Jimmie Johnson hasn’t “proven anything yet”

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With five Sprint Cup championships in his pocket, one could assume that Jimmie Johnson is simply driving for the fun of it these days.

But while NASCAR’s most dominant driver in the last decade is certainly still having fun, the assumption that he has nothing left to prove is an incorrect one. In his mind, he has everything to prove.

“I don’t want that to sound trite or whatever, but it’s true,” Johnson tells NBCSports.com national columnist Joe Posnanski in the latest edition of ‘The Big Read.’ “I feel like I haven’t really proven anything yet.”

Posnanski’s profile delves into Johnson’s early years, his transition from off-road racing to stock cars, the massive success that he has achieved, and how he came to grips with fans that believed – and still believe – that he’s a simple beneficiary of Hendrick Motorsports’ myriad resources.

But perhaps most striking about “Five-Time” is his relationship with fear. Even though, as Posnanski writes, he was the one known as “fearless” inside his high school circle of friends, the California native has always felt fear whenever he goes behind the wheel to do battle.

But he doesn’t want it any other way. To Johnson, fear is constant and essential.

“Every time I get into a stock car, I have fear,” Johnson says. “That’s important. That fear is what keeps you sharp and keeps you from going over the edge.”

For an intriguing look at one of NASCAR’s most decorated champions – a look that just might change your own opinion on his place within the sport – click the link above.

Hamilton: Abu Dhabi ‘the last race with good-looking cars’ in F1

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Lewis Hamilton believes that this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will be remembered as the last race with good-looking Formula 1 cars ahead of the introduction of the ‘Halo’ cockpit protection for next year.

Officials from the FIA and F1 Strategy Group confirmed earlier this year that the Halo would be fitted to all cars from the 2018 season in a bid to improve safety standards, with the deaths of Justin Wilson and Jules Bianchi putting head protection high on the agenda for the series’ chiefs.

Hamilton has long made his opposition to the Halo clear, believing it will ruin the look of F1 cars, and echoed his thoughts ahead of the final Halo-less race in Abu Dhabi this weekend.

“It’s the last year of looking good I think in the cars. It’s the last race where the cars will look good,” Hamilton said.

“I think next year, it’s all downhill from there in terms of how they look.

“But safety will go up at least, and maybe it could be successful in some way.”

Hamilton’s F1 title rival Sebastian Vettel was less bothered about the change, believing the field will adjust and move on.

“The cars will look different next year. Everything I’ve seen so far looks different, but on the other hand it is something we all get used to,” Vettel said.

“But no doubt the cars look better now, but we’ll get used to it, and we’ll work on the aesthetics so it can be better. It is less of a big deal.”

Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo shared Vettel’s view, saying: “I don’t think it’s gonna be as dramatic as most people make it out to be.”