Jimmie Johnson will get his shot in an IndyCar. Testing, to be exact.
On Monday, the seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion announced he has partnered with Chip Ganassi Racing for an IndyCar test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. Both series will race at the track on 4th of July weekend, with the NTT IndyCar Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series running the infield road course on Saturday and Cup on the oval on Sunday. It will be the Xfinity Series’ first foray on the IMS road configuration.
Johnson, who currently sits twelfth in points in his final full-time season of Cup racing, has expressed an interest in open-wheel racing at various points in recent memory. In 2018, he raised the possibility of running road course races in IndyCar, and participated in a seat swap with Formula One‘s Fernando Alonso after the 2019 season.
He was initially scheduled to test an IndyCar for Arrow McLaren SP at Barber Motorsports Park in April before COVID-19 put an end to that possibility. Nevertheless, his interest remained, and fans and media noted he raced with an IndyCar wheel during the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series in the spring.
Ganassi, who fields cars in both IndyCar and NASCAR, remarked on Twitter that five-time IndyCar champion Scott Dixon might be available to provide pointers. CGR’s Cup stable also has IndyCar experience, with Kurt Busch being the 2014 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year.
IndyCar’s GMR Grand Prix and the Xfinity Series’ Pennzoil 150 are scheduled for Saturday, 4 July. The Cup Series’ Big Machine Hand Sanitizer 400, of which Johnson is a four-time race winner, will take place the next day. Johnson’s test will then occur on 8 July, three days after the 400.