Possible Trackhouse drivers for 2023: No. 1 – Jimmie Johnson
When Jimmie Johnson retired from NASCAR Cup Series competition, he did so with a plan. He announced before his final season ended that he would head to IndyCar to drive the #48 Honda for Chip Ganassi Racing.
In 2021, Johnson only competed in the road and street course races. But he became a full-time driver for 2022, and the 2022 season has included his first Indy 500 start. So far, the El Cajon, California native’s best finish is a sixth place finish at Texas Motor Speedway.
But Johnson’s return to NASCAR has been the subject of speculation ever since he stated that he wanted to compete in the Memorial Day Double, racing in both the Indy 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 on the same day.
There are already plenty of connections for Johnson at Trackhouse Racing Team, which would allow him to make an easy return to the Cup Series.
For starters, he couldn’t go back to his home at Hendrick Motorsports, as they currently run the maximum allowable total of four cars.
Additionally, there is the manufacturer connection, with Trackhouse Racing Team, like Rick Hendrick’s team, being a Chevrolet team.
Trackhouse Racing Team bought out Chip Ganassi’s NASCAR program after last season, and with Marks having driven for Ganassi in the Xfinity Series, it’s safe to say that the ownership connection is there, with Johnson competing for the latter in IndyCar.
Johnson wouldn’t be an international addition like the four aforementioned drivers, but Marks has said himself that if Johnson were interested in driving the #91 Chevrolet in the Coca-Cola 600, he would “absolutely” allow it.
Johnson seems to be enjoying his time in IndyCar, as he too is living out his childhood dream. But with a strong interest in returning to the sport that put him on the map, plus the connections and interest on the side of Trackhouse Racing Team, the #91 Chevrolet seems to be the perfect landing spot for Johnson’s inevitable return to NASCAR.