Mr. Seven Time’s Reign Begins To End

Jimmie Johnson & Joey Logano

Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson will be competing in his final full-time NASCAR season in 2020, but the two-time Daytona 500 winner would not go so far as to declare Sunday’s Daytona 500 his absolute last.

The popular champion said he’s not ready to give up racing altogether, and unlike some of his retired contemporaries, has no immediate plans to move into the television booth.

“It could be down the road,” Johnson said. “I feel like I still have things I want to do and accomplish behind the wheel. And when that fades, I would say maybe there’s a chance (to do TV). I haven’t pursued that or put much time or effort into it. I still have stuff I want to accomplish behind the wheel.”

Johnson has mentioned numerous times that he will be open to all racing once he steps aside from this fulltime NASCAR duties—from off-road racing to IMSA sportscars to occasional NASCAR Cup Starts at certain venues. He did rule out the Indianapolis 500 but was open to an IndyCar road course event, perhaps.

“It could be my last 500 (on Sunday), I don’t know,” Johnson said. “I am officially retiring from 38 weekends a year at the end of the season. I do know that, but the right situation, I would certainly consider it. I know that I can’t shut off my competitive nature at the end of the year and call it good.”

Johnson finished runner-up in his Duel 150 qualifying race on Thursday and will start Sunday’s Daytona 500 sixth in his No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro.

Daytona International Speedway has made special plans to honor Johnson prior to Sunday’s green flag. There has been a kiosk in the infield throughout the weekend showing highlights of Johnson’s two Daytona 500 wins in 2006 and 2013.

There will be a video tribute to Johnson prior to the race highlighting his championship career accomplishments and showing various tributes from other drivers. A long introduction will take place during the “driver intros” portion of pre-race and Johnson will lead the field on one of the warm-up laps prior to the race start.


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