Jimmie Johnson Returning To NASCAR

| , RacinToday.com Friday, November 4 2022

Jimmie Johnson is back to cars with fenders. (RacinToday/HHP file photo by Alan Marler)

Jimmie Johnson’s career as an IndyCar Series appears over for now and his NASCAR career is back on.

Johnson announced Friday that he will become a part owner of Petty GMS and will also compete in select races as a driver – including the Daytona 500 next season.

“Honestly, it feels incredible,” Johnson said. “I must say, I did not see this in my future. This is an opportunity that developed that in so many ways and for so many reasons, an opportunity that I wanted to be a part of, and I’m very excited to be a part of.

“The last time I was really at a NASCAR race was here in 2020, other than the double at the IndyCar Brickyard race. When I left here, I really didn’t know what was in store for me. I wanted to try IndyCar and had an amazing experience there…

“As this conversation started, it was really something that I had to pay close attention to—just a life-changing opportunity, and I’m really excited about this.”

The seven-time Cup Series champion got into Indy cars in the 2021 and 2022 seasons, diving for Chip Ganassi Racing.

He spent his entire Cup career driving for Hendrick Motorsports.

Johnson, 47, boasts 83 Cup wins victories — tied for sixth all-time with NASCAR Hall of Famer Cale Yarborough.

Rick Hendrick, his former team owner, said in a statement Friday, “This is a tremendous day for our sport. Jimmie (Johnson) is one of the all-time great champions on the racetrack, and I know he’ll apply the same mentality to his role as a team owner. When he sets his mind to something, the level of commitment and work ethic he brings is unsurpassed. Seeing Jimmie in a firesuit with his name on the roof of a Chevrolet at the DAYTONA 500 is going to be very special for a lot of people. Competing against him will certainly be a change, and a big challenge, but we welcome his return to NASCAR and look forward to the next chapter of a truly remarkable career.”

The move was Friday at Phoenix Raceway, site of this weekend’s championship finales for all three NASCAR national series. It’s also the site of Johnson’s last Cup Series start as a full-time driver in 2020.

The Petty team will also field cars for full-time Cup drivers Erik Jones and newcomer Noah Gragson next year, as well as for Grant Enfinger in the Truck Series.

Four drivers on Sunday will take to the Phoenix track – Chase Elliott, Ross Chastain, Joey Logano and Christopher Bell – in contention for the 2022 championship.

(This story will be updated shortly)


| , RacinToday.com Friday, November 4 2022
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