NASCAR Cup
NASCAR Cup
17 May
-
17 May
Event finished
20 May
-
20 May
Event finished
23 May
-
24 May
Event finished
27 May
-
28 May
Event finished
31 May
-
31 May
Event finished
07 Jun
-
07 Jun
Event finished
10 Jun
-
10 Jun
Event finished
14 Jun
-
14 Jun
Event finished
21 Jun
-
21 Jun
Event finished
27 Jun
-
27 Jun
Event finished
28 Jun
-
28 Jun
Event finished
R
Indianapolis
05 Jul
-
05 Jul
Race in
1 day
R
Kentucky
12 Jul
-
12 Jul
Next event in
7 days
R
02 Aug
-
02 Aug
Next event in
28 days
R
Michigan II
07 Aug
-
09 Aug
Next event in
33 days
R
Watkins Glen
14 Aug
-
16 Aug
Next event in
40 days
R
Dover II
21 Aug
-
23 Aug
Next event in
47 days
R
Daytona II
27 Aug
-
29 Aug
Next event in
53 days
R
Darlington III
06 Sep
-
06 Sep
Next event in
63 days
R
Richmond II
10 Sep
-
12 Sep
Next event in
67 days
R
Bristol II
17 Sep
-
19 Sep
Next event in
74 days
R
Las Vegas II
25 Sep
-
27 Sep
Next event in
82 days
R
Talladega II
02 Oct
-
04 Oct
Next event in
89 days
R
Charlotte III
09 Oct
-
11 Oct
Next event in
96 days
R
Kansas II
16 Oct
-
18 Oct
Next event in
103 days
R
Texas II
23 Oct
-
25 Oct
Next event in
110 days
R
Martinsville II
30 Oct
-
01 Nov
Next event in
117 days
R
Phoenix II
06 Nov
-
08 Nov
Next event in
124 days

Jimmie Johnson isn't done, "can’t wait to win and win often"

shares
comments
Jimmie Johnson isn't done, "can’t wait to win and win often"
By:
Jan 23, 2019, 3:31 PM

In a career that is already Hall of Fame worthy, Jimmie Johnson is set for another first.

Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Lowe's Rookie Throwback
Jimmie Johnson livery
Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Lowe's Rookie Throwback
Kevin Meendering, Hendrick Motorsports
Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Lowe's Power of Pride and Chad Knaus
Jimmie Johnson livery
Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Lowe's Rookie Throwback

After 17 seasons and seven Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championships working with crew chief Chad Knaus, Johnson will begin the 2019 season with a new voice in his helmet.

Knaus has moved to Hendrick Motorsports’ No. 24 team, where he will serve as crew chief for driver William Byron. Johnson begins work with Kevin Meendering, just the second crew chief he’ll had during his fulltime career.

A different situation 

Johnson, 43, may not necessarily be starting over, but the circumstances are definitely new.

“I’ve never been in this position, I know that much,” Johnson said during a media event on the Hendrick Motorsports campus on Tuesday. “There is a lot of ‘new’ to it, there’s no way around that.

“But, I do have the history of knowing everybody here at the shop and the history of the No. 48 and all that, so it doesn’t feel totally new, but largely new, for sure.”

Johnson called the upcoming season a “new challenge,” but one that he welcomes.

“One thing that I did know was that the way things were going and where Chad and I ended up, that needed to change,” he said. “It wasn’t bringing the best out of either one of us and we weren’t delivering like we needed to.

“So, I knew that much, for sure, last year. And then I’m just excited to get this fresh start and see where it takes us.”

Building a relationship

Johnson has some familiarity with Meendering, who at one time was the lead engineer on Hendrick’s No. 88 team. They have also been working together preparing for this season ever since the announcement last fall of the crew chief change.

“We’ve had some great team kind of hangouts, as well. Nothing overly complicated, but there will be some new faces on the No. 48 you’ll see at the track. So, just some good hang-time, honestly,” Johnson said.

“We’ve stayed in communication multiple times during the week and the progress of cars and builds and ideas and the hiring of some new people; so we’re off to a great start. I haven’t had to start from ground zero in building my relationship with Kevin. That’s been a nice thing.”

The duo will get an early start to the season as Johnson and the No. 48 team will be Hendrick’s representative in next week’s organizational test at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“We’re looking forward to Vegas. I wanted to go into the GM simulator prior to Vegas. We literally don’t have the aero channel and the technical side locked down to even use it right now with this package,” he said.

“We can rough it in, but it’s not exactly what it would be so I’m not going to go. Once we do and we get the aero mapping loaded and all that stuff right, then that’s where it will be really useful. So, we’re really excited to have the January test and honestly, it’s the first domino for us to really start validating our tools and get them working.”

Not done yet

Seven championships or not, Johnson is not ready to slow down.

He admits the 2018 season wore on him – it was his first without a victory during his entire fulltime Cup career. And of course, with his age and the influx of younger drivers at Hendrick – and the sport in the general – there were whispers that perhaps his time had past.

Don’t tell Johnson that.

“I get to say when I’m done. I can’t wait to win and win often,” he said. “And I think that would be something really nice to say back to all those people that suggested that I was washed-up and done.”

Next article
Jamie McMurray to run The Clash at Daytona

Previous article

Jamie McMurray to run The Clash at Daytona

Next article

JTG Daugherty Racing unveils innovative new sponsor model

JTG Daugherty Racing unveils innovative new sponsor model
Load comments

About this article

Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jimmie Johnson
Teams Hendrick Motorsports
Author Jim Utter