Seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson to retire after 2020 season

Seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson to retire after 2020 season
Jimmie Johnson

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson indicated that 2020 will be his last season in the NASCAR Cup Series.

Johnson posted a video on Twitter Wednesday, expressing his gratitude for 18 “incredible” years of racing in NASCAR.

Johnson, 44, has spent his entire career with the Hendrick Motorsports No. 48 Chevrolet operation, which he has called home since his premier series debut in 2001, NASCAR reports.

“I’m looking forward to next season, and celebrating what will be my last year as a full time NASCAR Cup driver,” Johnson said in a Twitter video.

“This sport has been good to me, and has allowed me to do something I truly love," Johnson said in the video. "I showed up chasing a dream, and achieved more than I ever thought possible.”

Johnson has won seven titles in NASCAR’s top division, tied for the most all-time with Dale Earnhardt and Richard Petty, NASCAR reports. He ranks in a tie for sixth on NASCAR’s all-time win list.

“Johnson emerged from the world of motorcycle racing and off-road trucks, moving to asphalt — first in the American Speed Association (ASA) circuit and eventually to a brief stint in what is now the NASCAR Xfinity Series,” NASCAR reports, “Once there, he caught the attention of four-time champion Jeff Gordon, thanks to a fortunate seating arrangement at a drivers’ meeting in 2000.”

"NASCAR history will always hold Jimmie Johnson in the highest regard, for his hard-charging success on the racetrack and the way he conducted himself as a champion off the track. This remarkable seven-time champion – through his competitive spirit, immense talent and sportsmanship – has made NASCAR a better sport. On behalf of my family and the entire NASCAR community, I thank Jimmie for his dedication to NASCAR and, along with his legions of fans, wish him all the best in his final season. I look forward to watching him race for wins and an eighth NASCAR Cup Championship in 2020.”
- Jim France, NASCAR Chairman and CEO

“I know what this team is capable of and I hope 2020 is one of the best yet,” Johnson said.

Copyright 2019 WBTV. All rights reserved.