Editor's note: This is the extended version of the "Mag Minute" interview that appears in the Nov. 26 issue of ESPN The Magazine. Subscribe today!
With retirement nowhere near the forefront of his mind, Jimmie Johnson, 37, has already cemented his place as one of the greats in his sport. Beginning with motorcycles, Jimmie has been racing since he was 5 years old, and began stock car racing at the young age of 13.
He joined Hendrick Motorsports in 2002 and finished in the top five in the Sprint Cup Series in each of his four years before winning a record five straight cups. Sunday he finished his season third overall in the standings.
What is the question you’re asked most?
The one that’s the hardest to answer. "What’s it like to win five championships in a row?" I don’t have a good answer other than, "Well, it’s really cool."
What is the most embarrassing music you listen to?
I’m not in charge of our music anymore -- my wife is -- and I recently saw Britney Spears in there. That’s just bad.
What is the biggest misconception about you?
From our sport’s standpoint it’s a big misconception that drivers aren’t athletes. But we’re slowly dispelling that, year after year, with what we do on the track.
What is the one thing you always have with you?
What is the last thing you Googled?
I don’t know. That tells you how often I’m on Google.
Who would you say is the most media-savvy athlete?
It’s hard to pick one because there are so many styles out there. There are those who really play into the media, and there are the kings of social media, like T.O. Then you think of a guy like Aaron Rodgers who is so put together and confident when dealing with the media.
Which pro athlete would you never want to trade places with?
Any athlete’s who is in trouble. I have a great deal of respect for all athletes; I’m a fan, so it’s tough to say I wouldn’t want to trade places with a pro athlete.
If you were a talk show host, whom would you want as your first guest?
Whoever the NASCAR champ is. I'd keep it in the family.
Who would you want to play you in your biopic?
What is your most irrational fear?
Forgetting how to drive a race car.