Jimmie Johnson Joins Ganassi’s IndyCar Team

| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Wednesday, September 9 2020

Jimmie Johnson appears to be heading to IndyCar. (RacinToday/HHP file photo by Alan Marler)

By Jim Pedley | Managing Editor

It appears Jimmie Johnson’s desire to fulfill his childhood dream to drive an Indy car will come true.

It was announced Wednesday that the seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion has reached a partnership deal with Chip Ganassi Racing next season.

The Ganassi team issued a statement that read, “…Johnson that will see the 83-time NCS winner officially explore the possibility of racing a full road and street course calendar in the  IndyCar Series for the 2021 and 2022 racing seasons.”

Johnson has announced that the current season would be his last in NASCAR.

Along with Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt, California-native Johnson co-holds the Cup Series record of winning seven championships.

Johnson’s 83 career wins is tied with Cale Yarborough for sixth all-time and is tops among active drivers.

“When I tested Chip’s Indy car earlier in the year, it only lit the fire more,” Johnson, who tested in July, said. “I found that I wanted to do it more than ever before. Scott [Dixon] was just incredible to work with and in a short time I found out very quickly why Chip and his teams have won 12 INDYCAR Championships.

“As part of a natural progression, I wanted to publicly show the alignment with Chip Ganassi Racing to kick the sponsorship program into high gear. The goal is to run the full road and street program and today is a very important first step in accomplishing that goal.”

Johnson  spent his entire Cup career driving for Hendrick Motorsports where he teamed with stars like Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

The native of El Cajon has been struggling in recent years. He has not won a race since 2017 and recently came up just short in his bid to make the 10-race, 16-driver Cup series playoffs.

Chip Ganassi, owner of CGR, said, “It is always difficult to find great drivers but for them to be great guys too makes it even that much more challenging. To pair Jimmie with the likes of Scott Dixon is quite an opportunity. They are truly in rarified air and I think everyone knows by now that ‘I like winners’.

“The goal right now is for us to run Jimmie in an Indy car for at least the next couple of seasons, and we want to show people we’re serious about the program. We felt it was important to get the partnership done and start putting the financial building blocks in place to make this a reality. Jimmie’s record speaks for itself and we feel a championship-level driver of his caliber can only make our team better.”

| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Wednesday, September 9 2020
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