Jimmie Johnson explains how he uses ‘tough criticism’ as fuel

Jimmie Jhonson often wasn’t the fan-favorite driver in his dominant years.


Jimmie Johnson explains how he uses ‘tough criticism’ as fuel

Richard Petty and Jimmie Johnson (Via IMAGO)

Seven times NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson has explained how he uses tough criticism that comes at him as fuel to thrive for more. The legendary driver like many athletes knows how to use the crowd energy, whether it is positive or negative, to his advantage on the day to achieve the triumphs.

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Johnson pointed out that as one gets older and more experienced it becomes easier to deal with compared to the start of the career. He pointed out, two years ago, that if there is a tough critic or a supposed hater in the crowd, the athletes use it as fuel to fight for victory during the event and silence them.

I think, you know, age helps, experience helps. You know, in the early days of heckling, it was far more personal as you get older and maybe it’s just a mindset and a flip. And I’m sure you’ve experienced it well, but if there’s a tough critic or somebody in the crowd that’s not into what you’re doing that night, you use it as fuel.
Johnson said via The Artist and the Athlete podcast.

Johnson experienced a lot of tough criticism during his dominant time in the Cup series when he was breaking the records set by Dale Earnhardt while dominating his mentor and teammate Jeff Gordon, who was a fan favorite. But nothing was enough to hinder his domination than age, as he ended his full-time career with 83 wins and seven titles during the peak years of NASCAR’s fame.

The 2023 season has been an emotional rollercoaster for Jimmie Johnson

This year has been a season of up and down for the Hendrick Motorsports legend. He had two big projects coming into the 2023 season. Taking Legacy MC to new heights after joining them as owner-driver and 24 Hours of Lemans started with NSCAR’s Garage 56 project.

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Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth (Via IMAGO)
Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth (Via IMAGO)

The Legacy MC role has been a success of the track with the team landing some good sponsors, and signing a deal to join Toyota Racing development for 2024 onwards. But on track the team massively underperformed.

Other than a handful of Top-10s, they were consistently running outside the Top-20s. Another controversy surrounding the team was the exit of rookie Noah Gregson, for liking racially insensitive posts on social media.

He had some trouble in his personal life as well because of a tragedy in his wife’s family. His mother-in-law, as per police reports, killed Joshson’s father-in-law and nephew in a murder-suicide. He has to drop all of his racing fans following the incident that occurred in June.

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