Ricky Johnson is having one heck of a week.

The former Supercross champion was the honorary pace car driver Sunday for the NASCAR race held at Auto Club Speedway in California.

"I prayed to God that I wanted to lead a NASCAR Cup Series race, but I should have been more specific," Ricky Johnson said with a laugh during a recent telephone interview.

Johnson then hopped on his highway motorcycle and crossed the country from his home in Southern California to Daytona Beach.

He will take part in a ceremony on Saturday night at Daytona International Speedway marking the 50th running of the Daytona Supercross, the longest continuous Supercross event in America. Johnson helped brand the event when he captured the Daytona Supercross in 1986 and again in 1988.

He will be one of 10 past Daytona Supercross champions honored before the event Saturday night.

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Johnson has another tie to Daytona. He was an early racing mentor to seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson (no relation), who requested his services in last weekend’s pre-race ceremonies in Fontana, California.

Jimmie, who is a two-time Daytona 500 winner, has announced this will be his last year of full-time Cup Series driving and wanted to honor one of the first people to recognize his racing abilities.

The Johnson families have been friends since before Jimmie Johnson was born.

"His dad, Gary, was my mechanic on my mini-bike until Jimmie was born," Ricky said. "I actually babysat for Jimmie, heck, even changed his diapers.

"When I was 18 and started Supercross racing, Jimmie was eight and I sponsored him. I got a really good price for the Yamahas he raced on."

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Jimmie Johnson told NBC Sports that Ricky lived with his family for a while "and I thought we were related," he said.

"As time went one, he helped me with bikes and supported my career. From that point on, he mentored me in racing and also becoming a man."

As they got older, both men turned their attention to racing four-wheelers.

"Jimmie hurt his leg and his dad didn’t want him racing motorcycles anymore," Ricky said. "I was doing stadium racing and racing for Chevrolet.

"They were looking for another guy and I told them ‘Hey, go with this young kid. He’s fast and coachable.’ So we became teammates in stadium racing."

From there the two raced each other again in the touring ASA Series for Late Models for a few years before Jimmie got the call to move up to the Busch Series (now Xfinity).

Johnson’s Xfinity career was at best nondescript. He scored one win in his final full-time season (2001).

"Jimmie needed horsepower," Ricky said. "When he got the No. 48 ride, he hit the ground running. From there, we’ve stayed friends."

The Johnsons were able to enjoy Bike Week in 1999 thanks to an ASA tire test at USA International Speedway in Lakeland. Ricky brought a pair of Harleys for the trek.

"We motorcycled over to Daytona for the Supercross," he said. "I took him over to Main Street. I remember when we went over the bridge, he raised his hands and said something like, ‘I’m king of the world.’

"Jimmie is a motorcycle guy at heart. He has to stay away from it because he doesn’t want to get hurt, but he sneaks in a ride here and there."