CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson is retiring from full-time racing and turning his attention to spending time with his family.

Calculates the future schedule Includes no more than 10 bucket list events; But the 47-year-old had no idea Monday what 2023 will look like.

“I’ve got a blank slate, and now we’re going to see what the opportunities are and start making a calendar,” Johnson told The Associated Press. Carvana has already said he will give Johnson any competition he wants.

Johnson took two weeks off from the IndyCar finale – which he spent the weekend in England with Ganassi teammates Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti at the Gowood Revival – before finalizing his decision to return. He told the AP that he doesn’t need time to think about the future.

“It was an interesting process to feel very fulfilled by the experience and then try to make a decision,” Johnson said. “In the grand scheme of things, there’s a lot of life planned with kids. We’ve always had the idea of ​​trying to live abroad for a year or two. We love Colorado and want to spend a lot of time there, and it’s just a lot of swings personally and professionally so I wanted to take some time and make a decision. Not from a positive or negative experience on the race track.

What is Johnson retiring from NASCAR in 2020?thinking?

LE MANS

The 24 Hours of Le Mans will be part of NASCAR and Hendrick Motorsports’ special “Garage 56” entry. Johnson said from the start that he wanted to be part of the three-driver Le Mans line-up, even though it was only for the next-gen exhibition and the car was alone in the class.

He’s waiting on the 2023 IndyCar schedule to see if he can attend, but if NASCAR wants the future Hall of Famer to be a part of the project, he’ll make sure the schedule is clear.

Indycar

Johnson almost certainly won’t be back for a second full IndyCar season at Chip Ganassi Racing. In the year He only raced street and road courses in 2021, added ovals to run the entire 2022 season and now isn’t even sure he’ll run IndyCar at all.

“We fully support Jimmy. He was a valuable member of our team and if we can find a way to continue working together, we want to do that,” team owner Ganassi told the AP. .

Johnson’s best showing on ovals—a discipline he’s dominated in NASCAR for nearly two decades—has struggled over two seasons on street and road courses. He finished an IndyCar-best fifth at Iowa, and despite ultimately crashing out of his Indianapolis 500 debut, Johnson lapped over 240 mph in an impressive qualifying performance.

“I want to go back, it’s just now, I know what it takes to do a full schedule, and I don’t have that in me,” Johnson told the AP. I don’t have the willpower to commit to a full season.

Great idea

Johnson said he would race again in the series after his 2020 NASCAR retirement with the right opportunity, and is now entertaining the idea of ​​doing “The Double” — the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 on the same day.

In the year Kurt Busch was the last driver to attempt the 1,100-mile two-state odyssey in 2014. Busch fell 200 miles away when his engine failed near NASCAR. Tony Stewart, who attempted both races twice, is the only driver to complete all 1,100 miles. John Andretti and Robbie Gordon both tested before Busch.

Johnson wants to try: He’s won the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway four times, including three straight wins from 2003-2005.

“You know me and endurance sports, and the pairing sounds great,” Johnson told the AP. “I’ve always had such respect for guys who’ve done doubles. I’d say it’s more of a respectable thing than a bucket-list item, and I want to put some energy into that idea and see if I can pull it off.”

Other NASCAR events that caught his attention? Next year’s inaugural race will be on the streets of downtown Chicago and the Star Race in North Wilkesboro. Johnson noted that as a past winner, he was acquitted in both the All-Star Tournament and the opening scrimmage during an exhibition at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. However, the 2022 NASCAR rules state that a driver must compete full-time to compete in an All-Star race.

what else?

After this weekend’s IMSA season-ending Petit Le Mans, Johnson’s future in sports car racing is uncertain. He’s spent the past two seasons running endurance races in partnership with Hendrick and Action Express, but IMSA doesn’t expect enough stock next year to receive new cars to keep Johnson’s project going.

He told AP he’s considering racing in a lower IMSA category like LMP2, and is even excited about the six-race World Endurance Championship. But the WEC series has impressed him with its stunning locales – Monza, Italy, Fuji Speedway in Japan, Bahrain – and the love of international travel he shares with his wife and two young daughters.

He and Chaney Johnson have explored enrolling their daughters in a school in England or France for a year to gain experience, and as a hands-on dad, Johnson takes an active role in locking his daughters into their full sports and activity schedule. . Chaney Johnson owns an art gallery and is looking to expand her business.

“Chani always supported me to the nth degree, and at the same time she had her goals, her passions and pursued her path and career. I think she’s going to be very cautious with this plan,” Johnson told the AP. But these decisions are based on family needs and wants, and if we can find some interest in traveling and living abroad, I think it would be difficult and a bit complicated on my schedule.

But those are decisions that will come in the next few months. And I will say it without regret. Looking back, I’ve definitely learned good and bad lessons from what happened. But I don’t have anything unfinished in my stomach, or a pit of regret.” ___

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