NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson signs IndyCar deal with Chip Ganassi
The American will leave NASCAR to try IndyCar.
Seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson will move to IndyCar after signing a deal with Chip Ganassi Racing from 2021 onward.
Johnson announced the partnership with CGR for 2021 and 2022 IndyCar seasons, where the NASCAR champion will be looking to compete at all the road and street courses. As known, the American will not be racing at any of the ovals rounds.
The move comes after Johnson tested with CGR earlier this year in July and fell in love with the whole concept. "When I tested Chip’s Indy car earlier in the year, it only lit the fire more," he said. "I found that I wanted to do it more than ever before.
"Scott [Dixon] was just incredible to work with and in a short time I found out very quickly why Chip and his teams have won 12 INDYCAR Championships. As part of a natural progression, I wanted to publicly show the alignment with Chip Ganassi Racing to kick the sponsorship program into high gear.
"The goal is to run the full road and street program and today is a very important first step in accomplishing that goal." At the same time, team owner Chip Ganassi stated: "It is always difficult to find great drivers but for them to be great guys too makes it even that much more challenging.
"To pair Jimmie with the likes of Scott Dixon is quite an opportunity. They are truly in rarified air and I think everyone knows by now that ‘I like winners’. The goal right now is for us to run Jimmie in an Indy car for at least the next couple of seasons, and we want to show people we’re serious about the program.
"We felt it was important to get the partnership done and start putting the financial building blocks in place to make this a reality. Jimmie’s record speaks for itself and we feel a championship-level driver of his caliber can only make our team better."
For now, it is unknown if CGR will drop any of its current IndyCar driver to place Johnson or if they will add another car for the American. Apart from Dixon, they have Swedes Marcus Ericsson and Felix Rosenqvist - all of whom are full-time drivers.
[Image courtesy: IndyCar] [Note: The story was written by me on FormulaRapida.net]