Jimmie Johnson retires from full-time racing

Seven-time NASCAR champion and IndyCar sophomore Jimmie Johnson has announced he is to step down from full-time racing in 2023.

Jimmie Johnson retires from full-time racing
Listen to this article

Johnson, who joined Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda’s IndyCar team in 2021, competed only on road and street courses during that first season, earning best results of 17th in the final two rounds.

However, for 2022, he went full-time in the Carvana-backed #48 car and predictably shone on the ovals, taking sixth pace at Texas Motor Speedway. He then qualified 12th for the Indianapolis 500, apparently undaunted by a couple of huge saves, and while he crashed out of the race with just a handful of laps to go, he won the Indy 500 Rookie of the Year title.

Sixteenth places at Mid-Ohio and Laguna Seca would remain his best road course performances, but on the ovals he continued to impress, a fifth place at Iowa Speedway being the highlight.

On social media this morning, the 47-year-old legend declared: “I couldn’t have asked for a better experience in the IndyCar Series. Looking ahead, I will not return to IndyCar full-time in 2023 but will continue to look for new ways to challenge myself and participate in bucketlist events.”

He described his season as “fun” with “peaks and valleys”, and went on: “I have improved but I realized the challenge is two or three times greater than what I first thought!

“This was about an experience, not about results, and about the friendships I’ve built, the relationships that I have formed. I don’t want to enter another full season if I know I can’t give it my all.

“I just feel like I need to let the dust settle from the year. Someone gave me advice a while back that you shouldn’t make life-changing decisions in the heat of the moment to figure out what I want to do.”

Johnson declared that Carvana “want to support me in whatever I want to do”, but confirmed that he will not compete full time in 2022.

“I’m not saying that I’m out of a racecar and not competing at all. I still very much have the desire to compete. But from a full-time standpoint and what’s required and the energy, effort, time away from home – all that makes all the commitments required to be your best for a full-time season – I’m just not there right now.

“I feel like 2022 checks so many boxes for me and I had such an incredible time that I’m going to take a deep breath and think hard about what ’23 might look like. I’m still working on my kinda bucketlist of races to compete in. The 24 Hours of Le Mans is still out there for me – I love sportscar racing, I love IndyCar racing, I’ve always been curious if there might be a one-off event in NASCAR that might fit for me.

“So all of that is still in play and I really do anticipate racing somewhere next year. Thankfully I do have options. I’ve had the best time at Chip Ganassi Racing and I know that Chip doesn’t want to see me go anywhere. I’m certainly looking at some options there. I’ve had amazing support from Carvana and I know as long as I’m behind the wheel of a car, I feel certain that they want to continue the relationship and be there for that journey and I certainly want to thank the fans for all their support.

“Again, this isn’t a goodbye. I’m gonna find some new projects and continue to find new ways to challenge myself.”

 

shares
comments
McLaren management plans fluid, Kyle Busch is Indy 500 target
Previous article

McLaren management plans fluid, Kyle Busch is Indy 500 target

Next article

2023 IndyCar schedule of 17 races revealed

2023 IndyCar schedule of 17 races revealed
Ranking the top 10 IndyCar drivers of 2021 Prime

Ranking the top 10 IndyCar drivers of 2021

In an enthralling 2021 IndyCar campaign, the series bounced back from its COVID-19 truncated year prior and series sophomore Alex Palou defeated both the established order and his fellow young guns to clinch a maiden title. It capped a remarkable season with plenty of standout performers

IndyCar
Nov 22, 2021
How Marcus Ericsson finally unlocked his potential in IndyCar Prime

How Marcus Ericsson finally unlocked his potential in IndyCar

Marcus Ericsson enjoyed a breakout year in the IndyCar Series in 2021, winning twice and finishing sixth in points with Chip Ganassi Racing. How did he finally unlock the potential that was masked by five years of toil in Formula 1 with Caterham and Sauber/Alfa Romeo?

IndyCar
Nov 16, 2021
Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing win Prime

Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing win

Saturday, Oct. 16th, marks the 10th anniversary Dan Wheldon’s death. David Malsher-Lopez pays tribute, then asks Wheldon’s race engineer from 2011, Todd Malloy, to recall that magical second victory at the Indianapolis 500.

IndyCar
Oct 16, 2021
Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up? Prime

Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up?

Jack Harvey’s move to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing sparked plenty of debate, but their combined strength could prove golden, says David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Oct 15, 2021
Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting Prime

Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting

Kyle Kirkwood, the record-setting junior formula driver, sealed the Indy Lights championship last weekend. But despite an absurdly strong résumé and scholarship money, his next move is far from clear. By David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Oct 6, 2021
2021 IndyCar title is just the start for Ganassi's newest star Prime

2021 IndyCar title is just the start for Ganassi's newest star

Alex Palou has captured Chip Ganassi Racing's 14th IndyCar drivers' championship, and in truly stellar manner. David Malsher-Lopez explains what made the Palou-Ganassi combo so potent so soon.

IndyCar
Sep 28, 2021
Why Grosjean's oval commitment shows he's serious about IndyCar Prime

Why Grosjean's oval commitment shows he's serious about IndyCar

One of motorsport’s worst-kept secrets now out in the open, and Romain Grosjean has been confirmed as an Andretti Autosport IndyCar driver in 2022. It marks a remarkable turnaround after the abrupt end to his Formula 1 career, and is a firm indication of his commitment to challenge for the IndyCar Series title  

IndyCar
Sep 24, 2021
IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still at fever pitch Prime

IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still at fever pitch

The 2021 IndyCar silly season is one of the silliest of all, but it’s satisfying to see so many talented drivers in play – including Callum Ilott. David Malsher-Lopez reports.

IndyCar
Sep 11, 2021