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NASCAR Legend Jimmie Johnson on Staying Fit, Focused—and Alive

The Daytona 500 champion tells MF about his passion for driving and competing in triathlons.

Johnson just hopes he doesn’t pass it all too quickly—the experiences, that is. As the athlete gets older, he says he’d like to pay more attention to the details along the way, to spend a little more time enjoying the ride instead of charging toward the finish line. At least, that’s the intention.

Four days before winning his second Daytona 500 title earlier this year, Johnson told Men’s Fitness, “For the longest time I always felt like I needed to be somewhere, I needed to be doing something. Maybe I didn’t savor the moments winning races or championships like I needed to because I worried about the next weekend or the next cham- pionship, but I’m taking my time and really enjoying the experiences along the way versus how I did five years ago.”

After the race, we called him up to find out if he would be taking some time to celebrate the win. Stepping off a flight, he came clean: “I don’t have an opportunity to. I’m on the track Friday morning in Phoenix. I’m racing two races that weekend. Then, the next week- end we’re in Las Vegas, and then Bristol, and then off we go.”

Jimmie Johnson doesn’t need to slow down. Not now. Not when he’s at the top of his game. He knows where the brakes are, and one day he’ll use them. Just not yet.

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