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Jimmie Johnson, 47, retired from full-time racing

seven time Nascar Champion Jimmie Johnson is retiring from full-time racing to focus on spending time with his family.

He believes future schedules won’t include more than 10 events, but the 47-year-old wasn’t sure what that schedule would look like on Monday.

“I now have a blank sheet of paper. Now I can see what opportunities exist and start building my calendar,” Johnson told the Associated Press. He said he is excited to do it. Carvana has already told Johnson that he will back him in any race he pursues.

Two weeks after the IndyCar finale, Johnson spent the weekend at Britain’s Goodwood Festival of Speed ​​alongside Ganassi’s teammates Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti. He told the Associated Press that he really doesn’t need time to think about his future.

“It’s been an interesting process, very satisfying to experience and making decisions,” Johnson said. I’ve been thinking about trying to live abroad for a year or two. I just wanted to make a decision over time and not based on positive or negative experiences at the racetrack.”

Le Mans

The 24 Hours of Le Mans is part of a special “Garage 56” entry for NASCAR and Hendrick Motorsports. Johnson has said from the start that he wants to be part of the three-driver Le Mans line-up, despite it being a Next Generation exhibition and the only car in its class.

He’s been waiting for the 2023 IndyCar schedule to see if he’ll be available, but if NASCAR wants future Hall of Famers to be part of the project, his schedule will be clear. will do so.

indy car

Johnson will not return for a second full IndyCar season with Chip Ganassi Racing. He raced only the street and road courses in 2021 and added an oval to run the entire 2022 season.

“We fully support Jimmy. He is a valued member of our team and if we can find a way to continue working together, we would love to do so,” said the team owner. Ganassi said.

For two seasons Johnson struggled on the street and road courses, giving his best performance at the oval that he dominated in NASCAR for nearly 20 years. He scored an IndyCar-best 5th at Iowa, and although he eventually crashed in his Indianapolis 500 debut, Johnson put in a spectacular qualifying performance, lapping at over 240 mph.

“I would love to go back,” Johnson told the Associated Press. doesn’t have the passion needed to commit to a full season.”

big idea

Since retiring from NASCAR in 2020, Johnson has said he will race the series again when the time is right, and is now enjoying the idea of ​​”double” the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 on the same day. .

Kurt Busch was the last driver to attempt the 1,100-mile bistate odyssey in 2014. When the engine failed at the NASCAR closer, Busch embarrassed his 200-mile finish. Tony Stewart, his two-time challenger to both races, is the only driver to complete all 1,100 miles. John Andretti and Robby Gordon both tried before Bush.

Johnson wants to try. Including his three straight wins from 2003 to 2005, Charlotte Motors has won the Coca-Cola 600 at Speedway his four times.

“You know me and endurance sports, and doubles are great,” Johnson told The AP. I think it’s more of a show of respect than anything else, and you can put your energy into that idea and bring it out.”

What other NASCAR events have caught his attention? Next year’s first race through the streets of downtown Chicago and the All-Star race in North Wilkesboro. As a past winner, Johnson said he was exempt from both the All-Star race and the exhibition season-opening Clash at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

what else?

The future of sports car racing is unknown for Johnson after this weekend’s IMSA season-ending Petit Le Mans. He has run endurance races for the past two seasons in a joint entry with Hendrick and Action Express, but hopes to have a good inventory next year when IMSA will pick up a new car to continue Johnson’s project. not.

He told AP he is considering racing in lower IMSA categories such as LMP2, and is also interested in the six-race World Endurance Championship. However, the WEC series has remained his interest due to exotic locations such as Monza, Italy, Fuji Speedway, Japan, and Bahrain, as well as the love of international travel he shares with his wife and his two young daughters. arouses

He and Chani Johnson are considering enrolling their girls in a British or French school for a year for experience, and as a practicing father, Johnson keeps his daughters in and out of a full schedule of sports and activities. Chani Johnson is also a successful art gallery owner looking to grow her business.

“Chani has always supported me to the fullest. At the same time, she has had her goals, desires, and pursued her own path and career. I think we can make it through to the end,” Johnson told AP. “However, these decisions are based on my family’s needs and demands, and if there is any traction on my travels and living abroad, I think my schedule will get tricky and a little more complicated.

“But these are decisions that will be made in the coming months. So I will go into this with no regrets. But I have nothing, something unfinished, or a pit in the stomach of any regrets I may have.”

Reported by Associated Press.

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