Driver Jimmie Johnson will no longer compete full-time

CHARLOTTE, NC — Seven-time NASCAR Series champion Jimmie Johnson is retiring from full-time auto racing and will now focus on his family.

He expects to compete in no more than 10 races, but the 47-year-old had no idea Monday what his schedule would look like.

Johnson told The Associated Press he was thrilled to announce, « I have a clean sheet of paper, and now we can see what opportunities exist and start designing a schedule. »

Johnson took two weeks after the last IndyCar race — 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 wind down his activities.

Johnson has already revealed that he would like to be part of the three-driver team at the 24 Hours of Le Mans as part of the Garage 56 project and Hendrick Motorsports.

One thing is certain, Johnson will not return for a second full season in IndyCar with the Chip Ganassi team. He’s only raced road and street races in 2021, he’s added ovals to race the entire 2022 season and it’s not even certain he’ll race in IndyCar at all.

He has, however, already revealed since his retirement from NASCAR in 2020 that he would race in the series again if the right opportunity arises, and he now plans to do “The Double” – the Indianapolis 500 miles and the Coca- Cola 600 on the same day.

Kurt Busch was the last driver to attempt the 1,100 mile (1,760 km) adventure in 2014. Busch fell 200 miles (320 km) from winning his gamble when his engine failed in the NASCAR race. Tony Stewart, who attempted both races twice, is the only driver to complete the 1100 miles. John Andretti and Robby Gordon both made attempts before Busch.

Johnson would love to tackle it: He’s won the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway four times, including three straight wins from 2003 to 2005.

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