Seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson has taken a major step toward realizing his IndyCar dreams.
Johnson on Wednesday announced a two-year partnership with Chip Ganassi Racing’s IndyCar program. The 44-year-old, who will retire from NASCAR after this season, will seek sponsors in an effort to race full road and street course IndyCar Series schedules in 2021 and 2022, according to CGR.
Take a look at his announcement video:
Johnson long has maintained his interest in Indycar, and a recent test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway apparently sealed the deal.
“Ganassi was highly motivated to give me a chance to drive a car to see what I thought and the experience was all that I hoped for and more,” Johnson recently told The Associated Press’ Jenna Fryer. “I left a good impression with them where there’s definitely interest on their side and now it’s time to formalize things and get the ball rolling.”
To be clear: Johnson must find sponsors before he officially makes the move to IndyCar. But he told Fryer his team has had “productive conversations” with interested parties.
“We have some options that are interested in taking those primary rights for all 12 races, but there could be a scenario where you break it off into three-to-four race blocs for sponsors in areas that are most important for them,” Johnson said. “But our goal is definitely to sell the primary spot to one and have that consistent look that I’ve had throughout my career. I personally would love to continue that.”
If everything falls into place, Johnson would team up with open-wheel star Scott Dixon, whose five IndyCar series titles are the second most all time.
“The pairing is such a cool opportunity,” Johnson said.
Thumbnail photo via Peter Casey/USA TODAY Sports Images