Jimmie Johnson raced his way to a fifth-place finish in the Season Finale 500 on Sunday afternoon, capping off a long and Hall of Fame-worthy NASCAR career. One day later, he was fully embracing retirement life. Johnson kicked off his post-Cup Series career with some rounds of golf before heading to the racetrack to get behind the wheel of another racecar.
The seven-time champion posted a video on Twitter Monday to let fans know that he was enjoying his retirement. He wore Chip Ganassi Racing gear, which caught some fans by surprise given that he spent his career with Hendrick Motorsports. "Here we are, Laguna Seca," Johnson said. "Sunday, I was in Phoenix, finished up my final Cup race. Traveled up here, played some golf yesterday at Pebble. Epic experience."
Retirement is off to a good start pic.twitter.com/gYxQhEcO1r— Jimmie Johnson (@JimmieJohnson) November 10, 2020
As Johnson explained, he was at famed Southern California to properly prepare for the next chapter in his career. He will spend the next two seasons in IndyCar as a member of Chip Ganassi Racing, but he has to get fully acclimated to a different type of racecar. Taking part in test drives at Laguna Seca provided this opportunity.
Once the IndyCar season begins, Johnson will partner with another championship driver to form a historic tandem. Scott Dixon, the winner of the 2020 IndyCar season, also races for CGR. Together, he and Johnson have a combined 13 championships spanning two racing series, and they will now work together in 2021.
Johnson capped off his final Cup Series race in style. He finished just behind the championship four while drive a special chrome Ally paint scheme. He then celebrated his teammate's championship victory before parking his car for the final time. Once Johnson climbed out of his No. 48 Chevrolet Camaro, he reached down and hugged one of his daughters.
"My heart's full," Johnson said after finishing his final Cup Series race. He stood at the side of the track next to his wife and daughters. "I'm just so happy to have this wonderful career and so many great people behind me. ... It's been a great run. I've had 19 years in the Cup Series, two years in the Xfinity Series. I've met so many great people, I've worked with great people. I've learned so many lessons, inside and out of the car, and I'm full."