IndyCar | Jimmie Johnson Secures 2-Year Ganassi Drive

All round NASCAR legend Jimmy Johnson has been confirmed within the crack Ganassi squad for the 2021, 2022 IndyCar Series.

I'm chuffed! This is one of my favourite parts about IndyCar - the melting pot aspect. Meaning, seeing all these guys from different backgrounds all competing in the same series in (more or less) spec cars. I think it's going to be awesome to have one of the biggest names in NASCAR history in the grid!!! Show us watcha got, Jimmie!


Should be great for the series, I think. NASCAR has of course fell off the cliff from their early 2000s popularity explosion, but it still draws huge numbers compared to IndyCar. Hopefully some of those eyeballs Jimmie brings with him will like what they see and stick around to enjoy what I (and many others) consider to be the best pure race series in the world.

I do wonder what happens to Rosenqvist though...? Have not seen that addressed yet, but that young man is properly fast and needs to be in the series. We've had an absolute deluge of mega rookies in Indy over the past few years - Rosenqvist, Herta, Pato O'Ward, etc - gotta make sure we keep them in quick rides and keep the old timers honest!
 
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Mike Kadlcak

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Oh he’s gonna have some fun in 2022 with the 900+HP engines. Hope they stick with the plan. :)
 

Ole Marius Myrvold

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I do wonder what happens to Rosenqvist though...? Have not seen that addressed yet, but that young man is properly fast and needs to be in the series. We've had an absolute deluge of mega rookies in Indy over the past few years - Rosenqvist, Herta, Pato O'Ward, etc - gotta make sure we keep them in quick rides and keep the old timers honest!
Unless Ganassi is scaling back to a 2.5 car team, I don't see that this causes Frozenqvist to leave.
JJ's move is only for road and street courses, and it's not a done deal either: "officially explore the possibility of racing a full road and street course calendar" is the wording. Which to me reads like this is what they want to do, but they need to find the sponsors to make it happen.
As Ganassi stopped their Ford GT stuff for 2020, I am sure they have some spare resources they can put in to a part-time 4th entry in IndyCar, and maybe a 3rd entry for selected NASCAR-races for Johnson as well (e.g Daytona 500).
 

michelforest

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This is major news! A Nascar legend leaving for Indycar. I never thought I would see that. Part of me thinks that this is a slap in the face of Nascar.

Johnson is a massively talented driver and I hope he does well. One driver I would love to see make the switch is Kyle Busch. Not the most likable guy, but another supremely gifted driver.
 

TrumpetReich

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It's going to be weird as a fan seeing him on the grid "full" time rather than once or twice as a test. I'm sure it will take a bit to get used to seeing him and not think "why's he here? Is nascar off this week?". Can't wait to see him out west at Portland
 

bgil66

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I never followed Nascar just watched a few road races and he was great in them, then seeing him virtual race during the pandemic and the focus he had was cool to see. I’m a fan and hope he stays safe along with the other drivers. These things are rockets.
 
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Paul Jeffrey

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I'm really pleased with this news, excited to see what he can achieve - always thoroughly enjoy these type of crossover situations.

Yet another great reason to watch IndyCar next year!
 
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Nick Hill

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I'm really pleased with this news, excited to see what he can achieve - always thoroughly enjoy these type of crossover situations.

Yet another great reason to watch IndyCar next year!
Definitely, love the cross overs!

The racing scene in the US is kind of interesting. NASCAR is sort of like a big vacuum - it sucks up a lot of guys who may or may not have had any plans to go oval racing. It's certainly the case that many NASCAR drivers came up doing that kind of racing and have had their hearts set on being a Cup driver since they were little kids, but some people would be shocked to know how many of those guys came up in karts with their sights set on a road racing career. So what happens? Well, say you're a talented US driver and you've reached a decision point in your young career where you have two paths you can choose...many times, those two branches look something like:

(A) Try to scrounge up yet even more money and either figure out the logistics of getting in a single seater European series OR securing one of the handful of (hotly contested) "Road to Indy" seats.

(B) Well, looky here - it's a paid ARCA (or K&N or whatever) ride.

Happens all the time. Suddenly, a kid with Senna posters on their bedroom wall finds themselves on the circle track career ladder because your chances of a legitimate, sustainable career are so much better on that path.

In Jimmie's case, I don't think he raced a stock car until his early 20's. He was into some kind of off-road racing before he was sucked into the circle track vacuum.

