Being a NASCAR champion sure does have its benefits. For Jimmie Johnson, it earned him a special trip to the White House back in 2009. After winning the 2008 Sprint Cup Series championship, Johnson got to spend some time going over the ins and outs of his race car with former President Barack Obama.
As they first get a look at the car, Johnson goes over some of the safety features that have been implemented over the years. They pop open the hood and talk about the chassis, race engine, and the body paneling that gets used when building one of these impressive machines. As most people would be stumped, Obama inquired about what all the buttons did on the dash. Even though Johnson was in his nice suit, he took the opportunity to jump back into the driver’s seat, so that he could fire up the race car for the president.
As you might recall, this wouldn’t be the only time Johnson made a visit to the White House. A few years later after winning the 2013 Cup Series title, the seven-time champ was invited back to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to be honored for his accomplishment once more by President Obama. Winning a championship is cool and all, but getting to hang out with the president on multiple occasions, well, that’s a pretty awesome accomplishment in and of itself.
The former president seemed genuinely interested in learning more about the car, as well. On top of that, the excited reaction he gave when Johnson revved up the engine a few times proved that he definitely enjoyed this experience. With a motorsport as American as NASCAR, you have to love a president that makes time to acknowledge the talents of these drivers.