Jimmie Johnson To Retire After 2020

Jimmie Johnson sat down next to Jeff Gordon in a 2001 driver meeting and asked the champion if he had time to offer any career advice. Watch Indy 500 online.

Gordon was so impressed with the fellow California native he invited Rick Hendrick to begin a team built specifically for the 25-year-old Johnson.

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SONOMA, CA — JUNE 22: Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 DuPont Chevrolet, and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet, talks during a press conference after their cars failed inspection, Watch Indy 500 online, during practice for the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway on June 22, 2007, at Sonoma, California. 

It turned into one of the best hires in NASCAR history and nudged Gordon aside as the most dominant driver on the track. Watch Indy 500 online, Now Johnson will accompany Gordon and several other NASCAR superstars into retirement because the seven-time champion announced Wednesday he’ll retire from fulltime competition after next season.

The 44-year-old Johnson joins an exodus of popular drivers who began when Gordon retired following the 2015 season. Watch Indy 500 online, Tony Stewart, Dale Earnhardt Jr, Carl Edwards, Matt Kenseth, Danica Patrick, and Jamie McMurray are among those who followed Gordon out the doorway.

Johnson, the winningest driver of his age, said in a video posted to his social websites and titled”(hash)Chasing8 one final time” that next season will be his final effort to win a record eighth Cup name. 

AVONDALE, ARIZONA — NOVEMBER 09: Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Ally Chevrolet, prepares during qualifying for its Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Bluegreen Vacations 500 in ISM Raceway on November 09, 2019 in Avondale, Arizona.

“I am so thankful for 18 amazing years of racing in NASCAR,” Johnson said in the darkened video comprised of highlights from his career.  “This sport has been good to me and allowed me to do something I truly love.  I showed up chasing a dream and achieved more than I thought possible. Indy 500 tv channel, I am looking forward to next season and celebrating what will be my last year as a fulltime Cup driver.  I know what this group is capable of, and I hope 2020 is one of the best yet.”

Johnson scheduled a Thursday news conference at Hendrick Motorsports to go over his choice.  He joins Gordon and Earnhardt Jr. as Hendrick drivers who have called it a career since 2015.

“NASCAR history will always hold Jimmie Johnson in the maximum regard, for his hard-charging success on the racetrack and the way he ran as a winner off the trail,” said NASCAR Chairman Jim France. Watch Indy 500 online.  “This remarkable seven-time winner — through his competitive spirit, immense talent, and sportsmanship — has made NASCAR a much better game.”

FORT WORTH, TEXAS — NOVEMBER 03: Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Ally Chevrolet, leads a pack of cars during the Dragon Energy NASCAR Cup Series AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on November 03, 2019 in Fort Worth, Texas. 

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Reaction was immediate from drivers, as well as retired cyclist Lance Armstrong and seven-time Supercross champion Jeremy McGrath.”Proud of you, bro,” Armstrong wrote. 

Gordon called Johnson”class action and accurate winner off & on course,” while current Hendrick teammate Chase Elliott was among the many young drivers to refer to Johnson because the greatest of all time using an emoji of a goat.

Johnson has 83 career victories, tied with Cale Yarborough for sixth all-time. Stream Indy 500, He paths Darrell Waltrip and Bobby Allison on the all-time win record by one, and just two wins in 2020 would provide him sole possession of fourth on the list behind Gordon’s mark of 93 trips to victory lane.

HOMESTEAD, FL — NOVEMBER 20: Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet, celebrates with all the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship trophy in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 along with the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 20, 2016, in Homestead, Florida.  Johnson wins a record-tying 7th NASCAR title. 

Johnson’s seven names have been connected to Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt for many in the Cup Series, the last one arriving in 2016. Watch Indy 500 online, His most remarkable championship battle was probably titled No. 2 during a 10-win 2007 season within an epic showdown with Gordon, his teammate.  Gordon won back playoff races that season to take the points lead, but Johnson reeled off four straight victories, and Gordon saw him in victory lane after the fourth win and bowed in concession.

The heady days are long gone and Johnson was at a two-year slump.  He last won a race in 2017 and had 2 distinct crew chief changes this season while missing the playoffs for the first time since the format started in 2004. Watch Indy 500 online, He finished 18th in the final standings, 13th in Sunday’s season finale, and contains just five top-five finishes a previous couple of years.

Johnson has driven Rick Hendrick his entire Cup career and set a NASCAR record in winning five successive titles from 2006 through 2010, an accomplishment that earned him Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year following his fifth crown. Indy 500 Live Streaming.

HOMESTEAD, FLORIDA — NOVEMBER 16: Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Ally Chevrolet, drives during training for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2019, at Homestead, Florida.

All 83 of Johnson’s wins have come in the No. 48 and comprise two Daytona 500s, four victories at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, a record 11 wins at Dover International Speedway, Indy 500 Live Streaming, nine at Martinsville Speedway and eight at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

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Johnson had two years remaining on his contract once fresh sponsor Ally signed on earlier this season to substitute Lowe’s, which had sponsored Johnson out of his 2001 debut through 2018. Watch Indy 500 online,  Ally last month declared a three-year extension to sponsor the No. 48, however, Johnson’s future wasn’t tied to this renewal through 2023.

FORT WORTH, TEXAS — NOVEMBER 03: Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Ally Chevrolet, Indy 500 Live Streaming, signs autographs for fans Before the Dragon Energy NASCAR Cup Series AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on November 03, 2019, in Fort Worth, Texas. 

“Jimmie Johnson is a legend in racing, the epitome of course and the ultimate representative of our brand,” said Andrea Brimmer, chief marketing officer in Ally.  “We are proud that Jimmie will complete his impressive NASCAR driving career with Ally as his main sponsor.”Watch Indy 500 online. This material might not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. 

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