Jimmie Johnson has revealed his plans following the end of his full-time NASCAR career in 2020 — he has announced a future partnership with Chip Ganassi Racing to explore the possibility of racing in the NTT IndyCar Series.
“When I tested Chip’s Indy car earlier in the year, it only lit the fire more,” Johnson said in a team release. “I found that I wanted to do it more than ever before. … 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.”
I will be soaking up the next nine weeks of my full time @NASCAR career. I’m sad to see it coming to an end but I’m excited to announce a future partnership with @CGRTeams in @IndyCar. pic.twitter.com/Y4VdVN0UP1
— Jimmie Johnson (@JimmieJohnson) September 9, 2020
Johnson tested with Ganassi on the Indianapolis road course at the end of July and got some pointers from potential future teammate and five-time NTT IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon.
“It is always difficult to find great drivers but for them to be great guys too makes it even that much more challenging,” team owner Chip Ganassi said in a release. “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.”
Johnson, a seven-time Cup champion and winner of 83 races, is competing in his final full-time season in the NASCAR Cup Series in the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet. He has nine races left in his full-time career and did not qualify for the playoffs for the second straight season.