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Jimmie Johnson Is Retiring From Full-Time Motorsport Competition

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Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion and recent IndyCar competitor Jimmie Johnson is retiring from full-time motorsport competition, Jenna Fryer of the Associated Press reports. His goal, he says, is to spend more time with his family, though he does intend to compete in a handful of “bucket list” events in the future.

From Fryer’s article:

Johnson told The Associated Press he was excited to announce “I’ve got a blank sheet of paper, and we can now see what opportunities exist and start making a calendar.” Carvana has already told Johnson it will back whatever racing he pursues.

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“It’s been an interesting process to feel so fulfilled with the experience and then also try to make a decision,” Johnson said. “In the big scheme of things, there is so much life-planning going on with the kids. We’ve always had an idea of trying to live abroad for a year or two. We love Colorado and want to spend more time there, and there’s just so much swirling personally and professionally that I just wanted to take some time and make the decision not on the back of a positive or negative experience on the racetrack.”

Fryer reports that Johnson has taken the two weeks since the IndyCar finale to contemplate his future, though the decision was a simple one. After years of NASCAR success, Johnson’s stint in IndyCar had been fraught with challenges, and for a man of his stature, there’s really no need to go racing full time when he can instead focus on what he calls bucket-list events.

Now, Johnson has noted that he’s interested in contesting the 24 Hours of Le Mans with the “Garage 56″ entry that’s set to be fielded by NASCAR and Hendrick Motorsports in 2023. This entry is designed to showcase new technology, so while Johnson wouldn’t be competing for position in the race, he would be competing to show off just what NASCAR can bring to the international racing scene.

Further, Johnson noted that he’s not sure if he’s going to run IndyCar at all. His best finish of fifth place at Iowa this year was a highlight in an otherwise challenging career, and Johnson has noted that he “doesn’t have that passion I need for myself to commit myself to a full season.”

That said, he’s incredibly open to “doing The Double,” which in motorsport parlance means competing in the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 on the same day. He’s also looking to compete in the newer NASCAR events, like the season-opening Clash at the Los Angeles Coliseum, the All-Star race at North Wilkesboro, and the Chicago street race.

It’ll be a shame to see Johnson mostly exiting the racing world, but after decades of competition, the Californian has earned the right to enjoy the fruits of his labor with a few select races as he proceeds in the future.



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