NASCAR Cup Series: When will Jimmie Johnson return?

Jimmie Johnson, Legacy Motor Club, NASCAR (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, Legacy Motor Club, NASCAR (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /

Jimmie Johnson only got to experience a couple of seconds of NASCAR Cup Series action at Circuit of the Americas before being taken out.

Two Sunday afternoons ago at Circuit of the Americas, seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson made his second start since returning to NASCAR as a part-time driver and co-owner of the newly rebranded Legacy Motor Club team.

His first time behind the wheel of the No. 84 Chevrolet since the season-opening Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway lasted all of a couple seconds, as he was collected in an opening lap melee and forced to take the car to the garage after just one of 75 laps around the 20-turn, 3.426-mile (5.514-kilometer) Austin, Texas road course.

It was a disappointing result for Johnson, who chose Circuit of the Americas as one of the locations for his select starts in 2023 because of the fact that he had never before gotten the chance to compete at the track.

Circuit of the Americas was added to the Cup Series schedule in 2021, by which time Johnson had already retired from full-time competition and made the switch to IndyCar.

Jimmie Johnson did not compete in this past Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Richmond Raceway.

In fact, he isn’t currently set to return for close to another two months, as his next scheduled start isn’t until the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday, May 28.

Johnson has said that he has a list of between 12 and 14 events that he would like to run, but that he was aiming to narrow that list down to between five and 10. Including his first two starts of the year, that list currently sits at four.

In addition to the Coca-Cola 600, the only other confirmed race on Johnson’s schedule is the inaugural race at the Chicago Street Course on Sunday, July 2.

But it wouldn’t be surprising to see Johnson before the Coca-Cola 600. He hasn’t necessarily been confirming his races in schedule order, and a two-month gap between races seems a bit long.

Interestingly, the Indy 500 remains a possibility, albeit a slim one, for Johnson in 2023, which would set him up for just the fifth ever Memorial Day Double attempt.

But Indy 500 qualifying could potentially prevent him from competing in the All-Star Race at North Wilkesboro Speedway on Sunday, May 21, and this is a race that is said to be high on his wish list.

Next. All-time NASCAR Cup Series wins list. dark

As far as Johnson’s next Cup Series appearance, or at least one of his next appearances, don’t overlook the All-Star Race as a prime possibility. He has never competed at North Wilkesboro Speedway before, and this was his primary reason for selecting Circuit of the Americas and the Chicago Street Course.