Jimmie Johnson hasn’t found his way to a Victory Lane in the NASCAR ranks since 2017, but he’s not done winning.
The Hendrick Motorsports driver and seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champ teamed with 9-year-old daughter Genevieve, Aspen Olympian Alex Ferreira and the rest of his six-person group — the “West Side Hillbillies” — to win Monday’s 10th annual Audi Ajax Cup on Aspen Mountain in Colorado. Ferreira, the team’s pro, won the Gorsuch Cup on the final race of the afternoon.
— Jimmie Johnson (@JimmieJohnson) December 31, 2019
“Resume builder,” Johnson joked to the Aspen Times. “It feels great winning and to have this experience with my daughter and with Adam Lewis, who is on our team and his two sons, to watch our kids work through the challenges of the day, dealing with nervousness, is so special.”
Johnson’s “West Side Hillbillies” had twice been the Ajax Cup runner-up but never won before Monday. The future NASCAR Hall of Famer calls Aspen home on a part-time basis, and Evie, who is part of the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club, won a couple of races in the finals to propel the team to victory.
“She did great. Every year it gets a little better, but something happened three or four days ago where she really found her edges and she’s been flying ever since,” Johnson said of Evie. “But then to see Alex, it was all on his shoulders at the end. For Alex to pull it off, and for the AVSC, it’s so cool.”
It’s just another of Johnson’s varied forays into non-motorsports racing, as he also placed 4,155th overall in the 2019 Boston Marathon, completing the 26.2-mile course in 3 hours, 9 minutes and 7 seconds.
After a frustrating 2019 campaign in which he missed the playoffs for the first time in his career, perhaps this is the spark Johnson needed ahead of his final season racing NASCAR full time.