Kind of a tangent, but just kind of interesting to note (and something that I'm not sure is well understood outside of the US). I think for most of the F1 field, F1 was their ultimate goal from very young. For a lot of the NASCAR field, it's the same...but there are also a lot of notable exceptions where guys just sorta got swept into it from all sorts of backgrounds.
 

FinFan

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I am a Johnson fan since he entered NASCAR. I love that he keeps on racing but I would have rather seen him stay in NASCAR instead of Indy Car.
 
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I would like to see Jimmie go back to his roots of off road racing in the Baja 1000 kinda like Stewart did with the dirt racing. This is very cool he wants to branch out though.
 

Jonny Austin

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Great story but as the saying goes "You cant teach an old dog new tricks"I think Jimmie will struggle on the road courses but could get some wins on the ovals.A pity it is not Jimmie at his peak about 5-6 years ago.
 

FormulaET

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All round NASCAR legend Jimmy Johnson has been confirmed within the crack Ganassi squad for the 2021, 2022 IndyCar Series.

I'm chuffed! This is one of my favourite parts about IndyCar - the melting pot aspect. Meaning, seeing all these guys from different backgrounds all competing in the same series in (more or less) spec cars. I think it's going to be awesome to have one of the biggest names in NASCAR history in the grid!!! Show us watcha got, Jimmie!


Should be great for the series, I think. NASCAR has of course fell off the cliff from their early 2000s popularity explosion, but it still draws huge numbers compared to IndyCar. Hopefully some of those eyeballs Jimmie brings with him will like what they see and stick around to enjoy what I (and many others) consider to be the best pure race series in the world.

I do wonder what happens to Rosenqvist though...? Have not seen that addressed yet, but that young man is properly fast and needs to be in the series. We've had an absolute deluge of mega rookies in Indy over the past few years - Rosenqvist, Herta, Pato O'Ward, etc - gotta make sure we keep them in quick rides and keep the old timers honest!
Though Jimmie will be a nice breath of fresh air, I still would like to see CART/Indy Car add more pit crew and for God's sake, add gantries for the air hoses.. The primitive whipping the air hoses around really is a safety hazard from hell.
 

Nick Hill

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Though Jimmie will be a nice breath of fresh air, I still would like to see CART/Indy Car add more pit crew and for God's sake, add gantries for the air hoses.. The primitive whipping the air hoses around really is a safety hazard from hell.
Ha, yeah I am with you on the gantries! It's amazing no one (or no thing) has been hit, tangled, etc. Or, they probably have, it just hasn't been disastrous enough to draw notice.

As far as pit crew goes, I think I'd keep it as is. I think having a skeleton pit crew:

1) First and foremost, keeps things safer. Having as few guys on that side of the wall during refuelling seems good to me.

2) It introduces more randomness, I suspect. Sure, the pit stops in F1 are a thing of beauty, but when you watch a cycle of pit stops and they're all 1.9-2.5 seconds...meh, it all kind of washes out. And seeing a 1.9 second pit stop is fun for the first few times but, when the incredible becomes routine, it's still routine. Just my 2 cents. Seems as though in IndyCar, it's way more likely to see an overly long pit stop that really shakes up strategy.

3) I'm assuming smaller crews = smaller expenses. I'm all for whatever keeps costs down in IndyCar. I love that we see what are essentially privateer* teams in IndyCar, I want to keep the racing accessible for those types!

* We don't seem to call them "privateer" in the states but, then again, I don't think I really hear that word, like, ever in the US. If not for racing, if I heard the word "privateer", I think I would picture 16th/17th century swashbucklers! Thank you, Sid Meier's Pirates! :laugh:
 
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Mike Kadlcak

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No F1 has to reduce pitcrew members... Indycar is way cooler since 91’ i follow they dont have to change anything. Its not broken.

Gantries for the air hoses? Wth is that?
 

Mike Kadlcak

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Great story but as the saying goes "You cant teach an old dog new tricks"I think Jimmie will struggle on the road courses but could get some wins on the ovals.A pity it is not Jimmie at his peak about 5-6 years ago.
Yea i heard he wont do ovals... only contract for road and street races. No clue why... and was he any good on road races? When I was watching Nascar road races I always saw Robby Gordon / Montoya / Ambrose... guys like that beating all other Nascar guys on a roadtrack in the past so no idea.
 
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