Seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson, 47, retiring from full-time racing
Seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson, 47, retiring from full-time racing CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson is retiring from full-time racing and will turn his focus toward spending time with family.
He calculates his future timetable will incorporate something like 10 list of must-dos occasions, yet the 47-year-old had no clue Monday what that timetable will resemble.
Johnson told The Related Press he was eager to declare “I have a clear piece of paper, and we can now see what potential open doors exist and begin making a schedule.” Support Carvana has previously told Johnson it will back anything that dashing he seeks after.
Johnson took two weeks from the IndyCar finale — with a weekend spent in England with Ganassi teammates Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti at the Goodwood Festival of Speed — before finalizing his decision to scale back. He told the AP he didn’t really need the time to ponder his future.
“It’s been a fascinating cycle to feel so satisfied with the experience and afterward likewise attempt to settle on a choice,” Johnson said. “In the enormous plan of things, there is such a lot of life arranging happening with the children. We’ve generally had a thought of attempting to live abroad for a little while. We love Colorado and need to invest more energy there, and there’s simply so much twirling by and by and expertly that I simply needed to take a few time and go with the choice not on the rear of a positive or negative insight on the circuit.”
So what is Johnson, who retired from NASCAR in 2020, thinking?
The 24 Hours of Le Mans would be part of the NASCAR and Hendrick Motorsports special “Garage 56” entry. Johnson has said from the start he wants to be part of the three-driver Le Mans lineup, even though its an exhibition for the Next Gen and the car will be alone in its class.
He’d been awaiting the 2023 IndyCar schedule to see if he’d even be available, but will ensure his schedule is clear should NASCAR want its future Hall of Famer to be part of the project.
Johnson for sure won’t return for a second full IndyCar season with Chip Ganassi Racing. He raced only the street and road courses in 2021, added the ovals to run the full 2022 season and now isn’t even sure if he’ll run IndyCar at all.
“We are fully supportive of Jimmie. He has been a valued member of our team and if we can find a way to continue working together, we would like to do so,” said team owner Ganassi.
Johnson battled in the city and street courses north of two seasons, with his best exhibitions on ovals – – the discipline he ruled for almost twenty years in NASCAR. He completed an IndyCar-best fifth at Iowa, and in spite of the fact that he eventually crashed out of his Indianapolis 500 presentation, Johnson turned laps at more than 240 mph in a stunning passing execution.
“I do have a desire to go back, it’s just at this point, I know what’s required to do a full schedule, and I don’t have that in me,” Johnson told AP. “I don’t have that passion that I need for myself to commit myself to a full season.”
Johnson has said since his 2020 NASCAR retirement that he’d race again in the series in the right opportunity, and is now entertaining the idea of doing “the double” — the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 on the same day.
Kurt Busch was the last driver to endeavor the 1,100-mile, two-state odyssey in 2014. Busch fell 200 miles short of finishing it when his motor bombed in the NASCAR closer. Tony Stewart, who two times endeavored the two races, is the main driver to finish each of the 1,100 miles. John Andretti and Robby Gordon both made endeavors before Busch.
Johnson would like to give it a try: He won the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway four times, including three consecutive victories from 2003-2005.
“You know me and endurance sports, and the double sounds awesome,” Johnson told AP. “I’ve always had this respect for the guys who have done the double. I would say it is more of a respect thing than a bucket-list item, and I’d love to put some energy into that idea and see if I can pull it off.”
The other NASCAR occasion that is grabbed his eye? The following year’s debut race through the midtown roads of Chicago and the Top pick race at North Wilkesboro. Johnson noted as a past champ, he has an exception into both the Elite player race and the presentation season-opening Conflict at Los Angeles Commemoration Stadium.
The future in sports car racing is an unknown for Johnson after this weekend’s IMSA season-ending Petit Le Mans. He’s spent the past two seasons running the endurance races in a joint entry with Hendrick and Action Express, but does not expect enough inventory next year when IMSA adopts new cars for Johnson’s project to continue.
He told AP he would consider racing in a lower IMSA category, such as LMP2, and is even curious about the six-race World Endurance Championship. But the WEC Series intrigues him because of its exotic locales – Monza, Italy, Fuji Speedway in Japan, Bahrain — and the love of international travel he shares with his wife and two young daughters.
He and his significant other, Chani Johnson, have investigated enlisting their young ladies in school in one or the other Britain or France for a year for the experience, and as an involved dad, Johnson plays a functioning job in moving his little girls to and from their full timetable of sports and exercises. Chani Johnson is likewise an effective proprietor of a craftsmanship display and is hoping to extend her organizations.
“Chani has consistently upheld me as far as possible and furthermore simultaneously had her goals, wants and sought after her pathway and her vocation. I thoroughly consider she’s hopefully careful I follow with this arrangement,” Johnson told AP. “Yet, these choices are based around family needs and requests, and I think it gets precarious and a touch more confounded on my timetable in the event that we can a few foothold on movement and living abroad.
“But those are decisions that will come about in the next few months. And so I go into this I would say with no regrets. I look back and definitely learned lessons from what’s happened, good and bad. But I don’t have any pit in my stomach of something left unfinished, or any regrets I might have.”