Legendary Cup Series driver Jimmie Johnson may be planning on making his return to NASCAR.
But this time, it’s going to be as an owner.
According to Jordan Bianchi of The Athletic, seven-time Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson is reportedly finalizing a deal to acquire an ownership stake in Petty GMS Racing, the team currently owned in part by NASCAR legend and seven-time champion Richard Petty.
Johnson will also drive in select races for the team in 2023, marking the first time he’s returned to NASCAR since retiring from the series at the end of the 2020 season to pursue other racing endeavors.
He drove part-time in the IndyCar Series in 2021 before joining the series full time in 2022. Johnson finished 21st in the final standings in his only full-time season in IndyCar, and announced back in September that he would be stepping away from full-time racing.
Johnson will return to NASCAR as the sixth-winningest driver of all time, having racked up 83 Cup Series wins during his 20 year career. He’s tied with Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt for the most Cup Series championships, and also holds the record for most consecutive Cup Series championships, bringing home the title for five years in a row from 2006 to 2010.
Petty GMS Racing was formed after the 2021 season after Maurice Gallagher Jr., owner of GMS Racing, purchased a majority ownership stake in Richard Petty Motorsports.
The team currently fields the iconic #43 car made famous by Petty himself, which is currently driven by Erik Jones, as well as the #42 car driven by Ty Dillon, who will be replaced in 2023 by rising star Noah Gragson.
Johnson would join Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski, Tony Stewart and his former Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon on the list of drivers-turned-Cup Series owners in recent years.
An announcement on Johnson’s deal to buy into Petty GMS is expected this week.
NEWS: Jimmie Johnson is finalizing a deal to obtain an ownership stake within the Petty GMS organization starting in 2023, sources close to Johnson and Petty GMS have told @TheAthletic. Johnson will also drive in select races for the team. An announcement is expected this week.