NASCAR: Jimmie Johnson did something he hadn't done in four years

The start of Jimmie Johnson's 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season was not ideal, but it was still better than any of his races last year.

Jimmie Johnson, Legacy Motor Club, Daytona 500, NASCAR
Jimmie Johnson, Legacy Motor Club, Daytona 500, NASCAR / Chris Graythen/GettyImages

After spending two seasons competing in IndyCar following his initial retirement from the NASCAR Cup Series in 2020, seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson returned to the Cup Series in 2023.

The 48-year-old El Cajon, California native joined Petty GMS Motorsports, which rebranded as Legacy Motor Club, as both a part owner and a part-time driver.

He only ended up competing in three races behind the wheel of the No. 84 Chevrolet, as his season was cut short due to a family tragedy over the summer.

He crashed out of all three of those races at Daytona International Speedway (Daytona 500), Circuit of the Americas, and Charlotte Motor Speedway (Coca-Cola 600).

Jimmie Johnson back in 2024

Johnson's 2024 schedule consists of nine races: three with sponsorship from Carvana, three with sponsorship from AdventHealth, and three with sponsorship from Dollar Tree and Family Dollar on his No. 84 Toyota.

He made his season debut -- and his Toyota debut, following Legacy Motor Club's offseason manufacturer switch -- this past week in the Daytona 500. Johnson nearly failed to qualify for the "Great American Race", but he was able to race his way in via a last-lap pass in his Bluegreen Vacations Duel.

While the driver of the No. 84 Toyota was involved in an early wreck which mired him several laps off the lead lap, Johnson managed to do something he hadn't done since 2020: finish a Cup Series race.

His most recent Cup Series finish had come at Phoenix Raceway in November 2020, his final start before his retirement and subsequent move to IndyCar. He finished that race in fifth place.

He finished in 28th place in this year's Daytona 500, three places better than his season-best 31st place DNF a year ago.

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Johnson's next NASCAR Cup Series start is not scheduled to take place until Sunday, April 14. Texas Motor Speedway is schedued to host the season's ninth race, the Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 400, beginning at 3:30 p.m. ET on this date. Fox Sports 1 is set to provide live coverage. Begin a free trial of FuboTV and don't miss any upcoming Cup Series action!