As Jimmie Johnson prepares this weekend, he is focused on racing. COTA is a track he’s never raced at, NASCAR or IndyCar, so he wants it, bad. The road course is one of the more intriguing tracks in the United States. Home to American F1, it has been the site of many epic events.
However, in past years, NASCAR has taken a liking to the track. This season, with the Next Gen car and a new rules package for road courses, it should be interesting. Jimmie Johnson made his return to the Cup Series at the Daytona 500. COTA is going to be much different.
Johnson is excited as this race gets closer. The field will be able to have an extended 50-minute practice on Friday to adjust to the new rules package. Give Seven-Time a chance to practice beforehand? That’s scary.
“COTA has been on my racing ‘bucket list’ for a very long time,” Johnson said about the race, according to NASCAR. “But my timing was off by a year or so. I was hoping it was going to be on the IndyCar schedule – and it wasn’t – and then they added it to the NASCAR schedule after I left.
“I’m excited to finally be able to check this one off the list and thankful to Club Wyndham for making it happen. From everything I’ve heard, NASCAR drivers have had a lot of fun racing at COTA, so to say I’m looking forward to it is an understatement.”
Out of 40 races on road courses in his NASCAR Cup Series career, Jimmie Johnson has only managed to pull off one win. That came in 2010 at Sonoma.
Jimmie Johnson Joined by All-Star Guest Lineup at COTA
The NASCAR Cup Series field is going to be stacked. We aren’t just talking the usual suspects that we see each week. Jimmie Johnson is going to be part of a lineup that includes two F1 Champions, an IMSA Sports Car champ, and an IndyCar driver.
Johnson is joined by Jenson Button and Kimi Räikkönen, former F1 champs. Jordan Taylor is joining up to race at COTA as well. The Garage 56 team would be together completely if Mike Rockenfeller found a ride. However, that’s not all. Conor Daly is jumping back into the Cup Series as well.
So, what can we expect from this group of drivers? Jimmie Johnson is probably the favorite of this group to come out on top. However, we can’t discount just how good Räikkönen was last year before he was wrecked out at Watkins Glen.
When NASCAR goes on the road, things get interesting. So, get ready to have a fun time watching these drivers figure out the Next Gen car in real time.