Jimmie Johnson extends deal with Hendrick Motorsports
Jimmie Johnson extends deal with Hendrick Motorsports
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18 June, 2017, 02:00
The seven-time champion is returning to Hendrick Motorsports, his home since 2001, signing a three-year extension through 2020.
Jimmie Johnson spun and damaged the front end of the No. 48 Chevrolet during morning practice Saturday at Michigan International Speedway, necessitating a switch to a backup auto for Sunday's Monster Energy Cup Series race.
Not only did Johnson re-up for three more years, but his huge primary sponsor, Lowe's, signed on through 2018.
Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick said the union between the team, driver, sponsor and crew chief Chad Knaus - Johnson's crew chief throughout his career - has been a ideal match from the start.
Johnson is tied for sixth on NASCAR's all-time wins list with Cale Yarborough, earning 83 trophies in NASCAR's premier division.
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"I've said it many times, I'm very content with where I'm at in the race vehicle and just truly enjoy competing and love being on the track", Johnson said. "Those crew chief years, I like to call them dog years, I don't have a clear picture on where that will take him, but I will do my best to keep him around as long as I can". I just know that I've got three more years of trying to go out there and win championships and win races. "Certainly, would love to climb further up the ladder there". Johnson wants to win more races and more championships under the Hendrick Motorsports banner.
"Eight championships, I would love to stand alone at that", Johnson said.
Johnson said he and Hendrick have had an informal agreement: He'll always have a spot at Hendrick and he won't go anywhere else. "I continue to be as grateful for the opportunity as I was when we started".
Accordingly, the No. 48 team rolled out the backup, and Johnson will have to start from the rear in Sunday's FireKeepers Casino 400 (3 p.m. ET on FS1) because of the post-qualifying auto change. The sport is always changing and evolving and how we win and how we stay on top has changed so much since I started in 2002. "It's hard to tell where it's going to go, but my faith is in Rick".
"We watched Mark race deep into his career and be super competitive, race for championships into his 50s, " Johnson said.
The group that recruited Durant in the Hamptons that day last summer has the same philosophy about winning more championships. James teamed up with All Stars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh on the Miami Heat to win his first championship in 2012.
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