Racing legend Jimmie Johnson may have retired from NASCAR but the 45-year-old's days of speeding are far from over as he gears up to take his talents to IndyCar. With the coronavirus pandemic having delayed the 2020 NASCAR season, Johnson called it quits, so he could prepare to mash the pedals in a vehicle that he'd actually envisioned himself driving many years earlier.
"As a kid, IndyCar was really the dream for me. My opportunities took me to NASCAR and clearly I'm so thankful for the journey I've been on, but in 2018 I had a chance to drive a Formula One (F1) car and that experience was so intense and so cool that I needed more of it in my life and was able to put this opportunity together with Carvana and Chip Ganassi Racing for this season and for next," Johnson told Cheddar.
Like F1 race cars, IndyCar uses an open-wheel design.
While the racing legend spent nearly two decades behind the wheel of a stock car, he's only had "a handful" of test sessions before his IndyCar debut. If you thought that might impact Johnson's psyche and make for a nervous debut, he said it "totally does." For the most part, it will be a learn-as-you-go type of experience for the veteran racer.
Carvana unveiled the paint scheme for Chip Ganassi Racing’s No. 48 Honda, featuring Carvana’s iconic halo and signature blue color palette. 7-time NASCAR Cup Series (NCS) Champion Jimmie Johnson will drive it in his rookie NTT INDYCAR SERIES season. (Photo: Business Wire)
"For me, really everything's different. I mean, not only the car, which you can visually see and the performance side to it, but the tracks are all new and different, and I've never been to them," Johnson said. "Some are temporary street circuits in downtown districts that are just there for four or five days and they're gone."
As Johnson prepares to make his first appearance at the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama on Sunday, he is also touting a partnership with Alcon, a Swiss-based eyecare company. Johnson who suffers from seasonal allergies, with itchy eyes being a major symptom, said the partnership was the perfect match.