Jimmie Johnson will make his return to the NASCAR Cup Series after the announcement of his entrance to Petty GMS Motorsports as an owner and driver came at Phoenix Raceway last month.
Johnson will compete in the 2023 Daytona 500 but a car number has not been made official yet. As expected, Hendrick Motorsports will keep the No. 48 car for Alex Bowman which means Johnson will have a new number during his Cup Series career.
The seven-time champion will also compete in other races over the course of the 2023 season. However, there could be another notable appearance for Johnson in his return to NASCAR.
Related: Jimmie Johnson to join Petty GMS Motorsports as owner/driver in 2023
Jimmie Johnson could make an appearance at Kyle Busch Motorsports next season
Johnson left NASCAR at the conclusion of the 2020 season after he announced his intentions to retire from full-time racing. He went to the NTT IndyCar Series to compete in road and street courses for the 2021 season.
Then, Johnson continued his efforts with Chip Ganassi Racing for the 2022 season with the only difference being a full-time campaign that included oval tracks, including the 2022 Indianapolis 500 where he led two laps.
Now, the 47-year-old is back and could be dipping his feet into the lower ranks of NASCAR as well. Kyle Busch, owner of Kyle Busch Motorsports in the NASCAR Truck Series, teased that Johnson could drive the No. 51 “All-Star” truck during the 2023 season.
Johnson has not competed in the Truck Series since the 2008 season at Bristol Motor Speedway in the No. 81 truck for NFL Hall-of-Famer Randy Moss. It was his only Truck Series start as he came home with a 34th-place finish after crashing.
This would be very notable as Johnson would share a seat with both Busch and Jack Wood. Kyle Busch Motorsports made this possible after moving to Chevrolet when Busch left Joe Gibbs Racing for Richard Childress Racing.
Of course, Johnson joining Petty GMS Motorsports has a factor in this possibility. The organization is a part of the Chevrolet family and both of its drivers, Erik Jones and Noah Gragson, have driven full-time for Kyle Busch Motorsports.
It would be really neat for every single NASCAR fan to see Johnson compete in the Truck Series. There was a time when Johnson’s future in NASCAR remained unknown after leaving for two seasons.
The sport benefits from seeing one of the best drivers in NASCAR history compete in several events. It will be interesting to see if this situation with Johnson and Kyle Busch Motorsports comes to fruition next season.