NASCAR: Jimmie Johnson number announcement revealed?

Jimmie Johnson, Petty GMS Motorsports, NASCAR - Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports
Jimmie Johnson, Petty GMS Motorsports, NASCAR - Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports /

Petty GMS Motorsports teased an announcement for Wednesday, telling NASCAR fans to “save the date”. Could this have to do with Jimmie Johnson?

Just before the end of the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season, seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson announced that he would be returning to the sport in 2023 as not only a part-time driver but as a part owner of Petty GMS Motorsports.

Johnson, who has only ever competed for Hendrick Motorsports at NASCAR’s top level, spent the last two years competing for Chip Ganassi Racing in IndyCar after initially retiring from Cup Series competition at the end of the 2020 season, his 19th as a full-time driver.

The 47-year-old El Cajon, California native is set to make his first start with Petty GMS Motorsports in the season-opening Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway, provided he can successfully qualify for the race since his car is not slated to have a charter.

But in the two-plus months since the announcement of Johnson’s return, Petty GMS Motorsports have not announced his car number.

There has been a lot of speculation about what car number Johnson might run, especially since the No. 48, which is the only number he has ever used in 686 career Cup Series starts, is still being used by Hendrick Motorsports for Alex Bowman’s Chevrolet entry.

Could we be closing in on getting an answer?

On Sunday, Petty GMS Motorsports posted a “save the date” message on social media, indicating that they will have some sort of an announcement to make on Wednesday, January 11.

There is no official word on whether this will have anything to do with Johnson’s number for the 2023 season, though with the season quickly approaching, it will indeed probably have something to do with it.

There are a number of other unconfirmed details regarding Johnson’s entry for 2023. A crew chief for his entry also hasn’t yet been announced, and while he is set to make his debut with the team in the 65th annual Daytona 500, no other races have been confirmed for his schedule. In fact, the number of races in which Johnson is set to compete hasn’t even been determined.

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Petty GMS Motorsports’ two full-time drivers are Erik Jones, who is set for a third season behind the wheel of the No. 43 Chevrolet, and rookie Noah Gragson, who is set to replace Ty Dillon behind the wheel of the No. 42 Chevrolet.