Jimmie Johnson is returning to NASCAR after retiring from full-time racing in the Cup Series at the conclusion of the 2020 season. Johnson will be an owner and driver for Petty GMS Motorsports.
The seven-time Cup Series champion spent two seasons in the NTT IndyCar Series with Chip Ganassi Racing and competed in one full-time season in 2021. Johnson also competed in the 2021 Indianapolis 500.
Now, he will return to the sport that made him one of the most successful sports figures in recorded history. However, it won’t be in the No. 48 car which Johnson made famous from 2001 to 2020.
Jimmie Johnson has number choices for his new ride, including the No. 49 and No. 84
Johnson’s return to the NASCAR Cup Series is notable in itself and it has fans wondering which numbers would possibly make sense as he drives for an organization other than Hendrick Motorsports for the first time at the top level.
The 47-year-old driver has been linked to the No. 44 car by fans as Petty GMS Motorsports currently fields the No. 42 car and No. 43 car. However, two numbers stand out amongst the rest.
According to Forbes’ Bruce Martin, Johnson will run a new number in his return to the NASCAR Cup Series with the No. 49 car and No. 84 car being on the table for the 2023 season.
Petty GMS Motorsports President Mike Beam had this to say about Johnson’s possible number for his return to the sport.
“Once we made the announcement with Jimmie, people started connecting the dots. Seven times seven is 49…We have two seven-time champions and if you multiply seven times seven, you get 49. That would be a perfect number for our team with Richard Petty and Jimmie Johnson.”Mike Beam on Jimmie Johnson’s possible number in 2023
Johnson also told Martin that he will definitely switch numbers and that the No. 84 car could be an option if they switch the two numbers around from his famous No. 48 car. It would be an unsurprising move.
With the 2023 Daytona 500 getting closer, the expectation should be that Johnson’s car number, sponsors, and schedule are announced during January which represents the final month without racing until next December.
Stay tuned for the latest updates on the seven-time champion’s return to NASCAR as his number for the 2023 season will be announced sooner rather than later.