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Jimmie Johnson Sees 2 Notable Problems With NASCAR

NASCAR great Jimmie Johnson waves. The new IndyCar driver will be in studio for the Indy 500 this month.

BRISTOL, TENNESSEE - AUGUST 17: Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Ally Chevrolet, is introduced prior to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 17, 2019 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

NASCAR legend Jimmie Johnson appeared on In Depth With Graham Bensinger this week to discuss a plethora of topics regarding the sport. During his interview with Graham Bensinger, he revealed two major issues that are currently hurting NASCAR.

According to Johnson, NASCAR earnings potential for drivers has dropped by roughly 50 percent over the last six years.

"I would say that through earnings and potential for a team, it's been down probably 50 percent," Johnson said. "I would say from a driver contract standpoint, from 2015 to where it is now - it's probably half. And what starts that whole process is the tune-in numbers. The tune-in numbers drive the sponsorship numbers. That, obviously, drives the purse and then certainly the sponsorship on a given car that a driver shares."

Johnson also said he's heard rumors that drivers can't afford permanent insurance.

"I've heard rumors where these drivers can't afford permanent or temporary insurance," he added. "Which is just kind of standard issue in a sport with so much risk. And you hear drivers [say], ‘I can't afford it. I'm not gonna do it.’"

Later on in the interview, Bensinger asked Johnson what changes he would make to NASCAR if he was in charge of the sport. Believe it or not, he would reduce the overall schedule.

"I've always firmly felt that there's just too much racing in NASCAR," Johnson told Bensinger. "That's my opinion and I've had that conversation with executives at NASCAR. Reducing the schedule down to 25-28 races I think would be the ideal way to go about it."

Some NASCAR fans have complained about the amount of races on the schedule. Lowering that overall number would put a greater emphasis on the races that are held over the course of the season.