Jimmie Johnson fondly recalls watching the Indianapolis 500 as a kid in California, rearranging the couch cushions so he could pretend he was sitting in a race car.
Johnson's grandfather was an A.J. Foyt fan. Johnson liked Rick Mears. And now Johnson might be mentioned in the same breath as those two drivers and other Indy greats.
Johnson stamped another exclamation point on his resumÃ© Sunday, a dominant drive that ended with his fourth career Brickyard 400 victory.
"I'm able to join racing legends, my heroes and people I looked up to my entire life," Johnson said. "To join them was a huge, huge honour."
With the win, Johnson joined Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon as the only NASCAR drivers to win four times at the historic 2.5-mile track, which has hosted stock car racing since 1994.
The victory also puts Johnson among some top names in the track's record books.
Only three drivers have won four Indianapolis 500s: Foyt, Mears and Al Unser Sr. Formula One ace Michael Schumacher won the U.S. Grand Prix five times on Indy's road course configuration.
Johnson took it all in during a unique family moment of his own after the race, taking a victory lap in a pace car with his wife, his daughter and his crew guys all piled on board.