According to the NASCAR rosters, Jimmie Johnson is going to suit up in the Cup Series again for the race at COTA. Johnson is joining an all-star lineup of part-time drivers. That includes former F1 champions Kimi Räikkönen and Jenson Button as well as IndyCar driver Conor Daly.
Jayski was the first to break the news. Looking at the NASCAR roster portal, the No. 84 for Legacy M.C. is entered. There has not been an official announcement, but this is pretty much set if his name is listed.
If Mike Rockenfeller had been able to get a ride, we would have seen the three Garage 56 drivers compete. However, we’ll have to settle for this already stellar lineup of extra drivers. With it being a road course, it changes the dynamics a bit.
I’m sure that Daly is ready to go through the twists and turns of COTA. He had to suffer through the Daytona 500 in a car that wasn’t ready for it. If his equipment is half decent, he’d like to show these NASCAR drivers how an IndyCar wheelman gets it done on the road.
Meanwhile, Jimmie Johnson is going to return again. His Daytona attempt wasn’t half bad. Now that he’s gotten the rust off, he might be ready to make a statement in Texas.
The most exciting part of this will be watching Kimi get another shot at a NASCAR race. He was running in the top 10 and even battling with Chase Elliott last season at Watkins Glen before Austin Dillon wrecked him.
Not to mention we get to see Button in a stock car for the first time ever. COTA is pulling out all the stops.
Expectations For Jimmie Johnson at COTA
So, altogether there are going to be a handful of drivers that normally aren’t in the Cup Series competing for a chance at the race. It’s going to be a lot different look on the roads this season as well. For Jimmie Johnson and the other part-timers in this race it won’t matter much.
However, we aren’t going to have stage breaks. We are going to have the choose rule. There is going to be a different style of racing. Period. If that produces better racing than we’ve seen in recent races at road courses, remains to be seen.
What is great about these entries is that it ties all of motorsports together. Open-wheel guys, F1 guys, NASCAR stars – all of them competing for a shot on the road. It’s going to be fun seeing which of these guys can finish the highest.
There was some quality road course racing last season, hopefully, the changes make it even better.