Seven time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson is a racer’s racer. He loves to drive and while he has 83 wins in NASCAR, seven championships, and has run in the Indianapolis 500 where he was awarded the Rookie of the Race trophy; there is one thing Johnson is longing to do…race at Le Mans.
Earlier this year Hendricks Motorsports announced a deal where they would field a special car under Garage 56 for the 2023 24 Hours at Le Mans. John is hoping that he will be one of the team to drive the car. Via a teleconference Johnson spoke on the opportunity saying, “I‘m still eagerly awaiting the (IndyCar) schedule. I‘m pushing behind the scenes to (IndyCar President) Jay Fry and others to try to understand what the schedule might be. I want to go to Le Mans. It would be an amazing experience to go with Hendrick and Action Express and the way this whole partnership works. But I think so much hinges on the schedule being released to understand if I can, and from the team standpoint what drivers would be at the top of their list.”
Johnson added, “I‘m thankful to have had a few conversations with them (Hendrick and Action Express) and I know that there‘s interest. I certainly have a ton of interest to do it. We‘re just waiting for that first domino to fall. I feel like the interest is really high on both sides. We haven‘t been able to talk anything more formal because the schedule is not out.”
Garage 56 is “a special single-entry class reserved for innovative cars.”
In March NASCAR and Hendrick Motorsports announced their intention to run in the 2023 24 Hour Le Mans race with the help of Chevrolet, IMSA, and Goodyear with a modified Next Gen Chevrolet Camaro ZL1.
At the time of the announcement, technical elements and the driver lineup were to be revealed at a later date.
It should be noted that car owner Rick Hendrick has amassed the most NASCAR championships – most notably seven with Johnson, four with Jeff Gordon, one with Chase Elliott, and one with reigning champ Kyle Larson -, leads the list in laps led, and holds the record for most points races won.