By: Spencer Neff
September 9, 2020
Although the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series season is still ongoing, one major news item for 2021 and 2022 was announced today.
On Twitter, 7-time NASCAR Cup Series Champion Jimmie Johnson announced that he will be partnering with Chip Ganassi Racing for the next two years. The agreement will provide Johnson with an opportunity to run the full road and street course schedule in the series.
Although Johnson has previously been adamant in regard to not running oval races, the new aero screen has left open the possibility for him to change that stance and run at the Indianapolis 500.
In July, Johnson completed a long-anticipated test for Ganassi on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course.
“When I tested Chip’s Indy car earlier in the year, it only lit the fire more. I found that I wanted to do it more than ever before. Scott [Dixon] was just incredible to work with and in a short time I found out very quickly why Chip and his teams have won 12 INDYCAR Championships,” Johnson exclaimed in Wednesday’s announcement.
“As part of a natural progression, I wanted to publicly show the alignment with Chip Ganassi Racing to kick the sponsorship program into high gear. The goal is to run the full road and street program and today is a very important first step in accomplishing that goal.”
If funding can be secured, Johnson would add to one of the most accomplished and diverse lineup of drivers in the series.
The current points leader, Scott Dixon just notched his 50th career win two weeks ago. In their sophomore campaigns, teammates Felix Rosenqvist and Marcus Ericsson have shown promise as well.
On July 12, Rosenqvist earned his first IndyCar win at Road America while Ericsson has earned three Top Five finishes (two with Ganassi in 2020) since moving over to IndyCar from Formula 1.
“It is always difficult to find great drivers but for them to be great guys too makes it even that much more challenging. To pair Jimmie with the likes of Scott Dixon is quite an opportunity,” Car Owner Chip Ganassi added.
“They are truly in rarified air and I think everyone knows by now that ‘I like winners’. The goal right now is for us to run Jimmie in an Indy car for at least the next couple of seasons, and we want to show people we’re serious about the program. We felt it was important to get the partnership done and start putting the financial building blocks in place to make this a reality. Jimmie’s record speaks for itself and we feel a championship-level driver of his caliber can only make our team better.”
While the details on the deal between Johnson and Ganassi have not been finalized, “Silly Season” for 2021 has the groundwork for its first major lineup addition.
Header Image By Chris Owens/INDYCAR