Jimmie Johnson To Danica: "Trust Me, You're Not Ready"

Jen PrestonSenior Analyst IMay 22, 2009

He's a three-time NASCAR Cup series champion, with 41 wins, 106 top fives, and 163 top tens, driving for one of the top teams in the sport.

She's the hot-tempered IndyCar star with constant rumors about a possible transfer to stock car racing; a former Rookie of the Year who became the first woman to ever win an IndyCar race with her fuel mileage victory in the Indy Japan 300.

So, what was Jimmie Johnson's advice to possible future NASCAR driver Danica Patrick?

"Come on over, although not until you’re ready. And, trust me, you’re not ready."

Johnson could be right; open wheel drivers like Juan Pablo Montoya, Sam Hornish, Jr., Patrick Carpentier and Jacques Villeneuve have seen little to no success once jumping ship—the three of them combined for one win, five top fives, and 14 top 10s.

However, don't think the former Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400 winner is completely writing the Go Daddy Girl off. In fact, it's quite the opposite.

"If she’s serious about doing it, she needs to spend a year or two, while racing IRL, running ARCA, running trucks, running Nationwide and really understanding the difference in the vehicles," Johnson said.

"Otherwise, she’s going to be put in a tough situation. ...You can’t just show up in the Cup Series and go."

Johnson went on to say that he'd "love to see it" but added "it's just tough to roll the dice on someone that has no experience in stock car racing."

His comments echo the sentiments of two time series champion Tony Stewart.

"I think obviously she's got talent; she's been successful in every form of racing she's been in so far and I don't see why she wouldn't be successful here (in NASCAR)."

For her part, Danica hasn't shut the door on a possible future in NASCAR, but she's not exactly saying she'll leave IndyCar anytime soon, either.

"There’s a certain time when I can start doing things and talk to other teams and that time is not now. But I’m always keeping my options open. I have to keep in mind my driving, the platform and the sponsors. There are a lot of factors. But I think, in the end, the choice is going to be obvious. It will be natural."


Thanks to Yahoo! Sports, Racing Reference, Zimbio and Auto Racing Daily for the quotes and information used in this piece.