It was reported by The Athletic’s Jordan Bianchi on Wednesday night that Jimmie Johnson would join Petty GMS Motorsports for the 2023 season and become a partial owner while driving in select NASCAR events.
This has come to reality as Petty GMS Motorsports has an announcement set for 12:30 PM ET on Friday, November 4 as Johnson is expected to be introduced as the new owner/driver for the organization.
With the news that Johnson becoming an owner will be official on Friday, let’s dive into what this means for NASCAR and which races the seven-time champion could compete in next season.
Jimmie Johnson to officially become a NASCAR owner on Friday
Johnson will become a minority owner with Petty GMS Motorsports for the 2023 season and beyond. This could not be any better for NASCAR to see its former drivers continue in the sport.
The 47-year-old driver left the sport to pursue the NTT IndyCar Series and while it went well on some occasions, it was pretty rocky as expected. However, it is very nice to have Johnson back.
When the announcement drops on Friday, Johnson will become another driver within the garage area to elevate his status in the sport. Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Brad Keselowski, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. are all names that go along with him.
Simply put, this is a very major day for NASCAR in general. Johnson is one of the top-3 best drivers and arguably the best NASCAR driver of all time. No one has ever won five straight NASCAR Cup Series championships outside of Johnson.
The sport made an entirely new playoff format and Johnson still won the title in 2016. He is one of NASCAR’s biggest icons and joining Richard Petty in an ownership group is major news.
However, what events could the former Hendrick Motorsports driver compete in next year?
Jimmie Johnson to compete in select races next season
Johnson will not only become an owner for the 2023 season but he will also make his driving return as Bianchi reported his intentions to compete in select races moving forward.
There are a few races that could make sense right off the bat. The Daytona 500 is one of NASCAR’s biggest events and running it again would be major for the sport. Of course, he would likely need to make it on speed or through the duels.
The Coca-Cola 600 would be a brilliant idea since it solidifies his spot in the event, possibly alongside the Indianapolis 500 on the same day. It would be a major situation as “The Double” is very rare nowadays.
Johnson has expressed his desire to compete in both events on the same day. This would be a good idea if the 47-year-old is truly up to the task of running that much in one day at his age.
The NASCAR All-Star Race at North Wilkesboro Speedway would also be a good option. It is one of the sport’s most historic venues and it will be making its return next season.
Finally, the Chicago Street Course would be another good option. Johnson has been competing in way more road courses than anyone else lately due to the IndyCar Series. Perhaps, he would run really well in the event.
Of course, Johnson is going to run more than one or two races. It makes more sense that he competes in three to five since there are so many great choices for the 2023 season and possibly beyond.
No matter how many races Johnson decides to run next season, it is great to have one of the major names of the sport back where he has belonged the entire time.