Johnson eyeing IndyCar, IMSA and Le Mans for 2023 schedule


CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — From Italy to Iowa to the simulator and at last the Finger Lakes, there’s been no relaxation for Jimmie Johnson. He heads this weekend to Watkins Glen for one in every of this ultimate two scheduled appearances within the IMSA sports activities automobile.

Then he’ll flip his consideration to planning his 2023 schedule, which Johnson hopes features a spot within the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

NASCAR, Hendrick Motorsports and Chevrolet plan to take a inventory automobile to Le Mans subsequent June in a particular Storage 56 class designed to showcase the innovation of NASCAR’s new Subsequent Gen mannequin. The celebrated endurance race is scheduled for June 10-11, or two weeks after the Indianapolis 500.

Johnson needs to be a part of the lineup however his participation, he stated, depends on the 2023 IndyCar schedule — an indicator the seven-time NASCAR champion nonetheless very a lot plans a 3rd season of open-wheel racing.

Johnson copped this week to “behind-the-scenes” pushing of IndyCar president Jay Frye to make sure the sequence is off throughout Le Mans.

“I wish to go to Le Mans. However I believe a lot hinges on the schedule being launched to grasp if I can,“ Johnson stated. ”I do know that there’s curiosity. I actually have a ton of curiosity to do it. We’re simply ready for that first domino to fall.”

Johnson, who drove for Rick Hendrick for practically twenty years, believes he’s on the listing of Le Mans candidates.

“I really feel just like the curiosity is de facto excessive on each side,“ he added. ”We haven’t been capable of discuss something extra formal as a result of the schedule shouldn’t be out.”

With the whole lot in limbo, Johnson has turned to the canine days of his present racing schedule. IndyCar raced 5 consecutive weeks earlier than a two-week break, which allowed Johnson to take his spouse and two daughters to Italy for a fast trip.

However the 46-year-old needed to head again for a Monday take a look at at Iowa Speedway, a uncommon oval that Johnson has by no means earlier than raced. He was bleary-eyed and chugging espresso throughout a media session this week explaining how his subsequent cease was the simulator to arrange for this weekend’s Six Hours of the Glen, the third of 4 IMSA endurance races Johnson constructed into his schedule in an alliance between Hendrick, Motion Specific Racing and sponsor Ally.

Jimmie Johnson interacts with crew members in his garage during a practice session for the Rolex 24 hour auto race at Daytona International Speedway, Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021, in Daytona Beach, Fla. From Italy to Iowa to the simulator and finally the Finger Lakes, there’s been no rest for Jimmie Johnson. He heads this weekend to Watkins Glen for one of this final two scheduled appearances in the IMSA sports car. Then he’ll turn his attention to planning his 2023 schedule — which Johnson hopes includes a spot in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Johnson missed the Twelve Hours of Sebring in March as a result of it conflicted with IndyCar’s cease at Texas Motor Speedway, his open-wheel debut on an oval, so his return to the No. 48 Cadillac this weekend is a reunion with teammates Mike Rockenfeller and Kamui Kobayashi.

He had a brief stint within the seat at Watkins Glen a yr in the past and isn’t positive how a lot Chad Knaus, his former NASCAR crew chief and head of the No. 48’s IMSA program, will use him Sunday.

“A six-hour race with three drivers, there’s not loads of drive time, interval,” stated Johnson. “I believe the time I spend within the automobile in the end will depend on my tempo.”

Johnson doesn’t know what his 2023 schedule will appear like however hopes it consists of one other full IndyCar season and, at minimal, IMSA endurance races.

His return to IndyCar relies upon largely on funding. Johnson discovered Carvana on his personal to again his transition from NASCAR champion to IndyCar rookie, and ran solely the highway and avenue programs final yr. He added ovals this season, and made his Indy 500 debut final month.

Though he was thought of a menace to win his first 500, he wrecked late and completed twenty eighth. He’s continued to wrestle on highway and avenue programs, which led to a Johnson-debunked report that he’ll solely run ovals subsequent yr.

“I’m undecided the place that has come from. It has not been in any discussions I’ve had or thought processes I’ve had,” stated Johnson. “What I’ve been doing has been a lot enjoyable and pleasant. Proceed to get higher. Definitely hope to do one thing related once more subsequent yr.”

Something he does in 2023 will come right down to sponsorship, scheduling and 2023 guidelines adjustments deliberate for sports activities automobile racing. The prototype DPi class can be changed with a brand new LMDh class that may make IMSA’s prime class eligible to race at Le Mans.

However with the change comes concern there gained’t be sufficient preliminary chassis and elements for partial- schedule groups.

“We’re nonetheless on this part with IndyCar, sports activities automobile or another concepts I’ve to go racing. Every thing proper now could be individuals are simply beginning to discuss choices,“ Johnson stated. ”It’s normally finish of summer season, starting of fall when paper begins shifting round and other people wish to ink stuff and get it achieved. We’re simply early within the cycle, and I’m actually attempting to maintain my choices open.”


Extra AP auto racing: and


Conversations are opinions of our readers and are topic to the Code of Conduct. The Star doesn’t endorse these opinions.

Share post:


More like this

The Evolution of Entertainment: A Journey Through Time

The world of entertainment has undergone a transformative journey,...

Breaking News 2024: Navigating Through the Maze of Information

In today's rapidly evolving world, staying informed about the...

Embracing the Magic: A Journey into the World of Entertainment

Entertainment, in all its forms, has the remarkable ability...

Exploring the Dynamic Realm of World News

In an era where the world is more interconnected...