Farewell Jimmie Johnson

When it comes to class acts in sports one of the more well known in NASCAR racing is driver of Hendrick Motorsports number 48 Jimmie Johnson. After an illustrious career of highs and lows 2020 will be the last year Jimmie Johnson will compete in professional Cup Series racing. Having won 84 races including the coveted Daytona 500 twice, Jimmie’s legacy will forever be remembered driving the number 48 Chevrolet owned by legendary driver Jeff Gordon. 

Most remember the metallic blue Lowes logo firing around the track at high speeds with Johnson always in the hunt for victory. In recent years leading up to his retirement he switched sponsors from Lowes to Ally an online trading and investment company. 

This is a bittersweet retirement from racing as Johnson and all his race fans were hoping he would leave as a Cup champion. Other than an exhibition race The Clash in 2019 Jimmie Johnson has not won a Cup Series race in his last 93 attempts, one of the longest winless streaks in Nascar history. However there was one last opportunity for Jimmie Johnson to reach the podium and solidify the end of his tenure with Nascar racing. 

In 2020 the Coca Cola 600 in Charlotte a race he has won 4 times including 3 consecutive years in 2003, 2004, and 2005, his last win here was in 2014. Was this Johnson’s last shot at a Cup Series win in his last year of racing? With only a few laps remaining in an overtime race Brad Keselowski held off the hard charging 48 to take the checkered flag. Ultimately it wouldn’t have mattered as the 48 Chevrolet was later penalized for failing a post race inspection. 

A win here at a track in such close proximity to his family home would have been a memorable treasure to Johnson. The most decorated champion in stock car history will now move on away from Nascar and drive part time for the Indy car series for Chip Ganassi Racing. (CGR) Despite the move away from Nascar we will see Jimmie Johnson again, at the race track, in the garage, in the commentator booth, mentoring up and coming drivers, or working with his charity. 

The Jimmie Johnson Foundation is dedicated to helping children and families in need K-12, including funding for schools and educational programs. Most notable the foundation supports Make A Wish, for terminally ill children, adults, and seniors, helping them make their last wishes come true.

Johnson often gives up his time to engage with his fans, during the pandemic he surprised one of his number 1 fans, an ER nurse from Michigan Michael Palmer, in a virtual video call. Not only to commend him on the tireless work he is doing for patients and the hospital, but to invite him to a race as an honorary pit crew member.

Jimmie Johnson Foundation: https://jimmiejohnsonfoundation.org

Although Jimmie Johnson is now retired from racing the 48 Chevrolet lives on and will be driven by 27 year Alex Bowman from Tucson AZ. Bowman is a fierce competitor having already won two Cup Series races in his three year tenure driving the number 88 sponsored by Axalta. It is very likely and just a matter of time before we will see the number 48 taking the checkered flag again.