In news that should surprise no one, 7-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson announced Wednesday that he has entered into a partnership with Chip Ganassi Racing to explore the possibility of racing a full road and street course calendar in the NTT IndyCar Series for the 2021 and 2022 racing seasons.
The partnership announced Wednesday still needs sponsorship.
“The goal right now is for us to run Jimmie in an Indy car for at least the next couple of seasons, and we want to show people we’re serious about the program,” Ganassi said. “We felt it was important to get the partnership done and start putting the financial building blocks in place to make this a reality. Jimmie’s record speaks for itself and we feel a championship-level driver of his caliber can only make our team better.”
Johnson co-holds the NASCAR Cup Series record with Dale Earnhardt and Richard Petty for most premier series championships and is the only driver to win five consecutive titles (2006-2010). Johnson’s 83 career wins is tied with Cale Yarborough for sixth all-time and is tops among active drivers. He is currently racing in his last nine races as a fulltime NASCAR driver. When he announced his retirement late last year, one of his stated goals was to get behind the wheel of an IndyCar.
In late July that goal was met as Johnson tested with CGR on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.
“When I tested Chip’s Indy car earlier in the year, it only lit the fire more,” Johnson said. “I found that I wanted to do it more than ever before. Scott [Dixon] was just incredible to work with and in a short time I found out very quickly why Chip and his teams have won 12 IndyCar Championships. As part of a natural progression, I wanted to publicly show the alignment with Chip Ganassi Racing to kick the sponsorship program into high gear. The goal is to run the full road and street program and today is a very important first step in accomplishing that goal.”
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