As NASCAR prepares to celebrate and honor Jimmie Johnson for his seventh career Sprint Cup title this week, he likely isn't thinking about which new endorsement deals could come his way by tying the sport's record for number of championships.
Johnson indicated a couple of weeks before winning his seventh title that he would have to think long and hard about any additional opportunities he could earn by tying Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt.
With two daughters, ages 3 and 6, he doesn't need to add to his commitments. He is focused on family, racing, his current partners and his foundation.
"I kind of pulled all that [endorsement work] back when we first started having a family," Johnson said in early November. "I had to free up some space somewhere, somehow. Maybe a seventh [title] would bring some opportunity there and I would have to look hard at it.
"With so little free time as it is, I didn't want to be worrying about chasing all that."
Johnson has 11 primary sponsors either through personal endorsements or through the Hendrick Motorsports team: Lowe's (plus Kobalt), Chevrolet, Gatorade, Wells Enterprises (Blue Bunny Ice Cream), Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, Seiko, Sunoco, Valvoline, Bank of America and Microsoft.
That's a long enough list of big companies to keep any big-time athlete busy.
Johnson, who will be honored in Las Vegas at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards on Friday, was speaking after a Jimmie Johnson Foundation event where the foundation gave grants to schools for projects. His wife, Chani, said she didn't think another championship would have a big impact on their fundraising, which the couple says has been steady year to year, championship or no championship.
"I don't think there is a correlation," Chani said. "It's more about the mission and the programs we have in place to raise those funds is what matters. It hasn't really been related [except] maybe some name recognition."
Johnson appeared on several national sports and talk shows in the two days after his championship. That certainly added to his exposure. But he indicated that he wouldn't let all that extra spotlight distract him.
"The most important thing is being prepped and ready for the car, have time for that and my family," Johnson said. "The endorsement side, the amount of stuff you have to do for the endorsement stuff, I'd have to look at it, but I'm not eager to go jump into any endorsement deals."
Still, he certainly isn't turning away the opportunity to have more name recognition and seeing what might come with that.
"What I'm doing, business side is really not glamorous stuff -- buying some real estate here and there," Johnson said. "If I was to have more interest in the spotlight or [being in] the public eye, it wouldn't hurt one bit."