Jimmie Johnson always needs to be in the driver’s seat, and it has nothing to do with racing

Jimmie Johnson loves being in the car, whether it’s in his No. 48 Chevrolet on the race track or on the streets of New York.

But he has one requirement that he’ll make happen “at all costs.” He must be in the driver’s seat.

“Ironically, I get motion sickness pretty easily, so I’m the one to drive,” Johnson told For The Win on Thursday, despite being one of the best NASCAR drivers of all time.

As long as he’s behind the wheel, stop-and-go traffic doesn’t bother him, city or country roads don’t make a difference and even the vehicle doesn’t matter – like when he traded his stock car for a giant Blue Bunny ice cream truck Thursday and handed out treats to New Yorkers. He said it was “a bit stressful” with such a big truck in the city, but he was just happy to be behind the wheel.

Johnson driving around New York on Thursday. (Courtesy of Blue Bunny)

“If I’m turning the steering wheel and pushing the pedals, my brain or ears or whatever’s responsible for it eliminates the nausea, and I’m totally fine,” Johnson said.

“If I’m not driving the vehicle and turning the wheel and hitting the brakes, there’s just something off about that and my body knowing what’s going on, and I get motion sickness terribly.”

Obviously after two decades in NASCAR and a record-tying seven Cup Series championships, Johnson doesn’t have an issue on the race track driving in circles at 200 miles per hour.

But Bristol Motor Speedway – one of NASCAR’s shortest tracks at .533 miles – can get a little tricky. Johnson earned his second career win at the Tennessee track in April at the Food City 500 – a three-hour, 500-lap race.

Johnson celebrating at Bristol Motor Speedway. (Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)

“It takes 14 seconds to make a lap, and it’s a half-mile track,” Johnson joked. “It’s really easy to get dizzy and disoriented when you’re on the race track there.”

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