Jimmie Johnson: 'My wife has shared with me that she'll never let our kids listen to me in a race'

SONOMA, Calif. -- NASCAR race teams must use analog radios to communicate with drivers, in part so NASCAR can hear the communications but also because it is considered a vital element for the fans to be able to listen.

So every driver knows the airwaves are public. Jimmie Johnson's team is among those that give a quick disclaimer before the race starts.

It's not that Johnson is horrible on the radio. But there are times ...

"When you're in the car and you're mad, you forget that children are listening or maybe even your own children," the six-time Sprint Cup champion said. "My wife has shared with me that she'll never let our kids listen to me in a race.

"I said, 'Really? I'm that bad?' And she said, 'When you are bad, you are that bad.' So, it's just something you lose touch with."

It's not just fans at the track who can listen to the driver-team communications. Fans can pay to listen through their computers or mobile devices. NASCAR also releases what it considers some of the best, most intense NASCAR audio each week. It can certainly be at least PG listening.

So say something bad on the radio, and it's everywhere.

"I've definitely changed over the years and holding back a heck of a lot more and not pressing the radio button as much," said defending Sprint Cup champion Kyle Busch.

Typically NASCAR won't penalize a driver for radio comments, although it has on rare occasions held a driver on pit road for comments directed at NASCAR officials or if it feels a driver needs to calm down -- or both.

Chip Ganassi, who owns teams in several racing series, said there are times where a car owner has to talk to a driver about what is said on the radio.

"I have always found that the drivers I respect the most are the guys that win races and win championships," Ganassi said. "If you look at the guys that win races and win championships, nine times out of 10 those are the calmer, succinct communicators on the radio. They don't get into a lot of poor language or obscenities.

"The guys that win on a regular basis or the guys that win championships don't feel the need to do that. I think that probably should tell you something."