Whether it’s on the track or on the roads, seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmi Johnson knows how to treat his ride right. We asked him for some tips on how motorists can keep their cars in tip-top shape and about what vehicle technologies intrigue him the most.
How has vehicle technology evolved since you first started your NASCAR career?
Smart technology has led to more efficient vehicles, safer vehicles, and more driver awareness and safety. I don’t see that changing, I see it continuing to evolve.
What steps do you take to properly maintain your own vehicle?
At home, it never hurts to get a visual inspection on tires and make sure they(tires) are up. If you see any drips or leaks, you obviously have something going on with the transmission, or rear end or engine. Certainly, paying attention to the dash and any warning lights that go on.
Where do you see the future of mobility and transportation going into the next decade?
It’s moving quickly, and certainly the driverless car and driverless transportation seems to be the hot topic. I just hope it doesn’t work into driverless racecars.
How do you see the electrification of vehicles affecting the future of mobility?
Electrification is massive. Formula One is using it in its racecars, there are forms of electric racing, and I own an electric car and enjoy driving it. From a clean-air standpoint and an affordable, renewable energy, it seems like a very logical thing to pursue and I don’t see it slowing down anytime soon.
What is one crucial auto care tip you can give our readers?
Awareness. We take for granted what our vehicles are actually doing. Awareness of what surrounds you and of your vehicle when you climb into it, the creeks and noises or sensations that you might feel. That stuff is all telling you something.
What steps can drivers take to ensure their own safety?
I think in today’s world, we are so busy and trying to multitask. I think from a safety standpoint, really committing to driving from Point A to Point B, and being in control of your car and your surroundings, and putting down the phone. Focusing out your windshield and out your mirrors. I think it’s more about awareness while driving, and being committed to driving from point A to point B.
How do you transition from being a racecar driver to a safe driver on the road?
Racecar to the streetcar, the worlds are so different. I don’t find myself being very aggressive on public roads. I certainly have that outlet to race the car and satisfy that aspect of my life. I’ve also been in some very serious racing crashes and know that my vehicle is designed to do it, and we have restraint systems to protect us and helmets on, and walls that contain the vehicles in a crash.
I’m generally a pretty respectful, safe driver on the streets. I do know that my wife finds I drive a little close to other cars but I’m so used to hitting those tight environments. But I don’t have a big struggle switching from race to street car.