Jimmie Johnson in 2007 on his way to winning his second of six Sprint Cup titles. (Photo by WikiCommons/Kim Phillips)
By Melissa Bauer-Herzog and Alicia Wincze Hughes
Kentucky is already famous for the exploits of its signature equine athletes. But this weekend horsepower of a different kind will be invading the Bluegrass State as NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series visits Kentucky Speedway for the Quaker State 400 on June 28.
With six Sprint Cup championships already to his credit and a series-high three wins already this season, driver Jimmie Johnson is the reigning king of the motorsports heap. Having already conquered most of what his sport has to offer, we’ve come up with a list of why Johnson should start turning his eye to the Thoroughbred industry because, what keeps it more real than having actual horses fueling his victories?
15. Hey Jimmie, do you hate sitting in motor coaches for hours during rain delays? The four-legged horsepower can run despite a little moisture on the ground. Check out what 2-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan did the night the 2013 Quaker State 400 got postponed due to weather.
THE 2013 FIRECRACK HANDICAP
14. Three words: No pit stops. Hence, no agonizing over taking two tires versus four. You may, however, have to learn what a bar shoe is.
13. The longest races on our circuit are over in about 2 minutes and 30 seconds. How long were you sweltering in the heat during the Coca-Cola 600 again?
12. You're probably bored of running triathlons by now, so why not try pentathlons after your horse retires?
HOW DOES 'JIMMIE JOHNSON, PENTATHLON GOLD MEDALIST' SOUND?
Photo by WikiCommons/Tim Hipps
11. Taking a spin through the grass means something entirely more pleasant with Thoroughbreds than it does at Daytona.
10. Try petting Kevin Harvick on the nose and see how that goes.
9. You have all the NASCAR trophies you could want, let's add some horse racing trophies to that collection. See: Woodlawn Vase
8. We checked The Jockey Club database and the name “Boom Confetti” is NOT taken!
7. Remember when you had “Mini Chad,” the cardboard cutout of crew chief Chad Knaus that you took on adventures? We have Squishy Hansen – an endearing likeness of our 2011 champion juvenile colt that, guess what, can be dyed blue to match your paint scheme.
BOTH MINI CHAD AND SQUISHY HANSEN HAVE SOMETHING IN COMMON ... HANGING OUT WITH SHOW GIRLS.
Photo by WikiCommons/Brian Neudorff
6. The pressure of going 13 whole races without a win pales when your star equine 3-year-old is trying to win a series like the Triple Crown that hasn't been claimed since 1978.
5. Unlike Tony Stewart, racehorses don't repeatedly slam you into walls when they get mad.
4. Just like rookies, 2-year-old racehorses can have trouble running in a straight line.
3. Unlike NASCAR, when rookies bump into you, they get in trouble.
2. Three more words: No restrictor plates.
1. Dale Earnhardt Jr. fans have nothing on Secretariat fans. Or Zenyatta fans. Or the Chromies … You get the point. Now go #BuyAHorseJimmie