Jimmie Johnson has been chasing a record eighth NASCAR championship for a few years. Now, thanks in large part to Aspen Olympian Alex Ferreira, he can pretty much call it a career.
Johnson, a part-time Aspen resident who is without question one of the greatest drivers of all time, got the biggest win of his amateur skiing career Monday when his team, the "West Side Hillbillies," won the 10th annual Audi Ajax Cup on Aspen Mountain. Ferreira, the team’s pro, won the Gorsuch Cup on the final race of the afternoon.
"I did not expect to win anything this morning and we ended up winning the Ajax Cup and it’s really awesome," Ferreira said. "To partner with Jimmie was absolutely fantastic. He is a wonderful human being and he is very much a part of this community by doing this event. He just wants to give back, and so do I, so I think just that energy, maybe that was the missing piece to the puzzle for us to win it?"
The Ajax Cup is the largest fundraiser for the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club. The event raised $800,000 for the club a year ago and there was hope of pushing for $1 million this winter. The money helps support the roughly 2,400 athletes who take part in AVSC programming.
Ferreira himself grew up in the club, and Johnson’s own daughters have spent time on snow with AVSC, as well. In fact, Johnson’s oldest daughter, 9-year-old Evie, was part of the Ajax Cup team again this season and had to win a couple of races in finals to get the team to victory lane. Johnson’s West Side Hillbillies had twice been the Ajax Cup runner-up, but had never won before Monday.
— Aspen Times —