Jimmie Johnson ran the 2023 Daytona 500 and will attempt Chicago Street Course after acquiring an ownership stake within Legacy Motor Club, which was previously called Petty GMS Motorsports.
Johnson, 47, returned to NASCAR after retiring at the conclusion of the 2020 season. After leaving the sport, he decided to take his talents to the NTT IndyCar Series with Chip Ganassi Racing for two seasons.
The seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion has previously said he wants to run five to 10 races during the 2023 season. To this point, there are only two that are official but more will be on the way relatively soon.
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Jimmie Johnson wants to run multiple races during the 2023 season, including the Coca-Cola 600
Johnson will drive the No. 84 car sponsored by Carvana and that is a familiar combination. The No. 84 is inverted from the No. 48 car he made famous at Hendrick Motorsports while Carvana was his IndyCar Series sponsor.
The biggest question surrounding Johnson in his return to NASCAR is which races he will run during the 2023 season. The Daytona 500 has been completed and Chicago Street Course is already known so what other ones does Johnson have an eye on?
The 47-year-old driver went on Rubbin is Racing podcast one month ago and name-dropped four tracks that he wants to race at this year.
“I have a long list that I’m willing to share…All-Star Race, I’d love to go to North Wilkesboro. Charlotte, I have run decent at Charlotte over the years and would love to go back for the 600. There’s this concrete track up in Delaware that I’ve had some success at that I’d like to go to…I’ve never been to COTA. I have a long wish list. There are more tracks that I like than I dislike, it’s just getting all those pieces put together.”Jimmie Johnson on his wishlist for the 2023 NASCAR season
The majority of these races are not surprising outside of Circuit of the Americas. When Johnson was full-time in NASCAR, his biggest weakness was road courses. This may not be the case after his trip to the IndyCar Series but it’s notable to see him name-drop that venue.
If Johnson runs at Circuit of the Americas, he will join a star-studded field that includes Jordan Taylor, a sports car racing star, and Kimi Raikkonen, the 2007 Formula 1 champion. Both drivers will also be in competitive equipment.
Taylor will drive the No. 9 car for Hendrick Motorsports in place of the injured Chase Elliott while Raikkonen pilots the No. 91 car for Trackhouse Racing. Hopefully, he decides to add his name to the list.
As for the other three events, the All-Star Race at North Wilkesboro Speedway is notable as Johnson never got to run a Cup Series event at the track. The Cup Series stopped going to North Wilkesboro after the 1996 event.
The Coca-Cola 600 is also not a surprise as it represents NASCAR’s longest race. In fact, Johnson has the second most victories (four) in the event’s history behind Darrell Waltrip. This is one that many fans have clamored for him to run.
Finally, Dover Motor Speedway represents the final race track and it is not a surprise in the slightest. Johnson has won a mind-boggling 11 times at Dover and it actually represents his last victory in NASCAR.
Johnson has more races on his wishlist but the tally of publicly-known race tracks that he is aiming for is now six. It will be interesting to see which races come to fruition in his massive return.