Jimmie Johnson To Participate in Extreme Electric Racing Series in Saudi Arabia

Published 02/12/2024, 10:46 AM EST

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Legacy Motor Club and Jimmie Johnson have taken a new step in their racing venture. The NASCAR Cup Series team will be participating in the Extreme E Racing Series in Saudi Arabia this year. By doing so, the American team completes the grid for the 2024 campaign set to start this weekend.

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What’s more amazing is that Johnson himself will be participating and representing his team alongside Gray Leadbetter. However, the seven-time Cup Series champion will miss out on contesting the first two rounds because of his commitments to the Daytona 500.

Jimmie Johnson returns back to his roots in 2024

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To those familiar, Jimmie Johnson used to race off-road trucks before he entered the stock car racing arena. In fact, he was named the Rookie of the Year in Mickey Thompson’s series, the Short-course Off-road Drivers Association series, and SCORE International in the 1990s.

While he is planning to compete part-time in the Cup Series, this news is certainly refreshing for Johnson’s fans. The 48-year-old looked delighted with the prospect of Legacy Motor Club participating in the Extreme E Series.

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Speaking about it and as reported by Jayski.com, he said, “The opportunity for LEGACY M.C. to field an off-road vehicle in the Extreme E championship is exciting in many ways. We are essentially representing America in this unique and very competitive series and we are committed to the challenge.”

Interestingly, while Johnson will be participating in the Daytona 500, Travis Pastrana and Gray Leadbetter will take the wheel for the upcoming Desert X Prix. Speaking about it, Johnson said, “I’m excited to watch our LEGACY MOTOR CLUB colors race on foreign soil for the first time while I’m in Daytona for the Great American race. I know Travis and Gray will represent us well and I can’t wait to see what they accomplish.”

 

The former Hendrick Motorsports driver couldn’t help but add how going the electric way might be fruitful in the near future. Johnson said, “Our goal is to learn as much as we can and see what the future might bring. The fact this series competes globally and focuses on sustainably, inclusion, and equality really piques our interest.”

He continued, “From a technical standpoint, the changeover to hydrogen in 2025 is really intriguing and the entire motorsports community is watching closely. Personally for me as a driver, going back to my off-road roots and to the type of racing I started my career with is going to be a blast.”

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It is definitely going to be interesting how Johnson fairs out in this new challenge in his career. Not just him, it is an exciting time for young Leadbetter as well.

Gray Leadbetter looking forward to her Extreme E debut in 2024

In a short span of time, Gray Leadbetter has made a name for herself in the racing world. After becoming the first woman to win a Pro Class Championship in the Championship Off-Road closed-course series in 2022, Leadbetter must be thrilled at the opportunity of racing alongside the great Jimmie Johnson and Travis Pastrana.

As reported by Racer.com, the 19-year-old said, “I’m super excited and thankful for this opportunity. I’ve always been interested in Extreme E, but just never found the right opportunity to step foot in it. When Travis texted me last week that there might be a chance to race with Jimmie Johnson and Legacy Motor Club, I couldn’t have been more thrilled.”

 

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At 19 years old, Leadbetter is set to become the second-youngest driver to compete in Extreme E racing. Speaking about the chance, she added, “I’ve never driven these cars so it’s sure to be an adventure, but I will be in great company. This is a dream come true.”

With fellow Nitrocross Side-by-Side championship driver Pastrana beside her, Leadbetter has some known company. It only gets better with Jimmie Johnson spearheading the team. This move from Johnson and Legacy Motor Club has certainly made it exciting for American motorsports’ future.

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Written by:

Priyank Mithani

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Priyank Mithani is a NASCAR Writer at EssentiallySports. He specializes in writing analytical and opinionated stories for the division, providing his readers with a unique perspective. Not only does he keep his readers up to date with the lives of NASCAR Drivers like Chase Elliott and Dale Earnhardt Jr, but he has often been the first to report on several on-track incidents.
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