Jimmie Says 2020 Will Be His Final Cup Season

| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Wednesday, November 20 2019
Jimmie Johnson said Wednesday that he will take one more shot at winning No. 8. (RacinToday/HHP file photo by Harold Hinson)

By Jim Pedley | Managing Editor

Seven-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup champion Jimmie Johnson annnounced on Wednesday that he will retire after the 2020 season.

Johnson made the announcement by way of a video he posted on Twitter.

“I’m so thankful for 18 incredible years of racing in NASCAR,” Johnson said in the video. “This sport has been good to me, and it’s allowed me to do something I truly love. I showed up chasing a dream, and I achieved more than I ever thought possible.

“I’m looking forward to next season and celebrating what will be my last year as a full-time NASCAR Cup driver. I know what this team’s capable of, and I hope 2020 is one of the best years.”

Johnson won a record five straight championships from 2006 through 2010; he has accumulated 83 victories, all in the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet, most among active drivers (Kyle Busch is second with 56); Johnson won his seven titles under a variety of postseason formats, from the 10-race Chase to the 16-driver elimination Playoff.

“NASCAR history will always hold Jimmie Johnson in the highest regard, for his hard-charging success on the racetrack and the way he conducted himself as a champion off the track,” NASCAR chairman and CEO Jim France said. “This remarkable seven-time champion – through his competitive spirit, immense talent and sportsmanship – has made NASCAR a better sport. On behalf of my family and the entire NASCAR community, I thank Jimmie for his dedication to NASCAR and, along with his legions of fans, wish him all the best in his final season. I look forward to watching him race for wins and an eighth NASCAR Cup Championship in 2020.”

Among the 44-year-old Johnson’s 83 victories are two at legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

“Jimmie Johnson has set a standard for excellence on track that few will ever match in NASCAR history,” J. Douglas Boles, chairman of IMS, said. “But there’s far more to Jimmie than those impressive statistics. He is one of the classiest, most genuine people to cross the Yard of Bricks in a race car and is a terrific ambassador for the great sport of auto racing that we all love. I’m sure I will be joined by many in wishing Jimmie the best of luck as he tries to win an eighth title and drive to a fifth Brickyard victory to end a storybook career.”

Johnson is in the midst of a career-worst drought that reaching 95 races with last Sunday’s Championship 4 event at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

In addition to catching Petty and Earnhardt, Johnson will spend the 2020 season trying to catch and pass Darrell Waltrip and Bobby Allison, who are tied for fourth on the career victory list with 84.

Johnson currently is tied with Cale Yarborough, for sixth all-time.

| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Wednesday, November 20 2019
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