Jimmie Johnson Firestone Grand Prix Of Monterey By Travis Hinkle Largeimagewithoutwatermark M70928
Jimmie Johnson. (Travis Hinkle photo)

No Full-Time Racing, Johnson Eyes ‘Bucket List’

MOORESVILLE, N.C. — Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson will not return to the NTT IndyCar Series on a full-time basis next season. 

However, Johnson said he is not retiring from racing and is examining the possibility of competing in several “bucket-list” events next season.

“I’ve spent the last week plus with my family and my thoughts trying to understand what my 2023 calendar may look like. Through that process, I am very satisfied with the accomplishments I had in 2022 in running the full-time schedule,” said Johnson in the latest episode of “Reinventing the Wheel” released on Monday. “This experience has always been one for my reasons. I decided to do this — and many people questioned it — but I wanted to chase my original journey and run in the IndyCar Series. I truly felt like as this year started, I would want more years. 

“But through this period of wanting to reflect and feeling as full as I do from my full-time season of racing and the accomplishments I had, I’m here to say I will not compete full time in 2023.”

Johnson does expect to race in some form in 2023.

“I will not say that I will be out of the race car and not competing at all,” he continued. “I still have the desire to compete, but from a full-time standpoint and what is required, the energy, effort, being away from home — all the commitments required to do a full season, I am just not there right now. 2022 checks many boxes for me. 

“I am going to take a deep breath and think hard about 2023 may look like. I am still working on my bucket-list of races to compete in.”

Johnson has hinted that a potential calendar could include sports car racing, Indy car racing and a return to NASCAR.

“The 24 Hours of Le Mans is still out there for me. I love sports car racing. I love Indy car racing. I’m curious if there may be a one-off event in NASCAR that might work for me. All of that is still in play. I really anticipate racing somewhere next year. Thankfully, I still have options. 

“I’ve had the best time at Chip Ganassi Racing and I know Chip doesn’t want to see me go anywhere and I am looking at some options there. I have amazing support from Carvana and I feel certain they want to continue that relationship.

“This isn’t a goodbye. I am going to find some new projects and continue to find new ways to challenge myself.”

Johnson has been linked as a possible driver for the NASCAR and Hendrick Motorsports led Garage 56 entry for the 24 Hours of Le Mans.