Jimmie Johnson trying to find 'where opportunities might lie' in making a move to Le Mans in 2023

Jimmie Johnson prepares to get in his car before the 106th running of The Indy 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indiana (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson prepares to get in his car before the 106th running of The Indy 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indiana (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Rahul Ahluwalia

It seems as if seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson hasn't had enough of driving stock cars just yet. The 46-year-old NASCAR veteran and current full-time NTT IndyCar Series driver claims to be hard at work behind the scenes to make his 24 Hours of Le Mans debut next year.

Johnson is hopeful of driving Hendrick Motorsports' Garage 56 entry at the historic French circuit next year and awaits confirmation of the 2023 IndyCar schedule. The open-wheeled series is expected to have an off-weekend to allow crossovers exactly like Johnson's into the endurance racing world.

I have a whole new appreciation for short track racing after today. #FullSend

The El Cajon, California native has been positive about the reception of his plans to visit France next year as he re-iterates the impact of the IndyCar schedule on whether things are finalized or not. The #48 Carvana Dallara-Honda driver spoke to Nate Ryan of NBC Sports and elaborated, saying:

“I want to go to Le Mans, it would be an amazing experience to go with Hendrick and Action Express and the way this whole partnership works, but I think so much really hinges on the (IndyCar) schedule being released to understand if I can, and also from a team standpoint, what drivers would be at the top of their list. I feel like the interest is really high on both sides. We haven’t been able to talk anything more formal because the schedule’s not out.”

Along with his plans to drive the Garage 56 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 at Le Mans, Jimmie Johnson is also looking forward to returning to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2023. With the Prototype DPI class being replaced by the new LMDH class in the renewed GTP category next year, however, there might be a shortage of chassis for part-time drivers like Johnson.

Golden hour at the Glen.

The former Hendrick Motorsports driver went on to elaborate on how many things needed to fall into place for him to drive the #48 Ally Cadillac and said:

“I really think it’s schedule-permitting, opportunity-permitting. There’s such a shake-up next year within sports car racing, I’m not sure the dust has really settled yet to understand where opportunities might lie. I still think in the next month or two, there’ll be more clarity for myself and a few others out there.”

Johnson returns to driving the #48 Ally Cadillac at Watkins Glen International this weekend with teammates Mike Rockenfeller and Kamui Kobayashi while keeping his plans for next year on hold.

Jimmie Johnson plans to race on ovals as well as road courses in IndyCar next year

Jimmie Johnson recently went out of his way to nullify rumors of him considering running only ovals in his second NTT IndyCar Series season in 2023. Johnson, who is in his first full-time season in the series this year, has been finding his feet in the twists and turns of road and street courses in the open-wheeled series.

He elaborated on the floating rumors and how he aims to get better over the next year and said:

“I’m not sure where that has come from; it has not been in any discussions I’ve had or thought processes I’ve had. What I’ve been doing has been so much fun and enjoyable. Continue to get better. Certainly hope to do something similar again next year.”

Catch Jimmie Johnson driving the #48 Ally Cadillac this Sunday in Sahlen's Six Hours of the Glen at Watkins Glen International.

Edited by Anurag C


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