NASCAR: Jimmie Johnson hit with somewhat disappointing news

Jimmie Johnson, Legacy Motor Club, NASCAR - Mandatory Credit: Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports
Jimmie Johnson, Legacy Motor Club, NASCAR - Mandatory Credit: Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports /

NASCAR will not be making an exception for Jimmie Johnson to compete in the All-Star Race at North Wilkesboro Speedway in May.

NASCAR will not be changing the rules for Jimmie Johnson as it pertains to requirements for the All-Star Race at North Wilkesboro Speedway on Sunday, May 21.

Those already eligible for the All-Star Race without qualifying via the All-Star Open or the NASCAR Fan Vote include drivers who have won a points race since the start of the 2022 season, current full-time drivers who have won an All-Star Race before, and current full-time drivers who are Cup Series champions.

Johnson is a seven-time champion and a four-time All-Star Race winner, but because he is not a full-time driver and has not won a race since 2017, he is not one of the 22 drivers locked into this year’s All-Star Race, the first ever at the four-turn, 0.625-mile (1.006-kilometer) North Wilkesboro, North Carolina oval.

Jimmie Johnson has not confirmed whether he will be attempting to compete in this NASCAR race, though it is said to be relatively high on his wish list.

Including the two races in which he has already competed this year, there are four races confirmed on his 2023 schedule. Johnson, who now competes part-time for Legacy Motor Club after purchasing an ownership stake in the team, has said that he has a list of 12 to 14 races which he is aiming to narrow down to between five and 10.

If Johnson should decide to attempt the event, he would need to lock into the field by finishing in the top two in the All-Star Open or winning the NASCAR Fan Vote. It should, however, go without saying that, given who all is already locked into the main event, Johnson would probably win the NASCAR Fan Vote if all else fails.

That being said, he would still need to compete in the All-Star Open, which is scheduled to take place during day two of Indy 500 qualifying, so doing so would likely eliminate or at least greatly reduce the possibility of him competing in this year’s Indy 500 and thus attempting the Memorial Day Double, since he has already confirmed plans to run the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday, May 28.

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A second straight Indy 500 attempt for Johnson was already looking increasingly unlikely, so perhaps this news could be what ultimately triggers him to confirm his first All-Star attempt since 2020.