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Jimmie Johnson returning to NASCAR as driver, owner

Nov 4, 2022; Avondale, Arizona, USA; Team owner Richard Petty in attendance with Jimmie Johnson as he talks with the media during a press conference at Phoenix Raceway. Jimmie Johnson finalized an ownership stake within the Petty GMS organization starting in 2023,  and Johnson will also drive in select races for the team starting at the Daytona 500. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Seven-time Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson is returning to NASCAR in 2023, ending a two-year retirement.

The 47-year-old driver announced Friday he has entered an ownership agreement with Petty GMS and will race a limited schedule, starting with the Daytona 500.

“I’m incredibly excited to be returning to my NASCAR family and look forward to building upon the combined legacy of our team,” Johnson posted on Twitter.

Petty GMS owner Maury Gallagher and chairman Richard Petty confirmed the partnership Friday. Petty, Johnson and the late Dale Earnhardt share the record with seven Cup Series championships.

“What an exciting time for Petty GMS,” Petty said. “This year we’ve accomplished so much together with Maury and now adding Jimmie will only continue to help us grow. To have Jimmie — another seven-time champion — as a part of the team, and his abilities both on track and off will be special for Petty GMS. I’m looking forward to having him as a part of our team and seeing what we can build together.”

Johnson retired from NASCAR after the 2020 season and moved to open-wheel racing in 2021.

In September, he announced that he was retiring from full-time racing on the IndyCar circuit.

Johnson won 83 races over 20 years in the Cup Series, with the last one coming at Dover in 2017.

–Field Level Media