Recently seven time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson announced that he was retiring from driving in the IndyCar Series. But Johnson still have the desire to sit behind the wheel of a race car and “have a little fun”.

On November 4, Johnson and Petty GMS Racing announced that Johnson would be joining the team as an owner and a part time driver.

Among the eight or 10 races Johnson plans to run next year is the biggest race of the season with the Daytona 500. Johnson notes that he does have a “race bucket list”.

Currently Petty GMS fields two cars the number 42 car driven by Ty Dillon and the number 43 car driven by Erik Jones. Next season the team will have Noah Gragson driving the number 42 car with Jones remaining in the 43. Petty GMS is owned by seven time NASCAR Cup Series champion Richard Petty and Maury Gallagher. Johnson now adds his name to the list of owners.

Johnson spoke via a statement saying, “It’s great to be back in NASCAR. When the IndyCar season ended I started on this journey of what was next. Maury and I connected, this opportunity came to light and it’s the perfect fit for me. Team ownership makes so much sense at this stage of my career and after spending time with Maury and his family, talking with Mike (Beam), Dave (Elenz, crew chief of the No. 43) and Joey (Cohen, Director of Competition and Engineering), I realized this was something I wanted to be involved with from both the business perspective and on the competition side. If I’m going to commit to something like this, I want to make a difference and have something tangible to show for it when it’s all said and done. So, this opportunity with Petty GMS is all of that and much more.”

Richard Petty spoke on the new partnership saying, “what an exciting time for Petty GMS. This year we’ve accomplished so much together with Maury and now adding Jimmie will only continue to help us grow. To have Jimmie — another seven-time champion — as a part of the team, and his abilities both on track and off will be special for Petty GMS. I’m looking forward to having him as a part of our team and seeing what we can build together.”

With 83 race wins – tied with Hall of Fame driver Cale Yarborough – the 47 year old Johnson and Richard Petty have more than a lifetime’s worth of experience to share with their drivers.

Former Cup Series boss and owner of Hendrick Motor Sports, Rick Hendrick spoke on Johnson’s return to NASCAR saying, “his is a tremendous day for our sport. Jimmie is one of the all-time great champions on the racetrack, and I know he’ll apply the same mentality to his role as a team owner. When he sets his mind to something, the level of commitment and work ethic he brings is unsurpassed. Seeing Jimmie in a fire suit with his name on the roof of a Chevrolet at the Daytona 500 is going to be very special for a lot of people. Competing against him will certainly be a change, and a big challenge, but we welcome his return to NASCAR and look forward to the next chapter of a truly remarkable career.”

While the new partnership has been announced, Gallagher, Petty, nor Johnson have given the new name for the team.