Jimmie Johnson's call to quit NASCAR 'not a retirement from racing'

Jimmie Johnson will not retire from racing when he leaves the NASCAR Cup Series at the end of the 2020 season, although he has ruled out an IndyCar switch

Jimmie Johnson's call to quit NASCAR 'not a retirement from racing'

The seven-time Cup Series champion, who has 83 wins to his name, announced on Wednesday he will leave the #48 Hendrick Motorsports squad at the end of next season.

Johnson started his Cup Series career in 2001 with the same team, and has only competed in select sportscar outings, including the Daytona 24 Hours, away from his Cup commitments.

He has driven other machinery, most recently in a car swap with Fernando Alonso last year in which he drove a 2013 McLaren MP4-28.

Despite confirming his NASCAR retirement would not be the end of his racing career, 44-year-old Johnson said he has not thought about other categories since the announcement.

"This is not a retirement from driving race cars," Johnson said.

"This is slowing down from 38 weekends a year and you certainly know the stress and pressure, that grind that it takes."

He added: "I would come back and drive Cup cars for Rick [Hendrick], without a doubt, all options are open, honestly, except IndyCar and fast ovals."

Johnson said he has not been in touch with any teams in any other categories and, when asked if he favoured any category above another, replied: "No, nothing now. I haven't even thought about it."

With one year left of Cup competition, Johnson said his focus was on ending his winless streak, which stretches over two years, and reaching the final four of next year's championship.

"If you're in that championship four, at Phoenix now, you've got a shot," he said. "And that is absolutely the goal for next year.

"I have the fire. Our team is getting stronger.

"I think Hendrick Motorsports as a whole; we've had a great evolution through the course of 2019.

"We have some new things coming our way for 2020. And just pulling back and looking at the opportunity this company has in 2020, and then myself, with it being my final full-time year, that's a special opportunity."

Johnson insisted his winless streak had not played a part in his decision to retire, adding: "Truthfully, it had very little implication on me making this decision."

shares
comments
Jimmie Johnson will retire from the NASCAR Cup Series at end of 2020
Previous article

Jimmie Johnson will retire from the NASCAR Cup Series at end of 2020

Next article

Phoenix test offers closer look at NASCAR Cup's Gen-7 car for 2021

Phoenix test offers closer look at NASCAR Cup's Gen-7 car for 2021
The ex-F1 driver taking on NASCAR with a new team Plus

The ex-F1 driver taking on NASCAR with a new team

Saddled with uncompetitive Minardi machinery, Tarso Marques didn't manage to score points in his three partial seasons of Formula 1. But now the Brazilian has the chance to show what he can do in NASCAR, and explains the story of his comeback with new Cup Series entrant Team Stange

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2022
The early benefits and challenges of NASCAR's Next Gen car Plus

The early benefits and challenges of NASCAR's Next Gen car

NASCAR’s new stock car generation is encouraging an influx of fresh blood into its top tier. But there are concerns that parts are in short supply as the entire paddock tries to build up stocks at the same time

NASCAR
Feb 22, 2022
How Penske's rookie sensation opened NASCAR's new era in style Plus

How Penske's rookie sensation opened NASCAR's new era in style

After holding his nerve and hip-checking his team-mate on the run to the line, Austin Cindric made a perfect start to life as a full-timer in the NASCAR Cup Series by winning the Daytona 500. Here's how the Penske Ford man emerged first across the line in the first points-scoring race for the much-anticipated Next Generation cars

NASCAR
Feb 21, 2022
Six key themes to follow in the 2022 NASCAR Cup season Plus

Six key themes to follow in the 2022 NASCAR Cup season

There are plenty of uncertainties ahead of the 2022 NASCAR Cup season as an all-new fleet of cars take to the track for the first time. Ahead of this weekend's Daytona 500, our experts explain what you need to know

NASCAR
Feb 17, 2022
How NASCAR had to learn a harsh lesson ahead of its Next Gen arrival Plus

How NASCAR had to learn a harsh lesson ahead of its Next Gen arrival

The NASCAR Cup kicks off with the Daytona 500 this weekend, but a major overhaul and a subsequent mountain of work has been required to be ready for the arrival of the Next Gen cars

NASCAR Cup
Feb 16, 2022
How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory Plus

How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory

From villain to hero, Kyle Larson’s journey to the 2021 NASCAR Cup title comes straight from the Hollywood blockbuster scripts. While Larson had to reach his lifelong goal the hard way and go through a very public shaming after a ban for using a racial slur, his talents shone long before his name grabbed the headlines for both the right and the wrong reasons

NASCAR
Nov 10, 2021
How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022 Plus

How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022

It’s not just Formula 1 that’s set for upheaval in 2022, as the NASCAR Cup Series adopts its Next Gen cars that will cast any in-built advantages aside and require teams to adopt a totally new way of operating. Far more than just a change of machinery, the new cars amount to a shift in NASCAR's core philosophy

NASCAR
Oct 12, 2021
Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR Plus

Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR

Bubba Wallace claimed his maiden NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega on Monday to become the first Black victor in the category since Wendell Scott in 1963. Both Wallace and Scott had faced obstacles and racism in their paths to their breakthrough wins, and NASCAR is trying to put it right with its range of diversity programmes

NASCAR
Oct 5, 2021