Jimmie Johnson will call it a career next season. On Wednesday, the NASCAR star announced that 2020 will be the final year he will drive competitively on a full-time basis per ESPN. He has been racing for NASCAR for 18 seasons and he's looking to win one more championship before he retires.
"I am so thankful for 18 incredible years of racing in NASCAR," Johnson said in a video that he posted on Twitter. "This sport has been good to me and 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 changed sponsors this year from Lowe's to Ally Financial. The company also released a statement about Johnson's decision with chief marketing officer Andrea Brimmer saying, "Jimmie Johnson is a legend in racing, the epitome of class and the ultimate representative of our brand. "We are proud that Jimmie will finish his remarkable NASCAR driving career with Ally as his primary sponsor."
NASCAR chairman and CEO Jim France also heard the news of Johnson's final year as a full-time driver and he sent him a message.
"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,"
Johnson, 44, hasn't won a race since 2017, but he has won 83 races in his career, which ties him with Cale Yarborough for sixth all-time. He has won the Daytona 500 twice, he won five of his seven NASCAR Championships from 2006 through 2010 and he was named the Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year when he won his fifth title.