Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson will retire at the end of the 2020, the driver announced on Twitter yesterday, and to the media today.
Johnson’s seven titles is tied for the most all-time with NASCAR legends Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt. Johnson, 44, is #6 all-time on the NASCAR wins list with 83, tied with another racing great—Cale Yarborough.
“I’m so thankful for 18 incredible years of racing in NASCAR,” Johnson said in the video released on Twitter. “The sport has been good to me. It has allowed me to do something I truly love. I showed up chasing a dream and achieved more than I ever thought possible. I’m looking forward to next season and celebrating what will be my last year as a full-time NASCAR Cup driver. I know what this team is capable of, and I hope 2020 is one of the best yet.”
Johnson won five consecutive champions from 2006-2010, adding two more titles in 2013 and 2016. That five-year championship run was the most-dominant stretch by any driver in NASCAR history.
“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,” NASCAR Chairman and CEO Jim France said in a statement. “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.”