Jimmie Johnson Delighted After Opening IndyCar Race Gets Postponed

Published 01/07/2021, 4:52 AM EST
HOMESTEAD, FL – NOVEMBER 22: Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet, drives in front Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)


Usually, the IndyCar Series kicks off with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. However, the 2021 edition of the race is being postponed to April 25. The main reason for this is the ever-present threat of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, Jimmie Johnson will start his IndyCar debut a little later than expected.

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Without a doubt, many drivers will miss having the St. Petersburg race kick-off the season. One of them will be Josef Newgarden, especially after his win in October. Last year, the race was shifted to become the season finale, owing to the pandemic. At that race, Scott Dixon seized his sixth title.

“It’s not surprising that an event of this magnitude, scheduled for the first week of March, is still subject to the implications of the pandemic,” Penske CEO Mark Miles said.

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“We’re delighted we were able to work with Mayor Rick Kriseman’s administration and Green Savoree Racing Promotions to find a more suitable date, which helps consolidate the beginning of our schedule and allows us to stay on NBC network television.”

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Jimmie Johnson is a bit happy with the development

Admittedly, Jimmie Johnson will be of two minds about the situation. First and foremost, it would be frustrating to not make his IndyCar debut just yet. On the bright side, it does give him a bit more time to prepare himself. In the meantime, the Barber Motorsports Park will take over as the season opener for the 2021 season.

Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Indy Series driver Josef Newgarden (1) during the Harvest Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports | COURTESY: Reuters

This is the 18th time that the IndyCar paddock will touch base at St. Petersburg. Without a doubt, it has been a fan favorite, and the news got better after it received a three-year title sponsorship deal with Bridgestone.

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However, Jimmie Johnson will now have to wait just a little longer to go racing at last. One thing is for sure, he will be itching to shake off any kind of rust.

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Dhruv George

11998 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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