BUSCH: Jimmie Johnson signs with Hendrick

DOVER, Del. (Sept. 22, 2000) NASCAR Busch Series rookie Jimmie Johnson has signed with Hendrick Motorsports to drive fulltime in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series in 2002, Hendrick Motorsports CEO Rick Hendrick announced Friday. Johnson, who ...

DOVER, Del. (Sept. 22, 2000) NASCAR Busch Series rookie Jimmie Johnson has signed with Hendrick Motorsports to drive fulltime in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series in 2002, Hendrick Motorsports CEO Rick Hendrick announced Friday. Johnson, who currently drives the No. 92 ALLTEL Chevrolet on the NBS circuit, will compete in four NASCAR Winston Cup Series events in 2001 before assuming fulltime duties in 2002. He will run the full NBS schedule for Herzog Motorsports, his current owners, in 2001.

"We are thrilled to have Jimmie Johnson as part of our organization and we're indebted to Herzog Motorsports for making it happen," Hendrick said. "One of our main priorities here is to discover and develop the best young talent in racing. Jimmie has shown he has the potential to be part of that next wave of Winston Cup superstars."

Johnson's cars will be fielded from the same shop as the three-time champion No. 24 DuPont team and driver Jeff Gordon. Gordon will be directly involved with Johnson's team.

"This is just and unbelievable opportunity for me," Johnson said. "Having the resources that Hendrick Motorsports provides and the opportunity to work with Jeff Gordon is a huge career step for me."

Gordon is excited as well, calling Johnson, "An exceptional talent."

"I'm really looking forward to working with him and developing his new team," Gordon said. "I think a two-team operation under one organizational structure could be the way of the future as it pertains to managing race teams."

Johnson currently ranks 10th in the NASCAR Busch Series points race.

Johnson, 25 and a California native, won 1998 rookie of the year honors in the American Speed Association. In 1999, he won two ASA races and finished third in the series points race.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup , NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Jimmie Johnson
Teams Hendrick Motorsports