Still going strong at 41, Johnson agrees to 3-year extension

18 June, 2017, 02:04 | Author: Valerie Burke
  • Kyle Larson takes home FireKeepers Casino 400

After a spin during the first Saturday Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practice, seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson will go to a backup auto for Sunday's FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway. That would mark a nice even 20 seasons for the seven-time Cup Series champion if you count his cameo toward the end of the 2001 campaign.

Crew chief Chad Knaus has another year on his deal, but did not announce an extension in alliance with the other players of the deal on Friday. Chad was the ideal person to lead the team. "Winning seven championships and 83 races was inconceivable, and now we have the opportunity to do even more together". "I couldn't be more proud to represent everyone at Lowe's and Hendrick Motorsports, and I continue to be as grateful for the opportunity as I was when we started".

"Eight championships, I would love to stand alone at that", Johnson said. "I don't think I've got that in me from a time commitment standpoint to go into my 50s in racing".

"The backup Kobalt Chevy is pretty good", Johnson said. The experience I have with my engineers, with my team, with Chad, that bond and that experience combined with the experience of driving and competing ... there is a high in that, that I've chased my entire career. "It definitely would be cool with as many people that would be here watching and would get to enjoy it all with me in Victory Lane ... so it'd be pretty special". Someday when that fades, that is when I will step down. It's not going to be because of stats and where I rank or how many championships I have. He could leave after the 2018 season, but Johnson mentioned to ESPN that he'd also work on keeping him in the fold.

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"Jimmie is one of the best to ever drive", Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick?said in a news release.

"I remember hoping to just win one race", Johnson said. "Instead of it being necessarily a statement and shown through a lifetime contract we have just had a handshake and agreement among friends that I've got a vehicle and I've always told him I'm never going anywhere".

"The.tire blew and I crashed", Allmendinger said.

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