NASCAR legend Johnson to partner Pastrana in Race of Champions

Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson will feature in next year’s Race of Champions event in Sweden, becoming team-mates with action sports legend Travis Pastrana for Team USA.

NASCAR legend Johnson to partner Pastrana in Race of Champions

Johnson, who this year switched to the IndyCar Series with the title-winning Chip Ganassi Racing outfit, will join the Race of Champions field on 5-6 February at the Swedish resort of Pite Havsbad with an off-course route in the ice and snow.

Johnson and Pastrana will represent Team USA in the Nations’ Cup, with both drivers also due to take part in the individual Champion of Champions event.

They will be up against Formula 1 stars Mika Hakkinen and Valtteri Bottas, Le Mans legend Tom Kristensen, rallying superstar Sebastien Loeb, World Rallycross champion Johan Kristoffersson, touring car ace Mattias Ekstrom and World Rally Championship father-and-son pair Petter and Oliver Solberg.

Both Johnson and Pastrana have prior experience of the event, with the former taking victory in the ROC Nations' Cup alongside Jeff Gordon in 2002.

Further success for the US since the American pair's victory in Gran Canaria, Spain, has however remained elusive.

“Gran Canaria was dirt, and I don't think the other guys knew how much dirt racing Jeff and I had in our backgrounds,” said Johnson.

“I don't think many expected me to run well or even knew who I was for that matter.

“To win the ROC Nations’ Cup, was something really unique. The only event where I represented my country. I've been able to accomplish a lot in my career, but that's the only experience I've had like that.

Johnson (middle) previously won the ROC Nations' Cup with Gordon (right) in 2002

Johnson (middle) previously won the ROC Nations' Cup with Gordon (right) in 2002

Photo by: ROC

“I’m really looking forward to returning to ROC and competing with Travis. He’s a tremendous talent and we have such fun competing together.

“Hopefully we can go have some fun and success on the snow and ice.”

Pastrana, the 2021 American Rally Association Champion, added: “This is exactly what I had been hoping for. Jimmie and I had some bad luck at the 2006 and 2007 Nations’ Cup, but I think this type of track will be perfect for us.”

ROC president Fredrik Johnsson said: “The short days, the brutal cold and the changing conditions will make Sweden really well suited for all-round talents like Jimmie. He does not have much experience with four-wheel drive, but he is very skilled off-road and at high speeds, so I'm sure he'll adjust very quickly just like he did in 2002.

"Drivers come to ROC because it offers a special experience and innovative challenges that they would not find in their normal racing seasons. ROC has had a good run in big stadiums all over the world, but it will be really good to get back to natural terrain.”

Equipment featured at the 2022 event in Sweden will be powered by electric and 100% fossil-free biofuel engines. Cars announced to date include the 1000 Horsepower FC1-X Supercar that accelerates from 0-100 km/h in less than 1.5-seconds, the FIA RX2e – an electric rallycross car generating 250kW (335bhp) of power and up to 510 Nm torque – and the new Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport.

shares
comments

Related video

How to follow the third round of the Le Mans Virtual Series by Motorsport Games, kicking off this weekend on November 13
Previous article

How to follow the third round of the Le Mans Virtual Series by Motorsport Games, kicking off this weekend on November 13

Next article

Why Saudi Arabia is investing so heavily in motorsport

Why Saudi Arabia is investing so heavily in motorsport
Porsche’s hopeful Le Mans future meets its illustrious past Plus

Porsche’s hopeful Le Mans future meets its illustrious past

Rising sportscar star Adam Smalley had to pinch himself when offered the chance to drive the car that won the world’s most famous enduro in 1987

Historics
Sep 6, 2022
Why romanticism isn't the key factor in Lola’s racing return Plus

Why romanticism isn't the key factor in Lola’s racing return

The iconic Lola name is being relaunched after it was taken over by new ownership. Part of that reboot is a planned return to racing, though the exact details of this are still to be finalised - though its new owner does have a desire to bring the brand back to the Le Mans 24 Hours. But romanticism doesn't appear to be the driving force behind this renewed project...

General
Jul 14, 2022
Rating the best drivers of the century so far Plus

Rating the best drivers of the century so far

Autosport's Top 50 feature has been a staple of the magazine for the past two decades since its first appearance in 2002. Here are the drivers that have featured most prevalently during that time

General
Jan 7, 2022
The best motorsport moments of 2021 Plus

The best motorsport moments of 2021

Motorsport produced one of its greatest years of all-time in 2021 despite a backdrop of ongoing COVID-19 challenges and an ever-changing racing landscape. Through the non-stop action Autosport has collected the finest moments from the past 12 months to highlight the incredible drama and joy motorsport generates

General
Dec 31, 2021
The racing comeback artists who resurrected long-dormant careers Plus

The racing comeback artists who resurrected long-dormant careers

Making it in motorsport can be tough, and sometimes drivers move elsewhere before their best chance arrives. Here are some of those who made it back

General
Dec 26, 2021
The hidden racing gem attracting ex-F1 heroes Plus

The hidden racing gem attracting ex-F1 heroes

It’s rarely mentioned when it comes to assessing the best national contests, but the Brazilian Stock Car series that reaches its climax this weekend has an ever-growing appeal. Its expanding roster of ex-Formula 1 names has helped to draw in new fans, but it's the closeness of competition that keeps them watching

General
Dec 10, 2021
The one-time Schumacher rival rebooting his career Down Under Plus

The one-time Schumacher rival rebooting his career Down Under

Joey Mawson made waves in the middle of the last decade, beating future Haas Formula 1 driver Mick Schumacher - among other highly-rated talents - to the 2016 German F4 title. A run in F1's feeder GP3 category only caused his career to stall, but now back in Australia Mawson's S5000 title success has set that to rights

General
May 8, 2021
The lesson football’s would-be wreckers could learn from racing Plus

The lesson football’s would-be wreckers could learn from racing

OPINION: The greed-driven push for a European Super League that threatened to tear football apart is collapsing at the seams. Motor racing's equivalent, the football-themed Superleague Formula series of 2008-11, was everything that the proposed ESL never could be

General
Apr 21, 2021