MOORESVILLE, N.C. – Jimmie Johnson made the same mistake as the unfortunate passengers in the comedy classic, “Airplane.”
He ordered the fish.
That menu choice came back to haunt him Thursday in Indianapolis as he was felled by food poisoning which caused him to miss part of IndyCar’s Content Day.
After feeling ill early in the morning, Johnson was able to rally and make it through the lengthy line of photos, network and local television tapings and a Zoom Room with members of the print media. His entire schedule had to be rearranged, but by 4 p.m. E.T., the seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion and IndyCar Series rookie was in much better spirits, although still a bit queasy.
“I’m better,” Johnson said. “I had a tough night; ended up getting food poisoning. My post-Sebring IMSA test meal did not agree with me. It was a rough night, and thankfully IndyCar worked with me to kind of jockey things around.
“Obviously this (interview) is happening much later than it was supposed to be, but I’ve been on my feet. I’ve been able to keep a (energy) bar down and not have it come up, so I’m trending in the right direction.”
When quizzed on the dinner selection, Johnson responded, “It was the Sebring Outback. Watch out for the salmon and broccoli; it will get you every time.
“I tried to go healthy, and I get sick. I should’ve gotten the Bloomin’ Onion. I would have been fine.”
While the touch of food poisoning sidelined him for part of the day, the NASCAR great continues to feed his hunger for improving in two different forms of racing. He will compete in all of the street and road courses on the NTT IndyCar Series schedule and earlier this week added a few more IMSA races to his schedule this season with Action Express Racing.
“I think we were all hopeful that the IMSA opportunity would turn into more,” Johnson said. “With the success on track and all the amazing exposure that all four drivers received, Action Express Racing, Ally, Mr. (Rick) Hendrick, everybody involved was like, ‘We’ve got to do this again.’
“Literally by Monday morning after dropping the kids off at 8, I had a pretty good sense that it was going to happen. There was just that much excitement immediately following the race and the morning after it.”
Now that he is set with a ride in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, Johnson can dive back into his IndyCar ride at Chip Ganassi Racing. He continues to study, analyze and hone his racing skills in the Indy car as he attempts to make a successful transition.
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