Following his inaugural season in open-wheel competition as a part-time competitor, Jimmie Johnson will be returning to the NTT IndyCar Series as a full-time competitor in Chip Ganassi Racing’s No. 48 Dallara-Honda in 2022.
The seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion made an appearance on NBC’s Today Show, where he made the announcement of his racing plans for the upcoming season. In addition, he unveiled the No. 48 Honda that he will be competing in for the new IndyCar season sponsored by Carvana, which returns to sponsor Johnson in all but one of the 17-race schedule. The American Legion will sponsor Johnson at Iowa Speedway in July.
“I’m really excited about this next chapter of my career and competing in the No. 48 with Carvana for the 2022 season,” Johnson said. “The safety of these cars has come so far, and after I tested the ovals at Texas and Indianapolis Motor Speedway, I realized this was a challenge I wanted to undertake. I’m thankful for Chip, Carvana and all who made this possible.”
“Last season was so incredible for me and I made a lot of progress, so I know I can be competitive on tracks that I have experience on,” Johnson added. “I can’t wait to be part of the Indianapolis 500, it’s a childhood dream come true.”
Johnson made his inaugural presence in the IndyCar Series this past season following a 19-career in NASCAR highlighted with a record-tying seven championships and 83 career victories, including two Daytona 500s, a record-setting four All-Star Races and four Brickyard 400s. After inking a two-year deal with Chip Ganassi Racing and Carvana to compete in the IndyCar circuit, beginning in 2021, Johnson contested only on the road course events during his first IndyCar season while sharing the No. 48 Honda with two-time Indianapolis 500 champion Tony Kanaan, who competed during the oval events.
During his 12-race schedule to the 2021 IndyCar’s 16-race schedule, Johnson recorded an average-finishing result of 21.1 with his best on-track result being 17th twice during the final two IndyCar events of the 2021 season in September: the Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca and the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach at California’s Long Beach Street Circuit.
In August, Johnson made his IndyCar debut on an oval circuit at Texas Motor Speedway during a testing session. Two months later, he participated in the Indianapolis 500 Rookie Orientation Program at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where he passed the rookie test. The pass means that he will compete in the 106th running of the Indianapolis 500 in May, which will mark his inaugural presence in one of motorsports’ iconic events.
“We are very happy about Jimmie running the whole 2022 season and that Carvana will be on nearly all of those races,” Chip Ganassi, team owner of Chip Ganassi Racing, said. “I am looking forward to seeing Jimmie get back on the track after having a year under his belt. With all the experience he has on ovals from his NASCAR career and adding it to his 2021 experience in an Indy car, we think the INDYCAR ovals will play right into his strength. I can’t wait for the 2022 season to begin.”
“Chip Ganassi Racing and Jimmie Johnson are ideal partners, and we’re excited to watch Jimmie race the full season in 2022,” Ryan Keeton, chief brand officer of Carvana, added. “Our entire Carvana crew is inspired by Jimmie’s commitment as he’s forged this new path in his racing career. Carvana has always stood for challenging the status quo, and we see that same drive and passion in Jimmie.”
With his IndyCar plans for 2022 set, Johnson will headline Chip Ganassi Racing’s four-car lineup for the upcoming season that includes former Formula One competitor Marcus Ericsson, six-time IndyCar champion Scott Dixon and the reigning IndyCar champion Alex Palou. Tony Kanaan, who competed on a part-time basis with Ganassi in 2021, has yet to announce his racing plans for 2022.
Jimmie Johnson’s first full-time campaign in the NTT IndyCar Series is set to commence at the Streets of St. Petersburg for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on February 27, 2022.