Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson is returning to the sport in a big way, buying an ownership stake in Petty GMS Motorsports.
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.
— Jordan Bianchi (@Jordan_Bianchi) November 2, 2022
The 47-year-old Johnson has not raced in NASCAR since the 2020 season. His seven NASCAR Cup Series championships are tied for the most in history, and he has 83 career wins in NASCAR’s top series, tied for sixth all-time.
Johnson spent the last two years racing in the IndyCar Series but did not record a victory. He announced last month he was stepping away from driving full-time, leading to speculation about his future plans.
Petty GMS Motorsports currently fields two cars in the NASCAR Cup Series, the No. 42 Chevrolet for Ty Dillon and the No. 43 Chevrolet for Erik Jones. The team began operation in late 2021 after GMS Racing team owner Maury Gallagher purchased a majority interest in Richard Petty Motorsports. The legendary Petty, now 85, retains an interest in the team.
NASCAR fans expressed surprise at the news, with some saying they might have expected him to do something of this nature at Hendrick Motorsports, where he spent his entire NASCAR career.
I heard this rumor a week ago but didn’t believe it. Hell yea!
— Brian Murphy (@Brian_Murphy_) November 2, 2022
— Jacob | 9️⃣🏁x5 – 5️⃣🏁x3 | NYG🗽(6-2) – VT🦃(2-6) (@JacobRayLawson) November 2, 2022
— Michael G. Cardaropoli (@MGCardaropoli) November 2, 2022
NOT EVEN HENDRICK BUT PETTY GMS… LMAO WHAT
— DennyDeliversYT (@DennyDelivers) November 2, 2022
Heard Jimmie Johnson could become an owner of Petty GMS, Imagine if he convinced Lowe's to rejoin the sport pic.twitter.com/F87Rewrz2x
— Noah Duister Designs🇨🇦 (@NDD_01_) November 3, 2022
Two thoughts on Jimmie Johnson becoming a Cup co-owner/part-time driver
– Petty GMS isn't messing around about becoming a force
– It'll be so cool to see Jimmie in a Cup race again and I think cameos by "retired" drivers has been great for NASCAR as a whole.
— Steven Taranto (@STaranto92) November 3, 2022