Five-time defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson is heading to the Bahamas Wednesday, meaning he'll miss his cameo on Fox's comedy series "Breaking In" at 9:30 p.m. ET tonight after "American Idol."
"NASCAR is off this week because it's Easter, so I'm heading to the beach. I'm white as can be," said Johnson, who won Sunday's race at Talladega and will DVR the show. "I'm trying to enjoy my break as much as I can. I'm going to try to live the Corona lifestyle. It's time to recharge the batteries."
Johnson, a 35-year-old California native, took time off a month ago to play himself in the offbeat half-hour workplace comedy about a high-tech security firm that takes extreme measures to sell its protection services.
"I had a great time on the set but they were long days," said Johnson, who is in second place in the Sprint Cup standings. "I'm trying to take advantage of these opportunities to tap into a new fan base. It's good for our sport. I remember as a kid when sports figures would make cameo appearances on shows. It's the cool factor."
Created by Adam F. Goldberg and Seth Gordon, the series centers on a team of uniquely skilled oddball geniuses hand-picked to work for a manipulative mastermind. The series stars Christian Slater, a real-life close friend of Johnson's, as larger-than-life Contra Security head honcho Oz. The episode shows that Oz persuaded Johnson to get into racing instead of his first love -- tap dancing.
"Well, you know that wasn't true. I've always wanted to be a racer!" said Johnson, who grew up in a family of people into auto racing. "When I even went back to my schools -- elementary, middle and high school -- some of my teachers reminded me that I actually wrote papers about my love affair of racing."