DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – A pink, plastic toy race car is parked outside Jimmie Johnson's motor coach here in the infield of Daytona International Speedway, right next to the pink, plastic toy kitchen.
It is property of Evie Johnson, age two-and-a-half. It represents both the ultimate joy and about the only possible disappointing trend in her father's current blissful existence.
Yes, little Evie is interested in auto racing. It's just her favorite driver may not actually be her own dad, the five-time Sprint Cup champion, but rather someone who's never won a single stock car race.
"Danica," Johnson says with mock disappointment and a shake of his head. "I'm second place. It's at least migrating that way. She can spot two cars on the track, one is the 48 and the other is the bright green car.
"[Tuesday] she wanted to see Danica's car, so we took her to Danica's car and then went back to the truck and she got to meet Danica herself. So it was a big day for Evie."
(Johnson isn't the only one potentially losing his own daughter's fandom to Patrick, the Sprint Cup's sole female driver and the fastest qualifier for Sunday's 55th Daytona 500. Patrick has entertained the daughters of Carl Edwards and Jeff Gordon, too, this week. "Very flattering," Danica said.)