Johnson has surgery after freak injury
26 January 2009

DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA (TICKER) —Three-time reigning Sprint Cup Champion Jimmie Johnson on Monday had surgery to repair a tendon and nerve after cutting his left middle finger with a kitchen knife.

The injury, which occurred on Sunday, will not keep him from racing in the season-opening Daytona 500 on February 7.

Preparing for the final segment of the Rolex 24 sports-car series race, Johnson was cut above the knuckle when he attempted to cut a small hole in his firesuit in order to feed a tube from a cooling shirt through the pocket.

Johnson did not race in the final stint. Instead, he flew to Charlotte for further evaluation and outpatient treatment with a hand specialist at Carolinas Medical Center.

Last November, Johnson became just the second driver in Cup Series history to win three consecutive titles. He tied Cale Yarborough, who won his titles from 1975-78.