Jimmie Johnson is sponsored by Carvana for 2023 race plans
By JENNA FRYER
MONTEREY, Calif. (AP) — Jimmie Johnson announced Friday that sponsor Carvana has agreed to fund next year’s racing efforts and the seven-time NASCAR champion will use the next few weeks to determine his 2023 schedule.
Just a week ago, Johnson said he was still seeking funding for a full IndyCar season. But he’s also looking forward to the upcoming IndyCar schedule as he wants to be part of NASCAR’s special project to take a Hendrick Motorsports car to the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
He hasn’t closed the door on another NASCAR race someday and told Laguna Seca Raceway he has several offers to compete in a variety of motorsport series.
“The good news is that Carvana is behind me in whatever I choose to do,” Johnson said. “They support their desire to be with me in whatever choices I choose to make in 2023.”
Johnson has tried to be patient in recent months while awaiting sponsorship decisions. He spent most of his NASCAR career with one sponsor until Lowe left the sport and Ally took over the last two years of Johnson’s career.
He made the decision to retire from NASCAR after the 2020 season and pursue his childhood dream of competing in IndyCar. He found Carvana on his own and brought the financing to Chip Ganassi Racing, where Johnson spent his first season racing only IndyCar oval and road courses.
It was a steep learning curve for the NASCAR champ, and this year he added the Indianapolis 500 and the rest of the ovals in his first full IndyCar season. He was very good on the ovals and dazzled in his first Indy 500 by clocking laps over 240 mph in qualifying.
Although he still struggled on road and street courses, he was pretty decent on ovals and led 21 laps at Iowa Speedway. He finished fifth and sixth at IndyCar Ovals in Texas and Iowa.
After announcing Carvana was behind him for next year, Johnson said he just didn’t know at this stage what kind of racing that entails.
“I wish I had more to share. I don’t,” he said. “I need to explore the options available to me. I need to look inside myself and see what my goals are. I’m just taking a little time. I don’t know what my IMSA plans are, I don’t know what my IndyCar plans are, I want to go to Le Mans.
“The whole process takes time, I have to think about it, see what Team Johnson thinks and talk to the girls, but the good news is Carvana, they want to stay.”
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