Jimmie Johnson may be retiring from full-time NASCAR competition after the 2020 season, but he isn’t done racing. The 7-time Cup Series champion is planning to transition to IndyCar on a two-year program with Chip Ganassi Racing at the end of this NASCAR campaign, he announced on Wednesday.
If sponsorship is secured, the program will allow Johnson to run the road and street course races on IndyCar’s schedule. The 45-year-old, Johnson, who tested an Indy car at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in July, would become teammates with five-time IndyCar champion Scott Dixon.
Johnson has only had two primary sponsors in his career: Lowes from 2001 to 2018 and Ally over the past two seasons. He will need to add another sponsor in order to run the 15 events he intends to race in for 2021.
Chip Ganassi Racing fields two cars in the NASCAR Cup Series, which is below the maximum of four cars a team can run each weekend. CGR is also partnered with Johnson’s long-time manufacturer Chevrolet, which opens the door for him to run one-off Cup Series races.
Johnson is currently completing his final full-time season in NASCAR from outside the playoff field. While he can no longer compete for a championship, Johnson can still move into a three-way-tie with Bobby Allison and Darrell Waltrip for fourth on the all-time wins list if he secures his 84th win before season’s end.