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NASCAR Legend Jimmie Johnson Announces Retirement from Full-Time Racing

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 26, 2022

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - SEPTEMBER 24: Jimmy Johnson, Nascar driver, looks on from the 12th tee during Saturday morning foursomes on day three of the 2022 Presidents Cup at Quail Hollow Country Club on September 24, 2022 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Jimmie Johnson doesn't plan on giving up racing altogether, but his full-time career is over.

The seven-time NASCAR champion told Jenna Fryer of the Associated Press that he's stepping away from a full-time schedule and will only race in "bucket list" events.

“It’s been an interesting process to feel so fulfilled with the experience and then also try to make a decision,” Johnson said. “In the big scheme of things, there is so much life-planning going on with the kids. We’ve always had an idea of trying to live abroad for a year or two. We love Colorado and want to spend more time there, and there’s just so much swirling personally and professionally that I just wanted to take some time and make the decision not on the back of a positive or negative experience on the racetrack.”

The 47-year-old retired from NASCAR after the 2020 season for open-wheel racing. He spent the last two years racing for Chip Ganassi Racing in IndyCar, where he had little success. The No. 48 driver had only one top-five finish over the last two years and only two top-10s.

“I do have a desire to go back; it’s just at this point, I know what’s required to do a full schedule, and I don’t have that in me,” Johnson said. “I don’t have that passion that I need for myself to commit myself to a full season.”

Racing in his first Indianapolis 500 this year, Johnson placed 28th. One event—or, rather, one accomplishment—that continues to pique Johnson's interest is The Double, which sees a driver race in both NASCAR's Coca-Cola 600 and the Indy 500 on the same day.

Johnson has not competed in NASCAR since his 2020 retirement, but he maintains he'd be open for a potential return in the right situation.

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