Jimmie Johnson probably has more trophies and memorabilia than he knows what to do with, but that can happen when you’re a seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion with 83 career victories on your resume.So with so much racing stuff, why not get a little more creative with some of it? Well, it seems that’s exactly what the NASCAR turned IndyCar Series driver did with one of his winning fire suits.As Johnson explained, New York-based artist E.V. Day took the fire suit the former Hendrick Motorsports driver wore during his 2006 Daytona 500 victory — his first of two, also winning in 2013 — and transformed it into an incredible work of art. According to Day’s website, the piece is titled: Daytona Vortex.
Seriously, this is so much cooler than Johnson having his first Daytona 500-winning fire suit framed and hanging on a wall somewhere collecting dust. It’s a piece of NASCAR history that’s been reconstructed into an awesome piece of art.
It’s also huge, as Johnson’s photos show.
Made from his fire suit, monofilament and hardware with a mirrored stainless steel base, Daytona Vortex is more than 12 feet tall, per Day’s website, which also notes that “the language of the piece highlights the friction between man and machine – softness of the highly tailored fabric to the rigid structure of the hardware.”
More from the site’s description of the piece:
“Pulling from victorious sources, depicting the constant boundaries pushed by man, the sculpture projects an atmosphere of ingenuity and man’s relentless friction with velocity. In the method of deconstruction, the apparatus of the suit is manipulated and viewed through a new lens that is experienced through the immersive paintings. The reversed-engineered form of the suit evokes future dimensions while paying homage to past forms like Karuta and other combative armor that celebrate the power and heroism of humankind’s innovation. Bold forms and colors found in both the sculpture and paintings generate notions of speed, technology and violence; similar to the work of Italian Futurists, who were known for their dynamism.”