Johnson steps back from full-time racing

Joe Skibinski/Penske Entertainment

Johnson steps back from full-time racing

IndyCar

Johnson steps back from full-time racing

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Jimmie Johnson has called an end to his full-time racing career. The Californian made the decision after racing non-stop in NASCAR’s Cup Series from 2002-2020 and the NTT IndyCar Series from 2021-2022, with select races in Grand-Am and IMSA added to his schedule over the last three decades.

Johnson leaves the No. 48 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda IndyCar entry behind, which he drove to a career-best finish of fifth at Iowa in July, and after a lifetime spent on the road, the 47-year-old is looking forward to downshifting a few gears and taking in the major events that pique his interest.

“I’ve made the decision that I will not compete full-time in 2023,” said Johnson, who has the continued backing of Carvana for wherever he might race. “This was a difficult choice for me, but in my heart, I know it’s the right one. I’m not exactly sure what the next chapter holds but if an opportunity comes along that makes sense, I will consider it. I still have a bucket list of racing events I would like to take part in.”

CGR is expected to announce plans for its fourth full-time entry in the coming days, and according to Ganassi, the door for a Johnson return – at the Indy 500, or possibly more events – remains open.

“We are fully supportive of Jimmie,” Ganassi said. “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.”

Outside of taking another run at winning the Indy 500, the seven-time Cup Series champion and two-time Daytona 500 winner is also known to have an interest in making his debut at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. For now, he’s in a thankful mood as he stares at a wide-open calendar to fill or leave empty as desired.

“Competing at this level in IndyCar has been such a great experience,” Johnson said. “I couldn’t have asked for a better team to race for than Chip Ganassi and Chip Ganassi Racing. Everyone worked extremely hard for the last two seasons, pushing to get the best performances out of me every single week. The support from my crew and teammates Dario (Franchitti), Scott (Dixon), Tony (Kanaan), Marcus (Ericsson) and Alex (Palou) went above and beyond anything I could have ever asked for. I’m thankful for the partnership with a company like Carvana for allowing me to take this journey in IndyCar, for seeing the value in our partnership and being open to future opportunities together.

“They have truly showed me that there are no finish lines in life. Along with Carvana, The American Legion, Ally, cbdMD and Frank August were there every step of the way and I couldn’t have done it without all of them. Most importantly – and the true rockstars in all of this – my family… Chani, Evie and Lydia… they have always allowed me to chase my dreams and we are all just really excited about what the future holds for all of us. I have enjoyed every minute of these last two years.”

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