The seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson has officially announced that his full-time career in racing is over. However, he will not be giving up professional racing altogether.
The 47-year-old told Jenna Fryer of the Associated Press that even though he will be stepping away from a full-time schedule on the track, he will still be participating in “bucket list” events.
“It’s been an interesting process to feel so fulfilled with the experience and then also try to make a decision,” Johnson told Associated Press. “In the big scheme of things, there is so much life-planning going on with the kids. We’ve always had an idea of trying to live abroad for a year or two. We love Colorado and want to spend more time there, and there’s just so much swirling personally and professionally that I just wanted to take some time and make the decision not on the back of a positive or negative experience on the racetrack.”
— Arrow McLaren SP (@ArrowMcLarenSP) September 26, 2022
Johnson retired from NASCAR back in 2020 after the season of open-wheel racing. Since then, he has spent the last two years racing for Chip Ganassi Racing in IndyCar, where he hasn’t had a whole lot of success.
This year (2022) Johnson had his first race at the Indianapolis 500 where he placed 28th. Driving the Number 48 car, Johnson has only finished in the top five once over the last two years and only twice in the top ten.
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 bucket list events. Hear more: https://t.co/H3e7X6PTLG pic.twitter.com/0kujpWdCaw
— Jimmie Johnson (@JimmieJohnson) September 26, 2022
“I do have a desire to go back; it’s just at this point, I know what’s required to do a full schedule, and I don’t have that in me,” Johnson told Associated Press. “I don’t have that passion that I need for myself to commit myself to a full season.”
The NASCAR champion says one racing event that continues to pique his interest is The Double, where he will be put in the position to drive in two races on the same day, NASCAR’s Coca-Cola 600 and the Indy 500.
Although Johnson hasn’t competed in NASCAR since he retired from the sport in 2020, he openly says that he is willing to return if the situation is right.