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Sunday, December 10, 2006
Updated: December 13, 12:20 AM ET
Johnson out of Race of Champions Nations Cup

By Marty Smith
ESPN.com

NASCAR Nextel Cup champion Jimmie Johnson was riding on the roof of a golf cart when he fell and suffered a broken left wrist while participating in a charity golf tournament in Florida on Friday, a team spokesman confirmed Monday.

His team told The Associated Press that Johnson was "horsing around" at the time of the incident.

As a result of the injury, Johnson has elected to withdraw from competition in the Race of Champions Nations Cup at the Stade de France in Paris Dec. 16.

Jimmie Johnson
Nextel Cup champion Jimmie Johnson will not be able to drive for at least four weeks after fracturing his wrist.

Johnson still plans to attend the Race of Champions event to consult with Team USA.

"I was in a golf cart and the driver took a sharp turn," Johnson said in a team press release. "I wasn't holding on tight enough, landed awkwardly on the ground and heard a little pop.

"It was a fluke deal, but fortunately we're in the offseason and I don't plan to miss any additional time [following the Race of Champions]."

Johnson is in a cast and said Sunday that doctors estimate his recovery at four to six weeks, and that the injury will not affect his preparation for the 2007 Nextel Cup season.

Johnson, who last week celebrated the 2006 Nextel Cup championship in New York, is slated to fly to Paris on Tuesday to compete in the Race of Champions, an all-star event that pits the world's greatest drivers from all genres against one another in two-person teams, separated by country.

Johnson was paired with motocross star Travis Pastrana to comprise Team USA. His replacement isn't yet known, but sources close to Johnson say Indy Racing League champion Sam Hornish Jr. has been contacted.

"It's disappointing that I can't compete for Team USA in the Race of Champions," said Johnson, who helped capture the Nations Cup in 2002 with U.S. teammates Jeff Gordon and Colin Edwards. "But I'll definitely be in Paris to cheer them on and provide any support that I can."

Marty Smith covers Nextel Cup for ESPN.com. The Associated Press contributed to this report.