A Day in the Life: Jim Jonsin
By Bill Kearney
2 PM: Homestead Miami Speedway
There’s a pervasive smell of burnt rubber while Ferraris, Corvettes and Porsches roar by on the serpentine track. Jonsin’s in the pit area and already decked out in a fire suit, driving shoes and a special undershirt cooled by tubes of water. His Porsche 911 GTRS is 500 pounds lighter than the already badass street-legal version, and 50 horses stronger. Out on the track, Jonsin will reach speeds of 160 mph. “Racing cars cures anxiety. It’s the closest thing to meditation for me. It requires total focus,” he says. Jonsin and his Rebel Rock Racing team, which competes in Cup Car racing and includes Marius Avemarg and professional skateboarder Bucky Lasek, are preparing for a race in one week. Out on the track, Jonsin is noticeably faster and more nimble than most of the cars, but there’s another Porsche nipping at his heels. They’re mere feet apart, holding slightly different lines, their engines barking into high-pitched whines as they downshift through turns and shoot out into straight-aways. Once he’s back in the pit, I ask him what makes a good driver. “The ability to find the edge of the car, finding its limits,” Jonsin says. But it’s also about his own limits. “In an actual race, you’re inches away from other cars at crazy speeds. That’s when you can tell greatness. That’s what I’m working on.”
photograph by tyler clinton/donotresist.com (jonsin portrait)
We're behind the scenes with Marlins outfielder, who now has the largest contract in sports history.