Legendary NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson recently opened up about his time in the sport during an interview with Graham Bensinger.
The longtime NASCAR driver appeared on In Depth With Graham Bensinger to discuss a plethora of topics, including his time in the sport.
Johnson identified two main problems for NASCAR right now - a decline in revenue and a packed race schedule.
“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 said he's heard that some drivers can't afford good 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.’”
Johnson also said he believes there are too many races on the 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.”
NASCAR fans appreciate the honesty.
"Dude only speaks one language. Truth," one fan tweeted.
"Here’s another truth: Rick Hendrick failed Jimmie Johnson in those final seasons. He continued to build around old Jeff Gordon and old Dale Jr. Yet when Jimmie got old, he sent him on a raft into the Pacific Ocean. The 48 basically became an R&D team. Shame on you, Rick," another fan tweeted.
"He just seems like a genuinely nice guy," another fan tweeted of Johnson.
Johnson, 46, is currently competing in the NTT IndyCar Series.