Surfin' USA

Well, well, well, 2007 Nextel Cup champ Jimmie Johnson's been moved from "in" to "on top" of the golf cart from which he was flung.

Jimmie Johnson.
Photo by Kurt Dahlstrom.
A racer who's exhibited considerable skill whether astride a motorcycle or in a Rolex Series' Daytona Prototype, one would think Johnson might have a clue that he was utilizing a motorized vehicle well outside of its design specifications.

Perchance, did the cart's maker fail to place a roof-riding warning on the dash?

In early reports Johnson was sitting in his seat and didn't have a good grasp of things when an unexpected sharp left turn sent Johnson sailing onto the ground, generating a "pop" from his wrist as the race car driver - sans his HANS and a five-point seat harness - braced himself as he hit the ground.

As a golfer who has been on the raw edge of being flung from the passenger side of any number of golf carts, I have often wished for a lap belt. Thus, Johnson's first story was totally credible.

Of course, it isn't that the more recent story isn't credible it's just that being on the roof introduces a whole new dimension to the story.

Beyond Johnson now being placed on the roof, the cart didn't take a turn as originally reported, either. It leapt from a "berm."

My goodness, imagine the situation had Johnson's cart driver taken on one of the golf course's really high berms.

Located in Lecanto, Fla., just over 100-miles west of Daytona International Speedway, the Black Diamond Ranch real estate development contains a 45- hole golf complex sitting atop of and carved from Florida's limestone bedrock foundation.

For those unaware of limestone's commercial value, it makes for a great fertilizer base ingredient. Inasmuch as Florida doesn't have mountainsides, one has to dig it vertically.

Black Diamond's Tom Fazio-designed Quarry course derived its name from such past exercises, providing for steep, manmade elevation changes upwards of 80-feet and, though somewhat less in distance than that between Daytona International Speedway's frontstretch asphalt to control-tower top, such a drop in earth is considered absolutely humongous by Florida standards.

From a purely from a humanitarian point of view, of course, it's at least a good thing Johnson didn't get flung from his cart into one of the Quarry course's two 80-ft. deep chasms.

Whatever the averted disaster quotient, everyone now is gonna want to know what in the Wide, Wide World of Sports was Johnson doing on the cart's roof?

What frame of mind - altered or unaltered - put him there?

Was Johnson just having some fun or did he exhibit some sort of ordinarily closeted lifestyle form? You know, the kind of closet in which skeletons - not to mention whips and chains - are often hidden.

Formerly thought only to be a squeaky-clean, averse-to-risk-taking driver that some loved to hate, that perception could be on its way out in the wake of this deal.

That's cool.

-DC Williams, exclusively for