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“Just the area, the great racing, the highs and lows of   The Boston Marathon was a different story. Rather
        success and mental toughness at the track and the    than competing in the world-famous endurance
        lobster experience in victory lane,” he said.        race with his cycling buddies, Johnson made this a
                                                             personal mission. Forty-three years old at the time
        When Johnson says he’ll miss the area, he means it.   of his Boston Marathon debut, Johnson trained
        After all, for several years, he and many of his fellow   religiously in preparation for the 26.2-mile event. All
        Cup Series drivers have made a habit of leaving New   the hard work paid off when he finished his first-ever
        Hampshire Motor Speedway together at some point      marathon in an impressive three hours, nine minutes
        during the race weekend for a bike ride through      and seven seconds – just shy of his goal of finishing
        the scenic New Hampshire countryside. These rides    in three hours. His average pace was seven minutes
        usually occur on Friday or Saturday evening, and the   and 13 seconds per mile. Johnson will forever savor
        exact destination and route are rarely planned well in   the experience, which included having a “pit crew” of
        advance of the race weekend.                         nearly 100 fans connected with his primary sponsor,
                                                             Ally Financial, on-hand to support him.
        Johnson, a longtime self-professed health, exercise
        and fitness guru, has usually headed up the group of   “It was incredible,” Johnson said. “I don’t know if I have
        drivers who hop on their road bikes for an excursion   any more in my future. I would like to run the New York
        into the Granite State’s gorgeous terrain.           City Marathon possibly – that is on my bucket list – but
                                                             it was the toughest thing I ever did in my life. I ran
        “We have been cycling for about five or so years now,”   approximately 800 miles to train over six months and
        Johnson said. “The garage schedule usually dictates   fell just short of my goal, but overall, I was very proud
        how big the group is, so it can be anywhere from five   of the effort, and it was an incredible experience that I
        to 20 people. Really, it just depends. New Hampshire   will never forget.”
        has beautiful roads to pedal on. We love to see the
        area on a bike; it’s a great break from the pressure at   Johnson also won’t forget the fact that his presence
        the track, a good way to build relationships in the    in the event hardly went unnoticed. Of course, that
        garage and it’s just fun. We have a lot of strong guys   wasn’t all that surprising when considering how many
        and some just starting, so we all stick together. We   trips Johnson has made to New Hampshire Motor
        don’t drop anyone.”                                  Speedway and the New England area over the past
                                                             two decades – not to mention his remarkable list of
                                                             NASCAR achievements.

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