he retired from NASCAR following the 2020 season. He is happy to learn that Johnson is back in the sport for the 2023 season as an owner/part-time driver at Legacy Motor Club, formerly known as Petty GMS Motorsports

Helton said:

"It means a lot; it’s a big statement."
"If you watch the last few years and you see Brad Keselowski join Roush Fenway and become part of the ownership package, you see what Dale [Earnhardt] Jr. has done with JR Motorsports, Kyle Busch with his race team that’s separate from his driving career, and Kevin and Delana [Harvick] when they had their truck teams while he was driving."

Catch Jimmie Johnson in action at the iconic Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 19, 2023.

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Edited by Yash Singh
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