Jimmie Johnson: Still with 'deep passion' to race ahead of final Daytona 500

DAYTONA, Fla. (NEXSTAR) -- When NASCAR legend Jimmie Johnson races in his final Daytona 500 ahead of retirement, he'll do so knowing he's still competing with a "deep passion" for racing.

Johnson, a seven-time NASCAR Cup Series Champion, joined Wednesday's Countdown to Daytona Media Day special and said he's not calling it a career because of "the grind." The driver of the #48 car said he still has the fire to compete with NASCAR's younger stars.

"My family, my team, we have such a neat energy around us right now," said Johnson in response to being asked about his final Daytona 500. "I'm not fried, the grind hasn't gotten to me."

Watch 'Countdown to Daytona' all week long for the inside-track preview to this Sunday's Daytona 500 on FOX.