Jimmie Johnson will not compete full-time in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES next season, he announced Monday.
The seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion ran his only full-time season in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES this year, leading 21 laps with a pair of top-six finishes driving the No. 48 Carvana Chip Ganassi Racing Honda. His best result in 29 series starts over two series seasons was a fifth-place finish in the Hy-Vee Salute to Farmers 300 oval race at Iowa Speedway on July 24.
Johnson qualified 12th and led two laps in his Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge debut earlier this year. He also finished sixth in the XPEL 375 at Texas Motor Speedway on March 20.
“I’ve made the decision that I will not compete full-time in 2023,” Johnson said in a statement. “This was a difficult choice for me, but in my heart I know it’s the right one.
“I’m not exactly sure what the next chapter holds, but if an opportunity comes along that makes sense I will consider it. I still have a bucket list of racing events I would like to take part in. Competing at this level in INDYCAR has been a dream come true. I couldn’t have asked for a better team to race for than Chip Ganassi and Chip Ganassi Racing.
“Everyone worked extremely hard for the last two seasons, pushing to get the best performances out of me every single week. The support from my crew and teammates Dario (Franchitti), Scott (Dixon), Tony (Kanaan), Marcus (Ericsson) and Alex (Palou) went above and beyond anything I could have ever asked for.
“I’m thankful for the partnership with a company like Carvana for allowing me to take this journey in INDYCAR, for seeing the value in our partnership and being open to future opportunities together. They have truly showed me that there are no finish lines in life. Along with Carvana, The American Legion, Ally, cbdMD and Frank August were there every step of the way, and I couldn’t have done it without all of them.
“More importantly – and the true rock stars in all of this – (is) my family, Chani, Evie and Lydia. They have always allowed me to chase my dreams, and we are all just really excited about what the future holds for all of us. We have enjoyed every minute of these last two years, (and) 2022 checked so many boxes for me personally, and I am truly fulfilled.
Team owner Chip Ganassi said he is “fully supportive” of Johnson’s decision.
“He has been a valued member of our team and if we can find a way to continue working together we would like to do so,” he said.
Ryan Keeton, Carvana’s co-founder and chief brand officer, said Johnson has been “so amazing to collaborate with.”
“Our team admires his passion, hard work and commitment to continuous improvement while also having fun, and we look forward to continuing to support him next year in this new chapter,” he said.
Reinventing the Wheel, an eight-episode docuseries by Carvana Racing, has chronicled Johnson’s second season in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES. The season finale includes a final clip from Johnson explaining his decision to step back from a full-time schedule. The series can be viewed at Carvana.com/Racing.