Jimmie Johnson Hints at Growing Interest From NASCAR Drivers to Try Different Racing Series

Published 03/06/2021, 11:45 AM EST
DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA – FEBRUARY 08: Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Ally Chevrolet, stands in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Cup Series 62nd Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)


Jimmie Johnson still shares the same passion for racing as he did the first time he entered NASCAR back in 2001. After a Cup career of nearly two decades though, he has now moved on to try out different racing ventures.

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The seven-time Cup champion has always expressed great interest in other series but might not have looked into owing to his NASCAR commitments. However, having spent a great deal of time in the stock car racing division, both IMSA and IndyCar now represent the perfect opportunities for him.

Johnson said, “And then I think from the sports car side, I’ve always let it be known that I’ve had a great interest in it. I raced in the early 2000s quite a bit with GAINSCO team and with Bill Riley and the Crawford group, as well.”

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I think a lot of people are feeling inspired, said Jimmie Johnson

“So it’s really kind of coming around and I’m really happy to see that it’s being received well, and it is fun to have that connection back to my NASCAR buddies.”

LOUDON, NH – SEPTEMBER 24: Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet, stands on the grid prior to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series ISM Connect 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images)

Making the move from NASCAR to other racing series is not exactly a newfound concept. But with Johnson now making the effort, there are certainly a few curious minds in the NASCAR community, wanting to experience new machinery themselves.

Johnson continued, “Believe me, there’s a lot of them asking questions about these cars and what it’s like to drive them and how much fun I’m having. I think a lot of people are feeling inspired to maybe get uncomfortable and try to drive other vehicles.”

Johnson kicked off a busy 2021 season with participation at the Rolex 24 event

The former Hendrick Motorsports driver found the right opportunity to compete in the IMSA season opener. Johnson showed no signs of age or rustiness there, as he powered the No.48 Cadillac to a second-place class finish in the sportscar endurance event.

Next on the list for the 45-year-old is the 12 Hours of Sebring race on March 20, which Johnson will race with prominent drivers Simon Pagenaud and Kamui Kobayashi.

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Finally, he will start off his rookie season in the NTT IndyCar Series when he takes to the wheel of Chip Ganassi Racing’s car on April 18. All in all, 2021 certainly seems like a hectic year for Johnson, who will want to overcome these challenges in supreme fashion.

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Bhargav Gopal

927 articles

Hailing from Bengaluru, Bhargav is an F1 and NASCAR author for EssentiallySports. He is a huge fan of Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing. Bhargav also has an MBA in Sports Management from the Symbiosis School of Sports Sciences, Pune.

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