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September 26, 2022

Jimmie Johnson steps back from full-time racing, eyes bucket-list races


Jimmie Johnson smiles during a break in IndyCar practice at Texas Motor Speedway
James Gilbert
Getty Images

Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson is retiring from full-time racing after spending the last two seasons in IndyCar, the Associated Press reported Monday.

Johnson, whose historic stock-car career came to a close in 2020, completed his first and last full-time season in IndyCar on Sept. 11 at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca after running a part-time schedule in 2021.

MORE: Johnson through the years | Cup standings

The legendary racer did, however, leave the door open for future one-offs, telling the AP he’d like to compete in no more than 10 bucket-list events as he eyes his future.

Though he did not specify what those races might look like, one potential could be a debut in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. NASCAR, in partnership with Hendrick Motorsports, is fielding a Garage 56 entry in the 2023 edition of the famed French event and has yet to announce its driver lineup. Johnson spent the entirety of his Cup career driving Hendrick’s No. 48 Chevrolet, making his series debut in 2001.

RELATED: Summer update on Garage 56 entry

There also remains an opportunity to jump back into NASCAR if he so chooses.

The NASCAR All-Star Race shifts to the recently revived North Wilkesboro Speedway in May 2023, with the track last hosting a Cup event in 1996. Johnson immediately perked up and noted his interest in the event.

Johnson, 47, has not announced any plans at this time. He is scheduled to compete in the 25th running of IMSA’s Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta on Saturday.

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