Jimmie Johnson retiring from full-time racing, turning focus to family

Jimmie Johnson retiring from full-time racing, turning focus to family originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Jimmie Johnson announced that he is retiring as a full-time racer to spend more time with his family.

“I’ve got a blank sheet of paper, and we can now see what opportunities exist and start making a calendar,” Johnson told The Associated Press.

The 47-year-old won seven NASCAR championships and retired from that series in 2020. He switched over to IndyCar in 2021, starting with only street and road races before adding oval races to his schedule in 2022. His final IndyCar race is set for this weekend at the Petit Le Mans.

Johnson won’t be riding off into the sunset completely just yet. He has a couple of marquee events circled as opportunities to get back behind the wheel.

He will await the 2023 IndyCar schedule to see if he can compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans as part of the NASCAR and Hendrick Motorsports special “Garage 56” entry.

Another idea Johnson has spoken about since his NASCAR retirement is the prospect of racing “the double,” which would consist of the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 on the same day. 

Tony Stewart is the only driver to ever complete the 1,100-mile onslaught, but Johnson thinks he could become the second.

“You know me and endurance sports, and the double sounds awesome,” Johnson told AP. “I’ve always had this respect for the guys who have done the double. I would say it is more of a respect thing than a bucket-list item, and I’d love to put some energy into that idea and see if I can pull it off.”

Two final marquee events Johnson has in mind are the 2023 NASCAR race through the streets of Chicago and the All-Star Race at North Wilkesboro.

As far as off-the-track endeavors, Johnson mentioned how he wants to embrace his wife, Chani, and their children’s pursuits.

“Chani has always supported me to the nth degree and also at the same time had her objectives, desires and pursued her pathway and her career. I think she’s optimistically cautious I follow through with this plan,” Johnson told AP. “But these decisions are based around family needs and demands, and I think it gets tricky and a bit more complicated on my schedule if we can [get] some traction on travel and living abroad.”