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NASCAR legend Jimmie Johnson announces retirement from full-time auto racing

Chris Graham

nascarSeven-time NASCAR Cup Series champ Jimmie Johnson said Monday that he is retiring from full-time racing.

“I’ve got a blank sheet of paper, and we can now see what opportunities exist and start making a calendar,” Johnson told the Associated Press.

Johnson, 47, who retired from NASCAR in 2020, finished 21st in the IndyCar series in 2022, his second year on the circuit, after finishing 26th in 2021, racing only the street and road courses in his first season with Chip Ganassi Racing.

He added the ovals in 2022, but could only manage two Top 10s and one Top 5, a fifth-place finish at Iowa.

“I do have a desire to go back, it’s just at this point, I know what’s required to do a full schedule, and I don’t have that in me,” Johnson told AP. “I don’t have that passion that I need for myself to commit myself to a full season.”

He would like to attempt “the double” – racing the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 on the same day.

Kurt Busch was the last driver to attempt the grueling feat, in 2014. Tony Stewart is the only driver to complete all 1,100 miles, doing so twice, in 1999 and 2001.

Johnson would like to give it a try. He won the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway four times, including three consecutive wins from 2003-2005.

“You know me and endurance sports, and the double sounds awesome,” Johnson told the AP. “I’ve always had this respect for the guys who have done the double. I would say it is more of a respect thing than a bucket-list item, and I’d love to put some energy into that idea and see if I can pull it off.”

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].