By David Morgan, Associate Editor
Seven championships, 83 wins, and a shoe-in for a place in the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Jimmie Johnson has established himself as one of the greatest to ever drive in the NASCAR Cup Series and next season will be his last behind the wheel.
On Wednesday, the 44-year old from El Cajon, California took to social media to announce he’ll be making one last push to win his elusive eighth championship before riding off into the sunset at the end of the 2020 season.
— Jimmie Johnson (@JimmieJohnson) November 20, 2019
Since entering the Cup Series full-time in 2002, Johnson and the No. 48 team have been a formidable force through different rules packages, championship formats, and everything else.
Among his astounding number of victories, which currently has him tied with Cale Yarborough for seventh on the all-time wins list, Johnson has two Daytona 500 wins, four Brickyard 400 victories, four Coca-Cola 600 wins and two Southern 500 wins.
Though the results have trailed off in recent years and Johnson hasn’t won since June 2017, there is no denying that his presence will be missed once he climbs out of the cockpit for the final time.
“NASCAR history will always hold Jimmie Johnson in the highest regard, for his hard-charging success on the racetrack and the way he conducted himself as a champion off the track,” said NASCAR Chairman and CEO, Jim France.
“This remarkable seven-time champion – through his competitive spirit, immense talent and sportsmanship – has made NASCAR a better sport. On behalf of my family and the entire NASCAR community, I thank Jimmie for his dedication to NASCAR and, along with his legions of fans, wish him all the best in his final season. I look forward to watching him race for wins and an eighth NASCAR Cup Championship in 2020.”
Johnson and team owner Rick Hendrick will hold a press conference on Thursday afternoon to explain his decision on a more in-depth level.