NASCAR’S checkered flag is waving for Jimmie Johnson.
On Wednesday (Nov. 20,) the legendary racer announced that 2020 would be his last season as a full-time driver in the NASCAR Cup Series.
“I’m so thankful for 18 incredible years of racing in NASCAR,” the California native said in an emotional video posted on his socials. “The sport has been good to me. It has allowed me to do something I truly love. I showed up chasing a dream and achieved more than I ever thought possible. I’m looking forward to next season and celebrating what will be my last year as a full-time NASCAR Cup driver. I know what this team is capable of, and I hope 2020 is one of the best yet.”
On Thursday (Nov. 21,) Johnson also thanked the fans for their support of his decision.
“Thanks for ALL the good vibes,” he wrote on his Twitter page. “It was good to get the news out yesterday. I made a few phone calls to friends and partners and was able to tell my guys in person.”
Thanks for ALL the good vibes. It was good to get the news out yesterday. I made a few phone calls to friends and partners and was able to tell my guys in person. Looking forward to talking with the media today. 📷 @LizKreutz pic.twitter.com/aVtl31cGTF
— Jimmie Johnson (@JimmieJohnson) November 21, 2019
Its been quite a ride for Johnson throughout his career. He has won seven titles, which ties the records of legends such as Dale Earnhardt and Richard Petty. And yes, Johnson will definitely be looking to go for that eighth title in 2020, hence the #ChaseFor8 hashtag on the video shared on his socials.
But no matter what happens, there is no doubt that he has made quite an impact on the sport of NASCAR.
“NASCAR history will always hold Jimmie Johnson in the highest regard, for his hard-charging success on the racetrack and the way he conducted himself as a champion off the track,” NASCAR Chairman and CEO Jim France said in a statement. “This remarkable seven-time champion – through his competitive spirit, immense talent and sportsmanship – has made NASCAR a better sport. On behalf of my family and the entire NASCAR community, I thank Jimmie for his dedication to NASCAR and, along with his legions of fans, wish him all the best in his final season. I look forward to watching him race for wins and an eighth NASCAR Cup Championship in 2020.”