NASCAR: Why isn’t Jimmie Johnson competing at Chicago?

Jimmie Johnson, Legacy Motor Club, NASCAR - Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
Jimmie Johnson, Legacy Motor Club, NASCAR - Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports /

Jimmie Johnson and Legacy Motor Club elected to withdraw the No. 84 Chevrolet from Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at the Chicago Street Course due to a family tragedy.

Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson was initially planning on making his fourth start of the 2023 season in Sunday’s Grant Park 220 at the Chicago Street Course.

But Johnson and Legacy Motor Club elected to withdraw his No. 84 Chevrolet from this 100-lap race, the first ever Cup Series street race, around the 12-turn, 2.2-mile (3.541-kilometer) temporary street circuit in Chicago, Illinois.

The decision was made because of a tragedy involving the family of the 47-year-old El Cajon, California native. The parents of Johnson’s wife, Chandra Janway, were found dead, along with their 11-year-old grandson, on Monday night in Muskogee, Oklahoma.

Police suspect that it was a murder-suicide, with 68-year-old Terry Janway believed to have shot and killed her 69-year-old husband, Jack, and grandson, Dalton. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the family through this unimaginable tragedy.

Legacy Motor Club put out a statement announcing the No. 84 team’s withdrawal from Sunday’s event, but they noted that no further statements would be made.

Jimmie Johnson has made three NASCAR Cup Series starts in 2023.

Johnson initially retired from Cup Series competition at the end of the 2020 season, but after spending the last two seasons competing in IndyCar, he returned in 2023 as not only a part-time driver but as a co-owner of Legacy Motor Club, which had been named Petty GMS Motorsports prior to his arrival.

Johnson has yet to finish a race this season, as he recorded DNFs in his three starts at Daytona International Speedway, Circuit of the Americas, and Charlotte Motor Speedway.

He does not currently have any plans to get back behind the wheel of the No. 84 Chevrolet, though that could still change with 18 races remaining on the 36-race 2023 schedule. Regardless of his plans for the remainder of the 2023 season, he is expected to continue driving in 2024.

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Sunday’s Grant Park 220 is set to be shown live on NBC from the Chicago Street Course beginning at 5:00 p.m. ET. Start a free trial of FuboTV and don’t miss it.