Seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson goes skiing and biking. He’s got his Hendrick Motorsports teammates biking with him, including Dale Earnhardt Jr. Several other drivers are biking. Some have competed in triathlons.
Cup drivers are training in ways they have not done so before.
That can lead to risks.
Johnson was asked Friday if he worries about being injured while skiing in Colorado — where he and his family have been staying this season.
“I think about it,’’ Johnson said Friday at Texas Motor Speedway. “I think I manage my risks. I know that my team owner is at least OK with me being out there.
“I look at the video (skiing) that I posted recently. I’m on a very low-pitch, very wide-open, powder snow. That’s the best conditions. Nobody is around in this private area of the mountain. I feel that I was managing my risks pretty damn well to go into that environment.
“You can get run over by a car cycling, running. You can step off the curb in front of a bus. Again, I feel like every driver is willing to take certain risks for their fitness and to live their life. Me being on those skis, that’s more about living my life and doing something I enjoy. I’ve been doing this way too long.
“If I stay in this little quarantined area, I might go Carl Edwards, and I don’t want to do that. I need to live my life, and this is the way I do it. Sure, there’s a lot of drivers right now getting fit, a lot of guys are choosing to ride the bike. Someone is going to fall and get hurt. It just happens. I hope everybody in (the media) and our fans don’t overreact. We have to live our lives. We didn’t develop these out-of-control tendencies in a race car by sitting in a rubber room playing chess. We’ve got to live our lives.’’
The next time won’t be the first time a driver is injured training.
Bobby Labonte broke three ribs in a cycling accident in Aug. 2013 and missed scheduled starts at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Richmond International Raceway and Chicagoland Speedway for JTG Daugherty.