Jimmie Johnson landing spots: No. 3 – A mix of everything
In the past two years, Jimmie Johnson has competed in IMSA, IndyCar, NASCAR, and even the International Race of Champions in Sweden. So why not do it all in 2023?
With financial backing to use on whichever path he chooses for next year, Johnson should take full advantage. Select races in IndyCar, NASCAR, and IMSA would give the veteran the most diverse schedule he has seen yet and would allow fans from almost every facet of motorsports to see the 2022 Indy 500 Rookie of the Year.
Johnson has earned the right to call his shots for 2023 and should do just that. He has also stated that he wants to run the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and with his former team, Hendrick Motorsports, planning to field a custom Chevrolet Camaro via the Garage 56 entry, the endurance race at Circuit de la Sarthe is a likely race for him next year as well.
While Johnson hasn’t hinted at a full-time retirement from racing in general, the ability to pick and choose his schedule could also give him a chance for a true farewell tour. With 2020, for now, having been his last season in NASCAR, many fans missed out on seeing him one last time due to the COVID-19-related restrictions.
The sport welcomed full capacity crowds before the pandemic and had limited capacity crowds at some races once it returned, but the moment of a sell-out crowd hearing Johnson during driver intros one last time was robbed from fans.
Throughout racing history, farewell tours are never really farewell tours, as many drivers eventually scratch the itch to come back at least one more time. Johnson deserves the recognition of a proper farewell, and 2023 could provide that.