From the Marbles - NASCAR

Before the Charlotte race, Jimmie Johnson said that he "sure as hell wasn't vanilla," and his friend, former New York Giants defensive back Jason Sehorn, agrees.

Thursday, we caught up with Sehorn, who is working with Captain Morgan in the company's efforts to get 1 million Captain poses for charity. Sehorn's wife, former "Law & Order" actress Angie Harmon, was the honorary starter for the 2002 Daytona 500, and there, Sehorn met Johnson.

Since, the two have become friends and golfing buddies -- Sehorn laughs when he says he was embarrassed for Johnson the first time the two played golf because Johnson was so bad -- and, Sehorn says, look no further than Johnson's golf cart "incident" for proof that Johnson isn't vanilla.

"What other driver broke his wrist surfing on top of a golf cart?" Sehorn said. "That's not exactly vanilla. If people had a chance to see him interact with his friends and the people he grew up with, he's not vanilla. He's smooth when it comes to the camera and what he's supposed to do and what his responsibilities are. His responsibilities on the track are to race and represent a brand and I think he gets that.

"He's nowhere near vanilla, but the problem is, you know, when you think about who backs him -- Lowe's and Kobalt -- the last thing you want to be is a jackass. You have to speak well, you've got to represent your brand and the people who pay the bills on the race car, so there comes a responsibility to act a certain way and represent your sponsors, and I think he gets that. He understands that at the racetrack he's a driver and he's got to speak well and get his point across and he can't be a jackass. And when he's not then he can be a jackass and have fun with us and let loose."

And besides Johnson's golf game, which Sehorn says has improved considerably since that first outing, one of the biggest things that's changed about Johnson since the two became friends is his dedication to working out.

"It's interesting," Sehorn said. "I was amazed at the transformation process that took place because when I first met him I don't think he liked the weights very much, and all the sudden in the last two years, he's almost addicted to it. He says he just doesn't feel right without doing it and it's really interesting to see. He works out like I work out if I was getting ready for an NFL season. It's pretty impressive to see what he can do and how much he's transformed his strength levels from when he first started."

 
 
 

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