Jimmie Johnson Announces Limited NASCAR Return Starting With Daytona 500

by Samantha Whidden
(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

A little over two years after retiring from NASCAR, Jimmie Johnson announces a limited return starting with Daytona 500. In a social media post, Jimmie Johnson revealed the big news. “I am excited to announce I’ve entered into an ownership agreement with Petty GMS,” he explained. “I will be running a limited schedule in 2023, starting with the Daytona 500. I’m incredibly excited to be returning to my NASCAR family and look forward to building upon the combined legacy of our team.” 

According to ESPN, Jimmie Johnson announced that he was retiring from full-time racing. The seven-time NASCAR champion issued a statement about wanting to spend more time with his family. 

“It’s been an interesting process to feel so fulfilled with the experience and then also try to make a decision,” Jimmie Johnson explained. “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.”

Jimmie Johnson Said He Would Be Open to Going Back to NASCAR 

In an August 2022 interview with the Tennesseean, Jimmie Johnson spoke about the possibility of him coming back to NASCAR in the future. “I am open to [going back to NASCAR],” Johnson told the media outlet. “I don’t see myself on a full-time schedule but if the right opportunity came along, you know, I love driving and I still want to drive.”

However, Jimmie Johnson said he doesn’t want that NASCAR full-time schedule. When asked what would be the most interesting to him with the sport, Johnson said, “Even the IndyCar full-time schedule is a bit of a stretch. This year with IndyCar and IMSA I’m at 21 races and I’m feeling a little more busy than I want to be. I’m open to anything; especially for some one-off stuff.” 

Jimmie Johnson also said that he’s improving and looking to learn more things. “I’m continuing to learn these cars, learn the tracks, build my confidence and be more competitive. It was very fulfilling to have two great races like I did over at Iowa.”

In regards to his racing career over the years, Jimmie Johnson added, “It’s been an interesting journey for me to try to forget everything that I’ve done over the years; little instinctive sensations like, be gentle with the tires, take care of the car, take care of the brakes. That does not work in an Indy car. You have to beat up the brakes, you have to beat up the tires to turn them on and make them work.”